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The high-quality, lightweight Sportful Bomber Jersey is perfect for racing and riding in the sun. It has a close-fitting body and sleeves with no annoying flapping in the wind, and is extremely comfortable and well ventilated. If you want one, though, there is a bit of a price to go with it.
If you're interested in the Bomber, also check out our guide to the best summer cycling jerseys for more (and cheaper) options.
The Sportful Bomber comes in a variety of colours and is made of a smooth, stretchy polyester fabric and – though it's not very clear in our photos – a mesh panel rear. This makes for a very usable and comfortable fit, with ample ventilation.
The sleeves are made of a compact stretch fabric with a very sleek and comfortable fit. They're hard to notice while riding, not budging at all despite there being no gripper, and fitting like a second skin.
The jersey sits well when riding and doesn't move too much or ride up when changing position on the bike; even with full pockets it holds its shape well. When you're not riding, the jersey sits higher on the front because of its racing fit, but once in position on the bike it fits perfectly.
The jersey also has a lower cut on the neck than most, which makes for a very comfortable and snug fit, allowing plenty of breathing room with the zip all the way up.
It's a full-length YKK Camlock zip and is very easy to open one-handed; it doesn't get stuck or bend when zipping up or down. There is also no zip movement once it's all the way up, and though there's no zip garage, it sits tucked away nicely at the top without any irritation.
The Bomber has ample storage with three spacious pockets at the rear that can comfortably hold all your ride essentials, including a rain cape. On top of these are two mesh pockets which make for race number pouches. This is a very useful way to hold numbers and prevents the need for the classic safety pin holes in the jersey! Even when the pockets are fully loaded, the jersey holds its shape and doesn't sag down at the rear.
Fit-wise, the jersey is slightly smaller than other mediums I've tried, sizing up closer to what a size small would be in other jerseys. It is a race style design, though, so worth checking the size guide before buying.
I found it tight but comfortable, with no awkward bits of fabric or material. The sleeves are on the longer side, and come down just above the elbow, presumably for better aerodynamics.
The jersey is a perfect warm weather garment with its mesh panel and thinner material, and with that mesh being located on the rear it's still very usable when the sun goes away and temperatures drop slightly.
Weighing just 117g in a size medium, the Sportful Bomber is very light, which also contributes to the comfort and overall high quality feel. It wicks away sweat well and is very quick to dry, making it comfortable to ride in even in the hottest weather and means you're never too damp for too long.
The only criticism I have with the Bomber is that although it's machine washable, it does have a tendency to hold onto dirt and stains. It doesn't hold odour, though, which is a positive.
When it comes to price, the Sportful Bomber sits somewhere in the middle to upper price bracket.
Though not cheap, it's the same price as the excellent Universal Colours Spectrum Light short sleeve jersey, a very similar offering. Both are aimed with summer riding in mind, and both use mesh panels to remove unwanted heat.
The Spectrum has hems on the sleeves and waist which add a little more bulk and mean it might be slightly less comfortable than the Sportful's hem-less sleeves, though Jamie had no complaints, and they certainly don't add weight – it was just 78g on the road.cc scales. The Spectrum does have a slightly longer body, too, meaning your belly will remain tucked away when standing up off the bike.
It's also made of recycled material. Sportful makes no mention of any recycled material in the Bomber, so the UC Spectrum has a clear edge if you're environmentally minded.
All in all, the Sportful Bomber has the high quality and feel of a high-end race jersey – and a similar high-end price to go with it. For the quality and performance it provides, though, I believe it's a fair price, and it's one I would recommend for long summer rides.
High-end, high-quality summer jersey that justifies its high price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Bomber Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
The Sportful Bomber jersey is designed for summer riding. It is lightweight, comfortable and aerodynamic.
Sportful says: "The Sportful Bomber Jersey is a lightweight, wind-tunnel refined garment, trusted by the pros to speed them onto victory when every watt counts. Part of the TotalEnergies Official Race Kit collection, this jersey delivers uncompromising road performance.
The body is made from smooth, stretchy polyester with added structure at the back, for breathability and a snug, aero fit. The minimalist, collarless design and compact, stretch fabric sleeves work in tandem with this figure-hugging body to further reduce drag.
Sister to the Bomber Suit, the Bomber Jersey includes 3 expandable rear pockets to accommodate your gels and essentials, with a micromesh number holder, and can be vented with one hand thanks to a full-length YKK® Camlock® zip. There's also a reflective strip on the chest, to keep you visible if a training session runs long. It has all the attributes needed to help you to maximise your abilities and aspire to the highest levels of racing."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sportful lists these 'Key features':
Smooth, stretchy polyester fabric with a structured back
Sleeves in compact stretch fabric
Minimalist, collarless design with cut edges
3 rear pockets with gusset for increased capacity and micromesh race number pockets
YKK® Camlock® zip for easy operation
A very well made jersey; it feels very high quality and performs well under use.
The product performs exactly how it should and works perfectly.
So far so good, though I have only been using it for a month.
The jersey fits like a second skin; it's extremely comfortable with no issues even when wearing it for upwards of seven hours.
It's on the smaller side, so in many cases will require sizing up to be comfortable. I usually wear a small but in this jersey a medium was the right fit.
It's very comfortable thanks a lot to its sleeves which don't feature any grippers, keeping comfort high.
At £120 it's at the more expensive end of the scale, though it does live up to it with great performance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It's machine washable, but it does have a tendency to hold dirt and stains. It doesn't hold odour, though, which is a positive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, it performs very well and exactly as it is intended to. It's a high-quality jersey with a great performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The sleeves. They were extremely comfortable and didn't budge once in place.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Its tendency to hold onto stains and discolouration from dirt.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's in line with others of similar quality and with similar features, such as the Universal Colours Spectrum Light short sleeve jersey. I believe it's a fair price to pay for the quality of both products, though the Spectrum has higher eco credentials.
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
It's excellent. A really well-designed product that feels great in use, very comfortable and lightweight. If it wasn't for the cleaning issues it'd be near perfect.
About the tester
I usually ride: Windover Bostal My best bike is: Windover Bostal
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, touring, mtb, Gravel and ultra-endurance racing