Sportful's NoRain knee warmers provide roubaix-style insulation with the added benefit of being highly water repellent.
We've had a few water repellent fabrics in over the past few months including AcquaZero, as used by Santini and Ride, and NanoFlex, as used by Castelli. They all stretch and breathe as well as standard roubaix-fabrics but when water gets onto the surface, rather than soaking in, it rolls away.
Sportful's NoRain material is very similar to Castelli's NanoFlex in that the repellency is down to tiny silicone particles. It's not a treatment so those particles don't wash out; they're there for the lifetime of the fabric.
These knee warmers aren't waterproof but they certainly help keep you dry in light rain. Plus, if it's not raining but you're riding on wet roads, any spray that comes up from your tyres won't get through. If you're out in heavier rain or a continuous shower, water will eventually work its way in, but even then it's slower than with a normal fabric.
So, you get the idea: these help keep your knees dry with no effect at all on the breathability or comfort. There's no downside to the water repellency.
Water repellency aside, these are already decent knee warmers with a silicone band inside the elasticated gripper that keeps them in place on your thighs, a reflective tab sewn into the single seam, and a reflective logo at the front. There's another logo embossed onto the left warmer too, which is a neat little detail that's never going to wear off or look tatty.
These are a reasonable price for knee warmers even without the water repellency. With it, they're a bargain.
If you'd rather have full leg warmers, they're available at £35.
Breathable, comfortable knee warmers that are water repellent enough to keep out road spray and showers
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Make and model: Sportful Norain knee warmers
Size tested: Large
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?
These are suitable for anyone who'd wear normal knee warmers: Lycra types, baggy wearers... whoever.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sportful say, "NoRain nanotechnology means that rain stays out, but without compromising the comfort, stretch and breathability of traditional ThermoDrytex Plus warmers."
There's no clever shaping here but you can position the single seam out of harm's way so it doesn't rub. The silicone gripper works well to stop them from slipping.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're designed as warm knee warmers with the added bonus of being water repellent too - and that's exactly what they do.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The water repellency is useful, particularly for keeping road spray out.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's not a lot to dislike here.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.