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Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket review

11 Apr 2022
Verdict:

Warm, windproof barrier for colder outings

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Proven Gore-Tex wind protection • Comfortable race cut • High collar • Water resistant • Low-cut rear protects from elements • Secure cuffs • Good venting
Against 
Seams aren’t taped so will never replace a hardshell jacket • Expensive for a windstopper

Straight out of the ‘you get what you pay for’ stable is the Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket. Boasting a number of element-defying features, this midweight top layer should be a safe bet when it comes to riding through winter and spring – indeed, it’s arguably better equipped for the latter – but with these associated fabrics comes a rather aggressive £200 pricetag.

I’d argue that it falls short of being fully winter-ready, but if you’re choosy about when you ride (i.e., don't ride in heavy rain), then it does represent a good example of a high-end jacket that will keep you warm and dry, built as it is to disperse hot air where it’s required, and retain it where you need it.



Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket: Design and specs

The front section of the Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket is constructed from Gore-Tex Infinium fabric. It’s a windstopping material designed to prevent the chill breeze from penetrating the jacket.

Don’t be fooled by the Gore-Tex moniker, though – although the name is synonymous with epic waterproofing qualities, even Gore is quick to state that its Infinium fabric is for ‘when performance is a priority and waterproofness isn’t.’

Water-repellence is, however, taken care of by the use of Sportful NoRain fabric on the back, cuffs and (helpfully high) collar. A hidden vent is positioned under a flap at the top of the back, too, for exhausting away hot air.

 

An altogether racy cut is topped off with wrist-hugging cuffs which seal the sleeves away from chills, and which seat just as easily over bare hands as gloves.

A trio of external pouch pockets grace the rear of the jacket (although there is no waterproof compartment), while a low NoRain-equipped hem replete with silicon gripper protects your rump and stays put. 

Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket: Performance

The Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket is actually warm enough to be worn over just a thermal long-sleeved base layer, such is the well thought out design.

For the thickness of the Gore-Tex Infinium fabric at the chest and stomach, it performs particularly well to shield your core from cold winds (or indeed straight-up cold weather).

Opt for this jacket when rain clouds gather, however, and you take your chances. The full length front zip is not waterproof, adding to the likelihood of a damp belly.

The use of NoRain material in the collar and cuffs does hold rain at bay at likely pinch points for water ingress, the fabric simply beading away light rain.

And the dropped hem in the same material has effectlvely kept tyre spray from seeping through my bib tights.

Although the rear pockets are secure, you’ll want to put anything particularly averse to rain (such as a mobile phone and/or your wallet) in a waterproof bag (the CHPT3 Upcycled Essentials Case is a safe bet).

Despite the warmth trapped in the body of the jacket, this manages never to build up into a sweat-fest, thanks to a very neat section of perforated fabric venting that’s hidden beneath the NoRain panel at the top of the back.

Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket: Verdict

It’s an unavoidable fact that the Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket is expensive, especially when you consider it’s not suitable for heavy rain.

Granted, Sportful has other jackets in its range which are, but for this money you could reasonably expect the best of both worlds – windproofing and water-proofing.

However, if a classy-looking, well constructed, warm and wind-cheating jacket is what you seek, this one will keep you comfortable in what we’ll call seasonally transitional climates, and if you never plan on riding in storms you’ll be very happy with its performance. If you can afford it.

Products reviewed by Cyclist are independently selected and tested by our editorial team. Cyclist may earn an affiliate commission if you make a purchase through a retailer link. Read our reviews policy.

Price: 
£200

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