A summer weather supremo with performance to match its stunning looks
Stretchy shoulder material makes for a great and secure fit
Raw cut sleeves at a decent length
Doesn't sag or twist with loaded pockets
Seam across chest is noticeably rough when worn without a base layer
No zippered pocket
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The Sportful Bodyfit Pro Evo jersey has long been a staple inclusion in Sportful's range. It is positioned as a lightweight, warm-weather race jersey but with a fit that Sportful describes as 'regular'.
That description doesn't really do it justice though. A regular fit often strikes a picture of loose materials billowing in the wind, but the reality here is anything but. The Bodyfit Pro Evo might not be as aggressively cut as the brand's 'Bomber' dedicated aero jersey, but it manages second-skin-like comfort and appearance.
The Bodyfit Pro range is one that Sportful uses to promote its pro kit to everyday athletes. It gets the best tech, the latest materials, and quite regularly, the high price tags.
In this case, it's a ticket worth £100.00 / $135.00 / AU$174.85 / €99.90.
For that outlay, you're getting a pro-level jersey that claims to be suitable for all body types, designed for long-distance rides in temperatures of 20C/68F and up.
I've been using it for the best part of 12 months to see how it compares to the best cycling jerseys out there, and with a heatwave hitting Europe in recent weeks, I've spent a lot of time wearing it.
Design and specification
The design of this particular jersey is completely white across the shoulders and fades to grey at the bottom via grey chevron patterning that gets thicker in horizontal bands the further down you go. Sportful's logo adorns the chest and the lower back, and the only other colouring comes in the way of golden tabs that live on each sleeve as well as the back of the neck.
Sportful has discontinued this particular design, which is a shame because in my opinion it looks great, although it is still available at retailers, and luckily that's the only thing that changed with the 2021 jersey, because the Bodyfit Pro Evo is a truly great piece of kit.
In all, the jersey is constructed using three different fabrics that combine for an overall balance of 85 per cent polyester and 15 per cent elastane. The area across the front of the body is - central in the above photo - described by Sportful as microperforated, it has tiny holes at approximately two-millimetre intervals, is silky to the touch and features a medium amount of stretch.
The back panel - on the right-hand side in the above photo - is the least stretchy of the three and features dimples of thinner material at five-millimetre intervals to allow for heat to escape.
Finally, the remaining panels - on the left-hand side in the above photo - are described as micromesh, which is a high-wicking mesh-type material that's much less soft to the touch, but with loads of stretch.
All three are incredibly lightweight and breathable, which is cemented by Sportful's recommended temperature rating of 20C/68F and up.
At the front, the jersey is made up of six separate panels, split down the middle by the full-length zipper and then also by two horizontal seams that run across the chest and the waist. The left and right upper panels use the super-stretchy micromesh, which extends over the shoulders and join the main back panel in two diagonal seams near the shoulder blades. This means there are no seams across the tops of the shoulders at all, and according to Sportful, is a design that considered both the fit and aerodynamics of the jersey. The sleeves are the same micromesh material, they feature a raw cut hem, and despite the lack of any gripper, they stay put no matter the type or duration of the ride.
As a result of its white colour and lightweight construction, the upper third of the jersey is incredibly see-through, which might be off-putting to some, but wear a base layer beneath and one's modesty will remain intact.
You'll probably need a base layer too. Mainly due to the impressive breathability of the material, but also due to the seam that extends across the chest and the slightly rougher micromesh material used for the shoulders. This did cause some discomfort on the couple of occasions that I went without, but of course, it's a problem that's only noticeable on the longest, hottest days (166km above 33C/91F, was one such example) and was compounded by the fact that the fast-wicking performance of the material left behind a salty layer on the skin that added to the discomfort. Even then, it wasn't debilitating or painful, just noticeable.
Beyond that small level of discomfort, the jersey's performance has been near impeccable, such that it has become my go-to warm-weather jersey above countless competitors.
It features the usual three pockets across the rear, and despite being fully and unevenly loaded on numerous occasions, at no point did I find that the jersey twisted or pulled out of shape.
That's no doubt due to the lack of stretch in the rear panel - the pockets are made from the same material, and the strip of silicone that spans the hem at the bottom of the rear, but credit must also be given to the fact that the lower two panels at the front use the same stretchy micromesh material to keep a compressive fit.
There's no zippered security pocket to speak of, but that's not necessarily surprising in a race-focused jersey designed with minimalism in mind. It might be a deciding factor for some, but the pockets are big and secure enough that losing their contents was never a concern.
I would have quite liked to see the zipper down the front to use a cam-lock design for faster - or one-handed - unzipping, but this is probably just me being finicky.
Beyond the ride experience, the jersey's lightweight construction means it dries incredibly quickly, and the bright white material is yet to dull, despite being thrown into the washing machine with all sorts of different colours.
Overall, the Sportful Bodyfit Pro Evo jersey is very easy to recommend.
Its lightweight construction makes it incredibly breathable, and the high-stretch micromesh that sits at the shoulders and the waist means it fits with a second-skin like comfort, despite Sportful claiming it to be relaxed.
Of course, that breathability means it occupies a specific niche as a warm-weather-only jersey, so those who live in colder climates might not get great value from the £100 / $135 / AU$174.85 / €199.90 price tag. But for anyone who is fortunate enough to regularly enjoy 20C/68F temperatures, I can't think of a better jersey to add to the closet.
Tech Specs: Sportful BodyFit Pro Evo jersey
- Materials: 85% Polyester, 15% Elastane
- Weight: 121g
- Size availability: S-3XL
- Price: £100.00 / $135.00 / AU$174.85 / €199.90
- Temperature: 20°C + / 68°F
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