Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

Sportful Fiandre W Light Jacket

9
£160.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Well-shaped, well-considered and extremely versatile jacket for three-season northern European riding
Weight: 
0g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the road.cc scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

As with the men's version of this jacket Sportful have, with the Fiandre W Light, attempted to produce a garment genuinely fit to tackle the typical weather conditions encountered by the average northern European cyclist. True to its name (Fiandre is Italian for Flanders), it's a jacket aimed at protection from all manner of weather, protecting from wind, cold and even rain, but remaining breathable and dry on the inside too.

Similarly featured to the men's version, this jacket has two generous rear pockets, as well as a sort of hip pouch pocket too. As with the women's long sleeve jersey, I'd have liked to have seen some sort of zipped security pocket really. Underarm panels are more breathable than the main body of super lightweight Windstopper LightStretch softshell fabric and give extra stretch for riding comfort, particularly when stretched forward and the back is shaped to maximize protection from wheel spray. There are reflective stripes under the pockets at the back too.

The cut of this jacket is superb. On the neat side, those on the cusp may want to go up a size, but it's designed to fit sleekly over whatever layers you choose to wear under it. And this is where it's particularly versatile, as depending on the temperature and conditions it's possible to wear anything from a lightweight short sleeved jersey through to a heavy duty thermal long sleeve under this and still feel the benefit. No matter how fickle the weather, I stayed a good stable temperature, didn't feel any windchill and even stayed dry in a good dump of rain, although I'd probably not want to risk setting out for a long, wet ride in this. Moisture was moved swiftly away from the skin, leaving a pleasant, dry, warm result.

If I had one personal quibble it would just be the colour. For a jacket orientated towards spring, autumn and winter use, black isn't the most visible, particularly when the sun is riding low in the sky. Nonetheless it looks smart and many will appreciate the ninja stealth cyclist chic. The company's website features images of a bright blue version which would seem preferable, but I couldn't find it actually for sale anywhere. At £160 it's a good buy, as you'll be wearing it in all but the vey warmest, driest conditions. At a squeeze it'll even fit into a jersey pocket 'just in case'.

Verdict

Well-shaped, well-considered and extremely versatile jacket for three-season northern European riding

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Sportful Fiandre W Light Jacket

Size tested: na

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Aimed at female cyclists looking for a versatile protective layer for three-season use.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

If you could pick just one jacket to cover all your fall, winter and spring riding, this would be it. Full wind protection protects you in even the coldest conditions, excellent water repellency and the waterproof zipper keep you dry, and the outstanding breathability of our lightest Windstopper® fabric prevents overheating. Plus it's extremely light and the stretch fit guarantees comfort.

* Windproof Windstopper® LightStretch with excellent water repellency, stretch and breathability

* Waterproof YKK® Vislon zipper

* Two rear pockets

* Reflective stripes on back

Extra long tail to protect backside from wheel spray

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well made from excellent quality fabrics and components.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Just the right level of warmth, windproofing and weather protection to make it genuinely useful.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Tough and durable.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
10/10

For a breathable weatherproof and protective layer this isn't a bad weight or pack size.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10

Very comfortable.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

A safe way of spending £160 as it'll see a lot of use all year round. Probably even in summer.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed very well indeed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfort, fit, breathability and windproofing.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of small zipped security pocket, colour inappropriate for winter use

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Probably. More so if it were a brighter colour.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A really effective and competent three-season jacket that will quickly become a go-to item of kit.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

 

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

Latest Comments

  • IanMSpencer 2 min 24 sec ago

    Regardless, these are guidelines, and not exclusive, so one would have hoped the unprotected nature of a cyclist, or indeed, pedestrian, would be...

  • OldRidgeback 3 min 35 sec ago

    If Police Scotland had actually taken some proper action initially we wouldn't be this many months down the line without the driver having been...

  • HoarseMann 9 min 47 sec ago

    Hardly a farce. It's unhelpful to suggest a cycling helmet could mitigate a brain injury in a collision with a vehicle, because they're not...

  • peted76 1 hour 2 min ago

    I love my storage bottle and overcame the 'fiddly bit' of getting things in and out by putting it all into a Alpkit Banicoot Pouch (other small...

  • IanMSpencer 1 hour 36 min ago

    Checking the legislation, it was amended in 2003. ...

  • Jem PT 2 hours 55 min ago

    It's an Audi - "they all do that, sir", and so a warning letter will probably have little effect. Sorry, but I would have sought a NIP....

  • BalladOfStruth 3 hours 55 min ago

    I think it might actually be the least popular behaviour in all of web design.

  • lesterama 3 hours 57 min ago

    Here's some hope for us chunky blokes, even if most of won't consider spending £3.5k on wheels.

  • Rezis 3 hours 59 min ago

    If running it poorly affected their salaries and bonuses (and other accountabilities) maybe they would run it properly......

  • simonmb 4 hours 10 min ago

    Passing a cyclist in the opposite direction warrants at least a nod or a gentle lift of the hand from the bars. But what about overtaking a fellow...