Rapha Women’s Lightweight jersey review

Justifiably high-priced cycling top

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0
GBP £110.00 RRP | AUD $185.00 | USD $175.00

Our review

An innovative approach to jersey design that’s worth the extra outlay
Skip to view product specifications

Unlike cycling knicks or bib shorts, it’s sometimes harder to justify spending extra money on a jersey. A cheap jersey does its job well if the fit is more or less right. And in comparison to the rate at which we wear through shorts, a jersey is more likely to go out of rotation because it no longer has the visual appeal it once did. So why pay extra, when cheap enough is often good enough?

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Upon receiving Rapha’s new Women’s Lightweight jersey for testing we were pleasantly surprised. This is a jersey that approaches things differently.

For starters, it’s not quite merino and it’s not quite lycra. With a fine merino lining and a polyester outer it provides the best of both worlds; the lack of stink after all day rides provided by one and the ability to maintain it’s shape even when the pockets are loaded provided by the other. The material is woven together as one fabric maintaining breathability and a light, comfortable feel.

The sleeves and overall length are a little longer than the Souplesse jersey
The sleeves and overall length are a little longer than the souplesse jersey:
Colin Levitch / Future Publishing

The sleeves and overall length are a little longer than the Souplesse jersey

The cut is more relaxed than the Women’s Souplesse jersey we reviewed recently. This increases the range of women who will feel confident in this classic looking, logo free item.

The Lightweight Jersey has functional storage options, which rethink the usual three-pocket approach to jersey design. Two deep side pockets allow more generous capacity than is typically seen in the smaller sizes of a female range. In the centre of the two main pockets is a zipped section that expands behind the entire pocket panel, providing space for larger items.

The angled pockets are easy to get to and offer deep storage space
The angled pockets are easy to get to and offer deep storage space:
Colin Levitch / Future Publishing

Storage space is generous and extremely well-thought out

A hidden side zipped pocket secures your phone or keys. The back panel of this pocket once again delivers protection for these goods (and unexpectedly contains a brief cycling history lesson – a nice Rapha quirk).

The pockets provide options for all day cycling adventures but are constructed so as not to disrupt the flattering and secure design of the Lightweight jersey as a whole.

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At AU$185 / US$175 / £110 the 2014 Lightweight jersey won’t suit everyone’s budgets, but we can’t fault its superior fit and composition (as we’ve come to expect from Rapha) or innovative approach to a well-used cycling staple. It’s available in classic tones – creamy yellow or a greenish blue – meaning it won’t date as quickly as some brighter, flashier or logo-adorned numbers, so you should get more wears for your money too.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Women's Lightweight jersey
Brand Rapha

Available In (Mens/Womens) Womens
Care Instructions Machine-Washable
Reflective Piping/Accents Yes
Mesh Inserts Yes
Anti-Microbial Yes
No. of Pockets 4
Sleeve Type Short-sleeved
Layer Type Outer
Loose Fit No
Breathable Yes
Additional Zipped Pocket Yes