Sombrio Women's Vista Jersey

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Sombrio Vista Jersey
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Tested: Sombrio Women's Vista Shorts and Jersey

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Brandon Turman

When first introduced to the Sombrio Vista jersey and shorts, I swooned and hoped to have the opportunity to check them out further. I love the colors, and I can’t lie about also loving that they glow in the dark. That is some good ol’ fashion fun! Sombrio didn’t solely focus on just the good looks of this jersey and shorts, though. They also loaded them with technical features meant to keep every ride comfortable. I've been riding in the kit for three months, and it's time to let you know if the looks match up with their performance on trail.

Women's Vista Shorts Highlights

  • Printed glow-in-the-dark "Geo Mountain" graphics
  • Strategically placed laser–cut ventilation
  • Bonded seams
  • Combines ultra durable lightweight and mid-weight stretch

Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Brandon Turman

When first introduced to the Sombrio Vista jersey and shorts, I swooned and hoped to have the opportunity to check them out further. I love the colors, and I can’t lie about also loving that they glow in the dark. That is some good ol’ fashion fun! Sombrio didn’t solely focus on just the good looks of this jersey and shorts, though. They also loaded them with technical features meant to keep every ride comfortable. I've been riding in the kit for three months, and it's time to let you know if the looks match up with their performance on trail.

Women's Vista Shorts Highlights

  • Printed glow-in-the-dark "Geo Mountain" graphics
  • Strategically placed laser–cut ventilation
  • Bonded seams
  • Combines ultra durable lightweight and mid-weight stretch fabrics
  • DWR finish
  • Seamless crotch panel
  • Front zippered pockets and lumbar zippered stow pocket
  • Laser cut ventilation in lumbar and thighs
  • 13.5-inch inseam
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Standard fit
  • Colors: Dark Stone/Lime Mojito, Black
  • MSRP: $135 US

Women's Vista Jersey Highlights

  • Printed glow-in-the-dark "Geo Mountain" graphics
  • Multi-panel 3/4 length design
  • Moisture wicking finish
  • Chill Mesh Technology on back and underarm
  • Drop back hem
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Semi-slim fit
  • Colors: Neon Lava/Lime Mojito, Lapis/Arctic Blue
  • MSRP: $80 US

Initial Impressions

After getting the mail, I promptly left a trail of clothing and packing material from the door to the living room, and there they were. B-e-a-u-tiful. Teal colors are my favorite, and though I would probably put up a fight against wearing an all pink getup, I enjoy a pop of bright color. The purply pink used here makes for an awesome accent on the Lapis/Arctic Blue jersey. The same bright color is also used on the zippers of the black shorts, and both jersey and short share the same geometric glow-in-the-dark printed pattern. The look goes well together without being too matchy-matchy.

Checked the left-side. Checked the right-side. Checked the back-side. Did a little happy dance. Approved. Initial excitement out of the way, it was time to look these items over as a tester, not a kid on Christmas morning.

The Vista jersey materials felt nice and soft. The design looked great from the lines created by the seams and different materials to the scalloped bottom hem and color placement. Unfortunately, no pocket or lens wipe are built into the jersey. Compared to other jerseys that only use sublimation for their colors and patterns, the screen printing on this jersey felt different. A bit denser might be a way of describing the feeling.

The Vista shorts felt a bit rough compared to the many other shorts I have that use softer materials. They also didn’t feel quite as stretchy. This must be to preserve the glow-in-the-dark screen printed design. If the fabric stretched more, the ink would probably crack and wear much faster. The welded hem at the bottom of the legs also felt a bit stiff. I hoped that perhaps it will get softer after some wear and washes. The laser cut vents up the inner leg and to the sides of the back pocket are subtle, a little bigger than the tip of a ballpoint pen, and spaced about a finger’s width apart.

Pockets. These are a big deal to me and these are big pockets. Stoked. The side pockets are located on the outside of the thigh and anchored to the inside of the shorts. Great placement and design for pedaling. The left side pocket has a little elastic leash with a snap on it for keys or a bike park pass. The back pocket is also very generously sized. I have a Samsung Galaxy S5, a rather large phone in an even larger OtterBox case, and the beast fits in the back pocket with room to spare!

The elastic in the waist adjustment has good stretchability and strength. The side waist adjusters are a snag-free Velcro style material. The entire rubber adjuster tab is the hook side and attaches well to the loop side. The adjuster tab is low profile and doesn’t have edges that stick out. There are about two-and-a-half inches of adjustability on each side of the shorts. The fly also has a strong Velcro around the double snap, which means no matter how exciting the ride gets, you should be able to keep your pants on.

