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Review: Samsara Women’s Cycling Apparel

My family and friends are so accustomed to me wearing and testing cycling clothes, I rarely get a comment when I show up for a ride wearing a new jersey or pair of shorts. So it spoke to how stinking cute the Samsara kits are that everyone told me so when I slipped on the Every Ride Jersey and OG Short for a summer spin.

Like pretty much all of our favorite cycling clothing, Samsara is a women’s-specific company. Their cycling clothes are high-end and high quality, and will assure you look good on the bike.

My impression of both pieces I tested (and continue to wear) was so high that the Every Ride jersey is on my list of best women’s cycling jerseys and the OG shorts are on on my list of best women’s cycling shorts.

samsara cycling kit

Table Of Contents

  • Every Ride Jersey
  • OG Short
  • Getaway Shirt
  • Transition Jersey

Video Review

(Note: since I first made this video, Samsara has renamed some of their pieces. The design remains the same).

Samsara Every Ride Jersey

The Every Ride Jersey is a high-quality women’s cycling jersey that pairs well with the OG shorts. (More on that in a moment).

Price: $149 CAD

samsara performance jersey

Pros:

  • Unique, feminine prints
  • Matching kits (jerseys, shorts, socks)
  • Form-fitting but forgiving cut

Cons:

  • Inconsistent sizing

Fit

Overall, I was really happy with the fit of the Every Ride jersey. I ordered a size medium and I’m 5’5″, 125 pounds.

I don’t like my jerseys too super tight, and this one wasn’t. There wasn’t any clinging at the belly or across my shoulders.

The sleeves are on the longer side which I liked. That said, I have really thin arms and I feel like if I had more muscular arms the sleeves may have been a little snug.

The back of the jersey is longer, and paired with the OG shorts, there is plenty of overlap so you don’t have to worry about any plumbers crack or lower back showing even when leaned over in an aggressive position.

If you do prefer a tighter fitting jersey, Samsara also makes the “Endurance” jersey which has more compressive material.

My only complaint with regards to fit is that the I’ve found Samsara jerseys to be inconsistent across jersey types and years. If you’ve bought a Samsara jersey in the past, don’t assume you’ll be the same size–make sure to double check the size chart.

Three Rear Pockets

The jersey has three separated rear pockets. I was happy to find that they were both wide and deep enough to accommodate my oversize phone, and I didn’t have to worry about it falling out. Compared to all of the other jerseys I’ve tested, these are some of the largest and deepest.

rear pocket

Really Soft Fabric And Kind To Sensitive Skin

The fabric was crazy soft, and didn’t irritate my sensitive skin at all. There weren’t any tags to cut out which was also nice.

Full Length Zipper

I always prefer a jersey with a full length zipper. It’s easier to put on over bibs, and easier to get off when you are sweaty and wet.

The zipper on the Every Ride jersey was smooth and seemed high quality. I don’t foresee it breaking any time soon.

Good For Summer Days

It’s been crazy hot and sunny in the west this summer, so I’ve appreciated that the jersey has both UPF protection and is quick drying and breathable. There is also a significant amount of mesh built into the jersey in panels.

The mesh goes up both sides of the jersey and under the arms (hello pit ventilation!), and up the back of the jersey. This made it a great choice even for the hottest rides.

The OG Short

If you’re over boring black shorts, the OG short is here for you! Yes, it comes in pretty fun designs (to match your Samsara jerseys), but it also has unique design features (like the double layered fabric) that make it functional as well.

Price: $159 CAD

Pros:

  • Pretty prints
  • No chamois stich lines
  • Wide, comfortable leg band and waistband

Cons:

  • No option for black shorts

Fit

Again, I went with a size Medium in these shorts. (I usually wear a size 6 in bottoms, for reference, and have thicker thighs). They fit perfectly.

The short has a 7″ inseam in the size medium which makes it neither the shortest or longest bike short around. It hits somewhere around mid-thigh depending on your size.

Also, while these aren’t THE most size inclusive shorts around, they do go up to a 2XL which is certainly appreciated.

Chamois

Let’s be real–what we’re all really looking for in a pair of bike shorts is a good chamois. The 11mm thick chamois in the Samsara short was VERY comfortable, caused no weird rubbing for me, and was comfortable on training rides of several hours.

samsara performance chamois

Almost as important as comfort, for me, is the quality and durability of a chamois. It doesn’t seem that difficult to create a comfy chamois, it does seem harder to find one that is well made and won’t fall apart.

