The women's specific Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Vest is a well fitted wind stopping gilet that is perfect for the spring and autumn months when you want something a little more robust than your emergency layer.
Bulky (Requires full empty pocket to stow away)
The holy grail when it comes to anything windstopping is Gore-Tex, so when the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Vest landed on my desk with the large Gore-Tex tag swinging from it, I was very pleased.
To be specific it's actually made from Gore-Tex Infinium, a fabric that leans over towards comfort and performance rather than flat out waterproofness. It will resist light rain, but using a material focused versatility ensures that while remaining wind proof, the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Vest is also lightweight, and breathable.
When on, the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Vest fits perfectly. The lightweight stretchy back fabric does a good job of assisting a race cut fit to the gilet, and even with its long back, that nicely covers all rear pockets, even when fully ladened, gaining access to them on the move isn't an issue. There is also a set of three rear pockets in the gilet itself, but it's always worth remembering that these are alternative pockets, not additional, as if you are looking to stow it away and have both sets of pockets brimmed, you'll be out of space.
And talking of stowing away and pocket space, the gilet does scrunch down in to a reasonably small package, but will require a full empty pocket to pack in to, worth bearing in mind before heading out with it on.
The tailored high neck lined collar was complimented the windproofing qualities of the fabric as it prevented cold wind blowing down my neck, even when on the drops and descending. The other notable was how little fabric flap there was, with the Gore-Tex Infinium that the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Vest is made out of demonstrating perfectly its softer, more supple and flexible properties over standard Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric.
In terms of actually doing it's windstopping job, the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Vest performs spot on. Ridden on a muggy, mizzly day, with lots of road spray, but no mudguards, it also did really well at bounding off water droplets too, making it perfect to team with a short sleeve jersey and water repellant arm warmers.
The breathability of the Sportful Bodyfit Pro W Vest was also noticeable, so for most rides i've not felt the need to remove it mid ride, overriding the pocket space conundrum. It certainly would be too warm and bulky to use/ carry on a summers ride, when you're wanting an emergency additional layer, but through the cooler spring and autumn months, or even winter racing when you're running pretty hot, it would be a great piece of apparel to own.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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