Bontrager Evoke Thermal Jersey - Review

Nov 17, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
Bontrager Evoke Thermal Jersey

Fall is an odd time of year—too cold to run your typical summer gear, but still not quite frigid enough to don the actual polar-adventure gear. Bontrager’s Evoke Thermal long sleeve jersey is designed for that grumpy middle ground. Bontrager constructs the Evoke from Profila thermal—a mid-weight material that’s designed to trap your body heat yet provide a degree of breathability. Waterproof? Nope. Windproof? Not especially. Again, the Evoke is more of a fall jersey than a full-blown winter garment.

Bontrager offers the Evoke Thermal in a wide range of sizes (from extra small to extra-extra large). The jersey is available in both blue and black and sells for $99.99 USD. trekbikes.com

Bontrager Evoke Thermal Jersey
Airflow and storage. The Evoke is equipped with an 11.5-inch front zipper (an asset on long climbs) as well as a Napoleon-style, chest pocket that's the right size for energy bars and the like.
Bontrager Evoke Thermal Jersey
The Evoke's "semi fitted" cut works well--neither tent like nor sausage-casing tight. The only odd bit is this baggy section around the wrist. Strange.

On Trail

The Evoke is warm enough to wear by its lonesome, at least on days that range from the mid 40s to the low 60s (about 7 to 15.5 °C). In fact, I was more than a little grateful for the generous zipper when it came to climbs. Bontrager's Profila fabric truly does trap body heat well--you'll need to add a little airflow to the equation. When the windchill picked up, however, it became immediately clear that I needed to add a base layer to the ensemble. Likewise, the garment isn't waterproof, so if it looks like rain, you'll need to pair this with a legit rain jacket.

I found Bontrager's semi-fitted cut to strike a good balance--neither too tight nor too loose. It's clear that it's a high-performance garment, but you also don't look like a member of the speed-skating Olympic team. Always a plus. The only odd bit about the fit is the overly-loose sleeves, just above the wrist. Not sure what Bontrager was aiming for here, but it felt a bit strange.

The Evoke does feature a mild (3.75-inch/9-centimeter) drop tail--it's not so long that it's dragging off your butt, but it is long enough to prevent wheel spray from painting your backside. There's also a Napoleon-style, chest pocket that's just the right size for squirreling away energy bars or carrying your cell phone. Finally, Bontrager outfitted the jersey with a sunglass wipe on the inside of the hem--another nice feature given that this is the time of the year when your glasses have a way of fogging up and becoming useless, just as you finish the climb and are ready to tackle the descent.

What could stand to be improved? The zipper on our test jersey proved a bit stubborn. Single-handed, on-the-fly adjustments were a challenge. I also would love to see a rear pocket added to the mix. The front pocket works well for lightweight goods, but if you wanted to stuff something more substantial in there, it's a bit distracting having your multi-tool banging around against your chest. It'd be great to see the addition of at least one generous rear pocket.


Bontrager Evoke Thermal Jersey


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Evoke Thermal is a solid choice for those brisk, fall days when you realize your summer gear just isn't going to cut it anymore this season. If, however, you are looking for a wind and waterproof top, you'll want something more substantial than what's on offer here. - Vernon Felton





35 Comments

  • + 19
 You'd understand the weird loose wrists if you also wore Bontrager's seasonally matching glove, the Velocis Windshell. Strangely tall thick wrists on that one.

Anyway, great mid-weight jersey. When it's like 50 degrees out, this thing is awesome to ride in by itself (pants optional)
  • + 4
 I would like to know what is the rated operational temperature range. Because using words like Thermal and stating it more like a "fall jersey" does me no good.
  • + 7
 I assumed it was for watches/wrist GPS units etc. Good for that and the gloves I guess. My long sleeve riding tops all snag my watch so I'd probably appreciate this.
  • + 4
 Classic Winnie the Pooh style
  • + 5
 You ride necked but for a jersey?
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles: I would say I'm comfy in it for hard rides around 40 degrees, below that you'll want a jacket, all the way up to around mid 50s if you're not working too hard. Above 55 I just go for a normal short sleeve jersey, and if you're on a hard or fast ride around 50 I find I still open up the zip for ventilation.
  • + 11
 Roughly twice the price of a good technical midweight zip neck long sleeve shirt you'd buy at, say, REI, and all that gets you is a chest pocket and a slight drop hem. Seems a bit underwhelming...
  • + 4
 Body hair. It's free and has serious hem drop.
  • + 2
 Agreed, I have a couple of Nike Dri-Fit tops from their running range that are half the price of this. They even have the drop hem and are perfectly suited to the conditions the Bontrager Evoke is designed for.
  • + 1
 @p3dals: wow. first time I've ever heard Nike was half price of anything. No flipping way a t-shirt should be over $100 CAD
  • + 10
 A thermal for 7-15 degrees c? That's a summers day in my neck of the woods.
  • + 3
 Aka T-Shirt weather
  • + 10
 Real question, do the dirt stains not come out?
  • + 10
 They ate 5 pounds of BBQ and went mudding before posting the review
  • + 0
 I auctually thought it was cool but I didn't notice until now that it didn't go to the shoulders. Needs more mud and it will be fine.
  • + 8
 Looks great but does it come in men's?
  • + 3
 So how does tbis compare to the champion offering at target @$25? Very similar
  • + 3
 Not windproof for that price? GTFO. Nothing worse than downhilling sweaty in cold without windproof layer...
  • + 4
 A rab vapourise is twice the top this is for about the same price.
  • + 1
 I love Rab's gear. Been using it while climbing for ages, and find that the wind/softshell translates well onto the bike.
  • + 3
 Is this the product of the year nomination page? I'm lost... Smile
  • + 2
 Fall? That's what plaid flannel is for.
  • + 2
 15.5 degrees!? You mean Uk summer!!?
  • + 1
 YOU'RE WRONG VERNON! YOU ARE JUST OLD!
  • + 1
 I would rather something water proof personally.l
  • + 1
 When was the last time that you carried anything in a chest pocket?
  • + 4
 Well if you only wear this on a ride its a great pocket for a snack or maybe a doobie.
  • + 0
 Today.
  • + 1
 I just found left over candy from the Christmas parade and a coupon for a free Bo-Berry biscuit in the chest pocket of my Marmot jacket today. WIN!!! But I agree that a chest pocket is the last place I stick anything.
  • + 1
 VOORMI
  • + 0
 Sorry, but it looks fugly to me.
  • - 3
 Your wrong! And your old Vernon!
  • + 8
 "You're".
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