Prendas Grand Tour Celebration jersey, bib shorts and cap – review
Stylish, Grand Tour-inspired clothing made by Santini
Prendas teamed up with Santini’s head designer, Fergus Niland, to produce this Grand Tour Celebration collection, which includes a long sleeve jersey, short sleeve jersey, bib shorts, cap and socks. The kit plays homage to the Grand Tours that dominate the racing season with pink (Giro d’Italia), yellow (Tour de France) and red (Vuelta a Espana) detailing, most obvious on the jerseys but also incorporated into the cap and socks.
We’ve put some miles into four items from the collection: the long sleeve jersey, short sleeve jersey, bib shorts and the cap. Given the change in season, we’ll focus on the thermal long sleeve jersey, before turning our attention to the rest of the kit.
The long sleeve jersey is made from a thermo-fleece fabric claimed to be highly breathable. It’s aimed at the spring and autumn seasons, and while it’s it’s not windproof, it is warm and easily can be matched with a gilet to stretch out its seasonal capabilities.
The fleece-backed fabric is really comfy next to the skin and the overall cut is a more relaxed fit, rather than being racy, but it’s certainly not casual. If you have Santini kit already, it should run true to size. I particularly liked the fit of the neck, which is high enough to feel cosy without being restrictive, while the cuffs extend slightly to minimise any wrist exposure. It also reduces the chance of a draft sneaking up the arms.
The bold graphic pattern hints at the Grand Tours, with the colours for the leaders’ jerseys accompanied by the Italian word for each sitting on the relevant block in a slight tinted colour. There’s also a dot repeat pattern on the neck and the back pockets. Although quite striking and bold, the design isn’t garish or over bearing – but it’s almost a shame the back is plain navy blue as the additional colour on the back would add some extra visibility.
There are four pockets – one zipped – on the back and some reflective piping along the top of the pockets, which is a useful touch. The pockets are of a good size and hold everything I needed well – the usual assortment of pump, tubes, tools and food. The zipped pocket is good for money and keys. The jersey also has a silicone-style gripper to keep it in place and minimise movement, and this worked effectively while out riding. The main zipper at the front is partially hidden, meaning the graphic is almost uninterrupted. It has a small tab at the top to prevent chin rub or catching your beard.
In use, the fabric breathes well under effort, working best on calmer days as a result of the lack of windproofing. A properly cold wind will work its way through the fabric easily enough – the downside of the breathability – but overall the jersey is warm and snug, and with the addition of a windproof gilet, it becomes really warm for colder, dry days. That’s the benefit of a piece like this – because the jersey itself isn’t windproof, the breathability is superb, so you’re less likely to catch a sweat-induced chill, but there is still the option of layering up.
On that note, the jersey won’t offer much protection against rain or road spray, so if the weather forecast is for prolonged rain, it’s time to look for something more appropriate or to take a jacket. Since it’s aimed at spring and autumn, a bit of drizzle won’t faze the jersey, and the warmth is still there, but after longer exposure, water will work through.
The jersey has a very reassuring feel to its construction, with little in the way of frills and an air of purposeful function to it. It fits well, has some obvious real world design to it – the pocket sizes and sleeve cuffs for example. It works exactly as intended – great for autumn and spring, while being versatile enough for colder weather – and the £75.00 price tag is really competitive. While the actual design may not be to everyone’s tastes, it’s stylish enough to be worn with pride.
The short sleeve jersey has the same graphic design but is made from a light, summer-weight fabric. It seems a little traditional in construction, with regular rolled fabric on the sleeves, rather than the trend for a single band of elastic fabric which sits flush against the skin, but it still fits well and has an air of sturdiness to the construction. I caught a day of warm weather earlier in the autumn and the fabric performed well, plus it’s lightweight enough to wear as an additional layer under the long sleeve jersey.
The bib shorts are part of the set but are mainly navy blue, with the three colours of the Grand Tours on the shoulders of the bib straps, and incorporated into the three Prendas logos on one of the leg grippers. The shorts feature the Santini NAT TwistGel chamois, which I liked from the outset. That, combined with an anatomical cut and non-slip silicone grippers, means the shorts are comfortable when riding.
Given the premium quality, the shorts are also competitively priced (£95). The fabric is definitely more of a summer weight, and that’s further reinforced by the UPF 50+ rating, but combined with knee warmers they’ve worked well through autumn. The navy blue fabric also a high opacity (it’s not see through) and has proved resistant to going out of shape, piling or abrasion.
The last item we’re featuring here is the cap – it’s bold and striking, with pink, yellow and red dots throughout, and blocks of colour running up the middle. I found it slightly large for my head (I wear a medium helmet), but I have cropped hair and other riders I know found the fit to be generally ok. It’s a polyester and cotton blend with anti-bacterial tape to absorb sweat. The peak sits happily up or down, depending on your preference – down for the subtle Prendas logo or tipped up for the dot pattern. If you want to get the full matched look offered by the Grand Tour collection then this, combined with the socks, finishes it off – otherwise it’s a bold cap to wear with other kit.
All in all, this collection from Prendas delivers a Grand Tour-inspired look which is iconic and well executed – it’s got its own style without looking too fussy or over-branded. You can choose how involved you get, whether it’s the full matchy-matchy look or just the odd bit of kit. The long sleeve jersey is the pick of the bunch – a gilet or windproof jacket extends its use well into winter – and the other items work well in summer or late spring/early autumn. To finish things off, the pricing is sensible, too.
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