Sportful Sportful R&D Jacket - Men's
Halloween came early to Sportful's atmospheric, heavily mood-lit R&D laboratories, which are located just northwest of Treviso in Italy. After months of seclusion with captured specimens from Sportful's standard lines and the outdoor industry writ large, the mysterious engineers emerged from the mist, their long white coats stained with Chianti, bicycle grease, DWR treatment, and other, unidentifiable substances. Months of secretive chirurgery resulted in the Sportful R&D Jacket, which uses layers of weather-resistant material and (we think, but can't be sure) black magic to create a jacket that approaches the insulating prowess of goose down but is fitted well enough for cycling. A true monster.
The Polartec Alpha is the jacket's heart, giving it a loft similar to down. This is entombed in a skin of Windshield, which does exactly what you'd expect: sit on the outside and shield against the wind, because every real monster has tough skin. The stretchy mesh lining acts as a comfort scrim while also creating additional microclimate space around your body. All three fabrics are highly breathable, so the jacket evacuates moisture with the same alacrity that it traps warmth. At a claimed weight of 405 grams, it is a little bit heavier than most of Sportful's other jacket offerings, but you'll definitely appreciate the additional warmth that those extra grams buy you on cold training rides.
The jacket's remaining features are more standard, and include a wind-flapped YKK Vislon zipper, an elastic hem with a grippy silicone pattern, three rear pockets, and a bit of reflective detailing on the pockets' pleats. The fit may remind you of the BodyFit Pro line. It should, because it has a similar cut, which Sportful refers to as "ergonomic." Still, We should note that the loft of the Polartec Alpha makes it slightly thicker than most slim-fit cycling jackets. The extended collar is the final highlight of the R&D Jacket's construction. It's cut to accommodate an in-the-saddle position, so when you reach out to the bars, it stays close to your neck, covers admirably, and doesn't feel overly constrictive. You won't feel the need to unzip an inch just to take a drink.
The Sportful R&D Jacket - Men's is available in seven sizes ranging from X-Small to XXX-Large in the colors Black and Marine Blue/black.
- Item #STF002L
- Q & A
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: XL
Kept me warm on several rides in the upper 20's and once in driving sleet. The fit is snug so you will not be able to fit more than 1 layer under it but there is no need. With a medium base layer this jacket keeps you warm from ~20-50 degrees. Waterproof breathable down...a technical Unicorn!
NYC mid 30s with a strong northerly wind
Jacket with only a Craft wool/mix under shirt is really sufficient. design and fabric finish could have been a little svelter.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
WOW! This jacket has completely changed my Winter riding. probably the single most impressive piece of cold weather gear I've purchased.
I have another high end jacket that has served me well, but to even attempt to ride below freezing always required layering to the point of restricting arm movement as well as making my collar tight.
On a whim I purchased this based after seeing it here and then reading a review of the R&D jersey, which is similar. I have never worn Sportful before.
On the inaugural ride, which was in 30 degree weather (24 Windchill) with 10-15 mph winds, I wore a Craft Active Extreme Base Layer with the De Marchi Worlds Pack Euro National Long Sleeve Jersey, which is medium-weight microfiber polyester.
I brought two additional layers with the intent of seeing how little I could get away with. To my surprise, I never needed anything else....even only using two thin baselayers. I can now ride comfortably with no restriction what so ever...AMAZED,
The most surprising aspect is the breath-ability. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get it to overheat. Climbs that I would normally have to unzip or peels layers on are now not a problem.
It gets right to the edge of being toasty and then just seems to let the extra heat out. On the other end of the spectrum, even when not working hard, it gets right to edge of being slightly chilly but never quite gets there.
It wicks moisture exceptionally. While retaining plenty of warmth, it never gets "soggy" which in turn makes you cold.
Construction seems top notch. The rubberized waist band is EXCELLENT, stays tight and keeps the wind out. I can't speak for durability yet, but I'm sure it's great. The material gives me the impression that it could possibly snag easier than a hard shell jacket, but I take the necessary precaution.