Harp Ireland Cycling Jersey Review

Harp Ireland Cycling Jersey Front

Last July or August, I bought a Harp Ireland Cycling Jersey from a Celtic-themed coffee shop.  I liked the look of the jersey – both colors and graphic elements.  I liked the no-zipper collar; if you sweat like I do, a zipper offers no appreciable relief in a short-sleeve, warm weather jersey.  Gold and brownish-black with red and green highlights, as well as white lettering.  Looks really good, and, in Extra-Large, it looks really good on me. 

Additionally, I’m not just a Celtic poseur – my late, unlamented wicked Irish paternal grandmother was an Ahern, for what that’s worth.

Right away, one thing I didn’t like was that the jersey has only two pockets in back.  That’s irksome, as my Miyata 610 bicycle has only one water bottle cage, and no bosses (I think they’re called) for attachment of a second cage, unlike the legendary Miyata 1000 tourer that came with not only down-tube shifters, but two bottle cages and a model specific rear rack.  What’s my point?  Most jerseys have three pockets in back, the central pocket being an easy, balanced, symmetrical place to carry an extra water bottle.  The two pockets on the Ireland Harp jersey are too wide to carry a water bottle, even if one were to try to carry two bottles back there.

Besides the (to me) excellent collar sans zipper, the other odd feature to this jersey is that its sleeves are considerably longer than those of a typical short sleeve cycling jersey.  Although they’re elasticized at the hems, they are about as long on the upper arm, when riding, as those of a normal short sleeve t-shirt.  Doesn’t bother me at all, but does produce dueling tan lines over against my Castelli jersey.

Up until last week, this was my favorite jersey, in spite of the fact that it wants a third, central pocket.  That said, it’s a pocket problem that’s made the jersey barely usable.  As I was setting out on what I’d intended to be an easy 17 miler (but became an easy-ish but longer than anticipated 34 mile ride), I realized my wallet was poking through a hole in the left most pocket as I got my keys out to clip them into my seatbag.  I put wallet, keys, and cell-phone all in the seatbag and transferred my PowerBar protein-candy-‘nutrition’ to my right pocket along with my camera.  Glad I found the problem before I lost anything.

The Ireland Harp cycling jersey is manufactured in Pakistan by a company called Dolmen Clothing.  I’m not sure the pocket can be repaired.  This is the kind of garment failure I’d expect from a $15 Canari product.  For my $47, I got a cool looking jersey that fit well and felt good when worn, but apparently wore out after only a few months of use.  Bummer. 

I recommend you look elsewhere for an ethnic Irish jersey.



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