The Altura Icon Warp Short Sleeve Jersey is a surprisingly thin and refreshingly comfortable top with a decent specification, features I've come to expect, and some smart, subtle detailing. I really like the design and print, and the cut is generally bang on. The only thing I'd really appreciate is a bigger zipper tag.
I've a fair few jerseys in my collection but none quite this thin. Essentially, it's our old friend polyester/elastane, but although incredibly thin it's a seemingly sturdy weave that wicks moisture really well. It's helped by extensive mesh panelling (starting at the arm pits and extending down the sides) coupled with a full-length zipper. The yarn does not contain any SPF tech, which may disappoint some.
The raglan cut and stretch fabric help give a second-skin close feel while allowing unrestricted movement – perfect for alternating between hoods, drops and tops of the bars. For the first few wears, the sleeves and silicone grippers felt a little too snug but quickly relaxed after the first machine wash.
Moisture management is where it really excels. During testing, the mercury has been consistently in the mid 20s, and it's been mighty humid to boot. Compared with a more traditional-weight summer jersey, it's kept me consistently cool, airy and arid.
Slower than merino perhaps, the fibres seem to react very quickly, even with the zip dropped by just a third, which suggests the mesh panels genuinely work. Being picky, I would have preferred a more substantial zipper tag; nonetheless, I've had no issues dropping or raising it when conditions dictate.
Dropping it to half only proved necessary in high humidity, helped in part by a bottle of cool water. Nonetheless, relief took but seconds. These qualities lend it rather nicely to indoor trainer slavery during the darker months.
Odour management seems fairly good, too. I've worn the top for three days straight, 50 miles a day. By that point, a low funk was apparent and I'd stand upwind of folks at cafes/rest stops. That said, we weren't at the point where it was dragging me to the washing machine.
Having chanced leaving the micro jacket at home on a few rides, I can confirm the jersey dries swiftly – about 15 minutes given a moderate breeze.
Altura describes the Icon Warp as being "semi-fitted". I'd describe our medium as a tailored fit and very snug. (It's not me in the photos.)
I've noticed a trend for longer sleeves these past few seasons; allowing for the huge silicone hem, which offers secure tenure, the Icon Warp's extended just above my elbow, which works for me.
Traditionally, Altura tends to come up on the large side, so medium was an easy default. On balance, given the sleeve length and other factors, this remains so. However, I'd struggle to slip a baselayer beneath, or indeed arm warmers, say during a changeable autumn. On paper the large is slightly closer to my 181cm, 70kg frame, so it might be an idea to try for size should you teeter between them.
Round the back are four surprisingly generous pockets: the traditional terrace pattern, with a zippered fourth for valuables.
Though thin, the pockets are suitably deep and supportive at their base. Larger phones are well catered for, and although there's been some minor 'bob' with a full bottle when tackling lumpier lanes and unmade roads, nothing's been ejected.
The zippered pocket proved a little challenging to open/close on the fly, though no more awkward than several others in my collection.
Standards of construction are what I've come to expect of the price point and, indeed, Altura. Stitching is neat and uniform, and thus far there's no sign of bobbling/fraying or similar deterioration despite prolonged wear and frequent washing. It's also shrugged off close encounters with brambles and similarly prickly stuff.
Being someone who largely fell out of love with trade jerseys in my twenties, I really like the print, like a blending of faraway solar system and printed circuit board, with subtle retro-reflective detailing. It's just the right side of funky, without clashing with bog standard blacks or, indeed, blues.
The Icon Warp sits nicely around the competitive mid-point, hitting the right notes for commuting, training and general riding. It's the same price as Cycology's Baroudeur – and others in Cycology's collection – although you do get SPF 50 fabric treatment with those.
You can pay less: the very good Van Rysel RR 900 is £39.99 at rrp, though it and the Altura are both currently discounted to £34.99.
Generally speaking, the Altura Icon Warp is a nice option for warmer summer rides, European training camps and, at the other extreme, indoor training during the darker months. I particularly like the design which, for me at least, marries subtle and bold very cohesively.
A nice jersey for summer and indoor training; a bigger zipper tag would be welcomed
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Icon Warp Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "Constructed for speed without sacrificing comfort. The vibrant design makes a statement and the high-performance fabric backs it up.
"When you work hard, so does this jersey, wicking sweat away through the capillary action fabric and ventilating via the mesh underarm gussets.
"Other advantages include all-round safety from the 360° reflective detailing plus plenty of storage capacity for long days in the saddle thanks to three large rear pockets. With this jersey you're all set for summer."
My feelings: it's a snug fitting lightweight and airy jersey for summer and indoor trainer service.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Altura lists these features:
High wicking fabric
360° reflective detailing
3 rear pockets including 1 zippered pocket
Mesh underarm gusset
Silicon grip hem print
Fabric felt a little thin but seems durable.
Meets the design brief very well.
In the short term at least, its resisted the usual everyday wear and tear, regular washing and so on.
Felt a little snug around the arms to start with. However, this quickly eases out with a few wash and wears.
Fitted me fine, if a little tight at the sleeves when worn for the first couple of times. Could be worth sizing up if you're on the cusp of two sizes.
Generally good, and I've continued to feel comfortable when the mercury's climbed to the mid/high 20s.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very straightforward. Didn't seem to mind being washed at 30/40 degrees. No fraying, bobbling or other signs of deterioration to date.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall performance has lived up to expectations. Lighter than some, there's plenty of room in the pockets and heavier loads don't bob around like playful puppies. Vented sections coupled with thinner fabric and a full-length zipper certainly make for a comfortable experience, especially on very warm rides, and bodes well for indoor trainer use. It also dries very quickly following rogue showers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Design, graphics, clever retro-reflective detailing and excellent climate control.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Minor points, but an SPF weave would have been nice, ditto a slightly bigger zipper tag.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Icon Warp sits nicely around the competitive mid-point. Cycology has various at the same price – its Spin Doctor, for example, which offers similar standards of performance, but also SPF50. The Van Rysel RR 900 undercuts it by £15 at rrp.
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
It's a decent summer weight jersey with some nice touches.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)