Performance tops with tons of character.
Pearl Izumi Versa ($70)
We love the Versa’s casual polo style and contrasting front pocket. So much so that we wear it not only when we ride, but also to the beach, on the boat, and to the bar on warm evenings. The lightweight polyester is buttery against your skin and wicks away moisture. It also tends to absorb odors, so we suggest keeping it to a single wear between washes.
Café du Cycliste Zahira Diamant ($163)
This bold jersey drew us in immediately. The West African print provides excellent visibility, but the Zahira Diamant is more than just a fashion statement. The feather-weight fabric is airy enough for blazing desert days, the full-length zipper makes venting a breeze, and the fit is more generous than many road designs, so you won’t bust out of the seams.
Rapha Ode to the Sun Souplesse Flyweight ($175)
The Souplesse is no workhorse—it’s a refined thoroughbred designed to make long afternoons in the saddle as comfy as those spent on the couch. We break out this women’s top on the hottest days: the airy, membrane-thin fabric is basically one big vent, thanks in part to hundreds of tiny perforations in the torso.
Sombrio Alder ($55)
The Alder is simple and subdued, which is a welcome change from the loud, flowery prints too often found on women’s jerseys. We appreciate the fit, too, with a drop hem in back and just a touch of bagginess. The polyester is low-tech, wicks moisture effectively, and provides lots of ventilation on steamy summer days. The best part? It’s the cheapest top here.
Kitsbow Collared Henley ($120)
Gravel bikes raise the question: road kit or mountain? Fortunately, this henley splits the difference with a trim but not awkward fit and merino-poly fabric that’s cool in the wind but tough enough to take the abuse of errant rocks and branches. And God bless companies that produce apparel in bright hues that draw motorists’ eyes, like this Moab-orange heather.
Yeti Turq Air LS ($100)
Cut from a stretchy poly-spandex blend, the Turq Air is so sheer and cozy, it almost feels like silk pajamas. A perforated grid pattern lets cool air in and moisture out, so you can wear it on all but the stickiest summer days. It’s our top choice for long rides in the mountains—the UPF 30 fabric keeps the sun off our arms, and long sleeves ensure we’ll stay warm if the weather changes.