The Flare Lunar Jersey is, at first sight, pretty striking. A lot of thought has gone into the graphical design of it. Happily, the same can be said about the attention to detail in the fit and technicality of the jersey too.
Flare are a small company, started only last year, and their aim is to help fill the gap in the market place for women's MTB gear that performs well and looks good. They spent a long time researching and refining their products, and the result is a gradually expanding range of striking, technical gear for women.
My default size choice for cycling kit is medium, which usually equates to a UK 12 (my high street dress size), and in this case I'd say the jersey came up true to size. It's got a loose fit, but with a feminine cut so it hangs really nicely.
The hem came down to my hips (I'm 5'8) and the sleeves reached to my palm when standing. The cuffs and collar are in a soft stretch material that feel nice against the skin, and I didn't experience any rubbing or chaffing.
The fabric itself is quite silky to touch, and light. It's stretchy, and this combined with the loose fit meant there was ample room for movement while riding.
On a sunny spring day riding for several hours in Afan, it was spot on - warm enough to keep me comfortable during breezy descents, and wicking enough that I didn't turn into damp mess on the climbs. It did get a bit whiffy in the armpit region by the end of the 6 hours I was out, but not badly.
The jersey sits nice and long at the back, and didn't ride up while using a rucksack either. The sleeves are raglan style, which means no irritating seams at the top of your shoulder to rub under your bag straps.
In terms of wearing it with impact protection, the size medium fitted easily over a base layer and back protector without feeling squeezed. I couldn't fit bulky elbow pads under it though, so if you're getting it to wear with these or a pressure suit, then I recommend going up a size. On the other hand, you could certainly go down a size if you don't wear body armour and prefer a more fitted style.
Flare have thought about the look of their products, and the design is certainly different to anything I've seen about for MTB gear. They say the pattern of overlapping concentric circles inspired by Japanese fans and Art Deco graphics, and I quite like it.
The main grey colour of the jersey is a practical shade for mountain biking, particularly in the winter and spring. Or, lets face it, for riding in the UK because the chances of you encountering mud on a regular basis are quite high. The purples, oranges and pink splashes of colour then lift the whole thing making it look brighter, eye catching and more cheerful than run-of-the-mill options.
Personally, I would have quite liked to see a little zipped pocket included as they are great for storing small items like cash or keys.
Talking of mud; this jersey did get a good splattering on the trail, but luckily it all washed out fine. The Lunar has been through about 3 washes now, and it's still looking good - I haven't noticed any fading, bobbling or wear so far.
Perfect for long days on the trail, the Flare Lunar jersey works well on its own or as part of a layering system. It's practical, fits well, and does the job with style and flair (excuse the pun.
- Relaxed but flattering fit
- Striking looks and colours
- Would be nice to have a pocket
Size: XS, S, M, L
Colour: Grey (pictured), Blue
More info: Flare Clothing Co.
What Flare say about the Lunar jersey:
The Lunar Long-Sleeve jersey is a wicking, breathable polyester jersey for chilly days out on the trail or when you need some more protection. The jersey is loose fitting and comfortable, but with a feminine, flattering cut.