DAKINE Range Short Sleeve Jersey Review
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I’ve been familiar with DAKINE’s products for many years, and have long had the impression that they were primarily focused on the downhill/freeride mountain bike market. While much of their clothing line is still focused in this category, several years ago they began offering a variety of all-mountain, trail, and cross country gear to round out their line. The Range Short Sleeve Jersey falls solidly between a more “freeride” cut and a classic “cross country” jersey—perfect for the everyday rider who’s not looking for something über racy or mega-steezy. I had the good fortune of testing one for several rides in Colorado’s Front Range and a few days in Moab, Utah.
While plenty soft and comfortable, the fabric of the DAKINE Range Jersey is extremely thin. This was great for riding under the hot Moab sun, but may not be as good for long-term durability. I’ve laundered the jersey a couple of times now and had no crashes in it, and so far it’s holding up with no visible wear. As for cooling yourself and wicking sweat, this jersey performs more than adequately even on all-day epic rides in Moab. The fit is what I would call “slender but roomy”—not tight and not overly baggy. The size large fit my 6’2” frame well, and should get even better as I shed some winter weight. As is pretty standard in bike jerseys these days, there is an extended back hem to account for riding position. The sleeves are just the right length, and the raglan cut assured mobility. Finally, there are perforated mesh panels under the arms and down the side, which were hardly noticeable in my initial inspection since the rest of the material is so thin.
The Range jersey has three back pockets with a rib of elastic across the top of each to keep your stuff in place. When I first tried the jersey on with my hydration pack, I could feel the elastic rub slightly against my back under the weight of the pack. Once on the bike and pedaling, I hardly noticed it. I rarely use back pockets on my mountain bike jerseys, but they’d be nice to have if you need to stow something quickly and your shorts don’t have thigh pockets to accommodate the need.
Reflective logos along the bottom of the back panel appear to be flat black in the daytime, and are very understated. So understated I didn’t even notice them until I read the features list on the DAKINE website. They are quite reflective when light is shined directly on them, making it a pretty cool feature especially if you ride at night. Not listed as a feature on the DAKINE website is a microfiber goggle/sunglass wipe sewn on the inside of the hem, a really nice addition for when your specs get a bunch of sweat dripping on them. Bonus!
The only feature I found to come up short on the Range jersey is the zipper garage—it’s a great idea and when the zipper is fully zipped up it definitely keeps the metal from rubbing against your neck. However the design of the garage, or the size of the fabric piece, makes it difficult to zip and unzip the zipper easily. In fact, it makes it downright difficult, and always required me to use two hands to get the zipper fully zipped up. Using a zippered front as a “thermostat” to control airflow to your person is pretty essential, and it just wasn’t that easy with the Range jersey.
Overall, I like this jersey. It has a comfortable fit, wicking fabric, decent additional features, and interesting colorways. Riders who are looking for a lightweight summertime jersey will find it more than suits the bill. The DAKINE Range Short Sleeve Jersey comes in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large and is listed as having an “all-mountain/trail” fit. It’s available in Black, Palapa (tested), and White (with green/black trim).