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Pactimo Summit Speed RFLX short sleeve jersey – review

Despite being infused with a good deal of Italian flair, Pactimo are actually based in Colorado and have been making bike kit since 2003. They have a strong line in custom made kit for clubs and teams, and that's likely where you'll have seen them before. They’re also sure enough of their quality to slap price tags on their clothing that sets them right against some of the biggest brands on the market.

Constructed mainly from Italian Supereggero fabric, Pactimo claim that this Summit Speed RFLX jersey weighs in at just 91g, if you’re weight weenie enough to worry about where your clothing tips the scales. That fabric is combined with zero-weight mesh and ‘carbon-woven Transfer-C’ material to form the basis of the jersey.

Superleggero a 100 per cent polyester fabric made by the Italian manufacturer Borghini. Pactimo say that it’s especially good in cycling jerseys because of its stretch and wicking properties, meaning you can not only get a good fit, but have high hopes of staying dry, too (within reason, of course). Transfer-C on the other hand, has been chosen because it’s odour reducing, and Pactimo say that it’s heat reducing as well.

In fit terms, the jersey scores very well indeed. It’s certainly a race cut but is stretchy enough that you can achieve a nice close, comfortable fit without it feeling restrictive or, conversely, verging on baggy. Sleeves are Euro-cut (read: a little longer) which basically comes down to personal preference, but I definitely prefer longer sleeves to something that’s borderline too short.

The fabric is very comfortable against the skin, too, an attribute not to be forgotten when you’re potentially going to be wearing it for hours at a time. The super lightweight mesh sections are noticeable under the arms, and the material’s so thin it’s almost see-through. Similarly, a large part of the back of the jersey is made from a layer of similar material, and it makes the jersey very effective when it comes to wicking sweat, as well as being highly breathable. There’s also another thin layer of this material on the rear under the pockets but above the gripper, another feature that helps with air movement inside the jersey.

In terms of the pockets themselves, they’re made out of a slightly stronger material that doesn’t have anywhere near the stretch that the rest of the jersey does. That’s a good thing because it means anything in them is held securely and the cut of the jersey combined with the elasticated openings at the top mean that there’s no danger of anything falling out. There’s also one ‘hidden’ pocket on the inside of the jersey which is a great way to carry any cash or anything you won’t need readily as obviously it’s pretty hard to get anything out on the go.

As for the RFLX in the title, that refers to the fabric used on the sleeve and hem grippers. Basically, it’s a super reflective fabric that glows when hit by direct, intense light from a car’s headlights or similar. It’s a very smart little touch that adds an element of visibility to an otherwise almost completely black jersey. And the RFLX material looks completely normal under sunlight, so Pactimo haven’t had to change the styling of the jersey just to accommodate it.

All this combines to make Pactimo’s Summit Speed RFLX jersey very comfortable indeed. Having used it in both very warm conditions and a lot of riding in classic British ‘so-so’ weather, it can definitely do a job in both. Riding in the south of France, I was a little worried that the combination of 25 degree weather, a clear sky and the black jersey would be a one way ticket to overheating, but even on an exposed seven kilometre climb I was comfortable and as cool as could be expected under the circumstances. Paired with a suitable base layer the jersey certainly plays its part to keep you dry. The wicking properties are excellent, and this is another part of the reason that the Summit Speed jersey is a genuine option for hot days.

Elsewhere, the grippers on the arms and hem are superb. On the sleeve they’re wide and sure, and stayed in place no matter what. On the hem, the front section of the jersey uses traditional silicone bands, which transitions into a similar wide, silicone-impregnated gripper at the back. It grips very well and, as mentioned above, means that you have the benefit of the RFLX material on the rear as well as the sleeves.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of competition between the £70-£100 price point when it comes to jerseys. Most of the big brands have at least one that comes in somewhere in this price point so it can be difficult to get a look in if you’re not a household name. Having said that, Pactimo’s Summit Speed jersey deserves consideration alongside almost anything else you’ll find. Not only have they managed to nail the most important elements like fit, comfort and wicking, but they’ve added in a few quality extras too such as the RFLX material in the grippers. This is a thoroughly top line piece of kit.

Pros

– Excellent construction and fit
– Suitable for a range of conditions
– Grippers are superb and RFLX material is a touch of quality

Cons

– Not a lot, in all honesty

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