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Fat Lad At The Back Women’s Cove Jersey

7
£54.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Attractive, comfortable and effective – if not the best-finished jersey ever
Sizes 34 to 53in chest available
Inexpensive
Fast drying
Finish isn't top quality
Long body won't suit everyone
Weight: 
132g

At road.cc 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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This short-sleeved jersey offers a wide variety of designs and sizes to suit most tastes and body shapes. Made from lightweight polyester, it's designed to wick moisture effectively and dry quickly. It has a full-length YKK zip, silicone gripper all around the hem, three rear pockets and a water-resistant zipped pocket for valuables too.

There should be a design to suit most tastes, from the retro-flowery design I tried to less overtly girly options, and even some humorous ones too (powered by pie...) for those that way inclined. Contrast black side panels make for a flattering overall look.

Overall, the shape is good and curve-friendly, but the length (which is designed to prevent any gap between jersey and shorts, no matter the shape of rider) was a little over-long on my 5ft 5in frame. I'm not especially short in the torso, either.

> Buy this online here

I tested the 38in chest, and it fitted well over bust, upper arms and at the hips, but I found the extra length actually made it more likely to ride up rather than less, even with the hem gripper.

2021 Fat Lad At The Back Women's Cove Jersey - gripper.jpg

The fabric wicks moisture quickly, keeping me a good temperature even on hotter days (yes, I did find some), and it dries fast too. The collar is snug without being overtight, as are the sleeves. It's strictly a summer-weight jersey unless you wear a base layer, though.

2021 Fat Lad At The Back Women's Cove Jersey - collar.jpg

The rear pockets are a fairly standard size and capable of taking an iPhone 7 in a protective pouch quite happily – good news, as the water-resistant pocket is not large enough for a phone.

2021 Fat Lad At The Back Women's Cove Jersey - pockets.jpg

The zip feels a little flimsy and its seams aren't finished that well, with a few straggly edges here and there, and worst of all it's difficult to operate single-handed on the fly. The seams throughout are fairly basic, in fact, rather than flat and smooth.

Value

At £54.99 this isn't quite an entry-level jersey, but it's but not far off. It hits a similar price point to quite a few others, such as the Primal Pixel8 Women's Cycling Jersey at £55 and the Altura Icon Women's Short Sleeve Jersey at £54.99. The dhb Women's Blok Jersey is £45, but in reality, the majority of jerseys we test are significantly more expensive.

> 26 of the best summer cycling jerseys — tops to beat the heat from just £10

The major value of Fat Lad at the Back is (as the name suggests) its sizing options for all shapes and builds. Altura and dhb stop at a size UK18 (about 43in chest), for instance, while Primal goes up to 45in chests – still quite some measure short of the 53in options from Fat Lad at the Back. Many high-end jerseys stop at about a UK16.

Overall

Whilst the finish isn't perfect and the length was a little too generous for me, I found the Cove Jersey a very capable summer top. The price is reasonable, performance is good and the broad, inclusive range of options is impressive.

Verdict

Attractive, comfortable and effective – if not the best-finished jersey ever

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Fat Lad At The Back Women's Cove Jersey

Size tested: 38

Tell us what the product is for

FLAB says: "There's a real retro feel to this Cove cycling jersey in Orange Flower Power design features our signature women's curve friendly cut, lightweight and breathable, silicone hem, folded cuffs and four pockets."

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

FLAB lists:

Curve friendly women's specific cut

Plus sizes feature longer length sleeves and body

135gsm Coolmax soft and lightweight 100% polyester fabric

Soft folded cuffs

YKK zipper

3 generous back pockets

Zip pocket for valuables

Silicone hem to keep the jersey in place

Available in sizes 34" to 53"

Washable at 30

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
6/10

The fabric is good but the seams around the zip are slightly lacking, while the zip itself is too fiddly to do up one-handed.

Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10

Wicks well, dries quickly and is comfortable to wear.

Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10

A curve-friendly cut that takes hips and boobs into account, but quite long in the body.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Spot on for its stated size. Handy that sizing is by bust measurement, rather than S, M, L etc.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

Very light.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Both fabric and cut are comfortable, as is the double-layer collar.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

There's better quality to be had elsewhere, but this is a solid price for a product in a very wide range of sizes and designs.

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

Washes well at 30°.

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

Very well – it kept me dry and comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The sizing is broad (chest sizes from 34 and 53in), plus it's affordable, fast-drying and effective.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The finish isn't as neat as as it could be, and the length won't suit every body shape.

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

At £54.99 this isn't quite an entry-level jersey, but it's but not far off. It hits a similar price point to quite a few others, such as the Primal Pixel8 Women's Cycling Jersey at £55 and the Altura Icon Women's Short Sleeve Jersey at £54.99. The dhb Women's Blok Jersey is £45, but in reality, the majority of jerseys we test are significantly more expensive.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Absolutely

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a good-looking jersey that delivers comfort and a curve-friendly fit at a decent price. It's not as well finished as some, but it is affordable and should last reasonably well. Plus the range of sizes is brilliant. With slightly neater finishing it could be an eight.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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