The Altura Icon Long Sleeve Jersey is a warm, comfortable and very effective top or mid-layer for cool to cold rides, with a style and build that belies its price. It breathes and wicks well, and bar a lack of windproofing really has no negatives.
The fleecy white lining is soft against the skin and stays put against baselayers, and while the overlocked seams are fairly chunky, they're never perceptible once on.
Continuous silicone grippers on the side elastic (and silicone dots on the broader rear band) stop it rucking up, and the length is well judged both in the front and for the dropped tail (which includes a reflective band). I never had anything bunch up or chilly gaps appear.
Sleeve length is longer than some jerseys but spot on for sealing snugly with gloves, and the collar is slightly looser than the previous iteration's – as long as you're not as skinny-necked as our model, no draughts get in. That said, the fabric isn't windproof, so this is better beneath a hardier shell on days with stabby winds.
It all adds up to a jersey that's warm and very comfortable, and the fabric (polyester with a dash of spandex) is nicely breathable and very good at wicking sweat: the Icon managed the impressive trick of ending rides drier than both the layer above and below it. It's also soft on the outside for a feel/look that, if not quite premium, is certainly pleasing.
Strong elastic and an average depth mean the three pockets are happy keeping hold of phones, packable layers and gels, and there's a side zip for extra security. Note this pocket (roughly 16x11cm, but with an 11cm zip that makes getting bigger phones in a struggle) intrudes on the main pocket's space, so you still only really have three rather than four.
This Hex-Repeat design of the Icon comes in three different colour options: this orange/navy, teal/blue and yellow/navy. If you like your patterns bold then there is also a Tokyo version available in white/black or lime/black. There are various options for women too.
Scanning our recent reviews shows the Altura to be well priced compared with others such as the dhb Classic Long Sleeve Jersey. That costs £65 (not that dhb's products are ever marked up at full rrp) and I'd say after wearing both that the Altura is the better jersey.
The Giant Illume Mid-Thermal was a jersey that I also liked when I reviewed it at the beginning of the year. It was warm and breathable, sharing a lot of the qualities of the Icon. It, too, is priced at £65, again highlighting the Altura's competitiveness.
The Icon is pretty typical for a long-sleeve winter jersey, whatever the price: fleecy lining, high-ish collar, three pockets, silicone grippers and reflective highlights. Brilliantly, it hits the sweet spot with all these aspects, boasts impressive quality, looks sharp while doing it, and is very affordable. Recommended.
Really well-cut, warm and stylish jersey at a great price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Icon Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says this is "designed with a new subtle block geometric pattern for Autumn Winter. Lightweight and breathable, this thermal long sleeved jersey is perfect to use in cold weather conditions".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The company lists:
- Highly breathable
- Thermal properties
- Three rear cargo pockets
- Rear zipped security pocket
- Reflective elastic hem
- Semi-fitted design
- Lightweight and comfortable with thermal properties
- Plenty of storage for day long rides
Sizing is in line with Altura's guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems with cool washing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, soft lining, stylish, warm.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Compares very well on price – it's cheaper than a lot of similar products and gives little to nothing away, as you can see from the competition mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I can't say this is exceptional – it doesn't excel in any area – but I can say it's very good in (almost) every area and so a really strong eight.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!