The Domestique Critique: Primal – Rain-Boa, Emery Rambler Jerseys

Primal Wear is really moving up in the design department, with bold colors and performance-driven materials. Available in a wide range of sizes, Primal offers a comfortable fit at a great price for the recreational cyclist.

Primal’s focus is on inclusivity – women of all shapes and sizes, with all types of cycling skill levels, and all ideas of fun on two wheels. Their wide range of apparel draws loyalty from a wide customer base across the globe. They design with shape in mind as equally as performance and comfort. The result is a durable, yet stylish product you’ll love riding in.

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Photo: Michael Yates Photography

I’ll start with the boldest jersey of the two – the Rain-Boa. It pops out on the computer screen as much as in the bunch. It’s a fun jersey with a lot of wild style. While it is a lighter weight jersey, it still feels durable and of good construction. It’s a double-knit fabric that provides coverage while drawing moisture away from skin. Even on the hottest rides the fabric never felt wet, so it was quick drying, too,  in my experience.

The Rain-Boa is a relaxed fit jersey and I may have taken that too literally and ordered a size too big. I am wearing a Medium and could have fit a Small, maybe even an XS. Remember that when choosing your size. There are no uncomfortable hem lines or arm bands so this jersey is very comfortable for all shapes. It stayed in place on my hips without grips, and the arms are a raglan sleeve (almost a cap sleeve length) so they are also not restrictive on the body.

There are three ample-sized pockets in back with a bonus zippered pocket featuring a reflective strip. Great added details, Primal! The collar was soft against my skin and even without a zipper cover I didn’t have any issues.

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Photo: Michael Yates Photography

The Emery Rambler jersey shares a similar construction to the Rain-Boa but a newer fabric for Primal. It looks like a heathered, faded t-shirt at first glance, but that is the feature of the AirMelange fabric. It is a melange polyblend knit with the added bonus of a micromesh backing to wick away sweat and keep you riding comfortably for hours. Melange fabrics are spun from melange yarn that is not bleached of its original fabric colors. It makes the Emery Rambler a very unique jersey that is both functional and comfortable.

Again I ordered too big with a Medium but I could only go one size smaller. The jersey is more of a sport fit than relaxed so it’s closer to the body but without needing to rely on irritating grips around the arms or hem.

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Photo: Michael Yates Photography

This jersey also features three ample-sized pockets for all my stuff, including items picked up along a fun ride to a winery. The photo above is a close up of the fourth zippered compartment for keys or ID, with a reflective strip that is noticeable in daylight and nighttime riding.


Primal offers a sizeable range of styles and colors for anyone looking for functional kit at an affordable price. I found their jerseys here to suit my needs for a morning on the bike. Just remember to study your sizing carefully to choose the perfect fit.


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