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The Ekoi Graphene Jersey is designed to cool riders in super hot conditions, and was apparently used by the Israel Premier Tech Team in the Tour de France. I can only imagine this was a good choice, as the jersey certainly helped to keep me at a comfortable temperature on toasty rides. It's expensive – though you often don't have to pay full whack for Ekoi kit – but if the design appeals, it's a very well-specced summer jersey.
Want more options? Check out our guide to the best summer jerseys.
In its technical information, Ekoi is keen to stress the importance of the "intelligent" materials used in the jersey. The graphene-laced polyester and elastane used for the body are most visible from the inside of the garment. These horizontal graphene threads are included for their conductivity, which supposedly allows heat to move from the hottest to the coldest points on your body. Importantly, the material still feels soft and comfortable against the skin and you won't notice any difference.
This all sounds pretty Black Mirror considering that it's a reasonably normal-looking cycling jersey, but in terms of on-bike feel I really did notice the coolness of the jersey. I was riding in and around the 27-32°C range and it kept me regulated, in spite of it being predominantly black. I did still get damp from perspiration but it wasn't the proper soaking I normally expect, and there were no unsightly sweat marks on my jersey when I stopped.
The jersey also has micro-perforated panels running from under the armpits to the bottom seam, aiding breathability.
The material feels plush and the jersey sized up as expected: snug but not excessively so. It's not particularly light but does feel like it is built to last.
Ekoi claims this material helps to make it tear-resistant. Luckily I wasn't thrust into testing this element of the jersey's durability, but giving it a good yank doesn't reveal any weaknesses.
The fit is decently aero and it's longish in the body, with a pretty modest silicone gripper fitted on the hem that does a good job of holding everything in place.
I would prefer the sleeves to be slightly longer than they are, but that's just personal preference. They're almost seamless and do provide a lovely fit, with the tight material hugging the skin without any gripper.
At the rear the three standard pockets are not made from the graphene material, so feel sturdier, and they stretch to handle a decent amount of luggage easily.
The hidden zip on the right rear pocket reveals a stash spot for cards or money, but you'd need a minuscule phone to store it in there. It has one of those small metallic pendant zippers that's surrounded by material, meaning a lot of scope for snagging when reaching back mid-ride.
The main zipper can be locked in position, so once you've clicked it down there won't be any movement.
Other details like the glass cleaning cloth inside the jersey are thoughtful, and could be useful, although, am I really going to pull out a sweaty bit of microfibre mid-ride?
The only thing I'm not particularly keen on is the colour, but that's a personal thing. It's available in five, including this blue, but none is particularly bright – even the 'neon yellow' as far as I can tell. They strike me as predominantly black, and as Ekoi is keen to make this a cooling jersey, I'm not sure it's the best starting point for temperature regulation.
You can currently pick this jersey up for around £40, but to avoid going down the rabbit hole of trying to compare discounted prices, we always go by full rrp, and at just under £145 this is expensive compared with other lightweight summer jerseys.
Cheaper still is the dhb Aeron Lab Ultralight SS Jersey that Iwein tested recently, which costs £90 and is so thin it barely exists. Its gossamer light appearance doesn't leave anything to the imagination, though, and while it is very breathable it does have a few oddities in sizing.
If your budget is a bit tighter, though, the Vanelli Proline Jersey I tested earlier this year handled the heat well, and while it didn't have the spectacular breathability of the Ekoi, it's just £60.
Whatever your thoughts on the colourschemes available, this is technically a very proficient jersey. I get extremely hot on the bike so for a garment to resist the dreaded salt rings on a boiling day, it must be doing something right. You have to pay a hefty amount for it, but this is a great jersey for those days when the mercury is soaring.
Valuable piece of summer kit that is exceptionally breathable, if pricey at full whack
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ekoi Graphene Kamo Summer Jersey
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
The EKOÏ GRAPHENE KAMO jersey inaugurates a new generation of textiles for cyclists in search of ever more efficient, technical and "intelligent" fabrics...
