With waterproof jackets, you generally get what you pay for, so a reasonably priced Rapha surely can’t be up to much, right?
This new Commuter Jacket offers a raft of features — some of which are usually found on higher-priced rainwear — and all for £100. It’s available for men or women, in sizes from XS to XXL, in black, chartreuse, bright orange, and this hi-vis pink.
Pink wasn’t my first choice, as it’s the sort of shade that casts a glow onto nearby walls. In fact, I’ve never felt more conspicuous on test rides, which is, of course, the point.
Rapha Commuter Jacket features
Urban commuting has different demands to normal road riding and, although the same jackets can be used for both, your standard roadie waterproof does lack some practical features that matter on your way to and from work.
For a start, there are zipped front pockets at the waist, ideal for your work pass, gloves or phone, and the jacket has a relaxed fit that retains a dropped tail, but leaves ample room beneath it for your work clothes. I comfortably put it over a bulky winter softshell jacket without it feeling tight.
The staccato nature of urban cycling, with regular enforced stops, can make it hard to maintain a constant temperature, and Rapha has this covered with snug Lycra cuffs inside each sleeve, and a tall collar that zips up to the chin, but still has room for a scarf inside.
The asymmetric Aquaguard waterproof zip has an extended garage to protect your neck, and the hem and hood are adjustable.
The hood is generously sized, and can be worn beneath a helmet without obstructing your view, but the helmet straps cause a constant rustling in your ears. It can also be rolled up and secured with a reflective strap.
The jacket is an ideal weight, tough enough for daily use
Sealed seams ensure the 2.5-layer fabric with its hydrophobic membrane didn’t leak, and it breathes quite well, helped by a mesh-lined, full-width shoulder vent.
The fabric’s inner face is printed with barely raised dots to create an air gap and reduce clinging, should you overheat. The lower back below backpack level is covered with a reflective gradient print and a large logo, making you very prominent to following vehicles.
The jacket is an ideal weight, tough enough for daily use, but packable enough to just fit in a regular jersey pocket, or your bag.
Rapha Commuter verdict
The jacket extremely comfortable, protects brilliantly from wind and rain, is practical and incredibly visible. My only gripe was the sticky feel of the looped zip puller, which needs two hands to adjust.
Rapha Commuter Jacket specifications
Material: 2.5 layer fabric with waterproof membrane
Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Available colours: Chartreuse, Bright Orange, High-Vis Pink, Black
Pockets: Zipped front
Zip: Aquaguard waterproof