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Sportful Total Comfort Jacket review

Possibly the most comfortable jacket on the market

Sportful Total Comfort Jacket front view
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Our Verdict

Don't expect a serious weather winter jacket but the Sportful Total Comfort jacket is a joy to wear. It's comfortable against your skin, breathes well, and has a good fit

For

  • - Plenty of room for a phone in the zippered side pocket
  • - Lots of stretch in the pockets
  • - Polartec Alpha internal insulation feels great against the skin

Against

  • - Outer is quick to overwhelm in sustained rain

Sportful is a brand we love and, if you check out our list of the best cycling clothing brands, you'll see it makes an appearance. You can also find items from Sportful on our best winter cycling jackets buyers guide. Every new item has to stand on its own though and the Sportful Total Comfort Jacket isn't something we'd looked at until recently. 

In the interest of finding out what the Sportful Total Comfort jacket is all about, we put in the miles, rode through the rain and braved the cold to see where it excels, what it does best, and where it could work. Keep reading to find out what ways we think it makes the best sense to use this jacket and how it performs. 

Sportful Total Comfort Jacket rear view

The colour options add some nice vibrancy without being too bright (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Design and aesthetics 

Gore fabrics are some of the most widely used in the cycling industry. They are so ubiquitous that it's almost a surprise to see something different. Sportful though, was an early adopter of Polartec and has had the opportunity to evolve its usage over time as the technology improved. The Sportful Total Comfort jacket uses Polartec fabrics throughout and right from the start that makes for something that stands out. 

On the interior, you can find the bright orange, tufted, Polartec Alpha Direct active insulation. Polartec Alpha is a material designed for lofted breathability. It creates space against your body, allowing air to move around, and it's hydrophobic so it doesn't retain moisture. The Alpha Direct variation is an evolution of the original design that makes it a complete package on its own. It works for skin contact and no longer requires backing layers or protective top layers. 

To further add to breathability, the insulating layer finds use in only targeted areas, so you get no insulation on the lower front panels and lighter fleece insulation at the back and the neckline. 

The outside of the jacket also uses a Polartec material and this time it's the Neoshell membrane fabric. Like other membrane fabrics, Neoshell is a multilayer fabric with a face layer over the top of a layer with microscopic pores. The pores are large enough to allow water vapour out but keep liquid water from coming through. It's breathable and the exterior is a softshell design that feels like other fabrics. 

Sportful Total Comfort Jacket detail of the Polartec Alpha Direct Insulation

Polartec Alpha Direct insulation stops about three quarters of the way down the inside of the jacket (Image credit: Josh Ross)

The lower section of each arm switches to an even more breathable fabric with a DWR (durable water repellant) coating. At the end of the sleeves the same material wraps inside and continues for a bit before the Polartec Alpha insulation begins. This fabric allows for a closer cut, and better fit, while also keeping plenty of stretch for gloves and ease of entry.

The pockets on the Sportful Total Comfort jacket use a jersey style arrangement in the rear. There are jackets with wider pockets but Sportful keeps them low and wide enough to easily get your hands in. They are also exceptionally stretchy, with space at the bottom for expansion, leaving them with plenty of room when you need it. 

On the left side of the jacket is an extra zippered pocket. The design keeps the pockets from overlapping and as a consequence there's no competition for space. The zippered pocket is also more generous than most, and there's plenty of room for a moderately-sized smartphone, although beware that it can get damp as perspiration exits through the materials beneath.

Topping off the design visually is a choice of four gorgeous colours. There are no primaries here and each option is a toned-down echo of the corresponding colour. They are somehow simultaneously vibrant and also calming, and allow you to add a pop of colour without screaming look at me like a dayglow commuter. 

Sportful Total Comfort Jacket detail view of the pockets

The pockets on this piece have plenty of room, plenty of stretch, and the zippered side pocket is big enough for modern phones (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Ride experience

Every piece of cycling clothing has a character to it. When it comes to the Sportful Total Comfort jacket that character is proudly displayed in the name and 'Total Comfort' absolutely sums up the experience of wearing this jacket. 

Before talking about the performance, it deserves to have the comfort well and truly praised. On the inside, the Polartec Alpha Direct lining feels great against your skin, to the level that there's no need to wear long sleeves beneath to protect yourself from an uncomfortable inner surface. On the outside, the Polartec Neoshell is similar to other softshells in that's it feels good to the touch and doesn't make noise as it moves. 

Aside from the fabrics, the cut and fit are also comfortable. It's a performance piece so it is definitely more comfortable on the bike, but it's not at all uncomfortable off it. There's no tightness across the chest when standing and the pockets are easy to reach. The neckline feels good and Sportful has gone in a more relaxed direction with the top of the zipper. Instead of a tight fit and protection from the zipper at the top, the zipper just ends a bit lower. It's probably not the most aero design but it's certainly comfortable. 

When it comes to performance there's a little more of a disconnect with the description. The insulation is super comfortable but it's not heavy. Temperature-wise I found the most success with this piece in similar ranges as I would use thermal jerseys like the Gore C5 Thermal jersey. Think of it less like a jacket and more like a heavy thermal jersey that can handle some wind and rain.

With precipitation though, the Sportful Total Comfort jacket isn't the best choice for a day of heavy rain, as it handles rain similarly to other softshell jackets and will get overwhelmed in time, and the forearms are especially prone to this. Breathability and weather protection is always a balance and, in this case, Polartec, and by extension Sportful, have erred on the side of breathability. Wind is no problem though. 

The days I felt most comfortable were days when temperatures averaged near 55F/12C degrees. It if dips down to 48F/9C there’s no reason to worry and if the sun comes out and it warms up that’s not a concern either. There’s excellent breathability to handle temperature swings and if it rains for a bit, you’ll stay cosy. 

Sportful Total Comfort Jacket detail of the zipper and neckline

The top of the zipper lacks a 'garage' but makes up for it by stopping just a little short of the top (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Verdict

The Sportful Total Comfort jacket is great for moderate winter weather even when that means a bit of rain or plenty of wind. It's not designed to handle the worst conditions but it trades that for exceptional comfort and breathability. Think of it as a thermal jersey with the addition of protection against wind and rain. 

What's more, its colours are great without being overbearing and the pockets are top-notch. 

Tech Specs: Sportful Total Comfort Jacket  

  • Price: £310.00 / $300.00 / €325.90 / AU$410.00
  • Available Colours: Beetle Black, Blue Sea Black, Red Rumba Black, Dark Gold Black
  • Material: Polartec Alpha Direct, Polartec Neoshell, DWR coated thermal fabric 
  • Weight: 328g size small
  • Size availability: S-3XL
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