19/12/2013 | 1 comments
The Sportful BodyFit Pro WS Jacket will see you through most winter weather: it’s warm, windproof, water resistant and has an excellent, race-inspired cut.
“Grand Tour and Classic victories are won in the racing season but earned in the winter months,” say Sportful and the BodyFit Pro WS Jacket provides little excuse for not facing winter head first. Grand Tour and Classic victories may not be on your agenda for 2014 but the BodyFit Pro range is the same kit as worn by Alberto Contador and his Saxo-Tinkoff team-mates, without the sponsors’ logos.
That connection is most evident in the cut. The WS Jacket, as is the case with the rest of the BodyFit range, has a very close cut. That’s close, not tight. I wear medium clothing (at 179cm and 71kg) in most brands and that continues to be the case with Sportful and the BodyFit Pro range. It’s a slim fit, but close in the right places, so there’s no excess material flapping in the wind, billowing up at the front of the jacket or creating pockets of cold air between layers.
Still, if you prefer a roomier fit consider moving up a size or look elsewhere in the Sportful range, but that is to miss out on one of the key selling points of the BodyFit Pro collection.
WS stands for Windstopper as the jacket is made from Gore’s excellent ’4-Way Warm Windstopper’ fabric. It’s light, with only a thin fleece lining, but very windproof and, in turn, very warm. It has a little stretch, which helps achieve the close fit. I’ve paired the jacket with a long sleeve merino base layer on early morning rides close to zero degrees and have been plenty warm enough. There’s also a room for a mid-layer when it gets really cold. The fabric is very breathable and the inside of the jacket stays dry when riding hard and generating significant heat.
So it’s warm and windproof, but also surprisingly water resistant, too. I was caught out in an unexpected but heavy rain storm – the type that is often around the corner in winter – and the jacket kept me dry despite an hour’s riding in prolonged rain. It’s not a waterproof jacket, nor is it advertised as such, but it’s got more than enough about it to keep a shower out and saves pulling on an additional, waterproof layer which may compromise body temperature and/or breathability.
The jacket has a silicone-lined, elasticated hem at the front and sides, and a deeper elasticated band at the back which helps hold the jacket and three rear pockets in place. The pockets are organised in the usual arrangement and are well-sized, though a zipped pocket for a mobile phone and the like would be a welcome addition, particularly as the jacket will normally be worn as an outer layer.
Other features include a high collar and a full-length zip which, as the jacket doesn’t have any vents, you can adjust to regulate body temperature if conditions or your riding pace change. It also has a chunky zipper easy to use when wearing those gloves. The snug cuffs provide a secure fit over those aforementioned gloves and the sleeves are plenty long enough to ensure that remains the case when stretched out on the bike.
The jacket is available in three colours: black, white and the high-viz option we tested. Fluoro is on-trend but there’s still a line between trendy and garish and this falls the right side of it, boosting visibility while remaining stylish. The BodyFit Pro range is colour-coded so there’s a matching jersey, gilet and tights if you want the full ensemble.
It’s difficult to fault the jacket. Yes, a zipped pocket would be nice and the cut may not suit all shapes and sizes, but that’s nit-picking. The £165 price tag is significant (as ever it’s available for less if you shop around) but it’s an investment in your winter riding when warm kit is essential.