Children deserve good quality clothing too but Polaris recognise not everyone wants to look like their Dad’s Tour De France idol and most parents haven’t the income of champions. Enter the drifter; it’s very much a lad’s jersey bristling with street cred and change from seventeen quid is good value.
The Drifter is an mtb cut with camouflage livery and two capacious rear pockets-great for stashing snacks and smaller trade bottles (Or in my son’s case, plastic aliens and smartie cakes!). Sizing is traditional “Polaris”, namely generous, although for kids' gear that's a definite plus given the rate at which they grow. My six- year old test pilot found it spot on across the shoulders but rather long in the torso for him. Looser cut is a real boon in the comfort stakes and it's not too flappy in blustery conditions.
A generous zipper allows young prodigies to control their inner climate and the Airbase fabric seems surprisingly adept at moisture management. My son hasn’t once complained about being (or looked) too hot -even when wearing the Drifter beneath polyester based technical jackets in changeable conditions. Drying time post showers and machine washes is around twenty minutes. The jersey provides excellent defence against chill whether riding the tag-along or crouching low on the drops.
All things considered it's a good buy, especially as you’ll get a season or two’s wear from it. For those not swayed by the combat theme, Polaris offers a road variant called the Leon available in red or classic yellow with a smattering of reflectives to boot.
A very good value jersey for budding enthusiasts. Loose cut and generous sizing with more appeal to boys.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Polaris Drifter youth jersey
Size tested: Camo
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Drifter is a children's loose-cut cycling jersey made from Air Base- a polyester based technical fabric with (relatively) good wicking properties.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Air Base polyester material with front zip for added climate control and two rear pockets.
Nicely made and should withstand the thrills and spills of children's more spirited riding.
My son found it very, very comfortable even over prolonged periods in very hot spring weather.
All things being equal it should last a few seasons and still be in sufficiently good shape to pass down if required.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
My son had to be cajoled out of it!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Generous sizing means it will last, fabric of comparable quality to adult garments and washes well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Military styling will be a hit with the lads but a bit hit and miss with some girls and/or parents.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)