If you want to perform at your best in high temperatures, a summer jersey that keeps you cool, dry, comfortable and ideally aerodynamic ought to be at the top of your list.
And of course, as the focal point of your look, it’s also got to be suitably stylish.
Soft, light merino wool was the classic pro choice – and it still features in many current designs thanks to its odour-resisting, moisture-wicking, quick-drying qualities as well as being a natural fibre – but the last decade has seen newer technical fabrics widely deployed, with frequently more than one type used in a single jersey.
For example, Velocio’s Radiator Concept jersey, reviewed below, uses Polartec Delta mesh on the front of the torso and sleeves, in order to actively cool its wearer, while a smoother, close-fitting recycled polyester/elastane mix is used at the rear and to reinforce the pockets.
Other brands will use their own fabrics and configurations depending on their designers’ preferences and their own test results as well as on the exact temperature and conditions for which they’re optimising their jerseys.
Many brands make a commitment to using sustainable materials – check out individual websites to find out the details.
We've been testing the best of 2023’s summer jerseys everywhere from the south-east of England to Mallorca: here’s Rouleur pick of them.
In some of our articles you will find links to buy products from various external retailers. These links contain an affiliate code, and it means that Rouleur may receive a small percentage of the money you spend if you choose to buy that product via the link. This does not affect the amount you pay. All products are independently reviewed and selected on our judgement of them, not on whether they offer us affiliate revenue.
Assos Equipe RS S9 Interstellar
A limited-edition jersey paying homage to space exploration that’s great for gravity-defying cycling exploits here on earth.
This jersey is part of a limited edition collection inspired by the surfaces, shapes and colours of a lunar world, according to Assos, and comes in this ‘space silver’ colourway.
Although the price isn’t exactly down to earth, if you like gravity-defying exploits on your bike in 25°C+ temperatures, this jersey is on the money.
With Assos’s fabric choices you get airier mesh on the back of the jersey and denser on the front: by contrast the Velocio and Rapha jerseys in this guide do it the other way round.
I wore this super-lightweight jersey on Sa Calobra in Mallorca and stayed as cool as you can reasonably expect when you’re slogging up the side of a sheer cliff in sweltering sun. And a bonus of the lunar surface pattern is that resulting sweat patches are handily disguised.
Compared to the other jerseys here, this is the one my ride mates admired the most.
I tested a size medium, as recommended by Assos’s online size finder (I’m 178cm and 69kg) and I found the skinsuit-like fit perfect, although in terms of the cut I would have liked it slightly shorter in the body with the pockets a little higher (and ideally with a zipped valuables compartment), more like the Velocio but not quite as short as the Pas Normal. But functionally and aesthetically it’s hard to fault it.
- Striking moon-surface design
- Skinsuit-like fit
- Good moisture wicking
- Pockets a little low
Reviewed by Simon Smythe
Velocio Concept Radiator
Innovative design and fabrics that really do stop you from overheating in the hottest conditions.
Designed for the very hottest summer days, the Velocio Concept Radiator uses very lightweight, 3D Polartec Delta mesh on the front of the torso and sleeves which is intended to wick moisture more effectively since the texture increases surface area (like a radiator’s fins).
It’s soft, very stretchy and has an almost cotton-like feel against the skin, which means it doesn’t get clammy when it has a lot of moisture to transfer - and the air rushes straight through in any case.
The fact that it’s a very fine mesh and is designed to fit closely – and therefore stretch – does make the front slightly see-through.
The size small was ideal for me. The sleeve length is well judged - long but not too long - and they stay in place via their stretch with no need for silicone grippers.
The pockets are also perfectly placed and sized – nice and high but, unlike the Pas Normal Mechanism, not so high that they can’t be accessed with one arm up the back - and well reinforced so that they don’t sag.
For really hot conditions this is my go-to jersey and the one I picked for my first day in Mallorca - when you’re not yet acclimatised and a zone two spin is enough to reduce you to a sweaty mess.
Weight: 118g (size small)
- Very effective cooling
- Super comfortable next to the skin
- Great pocket stability
- See-through front
Reviewed by Simon Smythe
Pas Normal Studios Mechanism
Ultra-flyweight, pro-looking jersey from the designer Danish brand that is rewriting the cycling clothing rules.
The Danish new kids on the block already have a highly recognisable style of their own, differentiating themselves from rival brands as Rapha did a decade earlier. The look is very different, though.
Whereas logos have become much more discreet in recent years, the big ‘PNS’ lettering on the back of the Mechanism jersey leaves no one sitting on your wheel in any doubt.
But due to it being Danish and avant garde, I didn’t feel like a rolling Pas Normal advert. In fact I felt quite smug to be rocking the latest hip label.
I chose the size small in ‘deep green’ – there are 18 block colours to choose from and seven sizes. The fit was very close indeed, the closest of the jerseys here, but the very stretchy fabrics - mesh on the back and sleeves and denser on the front – effectively supply the aerodynamic race fit the company claims and it looks classy and fast.
