Press "Enter" to skip to content

Best mountain bike jerseys 2020 | Stay cool and dry on the bike

Choosing the best riding jersey for mountain biking can be simple if you’re clued up.

But if you base your choice purely on it being blue or that it feels like that old T-shirt you love, you’re probably missing some tricks that could keep you more comfortable on the bike.

Here’s how to find the right riding jersey for you, plus top-rated recommendations from our test team.

What to look for in a mountain bike jersey

Materials

Everyone knows sweat-wicking fabrics are good, but how fast a fabric dries after moving the moisture away from your skin is important too. Anything that stays soggy for too long will give you the chills once you start to cool down.

Antibacterial treatments are also a useful feature. Unfortunately, fabrics designed for excellence in transporting sweat can eventually start to smell. We’ve all been halfway into a ride and been overtaken by our own armpits – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

You might also want to think about the weight of the material. Heavier fabrics give more protection but can be warm in the summer months. Lightweight, more open mesh is lighter and cooler but less durable.

Some jerseys combine several fabrics to bring together the benefits of each – a regular solid knit through the body, for example, with mesh inserts under the arms or down the sides, and more durable panels on the shoulders and sleeves to protect against pack rub.

More mountain biking buyer’s guides

Cut and seams

The cut may not seem as important on tops as on shorts because they tend to be more simply styled. But designs with shaped panels that follow the articulation of your arms and body tend to feel right as soon as you put them on and prove more comfortable on the bike too.

More basic styles often rely on stretchy fabric and a baggier cut to provide movement and more flexibility between sizes.

Once you’ve determined that the fit is right for you, get on a bike. Some jerseys feel terrible initially, but once you’re in the saddle they magically morph into the perfect shape and feel barely there.

Likewise, we’ve tried a few that look cool when standing in front of the mirror but come up short at the back, hang down in swathes at the front or are just generally uncomfortable once you start riding in them.

Finally, always look at the seams. If you’re going to wear a pack then flatlock seams are your best bet to avoid irritation and chafing because there’s nothing to rub or dig in. Raglan sleeves are also good because they’re cut in one piece with the shoulder, so there aren’t any seams at the point of pressure.

Got all that? You’re good to go…

The best mountain bike jerseys in 2020

  • 100% Ridecamp Jersey: £35 / $39
  • Nukeproof Blackline SS Jersey: £40 / $50 / AU$72 / €46
  • Endura MT500 Marble LS Jersey: £40 / $75 / AU$65 / €48
  • Mission Workshop The District : MC: £120 / $139 / AU$225 / €140
  • Troy Lee Designs Flowline LS Jersey: £50 / $55 / AU$88 / €60

100% Ridecamp Jersey

The best mountain bike jerseys

The jersey feels very light and airy to wear thanks to its entire mesh-like construction.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Weight: 138g (M)
  • Fabric: 100% polyester mesh fabric
  • Colours: Black, Fatigue, Slate Blue, Charcoal/Black, Stone/Brick, Terracotta/Black, Light Slate/Navy
  • Price: £35 / $39

The polyester mesh fabric used on the Ridecamp feels light and airy, and we found it to be one of the coolest jerseys here on hot, sunny days, even when exposed to direct sunlight.

It coped well with sweat build-up, with a constant flow of fresh air across our skin succeeding in drying out excess moisture. Even once it was fully saturated, it remained lighter than jerseys with a higher thread-per-inch count.

While the sleeves are quite short, we didn’t experience any problems with them climbing our arms when riding over bumpy terrain. We found that occasional readjustments of the jersey were needed after particularly rowdy descents, though.

The simple, minimal and very clean design should appeal to plenty of people and we appreciated the inbuilt goggle wipe, too.

Nukeproof Blackline Short-Sleeve Jersey

The best mountain bike jerseys

Impressive fit, a luxury feel and some neat features.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 167g (L)
  • Fabric main body: 100% recycled S.Cafe polyester
  • Fabric mesh panels: 88% polyester, 12% elastane with anti-bacterial finish
  • Colours: Blue/Flame, Khaki/Grey, Black/Yellow
  • Price: £40 / $50 / AU$72 / €46

Nukeproof uses 100 per cent recycled S.Café polyester for the main body of the Blackline – a material that combines old plastic bottles with discarded coffee grounds to benefit from the latter’s natural moisture-wicking, odour-resistant and UV-protective properties. The fabric feels nice and luxurious against the skin, but fairly weighty as a consequence.

However, despite the jersey feeling somewhat hotter than others on test, it didn’t become any more saturated with sweat, thanks to its mesh back panel and underarms.

The fit spans multiple disciplines, from trail to downhill, and the sleeves refused to jump up our arms over rough terrain, staying put just above our elbows. A rear zipped pocket is a handy inclusion and fairly large, but you can’t put much in it without it sagging down.