Sombrio Women's Size Chart

This size chart reflects measured body values.

Vista Kit Measurements

These charts show the actual measurements of the shorts and jersey.

Well, there it is. The Vista jersey and shorts from top to bottom. Now it's time to go top to bottom (and up again) on some sweet trails.

On The Trail

The Sombrio Vista jersey and shorts have seen trail everywhere from Prescott to Fruita, Moab, and Durango. So many amazing trails! So many fun miles! About midway through my time reviewing these two items, I had to size down from a large to a medium. More happy dancing. This has given me an awesome insight into the fit that I’ve never had before in a review. Both sizes are still quite comfortable to wear, look good, and I can still ride in both since I’m about right between the two sizes. The larges look more bike-park ready and the mediums more trail ready. For reference, I'm wearing the size medium shorts and jersey in the photos. I am most comfortable in the mediums as there is just enough stretch that they fit my hips comfortably.

In the size large shorts, I have the waist adjusters maxed out and they stay up very well even with heavy things in the pockets. To super check this, I put four soda cans in the side pockets and jumped around to see if they would fall down. Nope. All good. The elastic in the waist adjustment has a strong hold that doesn’t seem to be weakening. The large jersey also looks just as good as the size medium. The cut isn’t overly hourglassed so it doesn’t look goofy if it's sized a bit large. This is great because if one lady shredder prefers her MTB shorts and/or jersey to fit a bit looser, and another prefers them a bit tighter, the Vista jersey and shorts can accommodate both styles.

Traveling state to state from Spring into the full swing of Summer, these shorts and jersey have been comfortable through a wide range of temperatures. I can feel a slight breeze coming through the laser cut vents on the shorts while descending. The super lightweight "Chill Mesh" material on the jersey is very breathable and feels silky smooth. I’m not sure I can single out the the chilling effect of the "Xylitol treatment" in the fabric, but it does indeed feel cooler in the underarm and back panel areas. On hot summer ~80°F (27°C) afternoons, the heavier material of the sleeves and front certainly feel a bit warmer than the Chill Mesh sections. It’s like the feeling of wearing clothes versus being naked, which is practically how the Chill Mesh feels. On any hotter of a day, I might opt for a short-sleeve rather than test the limits of a 3/4-sleeve jersey. I certainly appreciated the thicker material where the summer’s oak brush growth has encroached in on the trail, however. My arms are nicely protected while bombing down one of my favorite descents in Durango.

The Vista shorts in black go with everything in my closet and have seen a lot of use. I hand wash then line dry many of our synthetics to save on trips to the laundromat. These shorts are usually among the first items dry.

The pockets are my favorite feature. The side pockets placement is perfect for pedaling. Things in the pockets don’t get in the way or feel like they are bouncing around. Sometimes while riding I need to do a quick feel to make sure I indeed have my cargo because the contents feel so stable. I have one little nit-pick about the construction, however. Since the pocket is wider than the zipper is long, looking inside the shorts there are excessive flaps of material at the top corners of the pocket. The biggest is about a two-inch long triangle of excess pocket that threatens to rollover. The rear pocket is the first one I’ve experienced that is bigger than a credit card. Now that I’ve gone big, there’s no going back! Likewise for the side pockets. When out for a ride with the pupper dog, I’ll have his leash in one side pocket, treats and whistle in the other side, and my phone in the rear pocket. The side pockets are so awesomely sized that while tooling around the truck before or after a ride, I can even fit a water bottle in there!

The only frustration I’ve felt with the Vista shorts is with the fabric. I confess it wasn’t love at first ride in these babies. The fabric is not very stretchy and feels a bit restrictive. For instance, I can’t go into a deep lunge while stretching for a ride. Putting on my knee pads, which rise to about mid-thigh, is also a little tricky since the short legs won’t stretch to pull up and out of the way. On the bike the lack of stretch doesn’t conflict with pedaling, but going from standing to sitting, particularly in the larger shorts, there’s more adjusting needed to get settled in on the saddle.

