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Verdict: 
Great quality knee warmers that do a brilliant job of keeping the rain out
Weight: 
101g

The Sportful NoRain Knee Warmers are comfortable and do a very decent job of keeping the wind and rain out, although I'd prefer a little more shaping for a perfect fit.

  • Pros: Impressive water repellency; warm
  • Cons: Slight bunching at the rear of the knee

Knee warmers are a great addition to your outfit in changeable weather conditions, and the temperature range that these Sportfuls work in makes them ideal for spring through to autumn. I found them plenty warm enough from around 8°C through to about 15°C.

They are good wind blockers and the fleece lining on the inside adds warmth while remaining soft against the skin.

Sportful Norain Knee Warmers - cuff.jpg

What sets these apart from most other knee warmers is their ability to keep the rain out – if not forever, at least for a good hour or so depending on the intensity of the downpour. They use a nanotech silicone finish to the fabric which means that water beads off the surface before it can soak through.

> Survival tips for cycling in the rain

I've worn them in prolonged drizzle and heavy showers and they've stood up well, keeping my knees dry. I was most impressed with a two and a half hour ride in heavy rain where they were still beading the water off after an hour and a half. Some had made it through as when I took them off my knees were wet, but I never noticed it while riding.

Sportful Norain Knee Warmers - detail.jpg

Comfort is pretty good overall thanks to them coming in a range of sizes, although the Sportful size guide doesn't seem to cover knee warmers so it's a bit of guesswork. Stick with the size you'd normally wear in shorts and you'll probably be fine – I tested a medium pair, and that's my usual shorts size.

Some warmers are shaped to reflect the bend in the knee, which helps prevent the fabric bunching up as you go through the pedalling motion. The Sportfuls aren't like that so there was a little bit of bunching but it wasn't massively noticeable – pretty much only when I changed from pedalling standing up to sitting back down in the saddle.

Sportful Norain Knee Warmers 2.jpg

They're constructed using a single seam which, while noticeable, is very soft so it folds nicely against your leg rather than digging in anywhere.

Looking at the way the Sportful logos and reflectives are positioned, the seam is intended to run up the back of the leg which is something I always avoid as it is a sure-fire way for the seam to irritate behind the knee. I twisted them round a touch to avoid that and had no issues whatsoever.

The warmers are held in place by a silicone gripper at the top and it worked a treat as I had no issues with them sliding down over the course of a ride.

Sportful Norain Knee Warmers - cuff 2.jpg

Overall stitching quality is decent too, from top to bottom. The fabric also feels very robust and durable.

Priced at £32 they aren't excessive for this style of warmer that keeps the rain out. For 40 quid you could go for the Morvelo Stealth Stormshield warmers which Pat was very impressed with. And Pearl Izumi's Elite Thermal offerings also do the same job for £44.99.

> Buyer's Guide: Essential wet weather cycle clothing and gear

Overall, the Sportful NoRains do their job very well, and apart from that small amount of bunching behind the knee there really is little to dislike.

Verdict

Great quality knee warmers that do a brilliant job of keeping the rain out

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 NoRain Knee Warmers

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Sportful says, "NORAIN NANOTECHNOLOGY MEANS THAT RAIN STAYS OUT'' WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE COMFORT, STRETCH AND BREATHABILITY OF TRADITIONAL THERMODRYTEX PLUS WARMERS."

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

Sportful lists:

Single-seam construction

Silicone gripper elastic

Anatomic fit in 4 sizes

Reflective logos and piping

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

A medium is what I'll normally wear in this kind of product and the fit was absolutely fine.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

A simple 30 degree wash will see them come up clean and cause no issues with shrinkage.

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

They do everything expected of a knee warmer designed to be water resistant.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great at keeping the rain out.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A little bunching behind the knees.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Against similar products we've tested they are competitively priced.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

They do a really good job of keeping the elements out and are well made, though a little bit of shaping would benefit comfort.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.