Cycling clothing has come a long way since the basic polyester jerseys of the 1990s and Sportful have been among the brands at the cutting-edge of fabric technology. That continues here with the Sportful R&D Light Jacket, which has seen the Italian firm team up with fabric specialists Polartec to produce a piece which does an exceptional job at regulating body temperature on cold, dry rides.
Sportful’s R&D range contains the company’s top-of-the-line clothing and the Light jacket is new for autumn/winter 2016, though it’s an evolution of the R&D Long Sleeve Wind Jersey we reviewed two years ago.
At the heart of the jacket is Polartec’s Alpha fabric, which provides lightweight insulation thanks to a core construction of lofted knit fibres, which in turn create pockets of air to trap warmth like goose down, but without the bulk.
Sportful have used Alpha on the front, shoulders and front of the sleeves, and its sandwiched between a polyester, waffle-like lining and a WindWick LT fabric on the outside. That WindWick LT fabric almost feels like a 2016 version of a 1990s shell suit, but it’s designed to offer windproof protection, while ensuring breathability remains high.
Finally, as far as the construction is concerned, the rear of the sleeves and the back are made from a DualFit fabric, which has a dual-layer construction – polyester on the inside, nylon on the outside – to add stretch and further boost breathability on parts of the jacket which don’t face the wind.