Cyclist magazine reviews INVANI Long-Sleeve Jersey
Invani reversible jersey review | Peter Stuart | 29th April 2020.
Verdict: New British brand Invani wants to turn our impression of cycling kit inside out
Cyclist Rating: 4/5 Price: £85
- Innovative concept
- Nice texture and comfortable fit
- Reversible design offers two colours in one jersey
- Competitively priced
- Limited technical merits
- Colour choices are slightly restrictive
Invani Cycling Clothing wants to tread new ground in the world of cycling, but not with materials that repel water, generate heat or glow in the dark. Invani’s hook is that its garments are two-in-one, as they can be reversed for a new colourway.
Invani has unveiled reversible jerseys, gilets, arm and knee warmers and even baselayers in both a men's and women's collection. Perhaps for obvious reasons, this reversible design does not extend to the bibshorts.
The long-sleeve jersey is what caught our attention most, though, and so we decided to give it a test run.
Invani is rather clear in its vision for the kit - the brand doesn’t see the kit as a mid-ride changeover novelty, or the type of garment you’d wear for multiple days without washing. Rather, for Invani, the primary appeal of the reversibility of the kit is that it offers two different aesthetics for the price of one.
That’s done quite cleverly, with rear pockets on both sides of the jersey and a zip that has a puller on either side to match each colourway. While the remaining technical elements such as the breathable panels at the side and reflective logos are identical in either orientation.
The stitching is also well-conceived so that the seams aren't pronounced on either side, which means the seams sit flush to the skin and don't create irritation.
That aside, the kit offers the usual appeal of technical polyester and elastane material that offers a comfortable feel, alongside some nice features such as raw cut cuffs for a seamless and light transition at the end of the sleeves.
I can’t help agreeing that for this design, though, the key appeal is indeed two nice colourways in one. I find both the burgundy and red are fairly fetching. However, the only other option currently in the long sleeve jersey is a navy blue and black reversible jersey (though other items in Invani's collection offer wider colour options). It would be great to see a few more permutations of colourways and perhaps this will come as the brand expands.
In terms of that reversibility, though, for me I tended to stick to the burgundy colour, rendering the alternative slightly redundant. It was nice to know it was available, and despite not tending to wear the red side, I could imagine flipping the jersey over time for a little variation.
However, there are few penalties to having the reversible option, as the pockets on the jerseys interior present little extra weight or bulk. Instead they tend to sit fairly flush and go unnoticed.
For the summer short sleeve version of the jersey, these internal pockets do perhaps create some added weight and heat, but given the broader breathability of the jersey material I’d be optimistic that perhaps it wouldn’t be too noticeable.
Which brings us to the kit’s wider merits as a jersey.
Simple but non-technical
For some, the reversibility of Invani’s jersey will push its appeal above many other more lauded long-sleeve designs. For me, using one side predominantly, it didn’t have a huge innate advantage over other long sleeve jerseys. It is, however, a fine jersey even when ignoring the reversibility.
The fit is loose but still seems to cling tight enough to offer support and a svelte aerodynamic form. While I was impressed that one fabric could serve as a face fabric and still feel so pleasant against the skin.
It mixes a cool breathability with a nice degree of insulation and warmth. I wore this jersey often through spring, and it was a great solution for those days when the temperature could flux between 15 and 20°C.
I found the pockets to be impressive in stretch terms - often feeling tight to slide items into but able to retain an impressive amount of bulk. In those terms it would serve me well on a long spring sportive.
The jersey isn’t intended as a winter jersey, but I would have liked to see a little more wind or rain protection. It’s almost exactly the same colour as a dhb merino jersey at the same price point that I often wear, and I have to admit to preferring the extra insulation and comfort from the merino material.
Similarly, my first thoughts on seeing Invani’s jersey were that it would serve as a great Castelli Gabba-style windproof jersey-cum-jacket, especially as my Gabba often served on multiple rides between washes as it was usually coupled with a bulky base layer. However in those terms, the jersey is a little lacking.
While there is a water-repellent DWR treatment on the front, arms and back panel, there’s nothing in the way of more permanent PTFE-style technology offering some degree of breathable wind- or water-resistance.
Nevertheless, while falling short of showcasing the most interesting new tech in cycling kit, Invani has made a jersey that performs well in terms of comfort and breathability. The jersey was versatile enough for long hard rides as much as short cafe rolls.
There’s also no denying that if the reversible element hooks you, there are no competitors who offer two jerseys for the price of one quite like this.
Article source: https://www.cyclist.co.uk/news/8108/invani-reversible-jersey-review