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Rapha launches gravel-specific Explore pants and adjustable-length waterproof jacket

New jacket designed to work on and off the bike


The Rapha Explore Gore-Tex jacket and Explore Pants are the two latest additions to the brand’s range of gravel/adventure/bikepacking (delete as appropriate) cycling kit.

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The Explore Gore-Tex jacket features an adjustable hem and large pockets, packs down into its hood and costs £395/$530.

The Explore Pants feature a drivetrain-friendly slim cut and DWR coating. They will set you back £140/$180.

Rapha Explore Gore-Tex jacket

The new jacket is designed for gravel riding.

The Rapha Explore Gore-Tex C-Knit jacket is a zip-up waterproof jacket designed for gravel riding, bikepacking and day-to-day wear.

The jacket has a generous cut, enabling you to fit an insulated layer (Rapha suggests the Explore Down Jacket) beneath.

Adjustable hems enable you to alter the cut of the jacket.

Adjustable button-up hems enable you to raise the front of the jacket for a better fit when riding in an aggressive position (jackets with a long cut tend to bunch up around the stomach). The front can then be dropped for a more casual cut when off the bike.

The jacket is made from an unspecified Gore-Tex three-layer fabric that features a C-Knit lining.

The jacket rolls down to stuff into its hood.

The new jacket is made from Gore-Tex’s Performance 3L fabric with a C-Knit liner.

The jacket is available in either Rust or Navy colourways.

What is Gore-Tex C-Knit?

Gore-Tex C-Knit is a thin circular knitted nylon fabric bonded to the innermost layer of some Gore-Tex fabrics.

The lining layer is said to improve durability, protecting the relatively fragile waterproof membrane from abrasion, while also improving breathability.

Some jackets feature a free-hanging mesh liner that performs a similar purpose.

C-Knit reduces bulk compared to this, while improving feel – wearing an unlined waterproof jacket (such as those made from ShakeDry) against bare skin feels a bit like wearing clothes made from slices of ham.

Rapha Explore Pants

The cut of the Explore Pants looks spot-on.

The Rapha Explore Pants are made from a four-way abrasion-resistant stretch fabric.

The trousers have a tapered cut and elasticated hems. This should keep them away from dirty drivetrains. An integrated belt will also keep them in place on shoogly terrain.

Elastic hems reduce the chance of oily trousers.

The trousers are DWR coated and, in a very welcome nod to sustainability, ship with colour-matched iron-on repair patches.

The trousers are available in black or dark grey.

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