Kalas Sportswear was founded back in 1990 and the Czech brand have in recent years been expanding into more markets and increasing their profile.
I recently trialed a couple of products from their range, the RainMem Passion road jersey and the RainMem Passion arm warmers.
Kalas describe their jersey as being “ideal for cycling in harsh weather conditions. The wind-resistant and water-proof membrane is highly breathable and offers maximum protection for a cyclist challenging the hostile weather.”
The weather conditions I trialled the pieces in were indeed harsh as we faced both hail and snow in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains and the jersey did keep me warm and dry. When I got back from the ride, my layers underneath were completely dry.
It was only from wearing this gear that I realised what I’ve been missing out on over the years through wearing gear that wasn’t particularly effective.
The arm warmers are also described as being manufactured from a wind and water-proof membrane material and as with the jersey, they also proved very effective. Another big pro with the arm warmers was the grip.
With other arm warmers I’ve used in the past, I’ve had to either use safety pins to pin them to my jersey which makes it difficult to remove them during a cycle or else pull them over a sub layer to help them stay in place. With the Kalas arm warmers, the silicone grip at the top meant that they didn’t slip down my arm.
The jersey also had some other nice features. The elongated back helps to keep your backside dry also and the jersey also has a silicone waistband which prevents the jersey from riding up.
Their products are customisable and one distinct advantage of Kalas gear is their low minimum order quantity. The minimum order quantity is five, but they can be any five pieces. For example, you could order 1 short sleeve jersey, 1 long sleeve jersey, 1 bib shorts, 1 winter jacket and 1 Rainmem jersey.
They also have a short lead time of four weeks from when the order is place, and all of their products are manufactured in their factory in the Czech Republic using Italian fabrics and Swiss ink.
Amongst the Irish teams who use Kalas gear are Team iTap, Elysium Cyclo, Roscommon CC, Strokestown CC, Desmond Sportive CC, Maynooth CC, Limerick Fire & Rescue CC and Belmullet CC in addition to a number of triathlon clubs including Cavan Tri and Naas Tri. Their highest profile deal is with the Belgian Pro Continental team Wanty-Groupe Goubert.
Their Irish showroom can be visited by appointment in Abbey Street, Naas, Co. Kildare where all of their ranges from entrance level kit to kits worn by Wanty-Groupe Goubert can be seen.
You can find out more information here: www.kalas.ie