What is it
Kitsbow’s cross-country leaning Origin Collection consists of four well-crafted pieces that are equally at home railing on the mountain bike or gravel grinding through rural countryside. The Origin Jersey LS is a four-season long sleeve top that features three rear pockets, abrasion resistant Schoeller panels, and breathable, moisture-wicking Polartec Power Dry fabric. The Origin Jersey SS shares the same fabrics and pocket layout, but in a summertime friendly cut.
The Origin Short is constructed from robust Nylon woven fabric that’s both breathable and durable. Four pockets provide ample storage, and the ladder-locking adjustable waistband helps you dial in fit. Finally, the Origin Base Short is a lightweight cycling undershort made from Polartec Power Stretch fabric with a high-quality Cytec chamois.
- It’s all superbly constructed
- Attractive understated look
- Jerseys have great hand feel
- Schoeller fabric panels on jerseys resist tearing
- Both jerseys have full-length zippers
- Reflective piping enhances safety
- Shorts extremely durable
- Shorts resistant to staining
- Shorts will never snag on saddle
- Vented mesh pockets on shorts
- Easy to grab zipper tabs on shorts
- Breathable waistband on shorts
- Dual button on shorts for max security
- Base short Cytec chamois is top of line
- Undershort effectively wicks moisture
- Undershort has 50 UPF sun protection so it can be worn alone
- Expensive across the board
- Jersey fit is on loose side
- Oversized logos on jersey will be too much for some
- Jerseys have small zipper pulls
- No kneepad compatibility with shorts
- Shorts waist adjustment a tad finicky
- No SWAT pockets on undershorts
Remaining true to the Kitsbow philosophy that, “anything worth doing is worth doing with the best of what’s available,” the Origin Collection is an impressive addition to any cyclist’s wardrobe. Both the long sleeve ($175) and short sleeve ($150) jerseys breath well, effectively wick moisture, and feature strategically-placed Schoeller fabric panels that won’t tear if you snag a trailside branch or take an unscheduled tumble.
The three-pocket design (plus one small zipped stash spot) mesh well with the current trend of ditching the hydration pack, availing lots of storage for food, tools, a spare tube, and whatever else you need for your next adventure. My only real gripe is that the zipper pulls are kind of small and the pockets are a tad on the loose side, which can lead to a little bounce on particularly rough terrain. Both jerseys are available in six sizes and three colors. Fit compared to my normal sizing was a tad on the loose side, so make sure to try before you buy.
While I liked the jerseys, I truly loved the Origin AM shorts ($155). No the tapered cut doesn’t play well with kneepads, so if you’re always “enduro’ing” look elsewhere. But for cross-country rides or even dirt road adventuring on the drop bar gravel bike, these are some of the best shorts I’ve ever worn. The Nylon fabric is incredibly durable, but also has enough stretch to allow for comfortable movement on the bike. All four pockets have easy to grab zipper tabs, are mesh lined for improved cooling, and are placed in such a way as to not interfere with the pedaling motion. The cut itself is tapered, meaning they’re all but impossible to snag on your saddle.
They’ve also resisted staining, something I can’t say for many of the other light colored MTB shorts in my closet. My lone gripe is that I’m not a huge fan of the waist adjust mechanism, which takes a little fiddling to loosen. These shorts are available in one color and six sizes, all with an 11.5-inch inseam. Just make sure to check the sizing chart. While size large MTB shorts are normally a tad loose around my 33-inch waist, this pair of size large shorts were perfectly tailored, if not a little snug.
Finally, the Origin Base Short ($125) completes the collection with its highly comfortable Cytec chamois pad, breathable Polartec Power Stretch fabric, 30% spandex construction for compressive leg muscle support, and UPF 50 sun protection if you want to skip the overshot and run the Lycra look. They’re available in six sizes, and once again I was right on the edge, just squeezing into a medium, which fits 32-33-inch waists.
Bottom line, for riders who put a premium on high functioning cycling apparel, the Kitsbow Origin collection is definitely worth trying on. Yes, it’s expensive. But like so many things in life, you get what you pay for.
Origin Jersey LS Rating: 4 out of 5
Origin Jersey SS Rating: 4 out of 5
Origin AM Short Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Origin Base Short Rating: 4 out of 5
Price: Origin Jersey LS: $175; Origin Jersey SS: $150; Origin AM Short: $155; Origin Base Short: $125
More Info: www.kitsbow.com