The Sportful Bodyfit Pro Jacket has become one of my favourite pieces of clothing to wear on the bike. Not only is it incredibly warm and breathable, it is really comfortable and impressively lightweight. The quality also goes a long way to justifying the price; the only thing I would prefer is solid pockets.
The Bodyfit Pro is a three-layer windproof jacket with the outer taking care of stopping the wind, the middle working as thermal insulation, and the inner layer a comfortable mesh that sits nicely against your body. The whole thing is really lightweight and feels almost like a top-end sleeping bag in its construction.
With a summer baselayer on underneath, the Sportful worked well from about 13°C down to about 7°C before I started to notice the freshness from outside, but pair it with a slightly thicker long-sleeve winter baselayer and it'll easily deal with sub-zero temperatures. Freezing fog and -3°C was the lowest I got down to, and you could really feel the way it was blocking the icy northerly wind compared to my tights.
Even with its close race fit, because of the material it feels slightly roomier than it really is and that is what seems to let the air move about. I always felt warm in it even when stopped to fix a mechanical or wait for others.
The breathability is very good too. The only time I got sweaty was when the temperature had warmed up a fair bit and I could have done with a lighter baselayer on below. The perspiration soon evaporated, though, and I never felt cold.
As I've said, the Bodyfit Pro has a close cut and it flatters on the bike, although compared with many brands it does come up on the small side. I'm a medium in pretty much all the kit I wear but if I was buying this for myself, I'd definitely go for the large and a little more wiggle room.
Sportful's size guide is useful, though; I found it to be pretty spot on for all of the company's kit.
The neck is tall to stop draughts although there is a little bit of a gap, so if it was really cold I'd stick a snood or Buff on just to stop the wind getting through.
The full zip finishes at the neck beneath a flap of material to stop any irritation of the skin, something that I'd expect to see on a jacket of this price but doesn't always happen.
The sleeves have plenty of length for a race position and elasticated cuffs keep them place and the wind out. They are very thin so easily sit inside your gloves.
The back is dropped plenty low enough to cover your lower back when in the drops, and is held in place by a silicone strip.
Storage is taken care of with three mesh pockets, and this was the only thing I wasn't really enamoured by.
They look a bit delicate and the mesh is very fine, but in use they are actually quite strong and supportive. My main criticism is that having their contents fully visible spoils the appearance and lines of what I think is a good-looking jacket.
Quality is top notch throughout and that, paired with the performance, is why I'd happily pay the £165 asking price.
Mike was very impressed with the Assos Mille GT jacket, especially when it comes to its thermal regulation. Something that I have mentioned the Sportful also does very well.
The Assos is the same price as the Sportful but does get waterproofing, as does the Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme jacket which is also £165, so the Bodyfit Pro is on the back foot there.
When it is dry, though, I'd take the comfort, breathability and light weight of the Sportful every time. And it is £10 cheaper than the 7Mesh Cypress that Mike also tested, which also doesn't have any waterproofing – or insulation – though it is a slightly different beast.
Overall, even though it lacks that water resistance of many other softshell type jackets out there, this Sportful is designed to deliver the ultimate thermal experience, something it does absolutely brilliantly.
One of the warmest, most breathable and most comfortable jackets I've had the pleasure to wear
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Bodyfit Pro Jacket
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket 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?
Sportful says, "3 LAYERS FOR BODYFIT PROTECTION EVEN ON YOUR COLDEST RIDES
"We designed a new jacket for the BodyFit line, unique both in its style and in its technical construction. The outer layer provides wind protection and aerodynamics, while the middle layer serves as thermal insulation and the inner layer is made of comfortable mesh. You can now wear BodyFit even in the coldest conditions."
If you ride in the cold a lot then the Sportful is a good investment, as you'll wear it loads.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
BodyFit Pro construction fine-tuned on our WorldTour riders
3-layer thermal jacket
Designed for a pro fit even in the coldest conditions
Excellent protection on torso, shoulders and upper arms
Silicone gripper elastic on waistband
YKK® Vislon® zipper
A good race cut for minimal fabric flapping, although the neck could be a little close.
It tallies up with Sportful's size guide but the sizing comes up a bit small in relation to many other brands.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Keep things simple with a 30 degree wash and everything will be fine.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a windstopper it's hard to fault.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
I love the material as it is so effective, comfortable and really lightweight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
I'd prefer solid pockets rather the mesh ones, purely from an aesthetics point of view.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's in the ballpark of the upper price for a quality softshell, though it does lack the waterproofing of the opposition I mention from Assos and Lusso for the same money. It's £10 less than the 7Mesh Cypress, though that's a slightly different option.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's excellent. A well-designed jacket that makes use of quality fabrics to deliver plenty of warmth paired with breathability. Its price is on the upper edge, but the performance, I think, is worth it.
About the tester
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
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!