This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Highs: Pro level weather protection and insulation performance
Lows: Can begin to heat up in milder temperatures
Buy if: You want a high performance, protective jacket for hard winter rides or racing
Sportful's Fiandre line is developed to cope with the worst the winter weather can throw at you. Constructed from a variety of technical fabrics to keep you protected from the wind and precipitation — it's more often associated with the Flanders region of Belgium.
Developed in close partnership with WorldTour-level cyclists from Bahrain-Merida and Trek-Segafredo, the Fiandre Extreme jacket is designed to give maximum protection from the elements without restricting movement or breathability — perfect for winter racing or fast training rides.
The jacket is constructed from Polartec's NeoShell fabric and also features taped seams for further protection
The Fiandre Extreme is made using Polartec's NeoShell fabric, which is windproof, waterproof, breathable and has elastic properties.
As well as the NeoShell material there are taped seams, a waterproof zipper and a high, ergonomically cut collar, which all add to the jacket's protective characteristics.
As you might expect for a piece developed with professional cyclists, the Fiandre Extreme has an incredibly athletic cut. While a tailored-fit this aggressive may be restrictive in other materials or jackets, the four-way stretch of the NeoShell material, combined with what Sportful describes as strategically placed seams, results in a jacket that has performance that lives up to its name yet still offers all day comfort.
Three ample sized cargo pockets to the rear and a reflective 'Fiandre' logo on the central pocket
The jacket also features a silicone gripper around the waistband, and soft fleece fenders over the top and bottom of the zip to prevent it catching skin or material.
The Fiandre Extreme jacket is surprisingly light and thin for a piece that is designed for temperatures ranging from 0–15 degrees Celsius. But despite my initial impressions, when worn with a deep winter thermal base layer or a long sleeve thermal jersey the jacket provides more than adequate warmth and insulation from cold temperatures and driving wind, without getting hot when riding hard or climbing.
The collar is high and ergonomically cut so it doesn't cut into your neck
I experienced plenty of wet weather during testing too — heavy rain showers, light but consistent drizzle and short hail showers — and the Fiandre Extreme kept the water out throughout.
However, at temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius the jacket did begin to heat up inside, so a less serious jacket would be better in these temperatures.
Due to the four-way stretch of the fabric, the tailored cut doesn't feel restrictive
Available in black, fire red or fluoro yellow, the jacket comes with three amply sized rear cargo pockets and reflective strips on the rear and left-hand shoulder.
A short sleeve version of the jacket is also available for £250 / $269.99.
At £265 / $299.99, the Fiandre Extreme's performance credentials come at a price. But, if you're part of a fast chain gang or weekly club ride, which goes out come rain, shine or wintry weather, the Fiandre Extreme jacket will offer you the performance and protection that the price commands. It's genuinely a pleasure to put on ahead of every ride.