Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS review
We put the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS through its paces for a full spring of riding
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The The Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS top is one of my used pieces of clothing this spring, proving versatile enough to use in a wide range of conditions with its windproof, water-resistant, and breathable construction.
Nice and breathable
Poorly though-out zip
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Of all the products that I’ve tested in the last few months, it seems that the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS is the one that I’ve used the most. It seems like I’ve been wearing it every other day since February – it really is that versatile, and that good.
>>> Buyer's guide to spring and autumn clothing (video)
The Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS is made from two main materials. On the front, shoulders and arms, Sportful has used a Windshield 3L Stretch fabric, which does an exceptional job of keeping the wind of your chest, while the rear panel is made from a NoRain Light fabric, which has a much looser weave in order to improve breathability.
This makes for a top that Sportful says is good for between 10-20ºC, but to be honest I think this is a conservative estimate, especially at the lower end. I wore the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS when the temperature was comfortably down into single figures with nothing but a basic jersey and baselayer on underneath, and was more than warm enough.
>>> Review: Sportful Light NoRain Top
You could also maybe add a couple of degrees to the top of that temperature range, as the breathability is excellent considering it offers. This makes the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS jersey a good choice if you’re on a ride in the mountains in cooler weather, where the front panel would keep the cold off your chest on descents, while the breathable rear panel means you have to work hard to overheat.
Watch: buyer's guide to spring & autumn clothing
The whole of the jersey is water-resistant, and while some water-resistant garments are overwhelmed in only the briefest of showers, the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS is made of much hardier stuff.
>>> How to dress for wet weather cycling (video)
Even when riding through a couple of hours of light to moderate rain, the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS still kept me dry. I’m not entirely sure how it managed to do that consider how light and loose the rear panel is, but I’m not going to complain about that!
The fit is also excellent, and the medium jersey I had to test fitted my 6ft frame perfectly, not something that can always be relied upon with some other Italian brands. It’s not exceptionally aero (although it’s not really designed to be), but that’s not to say that there is much loose material to be found anywhere.
>>> Better than the Castelli Gabbi? Wet weather racing jackets tested
My only gripe, and the thing that prevents the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS from getting perfect marks, is the zip that is used to access the rear pockets of the jersey that you will be wearing underneath (as the Sportful has no pockets of its own).
This long zip down the right hand side of the jersey is certainly long enough, but annoyingly opens from the top rather than the bottom. This means that you have to be pretty flexible to reach it in the first place, and if you want to leave it undone so you can access your pockets at any time on the ride, then you have a big opening flapping away on your back. If only it opened from the bottom, then the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS would be perfect.
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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.
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