howies Slipstream Short Sleeve Jersey

by Henry Peacock

Price £49.00
Size Small
Colour Black
A good performance product that does the jobs you ask of it, a good starting point for one of my favourite clothing brands.

So we'll get this out now, i've loved howies clothing and ideology (not the North Korean kind) from the start which for me is probably about 11 years ago. I still own some of their iconic t-shirts from that time.

Performance Fit

So what are they all about? howies was created to provide clothing for men and women who are active. This means your clothes can take a battering and live for another day, they are made of more substantial materials than you're used to, they're stitched and shaped to last. They are also big on having a very low impact in production of the clothes, they are based in Cardigan Bay, Wales and all the cotton used is organic, howies call it common sense and i'd have to agree with that. They have mottos such as 'life is complicate, sport is simple' something which is reflected in their products. They also have a great range of merino products, I think merino has some great properties and that more cycling based clothing producers should use it more.

This is howies' first foray into the road cycling market, I had a small feeling they would do something especially since they sponsored a team at the Revolution Track Racing last year, former World Champion Mark Cavendish rode on the team too, a great way to associate the brand with a big star but they didn't actually produce any clothes for 'roadies'. The slipstream jersey we have here looks and feels the part.

Rear Pockets Are Spacious

The first thing you'll notice is the thickness of the jersey, for a short sleeved item it's got some weight to it. The material clings much more than I thought it would and it's much tighter fitting than I expected, they describe it as 'race cut'. It is created seamless so there's no longitudinal seams to snag or rub on your body, also because of this there aren't any odd sized panels that don't quite fit the contours of your body. This is a small jersey and i'd take a medium in their normal casual t-shirts. I prefer performance wear to be tighter as I don't want flapping fabric, it also keeps the rear pockets from sagging too greatly.

The material is not natural like I thought it would be and is constructed with 96% polyamide and 4% elastane. The jersey is plain and inoffensive to look at, something that actually may turn away some buyers, I hope over time they can add some colour variety into the range.

To ride in it's very comfortable, the sleeves are a little on the short side, another 20mm would be great. The fabric is good and wicks well, it does retain a bit of a smell after usage, more so as the material is thicker it retains more of the sweat you produce. I really think a merino version would be great, or at least a merino/synthetic mixture (if possible) it would look right at home alongside the rest of their range. The pockets have great storage capacity and don't sag noticeably. The neck zipper needs some work, it's difficult to grab and modulate the zipping process so ends up being a two handed affair, the toggle is too small, the rear pocket zipper is easier to use and grab at. Furthermore a half zip is annoying, it should be a full zip. There's some reflective material stitched onto the rear middle pocket zipper and onto the arm seams, which is needed on an all black jersey. There's also a long sleeved version and some shorts available in the Slipstream range.

rear howies
Rear Detailing

So overall, is it howies jumping onto the road cycling bandwagon or are they committed to produce performance clothing slightly at odds with a vision of the company I previously had? There's a huge range of competition at the price point of £50 and with a very limited line up to tempt people into the range it may be a hard sell for some. For me it isn't too hard, I like the company and think they know how to make clothing that lasts, I think it's a good first effort and hope they produce more, varied clothing but don't lose direction with what they want to achieve with it.

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