Designed for the hottest conditions, the new Bodyfit Pro Light jersey from Italian brand Sportful excels at keeping you cool and dry when the temperature ramps up, making it an ideal choice for summer rides and racing.
- Pros: Breathable, airy, dries quickly, fit
- Cons: A bit see-through
Bodyfit is a popular range in the Sportful collection, developed for the professional cycling teams that it sponsors, benefiting from the sort of feedback only pros can provide, but without the sponsors' logos.
For 2018 the Bodyfit jersey range has expanded to three core jerseys designed for different conditions. The Evo is the do-everything all-round jersey, the Classic (review to come) is for cooler climes, and this Pro Light is the one to reach for when you need a super-lightweight and highly breathable jersey.
It fulfils that brief well. When the temperature is above 25°C the super-thin fabric prevents overheating, noticeably providing a very airy feel compared with regular jerseys. The mesh fabric also dries extremely quickly, so when you get a sweat on during a long climb it dries out in next to no time.
It's lightweight too, with this size small weighing just 101g, only a little more than the claimed 99g. That makes it one of the lightest jerseys we've tested, and you certainly notice that when wearing it. Sportful has sweated the details to trim the weight down, from the minimalist silicone-lined elastic waistband to the low-profile collar and laser-cut sleeves.
The fit is close and racy, but there's just enough stretch in the fabric to ensure it gives where it needs to and doesn't restrict movement at all. An Aero Stretch material used in the shoulders and sleeves provides a lot more stretch than the main body fabric and enhances the fit and comfort.
Evidence of its lightweight and breathable focus comes when you look in the mirror: it's a lot more see-through than most regular jerseys! If you don't already, you might want to consider wearing a baselayer to preserve your modesty.
Details are kept to a minimum in the pursuit of weight saving, the main ones being the YKK full-length zipper and three rear pockets.
They're of ample size for all your ride essentials and well supported if you load up with food and spare clothing, and reinforced on the inside for good measure.
As for value, £80 isn't cheap but you get a lot for your money: a very lightweight and highly breathable jersey that copes impressively in warm weather. It also compares well with other hot weather jerseys we've reviewed on road.cc: Craft's Monument is a fiver more at £85, and Santini's Redux is £135. Rapha's 104g Pro Team Flyweight jersey, which I tested last year, is £130.
You can pay less – Northwave's Blade Air 3 is £56.99 – but the Sportful looks good against its high-end competition.
The jersey is available in a wide range of sizes, from XS to 3XL, and a choice of three colours.
A highly breathable and airy summer jersey for the hottest temperatures
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Bodyfit Pro Light Jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Sportful says, "Designed and developed for pro level racing in warm temperatures or when maximun breathability is needed. Ergonomic fit, light open structured fabrics offer quick drying and excellent moisture management. Fit is enhanced by light elasticity."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sportful lists the following features:
Extra breathable construction with light structred fabrics
Minimal stitching on collar for comfort and clean look Full YKK Vislon front zip
Miminalist waist elastic witll silicone for grip
Highly stretch Aero strech on shoulders for perfect fit
Arm with laser cut cuff
3 rear pockets
When you need to keep cool and dry in warm and hot conditions, few jerseys cope as well as this one.
Despite its minimalist construction, it's holding up very well on the durability front so far.
The race DNA of the Bodyfit jersey is clearly evident in the close fit, but there's a wide size range to choose from.
It's one of the lightest jerseys we've tested.
Makes riding in hot weather more comfortable because it keeps you cool.
You pay a lot for not a lot of jersey, but it's very well designed and made – and pretty good value compared with quite a few out there.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Goes through a normal wash just fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keeps you cool and dry in hot weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very breathable, stops me overheating on hot climbs.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A bit see-through.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's not a cheap jersey, but it is very good: very lightweight and highly breathable, coping impressively in warm weather.
About the tester
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, mountain biking
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.