Rapha Wind Jacket  £165.00

8/10

Forget it's in the pocketable flutter-free wind jacket. Quite rain shrugging as well.

Weight 158g   Contact www.rapha.cc

by VecchioJo   February 8, 2011  

The Rapha Wind Jacket (formerly the Stowaway Jacket) is made from a windproof, water resistant and extremely breathable 100% Nylon fabric, the cut of its jib is classic cycling with a long-cut back for a better fit on the bike and a dropped tail too, the sleeves are tailored and long enough to be stretched in the drops without wrist-gap creeping in.

As befits a jacket that's designed to be ultra-lightweight and easily pocketed the Wind Jacket isn't cluttered with extraneous features. There's a small waterproof-zipped pocket low down on the front, the full-length waterproof front zip is offset and has a light fleece chin guard to prevent chafing as the collar comes up goodly high. Lycra cuffs provide a windproof seal at the wrist but are easy to pull up for temperature modulation and an elastic waistcord only runs along the rear part of the jacket hem with friction locks either end for simple on the fly adjustment. Reflective stripes run down the length of the sleeves both front and back, and they're very reflective, the large Rapha logo on the tail is reflective too. Seams on the shoulders are are taped for improved bearing the brunt when riding into bad weather and when you're all done there's a pink hanging loop for dripping in the kitchen.

Rapha say it's a highly versatile three-season cycling jacket, which makes it perfect for the changeable weather on your standard Sunday ride then, or pretty much any other day of the year. It's always good to have another layer in the back pocket, just in case, even in the middle of Summer, especially in the middle of Summer, where the jacket's pocketability comes in really handy, even if the weather plays nice and it doesn't get used its light weight makes it no bulky burden to be taken on every ride.

As a wind jacket it does exactly what it says it should, protecting from any chill of the breeze/gust/gale with the lycra cuffs, drawstring hem and high tight collar keeping draughts at bay and its breathability making it comfortable from the inside too, with no boil-in-the-bag tendencies even on hefty climbs. A pleasant side effect of the soft nature of the jacket's fabric is that it's silent, combine that with its slight stretch and the body-hugging tailored fit mean that the jacket doesn't rustle like a Tesco bag in a bush or grab at the wind like a needy kite when riding along, it feels a smirking 2mph faster than a noisy flappy jacket when it's pulled on for a chilly descent. That's got to be worth at least £50 of the price right there surely?

Although it's claimed to be merely water resistant it survived 4 hour rides in a selection of rain and drizzle variants without any moisture ingress, so it's certainly more versatile than a simple windproof and other damp-delaying layers that are at best panicky protection from a passing shower.

Aside from the price, the only gripe is with the colour. The grey one we have here seems specifically designed to blend into the tarmac at the low-light vision-compromised times the jacket will be most often used in. The black's not much better and the pink's only going to appeal to a very brave or Rapha-and-proud rider. The white or red of the Women's version of the jacket would be a welcome option. And that price, at more than three times the cost of a basic wind/waterproof and even more than the select offerings by other boutique brands it's a spendy little piece of clothing no matter how good it is. Only when the Wind Jacket has been stuffed unnoticed into a rear pocket for every ride for several years and thankfully saved the day with wind and rain protection a few times and still wants to come out for more will it be deemed worth it. Here's hoping.

Verdict

A lovely item of clothing that's been expertly tailored and pared down to the essential details. Windproof without flapping about, breathes without breaking into a sweat and more waterproof than its billing it's one of those bits of kit that you're glad you're wearing when it's needed, but never a bother when it's not and hidden back in the pocket, sadly even with the reflective bits the colour is very SMIDSY. And not a little SMICAY (Sorry Mate, I Can't Afford You).

Weight - 158g (Medium, claimed - 165g)

Colours - Grey, Black, Pink

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Wind Jacket

Size tested: Medium, grey

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?

"The Rapha Wind Jacket is designed for temperate cycling conditions. It is ideal for cool morning starts, summer descents and sudden showers. The high-stretch fabric is extremely lightweight and at just 165g (medium size), it packs down small enough to fit into your jersey pocket."

All of that, and well used in less than temperate climates where it was always a useful extra layer for the chilly start or end of rides, and any dark cloud moment in between where it was good to know it was better than just showerproof.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Made of breathable, windproof nylon the jacket packs small enough to fit in a cycling jersey pocket is windproof and water resistant with reflective stripes for better visibility and ergonomic sleeves for enhanced fit.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

If it's still going strong in five years the value score may rise a fair bit… but it'll need to shrug of the years and look like new too

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Spot on, wind and more rain resistant than advertised, and fitted to perfection with no annoying flap or crackle.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit and the wind/rain resilience.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The colour and the price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? I'd wait for the sale or for a white one for blokes to appear, then I'd have a long think.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they were feeling flush.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: It varies as to the season.  My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Good review. I got one of these last year and I reckon it's my favourite piece of cycle clothing. Yes it hurt to part with all that cash but it was worth it to finally put behind me the struggle I'd been having for years with boil-in-the-bag jackets that wouldn't fit into a pocket. And despite a great deal of use it's looking as good now as it did when I bought it.

As to the colour, just get a pink one! When I was mulling over which colour to buy, the bloke at Condor said, 'most people end up buying the grey one but as they leave the shop they're looking over their shoulder at the pink one with a wistful expression.' That was enough to swing it for me - I haven't looked back once.

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [549 posts]
9th February 2011 - 9:55

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I bought my girlfriend the red version and am deeply jealous. i really want one but not in grey or cream. Pink, if i could mtfu to wear it, is no longer available anyways. Red or the old Orange version would be perfect.

bobinski

posted by bobinski [92 posts]
9th February 2011 - 14:07

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Also got one of these last year (on a decent sale) and as Mat says, a great piece of kit to slip in the pocket on a ride.

Colour-wise I had choice of orange or what I think is the cream (but turns out to me more the palest of pale blues to my eyes), if they'd had pink I'd probably have got that.

Definitely saved me from shivering on a couple of rides that started off in nice sunshine then clouded over midway through with consequent temperature drop.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7308 posts]
9th February 2011 - 15:33

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Not a lot of size/colour options left on rapha.cc. Any size you like, as long as it's grey...

posted by fennesz [70 posts]
9th February 2011 - 16:19

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Isee Rapha now do a blue, which is a rather lovely shade. But not that visible. I wish they still did the orange though.

I'm thinking I need to get one. I've got a softshell (Gore Phantom 2) which is lovely, but is far too warm for anything above 10 degrees C. A packable rain jacket is really something I need to have to pack into my jersey pocket.

posted by othello [262 posts]
10th October 2011 - 10:45

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i just got one of these on ebay, badly listed so £60.00 kerching!

brilliant jacket, finally a windproof that doesnt flap and slap like a tesco bag.

i it doesnt pack as small as my former jacket (mavic helium) but i wouldnt use anything else now.

love it

posted by russyparkin [543 posts]
25th November 2012 - 20:25

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I've got the blue one and it looks very stylish, feels great on and packs very small. I wouldn't say it is very rain resistant as the sleeves start to cling to bare arms pretty quickly - but it still keeps the chill off and dries quickly so is normally more use than a full mac. . I've had a Berghaus cycle mac for 10 years and although it boasted it was 'waterproof' I could never tell whether it was wet inside because it leaked - of whether it was wet with condensation. Thinking

Bought mine from Ebay for £100.

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [920 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 17:37

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