British brand Polaris's range may not be that extensive, but the items themselves are well thought out and look the part, particularly considering the accessible pricing – and the Polaris Vela Race jersey is no exception.
It seems likely this in part down to the brand having a female product designer who has striven to ensure its products fit well and look good.
The Vela Race jersey uses a selection of different fabrics in a panelled construction that gives a combination of great fit and performance. The main body of the jersey is constructed from a quality Lycra that sits close to the body and holds its shape without bagging or pulling. At the sides and underarms, mesh fabric allows for increased breathability and wicking, which helps regulate temperature in warm weather.
Size-wise, the Polaris range adheres to UK high street dress sizing. We tested the UK 12 (US 8), which we felt came up true to size. The length was excellent, coming comfortably to hip-height on our 5ft 8in product tester. That said, if you are particular curvy in the chest department or would like a looser fit, you may want to go up a size. The jersey is available in sizes 8 to 16, and as the name suggests is designed to sit close to the skin in a more aerodynamic race fit
The raglan cut to the sleeves is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, and the lack of seam on the shoulder top is good if you wear rucksacks as there is less chafing under the shoulder straps.
Full length zips are particularly handy for transitional seasons, allowing easy temperature regulation when wearing base layers. The zip on the Vela Race jersey is a quality YKK item, which locks in place allowing the jersey to be worn partly unzipped if so desired without opening further.
The three main pockets have plenty of capacity to take the essentials easily, fitting a tube, gels and small pump with no problem. There's also a smaller zip pocket that's ideal for change or keys. The fit of the jersey means that there is minimal movement of the jersey when riding, even when the pockets are fully laden.
Overall, it's hard to find fault with the Polaris Vela Race jersey. At £49.99, this is very well priced with the fit and performance of more expensive options.