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La Passione makes its range of clothes in Italy and they're only available online. This Summer Jersey is made using soft and slinky fabrics and has a really great fit; it's aerodynamic and comfortable. It comes in a wide range of colours and graphics, and the pricing is keen thanks to the direct-sales approach.
Three main fabrics are used here, all of which are around 80% polyester and 20% elastane. There's a very fine-woven and stretchy Lycra on the front panels, which I found really comfortable against the skin. The fabric on the back is a fine mesh, which is more breathable than the front, allowing heat to escape on warm days. Further cooling is provided by open-mesh panels down the sides.
It's a similar construction to a few other summer jerseys, but what differentiates it from something like, say, the Bontrager Circuit jersey, which I reviewed earlier this year, is that the fit here is a fair bit more racy.
Per the sizing guide, my strapping 38-inch chest means I'm a medium. Zipping it up and I had to pull the two halves of the zip together, but once it was on, the considerable stretchiness of the fabric meant it wasn't in the least restrictive. If you like your jersey to fit like the pros then you'll like this – it sits nicely against the skin with practically no flapping at speed.
Compare it with a jersey that's been optimised in a wind tunnel and you'll see key differences around the neckline and the positioning of the seams on the shoulders (according to the likes of Castelli, Sportful and Adidas these are the key areas, as they are where the wind first hits you).
If you're not riding a time trial then I'd suggest this level of detail is probably not overly important. But whenever you're riding quickly, a close-fitting jersey can offer greater aerodynamic benefits than rather more expensive upgrades like deep-section wheels.
If you're of a larger build, La Passione offers sizes up to XXL. It also offers an equivalent jersey in a female-specific cut, which is always welcome. In line with current trends, the sleeves are close-fitting and stretchy, with a raw-cut, thin, grippy material used to keep the openings in place for yer tan lines.
Detailing generally is well thought through. The unbranded zip is smooth and has a nice custom rubberised grip. I did find the top of the zip pull was a little pointy and occasionally irritated my throat. A garage flap would help here, or using a different zip pull.
At the back are three pockets, which are of a respectable size but not as big as some. For most rides I found they were ample. There is no zipped valuables pocket. A subtle but effective sewn-in reflective strip below the central pocket helps with night-time visibility.
In short, then, the story is similar to that with the matching bibs – quality fabrics, excellent performance and at a very palatable price. If this checked design doesn't do it for you, take a look at some of the others available, including ones with camo sleeves – very 2016.
Close-fitting and comfortable summer jersey at a great price – recommended
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road.cc test report
Make and model: La Passione Summer Jersey Square White
Size tested: Medium
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?
La Passione says: "When the sun is blazing from a clear sky nothing looks more elegant and cool as a pristine White jersey. Summer Jersey Square White is a strikingly beautiful Pro cut jersey, which for sure will leave you visible in the peloton. Available in the crisp and new color option of White, and created in a timeless, stylish design from three Italian made fabrics, with micro mesh side panels providing excellent ventilation and moisture-wicking, the jersey has a close-fitting aero cut with extended sleeve length. Arms, stomach and back silicone grippers helps keeping the jersey fitted and tightly in place when on the saddle. The Summer Jersey Square White is not only perfectly suited for any younger Tour de France race leader, but equally for anyone with eternal youth and an impeccable stylish cycling appearance to uphold"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made in Italy
*High stretch, close-fitting Pro cut
*Three Italian made fabrics
*Longer sleeve length with Grip 400 printed arm grippers
*Micro mesh side panels for contoured fit
*Reversed full length zip with Cam Lock puller
*Silicon chest gripper
*Three reinforced rear pockets
*3M Scotchlite rear reflective stripe
*Main fabric: 85% Polyester / 15% Elastane
*Side mesh: 83% Polyester / 17% Elastane
*Back fabric: 78% Polyester / 22% Elastane
*Permanent wicking treatment
*SPF UV 50+ sun protection factor
Very nicely made using sleek, quality fabrics.
No issues during testing.
La Passione has done a good job – sleek and pretty aero.
Per the guide I'm a medium and I got on very well with the M supplied. If you like your jersey on the looser side, consider sizing up.
A normal sort of weight for a jersey.
Generally a comfortable jersey. Minor irritation from the zip pull.
£57 is a very fair price thanks to the direct-sales model.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Went through the wash a bunch of times without issue. It's still as white as it was before too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well – I was impressed, particularly at this price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The excellent fit and quality fabrics.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not a lot. I found the zip irritated my throat a bit – a flap over it would help.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.