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The Altura Icon Plus Women's Short Sleeve Jersey is made with a variety of fabrics including recycled polyester mesh, and does a reasonable job of keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the summer as long as temperatures don't get too high. It's semi-fitted, but could do with some adjustments; I like to think I'm reasonably average shaped, but the sleeves, which are quite long, were far too tight at the cuffs, creating compression just above the elbows, and the shoulders a bit roomy.
Check out our guide to the best women's cycling jerseys for summer for more options.
The Icon Plus is primarily a summer jersey, and for once the sunshine appeared in Yorkshire long enough for me to get my bike out and enjoy some of it. I wouldn't say the jersey is meant for really high temperatures, but there is some well-placed recycled polyester mesh on the underarms, arms and sides that help to create some breathability.
There is also an antimicrobial finish called Silvadur in the underarm, which Altura says 'gives long lasting freshness'. It seems to work – I'm not one to normally sniff an armpit after a ride, but the coating did make me consider whether I needed to wash the jersey after every ride.
The main body of the jersey is a polyester/elastane mix which isn't as breathable. Hence, I think it's good for riding in temperatures up to maybe 25-27°C, but beyond that you probably want something a little bit lighter.
Overall, however, I was pleased with the performance in the heat. It feels like it's decent quality, and after a month or so of wearing it, there's very little sign of wear.
The fit and sizing is where I have my qualms with this jersey. I tested a size 8, and am at the bottom end of the parameters for this in the guide, but I struggled with the cuffs. I found them really tight and constricting, which is a shame because I really liked the length. They go down towards the elbow, which is a bonus for me as there's less area for me to worry about suncream, but after an hour or so on the bike it was really noticeable and left me with red marks where the cuff had been.
Bearing in mind this is a semi-fitted jersey, the overall fit of the body was pretty good. I had some excess material in the shoulder/collarbone area, but the actual body of the jersey fitted quite nicely. I really liked the dipped hem at the rear.
The pockets are also a good size. You get the usual three, plus a zipped one for valuables. I could fit all my ride essentials with ease, which includes a big phone, a small pump, my ride wallet with my glasses, and snacks.
At £70, it's pretty reasonable compared with some performance jerseys – it's £50 less than the Santini Eco Sleek Bengal, for example – and decent value compared with some semi-fitted apparel. It isn't marketed as a high-performance race-oriented bit of kit, but it's more technical than some more relaxed jerseys.
I'd say it's similar in design to the Gore Ardent Jersey Women's, but has a slightly more relaxed fit and with heavier fabrics. The Gore jersey costs £10 more.
The Santini Colore Riga Women's Jersey is £20 more and doesn't come with a valuables pocket, although Emily was very impressed with its performance.
There are cheaper options, though: the Endura Women's Pro FS260-Pro S/S has an rrp of £59.99, and you can pick it up for half that now. It has a relaxed fit and plenty of pockets, but Suvi pointed out that the material isn't the most breathable.
Overall, the Altura performs well and is decent value compared with some, but you might want to check the fit suits you.
Performs well, and made with recycled fabrics, but check the sizing/fit works for you
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Icon Plus Women's Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: 8
Tell us what the product is for
"INSPIRED BY NATURE, THE NEW GRAPHIC PRINT AND RECYCLED FABRIC TAKE THE POPULAR ICON JERSEY TO THE NEXT LEVEL
The Altura Icon Plus Women's Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey takes the classic Icon Jersey to the next level using a recycled polyester mesh and streamlined main body fabric with a subtle graphic print that has been inspired by nature. Silvadur™ antimicrobial finish in the underarm area gives lasting freshness whilst the bonded hem and sleeve cuffs add to the feeling of comfort. Reflective detailing is built into the design, so it only stands out when you need it to. Three rear stash pockets provide ample storage, with a small zipped pocket for valuables."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Recycled polyester mesh fabric
Silvadur in the underarm mesh panels
Bonded sleeve cuff
Bonded front hem
Low profile collar
3 stash pockets and a secure zip pocket
I found there was a bit of excess material around the shoulders/chest area, and the sleeves were quite tight at the hem. It's certainly a more relaxed than race fit, as it is described in the product information, and is comfortable except for the sleeves.
I'd say the size guide is pretty accurate for a semi-fitted jersey. I tested the size 8 and had plenty of room around the stomach, but there was too much room around the shoulders for my liking. Conversely, the sleeves were really tight at the cuff, and because of the length they dug into my arms near my elbows.
The overall jersey was comfortable, the arm cuffs were too compressing for me.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to care for, handled multiple washes at 30 degrees without fuss.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall it performed well on the bike, both in the heatwave and beyond. The material is not your typical warm weather jersey, but there is mesh material where it matters.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the design, I think it's really stylish. I also like the size of the pockets and the dipped rear hem.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing – the arms were too tight and the shoulders too baggy.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £70 it's pretty reasonable compared with some performance jerseys. It isn't marketed as a high-performance race-orientated bit of kit, but it's more technical than some more relaxed jerseys. It's £50 less than the Santini Eco Sleek Bengal Women's Jersey which is more race-orientated and shorter in the body. I'd say it's similar in design to the Gore Ardent Jersey Women's, but a slightly more relaxed fit and with heavier fabrics. The Gore jersey costs £10 more.
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
I did enjoy using it, I just don't think it fits me particularly well. It's a shame, because I really like the design of it, and the performance was pretty good in a variety of weather. I wouldn't use it primarily as a super hot weather (think maybe 27°C plus) jersey – I'd prefer something with more mesh and lighter fabric. But for the variable British summer, it did a good job of keeping me at a reasonable core temperature.
About the tester
I usually ride: Bianchi Oltre XR1 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,