Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket review

A great choice for wet weather riding

Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket is a great waterproof cycling jacket that ticks all the boxes, being waterproof, breathable, comfortable, and great fitting.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Seriously waterproof

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    Great fit

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Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Tail could be longer

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    A little pricey

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The Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket is great choice if you’re looking for a waterproof jacket that’s also breathable, comfortable, and won’t slow you down with excessive windflap either.

The first thing to note is that although we have been testing the white version, there are a couple of other colour options with the Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket, so if white seems like an impractical choice then black and yellow might be preferable to you.

>>> Buyer's guide to the best waterproof jackets

Colour aside, this is a great waterproof jacket. The main panels (the white bits) of the jacket are made from Sportful’s Acquashield fabric, while the black panels are made from Micro Shell Stretch fabric. Both of these materials are rated to 10,000mm, meaning that if you took a 1”x1” piece of fabric, you would need to put 10,000mm of water on top of it before any would get through. The seams are also taped, and the zip waterproofed in order to keep the elements out.

Perfect your wet weather riding

Basically then, this is a seriously waterproof jacket. The only difference between the two fabrics is that the Micro Shell Stretch fabric includes a small amount of stretch, which helps to make the fit of the Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket as good as the waterproofing. That means there’s minimal windflap, meaning you can ride that little bit faster and get home and out of the rain just that little bit earlier.

>>> How to dress for wet weather cycling

Packability is also excellent, not something that is always the case with really waterproof jacket. The Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket packs down into its own rear pocket, meaning that it will easily become small enough to fit easily into a jersey pocket with room to spare for an energy bar or two.

Without wishing to give too much gushing praise, breathability is pretty great too. Of course with that impenetrable waterproof layer you might still overheat if you’re working hard and maybe have one too many layer on underneath, but for the vast majority of your riding, it’s excellent.

>>> Better than the Castelli Gabba? Wet weather racing jackets on test

At 135g the Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket is impressively light too, and you barley feel it when it’s on. This comfort is also helped by the fact that the thumb loops are integrated into extended cuffs, meaning that the sleeves never ride up and the thumb loop doesn’t pull at the webbing between your thumb and index finger.

How to dress for winter cycling

There are also a choice of seven sizes between XS and 3XL so you can be sure there will be one out there to fit you.

>>> Pro rider tips for winter cycling

However after all that there are a couple of small problems with this jacket. Firstly, despite having a dropped tail, this could be a little longer to protect keep your bum dry on wet days out. The price, £120, is also a touch above par, although given the quality product you’re getting with the Sportful Hotpack Norain jacket, it’s probably a price worth paying.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.