Gilets are one of the most versatile and useful pieces of kit any cyclist can have in their arsenal. Light, compact and punching above their weight and bulk in warmth, they are a great year round option. Not only does the Rapha Women's Brevet Gilet weigh next to nothing and pack easily into a jersey pocket, it also has STRIPES! Quite simply, I love it.
Yes, it's more expensive than some, but it's far from being the priciest gilet available on the market. Rapha's usual attention to detail is coupled with some rather avant garde and refreshing styling, in terms of its incontrovertible stripiness. This particular gilet is designed to coordinate with the Brevet Jersey and is available as a bundle with it for the reduced price of £185 for the two (Jersey alone is £130) For those who don't want the stripes, there are other options in subtly different style gilets.
The fabric is extremely lightweight and very packable, fitting easily into a rear jersey pocket. Side mesh panels allow for enhanced breathability, the fabric at the front is windproof and the offset zip makes one-handed unzipping easier. It also features reflective accents including a reflective stripe. There's a zipped rear pocket in the matching Brevet jersey designed for storage of the gilet when not in use.
Fit and sizing were spot on for stated sizes and the length in the body was good. It was super light to wear yet surprisingly effective at warming up the core, without causing overheating. In addition to the reflective stripes, the mesh panel at the rear also allowed for the hi viz pink of the Brevet Jersey underneath to show through, which was a nice little extra design touch.
A winning combo with the Brevet Jersey but definitely buy as a bundle if you're considering buying both- you save £25!
Super light, packable, very effective and a nice change from a solid colour gilet.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Women's Brevet Gilet
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
What Rapha says
"Made for long distance rides
Gilets protect the core from cold air, keeping riders warm as temperatures drop, and are easily stored in a jersey pocket when not needed. This contrast-striped gilet has mesh side panels for breathability, high-visibility details, and easily packs down into a zipped, mesh-lined pocket on the rear of the Brevet Jersey."
Does exactly what it's supposed to
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Windproof front fabric
Offset zip for comfortable layering
Reflective chest stripes
Reflective Rapha logo
Mesh side panels for breathability
Available in sizes XXS-XL
Very well made from high quality fabrics.
Did a great job of warming up the core without causing overheating and was extremely light to carry when not in use.
Should last well but it's very lightweight fabric and there's a possible point of strain at the mesh panels
Feels virtually non-existent to wear and to carry
Very comfortable to wear
Expensive but far from the most expensive gilet available. Well made and high quality.
Best value if purchased together with Brevet Jersey rather than buying the two seperately
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, design touches such as reflective stripes, light weight, excellent performance
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Use this box to explain your score
A really well-performing lightweight gilet with a bit more design going on than the usual.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.