Endura MT500 Marble LS Jersey

The best mountain bike jerseys

The MT500 is a downhill-come-enduro jersey made from 100 per cent polyester that, Endura claims, is designed to move sweat away from your body to keep you cool and dry.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 176g (M)
  • Fabric: 100% polyester; sweat wicking
  • Colours: Black, Lime Green
  • Price: £40 / $75 / AU$65 / €48

True to Endura’s word, the MT500 Marble has a cut that’s not so baggy that it flaps around in the wind but isn’t skin-huggingly tight either. That makes it perfectly suited to a host of disciplines, from trail riding to downhill.

Although the fabric’s dark colour and soft feel give the impression that the MT500 Marble is quite thick, it’s actually very breathable and lets plenty of air pass through. What’s more, once saturated with sweat it didn’t become uncomfortable, but did take quite a while to dry out and increased in weight.

You may find that you need to size up in order to fit body armour underneath and the marble-effect print may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s competitively priced and available in sizes from small to extra-extra-large.

Mission Workshop The District : MC

The best mountain bike jerseys

Pictured is the size medium top that Alex deemed too small.
Steve Behr

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Weight: 198g (L)
  • Fabric: 18.9 micron 190g/sm ultra-fine Merino wool, custom-made aluminium buttons, panelled shoulder construction, four-piece torso construction
  • Price: £120 / $139 / AU$225 / €140

The fabric of The District : MC feels incredibly light and airy with plenty of stretch, helping mobility on the bike. Undoing the three-button collar helped reduce heat build-up on warm days, while on colder days the jersey served as a baselayer.

The Merino wool wicked sweat away well and it dried quickly. The jersey didn’t get too heavy either when it was wet. It also looks great off the bike and doesn’t have that ‘I’ve just been mountain biking’ look that other, more lairy, jerseys can have.

Let’s face it, though, it’s very expensive for a jersey.

Troy Lee Designs Flowline LS Jersey

The best mountain bike jerseys

The Flowline’s only notable features are its claimed quick drying and sweat wicking finishes, and a screen printed logo on the jersey’s tail.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 179g (M)
  • Fabric: 100% polyester TLD Dura Knit fabric; Bluesign certified; sweat wicking and quick drying finishes
  • Price: £50 / $55 / AU$88 / €60

Troy Lee has struck a good compromise with the Flowline LS’s cut, which neither restricts movement nor is so baggy that it flaps about in the wind.

Stretch in the fabric helps to increase the airy feel, despite it being one of the weightiest jerseys in this list, and the material feels soft and smooth against your skin. It proved exceptionally comfortable even on long, hot days in the saddle.

It dries quickly once saturated with sweat too, helping the Flowline LS to remain comfier and softer than many other jerseys. Bluesign certification means you can rest assured that it’s been produced using ethical, responsible practices, too.

It got wetter and sweatier than the other jerseys here and it’s fairly pricey considering the lack of features on offer.

Also consider…

The following jerseys are also worth considering if you don’t like the look of our top-rated picks.

Alpinestars Alps 6.0 SS Jersey

The best mountain bike jerseys

Made from a polyester and elastane mix, Aplinestars claims the Alps 6.0 jersey is durable and wicks moisture well.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 152g (M)
  • Fabric: 91% polyester, 9% elastane mix; quick drying fabric with anti-bacterial treatment
  • Colours: Melange/Emerald/Blue/Celery, Melange/Light Gray/Blue/Orange, Melange/Dark Gray/Black, Melange/Mid Gray/Red/Still Water
  • Price: £50 / $60

Made from a polyester and elastane mix, the Alps 6.0 jersey feels smooth and luxurious when you put it on. It has a reasonably tight-fitting, trail-orientated cut, but wouldn’t look out of place on an enduro bike.

The fit is complemented by the stretchy fabric, which helps it move with your body. Good levels of cooling are provided by the mesh back panel and underarm sections – we noticed a marked difference in sweat saturation between the Alpinestars jersey and others here without mesh.

However, the sleeves had an annoying habit of jumping up our arms when riding over rough terrain – a pet hate of ours. Thankfully, a long-sleeve version is available for a fiver more. If you want to use it as a DH top and fit armour underneath you’ll need to size up.

At £50 / $60, it’s relatively pricey for a short-sleeve jersey.

Race Face Trigger Ventura Jersey

The best mountain bike jerseys

The jersey’s cut is fairly straight, with little to no tapering around the waist, but isn’t loose-fitting.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 140g (M)
  • Fabric: 100% polyester
  • Colours: Charcoal, Olive
  • Price: £43 / €51 / $61 / AU$78

The Race Face jersey’s 100 per cent polyester fabric felt soft and light against our skin, even on baking hot days in the saddle, and in spite of its relatively dark colour. It also proved to be reasonably breathable.

We were quite impressed with the sleeves too, which refused to ride up our arms, even when we were jiggling about over tricky terrain.

Once saturated with sweat, the fabric took a long time to dry out and its weight increased noticeably. The tight-fitting cut isn’t roomy enough to accommodate body armour underneath unless you size up and we also found the rear of the jersey needed constant readjustment on the trail, which was irritating.