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The Sportful No-Rain arm warmers perform a lot like regular arm warmers except that, as the name implies, they are also water repellent.
They're made from a Nylon/Elastane fabric just like most other arm warmers, with tons of stretch and breathability. The inside face is fleecy – it's a Roubaix-type fabric – so you get quite a bit of warmth too, making these suitable for cooler spring and autumn rides. The single seam isn't particularly noticeable in use while a silicone band inside the elasticated gripper holds the top comfortably in position on your upper arm.
The smart bit, though, is the water repellency and, like pretty much everything else in cycling at the moment, that's down to nanotechnology. To save you heading over to Wikipedia if you're not familiar with the term, nanotechnology covers materials on an atomic/molecular scale. It's small stuff, basically.
Like Castelli's Nanoflex garments, Sportful's No-Rain arm warmers have nano filaments of silicone embedded in the fabric. The result is that water beads up and rolls off. The first time you see it, this messes with your melon. Water should soak in to fabrics like this. But it doesn't – at least, not very easily.
The No-Rain fabric isn't waterproof like Gore-Tex or similar seriously waterproof fabrics but it does shed water well. Mist, road spray and light showers won't get through. Heavier rain will, especially if water gathers in any folds around your elbows, for example.
I've found these most useful for those days when the weather's a bit grey and it drizzles from time to time. Sling on a water-resistant gilet and these and you can keep riding without the need to keep getting a jacket on and off.
These are a little thicker and warmer than the Castelli Nanoflex arm warmers that we've reviewed so they're suitable for slightly cooler temperatures, although there's really very little in it.
Great stuff; as stretchy and breathable as standard Roubaix arm warmers but water repellent with it.
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Make and model: Sportful No-Rain arm 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?
Sportful say, "No-Rain nanotechnology means that rain stays out, but without compromising the comfort, stretch and breathability of traditional ThermoDrytex Plus warmers."
They're essentially standard roubaix-type arm warmers with added water repellency.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It's all about the silicone nano-filaments. They don't wash out.
It's good. I've known less prominent seams but you don't move your arms much so that's not really an issue. The reflective logo is of the heat-applied variety and it hasn't started to crack. There's an embossed logo on one of the arm warmers too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. They provide good warmth and a useful degree of water repellency.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There are no big negatives.
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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.