The best cycling jerseys are tailored garments with a range of convenience features to help you ride more comfortably, come rain or shine. These features include – but are not limited to – multiple pockets to store water bottles/snacks/keys, increased ventilation in critical areas, sweat-wicking fabric and reflective details for better visibility on the road.
Much like the best cycling shoes, modern cycling jerseys are designed to fit the rider's body like a cycling glove so their wearer slices through the air like a hot knife through butter. Compare the experience with doing the same stunt wearing a baggy T-shirt – it would flap in the wind like a flag, making you and others around you uncomfortable.
Make sure you're as visible as possible on the roads by using the best bike lights (and rear bike lights). Pro tip: ideally, you'll want both. In case you need a new bike to go with your new cycling jersey, check out T3's best road bike and best gravel bike roundups.
Best cycling jerseys to buy right now
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The Rapha Core Lightweight Jersey is an excellent value cycling top, and it also scores highly with others who’ve been seduced by its charms, judging by the overwhelming number of positive reviews on the Rapha website. There are compromises with the design of this jersey, such as the lack of storage, and we found the zipper a little fiddly to get started. Nevertheless, there’s no quibbling with the quality here and, all things considered, we’d say the Rapha Core Lightweight Jersey is a must-have accessory for summer rides.
Read our full Rapha Core Lightweight Jersey review.
You'll instantly feel the difference as soon as you don the ORRO Gold Luxe 2.0 Jersey. The combination of the super-soft Nair fabric and the embroidered makes you feel like you're a member of the pro peloton. As a matter of fact, the Gold Luxe 2.0 is the kind of jersey that I'd imagine Peloton Bike+ users would like to wear.
That said, the ORRO Gold Luxe 2.0 is best worn outside when the weather is hot. It's sweat-wicking and dries well, perfect for summer rides (not so much for windy sessions, though). Of the three pockets at the back, the middle one is a good size, while the two narrower ones on the side are best for smaller objects. There is also a smaller zipped pocket for keys.
Slightly set aside from Rapha's typical high-performance range, the Brevet line-up focuses on longer, more adventurous rides with a range of comfortable jerseys that blend fabrics with multiple advantages. The addition of Merino wool has been chosen for its natural wicking and antibacterial properties, along with its ability to both insulate against the cold and breathe in warmer conditions.
Plus, the Brevet jersey is designed with comfort as a top priority, meaning it has no awkward seams or zips that could chafe when the mileage starts to clock up. Better still, the jersey’s fit is tailored enough for on-the-bike advantages but not too aggressive to make you stand out like a split sausage in a condom at café stops.
Luxury bike jerseys go head-to-head in our comparison article: Rapha Brevet vs Le Col Pro Jersey
There is very little to criticise about the Le Col Sport Jersey II. This high-quality cycling jersey features flat-locked seams and a full-length lock-down zip and zip guard so you can ride and ride and ride for hours in maximum comfort. The silicone hem gripper will keep the jersey in place no matter what pose you prefer to cycle.
The stretchy polyester fabric is lightweight and super comfortable to wear, especially during the spring season when the weather is not quite warm enough to make you sweat bucketloads but warmer than how it was in the previous six months when all you did was ride the turbo trainer, staring at the wall.
As for storage, the Le Col Sport Jersey II has three main pockets at the back and a smaller, waterproof security pocket on the right-hand side (also on the back) for storing stuff you don't want to get wet, possibly your smartphone. This last zipped section is not huge by any means and might not fit larger phones, mind. Other than that, we can't think of any other issues with this superb jersey!
The Gore Wear C7 Jersey is the ultimate good weather cycling jersey for people who appreciate craftsmanship and comfort above all. The jersey's front and back are made of a dense mesh fabric to protect you from the wind, while the sides – under the arm – have an open mesh construction for added breathability.
On the back, you'll also find the customary pouches for bottles and gels, but there is also a zip pocket if you need to make sure your phone and keys stay in place as you ride. The pockets have reinforced seams, so it is harder to rip them open – although you don't necessarily want to test it, just for the sake of it.
On the arm hem, the silicone lining holds the arms of the jersey in place as you ride: you could also say the arms won't ride up as you pedal (pun intended). Please do bear in mind, this is a warm-weather jersey, and as much as the Gore Wear C7 Jersey would protect you from the wind, it won't protect you from the cold. Just stating the obvious here.
Donning the Megmeister Woven Zig Zag Jersey for a morning was an interesting experience. The jersey felt heavier than a regular lycra cycling top, but maybe the relatively less flexible material gave me that impression. Don't get me wrong, the Megmeister Woven Zig Zag Jersey is not rigid, but the yarns have a bit of a hold, making the top feel more premium since there is a bit of weight to it.
