Hammer, breathe, repeat.
At this point, every major manufacturer has an anti-weather race jersey like Louis Garneau's Course Wind Pro LS Jersey for Women; however, few brands make women-specific, race-fit, wind- and water-resistant kit look this good. Aesthetics aside for now, the jersey earns its place as the foul-weather spear tip in any cycling arsenal with a blend of Light Wind Pro and ThermaSoft 180 materials, the combination of which ensures a slim fit that fends off the elements while maintaining a level of breathability that most other jerseys in this category can't match.
The jersey cloaks your body's most vulnerable areas (chest, shoulders, upper back, etc.), in Light Wind Pro, which is a Polartec fleece whose tight weave blocks windchill while its soft, brushed, inner face creates a microclimate of insulated warmth. It's reinforced with a DWR treatment to fend off rain and roadspray.
Those properties are important, but Light Wind Pro's biggest selling point is kind of unintuitive: it's not a laminated membrane. Most other rain/wind race jerseys start with a membrane, but the Course Wind Pro uses the superhero version of fleece. That means it maintains far more breathability than even the most advanced membranes currently available, putting it at an impressive 85% of a non-wind-blocking fleece. This boost in breathability can be the difference between a crippling accumulation of internal, clammy moisture and a dry ride home after a series of winter intervals.
That 15% gap between Light Wind Pro and typical fleece is alleviated by, well, a typical fleece. Supporting panels of LG's ThermaSoft 180 add a dose of breathability to locations that aren't typically compromised by wind and rain while in the saddle—spots like the underarms and side panels. ThermaSoft 180's weave isn't as tight as Light Wind Pro, so it allows more internal moisture to escape and adds accommodating flex to the jersey's fit. It's also finished with a hydrophilic treatment, which further enhances its ability to pull moisture away from your microclimate while its micro-loft inner face traps body heat.
Louis Garneau officially dubs the jersey's cut as a Racer Fit, which dispels any doubts about what this jersey is made for: hard efforts by serious cyclists who are okay with suffering a bit as long they're making sure everyone else is suffering more. Three rear pockets and articulated shoulders ensure you'll have enough fuel and comfort to inflict that late-race pain, and a silicone hem maintains coverage while you maintain a gap in the drops, and reflective details help maintain visibility if the gap you're maintaining is only an imagined training aid to keep you motivated during solo training missions.
- A cycling jersey for racing and training in inclement conditions
- Weather-resistance fabric breathes better than most membranes
- Thermal paneling helps regulate internal moisture and temperature
- Race fit provides a competition-ready silhouette
- Functional elements include reflective details and three pockets
- Incorporates welcome aesthetic flourishes
- Q & A
Good fit, good warmth, versatile
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
I had purchased a jacket version of this in 2016. I use that more as a jersey, as it is nicely form-fitting. With cross season starting, I found I needed more long-sleeved jerseys. I liked the jacket so much, I ordered this.
I wore it first on a cool, windy day (around 46 degrees F) for cyclocross drills. I used a sleeveless base layer underneath (I wore thin fleece gloves for the first half of the session, just to give you an idea of how cool it was). I was cool, but comfortable and eventually built up some sweat, but I never got clammy. It fits well, without a lot of extra slack, and doesn't impede movement.
It laundered well, dried fast, and is ready for my next adventure. It's nice to have several options from which to choose. I recommend this and look forward to wearing it and adding thicker/ long sleeved base layers as the weather changes.