FUNKIER AIRFLOW GENTS ACTIVE SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY
175g L Blue (as tested) £29.99
Funkier’s Airflow Active Short-Sleeve Jersey is a well-made jersey for summer use alone, under a rain jacket, or under a winter warmer jersey. There’s stiff competition, but it has some neat features that may sway those seeking a jersey for summer and more.
Pros: sensibly priced, good wicking, tactile.
Cons: no secure pocket.
Possessing all the traditional features that have graced cycling jerseys for many a year – three pockets on the back, being the obvious one – the Airflow Jersey incorporates many other features. A full-length zip is welcome, in my opinion (not because I want to expose my navel to public view, but for temperature control); there’s no ’zip garage’ but the collar is comfortable without being ‘grippy’ around the neck. The arms have ‘double-lycra’ grippers. Again, these are comfortably tight, as opposed to circulation threatening. The ‘hem gripper’ is silicone – elastic and strong and just tight enough.
A quick aside on the pockets: many jerseys now include a small zipped pocket – sometimes two. Absence may not be a big problem, but it will be missed by those seeking security for cash, credit card, or key.
None of the above is earth-shattering. However, it makes for a jersey suitable for an “Active” cyclist: indeed, it is part of
Funkier’s Active pattern, with a relaxed fit for the enthusiast rather than the skin-suit of the out and out speedster. In that sense it’s the ideal partner for Funkier’s Gel Cycling Shorts.
The fabric is made for temperature control, with the outer “birds-eye” dimpled material encouraging wicking. The inner is smooth and very tactile.
There are logos, but no reflective features. That is far from an issue for rides on those warm, light summer evenings.
It is also available in yellow and black.
Size and fit 3.5/5
Available in sizes from Small to XXXL, ours was a Large. That is very much my usual, although I was marginal on the sizing chart and could happily have gone for XL. In fact, the Large is a snug fit. That is not a problem, but were I primarily using it for hunkering down on the drops, I might go for a larger size.
Dead easy: 30C machine wash – same as the Gel Shorts – do not iron (as if I would), bleach, soak, or dry clean. Hand washing is a good option, too. Light fabrics like this generally wash well in a sink and rinse easily.
Drying times post wash have ranged form a couple of hours outdoors (after a short spin) to about thirty minutes on the line (after a longer spin and in favourable drying conditions). On the bike, it has dried in thirty minutes after being caught out in a short, sharp shower.
Initial testing took place during a cool and showery May, in England. As such, the Airflow Jersey spent some time under the Funkier DryRide Rain Jacket (a lightweight, showerproof garment that stuffs easily into the back pocket of the Airflow Jersey). It wicked pretty well, with any condensation keeping to the inside of the jacket. When the rain stopped and the sun appeared, the jersey dried in a few minutes. It has taken a little longer when exposed to a sharp rain shower, but given ten to fifteen minutes on the bike things have felt pretty dry.
On a similar note, it seems to me that it would serve as a decent base-layer under a long-sleeved jersey, such as the Light Blue Classic Road Jersey. Handy on a multi-day tour when multi-use garments come in especially handy.
Its natural habitats are warm spring and early autumn days, and summer. I’ve found the fabric particularly comfortable on hot days (by the way, I feel the heat more than the cold due to a quirky personal resting temperature); a slight breeze seems to get to the skin, so even at my sluggish pace, things have felt pleasantly temperate. When the hills, or those sudden urges to bash out 20mph for a while, emerge, wicking of moisture is effective.
Back length is good, so no exposure of kidneys. The grippers keep things in place very well. There’s no sag when loading the pockets – sensibly! The DryRide Jacket, a mini-pump, multi-tool, tyre levers, patches, money, phone, and keys have all stayed in situ over gravel, but I’d generally use a seat pack (say, the Zefal Iron Pack M-DS) to avoid overloading and annoying pocket-sag.
A fogeyish bug-bear of mine is the quality of zips on modern garments. I’m pleased to say, that ours has run smoothly and shows no signs of snagging. You’ll probably not be wearing this garment and gloves at the same time. So, on-bike climate control is fine. Tie a ribbon to the fob, if you want to make things even more convenient.
Arm grippers are tight, but not too tight. Wearing it to Coved jab, the vaccinator commented that it was not tight enough to cause any problem. The collar fits nicely on my 17inch neck, although I’ve rarely zipped right up to the top. When I have, there’s been no chaffing. All round, the stitching is not taped, but the tactile fabric feels soft on the skin.
Funkier make no claim that I am aware of that the fabric offers any special protection form the sun. Frankly, there’s a good deal of debate about the impact of treatments that offer such protection. With our jersey, I have spent all day in the sun and not noticed any ill-effects.
More expensive jerseys, aimed at faster riders, may well offer better wicking (but you need to go quickly to bring that into effect) and some claim better protection form the sun. However, they’ll hit your pocket much harder. Mind you, there may well be a big choice of colours and designs, too.
A well-known sports superstore brand with a similar spec comes in five pounds cheaper, but the Airflow can be found discounted on some on-line stores.
Prenda’s Bordeaux-Paris Jersey is considerably more expensive, offering homage that will attract some.
Ribble’s Nuovo Jersey is also more expensive, but is very competent and well-suited to a temperature climate such as the UK’s.
Funkier’s own Rideline Jersey – an older model, but available at the time of writing – has mesh side panels, a race cut, and offers a UV protection weave, at the same price.
This is a well-specced and nicely priced jersey to get started with, or for the general-purpose rider. You’ll get more refinements by paying more, as well as a wider range of designs. Not a priority? Then take a look at the Airflow Jersey from Funkier. I’ve used jerseys like this one for long tours for years and have not been disappointed.