As its name suggests, the Sportful Second Skin Neck Warmer is made from Sportful's '2nd Skin' fabric, a mix of 95% Polyamide and 5% Elastane. This is the fabric Sportful use throughout their warmer range (arm, leg, etc.) for its stretchiness that allows it to conform to moving body parts, improving comfort. In addition to the stretch, the fabric is soft to the touch and didn't cause any irritation to the skin.
The stretchiness really comes into its own when pulling the neck warmer up and over the head to create a sort of make-shift balaclava for those extra cold days. Sportful have included a couple of elastic panels on either side of the warmer which add even greater elasticity to the garment. More basic neck warmers can often suffer from condensation forming when pulled up over the nose and mouth, but this wasn't an issue for the Sportful. Moisture was efficiently wicked through the fabric leaving it dry and warm.
In terms of sizing, the Sportful is quite long, requiring one to fold it in half when used just to cover the neck. The benefit of the length is that it can be used as a balaclava or crafted into a skull cap which easily covers the ears, making it a very versatile piece of clothing. In fact, I found I reached for it nearly every time I left the door this winter.
The second skin fabric isn't itself intrinsically warm in the way merino wool might be, and functions more as a wind barrier than an insulating layer. That said, because you end up folding it over itself most of the time, you end up with 2 layers between your skin and the elements. I found I could easily rely on it to keep me going into sub-zero temps when used either as a neck warmer or skull cap.
Despite a full winter of near daily use, the Sportful neck warmer shows no signs of wear and tear and continues to hold its elasticity. Consistent, daily use can leave it smelling a little pongy, but a quick wash at 30 degrees is all it takes to refresh it. While it is on the more expensive side of things as far as neck warmers go, the initial outlay is tempered by the fact that you could easily get two or more seasons out of it.
A more technical neck warmer than the usual, both comfortable and versatile.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Second Skin Neck Warmer
Size tested: One
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 describe the 2nd skin as "an insulating and un-restrictive neck warmer for fending off the chill on the coldest rides"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2nd Skin Fabric.
The seamless construction is comfortable and has proven to be robust too.
It does pretty much everything you'd want a neck warmer to do. The 2nd skin fabric wicks moisture well and provides enough elasticity to be used as both skull cap and balaclava.
No issues despite near daily use this winter.
Very soft against the skin. It's also surprisingly warm.
It's on the pricey side, but it should last many seasons.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.