When the going gets hot, a lightweight, moisture-wicking top is just what's required and the Iris Race Day Catch-Up Jersey is absolutely spot on with its fast-drying silky fabric, under-arm mesh and airy cool feel. It fits well, looks good and performs really well.
A career in pro cycling and a degree in design come together in the Iris brand, launched in 2017 by former pro rider Iris Slappendel. The result is female-focused kit (although Iris does men's as well) that looks good and does its job superbly.
The company's designs and patterns are bold and attractive without being overtly girly, and the jerseys coordinate with the Signature Bib Shorts too.
The Italian polyester fabric of the Race Day Catch-Up Jersey is soft and superlight and stretchy, with a neat race fit yet not so clingy that it doesn't flatter the odd lumps and bumps. There's good length in the body for all but the smallest or tallest of riders, and the sleeves are stretchy to accommodate a variety of arm sizes, no matter how big the guns.
It features the standard three pockets at the rear, also with a zipped water resistant pocket, a full-length YKK zip, broad grippers at the base of the jersey and reflective accents.
Out and about, the fabric wicks moisture away from the skin extremely fast and dries out quickly, making it very comfortable for hot weather rides of any length or effort. The mesh fabric under the arms was a godsend on a hot day.
With a gilet it would stretch to being useful for spring and autumn too, or for those who run warm.
The nature of the fabric and its stretch make the jersey easy to wear and like a second skin, although the gripper at the bottom did tend to creep during wear, but never so much that there was any risk of shorts and jersey parting company.
The low-profile collar gives a nice feminine look and also makes for a more comfortable fit than many high collars do.
It's a high quality jersey, made from exceptional fabric and components, and produced by a small European company, so the price is actually very good when compared to many similarly performance-orientated jerseys. It's cheaper than the (not-so-snazzy, to my mind) Assos Dyora RS Summer SS Jersey (£145), and the Rapha + Outdoor Voices and Women’s Pro Team jerseys, both £120.
Ultimately, it's a well-designed, great looking jersey that delivers excellent fit, performance and comfort at a very reasonable price. The only niggle I have is that the lovely silky airy fabric has a tendency to snag quite easily if exposed to rough surfaces.
Stylish and bold, with great comfort, fit and performance at a very reasonable price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Iris Raceday Catch Up
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
A jersey that's designed to offer good looks, comfort and performance to all types of female rider.
Iris says, 'This lightweight jersey combines aesthetics with outstanding technical features and close attention to construction details. It is built for top performance and has a perfect professional athletic fit. To make the fit even better, we made the jersey a little bit longer than usual, because nothing is more annoying than a jersey crawling up your belly button!
'Our kits are a true pro fit and are intended to be worn slim, the jersey fabrics have plenty of stretch, so it is form fitting without being restrictive.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tailored race fit intended to be worn slim
Low-profile collar for comfort and aerodynamic fit
Super-soft and comfortable Italian polyester allows for perfect freedom of movement
Micro-mesh back panel for enhanced breathability
Open Cell Mesh fabric in the armpits to provide even more ventilation where you need it most
Full-length YKK zipper with camlock puller and internal zipper flap
Three back pockets, including a water resistant zippered pocket for valuables
Elastic waist band with gripper inside, reflective elements outside
Machine washable at 30 degrees
Available in sizes XS-XL
Very well finished and made from superb quality fabrics and components. Fabric can snag easily though.
Kept me feeling cool, dry and happy on long hot rides. Fits well and looks great.
Gorgeous silky fabric, but slightly prone to snagging.
Plenty of stretch and a good cut that should accommodate a variety of body shapes.
Sizing is much as you'd expect, with a Large being roughly equivalent to a UK14. Good sizing charts on the Iris website.
Very comfortable in terms of both fit and fabric.
For a small independent company based in mainland Europe, producing relatively small batches of boutique product, the price compares very well with other high-end high quality tops.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washes very well and dries super-fast.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, comfortable fast-drying silky fabric, cool and airy, good cut and fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Silky fabric slightly prone to snagging.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It compares very well: the Assos Dyora RS Summer SS Jersey is £145, the Rapha + Outdoor Voices and Rapha Pro Team jerseys are £120.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, very much so.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Unusual and stylish jersey that offers a distinctive blend of performance, comfort and style at a good price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 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.