At first sight, the Vermarc Aqua Long Sleeve Women’s Road Cycling Jersey looks simple and smart, but don’t let first impressions fool you. This jersey is just a little bit special.
The clue is in the name; part of this jersey is designed to withstand ‘extreme weather’. To be honest, when I first tried it on, I was impressed with the fit which is great for taller women, but initially skeptical about the other claims.
The Vermac Aqua Jersey claims to be able to ‘withstand rain, snow and harsh winds’. Now, I did take it out in some fairly windy conditions and I have to say I did feel wind coming through in the sleeve area, so it’s not 100% windproof. But it was the rain claim that interested me the most.
Sadly, or happily, depending on how you view it, I had remarkably good weather when I was testing this jersey, so in order to simulate rainfall, I wore it in the shower for 10 minutes, and at the risk of sounding like a click-bait headline, I was seriously impressed with what happened next.
The water just ran off the surface, leaving it completely dry afterwards. I didn’t experience any moisture penetration to the inner surface. Considering this is a fairly lightweight, very stretchy fabric, this seemed like something akin to magic, so the claims do seem to hold water (please excuse the pun).
However, I fully acknowledge that 10 minutes in the shower is not the best analogue for 2 hours or riding in the rain, so I will update this review as soon as I’ve tested it in wet weather. Given this is the UK, you won’t be waiting too long.
The jersey itself is made from a very stretchy fleece lined fabric, and it feels lovely next to the skin. I rode the jersey in temperature down to 2 degrees, with a lightweight short-sleeved base layer underneath, and I have to say I was plenty warm enough.
It’s got a full-length zip, which I’d say is essential for road cycling jerseys, particularly in the winter, with a zip garage at the top. I didn’t experience any chaffing or rubbing. One downside is that most of the internal seams aren’t flatlocked stitched, and the labels are the flappy kind which are irritating and needed to be cut out.
Warmth isn’t enough without breathability, and again this jersey comes up trumps. Even after some hard climbs where I know I was sweating hard, I didn’t end up with a clammy back or arm pits, and when taking it off at home I found it was dry inside. It’s also remained remarkably odor free, even after several long rides.
I’m probably gushing now but the fit and cut on this jersey is just brilliant too. If you are a tall lady, you’ll know how annoying it is trying to find a jersey where the drop tail really does cover your lower back. The Vermac Aqua Jersey isn’t just nice and long in the body – I’m 5’8 and the waist hem was comfortably over my hips – but it features an additional windproof tail.
This covers right down over the bum, eliminating up-the-back breezes. It’s also made of a slightly smoother fabric which makes cleaning off road spray much easier. It’s got a ‘racing fit’ which usually means really really tight, but actually the size medium was a good fit (I’m a curvy UK size 12 on my top half) so I’d say it comes up true to size. The jersey also goes up to XXXL.
Pockets are a key element of road cycling jerseys, and this comes with two large pockets at the back, with a single zip closure, and a storm flap over the top to keep the rain out. The pockets were plenty big enough to stow a purse, phone, race cape, keys, snacks and multitool, and even when fully laden the pockets stayed in place.
This is partly due to the great fit of the jersey, and also the silicone around the hem which helps keep it securely in place. There’s a reflective strip over the storm flap to help increase your visibility on the road too.
The jersey doesn’t seem to be listed as a women’s jersey online, but I’ve been assured the one I’ve tested is. To be honest, even if it isn’t I’m totally sold on it. It looked and felt bloody brilliant, and this is now my go-to winter road cycling jersey.
The Vermarc Aqua Jersey, which comes in at £125.99, might seem a lot. However, comparable products on the market retail at upwards of £160 so actually I’d say this represents great value for money. With it’s weather proofing, breathability, and fit, it’s a seriously impressive and versatile jersey, that will see you through muggy autumns, cold winters and damp springs with ease.
Price: £125.99, available from Chicken Cycles.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXl