This is not a Mossa. Neither is it a Gabba. You might look at the description there of Acqua and think that this is another one of those foul weather rain jersey/jacket thingies. It’s not, mostly. What it is is a really lovely little autumn/spring lightweight long sleeve jersey with benefits.
There is a watery element to it. The fabric is called Reba. Essentially it’s a fleece backed material with added water repellent treatment. It’s not a membrane, just fabric. It’s not for going out in the rain. It’s for those days when you might get caught out in a shower or some drizzle. That type of thing. So, the days in between the days with persistent rain.
I’ve been testing a lot of water related clothing recently. Indeed, the opportunities for testing clothing that isn’t full on waterproof, warm or able to stand up to Armageddon, have been few and far between. But there have been some dry days and I’ve managed to get out there on a few damp ones as well.
I asked Prendas how I should wear this. Should I use a base layer or not? Apparently I should. But it’s so wonderfully comfortable without one that I’ve been trying not to. There’s been no shortage of autumn/spring like days in the middle of winter. Simply put, without a base layer it will be warm enough for spring days, with a base layer it will be warmer and good enough for single digits in my view.
Prendas recommend that you size up on this jersey. And they mean it. Really size up. So, where I can wear some Prendas kit in Large, and some in Extra Large, this time I’m wearing Extra Extra Large. With a 41″ chest. Whacky Italians! Still, it’s just a label. Follow the sizing chart to get the size you need.
It really does live up to its “Sleek” description. It’s form fitting when you get the right size. If you want something a little looser then size up again. But, actually, I don’t think you need to. It’s very stretchy and doesn’t constrict. Did I mention how wonderfully comfortable it is?
I opted for the lime green version. I’m having a bit of fluro evangelism as, in my view, it is very visible indeed and, you know what, I like it as a colour. It’s good to see race kit being made in something visible. But you can have red if you want. And, if you like the red one, you get the added benefit of a little Union Jack on the back. You don’t get a flag on the lime green one. Mostly, I guess, because there aren’t any lime green flags. Adding anything that’s not the same shade would be a little jarring. Two good colour choices in my view.
So, let’s talk about what it’s not going to be. It isn’t going to be water proof. You can’t really call it water resistant, but, actually the results might surprise you, more of that later. And it’s certainly not windproof. It’s a £69.95 good looking, race fit, help you out in a shower, spring jersey. Is that a niche? Not at all. It’s a roubaix type jersey with benefits. And, in my view, damn good value at that price. Let’s get onto the features.
Can I start with the reflectives? Look, it takes little effort to add this stuff, it costs pennies, it doesn’t detract in any way at all from the look of the jersey and it’s effective. So, it’s a mystery why every manufacturer doesn’t do this.
Onto the front of the jersey, as you can see from the photo below the waistband is one of those large elasticated affairs. It’s populated on the inside by many silicon grippers. Combined with the race fit it means that waist of the jacket stays very firmly in place. The stitching is of very high quality and should last for a very long time.
You can see the fleece. It’s quite a thin layer but surprisingly effective at insulating.
The Zip is a quality item and lives in a nice little zip garage at the top of the collar. The rubberised zip tag is very easy to manipulate while riding even when wearing gloves. There’s no issue with getting it out of the zip garage either. The collar is a good height, not too long and entirely in keeping with the race/tempo element of the jersey.
There are 4 pockets at the rear, the standard pocket combination and a central outer zipped pocket. It’s not waterproof but, given the position of it, it’s unlikely to suffer any real ingress. Anyway, as I’ve said before, put your phone in a plastic bag. Even water resistant materials will be wicking your sweat away and threatening delicate electronics.
The arms are a good length and finished off with some nice elastic cuffs. Like the waistband they are also punctuated by little silicone grippers to keep your sleeves in place. They’re pretty narrow fitting and snug. In a very good way, naturally. The cuff is a good length and, if you’re wearing gloves, you can be sure of a good overlap.
On me, pure Welsh stock, the arms are possibly a little long. Only an inch or so. You have to cater for everyone. So I have to choose between a bit of bunching at the top or a bit at the cuffs. I chose the latter, which is a bit of a shame as I’ve had to wrinkle the Prendas logo a little. Sorry guys, but there’s plenty of good branding visible elsewhere.
Naturally the construction is first rate. Whenever Prendas get together with Santini you can be sure of a good quality product. There’s nothing to lead me to believe that you won’t still be wearing this jersey years from now.
I’ve been wearing this jersey on the milder days. Whilst it isn’t windproof the nature of the weave, combined with that added water repellency, appears to make it a bit more wind resistant than you might imagine. You definitely can’t feel much air making its way through. But, naturally, it remains very breathable.
Rain repellency is actually very good. This isn’t a gimmick. Light rain just beads on the surface and doesn’t get in. Even light rain will, if you’re ridden in it for long enough, start to seep through. Heavy rain will do so a little more quickly. However, drizzle, as long as you’re riding at a decent tempo to create some heat, doesn’t really make a dent.
Here’s a couple of photos of the venerable under the tap test. You can see the water just collect in the first picture. And then, in the second, once I’d flicked it off there’s little evidence to suggest it being there in the first place. Clever stuff, remember that there’s no membrane at play here, just water repellent coating.
Would I venture out in the rain with it? Well, it depends what kind of rain we’re talking about. Anything that looks particularly persistent would see me reach for something else in the wardrobe. Ditto anything particularly cold. But that’s not what this is for. It’s a bloody good spring and autumn roubaix jersey with something in reserve for when you get caught out. I don’t think that’s a niche. It’s just something extra.
It’s perfectly comfortable at 10 degrees or so on its own. With the right base layer, and the right tempo, you could probably be wearing this down to perhaps 5 degrees. It very much depends on how you run temperature wise. I can see me wearing it comfortably into the spring, without a base layer, up into the mid to high teens. It’s a pretty versatile piece of kit overall.
In conclusion it’s a damn comfortable, well thought out, clever piece of kit. It’s cheaper than a lot of premium stuff and only slightly more expensive than a lot of the entry level stuff. Chuck in that rain repellency and it’s truly excellent value overall. Another hit for Prendas. So, if you fancy one, get your order in and watch it turn up the next day every…..single…….time.