Troy Lee Designs Spring Kit Review


Words by Robert Johnston
Photos by Finlay Anderson

Troy Lee Designs is a brand that should need absolutely no introduction, with their stylish helmets and riding kits gracing countless podiums and regularly standing out from the crowd on the trails. Their riding apparel range continues to grow with options to cater for just about every riding condition. They sent us a good haul of their Spring kit to put to the test, and we came away mostly impressed.


The Troy Lee Designs Swelter gloves are designed to offer warmth for riding in cooler weather, without reducing the ability to control the bike. There’s a 3-layer softshell fabric on the back of the hands to keep the heat in; long compression molded cuff to insulate up the wrist with a Velcro closure to dial in the fit; and a dual-layer perforated palm. The knuckles and fingers feature TPR bumpers to offer some slight protection; and there is silicone print to add grip on the levers. The thumb and index finger are given conductive threads to allow for the use of a mobile phone or touch screen watch; and there’s a patch on the thumb designed to be used as a glasses or snot wipe. The TLD Swelter gloves are available in a choice of black or charcoal colors in sizes S-XXL, with a retail price of $49.95/£45.


I struggled with the Swelter gloves. The fit was great and true to size, and they felt good on the hand with just a slight amount of increased bulk to let you know they’re designed to keep you warm, but without restricting the hand enough to limit control on the bar. The long cuffs do a good job at preventing any gap from forming between a long jersey or jacket sleeve and your hands, and the Velcro is effective at dialing in the fit.

I persevered and wore the Swelter gloves a lot over the winter and coming into spring in the Tweed Valley, Scotland, but no matter what conditions I wore them in, I was never met with a pair of hands that were comfortable for the duration of the ride. In the coldest weather conditions we experienced, down at -6C / 20F and up to just above freezing point, the Swelters would begin the ride with insufficient insulation to keep my hands warm and I’d lose feeling in my digits quite quickly. Once my hands warmed, during strenuous exercise, there would be a short comfortable period, however this would be followed by the soft liner being slightly too claustrophobic and my hands sweating, then the temperature rapidly dropping again once there was a little moisture involved and a little cold air flowing in on the descent. In warmer temperatures, around 2-7C/35-45F I would be fairly comfortable until I started pushing hard, then they would live up to their Swelter name and my hands would feel like they’re on fire inside, with too little breathability to vent any built-up sweat.

Perhaps my hands are different to normal – they definitely run a little hot – but I found there was both too much and too little breathability in the Swelter gloves to keep me comfortable on the trails across the full spectrum of winter to spring UK conditions. If you’re less prone to sweating and are looking for a cold (but not ultra-cold) conditions glove, they’re a solid offering and are clearly built to last.

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Long Sleeve Jersey


The Troy Lee Designs Skyline Chill LS is a long sleeve riding jersey targeted to offer comfortable performance for the colder days on the trails. The same relaxed fit that features on the standard Skyline Jersey is used, but the material is boosted by 70gsm to a 240gsm fabric to add extra insulation to seal the heat in. The Skyline Chill LS jersey is Bluesign certified, nodding to its environmentally friendly credentials.  The inside of the jersey is given a soft brushed finish with some extra insulation properties, and there’s an eyewear wipe hidden inside to keep your optics clear. The TLD Skyline Chill LS jersey is offered in a choice of six colors in sizes S-XXL, with a $89.99 / £85 retail price.


I’ve been quite a fan of this Troy Lee Designs jersey over the winter and coming into the spring, both as a layer for the coldest days, and more recently as a standalone jersey for the slightly less arctic days. The material feels great against the skin, and the cut is nicely relaxed without being overly baggy and feeling too heavy. I love the look of both of the designs I was sent to test, and the quality of the garments is excellent with solid stitching and a high level of durability in the material that’s prevented them from aging at all over countless wash cycles.

As a standalone jersey it’s been great in the 6-10C (43-50F) range for my slightly hot-running body, above which it does start to become a bit suffocating. When wet through with sweat on harder effort days, it lets enough wind through that it can become a little chilly by the end of the ride, but it’s not overly problematic. Ultimately as a synthetic garment it’s not as effective at keeping temperatures in a comfortable zone as a Merino wool jersey, but it does a good job for a slightly narrower temperature range.

Troy Lee Designs Shuttle Packable Jacket Review


The Troy Lee Designs Shuttle Jacket is designed to be an easily portable packable jacket to keep the wind off and some heat in when riding. The Shuttle Jacket is made from a 165gsm Ripstop material with windproof properties and is given ventilation under the arms and on the back to ensure it’s not overly hot on the climbs. The cut is designed with a drop tail, and otherwise has a relatively slim profile to avoid catching the wind too much on the descents.