By introducing the graphene material, recognized for a particularly high thermal conductivity, EKOÏ has developed a range of jerseys capable of dissipating body heat evenly over a large surface of the fabric. This 'moves' via horizontal graphene threads arranged on the front and back of the jersey, from the hottest to the coldest points.
On the bike, this results in a regulation of body temp increase and keeping cool feeling. This thermoregulation property makes it possible to increase endurance and therefore to ride in (very) hot conditions, longer and more efficiently.
Intended for regular practitioners, this jersey is made with soft, silky and tight-fitting fabrics to avoid wrinkles and any wind catching. Sufficiently stretchy, they guarantee perfect freedom of movement. The microperforated sides promote elasticity and ventilation, contributing to the comfort of the jersey.
Ultralight, graphene fiber is also extremely tear-resistant*.
On the look side, the KAMO collection ostensibly plays the card of a paramilitary style evoking in particular the (playful) clashes on a paintball field.
The design also finds its inspiration in the physical representation of the material graphene, namely a layer of single carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern evoking the honeycomb.
The EKOÏ GRAPHENE jerseys range invites demanding cyclists to live a new experience, that of high-tech textiles at the service of performance. With EKOÏ, you are one step ahead, you are already 'INSIDE THE FUTURE'...
*Graphene is approximately 100 times more tear-resistant than steel
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
FRONT FACE and BACK
- Graphene fabric with conductive yarn concept that dissipates body heat.
- Ultra-light, tear-resistant and flexible fabric.
- Laser cut: no seams at sleeves bottom = optimized comfort and fit.
- Textured hexagonal aerodynamic fabric = reduced air resistance
- Textile fiber with high elasticity = mobility of shoulders.
- Micro-perforated fabric: elasticity and ventilation factor. For maximum comfort.
- 3 classic pockets with elastic at the pockets top for perfect support.
- 1 invisible zipped side pocket.
- Invisible and self-locking YKK zipper.
- Zipper cover at the bottom of the jersey to prevent chafing.
- Officer neck
- Elastic support band with silicone inserts at the back of the shirt and on sides for perfect support.
- Bevel cut for more comfort when pedaling.
- E-Clean microfibre integrated inside the jersey to clean your glasses.
- Intensive training - Competition
- For practitioners looking for a high-performance thermo-regulating textile.
- Temperate to hot, even very hot weather.
- 88% Polyester
- 12% Elasthane
The stitching is all sturdy enough and the test period didn't expose any weaknesses, but the hidden rear mini zipper is a bit temperamental when used on the move. The zip sheath for the main zipper is handy, as is the locking zip that doesn't move when clicked down.
With a focus on keeping riders cool in high temperatures, it certainly keeps its word.
Early days, but well made and no signs of wear and tear after a few weeks of use.
Arms come up a couple of centimetres short for my personal preference, leaving four fingers' worth of gap between sleeve and elbow. Body fit is snug but not suffocating.
Largely what you would expect. Order your normal size.
About 20g north of being legitimately light.
Soft and silky to the touch, with the seamless sleeves a highlight in terms of feel. (Full disclosure: there is a seam hidden underneath the arm.)
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy. Washed at 30 and everything stayed the same.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I was riding on super hot days, but interspersed with long descents and deep shade. I cannot fault the performance. Cooling and insulating when needed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability – somehow I skipped my normal radiation of salt rings, so the fancy material must be working.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit and performance were strong, so any drawbacks were mainly personal preference on design.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At its current discount of just over £40 it's a bargain, but its full price of over £140 shoots it into the realm of the high-end jersey, where the competition is really strong.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not at full price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Technically, I can't find a serious fault with the jersey. The lines of graphene are visually unobtrusive and do a good job of dissipating heat. Everything fitted well and as expected. It's a really good jersey for the hottest days – especially if you like the design and colour schemes.
About the tester
I usually ride: Pearson Hammerandtongs My best bike is:
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: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Ultra endurance