In terms of mountain bike gear and clothing, Sweet Protection is young with their first line released circa 2013. The Sweet story, however, dates back nearly 20 years with handmade skate deck production from a garage in Norway. Fast forward to today and you’ll find an array of mountain bike-specific body protection, helmets, and both tech and lifestyle apparel from the Norwegian-based brand. You can read more on Sweet’s beginnings in my review of the El Duderino shorts. In this review, I take a look at the Chikamin Jersey — an incredibly lightweight and breathable 3/4 sleeve top.
Chikamin 3/4 Jersey Spec
- Lightweight polyester fabric
- Athletic fit
- 3/4 length arm
- Colors: 5 (steel blue/midnight blue, reviewed)
- Sizes: S-XL
- MSRP: $83 USD (NOK 699)
Sweet Protection is marked by a style all their own. The Chikamin Jersey comes in five different colors, both loud and more subdued. The steel blue/midnight reviewed here, along with the MBORA color, are the most poppy in the Chikamin lineup, and all five prominently feature the characteristic Sweet “S” on the rider’s rear right.
Like the El Duderino shorts (also pictured), the Chikamin has a slim, race-like fit. In true jersey fashion, Raglan sleeves extend in one piece to the collar, leaving a diagonal seam from the armpit for greater range of motion. The sleeves extend distally to mid forearm, but can easily be adjusted to rest at the elbow. The Chikamin features ample torso length, with a tail that dips slightly in the rear for extra coverage. Unlike the El Duderino shorts, the Chikamin is true to size and the medium perfectly fit my broad shoulders.
Lightweight and breathable is the name of the game here, and Sweet has gone through every effort to cut down on unnecessary heft: no zippers, no pockets, no hidden clothe to wipe off your sunglasses. Donned, the Chikamin Jersey employs a construction so minimal and fabric so thin, it has that disappearing effect against skin. Such a lightweight design is certainly a tradeoff for durability. Each panel is serged to prevent separation at the seams, but the thin polyester snags easily.
The Chikamin is quite possibly the lightest, most breathable jersey I’ve had the pleasure of testing. The super thin fabric allowing such comfort is a double-edge sword: perfect for the hottest of days with quick-drying characteristics, but perhaps best used on trails that aren’t overgrown, begging for a crash, or otherwise gear-eating by nature. At $83, the Chikamin isn’t cheap by any stretch, but it serves the purpose of keeping you cool on and off the bike.
Thank you Sweet Protection for the opportunity to review the Chikamin 3/4 Jersey!