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Verdict: 
Wear it all day or pack it in your jersey for 'just in case', great quality, design and performance that justifies the price
Weight: 
172g
Contact: 
www.rapha.cc
Rapha Women's Rain Jacket
9 10

Rapha continue to expand on their capsule women's range of products with the addition this season of a fully waterproof jacket. True to form, it's really not cheap, but it also displays all the attention to detail, high quality construction and innovative design that Rapha have become known for.

Intended to be a lightweight rain shell for road riders, this is designed with all those requirements in mind. The jacket is a sleek race fit, with a curved drop tail, it's made from a soft silky slightly stretchy waterproof fabric, it's got Rapha's trademark asymmetric zip, a zip garage to prevent chafing at the chin, snug collar, neat stretch cuffs, a single zipped rear pocket and reflective bits and pieces. There's also a drawstring at the hem, should you feel you need it.

In wear, it's a sleek fit, but not unduly tight, and a good length for most heights. The uber light fabric (this jacket is even lighter than the North Face Xenon I tested back in the summer) differs from most lightweight waterproof fabrics in a number of ways. For starters it doesn't rustle and crinkle annoyingly, and then there's the slight stretch, just enough to give a really good fit and for the jacket to stay put when you're riding. Most surprising of all, though, was the level of breathability. Even in the warmer conditions we had this autumn, it kept my body dry from the inside, whilst keeping the rain out effectively as well. The interior PU face fabric is pleasant to wear, even next to skin for warmer conditions, and the unfaced side panels are a nice touch, allowing for increased breathability where you're not really needing it to be fully waterproof anyway. The seams at the shoulder area and upper arms are taped to keep the water out too, and this is where the worst of the wet stuff is going to accumulate. It's comfortable enough to wear on long rides that are wet from the word go, but is light enough to be an emergency layer, and it handily fits into a jersey pocket.

Naysayers will shake their heads at the price, but for a waterproof and breathable jacket this light, you'd be hard pressed to find anything much cheaper. Given that super light hiking and mountaineering jackets can easily cost as much as £300, this isn't a bad price for a road cycling specific design with some really good features.

Verdict

Wear it all day or pack it in your jersey for 'just in case', great quality, design and performance that justifies the price

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Women's Rain 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?

Aimed at demanding female road riders.

Spot on.

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

Waterproof front and rear

Windproof and water resistant side panels

Stretch fabric

Waterproof zips

Taped seams

Hem drawcord

Single rear zipped pocket

Stretch cuffs

100% nylon

Machine washable at 30

Available in sizes XXS-XL

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well made and excellent fabric

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Kept me dry from both the inside and the outside even in warmer more humid conditions.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Should last well, but ultimately the fabric will eventually become less breathable as the pores get blocked.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
10/10

Incredibly light and packs small enough to stick in a jersey pocket.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

Very comfortable and stayed put while riding.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Expensive, but very light, small and well tuned to the needs of a road rider.

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

Performed excellently.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Fabric, breathability, weight, packsize, cut

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes. Also a good gift for a REALLY good friend.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Expensive, but very well designed and extraordinarily light and effective.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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, 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. 

17 comments

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Shakes head...  36

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 4 years ago
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yeah whatever… is there a yawning emoticon?

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Rob Simmonds [251 posts] 4 years ago
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Hanging round ladies kit reviews *again* Nicholas?

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Hi Guys!

Nice to see staff members jumping in to comment...  37

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 4 years ago
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thanks Nic, I knew there was a yawning emoticon… I just didn't give it enough time to do its thing.

And don't think we don't appreciate your comments either… and no, I'm not being sarcy.

You'll be pleased to hear that we've got another Rapha review scheduled for later this week and that product effortlessly cruises past the £200 mark.

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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It seems the review ratings system you guys developed works! ... Another £200 up by the end of this week.  41

This 'system' is raking in so much expensive gear you'll be able to sell it off at auction and retire.  105 36

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othello [374 posts] 4 years ago
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Given that super light hiking and mountaineering jackets can easily cost as much as £300, this isn't a bad price for a road cycling specific design with some really good features

Exactly, and hardcore hill walkers wouldn't bat an eye-lid at paying that type of money because they know the jacket will be worth the money.

I don't want this to tur into a pro/con Rapha thread (again!), but the perception of Rapha products being stupidly expensive isn't really true. Historically we've had a a lot of cheap cycling gear to choose from, and people think anything that is outside the cheap bracket is not worth it.

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Lara Dunn [50 posts] 4 years ago
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What Othello said  1

It's got loads of excellent features, it's so light and packs so small you can stick it in your jersey pocket AND it's comfy for all day use.

Most hill walkers would be happy to even have that combination, let alone worry about paying an arm and leg for it.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 4 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

It seems the review ratings system you guys developed works! ... Another £200 up by the end of this week.  41

This 'system' is raking in so much expensive gear you'll be able to sell it off at auction and retire.  105 36

Yeah, and rapha kit holds its value pretty well. we're quids in!

 37

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 4 years ago
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I know this has been said before but it bears repeating:

If you don't want the shiny thing, don't buy the shiny thing.

The fact that you don't want the shiny thing doesn't mean that the shiny thing is bad.

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koko56 [330 posts] 4 years ago
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She mighty fine  9

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The _Kaner [776 posts] 4 years ago
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^^ What KOKO56 said...
was there a review in there somewhere...I didn't notice....was just looking at the pictures!
 19

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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^^ She's also high maintenance...  1

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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I just noticed ... there are no women commenting on this review (except for the reviewer herself)...  9 19

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Rob Simmonds [251 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Point?

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Didn't you accused me of hanging round ladies kit reviews *again*?

Seems I'm not alone...  4

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 4 years ago
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I bought some Rapha kit in the sales. I can honestly say that if you can afford it, it's worth it.