For many of us around the globe fall is in full swing, temperatures and weather conditions are rapidly changing, and dressing for rides is getting tricky! Right now I’m very happy to have Dainese’s AWA (All Weather Activity) Zip Jersey 3 and AWA shorts on review; the new Zip Jersey 3 has quickly taken its place as one of my favorite spring/fall riding garments.
After trying some AWA gear last year I was impressed with the versatility of Dainese’s all-weather clothing. I’d say the Zip Jersey 3 is a perfect fit in that lineup, as it remains comfortable through a wide range of temperatures. The AWA Shorts are a streamlined pair that keeps the design basic, but features 4-way stretch fabric to ensure comfort and mobility.
Dainese AWA Zip Jersey 3:
I had my first ride with the AWA Zip Jersey on a damp 50° day back in early April, and the jersey was a perfect piece for that ride. Now that fall has arrived this jersey is back in action, and often the first one picked from my clean laundry pile.
The Zip Jersey’s fit is on the slim side; Dainese’s medium sized pieces (my usual size across most brands) are just big enough in the torso for me, and I only weigh 145lbs. The body is quite long, which I like as it ensures good lower back coverage. Arm length is generous too, so the sleeves will cover right up to your wrists and stay put as you move around on the bike. Thankfully, the arms aren’t so long that they get bunchy under a midlayer or jacket.
The Zip Jersey provides a neck zipper for ventilation, a tall collar with a fabric cover over the zipper, an elastic lower hem that helps keep the jersey from riding up as you pedal, and three back pockets with button closures. Thanks to the jersey’s long fit, the pockets wind up sitting low on your back and remain easy to access.
Material-wise, this jersey is made using different yarns on each side of the fabric. The inside features a very soft hydrophilic surface that wicks away perspiration, and the outer is made from a quick-drying hydrophobic yarn. There are only a few seams on the Zip Jersey, and none where you don’t want them – on your back or shoulders.
Aside from a cut that fits me very well, I was mostly impressed by the large temperature range this jersey remains comfortable in. It retains enough warmth to handle pretty cool rides (especially with a windproof layer on top) yet it breathes and wicks moisture very well, so you won’t sweat yourself to death on those ‘coulda worn a short sleeve’ days.
I don’t usually like tall collars, but the Zip Jersey’s never bothered me at all. On cooler rides when I was fully zipped, I expected the zipper to bounce around on my neck, but it never did. For warmer days, dropping the zipper lets air flow through and keeps this jersey comfortable in all but searing temperatures.
The AWA Zip Jersey 3 is available in Black Iris/Tender Yellow or Ombre Blue in sizes XS-XXL. MSRP is $109.99.
Dainese AWA Shorts:
Dainese’s AWA Shorts are a simple, lightweight trail riding short with a one-button waist closure, a mesh gasket in place of a fly, one zippered pocket on each leg and subtle graphics. The AWA shorts’ main fabric offers a lot of stretch, so Dainese kept their cut simple and avoided adding stretchy panels or gussets. The 4-way stretch Nylon/Spandex blend is also DWR-coated to give it some water resistance.
A 12.5” inseam feels pretty average in terms of leg length, bringing the hems down to the middle of my kneecaps. The AWA’s crotch is cut fairly high, and I was happy to find they didn’t catch on my saddle as much as some other shorts in my closet.
The waistline is slightly raised in the rear on the AWA shorts, and Dainese shapes their leg hems too; the hems are cut a bit higher in the back to keep them out of your knee-pits, and hang lower in the front to prevent unsightly pad gaps.
Last year I received a pair of Dainese’s HG shorts in size medium, and had to cinch the waist straps all the way down to get them tight enough to wear (and they’re still a bit loose). This year when I was offered the AWA short, I got a size small. On my just under 32 inch waist I still had to tighten up the waist adjusters but the smalls did get snug enough. I didn’t get much material bunching at the sides of the waist, even with the Velcro adjusters pulled over halfway in.
The AWA Shorts proved to be a simple but functional garment. Without any fancy panelling, they rode comfortably and provided full mobility. They also have no wear and tear to show after several months of use. While I don’t mind having a few more pockets on my shorts, two is enough to carry small essentials.
The AWA Shorts retail for $109.99. Sizes range from XS-XXL, and color choices are Ombre Blue or Gargoyle/Black Iris/Tender Yellow.