Altura's revised Kielder Lightweight jersey is featherweight and affordable.
Both this flyweight short sleeve Kielder jersey and matching shorts are the lightest pieces of summer kit in this test by a margin. The jersey is just over 50g, or basically the same as a medium sized bag of crisps bought to accompany a cool pint after a long, scorching summer ride.
Altura’s jersey’s made from a high wicking polyester that, according to the brand, is woven from 100% recycled fibres. The fabric is wafer thin and also a little bit coarser than others on test. Despite being so fine, there is still some texture to the inside of the material to lift it slightly off skin and allow air to move over the body. Although the fabric weave is less aerated or perforated than many on test, and this equates to less of an airy, breezy sensation when rolling along compared to something like the Alpinestars Drop Meta jersey.
The Kielder cut is fairly simple and relaxed without being too baggy and droopy. There’s a dropped hem to cover the rear of the waist when tipped forward in the saddle and, at the collar, a low-profile neckline lets more airflow in and boosts comfort. The rear part of this neck also has a fabric backer strip against the stitched hem to create a softer touch against bare skin.
Altura’s top is reasonably cool, but doesn’t flow cooling wind through it while rolling along to the same extent of some garments on test, and it also gets a bit steamier and sweatier if you’re working really hard. When soaking wet the jersey gets a lot heavier too, and holds lots of moisture. Being less vented means it takes longer to dry after hard efforts than other jerseys like the 7 Mesh Roam, which seems to both blow and burn off excess moisture when descending, leaving it dry for the next ascent.
The Kielder top snagged easily on vegetation, and after only a couple of rides there were multiple pulled threads. This made it look scruffy and much older than it was.
Altura's Kielder Lightweight jersey stands by its name and has the lowest weight on test. It's also well cut, with a fit that will suit many riders. The fabric quality and performance may not up there with the best jerseys but this is reflected in its keen pricing.