The woven nature of this jersey is definitely the main feature: the structure provides a closer fit, helps moisture management and looks darn good. Unlike lycra jerseys that give riders the unflattering MAMIL-look, the Megmeister Woven Zig Zag Jersey sits close to the skin on every body type. The natural material expands to react to changes in the body shape when you change riding position.
The yarns are partially made of regenerated polyester instead of the 'virgin' variety, reducing landfill waste during jersey production. However, this eco-friendliness doesn't come at the expense of performance since the Megmeister Woven Zig Zag Jersey's won't flap around your body as you ride and create drag. No, this jersey will help you go faster and look cool at the same time without the feeling of guilt for being non-eco-friendly.
The Megmeister Woven Zig Zag Jersey have some features for more comfortable riders, too: silicone waist grippers keep the jersey down as you lean forward, and there are also pockets for drinks, gels, or anything else you might want to take with you for a ride. There is even a small zipped pocket for things you definitely don't want to lose.
The Trasparente V Jersey is a thermal cycling jersey. By featuring the Polartec NeoShell technology at the front of the jersey, Castelli made it so you can ride in conditions that would normally call for an extra vest layer or even reach for a light winter jacket.
The Castelli Trasparente V Jersey is water and windproof, and the 4-way stretch provides a snug and comfortable fit for performance bikers. The fabric at the back is the Nano Flex Xtra Dry, which has warmth and water repellency.
Functional details have also been considered: front and rear reflective panels, three rear pockets that make space for essentials, and a zippered chest pocket, so you don't have to tuck your money and keys in your socks when you're out and about.
The cold weather-friendly shape and high-tech construction of this Sportful top come together to make it a great ally against chilly winds and light rain and our overall best jersey for cycling. The longer-than-average arms hit just above the elbow to cover without restricting, and the high neck and extra reinforcement around the shoulders and upper arms are designed to keep biting breezes at bay.
Reviewers commented on the impressive waterproofing, saying that lighter rain beads and runs off were chuffed with its great value weatherproof performance. The only downside is the lack of pockets, so if you’re on a long ride with lots of kits, consider layering up with a lighter pocketed jersey underneath.
The dhb Classic Long Sleeve Jersey has been designed to keep you on the road as temperatures drop. Using a breathable, wicking polyester fabric, a warm microclimate is created. The fleece traps warm air while perspiration is transported away from the skin to keep you dry and comfortable.
If you find yourself too warm during harder efforts, you have the full-length front zip to expel warm air and allow for extra air circulation. An internal silicone gripper holds the hem in place when in your riding position and seals the jersey effectively, keeping warm air in and cold air out.
The dhb Classic Long Sleeve Jersey is a performance fit garment. To keep you on the road for longer, at the back, you'll find 3 vertical pockets - keeping all your ride essentials easy to hand - plus a secure zipped pocket for your valuables.
How to choose the best cycling jersey for you
Zips can become deeply unpleasant torturers of your Adam's apple over long rides, so look out for jerseys with 'zip garages' (yes, really) if you put in big mileage. These are fabric flaps that cover the zip when it's done up.
Most jerseys have pockets at the back, but make sure they're the right size to hold whatever you habitually carry when riding without breaking for freedom at every bump in the road, but loose enough to retrieve items on the move easily.
All of our picks will keep you mobile and flexible, as well as cool and sweat-free on warm days and protected against the most biting winds on colder ones. Still, if you’re looking to keep cycling into the colder months, then it may be worth investing in a long-sleeved jersey or one with extra wind-proofing and thermal properties — we’ve listed the seasons to which each jersey is best suited.
Finally, we’ve described the fit so you can find one that’ll both flatter your body and work around your workout.
While you don’t want something that’ll flap around you dramatically in the wind like Batman on a Boris Bike, buying a cycling jersey, needn’t mean donning something that’ll slowly crush your internal organs.
If you’re serious about cycling, a super close-fitting race-fit jersey will suit you, keeping you lean and aerodynamic with no excess material to slow you down. If you take things a bit more casually or have the habit of stopping for cake after a long ride, a more relaxed performance-fit cycling jersey will do the job nicely.
What is the best brand of cycling jersey?
The best cycling jersey brands include Rapha, Le Col, Shimano and Castelli, among others. Some in-house brands, such as dhb by Wiggle, also produce decent cycling apparel, although you might want to look at the more 'premium' offerings from these if you need a garment that'll last.
We compared to lightweight bike jerseys to see which one is best and the results are in: Pearl Izumi Pro Air vs Shimano Evolve Jersey.