When the weather turns wild: Sportful Hot Pack 5

I think it was Billy Connolly who said “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing.” When the weather takes a turn for the worst you often see numbers at the Sunday club ride plummet. Only the strong (or maybe foolhardy) turn up and tackle the elements, but if you’re going to turn up be sure to dress accordingly! Here’s one piece of cycle clothing I rate highly when the rain sets in…

Sportful Hot Pack 5 Packable Jacket

The club ride last Sunday was one of the wettest I’ve experienced in a while. Single digit temperatures combined with a deluge of heavy rain all night continuing through the day created testing conditions for cyclists AND cycling gear! I’ve been through a fair amount of kit in order to find gear that works and one piece that always come up trumps is my Sportful packable jacket.

It may seem a little pricey at first, but the Sportful Hot Pack 5 really comes into it’s own in the wind and rain. On the weekend just gone I spent over four hours in the saddle through non-stop, sometime torrential rain and my upper half was still dry when I got home. That’s saying something right there!


At around 85 grams you hardly notice it stashed away in a jersey pocket, but you’ll be glad it’s there once the rain starts hammering down! It’s got a sleek race/tailored fit, is totally windproof, waterproof, ventilated along the back and stuffs down into it’s own sack to the size of a tennis ball.

Even when it’s not raining the Sportful Hot Pack can be incredibly versatile. It efficiently traps body heat  and defends against bitter wintry winds. Be sure to keep it in your jersey pocket on those sweat inducing Alpine climbs before donning it for the high speed descent!

Personally I love riding in the rain, I find it fantastically fun! But to really enjoy a wet ride though you need to be dressed in quality kit that keeps the elements out. The Sportful Hot Pack 5 ticks all those boxes and more. It is always  at the top of my list whenever the rain clouds hang heavy in the skies!

Trivial fact: Sportful is owned by the same parent company as Castelli. I own a few pieces of Sportful kit and find you get a similar level of quality but for significantly lower prices.

Also published on: tempocyclist.wordpress.com

Views: 1027

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Comment by Middle Ringer on December 1, 2014 at 18:10

There's most definitely a higher spec feel to my Castelli gear over the Sportful stuff, so not all of that extra dosh is just paying for the premium name (although some of it probably is).

Compared to my Sportful kit the Castelli gear is finished to a higher standard with better quality stitching and more attention to the finer details. I have a pair of top shelf Castelli bib tights and they are simply sublime. Every aspect is perfect. There's nothing wrong with Sportful though and from a "higher quality while still retaining value for money" perspective their gear is hard to beat.

Check out this article on the Castelli-Sportful factory:

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/12/a-tour-of-the-castelli-sportful-f...

Comment by Dave Nash on December 1, 2014 at 9:37

Great review Middle Ringer and interesting point you make about the Sportful-Castelli relationship too. That will explain why the two brands have such strong similarities - what other Sportful products do you have in your wardrobe and where are they cutting costs do you think - fabric quality? Contstruction? Or is one just paying a premium for the Castelli label?!

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