- Full-on winter weather protection
- Adaptable to different temperatures via removable rear panel
- Easy to carry rear panel in a pocket just in case
- DWR treated to repel water
- A bit too warm for milder UK winter conditions
Price as reviewed:
Winter riding is often a toss-up between being too warm and getting damp and sweaty and being too cold, never really warming up and feeling uncomfortable on a ride – which is mostly down to me getting my wardrobe wrong. The Sportful Fiandre Cabrio jacket looks to give you the flexibility to keep comfortable whatever the winter conditions.
The Fiandre Cabrio is a full-on winter jacket, made with really warm Gore Windstopper 4 Way Warm front fabric to the torso and sleeves. Its dense fleece adds plenty of insulation, while it’s also windproof.
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The rear panels of the sleeves and the back are made of a lighter weight, black fleeced fabric with Sportful’s NoRain DWR surface treatment. This works well to keep spray and rain from seeping in, whilst also making sure that you aren’t so hot that you overheat in milder winter conditions.
But where the Fiandre Cabrio really scores is its zip-out panel of NoRain fabric which covers the mid-back. This makes it extra waterproof and adds even more insulation, so with the optimal base layer underneath, you can head down towards freezing and still feel comfortable, or ride in the rain with an extra layer of protection. Being uninsulated, the panel is easy to stash away in one of the three rear pockets – it folds up tiny and weighs just 30g.
Other winter comfort features include windproof double cuffs and a high, lined collar. There’s a slight drop to the tail for a good on-bike fit, while the front zipper has a double thickness outer stormflap to keep out the cold.
As with other jackets in the Fiandre range, you get reflective details on the middle pocket and the shoulder and breast. As well as the statutory black, there’s a chalk blue option as well as brighter yellow and orange fabrics.
The Fiandre Cabrio jacket works well when it gets proper cold. But I found that even just wearing a sleeveless baselayer underneath and with the rear panel removed, I was pretty warm in temperatures around 12C. So depending on where you’re riding, the Fiandre Cabrio might be just a little too warm for typical UK conditions, limiting its usefulness to really cold days or if you’re heading to the Alps.
The Sportful Fiandre Cabrio jacket provides extra versatility over a standard winter jacket. Its removable rear panel lets you regulate your temperature better and is easily removed or added during a ride, taking up little carrying space. But even without the panel, it’s a deep winter number, so you may find that you’re getting limited use from it, unless you really feel the cold.