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Donda Jersey #3



A good jersey from an exciting new brand, though the mesh on the arms and shoulders limits its use
Well priced
Good looking
Decent breathability
Not ideal for commutes with backpacks
Mesh shoulders limit use in… shoulder seasons

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Donda Jersey #3 is a good looking, well priced and breathable top that performs well in warmer conditions. However, the choice of full mesh arms and shoulders limits its use a bit.

Donda is a new British-based brand with a focus on the 'everyday cyclist'. This broadly means it creates cycling kit that can be used for most cycling types without specialising in one area. Its direct-to-consumer approach means it's also priced competitively compared with some more established brands.

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The jersey is called the #3 because it is the third jersey that Donda has designed and made; it's not the most complex of naming conventions, but the design itself looks good and has a simple and elegant aesthetic.

The fabric used for most of the jersey has a good amount of stretch and sits well against the skin; it offers fairly good breathability too and wicks moisture well, pulling moisture away from the skin quickly and effectively, helping to keep you cool throughout a long ride. It has a full-length zipper, too, so you can let more cooling air in if needed.

2020 Donda JERSEY 3 - chest.jpg

From the sleeves across the shoulder to the neck, Donda has used a mesh material, which is unusual and not something I have come across before. It keeps your arms and shoulders cool and well ventilated, but as the majority of heat is lost through the back it's perhaps not the most strategic placement if keeping cool is the aim.

2020 Donda JERSEY 3 - sleeve.jpg

That said, I didn't find that the jersey performed poorly in terms of heat retention and I didn't ever find myself overheating. I didn't test this in the full heat of summer, the highest temperature being around 23 degrees, but I would put this firmly in the 'warm weather' category. I would suggest using it between around 15 to 27°C.

2020 Donda JERSEY 3 - logo.jpg

One reason I found this more suitable for warmer weather is that, where I would normally wear a jersey of this weight down to about 10°C with arm warmers and a light underlayer, the mesh sleeves and shoulders were a bit too breezy for this setup.

I am also a little skeptical of Donda's claim that the design allows for 'the most straightforward of commutes". The mesh construction on the shoulders mean it's not the ideal choice for commuting unless you don't carry a rucksack, as mesh under a bag strap would likely wear through quickly.

2020 Donda JERSEY 3 - back shoulders.jpg

At the back, the jersey includes three pockets that are well positioned and large enough for everything you might need for a longer ride. There is also a fourth zip pocket on the furthest right pocket for valuables, which can be used on the go with an easy-to-grab zipper.

2020 Donda JERSEY 3 - pocket.jpg

To keep everything in place, Donda has used a silicone gripper around the full circumference of the bottom of the jersey. This works really well; I didn't find the jersey riding up at all.

2020 Donda JERSEY 3 - gripper.jpg

The fit is slightly more casual than some while still retaining some performance elements, such as elongated arms and wide silicone cuffs to keep them in place. Sizing is also a little larger than some British brands, which helps with comfort too – for instance, the medium size that I tested would probably be closer to large in brands like Rapha or Endura. (It's not me in the photos.)

2020 Donda JERSEY 3 - hem.jpg

One thing this jersey really has going for it is the pricing, which, for the quality you get, is very impressive: £60 for a jersey that wicks well, looks good and is comfortable for long hours in the saddle is a good price.

It's the same price as Rapha's excellent Core Lightweight Jersey, and £10 less than the Chapeau Club jersey.

> How to dress for cycling in autumn

Overall, I was generally impressed with this jersey. For the price, it offers almost everything you could want for a jersey for weekend riding. The use of mesh across the entire shoulder does limit its use, though, both in terms of wearing it in lower temperatures and for commuting. However, for the majority of summer rides you won't go far wrong.


A good jersey from an exciting new brand, though the mesh on the arms and shoulders limits its use test report

Make and model: Donda Jersey #3

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Donda says, 'The combination of technology, quality and unique design allows our everyday cyclist to ride the toughest climbs, leisurely tour or the most straightforward of commutes.'

It's designed for everyday riding, but with mesh across the shoulders it wouldn't be practical for any commute with a bag.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Donda lists:

Race-fit neck (made from a separate panel)

SBS zipper

Raglan cuffs

Reflective strip at the base of a three section load bearing pocket

Easy-stick lining on sleeves and base and a reactive extra-stretch sleeve.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Feels like a well made jersey with strong stitching and a robust zipper.

Rate the product for performance:

Good fit and wicking meant I was comfortable for several hours in the saddle.

Rate the product for durability:

Early days but the full mesh panels on the shoulders mean it likely won't be the most durable... and using it for a commute with a bag wouldn't be the best idea.

Rate the product for fit:

Fit was good, helped by the stretch in the material.

Rate the product for sizing:

It sized up larger than I would expect from a British brand, with the medium fitting closer to what I would expect from a large.

Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:

A good fit and decent breathability meant that I could comfortably wear this for a long ride over several hours.

Rate the product for value:

It's good value compared with many, and for the quality of material you get. It's the same price as Rapha's excellent Core Lightweight Jersey, and £10 less than the Chapeau Club jersey.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Easy – stuck it in with everything else at 30 without any issues.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It is not ideal for commuting with a backpack, but for everything else it performed well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The looks – the retro simplicity of this jersey is great.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The full arm and shoulder panel mesh – any commute with a bag is likely to wear through the shoulders quickly.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

You can pick up the Rapha Core Lightweight Jersey for the same price, while the Chapeau Club jersey is £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

A good jersey for most riding types, though the use of mesh across the entire shoulder limits it a little as it can't really be used with arm warmers or for commuting with a backpack. However, aside from this, it is a good looking jersey that puts in a strong performance.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

George is the host of the podcast and has been writing for since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

Add new comment


IanEdward | 3 years ago

Very  happy with my Jersey #1


Still deliberating over a Jersey #2, I've learned the hard way that something which looks good on the screen doesn't always (or ever) look good on a hairy white Scotsman... Sadly I think I should stick to 'understated' bike wear.


Mery Alex replied to IanEdward | 3 years ago

Really looks great, nice color and the designer is greatlaugh

Yorky-M | 3 years ago

Nice colours, looks like Specialized s old logo

Chris Hayes replied to Yorky-M | 3 years ago

.....and a Cafe du Cyclist jersey.... the stripey one at least. 

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