Sometimes, having so much variety in kits can create a conundrum when getting ready for a ride. Long-sleeve or short? Arm warmers and a vest? How about bib shorts and leg warmers or knickers? Well, the impressive Sportful Fiandre NoRain Wind Jersey has taken much of the guesswork out of my top of choice so far this fall. It’s versatile, protective and fits perfectly.
Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Top Features:
- WindShield 3L stretch windproof fabric on front, shoulders and upper arms
- NoRain Light fabric on back & forearms for water repellent breathability
- Zippered openings for access to pockets
- YKK® Vislon® main zipper with wind flap
- Reflective heat transfer strips
- MSRP: $169.95
Lightweight, packable, protective
Protection is always key on cold mornings or throughout the shoulder season and into winter. The key is keeping the chill out while maintaining a high level of breathability at the same time. That’s the Goldilocks of all outerwear and not every piece does it well. With a combination of materials (WindShield 3L and NoRain Light Fabric), the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Jacket is supremely versatile.
The cut is streamlined and form-fitting. Hem length is perfect with enough coverage in and out of the saddle with ample extra in the back for added protection. Sleeve length is equally spot-on with enough NoRain Light fabric to pull atop my glove cuffs for gap-free protection. It’s still mind-boggling to me that I find jackets with sleeves cut too short. Sportful designers have nailed it with a killer elastic sleeve cuff that stretches and stays put.
I’ve been able to test the Fiandre Light NoRain Jacket both road and mountain biking. Most of my miles were on the road, but it has proven equally-capable in the dirt. Depending on the temperatures, I’ve worn this with just a short-sleeve jersey, with a long-seelve jersey and with a base layer and long-sleeve jersey underneath. All combinations have delivered added warmth as needed without ever feeling bulky.
Sometimes, lightweight jackets double as jerseys, but not here — you won’t find a single pocket. Instead, it provides zippered access to your jersey pockets underneath. Access is only on the right side of the jacket and does allow for quick access to the right and center pockets, but I always reached underneath to access the left pocket. Just keep your essentials handy in that right pocket and all is well. I found it easy to both unzip and zip while in the saddle due to the unidirectional zipper pull. The front zipper is a different story as I had trouble reliably finding it while in the saddle — a little better pull there would be my recommendation.
The front of the jacket provides great wind protection. It’s there that you’ll find the WindShield 3L fabric doing its job. Even at speeds of 45 mph in temperatures down to 40-degrees, it always kept the chill out. And, the fabric treatment makes the NoRain Light fabric shed water with gusto. I’ve yet to ride in serious rain, but the light rain I’ve encountered so far just beads right up.
I love the height, diameter and softness of the collar. It really allows me to confidently rock this jacket in colder temperatures than I would otherwise. The lightweight, fleece-lined collar delivers a cozy and warm experience.
NoRain is a nano-tech treatment that embeds itself into the fabric for long-lasting water repellency. I’m notorious for not following care instructions and things seem to fare just fine. For longer duration and proper care, have a look at Sportful’s product care guide.
- Absolutely spot-on fit
- NoRain fabric impresses
- Very breathable mix of fabrics
- Love the sleeve length
- Diameter and height of collar is spot-on
- Packable — easily-stuffed into a jersey pocket
- Better front zipper pull would be nice
- Left jersey pocket is a tough one to reach
The Bottom Line: Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Jacket
The Fiandre Light NoRain Jacket has been a staple since arriving. I really can’t think of a more versatile jacket for shoulder season. It sheds rain, breathes well and blocks the wind. Overall fit is perfect with just the right hem length, sleeve length and collar height.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com