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Rapha Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover review

Waterproof pullover designed with adventure in mind

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £250.00 RRP | USD $345.00 | EUR €300.00 | AUD $430.00
Rapha Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover in blue is designed for mountain biking

Our review

Relaxed retro style that packs a performance punch
Pros: Breathability; old-school style
Cons: Some might miss a full-length front zip
Skip to view product specifications

Rapha’s Explore Gore-Tex Pullover is made for year-round adventure rather than speed, and is designed to be worn on- and off-road. Gravel is its spiritual home.

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Rapha Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover jacket details

The quality of the fabric underpins the performance features of the Explore. Made from Gore-Tex Active material, it’s designed to provide waterproof performance with a high level of breathability,

The large chest pocket has internal dividers and the simplicity of the style means there are no hand warmer pockets.

The over-helmet hood is shaped so that it can be worn with or without a helmet and is elasticated to hold it in place.

The cut is longer than a typical road riding jacket with a more relaxed, but still slim, fit that is designed for longer days out over a mix of terrain.

Rapha Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover jacket performance

Cast aside any preconceptions that you may have about the Rapha Explore Pullover being ‘just a cagoule’ because it proved to be so much more.

At the heart of it is that Gore-Tex Active fabric. It’s Gore’s lightest three-layer material and makes the jacket both light and breathable enough to be worn on mixed weather days. You won’t need to bother taking it off between showers.

The Explore proved comfortable over my long-sleeve Merino baselayer in conditions ranging from mild, rainy 17-degree autumn days to cold, damp and frosty mornings.

That versatility across a range of weathers meant I didn’t miss a front zip, especially because once I put it on, it stayed on. It’s easing to remove though when you do de-layer.

The partitions in the main pocket encourage organisation rather than just filling it full of stuff, which in turn stops it sagging.

The hood, with only a simple elastic to keep it in place, looks like it shouldn’t work but does, and fitted neatly over my helmet.

Despite the cut being slim, there’s plenty of room through the shoulders. However, if you have lots of layers and plan to wear it in more casual settings as well as on the bike, you may want to size up.

Although I didn’t do any overnighters with the jacket, it packs down to form a pillow should you need it to.

Rapha Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover jacket bottom line

The Explore has proven to be a very versatile jacket and one that I could imagine taking on an adventure. It’s can tackle gravel, mountain biking, the daily commute, running or just wearing with jeans around town.

It’s relaxed, functional, retro-styled, waterproof and breathable. What’s not to love?

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Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $430.00EUR €300.00GBP £250.00USD $345.00
Weight br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 220g (L), Array, g
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Rapha


Features br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Sizes XS-XXL
Fabric: Made from GORE-TEX Active™, Aquaguard quarter zip with O-ring puller, Drawcord hem with integrated valve core tool, Microfibre lining on collar
Hood: Elasticated hood
Pockets: Front pocket with internal dividers
Waterproof rating: N/A (Gore tests in its own weather labs and does not state a static measure)
Safety: Reflective detail
Colours: Brown, Dark Navy, Yellow
Gender br_gender, 11, 0, Gender, Unisex