With its raw-cut finishes and breathable mesh panels, we give the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey a ride to see if it lives up to its second-skin claims
You probably already know we’re big fans of Sportful, believing that it genuinely offers bike riders great-value, good-looking and well-fitting kit, so I had huge expectations when testing the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey.
The entire aim of the Bodyfit collection is to provide a second-skin fit and indeed it’s been developed and worn by the Sportful teams and riders such as Alberto Contador for Trek-Segafredo and Vincenzo Nibali for Bahrain-Merida, both of who are wearing the men’s version of the Bodyfit Pro at this year’s Tour de France.
The Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey uses two fabrics in its construction. Kontatto polyester stretch fabric, known for soft feel and breathability, is used for the majority of the front, main back panel and collar. The upper section of the jersey, sleeves and side panels use a stretch fabric called Air Mesh, which aims to keep the body cool and dry.
The Air Mesh at the sleeves has a raw cut, doing away with any seams, keeping fabric to a minimum and helping keep the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey weight down to an impressively low 104g.
At the back are three pockets and a reflective Sportful logo and at the waist an elasticated hem is backed with silicone with the aim of keeping the jersey in place.
Putting on the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey it’s clear it sure does deliver a second-skin fit. With just one millimetre of fabric depth, the Air Mesh sleeves have a raw-cut finish transition, which is incredibly smooth from jersey to arm, with not even as much wrinkle on either arm or across the yoke of the jersey.
The Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey is incredibly breathable too, despite its tightness, making it ideal for wearing on a hot and hilly day when the jersey really comes in to its own.
The central part of the jersey is just as tight, although not uncomfortably so thanks to the stretch in the Kontatto polyester fabric. The fabric has also been cut on the bias, meaning that the majority of the stretch is horizontal, allowing the three sensibly sized rear pockets to be reasonably loaded up without any jersey sag or pull.
Even with pockets loaded up with all the usual paraphernalia required on a bike ride, I was pleased to see that the waistband silicone did its job of helping prevent the jersey from twisting.
As with almost any cycling kit these days, the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey has been designed to coordinate best with matching Sportful Bodyfit Pro shorts. Some of the tamer colour options will be easier to match with your existing cycling wardrobe but a few, such as the pink coral (pictured), are probably best bought as an outfit.
Ticking every box on the pro-race jersey wish list, there is practically nothing to find fault with in the actual jersey itself. However, its super-breathability does somewhat limit the wearability of the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey, meaning in practice it might work out a little more expensive than other women’s jerseys on a cost-per-wear basis.
That said, if you’re pretty serious about your bike riding then this pretty serious piece of cycling kit could be ideal for you.
The women's-specific Sportful Bodyfit Pro W jersey fits like a second skin while remaining lightweight and incredibly breathable, making it equally an ideal option for a fast-paced race or a hot and hilly challenge ride. But with such lightweight credentials, it may limit the jersey's wearability just to the hottest days of summer, making it more expensive in a cost-per-wear calculation.