The Rapha Women's Flyweight Jersey is a lightweight top that looks good and keeps you cool and dry on hot summer days.
With four colour options, each featuring Rapha's trademark stylish contrast armband on the left sleeve, there is likely to be something for everyone, whether you want to stand out or blend in.
The polyester fabric of the jersey is lightweight and stretchy. It appears almost perforated, making it extremely breathable and very quick drying. Being very thin and light, it is slightly see-through but I didn't mind this at all. Rapha also claims that this fabric has built-in sun protection (SPF 50); being fair skinned and particularly prone to sunburn, I can safely say I had no problems while wearing this jersey.
When paying Rapha prices, you expect close attention to detail, and that is what you get with this jersey. The three rear pockets have been specially designed to sit away from the body when full, with a mesh lining to increase ventilation. As all good jerseys should, the Flyweight also features a zip pocket large enough for most smartphones along with money, keys or other valuables. Other pleasing details are reflective Rapha logos on the rear and armband.
The collar is cut high at the back, protecting the back of your neck from the sun, yet lower around the front than most jerseys. I found it particularly comfortable and much less restrictive than having a zip up to my chin.
Having tested two other jerseys and a gilet from Rapha at the same time as this one, I expected the same fit in every item. However, while the small was perfect in all the other items, I found the Flyweight jersey a little baggy. It's designed to be a more relaxed fit as opposed to a full race cut, but even so I would probably have fitted into an XS and would consider sizing down.
Despite it being a little baggy on me, I found the jersey comfortable to ride in, with no annoying seams or chafing. The sleeves sat well around my arms and stayed in place without being tight or restrictive, and despite the minimal gripper I didn't have any problems with the jersey riding up at the bottom either.
At £95, though certainly not cheap, it is one of the more affordable jerseys in Rapha's range, encompassing the simple, elegant style and careful attention to detail you would expect from the company. Of course it's still towards the top end of the market and you could easily spend less, but you may not find the same combination of protection, breathability and style that this offers.
Although the jersey didn't have that extra special wow factor for me, it did do everything it was meant to very well. If you're less keen on tight, race-fit tops but still want a lightweight and breathable jersey for long, hot rides then this could be just what you're looking for.
Lovely and light summer jersey offering style, detail and a price you might expect from Rapha
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Women's Flyweight Jersey
Size tested: S
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?
Rapha says: "An elegant and lightweight jersey for rides in the hottest conditions."
I have to agree that it is good looking, lightweight and highly breathable.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rapha lists these features:
Lightweight, breathable fabric with SPF 50
Lower-cut collar design
Zip lock to prevent jersey opening while riding
Three rear, expandable pockets for long ride storage
Mesh inner on rear pockets for improved ventilation
Mesh rear yoke
Rapha logo printed on left arm
Very well made with lots of attention to detail.
Very light, breathable and quick drying.
Had no problems so far.
If you don't like your jerseys too tight, the relaxed yet slim fit of this could be for you.
Comes up larger than the other Rapha jerseys I am currently testing in the same size. I would consider sizing down, particularly if you want a slimmer fit.
Very light, thin fabric that's great for hot days.
Very comfortable with no chafing issues, and added sun protection too.
£95 is expensive for a jersey, but it does perform well and is one of the cheaper options in the Rapha Women's range.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed on a 30-degree cycle with no problems.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well. It felt light, breathable and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The clever pocket design and range of colour options.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing was frustrating when I fit a small in other Rapha kit, but not the end of the world.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, but only because I prefer a more race-fit style.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's a very good jersey, simple and good looking, light and breathable, and does just what it was designed for. But it comes at a high price and for me there was no extra wow factor to make it exceptional.
About the tester
I usually ride: Planet X London Road My best bike is: Bowman Palace:R
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.