Being at the lighter-weight and more breathable end of the softshell spectrum, Sportful's Bodyfit Pro is a versatile jacket that's adaptable for a wide variety of conditions. Paired with the right baselayer or rain cape, it can see you through much of what a UK winter has to throw at you. However, the relatively high price, small zip handle and lack of zipped valuables pockets, do count against it. Also the mesh design of the rear three pockets is a aspect that’s likely to split opinion.
Expensive for the level of insulation and water resistance
Mesh rear pockets
Small zipper handle
No zipped valuables pocket
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Like the best softshell cycling jackets, Sportful’s Bodyfit Pro Jacket boasts rain and wind protection along with insulating fabrics for mixed condition riding.
This isn’t the Italian brand’s warmest or most waterproof offering, but that opens up it to use in a broader range of weather. Beyond winter riding, the Bodyfit Pro Jacket can be used through cooler shoulder season days as well.
Sportful Bodyfit Pro Jacket: the construction
To fend off the elements, the Bodyfit Pro Jacket incorporates a windproof outer layer with NoRain fabric used on the back, lower front and under the pockets to help against road spray and intermittent showers.
This isn’t a purpose built rain jacket: the seams aren’t taped and water will end up getting through in a sustained downpour – but then that’s not what the jacket is really designed for.
Rather, it’s aimed to deal with the lighter sort of 'on-off' rain which isn’t quite heavy enough for a hardshell rain cape, but would ultimately leave you soaked through without any form of wet weather protection.
Forty gram Thermore insulation features in the main body of the jacket and part way down the arms to trap in warmth for cooler conditions. But this ends at around the elbows so as not to make the jacket too hot and heavy in milder conditions.
At the rear, there’s a dropped tail with a silicone gripper to keep it in place, while the rear pockets are made from a durable feeling – but nonetheless see-through – mesh fabric. There is some reflective detailing on the jacket, with this visible through the mesh of the pockets, but naturally that will be obscured once loaded up.
Sportful’s Bodyfit Pro Jacket might not offer quite the same level of weather-repelling properties as those designed for the very deepest winter, but on the other hand it’s meant that I’ve been able to wear it much more frequently compared with those more specialist items.
Through the milder conditions of the autumn, I’d throw on just the jacket on its own for most rides, not even bothering to bring a waterproof if the clouds only threatened showers rather than a deluge.
Even then, when pushing hard on shorter rides in heavier rain, I found it much more pleasant to be wet through in the Bodyfit Pro – with its balance of windproofing, insulation and breathability – than to be wearing a clammy, hardshell raincape.
Further into winter, although the suggested temperature range is +5°C (41°F) and above, I found I would start feeling cold at about 7°C (45°F) and needed a baselayer to supplement. But with that combination, I was perfectly fine down to around +3°C (37°F).
Whereas some softshell jackets can effectively take the place of a hardshell waterproof, the Bodyfit Pro lies on the more breathable and less weatherproofed end of the spectrum. For more sustained rain – particularly in colder temperatures – I would throw a hardshell rain cape on over the top.
There were a few niggles, however. First was the mesh pockets, which have so far proved perfectly strong, supportive and durable, but do present something of an aesthetic challenge once loaded up with used wrappers, multitools and tyre levers.
Also, the lack of a zipped pocket for cards and keys is a bit of a shame, while the smaller handle of the main zipper at the front made it quite difficult to operate when wearing gloves.
When the weather is miserable, it is nice to simply throw on one single layer that can handle the cold and the rain – rather than faffing about with baselayers and rain capes. But on the other hand, if you already own both of those items, it is more economical to go for a lightweight softshell that can be worn in a much wider range of circumstances.
However, at £215.00 / $292.49 the Sportful’s Bodyfit Pro is really quite expensive. It’s more for the person who wants a layer that works just right for each specific temperature band, rather someone who’s trying to adapt a jacket to work with the greatest range of temperatures.
Yes, there are other jackets hitting a similar temperature range and at this price point, such as the almost iconic Castelli Perfetto at £210.00 / $249.95. But with dhb’s equinox jacket only £100.00 / $140.00, and Rapha Men's Brevet Insulated Jacket coming in at £150.00 / $205.00, it does make it hard justifying spending much more.
Sportful’s Bodyfit Pro Jacket is a versatile softshell that leans towards the lighter-weight and more breathable end of the spectrum. With the right baselayer and rain cape, it’s adaptable for a huge variety of conditions, making it a jacket you’re likely to get a lot of use out of.
However, the relatively high price, small zip handle and lack of zipped valuables pockets does count against it. Also the mesh design of the rear three pockets is a aspect that’s likely to split opinion.
- Weight: 276g (size medium)
- Sizes: S – 2XL
- Colours: Orange, Green, Black, Blue, Red
- Contact: www.sportful.com
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