Mountain biking in the coldest months isn’t always the most pleasant experience, and having one of the best winter mountain biking jerseys at your disposal makes a big difference when the temperature drops.
Winter mountain biking jerseys designed specifically for winter riding are usually made from heavier-weight materials than summer mountain biking jerseys and can be a real asset when worn on their own on milder days or paired with a baselayer as the mercury properly drops.
We’ve all heard of layering up, but getting it right when mountain biking isn’t always easy – too many layers and you’ll be melting on the climbs, too few and your teeth will be chattering while your riding buddies stand around chewing the fat.
Assuming you’re not dealing with torrential rain, you can even do away with a waterproof mountain bike jacket in many situations when wearing a good winter jersey. This means you won’t be faced with continually adding or removing a layer every 10 minutes during your ride.
Best winter mountain bike jerseys in 2023, as rated by our expert testers
- Altura Esker Trail Long Sleeve Jersey: £50
- Endura Singletrack Fleece jersey: £60
- Fox Defend Thermo Hooded Jersey: £110
- Troy Lee Designs Skyline Chill: £80
- Rapha Trail Windblock: £110/€120/$135/AU$175
- Scott Trail Storm shirt: £83
We will update this guide with international pricing as soon as we have it.
Altura Esker Trail Long Sleeve Jersey
- £50 as tested
- Shrugs off harsh winter weather
- Competitively priced
For a mid-market jersey, the Altura Esker is woven from impressively technical materials and performs accordingly. The Polartec PowerGrid fabric forms a windproof chest panel, while the Esker features a Durable Water Repellent coating for the wet.
The Esker also fits snugly and has a high-quality feel. So much so, it’s best left for the coldest days, otherwise you could overheat when it’s milder.
Endura Singletrack Fleece jersey
- £60 as tested
- Cosy and well-fitting
- Warm and wicks sweat
Unless it’s tipping down or snowing, the Singletrack Fleece – which Endura says is made from 85 per cent recycled materials – should be adequately insulated to wear as a top layer.
Our tester praised the comfort of the jersey’s soft fabric and its breathability when putting in efforts.
Fox Defend Thermo Hooded Jersey
- £110 as tested
- Comfortable and adaptable
- Unusual style
Although Fox says the Defend Thermo Hooded jersey can be worn in spring, autumn and winter, our tester found it warm enough to wear on its own on cold days. The fit is loose enough to accommodate a baselayer beneath and a gilet on top if it’s really chilly.
The Polartec Power Grid material proved windproof as well as breathable when working up a sweat on climbs.
The jersey’s in-built hood and balaclava may not be to everyone’s taste, but they keep your head and face warm. You can lift the hood off your head to wear as a snood.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Chill
- £80 as tested
- Fits superbly
- Perfect for changeable weather
The Troy Lee Designs Skyline Chill is an insulated jersey for riding when a jacket is unwarranted, but a normal top won’t suffice. Its versatility helps compensate for its price.
It would work best over a baselayer on a crisp spring day that warms up later. The Skyline jersey is light and breathable enough that you shouldn’t roast when your heart rate rises in winter.
Rapha Trail Windblock
- £100 as tested
- Premium performance and price to match
- Spot-on sizing
Made from Rapha’s Merino wool blend, the Trail Windblock jersey proved warm on nippy days and shed sweat when the temperature rose. It even repelled light rain.
For its price, it could do with extras, such as a lens wipe and pockets. But the windproof panel on the chest helped this comfortable, lightweight top keep out the cold.
Scott Trail Storm
- £83 as tested
- Highly insulated
- Lacks breathability
The Scott Trail Storm’s thick, comfortable fabric and snug fit make it ideal for wearing over a baselayer in deep winter.
But issues arise when your temperature goes up – despite its mesh panels, the Trail Storm doesn’t breathe effectively. This could see you cooking on tough ascents, which is disappointing for a jersey costing this much.
These jerseys scored lower than four out of five stars, but are still worth considering.
Patagonia Capilene Jersey
- £60 as tested
- Can be worn as a top or baselayer
- Dries and wicks sweat well
The mid-weight Capilene from Patagonia is a comfortable jersey that fits nicely and is eco-friendly. It helps maintain a steady temperature when riding hard. The back pockets, which can’t be closed, have limited use.
Madison Zenith Thermal jersey
- £50 as tested
- Generally warm
- Poor fit
The fleecy, soft fabric of the Madison Zenith Thermal jersey proved pleasant to wear and insulated the body. It’s not hugely breathable, but when sweating, the relaxed fit helped release heat.
This was also the jersey’s downfall. When confronted with a headwind, the loose neck let cold air through to chill the chest. Still, it’s a decent choice for the price.