The Sportful BodyFit Pro Thermal Jersey is a mid-weight, fleece-lined piece well-suited to chilly conditions, with a race-bred fit thanks to the Italian firm’s partnership with the Saxo-Tinkoff team.
The BodyFit Pro range is designed to offer the same features, cut and fit as the clothing worn by Alberto Contador et al, but without the sponsors logos. The Thermal Jersey is part of a colour-matched collection which also includes a winter jacket, gilet and bib tights.
The jersey is a fairly simple piece on the face of it but it works to good effect as an outer layer on mild winter days, with a gilet when a little windproof protection is required and, we expect (because the mercury is yet to fall that far south), as a mid-layer when it’s really cold.
This is a fairly warm jersey in its own right, however, thanks to a light fleece lining, which, while not windproof, provides a tad more protection from the wind than an unlined jersey. I used the jersey with a short sleeve base layer on cooler autumn rides and now with a long sleeve base layer, including the excellent (and catchily named) Sportful Long Sleeve T High Collar reviewed as part of this test.
The jersey is made from what Sportful call a ‘Thermodrytex Plus’ fabric on the shoulders and arms, and a ‘TDTxp’ fabric on the body. Sportful say the stretch of the Thermodrytex Plus allows for a close, aerodynamic fit, while the TDTxp is geared towards improving warmth and breathability. We’ve covered warmth above, and breathability is also excellent. That the jersey isn’t windproof helps in that regard in the right conditions, allowing the cooling breeze to work in tandem with the fabric to avoid overheating.
As you’d expect from kit which is essentially the same as that worn by the Saxo-Tinkoff pros, the cut is certainly racy, with a very close fit throughout. I like that – it ensures there’s no material to flap in the wind, there’s no bunching in the fabric, and it allows the jersey to sit close to the skin – and I’ve been able to use my regular size (medium). Some riders may find it a little close, however, so consider ordering up a size if that’s the case.
Additional features are limited to three rear pockets – well-sized and well-supported to hold ride essentials without sagging – though we’d also like to see an additional zipped pocket, as is fast becoming standard, to provide more secure storage for a mobile phone or cash for the cafe stop.
Otherwise, the elasticated, silicone-lined waist holds the jersey in place, though that’s as much to do with the close fit, and the full-length zip allows the rider to control ventilation, unzipping it a little on a climb to allow air to pass directly through to a base layer, and doing it up in its entirety in colder conditions to bring the mid-length (but unlined) collar in to play.
Our jersey is in on-trend, high-viz yellow, and it’s certainly bright, though there are also black and white options available if that’s more your thing.
This is a fuss-free piece on the face of it, with few bells and whistles, but the pro heritage is evident in the fit – whether that works for you depends on personal preference – and the fabric is spot-on for a mid-weight winter jersey.