It’s cut very short, meaning the rear pockets were out of reach – with my arm/shoulder flexibility at least. Needless to say, there’s zero chance of pocket sag.
This Italian-made jersey is the lightest here – and includes a rear zipped compartment – which means it’s as good in hot conditions as you’d expect, mainly due to its sheer thinness rather than any specific wicking technology.
Weight: 85g (size small)
- Super-tight pro fit
- Incredibly light
- Designer looks
- Very high pockets
- Large logos might not be for everyone
Reviewed by Simon Smythe
Le Col Pro II
Chic, sleek, single-fabric jersey that works in northern European summers as well as the sunnier climes.
The British brand’s latest version of the Pro jersey doesn’t combine different-performing fabrics like others here. Instead it’s made from a single “superior lightweight fabric with fast-wicking properties [which] works to pull sweat quickly away from your body to the exterior of the jersey, keeping you comfortable and dry as you pick up pace.”
I am a big fan of the sleek single-material aesthetic, which is designed to be form fitting like the others here, and I found it cool enough for Mallorca/25°C+ despite the lack of actual mesh. I’ve also found that back in the UK the Le Col jersey is suitable for rides in temperatures a few degrees lower, meaning it’s not limited to just the hottest days or riding abroad.
Le Col’s size guide put me on the cusp between small and medium. I went for the small, which was the right decision. The pockets are made from the same lightweight, stretchy fabric as the rest of the jersey without the additional reinforcement that Velocio uses to great effect, but the smaller size avoids pocket sag, and the pockets don’t sit too low, either (plus there’s a zipped compartment).
This is a smart, chic jersey that’s made in Italy, has Le Col’s distinctive style and can do slightly cooler northern European summer days as well as the southern scorchers.
Weight: 124g (size small)
- Simple, stylish use of one fabric
- Perfect proportions
- More versatile than pure hot weather jerseys
- Stretchy pockets may sag if you don’t size down
Reviewed by Simon Smythe
Rapha Core Lightweight
Very lightweight and eminently affordable summer jersey that’s great for keeping your core temperature down and your bank balance up.
Rapha’s Core Lightweight is living, breathable proof that a superlight summer jersey from a premium brand can be light on the wallet too. At under £100/$100 and under 100g for the size medium it’s the best of both worlds. And it has the signature Rapha look and the flattering cut with its raglan sleeves and high waist.
For heat management, Rapha has taken a similar approach to Velocio: there are lightweight mesh panels on the front and sleeves while the rear is made of a denser-knit fabric. The pockets don’t receive any special treatment (and there’s no zipped compartment) but they don’t sag thanks to the good fit.
Rapha’s size guide said medium for me, which was right. The Core Lightweight was the perfect length – quite high on the waist, collar snug but not tight when zipped fully up. This jersey has a ‘low compression’ fit, which is looser and sits away from the skin for complete freedom of movement and improved airflow, according to Rapha, and it’s for ‘daily riding’ rather than a racing designation.
The only thing that doesn’t quite work is the looser sleeves, which don’t have grippers, just a regular hem, and tend to ride up – not ideal if you want to maintain your crisp arm tan lines.
Weight: 97g (size medium)
- Low price
- Rapha style
- Loose sleeves
Reviewed by Simon Smythe
Maap Evade Pro Base Jersey 2.0
A stylish and effective jersey with some thoughtful touches.
The Evade Pro Base Jersey 2.0 is a progression on Maap’s popular Evade jersey, except this time it’s been constructed more sustainably, with the body of the jersey made with a claimed “70% recycled knitted Italian fabric”.
That fabric is also intended to provide an “ultra-soft skin feel”, and while I can’t quite attest it reached ultra-soft, it is a supremely comfortable jersey and now one of my go-to picks for a sunny ride.
The mesh, long cut arms and a fairly low sitting collar give this a close pro fit which I really liked and the size guide was pretty spot on. I went for large and, having often sat between a medium and a large in other jerseys, the close fit of the Evade 2.0 meant a size large worked out perfectly for me.
Other thoughtful additions to the jersey include the bottom elasticated hem, which sat flush and did an excellent job of preventing any ride-up. Likewise the new “anti-sag” pockets worked well. They’re not the biggest, but they sit at a good height and do prevent that saggy jersey look even when full.
I wore the Evade 2.0 on a couple of rides in the high 20 degrees, which Maap points to as the ideal range for this jersey. It’s got great breathability and didn’t get heavy with absorbed sweat, and these temperatures definitely felt like its sweet spot. I’d perhaps look for something a little thinner if I was going to be riding in mid-30 degree temperatures, but for the most part the Evade 2.0 was ideal.
Maap has always been a proponent of stylish jerseys and the Evade 2.0 follows that trend. Its minimalist styling and block colourways make it a stylish versatile addition to your cycling wardrobe.
- Excellent fit
- Looks great
- No saggy pockets
- Not ideal for super-hot conditions
Reviewed by Richard Windsor