The fabric is noisy, too. Climbing up the trail, it’s not just the sounds of tires rolling, breeze in the trees, and my breathing. The swish, swish, swish of these shorts with each pedal stroke has joined the chorus, though I have since gotten used to this. In addition to not stretching and being noisy, the Vista shorts’ material is also rather rough on the inside. It hasn’t gotten much softer after more ride time and washes. I notice this most in the large shorts as they rub on my thighs, surprisingly while just walking around, not even riding. The worst is when I’ve gotten goosebumps in the evening after the post-ride recovery pizza and pint. Ow. Those who sham might not notice this however since their legs are more covered under the shorts.

Things That Could Be Improved

Sombrio’s Vista jersey is pretty much dialed. It's comfortable and good looking. If I could wish for anything different, first I would ask for a minimalist elastic cuff on the sleeve. Then if I pull them up, they would stay up. There is plenty of room for elbow pads and I don’t think a slight cuff would conflict with that. My second wish, though it might slightly alter the cooling effect of the Chill Mesh, is for the back panel color to match the front’s darker color. I manual through most short creek and puddle crossings, but my back still catches mud. I’ve invested in and have been regularly using Spray ‘N Wash to keep the light-colored back looking good.

Sombrio’s Vista shorts are also dang near perfect. If I had a magic lamp, my third wish would be, “MTB Genie, I wish the Sombrio Vista shorts were made of a softer, stretchier, and quieter material.” The current material just isn’t very stretchy, feels rough on the skin, and is noisy as it rubs against itself. It reminds me of flipping through windbreaker jackets at a thrift store and hitting one from the early 80’s. There are so many great technical fabrics out there with good stretch and a softer side to face toward the skin. These shorts could really benefit from one of those, at least in the upper part of the shorts where most of the movement happens while riding. The lower panel where the glow-in-the-dark print is could probably keep the current fabric if it must to preserve the screened-on ink.

Long Term Durability

So far, so good. Three months later the Vista jersey and shorts are both holding together well. The screen printing isn’t cracking or fading on either. With regular Spray N’ Wash usage the jersey is free of stains. I haven’t had any crashes in either the jersey or shorts, and while some bushes have have done their best to grab hold, the fabric is staying together without any snags or holes. Sombrio backs their gear with a lifetime guarantee, which is awesome! So far the only flaw is that a Sombrio logo on one short leg peeled off entirely.

What's The Bottom Line?

I really dig the Sombrio Vista jersey and shorts. The jersey is so comfortable, and I can even wear it on a pretty warm day. The shorts are just shy of amazing. Their fabric is a bit rough and lacks much stretch, but the pockets are great. When I wear a different pair of shorts, I try putting stuff in their pockets and find myself wishing I had worn the Vista shorts. The glow-in-the-dark feature probably wouldn’t stop an oncoming truck, but it’s still super fun. If anything, the neon color of the ink looks like it pops more as the daylight dims. And like a kid, you will still catch me after the sun goes down checking to see if it’s glowing.

After having worn both a size large and a size medium, I think both women who prefer a tighter fit and those who prefer a looser fit will be happy in the Vista jersey and shorts. Track them down in a store, try them on, and see which fit you prefer. Or, if you want to buy them online, take note of the jersey and short measurements listed above, then compare them to your favorite fitting attire.

Visit www.sombriocartel.com for more details.

Vital MTB Rating

  • Shorts: 4 stars - Excellent
  • Jersey: 4.5 stars - Outstanding

Bonus Gallery: 19 photos of the Sombrio Vista kit up close and in action


About The Reviewer

Courtney Steen - Age: 28 // Years Riding MTB: 8 // Height: 5'8" (1.73m) // Weight: 25-30% sag ;-)

"Going downhill puts a smile on my face and I climb for ice cream." Courtney routinely shocks the boys with her speed and has experience in various disciplines. Today she travels the country in a RV in search of the next best trail and writes women's reviews for Vital MTB. Her technical background helps her think critically about products and how they can be improved.

Specifications

Product Sombrio Women's Vista Jersey
Riding Type Trail, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Women
Sleeve Style 3/4 Sleeve
Material Chill Mesh Technology on Back and Underarm, Moisture Wicking Finish, Drop Back Hem
Pockets N/A
Vents N/A
Size XS - XL
Colors Neon Lava/Lime Mojito or Lapis/Arctic Blue
Glow-In-The-Dark Printed Graphics | GEO MOUNTAIN Print
Miscellaneous Chill Mesh Technology Not Only Allows Your Body to Breath, but with a Xylitol Treatment, it Produces a Chilling Effect When it Comes in Contact with Your Sweat.
Price $80
More Info

​Sombrio Website

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