In recent years, more and more apparel manufacturers realized that just because a piece of cycling clothing has technical properties doesn’t mean it has to be shiny or neon. Great news for those of you who want to go for a ride without looking like you’re trying to qualify for the Volta a Catalunya.
Kitsbow’s collection of mountain biking apparel is one of the best examples of converted technical cycling gear. They’re well tailored, wick moisture, and feature smart like strategically placed stretch panels and secret pockets. Our favorite piece, the All Mountain Jersey, is a zip up top that looks more like a business-casual sweater than single-track attire. And it’s more than able to handle the perils of the trail.
On the outside of the jersey is durable, scratch-defending Cordura fabric; on the inside there’s soft, odor-fighting Merino. It’s a welcome combo: when powering through big climbs, we never felt restricted or anything but comfortable. We never worried about overheating, either, thanks to stretchy merino side panels that provide extra under-arm venting. Smart details abound: There’s a low profile side pockets that hold food, a water bottle, and tools; a separate zip pocket lets you segregate your phone from other items. Our favorite minor feature, however, is the sunglasses dock on the breast pocket in which it’s easy to store shades when they get fogged up. Out favorite aspect overall? The compliments we received at the cafe post-ride. [$265; kitsbow.com]
Days Tested: 40
Area Used: Northern Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts
Activities: Mountain biking, fat biking, and even some Nordic skiing
Conditions Encountered: You name it: Snow, sunshine, fog.
Nitpick: The phone pocket is only large enough for an iPhone