While we mostly buy jerseys to look good, the best mountain bike jerseys will also keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
Find the best mountain bike jerseys. In this guide we look at to what to consider when choosing your next short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve or long sleeve top. What to wear on your upper body when riding can be a tricky dilemma. Not only do you need to consider your main riding discipline but also weather conditions and personal comfort levels.
Mountain bike jerseys can either be tight-fitting with a traditional cut, a zip collar and three rear storage pockets, or loose, motocross-inspired jerseys, often with no pockets. Both styles are usually made from lightweight, breathable polyester, often with with other materials blended in to improve the fit, help wick sweat away or to reduce odour. Jerseys are relatively simple to produce, so can be bought for as little as £20, with the most high-tech designs costing upwards of £50.
Best mountain bike jerseys
- Nukeproof Outland DriRelease – BEST MEN’S
- Madison Flux Enduro Women’s – BEST WOMEN’S
- Specialized Enduro DriRelease Merino 3/4
- Sweet Protection Hunter Merino
- 7mesh Compound MTB
- Fox Ranger DriRelease
- Specialized Therminal Mountain
- Leat DBX 4.0 UltraWeld
How we tested the best mountain bike jerseys
Comfort is key here – we’re looking for discrete, unobtrusive seams and breathable construction. The only way to put these to the test is by riding them for long distances. we also tested all the jerseys with backpacks and hip packs, because it’s hard to tell if a jersey rides up or chafes until you get on the trails and start pedaling. Recent warmer weathers allowed us to really put the breathability to the test.
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Nukeproof Outland DriRelease Long Sleeve jersey
Another quality jersey using DriRelease fabric, this time from the Nukeproof wardrobe and using a cotton mix fabric rather than Merino. It still has a four-way stretch, so it doesn’t impede your movements on the bike, and the material does a great job of wicking moisture from your body. And if you don’t want to look like a convict, Nukeproof also offers a couple of other colours.
Madison Flux Enduro Women’s jersey
It just has a little bit of extra length at the rear, so you’re not exposed when leaning forward. We’re also giving it an extra mark for not being pink or purple. The Madison Flux Enduro Women’s Jersey is a comfortable, lightweight jersey that you can easily wear all year round. It also looks and feels great – totally recommended.
Fox Ranger DriRelease Long Sleeve jersey
The Ranger looks great, the fit is spot on and the fabric feels great next to your skin. The cut works well too, with a dropped back for a better fit on the bike. It’s low, but not so low you tangle yourself up on the saddle or end up sitting on it.
Leatt DBX 4.0 UltraWeld jersey
The DBX 4.0 UltraWeld is a super comfortable jersey for riding in, with some great features. Whether you ride padded up or just trail riding, it works equally well in warm weather. Summerweight jersey from the protection specialists.
Specialized Therminal Mountain
The cut and style of the Therminal Mountain make it an appealing all-rounder for both riding hard in cooler conditions or just hanging out après ride. The Therminal material does a good job of protecting without overheating and the added features extend its practicality.
Specialized Enduro DriRelease Merino 3/4 jersey
We’ve worn it at least twice as often as any other jersey over the last year, and it not only fits and looks great, and is super soft against the skin, it’s also kept its shape and looks good after tens of wash cycles too.
Sweet Protection Hunter Long Sleeve Merino jersey
The Sweet Protection Hunter jersey boasts a remarkable softness to its Merino wool fabric that is both insulating and wicking. Our test jersey has stood up to months of abuse, and many wash cycles, without losing its comfort or shape. We’ve even stitched up a hole when we crashed in it, which just goes to show how firm a favourite it is with testers.
7Mesh Compound MTB jersey
One of the best jerseys around for British trail riding, made by the Canadian company 7Mesh. The Compound uses a dual fabric construction to provide riding comfort and protection from both crashes and the weather.
What to look for in the best mountain bike jerseys:
This is either a separate microfibre wipe on a tag in a pocket, or sewn under the hem at the front of the jersey and is designed for cleaning goggles or glasses.
Lots of jerseys have bamboo, charcoal, metallic elements, or special compounds mixed in with the fabric to prevent odour build-up.
Mountain bikers often ride with a pack, so to increase wicking in this area, some jerseys feature a more breathable or lighter weight back.
Not essential, but definitely useful, these are perfect for car keys, small change or a phone. If they’re deep you don’t need zips.
Correct fit on a mountain bike jersey
Fit can be quite a difficult and personal factor. But the main point is the right sized jersey should not restrict your movement when on the bike. Correspondingly a jersey that is either too tight for comfort or too big can have the same consequences.
What type of riding do you do?
DH, all-mountain/trail riding and XC racing all demand different things from your mountain bike jersey.
Typically DH specific jerseys are lightweight, airy and very loose in order to fit body armour underneath. The evolution of the DH jersey owes a lot to motocross clothing in both style and fit. A DH jersey might also incorporated reinforced patches in areas that might suffer in the event of a crash.
Other features might include a goggle/glasses wipe inside and a neck shape that avoids interference when wearing a neckbrace.
Enduro or trail riding jerseys encompass the widest variety of styles and technical features. Brands combine features taken from anything from road riding to motocross.
Normally made of thicker fabrics than a DH jersey but normally still incorporating vented or lighter weight panels for moisture management and temperature control.
Cuts can be as simple as basic t-shirt style jerseys to ones that incorporate multi-panelling, multi-pockets and zips for added ventilation.
XC Race jerseys are usually very similar to road cycling jerseys, being very closely fitting to eliminate flapping of material and as to not hinder the rider. Rear pockets are a must to carry spares and nutrition.
Varied weather means different mountain bike jerseys
As with any type of clothing, demands change dependent on weather and seasonal changes.
During colder or wetter rides a jersey becomes a vital mid or under-layer in conjunction with a more protective outer jacket. Then a thermal or windproof jersey is an ideal choice to retain body heat and also stay comfortable next to the skin.
Most thermal jerseys feature full or half zips and a much thicker textile. Hot weather obviously requires thinner and more ventilated fabrics with most riders opting for short sleeves.
Mountain bike jerseys and temperature regulation
Every one of us have specific ‘optimum operating conditions’, what we mean by that is we all feel temperatures differently and most of us know if we feel the cold or overheat given a certain scenario.
It’s the reason why you might see one rider wearing a single layer when riding in the snow, compared to another wrapped up in four layers on a sunny day.
If you wear a pack then a jersey with a mesh back panel and without pockets is the most comfortable style to go for. If you like keeping it minimal then you might want a jersey with one or two pockets for the essentials.