I’ve been trying out the Löffler Windstopper FZ women’s cycling jersey. The jersey features a Gore 1beats2 Windstopper membrane, making it windproof, water-repellent and breathable. It’s been such a mixed summer in the UK – particularly in the north – that a windproof jersey has been surprisingly welcome, despite it being August.
The Gore 1beats2 Windstopper laminate is designed to work best at temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees, so for less-than-perfect British summer days and early autumn, it’s ideal. It was developed to help protect cyclists against the cold and the wind, without having to add extra layers. Windstopper jerseys are designed to keep riders comfortable from dawn to dusk on the bike without the need for adding jackets and gilets. They’re said to provide the same thermal insulation as the combination of a regular jersey plus breathable windbreaker jacket while weighing up to 35% less than the two together.
Löffler is not a well known brand in the UK cycling market but this Austrian cycle wear company makes serious, sensible bike kit. It might not set your heart racing, but it performs solidly.
I can’t say that I have been all that interested in short-sleeved windproof jerseys before. I was of the opinion that if it was cold enough to need a windproof garment, it would probably need long sleeves. Testing this has actually made me realise that there is a place for short-sleeved windproof jerseys, after all. We’ve had a lot of windy weather this summer and – to get all up close and personal – does anyone else find that cycling on windy days causes really sore nipples? It doesn’t have to be a cold day for me to be in some serious discomfort if the wind is up. So, for that reason alone, I take back what I said. Short-sleeved windproof jerseys might have a place in my cycling wardrobe after all.
I’d be lying if I said the Löffler Windstopper jersey excited me; it’s a very functional-looking piece of kit. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the photographs: I actually think it’s quite flattering, and it was very comfortable. I like the stand-up collar – again, good for keeping draughts out – and the fabric feels nice. As autumn approaches, it will be useful paired with arm warmers (more on those later).
However, it’s a bit lacking in design features. It only has one pocket, a rear pocket which zips. It’s generous enough to fit my enormous Sony Xperia Z5, but there isn’t enough storage for inner tubes, bananas and the like. I would also expect a bit more reflective detailing on a very functional garment.
It’s a fast drying jersey which is remarkably breathable considering how robust the fabric feels. Wind is blocked really effectively, and sweat is wicked away nicely. The jersey is stretchier than I expected, though a little bit short in the body and prone to riding up. Another inch in length and a stickier silicone grip strip on the hem would be useful.
If you’re looking for a good quality, windproof jersey for commuting, the Löffler Windstopper jersey is a decent buy with excellent windproofing thanks to the Gore 1beats2 Windstopper technology. However, future iterations would benefit from additional pockets and reflective details.
A word of warning – sizing is quite small. I usually wear size medium jerseys but this one is pretty snug, and I would be more comfortable in a size large. (I’m 172cm and weigh 69kg).
I have also been testing the Löffler Windstopper Softshell Light Arm Warmers, when I can wrestle them off Matt who is particularly taken with them. In the summer it’s unusual for me to reach for arm warmers as I’m quite a hot blooded sort – but Matt’s clearly spent too long in the south of England and feels the need for warmth on early morning rides, no matter what time of year!
The Löffler Windstopper Softshell arm warmers are really nice to wear. They are lined with Thermo-Velour for warmth and it is really soft and cosy – lovely against the skin. They stay put, and they are very lightweight and flexible – no bunching inside the elbows.
The reflective logo on the left arm is really bright, but it’s a shame it isn’t on both arms. We’re not huge fans of hi-vis cycling kit, but as bike commuters we are very big fans of reflective detailing.