Rapha’s Classic Softshell has a hardwearing outer surface over a water-resistant membrane and fine woven inner. It’s thinner than most softshells, with underarm zipped vents and a tall, lined collar with asymmetric front zip.
The cut is intended for layering over a jersey or two while maintaining a slim, slick look. The sleeves have snug-fitting cuffs that tuck inside gloves, and the waist can be adjusted with an elastic drawstring from each side
Of three generous rear drop pockets, the centre one includes a pump pocket and has a high opening that’s hard to reach while cycling, and rigid items like phones can cause the tail to stick out instead of curving with your back. There’s a lined multimedia pocket too, and a triangular one on the left hip that’s ideal for keys. Although only available in black, reflective piping on the shoulders and back plus reflective logo on the storm flap aid visibility.
Weather protection is superb. The outer shrugs off all but the most brutal wet conditions, and the close fit helps maintain heat from inner layers. The long storm flap reduces rear draughts too.