The Sportful Bodyfit Pro Wind Vest is constructed with Gore Windstopper on the front-facing panels and Aero Stretch fabric around the back, so it's windproof where it needs to be and more breathable in places where you don't need protection from the wind.
Sportful call it a vest, but it's essentially the same as a gilet. Many gilets are very lightweight garments designed for emergency use, when the weather makes a turn for the worse, or for early morning starts. The Sportful is a step up from that type of gilet, it's a little heavier and as a result provides a decent level of insulation.
I've been finding the Pro Wind Vest ideal for the entire duration of recent rides, worn over a long sleeve jersey with a short sleeve base layer underneath. You get the full wind protection from the Windstopper panels which keeps your torso from getting chilly, without getting overheated arms that you would if you donned a jacket. The vest isn't waterproof, but in light showers the Windstopper fabric does keep a good deal of the rain from penetrating through to the inner layers.
Fit is the usual Sportful quality, so the medium is comfortably snug. The Bodyfit series is essentially the same clothing as worn by the Saxo Bank squad, just here you can choose more palatable colours than the kit the pros wear.
Talking of colours, if the trendy yellow is too bold for you, there are black and white options too. The yellow is used sparingly however and at this time of year a little extra visibility on grey days doesn't go amiss. There aren't any reflective details though, a couple of flashes around the back wouldn't hurt.
It's a very well finished top. The Pro Wind Vest is robustly made and has been very durable, the yellow even remaining clean after a good dose of riding on mud covered roads and through the wash a few times. The front is cut a little higher and the back lower, so it sits nicely around the waist when you're hunched over the bars. The collar has good height for keeping the neck warm and the full-length zip provides enough ventilation when you need it.
Small enough to roll up and pack into a jersey when you don't need to wear it, though it's perfectly breathable enough that it is comfortable for the whole ride, the Pro Wind Vest is the ideal addition to any cyclist's outfit for the time of year.
A high quality windproof gilet that keeps your torso insulated on windy days.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Bodyfit Pro Wind Vest (2014)
Size tested: medium, yellow/black
A gilet is perfect for use on a bike, especially if you set off early in the morning before the air has warmed up. The windproof fabric keeps your body warm on the front where the chilly wind hits it without making your back too hot. They are light and easy to roll up and store when things warm up.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Front Windstopper® protection. Back in Aero Stretch allows aerodynamic fit and good breathability. Fit and construction as used by Team Saxo Bank Tinkoff. Minimal weight, easily packable in jersey pocket. High collar to keep the wind out.
When you want more than a lightweight gilet, but don't want to switch to a jacket, this is ideal for the changeable weather of autumn.
It's not as light or packable as a lightweight gilet, but it's breathable enough that you'll probably not take it off during a ride.
Extremely good comfort, the fit is first class.
Yes, it's not cheap, but if you do a lot of miles and want a hard-working gilet this is a good choice.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's perfectly designed for autumn riding in the UK. Gives you the warmth and wind protection of a jacket without overheating arms when it's not that cold.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pairs really well with a long sleeve jersey for the current temperature and weather conditions, a very versatile top.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There are no pockets, which considering you can wear it for an entire ride is a slight inconvenience.
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: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.