Rapha has just released three new rain jackets based on Gore-Tex’ Shakedry and Active fabrics: the Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex jacket, the Pro Team insulated Gore-Tex jacket and the Explore Gore-Tex pullover smock jacket.
The jackets, which were developed in conjunction with EF Education First Pro Cycling and Canyon//SRAM Racing, are the first from Rapha to feature Gore-Tex fabrics.
Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket
- Lightweight, waterproof road cycling jacket
- Gore-Tex Shakedry
- Packs down into self-contained mesh bag
- 125g in size medium
- £220 / $295 / AU$385 / €260
The Rapha Pro Team Lightweight jacket is a waterproof road cycling jacket that is made with Gore-Tex’ well-regarded Shakedry membrane.
Shakedry reverses the usual waterproof jacket arrangement, with the waterproof membrane sitting on the outside face of the jacket.
This makes the jacket completely impervious to rain, meaning there is no wind chill effect that can be caused by a DWR-coated layer wetting out.
This technology is well proven on products from numerous other brands and we’ve also been consistently impressed by how breathable it is.
The Pro Team waterproof jacket is similar to those from other brands, but features typical Rapha tropes such as its signature contrasting armband.
It also features elasticated cuffs, an elastic waist and an internal storm flap that runs the entire length of the zip to keep the worst weather out.
There is a zipper at both ends of the zip too, which makes it easier to access rear pockets on a jersey.
The integrated mesh bag built into the jacket allows it to be packed down to an impressively compact package.
The jacket weighs bang-on 125g in a size medium and is also available in a women’s specific cut.
Rapha Pro Team Insulated Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket with PolarTec Alpha
- Gore-Tex Shakedry-equipped foul weather insulated jacket
- Lined with Polartec Alpha insulation
- Zipped Gore-Tex Stretch cuffs
- Gore-Tex Stretch hood
- 330g in size medium
- £320 / $430 / AU$540 / €375
Rapha claims that the Pro Team Insulated Gore-Tex jacket is designed for the grimiest, wettest and coldest days — indeed, it says that if the weather is so bad that the jacket can’t handle it, “it’s better not to ride at all”.
The jacket is built around a similar Gore-Tex Shakedry shell as seen on the Pro Team Lightweight jacket, but it is also lined with a layer of PolarTec Alpha insulation. A similar jacket was launched by Gore-Tex itself last November.
PolarTec Alpha is a super-soft pile fabric that is now found in a number of cycling products from different brands, and we’re big fans already. In our experience, it adds serious warmth without significantly impacting breathability.
The jacket also features a close-fitting hood that is designed to sit underneath a helmet. This is made from Gore-Tex Stretch fabric.
This stretchy honeycomb-textured fabric is fully waterproof and provides form-fitting elasticity in key areas. Two flaps have been added to either side of the hood to improve hearing and breathability.
Chunky zips on each cuff are used to truly seal out the elements, and to also make getting the jacket on and off easier. Each cuff is made from the same Gore-Tex Stretch fabric as seen on the hood.
Two zipped flaps on the back of the jacket give access to jersey pockets and, like the main zip, are backed with an internal storm flap.
The fit of the jacket is very form-fitting and will best suit road riding. This is the only jacket from the new range that is not available in a women’s specific cut.
Rapha Explore Hooded Gore-Tex pullover smock
- 1/4 zip pullover
- Large chest pocket for storage
- Elasticated hood, large enough to accommodate a helmet
- Jacket packs into pocket to become a pillow for overnight adventures
- £250 / $345 / AU$430 / €300
Rapha has also launched the Explore Hooded Gore-Tex pullover, a waterproof ¼ zip smock with a more casual fit suited to adventurous off-road riding.
Made with Gore-Tex Active fabric — which is claimed to be the brand’s lightest ever three-layer waterproof fabric — our size large weighs in at 235g.
The large pocket on the front of the jacket has two internal mesh dividers. The jacket can also be stuffed into this pocket to turn it into a pillow for overnight rides.
The hood is capacious enough to accommodate a helmet, but a drawcord means it can also be comfortably used without one.
There are a number of reflective highlights on the jacket, including a large panel of reflective dots on the rear hem of the jacket.
The drawcord pull on the hem of the jacket doubles up as, of all things, a valve core removal tool. Noteworthy? Yes. Useful… we’ll see.
The cut of the jacket is more casual than typical cycling garments, with a less pronounced dropped tail than usual. This should mean it won’t look too daft if worn off the bike.
The jacket is available in a refreshingly wide gamut of hues: the men’s version comes in dark navy, plum, a striking shade of yellow, and the women’s is available in the pictured dark navy colourway.