Sportful has carried over the no-frills aesthetics of the recently reviewed Luna bib tights to the Softshell Luna Jacket. In addition to the plain design there is a distinct lack of the shaping you might expect with a female-specific jacket. If these (lack of) features appeal then you are in luck, because the Luna's biggest pluses are comfort and warmth; it's a top scorer here.
- Pros: Warm and comfortable, very little tapering around the waist
- Cons: Limited colour choices, few reflectives, very little tapering around the waist...
The design is simple and understated, with the Sportful logo embossed across the rear but barely visible. The jacket lacks reflective detailing so if you opt for either the black one on test or the grey design, you aren't going to be helping yourself in the visibility stakes, though Sportful does have two other offerings, bright pink and a rather unusual green. Otherwise, it's a quality jacket.
The jacket I tested was a medium, and I was surprised that it was so generous. I am used to Italian brands being on the small side, and here in fact, there was a little too much around the midriff (though not as excessive as last winter's Sportful Allure). I would say that it is a rather boyish cut, and certainly a good option if you frequently find some female-specific kit excessively narrowed at the waist. (It's not me in the pics, by the way, it's Tass – who says she, like the Luna, also has a little too much around the midriff…)
There is plenty of length in both the arms and body, so ample coverage and protection against the cold air here. The narrow, minimal cuffs have no elastic in them, though the sleeves narrow enough to prevent draughts entering. I appreciated this, as it meant pulling the jacket on and off was not a battle, as can often be the case.
The baseline hem is very lightly elasticated and lined with small rubbery Sportful logos, though I'm not sure they do very much. The jacket is long and hardly lightweight so I never had any issue with it riding up or moving about excessively.
The pockets are in no way skimpy and are well positioned to allow easy access.
A high collar acts as a great barrier against cold air. The zip toggle could do with being bigger; if I wanted to open up the jacket a little to let some air in I struggled to with thick winter gloves on.
The jacket's fleece-brushed inner traps body heat inside the jersey. While the frontal panels on the sleeves and torso prevent biting wind and cold air entering, slightly thinner panelling on the rear is designed to draw moisture away, so preventing a build-up leading to chills. With a minimal baselayer the jacket really was exceptional. It makes getting ready for a ride in temperatures close to zero very simple: one baselayer, one jacket and no gilet. I was thoroughly impressed with its ability to keep me warm on 3.5hr+ rides in recent temperatures of 2-4 degrees. If my torso and arms are warm, I have less of an issue with my hands too, so I felt I was really benefiting from the jacket.
Considering it's not classed as waterproof (Sportful scores it 1 out of 4 on that), it stood up pretty well to light rain, surface spray and mist, with water beading on the fabric. It took persistent rain to eventually penetrate it, and even when it did there was sufficient frontal windproofing to ensure that you didn't immediately start to chill.
Value-wise, you could compare prices on these jackets for a long time – there are so many out there claiming to be windproof/thermal. Santini's Coral 2.0 Winter Jacket offers a very similar performance to the Luna and it comes in at £134. Even dhb's Aeron Women's Full Protection Softshell is a tenner more than the Luna. (We'll have full reviews of both the Santini and dhb shortly.) Considering its performance, the Luna is well priced, and if you are happy with the appearance and a rather boyish fit, this is a great buy.
Understated design offering outstanding warmth with a boyish cut
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Luna Softshell Jacket
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for
Sportful says of this: 'Simple yet elegant...the perfect match to your winter kit that won't break your budget. Softshell front and sleeve inserts offer warmth with wind resistant protection.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Sportful lists these features:
Fleece-lined SoftShell main construction.
Back panel in ThermoDrytex Plus
YKK® Vislon® front zip
3 external rear pockets
Double cuff finishing with insert
Hem elastic insert with silicone printing
Breathability is good, though not outstanding. Performed best with a top quality baselayer that didn't hold any moisture.
No weak or vulnerable areas of fabric and has stood up well to the testing period's excessive wearing and washing.
Light rain beaded and rolled off. Persistent, heavy rain eventually penetrated. Sportful does only rate it 1/4; you are not buying a waterproof layer here.
Good, though not the best.
I found it rather generous around the torso, but good arm and body length.
It's a generous medium, albeit not excessively so; not what I normally associate with many Italian brands.
For a substantial winter jacket, it doesn't feel heavy.
Buy a very similar softshell jersey from other leading brands and you'll pay a similar price, if not more.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, no deterioration in performance levels through repeated washing.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Kept me tasty warm but I began to religiously couple it with a thin, breathable baselayer to maximise its performance – to avoid moisture build-up.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
First class protection against cold wind, no gilet required. Resistant to light rain/mist.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The fit; it didn't hug my torso. This is a personal thing and won't bother everyone. Also, this particular colour option is too understated on the rear for my liking. And the small zip.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
One of the best thermal jackets I've used in recent years. It lacks a decently sized zip toggle and reflective detailing, but still rates a very good 8. Fit isn't perfect on me, but could potentially be a plus for others.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, getting to grips with off-roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…