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It's neither short sleeves weather nor full-on layer-up winter, so what to wear? The Iris Himmel Long Sleeve Jersey straddles the shoulder seasons nicely with a combination of long sleeves, slightly warm but moisture-wicking and fast-drying fabric, and a low enough profile to work alone or as part of a layering outfit. It's ideal for those in-between sort of days, though the collar could do with being just a little more snug.
Made from an incredibly stretchy 80% polyester/20% elastane mix fabric, this long sleeve jersey is designed to work all year round as a mid-layer in cold weather, or alone in spring and autumn (and even some summer days).
The fabric is a high-quality, soft-stretch affair that's comfortable both next to the skin and also as a layer. It has a very slightly fleecy-feeling backing to it, as does the collar.
The fit is neat and athletic, but the amount of stretch means there's scope for all sorts of body shapes. Taller riders will appreciate the longer body and arms, but I didn't find it overly long (nor the sleeves) on my 5ft 5in frame. I did find the collar a little on the saggy side when fully zipped up, though, which was a shame.
There are three decent size rear pockets for stashing bits and pieces like a lightweight windproof or a ride pack/phone case, plus a zipped water resistant pocket for smaller valuables like keys and bank card, though it's not large enough for my iPhone 7, which is quite small compared with modern smartphones.
On the bike, the sleek fit is excellent for both comfort and moisture-wicking. The fabric dries really quickly too, making it great for those slightly chilly days when the last thing you want is to be descending with a soggy jersey. The hem stays put well, thanks to the silicone gripper on a broad hem.
The zip has a storm flap to keep out any stray weather, but the jersey is neither windproof nor waterproof, so on changeable days it works best with a gilet or windshell, while on steady not-too-cold-not-too-warm days it's ideal. I'd have liked the collar to be slightly higher and not quite so loose, to give better wind protection and a bit more warmth if required.
There's no denying that €129 (translating to around £111 at the moment – Velovixen currently has it discounted to £99, with an rrp of £115) feels quite a lot for a long-sleeved jersey with little in the way of extra bells and whistles. However, it's worth bearing in mind that this is a boutique brand, run by former pro rider Iris Slappendel. The quality of both materials and finished product is exceptional, and it's manufactured in Europe.
Even taking that into account, it's comparable with quite a few long-sleeved jerseys such as the Castelli Diagonal FZ at £110 which has similar features, and it's a fair chunk cheaper than the Le Col Women's Hors Categorie Long Sleeve Jersey at a whopping £165.
There are much cheaper jerseys of this ilk available, such as the Fat Lad At The Back Women's Fearless Fabulous Female Midweight Thermal Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey at only £69.99, which comes in a good variety of sizes, but the Iris definitely wins out on quality and finish, and more than holds up its end of the bargain with sizing too, available in XS-XXL.
Overall, the Himmel is a great-looking jersey, neither too dull nor too garish for more conservative riders (and also available in a cheery yellow as the Mirasol). It's made to the highest quality and is versatile for three-season use (or for summer too, if that's a vague term where you live). It's not the cheapest, but it's a good investment. It's just a shame the collar isn't quite high or neat enough for my liking.
Excellent quality, and very comfortable and versatile, but could be improved with a neater collar
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Iris Himmel Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
A high-performance, stylish jersey for that in-between sort of weather.
Iris says, 'This super stretchy, light weight and amazingly soft long sleeve jersey is ideal for those colder days in fall or spring, or to layer up with a wind vest and base in the winter. It is constructed from a high wicking blend and fits like a second skin offering a mix of warmth, breathability and distinctive design with pastel accents.
'The gripper at the waist ensures the jersey remains perfectly in position and has reflective details.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Iris lists these key features:
Tailored race fit intended to be worn close to the body
High collar with a soft fleece lining
Super soft and comfortable Italian polyester allows for perfect freedom of movement
Full-length YKK zipper with camlock puller and internal zipper flap
Three back pockets and a water resistant zippered pocket for valuables
Elastic waistband with gripper inside, reflective stripes outside
Integrated reflective details on the arms
80% multifilament polyester / 20% Elastane
Available in size XS to XXL
Machine washable at 30
Beautifully made from high-quality fabrics and components.
Performs well. Wicks moisture quickly and effectively and dries superfast. A slightly tweaked higher/snugger collar would make it even better.
This is a relatively lightweight and very stretchy jersey and so there's a danger it'll age faster than heavier duty jerseys, but it's well made and the fabric is good quality so it should have a decent lifespan.
Great fit, with plenty of length for taller riders without there being a problem for shorter ones. The amount of stretch in the fabric also means there is good scope for different body shapes.
Spot on for expected sizing.
Light and supple, giving good warmth but excellent moisture transport for its weight.
Very comfortable in terms of fit and also how it performed at keeping the body dry and a good temperature.
Not the cheapest, but far from over the top in terms of cost when you consider it's a boutique brand and well made.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, washes very well and dries quickly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It was versatile and effective over a variety of temperatures and performed well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Stylish, high quality, very breathable, versatile.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Expensive, collar is a little floppy.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not cheap, but it's worth bearing in mind that this is a boutique brand, the quality of materials and finished product is exceptional, and it's manufactured in Europe. The Castelli Diagonal Women's Jersey FZ is a similar price at £110 and has similar features, but it's a fair chunk cheaper than the Le Col Women's Hors Categorie Long Sleeve Jersey at a whopping £165.
There are much less expensive options, such as the Fat Lad at The Back Women's Fearless Fabulous Female Midweight Thermal Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey at £69.99, but the Iris wins out on quality and finish.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely, but I'd also ask for it as a gift.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Absolutely
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a high-quality jersey that performs well in a variety of temperatures. The slightly loose collar is a shame, though, and it's not inexpensive, but it is stylish and well made.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.