Bucking the trend of steeply rising costs across the cycling industry, the price of Rapha’s Core Rain has increased by only £10 since 2017.
This makes it one of the most affordable rain jackets I’ve tested of late. Until recently, that’s not something you’d say often about a Rapha product.
Despite the lower price tag, the lightweight Core Rain II retains the classic Rapha styling. The white armband and clean design, in seven colourways, are present and correct.
With a comfortable fit and first-class protection from the rain, it’s a strong contender, but storage is not as good as on the best waterproof jackets.
Rapha Core Rain II specs and performance
The cut is a touch more generous than is usual from Rapha, which often favours a slimmer, racier cut – especially with its Pro Team lines.
As you should demand from a jacket with ‘Rain’ in the title, precipitation protection is excellent.
The 100 per cent nylon fabric features a waterproof membrane, which does a good job of shutting out water.
Early 2023 has seen seemingly relentless deluges in the UK, but the fabric, taped seams, Rapha’s slightly off-centre ‘AquaGuard’ zip and adjustable hem all combine to keep the rain at bay.
The zipper garage prevents any neck chafing from the zip and completes a well-fitting collar construction.
The elastane inner cuffs are a smart inclusion for blocking chilly breezes from venturing up the sleeves.
Breathability is adequate for the mid-level price, aided by a series of six laser-cut perforations under each of the armpits.
Where I struggled for further mid-ride aeration was trying to undo the AquaGuard zip. Its stiffness is understandable to prevent water ingress, but I found it required two hands and some straight, flat roads to undo on the move.
The lack of pockets seen in the original version of this jacket continues in the sequel. This means the Core Rain II can’t be stashed into its own pocket and you’ll need to keep your phone, keys and snacks in a less easily accessible jersey compartment underneath.
The Core Rain II comes in seven bold colourways (the navy is my personal favourite), with the Gold, which is more like a mustard, on test here offering decent visibility.
This is aided by the subtle but effective reflective tabs on the sleeves and rear.
What the reflective tabs and white Rapha branding also do is show up stubborn oily stains, which is something I’ve experienced before with the Rapha Classic Winter jacket.
After two winter rides, the Core Rain II was stained permanently, making me wary of taking it on mucky winter roads or anything approaching off-road terrain.
In Rapha style, there’s a quote printed on the inside of the jacket referring to the Bryan Chapman Memorial end-to-end ride that – if nothing else – planted a seed for me heading over the border to Wales to attempt a 600km audax in May 2023.
Rapha Core Rain II bottom line
A hedge somewhere in Snowdonia probably awaits me in my newly targeted event, but I’d trust the Core Rain II to successfully battle the early-summer showers.
For practicality’s sake, I’d prefer a pocket or two, but it’s not a deal breaker given the overall performance the jacket delivers.
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $210.00EUR €135.00GBP £110.00USD $150.00|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Rapha|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Sizes: XS - XXL
Colours: Gold; Dark Red; Black; Navy; Orange; Ultramarine; Red
|Gender||br_gender, 11, 0, Gender, Men's and women's|