Active Gear Review is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Every avid biker has a drawer full of jerseys. Over the years we accumulate quite a pile of them and often times they lack features that make one different from the rest. After I got my hands on the Bontrager RXL Jersey, I realized that I stopped digging through the pile, and immediately went for it on every ride. It is very well designed and hands down the coolest jersey I have ever owned.
Bontrager RXL Jersey Features:
The centerpiece of the Bontrager RXL Jersey is the material. The majority of the jersey is made of Profila Dry fabric and has panels of the Profila Cool mesh. The Dry fabric is thin with a little bit of stretch. The mesh panels are extremely light weight and are strategically placed for optimal temperature management. The combination makes the jersey super breathable and keeps you cool at all times.
The pocket system on the back of the jersey is a standout feature. There are three standard pockets that you can stuff with tons of gu, snacks, maps, or even small water bottle. The right pocket has a zipper pouch for a cell phone and a port for headphone cables to run through. This pocket is sweat proof so your phone doesn’t end up covered in salt at the end of the ride. Sewn into the back of the jersey are two little tabs that can route headphone cables right up to the back of the helmet.
There are strategically placed reflective tabs on the back of the jersey. They are small and located on the sides of the triple pockets.
The cut of the jersey is designed for long rides. The back panel drops lower than the front to ensure you have full back coverage without having any excess in the front. The front of the jersey is equipped with a full zip. It has a small rubberized tab to make it easy to grab with one hand when you are on the move. The sleeves land in the middle of the biceps, right where they should.
The most important thing I have to say about this jersey is that it is ridiculously cool. The liberal use of mesh means that the jersey retains next to no moisture and wicked wonderfully even in blazing heat. The super light mesh also allows a lot of air movement in just the right places. It dries almost instantaneously. Ultimately this means that when it was really hot you don’t need to unzip it. The only downside is that if the temperature dips a little the jersey provides very little warmth on its own.
With the thinness of the jersey and liberal use of mesh I was initially a little worried about long-term durability. I absolutely abused it on bike commutes wearing a backpack for an entire summer and it held up excellently. I suspect if you ever wore it mountain biking or crashed on your road bike it would be instantly shredded, but this is the case with any really light jersey.
For lack of a better word, the shape and fit of the jersey is perfect. The cut is tight and trim with no excess material to flap in the breeze. If you are a little thicker through the mid section prepare for it to be a little tight. In terms of appearance, it is all a matter of preference. If you like a simple understand jersey this is the right one for you. If you want to look like a flashy team rider the design is a little bland. Below you can see the entire RXL kit.
I really like the material used on the bottom of the jersey. It is the same “clean cut” used on the bibs and I think is works wonderfully to keep the jersey where you want it. It is tacky enough to hold things in place without pulling hair.
I was very impressed with the pocket system in the back. The pocket are placed right where they should be for easy access. The sweat proof pocket is genius, and did a great job keeping my phone dry. My only complaint is that it could be a little bigger as my iphone barely fit with a thin case on. The design of the routing tabs for headphone cables is a great idea. Personally, I never used them because it was a pain to pull my phone out when I got off my bike. For people who hammer on their bikes and rarely need to make a call or check a map, you will love the design.
The reflective tabs on the jersey were well placed. They certainly aren’t t enough to make you particularly well lit at night, but you should be riding with a light in any low light conditions anyways!
Overall, I love this jersey for warm weather riding. The combination of high end materials makes it super cool while remaining very durable. The pocket system is the best I have encountered and the fit is just right if you are fairly trim. In my book this combination of features makes the Bontrager RXL jersey worth of its price tag. For more info check out the link: Bontrager RXL jersey and make sure to also see our review of the matching bib shorts.