Unlike with road jerseys, where trim and minimal is ideal, mountain biking tops are generally looser and burlier, for coping with errant branches and the occasional trip over the bars. There's a lot more variety in styles and applications as well, so gear up according to your locale, needs, and riding style. Here are a few favorites we've been riding lately.
TWIN SIX THE GRAND PRIX ($75)
We've recommended Twin Six jerseys before, and though they change little from season to season—except the styles—we will continue to advocate for them. That's because this Minneapolis-based company gets the equation between tech, style, and simplicity just right. The polyester microfiber is weighty enough for shoulder season but breathes plenty on the hottest days, and, unlike many tech materials, it's soft and comfy. The fit is roomy but not dumpy, the three rear pockets are low enough to reach into and ample for carrying big loads, and the front zip opens to belly button height for super venting. Best of all is the style and attitude of each jersey, with lots of great looks added each year (like this Grand Prix). Our only quibble: the fabric has a tendency to pull, which makes for the occasional snag. Also, we were happy to see a dark version of the Grand Prix added to the collection because, though we love the white, it's gotten a bit dingy and mud spattered.
BOTTOM LINE: If you own just one mountain jersey, make it a Twin Six. They are virtually all we ride in.