Best Lightweight Cycling Jerseys for Road, Gravel, and Mountain Biking

Best Lightweight Cycling Jerseys for Road, Gravel, and Mountain Biking


There’s a saying that there’s no bad weather for biking, only the wrong clothing. That’s true when it’s cold or wet, but also when it’s suffocatingly hot. If summer heat saps your enthusiasm for tackling a big bike ride, check out one of the season’s newest cycling jerseys and shirts.

 

 

All of them make riding cooler and more comfortable than anything else in your drawer of cycling jerseys, even when the heat and humidity is oppressive. Whether you’re a roadie, gravel rider, or singletrack shredder, jerseys made from feather-light and cooling fabrics will make pedaling your bike comfortable on any given hot day.

Keep Your Cool in the Best Hot-Weather Cycling Jerseys

 

A picture of an orange and green Kitsbow Superflow Cooling Tee.
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1. Kitsbow Superflow Cooling Tee

Made for mountain biking and gravel riding, the Superflow Cooling Tee is a breezy crew neck to wear cycling or kicking around town. Its meshy Polartec Delta fabric is ultra-wicking. While the shirt is synthetic, it feels more like cotton, which makes it feel like there’s a breeze even when pedaling in intense humidity. The medium fit is perfect for mountain biking and everyday wear—not too baggy, not too tight. Better yet, each jersey is made to order in Old Fort, North Carolina, which minimizes waste. Choose from nine colors.

[$65; kitsbow.com]

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An image of a white Velocio Concept Radiator Jersey.
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2. Velocio Concept Radiator Jersey

Skinsuit fit and race-ready, the Radiator is so breathable, it’s cooler than wearing nothing at all. Evaporative wicking creates airflow against your skin as the fabric pulls away heat and sweat. Velocio’s articulated pattern is fast and functional with UPF 30. While the body of the jersey is ultralight, it doesn’t skimp on functionality. The Radiator has three anti-sag stuff pockets, and a zip pocket with a sweat barrier sized to carry tools, food, and a smartphone. Bonded hems with silicone gripper elastic in back stay put whether hammering in the saddle or standing to power up a hill. To maximize airflow, Velocio opted out of a collar, but built in a full-length zipper garage up the front to keep the closure from chafing.

[$179; velocio.cc]

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An image of a navy Rapha Brevet Lightweight Jersey with white and pink stripes.
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3. Rapha Brevet Lightweight Jersey

With six pockets, Rapha’s summer-weight, quick-dry, highly breathable Brevet gives roadies and gravelleurs storage galore for long rides. The large low-back zip pocket holds a phone, cord port (if you ride wired, the internal headphone guides run up to the neck), and a jacket in case of threatening weather. That’s also where you’ll find a sewn-in Tyvek tag printed with beta on foraging wild garlic while riding that cleverly doubles as a tire boot. Store cash and ID in the hidden chest pocket, can’t-lose items like keys and credit cards in the hidden hand pocket, and snacks and tools in the cargo pockets. Fully loaded, you’ll be lumpy, but most of the pockets are mesh-backed so you won’t feel stifled. An elastic hem keeps the Brevet from riding up and mesh side panels keep things breezy. On a multi-day ride, the antibacterial treatment keeps odor down. Just rinse the jersey to get the salt out and let it dry overnight.

[$165; rapha.cc]

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An image of a grey 7Mesh Elevate Short Sleeve Bike Shirt.
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4. 7Mesh Elevate Short Sleeve Bike Shirt

This feels like your favorite well-worn cotton tee, but it handles the hottest trail and gravel rides without getting sweat-soaked and saggy. The hybrid shirt-jersey is woven from polyester with lyocell wood fiber that retains some sweat by design. Like a damp bandana, it feels good against your skin and keeps you from overheating on sweltering days. When you stop for a post-ride coffee, the shirt dries almost instantly. It’s as versatile as it is comfortable. Wear it with swim trunks, jeans shorts, and gravel shorts as the day’s adventures dictate.

[$50; 7mesh.com]

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A Gorewear Explore Shirt in Nordic Blue.
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5. Gorewear Explore Shirt

Most cycling jerseys are either crew-neck tees or zip-front roadie tops. Gorewear’s poly/merino blend Henley brings another style option to the world of cycling jerseys, and there’s no better top for multi-day gravel adventures. Polyester wicks sweat and merino keeps it smelling fresh longer. That’s key if you’re packing one shirt for a four-day adventure. The styling keeps it looking cool and casual off the bike to boot.

[$90; gorewear.com]

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An image of a Yeti Turq Air LS Jersey in slate.
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6. Yeti Turq Air LS Jersey

Midday sun can have your skin searing, but waning daylight will have you shivering in the home stretch. This long-sleeved mountain bike jersey magically maintains T-shirt coolness when it’s hot, but keeps you warm and covered when the sun sinks below the horizon. Yeti’s secret sauce is its open-weave UPF20 fabric that staves off stink with an anti-odor treatment. It has less elastane than previous iterations, so it dries faster than ever before. The Turq Air LS doesn’t have pockets, but the sunglasses wipe is a lifesaver in rain squalls, sandstorms, and humid days. With a pack on, the drop hem keeps the shirt from riding up, and the trail fit was comfortably loose without being baggy.

[$100; yeticycles.com]

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A bike racer wearing a Fox Flexair Delta SS Jersey.
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7. Fox Flexair Delta SS Jersey

As airy as you can get without showing skin, Fox’s Flexair has two-tone color blocking, flatlock seams that are imperceptible under a pack, and a drop hem that keeps the jersey from riding up. It’s not just open-weave mesh that keeps you cool. Polartec’s Delta fabric wicks aggressively for evaporative cooling. The fit is contoured without being tight, with four-way stretch that lets you move freely uphill and downhill. The sleeves are more densely knitted than the body of the jersey. Fox says that’s for abrasion resistance. (We didn’t take a digger wearing this jersey, so can’t confirm.) The jersey is minimalist and too light to support loaded pockets, but the simple design and minimal branding makes this a favorite everyday pick for trail riding.

[$75; foxracing.com]

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A Leatt MTB Ultraweld 4.0 bike jersey in Cactus.
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8. Leatt MTB Ultraweld 4.0

Body armor is hot, whether wearing a back protector and elbow pads or a full-compression top for lift laps. In short, less is more when adding a jersey over pads. This ultralight, race-fit pick is made from wicking stretch mesh with visible air channels for breathability. The elbows are reinforced with an abrasion-resistant scuff guard film for peace of mind when you’re not padded up, and elbow patches also prevent the jersey from shredding. Stash gloves in the internal side pockets between laps (there’s enough room for fuel too). We tested the black colorway, which didn’t show dirt or stains. It can be chalked up to the jersey’s stain-resistant coating, or it might be the color. The flat-seam neck is pressure-point-free when paired with a Leatt neck brace. It also comes in a bevy of sizes: XS-3XL.

[$70; leatt.com]

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