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The Sportful Pista jersey is a straightforward thermal outer layer for autumn and spring, with a few little features that mark it out as a very good choice.
Like most jerseys of this kind, it's 100% polyester. Sportful call the fabric Thermoflow, and it's similar to Roubaix Lycra, with a brushed inner surface, as widely used for winter tights. It stretches a lot widthways so you can get a close fit without it feeling tight, but not a lot lengthways so the pockets don't droop down low when you have them fully loaded.
Speaking of the pockets, you get the usual quota of three in the lower back, with the addition of a fourth zipped one for valuables. The tops of the two pockets that sit towards the sides are slightly angled so they're easier to use, while the central one has an elasticated top that's handy for cinching everything in and making sure your mini pump doesn't go walkabout. There's a small reflective tab back there too, although it's positioned on the left hip which isn't the most visible place in countries where we ride on the left-hand side of the road.
The full-length front zip, like that on the rear pocket, is a decent quality offering from YKK. The puller isn't always easy to find with gloved fingers but you get there in the end.
In usual cycling style, the rear is cut slightly longer than the front to keep you covered up on the bike and the sleeves are a good length too. The cuffs are made from a stretchy band like you find at the bottom of the legs of lots of shorts these days. The band is 45mm deep and you're simply not going to get any draughts in here. I like that.
Another neat touch is that the logo and brand name are embossed into the fabric across the upper back. I think it looks good without being too shouty.
There are no windproof panels. The Pista is a jersey that's designed to be breathable when it's not icy cold, and it's very successful in that. You can obviously sling a windproof gilet or jacket over the top to extend its use right into the winter.
I found Sportful's sizing to be small. I take either a medium or a large jersey, depending on the brand. Here, the large was about as small as I could get away with. It was fine, but right on the limit. If you're chunky, you might want to size up.
This white option looks great but it's probably not the most sensible choice for damp British conditions. Black/white, black/white/blue, and red/white versions are available too.
Neat-looking autumn/spring-weight jersey with some good details.
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Make and model: Sportful Pista LS Jersey Full Zip
Size tested: large, white
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 list these details:
- Thermoflow fabric for warmth and breathability.
- Embossed logo on back.
- Full length YKK zip.
- 3 external rear pockets.
- Reflective tape inserts.
- Jacquard knit cuffs.
There's not a lot to argue with there, although there's just the one piece of reflective tape and, if we're being picky, it's not positioned in the best place for countries where we ride on the left (Sportful are Italian).
As polyester goes, the outer surface is pretty hardwearing.
It's a good-quality jersey from a strong brand – I thought this might be a few quid more expensive than it actually is.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a good, solid autumn/spring jersey.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the close fitting cuffs, plus the fact that this jersey looks pretty cool.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing is out of line with most other brands.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, would certainly consider it.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 42 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.