I always try to put a pair of shorts thru as many wash cycles as possible to see if any threads start coming loose or if there is any sign that the chamois might not hold up long term. With the Samsara chamois, it was clear that I’ll be wearing and abusing these shorts for a long time to come.

Fabric & Construction

One thing that I thought was unique about the Performance short is that they have 2 layers. The outer fabric and a very thin inner layer that the chamois is sewn into. This means that you don’t see any stitching for the chamois on the outside of the short.

The outside fabric is sewn into multiple panels and all of the stitching is high quality. Unlike other shorts I’ve tested, I haven’t had any loose threads on these.

Waist and Leg Bands

Both the waist and leg bands were comfortable and stayed in place. The leg bands were nice and wide and gripped well without causing the dreaded sausage leg.

The waistband is wide and didn’t dig in at all. As I’ve already mentioned, I have really sensitive skin and didn’t have any irritation with these shorts.

Fun Colors And Designs

Am I the only one that’s done with boring shorts? In addition to being a comfortable and durable short, my favorite thing about the Samsara shorts are that they come in fun colors/designs. If you’re a black kinda girl though, you’ll be out of luck.


Getaway Shirt

Price: $139 CAD

The Getaway shirt is a looser, casual looking jersey that turns heads. Seriously, this thing is bright and beautiful, and looks good on the road or trail.

getaway shirt

Fit

I ordered the Medium of the Getaway for myself. While I was expecting a looser fit, I wasn’t expecting it to be HUGE on me.

My loss was my sister’s gain. She’s bustier and has wider shoulders and the jersey looked amazing on her.

This top also comes in an XXXL, and given the generous cut, would make a great top for plus-sized ladies or those simply looking for more coverage.

Cute On Or Off The Bike

While this is definitely a performance-oriented top and works great on the bike, you won’t have to rush to take it off after your ride. My sister and I went to the local ski mountain bike park for some downhill laps, and then headed to a concert at the lodge.

While I felt less than fashionable watching the concert, she rocked the Getaway shirt. It wasn’t even obvious that it was a bike top.

This makes it a great option for bike touring or traveling–any time you want to get multiple uses out of a piece.

Soft, Lightweight Material

The material on the jersey is incredibly silky and soft. Thanks to the roomier fit it also has lots of airflow, and the fabric dries quickly. This is a great shirt for hot summer days where you don’t want to look (or feel) sweaty and gross.

Side Pocket

You might not expect it on this top, but there is a small zippered side pocket. It’s not big enough for much, but can handle some cash or a few gels.

samsara side pocket

Transition Long Sleeve Jersey

Price: $169 CAD

This is a warmer jersey designed for cool days. This is a piece that I wear more than probably any other. It is perfect for layering on cold, winter days or wearing on it’s own in spring or fall. The inside has a soft, almost fleece like feel.

samsara long sleeve

Fit

The fit on the Transition jersey is form fitting but not too tight–it works well for layering over a short sleeve jersey. Like the Every Ride jersey, it’s cut longer in the back which I appreciated, and there is a silicone grip to help hold it in place.

Pockets

There are three rear pockets–two open and one that has a top that folds over. Again, the pockets were deep and wide and I was able to fit my bigger cell phone no problem. I’d also feel comfortable putting a credit card or other valuable in the middle enclosed pocket.

samsara sensation long sleeve pockets

Full Zipper

Like the Performance short sleeve jersey, the Sensation has a full length zipper. I liked this as it makes it possible to quickly and easily take on or off if you’re layering on cooler rides.


Performance Crew Socks

Price: $28 CAD

Sizes: small/medium (women’s 5-9) &medium/large (women’s 10-13)

Socks are well…socks. I’m not usually too picky about my socks, but I have to admit these were both cute and comfortable.

The material is compressive and gave a nice little squeeze on my calves. The socks are also really nice and thin and felt great inside my cycling shoes without any bunching. The seamless toe meant no irritation even on long rides, and there are even some tiny little holes built into the fabric near the toes and on top of the foot for some extra breathability.

The best part is that they match the Samsara kits so you get a complete look.

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About The Reviewer

kristen bonkoski

Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.

An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.

Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life.  Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son.  If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.

Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

IG: @femme_cyclist

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