Review: Review: Rapha Rain Jacket
Undoubtedly expensive, but technically and aesthetically excellent. Hard to fault!
A rain jacket only really has one job and that is to keep you moisture-free, from inside and out.
The Rapha Rain Jacket deals with both aspects with aplomb. Ever since I received the parcel in the post I’ve been lucky enough to have ample chance to ride in wet weather, it has truly been a British winter. On every ride it’s kept me dry from both the outside and the inside, with the rain having zero effect in penetrating through.
It’s felt a bit on the muggy side when worn with a winter soft-shell and a base layer, but that was way overkill for the conditions and even then it just about held its own, despite my best efforts to overload it. In normal conditions a base layer and jersey will handle temps down to 3 degrees, and the jacket feels peachy. It has no zips for ventilation to aid in moisture removal, just the front, offset, zip so make sure you dress appropriately and don’t go for overkill, without any wind getting in the core temperature stays warm.
It’s eminently packable, due in part to its minimalist nature, with just one side pocket and nothing on the rear it is not over-burdened with features that may add in additional fault lines for water to ingress. Part of its packability will come from its lack of fabric, its rather cut for quite a racey physique, so perhaps, if you don’t own one of those hallowed physiques, you might want to go up a size (I most definitely did!)
Rapha label it as blue, and on the website it does indeed look blue, but to my mind it’s more of an dark aqua-marine colour, still perfectly palatable, but definitely not blue blue.
In terms of issues and faults, well it doesn’t really have any as such, my biggest gripe would be the cuffs on the wrist. It comes with nicely fitted pseudo-neoprene cuffs, which make for a lovely tight fit and keep any draughts out, obviously they go under any cuffs on pair of winter gloves as they are too snug to fit over themselves, and this means that eventually rain will find its way down the sleeve and into the cuff, eventually overloading the material and finding its way into the glove – it will take time for this to happen and I would hazard a guess that on most rides this wouldn’t happen, but given enough rain and a long enough ride it will. Personally I prefer a jacket sleeve which goes over the glove, but that’s just me.
With just enough, strategically placed, reflectivity to see you through the darker rides it’s got your back covered!
It’s going to sting when you part with the cash, but should last you for many happy years, and interestingly it’s by no-means the most expensive jacket on the market, and compared with other tech outer-wear items (I’m thinking walking jackets etc) it’s actually very good value for money!
One of my concerns was the effect of wearing it as a commuter jacket and having a heavily-laden rucksack rubbing it every day, but after the best part of 1000 miles of commuting it is showing zero signs of wear at all.
It’s light, well-made, and eminently water-proof. A stylish jacket to see you through the wet months (all 12 in the UK)