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This cozy button-up from Maloja fits nicely over a back protector. Photo: Enduro2

Autumn has fallen across the earth’s northern portion, and for a good number of riders, the shift in seasons brings additional layers of clothing, and post-ride hot toddies in place of IPAs. Whether you need another breathable short sleeve to wear beneath a jacket or a sweater-like layer for those final high-alpine tracks, we have tested some jersey options worth considering.

The key ingredients of a great jersey are its fit, material makeup, and overall weight and breathability. We have included those elements and listed any unique features in the collection below.

For sizing reference, I am 5’9″ tall, with a 30″ inseam, 31″ waistline, and a 101cm chest circumference measurement.

Short sleeve mountain bike jerseys

Ion’s SS Seek Amp Jersey follows the aesthetic lines of what my colleague, Matt Miller, calls a “shirsey.” It’s a jersey that’s designed to look like a regular shirt — or vice versa. The jersey’s length leaves plenty of material to overlay your waistband, though it’s not so long that you feel the need to tuck it in. The fit is tight enough to keep it from snagging on trailside objects, and loose enough to let it flap around and dry quickly.

  • $54.99 (compare colors and prices)
  • Size/Fit: small, slim
  • Materials: 85% polyester, 15% cotton
  • Singlet chest pocket
  • Weight: 155g

Maloja’s Falzm 1/2 jersey rests deep in the shirsey camp. Nearly every time I wear it someone asks if I am just wearing a regular shirt. Despite its office attire looks, the Falzm 1/2 is a legitimate piece of technical apparel. Its front zippered pocket is large enough for a cell phone or snack, and there are large ventilation slots that open up across the shoulders. It has a slightly baggier cut than the others listed herein and dries quickly over the course of a long ride.

  • €74.72 (find online)
  • Size/Fit: small, relaxed
  • 73% polyester, 24 nylon, 3% cotton
  • Single zippered chest pocket, vented shoulder flaps
  • 191g

Mavic’s Deemax Pro short sleeve jersey has racey looks and features to back them up. The main fabric is a little heavier, and likely more durable than the other short-sleeved jerseys in this roundup. It should be able to withstand a fair number of dirt naps without much noticeable wear. The thinner mesh fabric across the shoulders and lumbar add breathability for warmer days when the back protector beneath needs some airing out.

  • €75
  • Size/Fit: small, slim
  • 94% polyester, 6% elastane
  • Mesh across the shoulders and lumbar
  • Weight: 159g

Mavic’s XA Pro Jersey follows the lines of a classic XC or road shirt more than anything else we have tested of late. It has a quarter zip to help slide the tight-fit neck over your melon, and an elastic band across the lower waistband to further tighten it up. One small zippered pocket on the rear has space for a small mobile or snack, and a second on the chest is roughly the same size. The material is highly breathable, with laser-cut holes down the mid spine. For a less revealing fit, order a size larger than you typically wear.

  • $90
  • Size/Fit: medium, tight
  • 82% polyester, 18% elastane
  • 2 zippered pockets, form-fitting
  • 129g

Void’s Orbit Tee is a super lightweight trail tee designed for warmer rides, though it also works well as a base layer too. The shirt fits close to your skin, leaving little to snag or catch on branches while riding. On race day, it fits snug over a back protector, and the slimmer fit keeps it quietly unnoticed. The material is thin enough that on super hot rides it can get quite saturated against your skin. If you are a heavy sweater you may want to order a size larger than you normally wear.

  • $38.40
  • Size/Fit: small, slim
  • Front & sleeves are 100% polyester, mesh back is 89% polyester 11% elastane
  • Super light and stretchy material with full mesh back
  • 112g

Void’s Orbit HS Jersey is essentially the same as above, with a little elbow coverage for added warmth. If you are looking for full sleeves, their Orbit LS sells for $56. Check out our review of the Void Range pants pictured above.

  • $48
  • Size/Fit: small, slim
  • Front & sleeves are 100% polyester, mesh back is 89% polyester 11% elastane
  • Super light and stretchy material with full mesh back
  • 115g

Long sleeve mountain bike jerseys

Gore’s C5 Trail Jersey is a cozy garment with a clean look. The super stretchy fabric works well over armor and dries quickly while you’re moving. For folks who ride through the city to their local trails, the reflective chest logo and tabs on the lower back will help you be seen at twilight. Gore makes the same jersey in short sleeve and 3/4 sleeve cuts if you prefer.

  • $89.99 (compare styles and prices)
  • Size/Fit: medium, slim (order a size up)
  • 86% polyester, 14% elastane
  • Ample room for protection if sized up, reflective tabs
  • 170g

The Mountee Light from Dirtlej is made from a special fabric called drirelease® which the company claims “dries four times faster than classic cotton and prevents odor.” The shirt fits loosely, leaving ample space for layers and armor underneath. It has a natural cotton feel throughout, making it a super cozy piece of gear for cool morning or evening rides, or as an extra layer on really cold days.

  • €89
  • Size/Fit: small, regular
  • 85% polyester, 15% direlease cotton
  • “Drirelease® prevents odor and the jersey won’t shrink or lose shape due to washing.”
  • 233g

The Mountee Warm from Dirtlej is essentially identical to the Light version above, with slightly heavier material for added warmth. Check out our review of the Dirtlej waterproof Dirtsuit here.

  • €89
  • Size/Fit: small, regular
  • 85% polyester, 15% drirelease cotton
  • The heavier fabric adds warmth while remaining packable.
  • 254g

Norrøna’s fjøra jersey is about as lightweight as long sleeve shirts come. The thin fabric has a mesh-like texture that clears sweat quickly and feels great against the skin. A large chunk of Norrøna’s brand ethos centers around environmentally friendly products and fair factory practices, and this jersey is made from 50% recycled materials. Check out their certified factory list to learn more about the brand’s intentions and ethics.

  • €69
  • Size/Fit: small, slim
  • 100% polyester
  • very thin, porous, and breathable
  • 126g

Maloja’s ScanfsM jersey feels and looks in every way like a motocross jersey from the late 1980’s. The sleeves are slightly tougher than the core, and the cuffed shoulders give the appearance of a sleeveless jersey worn over a long sleeve. Maloja says, “Due to the open-pored construction, a fast moisture transport is guaranteed.” The fit is also loose enough to allow air to move through the shirt and dry it out as you coast along.

  • €89
  • Size/Fit: small, regular-long
  • 100% polyester
  • Lens cleaner under the front right side
  • 192g

Thanks to each of the brands mentioned above for providing jerseys for testing.

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