Alé's Vetta jersey is exactly what you need while the country around you is slowly burning to a crisp. Large mesh sections make this lightweight offering unbelievably cool even when you are absolutely smashing it along on a summer's day.
- Pros: Great breathability, close fit, lots of colour options
- Cons: Pockets could be a little firmer
If you like to stand out when you're out for a ride, Alé rarely lets you down with its borderline garish colourways. This blue/fluoro yellow is probably the brightest but there is also a red/yellow and apple green/blue option alongside a more subdued black/red. It's good to see some companies injecting some colour into their clothing, I say.
It isn't all about looking good, though, you need the performance to match, and the Vetta delivers here from the high teens through to the top of the 20s centigrade.
The rear, side and arm panels all use a large knit mesh, very similar to that used on its baselayers, like the Intimo I tested recently.
Pair it up with said baselayer and you can really feel the breeze take the sweat away from the surface when you are riding along. Unless the speed drops for a climb or you stop altogether, you never feel wet or hot.
If you do need to climb it is best to drop the zip to let the breeze blow right through to regulate your temperature; the front panels have a much tighter knit mesh so it's not as easy for air to pass through. This makes the jersey more usable in cooler temperatures as your vital organs aren't taking the brunt of a chilly wind – ideal if you are heading out early in the morning but you know the temperature is going to ramp up as the ride goes on.
That also means it isn't restricted to just those really hot summer days like some jerseys can be, something worth taking into consideration with the usual British climate.
The thin material means the Vetta is also a lightweight jersey, which also helps keep you cooler.
You get a dropped tail at the rear for coverage, which stays put when you are in the drops thanks to silicone gripper around the hem.
On the whole the Vetta is quite a simplistic jersey. There are just the three standard pockets on the rear, with no zipped option for valuables or any gel pocket on the side. The pockets are made from the same material as the front of the jersey and the only compromise in using such a lightweight fabric is that they do tend to sag a bit if you put something heavy in them like a multi-tool, but they are deep enough to stop anything bouncing out.
There is no zip garage around the front either, which is something I generally like to see, but the neck on the Alé is quite low so it's not really an issue.
Often when things get lighter and more minimalist the price goes up, but the Vetta is a very competitive option at £65. Le Col's Pro Air Jersey, for instance, has a few more technical details but costs almost double the price at £120. Sportful's offering, the Bodyfit Pro Light, costs £80.
Looking at the quality and performance of the Alé Vetta, for the money I'd say it's a relative bargain.
Lightweight performance jersey that's not just reserved for the hottest of days
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ale Vetta Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Alé says, "The Vetta Jersey is the ultimate in lightweight and breathable comfort in the saddle.
"Featuring a mesh-like fabric that's perfectly breathable for warmer summer rides, the Vetta Jersey is among the most lightweight of Ale's cycling apparel. Further ventilation is provided by the back panel and sleeves, three back pockets are ideal for keeping your essentials within easy reach and Reflex material on the back adds a strong degree of reflectivity to your visibility too."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Collar: 100% Polyester
Main: 96% Polyester, 4% Elastane(Spandex)
Sizes: XS to 3XL
For an Italian company, its sizing is quite realistic, UK like.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with putting the Vetta through the washing machine. It came up clean and even though it is really thin I have no worries about its durability with constant washing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
An impressive jersey for keeping you cool on hot rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How breathable it is.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could do with stronger pockets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A well-finished and vibrant jersey that offers excellent wicking properties at a competitive price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.