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The Santini Eco Sleek Bengal Jersey is a crisp, minimal and timeless-looking jersey with an excellent fit and that is made largely from recycled material, which boosts its eco-friendly credentials. I think the white-and-black colourway on test looks fabulous and a throwback to the days of jerseys with a more classical feel.
If your wardrobe is in need of a summer makeover, check out our best cycling jerseys buyer's guide, or our best cheap jerseys guide if you're on a budget, though I'm pretty sure this Santini won't make the latter…
When my mum first saw me wearing this jersey she said, "Ooh, I like that. That's a nice jersey" – which is a first coming from her. So, it's safe to say that this has the motherly seal of approval. And with the multitude of bright colours available to us these days, I think it's nice to have the option of a more timeless-looking jersey such as the Bengal. With the base white colour, and a black and gold stripe around the chest and left arm, I take my hat off to the designers.
That said, three other colourways based around red, blue and green are also available from Santini, as is a women's version that Emma tested recently.
As the 'Eco' part of the jersey's name hints at, this Santini has some green credentials, which is something we're seeing from more and more brands. Santini told me that the main part of the jersey is constructed from recycled discarded polyester in the form of 'eco-bicimania', which is made by the long-established Italian fabric manufacturer Sitip. A material made from recycled bottles is used for the back and sleeves.
I really appreciate the big brands trying to make a difference, so seeing Santini using recycled materials to make a quality jersey is extremely refreshing.
The cut is excellent, feeling snug and tight but without ever feeling constrictive. It has the modern trend of long-cut sleeves that finish just above the elbow, and there was no flapping excess fabric anywhere around the body for me. The silicone grippers on the arms worked well, with the sleeves never riding up at all.
The silicone grippers at the bottom of the jersey were equally effective at keeping the jersey in place while riding.
There are three rear pockets but, quite unusually, there's no zipped security pocket. But the pockets are deep enough and I never struggled to carry enough snacks for even the longest of rides. They aren't the stretchiest pockets, however.
The Bengal comes in at £130, which, while very much at the upper end of jersey prices, is still less expensive than some of its high-end competitors.
The Maap Evade Pro Jersey has an even heftier £165 RRP, though it's presently less than half that. Steve liked it a lot for its fit, comfort and looks though wasn't such a big fan of the (full retail) price.
I've thoroughly enjoyed wearing the Eco Sleek Bengal Jersey from Santini – for its comfortable material, excellent fit and classic looks. I also found the cut to be even better than that of Santini's Redux Jersey, which costs an eye-watering £190. The use of recycled materials and resulting greater sustainability adds to the appeal, and if you are looking for a pro-style high-end jersey with classic looks then this is worth your consideration.
A classy, comfortable jersey made from eco-friendly fabric that looks great and is lovely to wear – and my mum also loves it!
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Eco Sleek Bengal Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
If you wonder how a pro race jersey should fit, look no further. Made with eco-friendly recycled materials, this aero-light jersey is perfect for your racing season.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made with recycled fabrics coming from PET [polyethylene terephthalate] and waste yarns featuring a fresh feel on the skin. This jersey is one of the small steps Santini does every day for a more sustainable future.
Sleek fit with raw cut sleeves, raw cut low profile collar and shaped contrast colour silicon gripper on the cuffs for enhanced aero performance. This is the same jersey that the leaders of le TOUR de FRANCE wear.
IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS
Long covered zipper for great comfort and thermal regulation in the hottest days. Triple rear pocket to take what's essential with you. Elastic with silicone gripper at the waist to keep the jersey always in place while pedaling.
Great pro-style jersey that works perfectly.
The white colourway will not deal well with grease, but the jersey itself is very well made. And darker colours are available if a mostly white top isn't for you.
The jersey has an excellent fit and cut, with effective silicone arm and hem grippers.
I found the sizing good, and that the jersey fitted me better than some Santini bib shorts do.
The cut is good, the material feels nice and the comfort is very good.
While expensive, it's not the dearest cycling jersey we've tested and you can pay much more – but given its excellent quality the price is about par for the course.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I had no issues with washing this jersey, and though the white will not respond well to grease, it has coped well with more general summer grime.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This jersey has worked very well for me. It has decent sized pockets, a great fit and its nice feel left me feeling content every time I wore it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the look and the cut a lot, throw in the benefits of using recycled materials and you have an excellent jersey.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing – well, apart from the jersey's quite salty price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
While expensive, it is cheaper than a number of other high-end jerseys, as well as being much less expensive than some of Santini's other offerings.
Did you enjoy using the product? Absolutely
Would you consider buying the product? Yes... if I had the budget!
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Bengal jersey is a high-end jersey with eco-friendly credentials, comes in a classy colourway and fits very well.
About the tester
I usually ride: Storck Aerfast My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,