Sportful’s Fiandre No-Rain collection has been a big success for the Italian clothing manufacturer. The promise of good insulation, windproofing and moderate water resistance is a compelling combination for many riders and in the case of the Fiandre No-Rain Jacket, has helped it become the best-selling jacket in the Fiandre range.
I’ve previously tested the R&D winter range for Sportful (and have also spent the winter riding the latest R&D Zero jacket) but the Fiandre No-Rain make a strong case for itself as well.
The Fiandre No-Rain jacket retails in the UK for £175 – not an insignificant sum for a winter jacket. It’s available in three colourways: the Orange and black that I have to try (which looks fantastic to me – I like bright colours), there’s also flouro yellow and black and an all Black option.
I’ve always liked Sportful’s understated Italian style, the company manages to give some Italian fashion flair to it’s products without ever feeling like it’s trying too hard. It’s confident but relatively subtle stying and the Fiandre No-Rain continues this excellent tradition.
For the most recent winter season, Sportful updated the Fiandre No-Rain in an evolutionary update rather than a re-design. Sportful describe this jacket as an all-conditions warm winter jacket that combines great thermal protection with wind and water resistance.
The Fiandre No-Rain features Gore Windstopper 4 Way Mid and Warm fabrics for warmth, protection and fit, with NoRain Thermal inserts for breathability. There is also a drop down rear flap to help protect against spray, which works surprisingly well and there are three pockets on the rear of the jacket in the usual position. The heavy duty YKK Zipp is the only one on the jacket and feels well engineered to the task. There are no vents in the jacket, so aside from the fabric’s ability to help regulate your temperature, you have the simple option of managing your temperature via the main zip.
I’ve ridden the Fiandre No-Rain jacket in a wide range of temperatures and conditions and have found it to be almost always excellent. As we’ve transitioned into Spring, I’m still choosing to ride it when the winds are cold, even on relatively sunny days. I really feel the cold when I ride, particularly on my upper body, so I like to take no chances with being cold. I’ve ridden this jacket from below zero to around 15 degrees and it’s coped well in all conditions. I’ve also done short hard rides of around an hour to being out for 5-6 hours on long winter rides.
Windstopping performance is excellent and I’ve never had wind getting through and making me colder even on below zero rides. Thermal performance is also very good. I typically just wear a long sleeved mesh base layer like this under a winter jacket and I found that on very cold rides with the Fiandre a touch more warmth would have been nice but as long as I kept moving I was fine.
The No-Rain protection helped shrug off all road spray and rain light to moderate rain showers. If the water kept coming down for more than half an hour or so, I found it better to stop and put an actual rain jacket over the top as that stopped the Fiandre getting too wet, which helped me stay warmer.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this jacket and does exactly what Sportful say in their description. The only issues I’ve found to note are that the No-Rain protection does have it’s limits – this isn’t a rain jacket and in fairness isn’t positioned as one. It will stop spray and showers in their tracks and it’s up to you to decide when to add a rain shell when it keeps getting wetter (I always carry one in my pocket on rainier days). I also found that I would get moisture build up on the inside of the back of the jacket on long rides (but not on shorter ones). That may be because the mesh base layers I favour are supposed to move the perspiration through onto the next layer and they did in particular with this jacket. It may also be due to the No-Rain protection which stops rain getting in, may also stop perspiration getting out as freely. I didn’t find it a problem, but I’ve not noticed this on other jackets I ride in.
The Sportful Fiandre No-Rain Jacket is a very impressive product. It has a great fit, it’s stylish, it keeps you warm in a range of temperatures, it shrugs off light showers and it has stood up well to regular use and washing. The only chinks I’ve found in it’s performance as that in heavier rain, you need to add a rain shell over the top and on long rides I’ve found that the black material on the back saw a build up of perspiration inside the jacket (not on shorter rides, even in warm temperatures). If you want a great jacket for winter and cool weather riding that makes you look good and provides an element of rain protection the Sportful Fiandre No-Rain jacket is an excellent choice.