The TLD Shuttle jacket packs away into a zippered pocket in the rear of the jacket, letting it do double duty to carry any valuables and be easily transported in a pack. The back is given a reflective detail to aid in visibility when riding on the road to and from the trails. The Shuttle Jacket is offered in a choice of three colors in sizes XS-XXL, with a retail price of $89 / £95.


The color of the Shuttle Jacket I was given to test isn’t to my tastes, so it had its work cut out to convince me to use it regularly. Thankfully, as a packable windbreaker it does a stellar job, so it’s found itself stuffed in the bottom of my hip pack throughout the winter waiting to be deployed when I get a bit of a chill on. The fit is quite slender through the body, meaning you’ll likely struggle to get it over a bunch of layers unless you size up, but it does a great job when you’re not wearing too much and need a quick hit of extra heat. It’s light weight and relatively small size when packed means you can happily leave it in a sensible sized hip pack without removing room for anything else.

In harder efforts the lack of airflow through the front of the body can begin to build some heat, but the select ventilation does a reasonable job at letting it vent. It’ll keep a very light shower of rain off, but certainly isn’t an item to rely on to keep off a proper shower. It’s proved to stand up to the abuse of a winter of being packed away wet and muddy and used in abusive conditions without showing signs of excess wear, so it’s clearly a well put together item and one that’s super useful for changeable conditions.

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Pant


The Skyline Pant is a Troy Lee Designs classic, offering subdued performance for every day trail riding. They’re made from a Bluesign certified fabric with 95% Coolmax Polyester and 5% Lycra to give some stretch, with a breathable 2-way stretch rear panel to let the trousers move with you as you pedal. They fasten with a snap fastener in the front, with Velcro waist adjusters to dial in the fit and some silicone inside the waistband to help them stay put.

There’s a generous sized, mesh lined zip pocket on each leg to stow your valuables and easily fit a large mobile phone. Down on the inside of the driveside calf is a durable panel to fend off abrasion and dirt from the drivetrain, and the back of the knees have laser perforations to increase breathability. The TLD Skyline Trousers are available in a choice of four color in sizes 30” to 38”, with a retail price of $119 / £120.


The Skyline Pant is a really solid year-round riding pant option. The slight stretch of the main fabric combined with extra-flexible rear stretch panel lets them move without restriction, without compromising on strength, breathability and performance when wet. The cut allows my chunky legs and a thin knee pad to fit without too much restriction, striking a nice balance all around that I think will please the majority of riders. The fabric packs some reasonable breathability, and the laser perforations help to keep the knees from getting overly stuffy.

I’m not certain the durable patch on the inside of the calf is necessary, but it goes about its business without any negatives so it’s a nice thought. Otherwise they’ve taken some good abuse without showing any signs of damage, so it would appear they’re in it for the long haul. Overall Troy Lee Designs have done a stellar job with the Skyline Trousers, making them some of my favorites going.

Troy Lee Designs Resist Pant


The Resist Pant was designed by Troy Lee Designs to offer riders in wet weather conditions with the best performing pant they could get. They are made from a Bluesign certified 10k/10k waterproof stretch fabric that’s given a Teflon Eco Elite DWR finish to keep water running off of the fabric. The insides of the Trousers are given fully taped seams, and the two leg pockets, singular rear pocket, two thigh vents and crotch zipper are given waterproof zippers to prevent water from getting in.

The saddle area of the TLD Resist Pant is given a second layer of reinforced fabric to prevent wear from a muddy saddle, and there’s a reinforced reflective panel on the inside of the right calf to prevent damage by the drivetrain. They’re secured by a ratchet closure on the waist to dial in the fit. The Troy Lee Design Resist Pant is offered only in black with reflective graphics, in sizes 30”-40”, with a retail price of $159.99 / £160.


It was a wet and wild winter in Scotland as usual, so for the times when I wasn’t wearing one of the waterproof onesies from their group test, these Troy Lee Designs Resist Trousers were called upon to offer me protection from the elements. Where just about every waterproof riding trouser on the market has a relatively baggy cut, TLD have absolutely nailed the cut of the Resist pant to mimic a standard riding trouser, with the stretch material allowing them to move freely and avoid restriction. It’s impressive. The waterproof zips do a good job at keeping the rain out, too.

The 10k/10k material with DWR coating does a stellar job at keeping light rain and puddle splashes off, but after a long day in the saddle or a particularly heavy downpour they began to let the water through. Breathability isn’t fantastic, but the ability to quickly deploy the thigh vents makes it acceptable for temperatures up to around 13C / 55F, above which they become a little stifling when you’re pushing hard. Below this though, they breathe acceptably well without letting too much air through to create a chill in lower temperatures, and make for a stellar piece of legwear for wet – but not apocalyptic – days.


Troy Lee Designs have been around forever and have remained one of the companies you’ll most likely see out on the trails, and this is for a good reason. Aside from the Swelter gloves, which to me feel like a bit of a “miss”, the performance of all of their other items tested has been stellar, with solid performance, fits and style.



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