Long story long, this past winter I needed an updated pair of ankle length knickers and bought La Passione when they had a sale. It was a great deal and I figured I would Zwift more if they didn’t quite fit right for riding IRL. Turns out they were glorious. Stretchy and comfortable, with pro details like a yoga waistband and a thinner bit of material behind the knees and reflective tags around the ankles. When I saw they were releasing a new women’s collection for SS17, I had to have it.
While some may find La Passione’s designs to be simple, I, in fact, find them clean and elegant. They stand out to me, without shouting. I was drawn to this unique color (army green) because I have never seen it on a women’s jersey before. It’s a neutral color, in theory, so it compliments blue and black bibs and pops with coral, blue, pink, etc. The Hexagonal Jersey is a new version of their famed checked print and the widely spaced design makes it feel simplistic and light.
The materials of the jersey are all poly-elastane (lycra) and have a shiny look to it. There is an SPF50 sun protection built into the fabric, which I did notice while baking under the sun climbing 20 miles. The cut is very tight-fitting. It’s a pro-cut so hugging your shape is the objective. Size up if you want more comfort. And may I add here that I am pleased to see an XL size has been added. For reference, I have a chest size of about 36C and I am wearing a Medium.
The material of the jersey is also quite thin (think: summer) so zipping up and down requires a red light or stop sign. It’s incredibly smooth and soft on the skin, and apart from the arm bands, I didn’t feel the jersey or feel restricted in any way. In fact, it’s so thin it’s a bit shapeless and I mean that it clung to my shape in odd places and offered no structure when stuffing pockets or zippering up or down. It’s perhaps acceptable if you wear a size XS and don’t carry anything in your rear pockets whilst riding, which is not me.
The side panels are a micro mesh, letting air flow do its job in summer heat, but also giving a peek at everything you’re wearing underneath. The side mesh is not as stretchy as the front and back panels, but this is merely an observation as it didn’t affect my comfort.
The sleeve cuff and the hem of the jersey are tight and I felt it from the moment I put it on to the moment I took it off. The sleeve cuff is a single band of silicone grip; so grippy that it took some effort to place them just right on the arm. They won’t ever move unless you ask them but they don’t glide over the arm easily. The squeeze they gave my arm was just enough that I didn’t feel comfortable on any of my rides. In every photo we took I noticed that the sleeve rolled up. In fact, they almost never stayed flat on my arm. Any movement would roll the edges and after awhile I gave up trying to fix them.
The rear of the jersey features three ample-sized pockets but no zippered pocket. Again, the shapeless material offers no structure to the pockets so stuffing them unevenly tugged and pulled the front of the jersey in an unflattering way. Trying to pull anything out of the pocket dragged the whole jersey with your hand and that was frustrating while riding. Sometimes you just want to grab your phone or a gel and don’t want to stop the bike altogether.
The jersey is a great price, and perhaps a surprisingly lower price point that the style demands. But considering the drawbacks of this jersey, I think it is priced correctly. You can always get a great sale after season end, too. The look of a La Passione jersey is recognizable, yet classic beyond one season. And this color is still rad to me, despite some adjustments I wish they would make to the next collection of women’s jerseys.