The La Passione PSN jersey has a sleek and form-fitting cut that's comfortable, light and breathable. Build quality is excellent and it's perfect for hard riding in hot weather, but the smooth, single-colour fabric shows up dark sweat patches on hot days.
The moment you find a jersey that not only fits well but is also nicely designed, good quality and super comfortable, is worthy of its own victory salute. That was me when the La Passione PSN jersey arrived. A month on I am still celebrating, but being more careful about raising my arms aloft because I've discovered the smooth, block-colour fabric absorbs sweat more visibly than textured fabrics. It's my only criticism.
Otherwise, this is a great jersey and my firm favourite of recent weeks. In the June heatwave the La Passione PSN performed exceptionally well. The extremely thin fabric lets air straight through, and keeps you comfortable and cool whether riding hard or on longer, steadier club runs.
However, I found little evidence of the 'wicking treatment' in the jersey's spec, and the very stretchy Italian fabric (92% polyester/8% elastane) is not the best for moisture transfer. It's this that leads to the sweat patches, mainly around the chest.
To be clear, the jersey never feels clammy or heavy when damp – it's just a temporary discolouration while the sweat evaporates. Until it does it looks unsightly, especially in a café stop scenario, and at odds with a very chic aesthetic.
As for the sizing, at 178cm and 68kg I found the medium perfect for a performance-orientated fit, though it's cut for someone with wider shoulders than me (it's not me in the photos). La Passione's model on the website also wears the size medium but he's 4cm taller than me and has a chest 4cm bigger and presumably wider shoulders too – and on him it's skinsuit tight.
Compared to a Rapha or Le Col medium the La Passione jersey comes up a bit small – worth remembering as La Passione is online/direct sales only, so there's no chance to try them on.
There will be people who say it's daft to make cycling clothing in grey. For them, the PSN jersey also comes in neon yellow and neon pink, plus nine other colours besides this one.
The detailing is really nicely done: the orange inserts at the cuffs and under the rear pockets give some stylish contrasting accents, there are discreet reflectives front and rear, and there's a little Italian flag sewn in behind the collar.
I was also pleased to see three good, 19cm deep pockets at the rear that – thanks to the snug fit and effective silicone gripper – don't sag or bounce.
La Passione says its PSN jersey costs the same to produce as other high-end jerseys, but thanks to the direct sales model is cheaper; this £80 jersey would, it says, cost £135 from the 'other guys'. It's easy to believe – the PSN has the quality look and feel of a premium jersey, but is priced the same as most mid-range jerseys.
The La Passione undercuts the Le Col Sport II jersey by £15, and is £40 cheaper than the Giro Chrono Pro – which is not an aero jersey despite the name. That said, the Santini Karma Luce matches the PSN at £80.
The La Passione PSN jersey looks great and fits well. It's comfortable, light and breathable and build quality is excellent. It has been my favourite jersey of recent weeks.
Now group rides are allowed and cafes are opening again, mind you, I'll be that much more aware of sweat patches. Choosing a darker shade from the 12 might be wise. Perhaps if it weren't the Graphite version, this jersey would be looking at a perfect score.
Very comfortable and effective high-end jersey at a mid-range price – but beware of sweat patches
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road.cc test report
Make and model: La Passione PSN Jersey Graphite
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for
La Passione says: "Our new PSN Jersey has an updated design which blends together the same original, unique features you are used to. The premium stretch fabric has a renewed lightness ensuring the classic race-fit that is perfectly tailored to your body. It features a race-fit neck enriched with a zip garage to avoid pinching, an internal wind catcher marked with our WORTH THE EFFORT pay-off and the bonded hem at the bottom."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From La Passione's website:
Premium dyed Italian fabric
92% Polyester / 8% Elastane
Antibacterial treatment and wicking treatment
SPF UV 50+ sun protection factor
High stretch, close-fitting Pro cut
Longer Pro Peloton sleeve
Close-cut ergonomic collar
Pressure die-cast full length zip with Cam Lock puller
Silicone waist gripper
Upper zip garage
Bonded hem at the bottom
Three reinforced rear pockets
Contrasting color inserts at the bottom of the sleeves and under the rear pockets
Reflective Hold the Line logo on the back
Reflective La Passione wordmark on the shoulder
Product weight 120g / 4.23 oz.
Really nicely made in Croatia.
Wonderfully lightweight and breathable – perfect for very hot rides.
The fabric is very thin and delicate looking, but after a month of rides and washes it is still 100 percent perfect.
I really love the fit – tailored and tight but still flattering.
Compared to Rapha and Le Col the medium sizes up small, but as the fabric is very stretchy and the fit is intended to be close, I would not have sized up – especially as it's cut for slightly wider shoulders than mine.
Weight is good, but as it lacks mesh panels, it's not the absolute lightest jersey out there.
Super comfortable thanks to its stretchiness.
Very good value thanks to La Passione's online-only/direct sales model.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Despite being very thin and stretchy it's emerged from a good few wash cycles with not a single mark or pull.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
La Passione is not specific about its purpose, but as it has a "close-fitting pro cut" and "aero fit" it's safe to assume it's designed for sporty riding – and for this its performance is excellent. The fit is close but never restrictive when riding in the drops, breathability is great even in 30°C, and I found it very comfortable for hard riding. It's not the best for moisture transfer though: sweat can gather in patches, particularly at the front, and although it doesn't feel clammy it looks a bit unsightly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sweat patches. Because the fabric is smooth rather than textured, and perhaps because it's grey, sweat patches are very visible.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price is competitive. With its sleek cut, good quality fabrics and strong construction, this is a premium jersey that sits around mid-range for pricing. For instance, the La Passione undercuts the Le Col Sport II jersey by £15, and it's £40 cheaper than the Giro Chrono Pro.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but I would warn them about colour choice.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I would love to give the La Passione PSN jersey a perfect score because I liked everything about it – except for the sweat patches. Possibly the graphite shows them worse than others, but if that doesn't bother you, or you ride in zone 1 or 2 so they don't appear, it deserves full marks – but I'm going with 'very good'.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem
Simon finished his Masters in online journalism back in 2003 when the internet wasn't very exciting or popular yet. So he got a job as a sub editor on Britain's biggest weekly cycling magazine, where as well as taking out commas and putting them back in again he got to review a lot of bikes and kit.
As a keen time triallist he has spent many hours riding up and down dual carriageways early in the morning and has a national medal, a 19-minute 10 and a few open wins in his palmarès.
He and his seven-year-old son do the school run on a tandem, beating the traffic in car-choked Reigate and getting a great workout at the same time (for one of them).