The women's Launch jersey from Pearl Izumi has enviable eco credentials and a great fit for summer mountain biking. The only thing to stomach is the price, but when performance is good and fit is sweet, it's worth reaching into your pocket for the extra cash.
The Launch jersey is part of the ladies' trail range at Pearl Izumi, but fear not if you're a guy, as you can buy the same jersey (with a slightly different design) in a men's fit. Both are a fast-drying polyester which isn't the most stretchy but, given the good cut and fit, is unrestrictive.
The jersey is relatively slim-fitting. I'm a dress size 8-10 and wore a size small. The round neckline lies over the collar bones and the rear hem is dropped, while the hems and cuffs are bonded rather than sewn, which I really like – the edges lie flat against the skin without rubbing or chafing. It all creates a sleek look.
The rear is the eco-friendly part. The breathable mesh is 95% recycled content, which purports to be good for the planet. Also at the rear is a small zippered pocket for (light) valuables such as a credit card or cash, and tethered inside on elastic is a glasses wipe. Annoyingly this rumples up and forms a ball after washing, which ruins the otherwise clean looks of the jersey. I'd prefer it sewn into the lower hem and side seam.
Coming in two colours (both equally nice) the Launch jersey's sticking point is the price. At £75 it's pretty expensive for a short-sleeved offering. Of all the jerseys I've reviewed only the ASSOS Trail women's jersey tops it (£105). That's not to say the Launch isn't good value, however – it's easy to look at as an investment, and the bonded seams, sharp style and great fit make it a good one.
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