[Words by Rhian Atherton]
The Altura Kielder Women's Lightweight 3/4 jersey is a stretchy, very simple fitted jersey with cropped sleeves made from a moisture-wicking material. It's a great choice for warmer conditions if comfort is a priority over features.
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The Kielder 3/4 jersey is made with recycled polyester giving it bonus points for being kind to our environment. Moisture is managed by the fabrics' wicking ability keeping you cool and dry when the temperatures soar. The most noticeable feature of this jersey is how breathable and airy it is, I didn’t feel clammy from sweating at all.
I tested it around Cannock Chase's ‘Follow The Dog’ loop, and the weather was sunny with a bit of a breeze. I did wear a thin vest underneath as this is the norm for me unless I’m wearing bib shorts, which act as a base layer. The jersey was ideal on this particular ride with the sun shining, although I instantly felt the drop in my body temperature when the sun hid behind the clouds.
The ¾ length sleeve design is great for giving a little more protection than a short-sleeved jersey offers and this is evident on the milder days when there is a cool nip in the air. I always like a cropped sleeve as I tend to pull my sleeves up on a ride out of habit, mainly when I hit the first hill to cool down.
I tested a size UK 12, and I found this model came up smaller than other brands. It is figure-hugging but not too tight when worn alone and doesn't restrict movement. When paired with another layer, it’s a little too snug but this helps keep you warmer when it's not quite so hot.
The bonded, low profile, neckline seams, and cuffs add to the overall comfort and the fabric is so lightweight that I barely noticed it.
Being an ergonomic fit and a vivid high vis colourway, it could even be a solution for your running attire if that's your thing too. The jersey also comes in blue, which I would choose for mountain biking adventures, and use yellow for road running. But saying that, the yellow is great for visibility when the light is low, or your route choice includes main roads or lanes.
At £40, it's a shame that the jersey doesn't come with many bonus features, even though it is eco-friendly. Compared to the IXS Women’s Carve X at £10 more, you get the privilege of a sunglasses wipe, but when I look at the Troy Lee Designs Mischief Jersey at £70, the Kielder suddenly seems better value.
The Altura Kielder Women's Lightweight 3/4 jersey offers an ergonomic design in spring/summer weight recycled fabric. It may lack some features such as pockets and eyewear wipes but it is a no-fuss, simple, highly efficient jersey with a women's specific cut that keeps body moisture under control.