The Sportful R&D Strato top is a gilet bonded to a thermal jersey. An all-in-one long-sleeve for cool weather riding, the Strato uses the ever useful layering principle relied on by cyclists in an all-in-one top. The design makes it fast to dress for cold weather rides keeping the upper body nice and warm on early season rides.
A one-piece top has it’s advantages for early morning rides, speeding up getting ready and minimizing decisions on what to wear so a couple more precious minutes can be spent in bed. It’s on early morning rides in the spring that the Sportful R&D Strato really had its place in our wardrobe getting us out the door quickly in something we knew could be relied on to keep us warm.
While lightweight, our testers found the Strato to be warmer than it looks. Combined with a long sleeve base layer, it would be conceivable continuing to wear it in temperatures below 0 C. On the upper end of the spectrum, you’d be comfortable in the Strato until about 15 C but anything above 12 C starts to feel a bit toasty. For rides in the mid to upper teens a vest, jersey and arm warmers would be a better combination. For when the temperature is in the single digits, the Strato is great.
The nylon shell of the Strato acts as windproof gilet, which is sewn on to the warm long sleeve jersey. Though the sleeves aren’t windproof, the fabric does a good job of cutting the wind. The floating design allows some heat to escape from the gilet through the thermal layer. The fabric covers mostly the front of the top stopping a chilly wind from penetrating while heat can escape from the rear. The thermal jersey sits independently underneath.
The cut of the top is quite slim but the inner jersey is soft and comfortable with excellent stretch. The jersey doesn’t feel constricting despite the race cut but you will want to look at a size larger if you prefer a looser fitting top.
Three pockets in the rear of the gilet provide storage but because they are made from the same windproof material as the front, they don’t stretch. We would have liked to see bigger more easily accessible pockets since during the cooler season it’s good to have room to store gloves, hats and other extras. The pockets were especially tricky to get into when wearing thicker gloves.
The Strato has zippered vents to allow more air to circulate in the top if it warms up on your rides. Though the vents were nice to have, they didn’t provide the most dramatic ventilation on our body temperature when wearing the Strato.
The Sportful R&D Strato is an innovative piece of riding apparel that simplies dressing quick for rides when it’s cool out. It’s a piece that is designed for late or early season rides and combines two extremely useful pieces of cold weather riding gear, a windproof gilet and a warm long sleeve jersey. Reliably warm and stylishly sleek, the Sportful R&D Strato is priced at $255.