Rapha City Rain Jacket  £220.00

9/10

Well pricey, but well worth it

Weight 408g   Contact  www.rapha.cc

by VecchioJo   January 24, 2012  

Before I start talking about the Rapha City Rain jacket here's a large space for all you Rapha haters to fill without having to make the effort of scrolling down to the bottom to the comments section and saving you the bother of even reading the review (actually they will have scroll down to the bottom - ed - so might as well read the review on the way… except on Facebook where they can jump straight in… i'll stop now).

 

 

Right then, now that's out of the way, the Rapha Rain Jacket comes to you inside a really quite vibrant pink waterproof draw-stringed storage bag so whilst resting between jobs it can rattle around protected inside a courier bag, Rapha say it's to keep the jacket from damaging other belongings in your luggage but it's more likely to stop it being scuffed, frottaged and covered in awkward sandwich stains, or to stop the jacket getting tainted by any cheap tat you might put in there with it.

The jacket is obviously designed to be ridden in, the rear is tailored long for fit on the bike and there's a zipped stowaway pocket back there hiding a storm tail that can be pulled out for extra protection against spray, and because it's in the same vibrant pink as the storage bag, extra visibility too. The storm tail also has a reflective Rapha logo printed on it so you can let the headlights of those who trail in your wake know how much you've spent on your jacket. And let's not forget it's farrrrrr more stylish than plebeian mudguards. All of this is kept cinched tight to the waist with an elastic drawstring on the hem.

The arms are long enough to not leave a wrist-gap when stretched out on the bars and the cuffs are tailored to extend down the back of the hand for further coverage and secured with a Velcro wrist-strap. It took until the third ride to notice that the wrist strap is reversible with the alternate side being in contrasting neon pink reflective material, oh my. A little note of stylish safety, especially when indicating, and it matches the bum-flap. Internally the ends of the arms have light neoprene baffles for extra warmth and to stem the flow of cold and water past the wrists. Nice.

The collar is cut high up onto the neck, fitting right under the chin and all the way along the hair line at the back providing as weatherproof barrier round the neck as you can without resorting to a dry-suit. For comfort the waterproof zip is offset to the right so it doesn't rub annoyingly under the chin and it has flaps both inside and out to further halt wind and rain, while the inside of the collar is lined with a lightweight fleece. Snuggly.

Despite the claims of a high breathability fabric extra ventilation is provided by vents between the shoulders underneath storm-flaps and a perforation of holes under the armpits, again protected by a flap.

Storage is minimal on the Rain Jacket, there's a single pocket in the front on the left, understated and just right for putting gloves in when at the cashpoint or keys once the bike is locked, there's a small internal chest pocket that's about the right size for some credit cards and other small valuables. Out back there's a single right-handed pocket, with a waterproof ring-pull zip for ease of fumbling, again, it's not a large pocket, just there for essentials and the Rapha essential/pointless bit of sewn-in bon mot.

Also wonderfully minimal is the branding, with the just the Rapha logo embossed on the left sleeve, the dark blue is a colour that works better in the pub or office than on the bike where a lighter colour might be nicer for dim days, dark nights and myopic motorists. It's perfect however for those who want to look smart on the bike, or have to look tidy wherever they arrive without draping dripping faded and grubby dayglo yellow-wear, moist from both the inside and out over the back of the door. It's the sort of thing they can manage in other countries whilst cycling, why can't we do it here?

The Rapha City Rain Jacket has clearly been designed by someone that has had enough of wet and rainy city riding and commuting, everything fits just–so and all the damp gaps in the other rain jacket's armour have been plugged by this Rapha one. The neck sits high enough to stop those annoying rain drops that fall straight down the back of the neck on more capacious garments, the arms are long enough to prevent that cold and tedious inch of wrist-gap left by those jackets designed by someone that doesn't get in the drops and the overall cut of the City Rain Jacket is snug enough that it doesn't flap about in the wind and rain, yet roomy enough to fit 'normal' clothes underneath, and despite being so comfortably sealed against the elements the jacket thankfully breathes so well that you don't get just as soaked from internal precipitation.

Having a Rapha City Rain Jacket in the wardrobe, or hidden in the bike-bag, brings a wry smile to any rainy day when you look out the window at enough water smashing out the sky to sink the bravest heart and drown most waterproofs and realize that it's mostly irrelevant with the Rapha jacket on. Step out into the tempest and the jacket will shrug it off; light drizzle means nothing, rain is merely a tedious annoyance and in the usually lethal to jackets combination of gale force wind and sideways rain the Rapha City Rain Jacket performs flawlessly, keeping all of the wet out and letting all of the sweat out, making the epic entrance to the coffee shop both stylish and dry. Impressed.

Verdict

The Rapha City Rain Jacket is a lovely bit of schmutter, the fit is absolutely spot on when hunched over the bars, but still stylish when propping up bars. Details are essential yet minimal and put there by someone that does a lot of urban riding, and the fabric and design of the jacket keep the rider completely removed from any moisture. Yes this Rapha Jacket is expensive, what do you expect, although if you're quick the current £180 Rapha winter sale price will help a bit on that score, ultimately whether you think it's worth it or not probably depends on how much you don't want to arrive somewhere looking like you've just cycled through the rain.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha City Rain Jacket

Size tested: Dark Blue, Medium

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 say their City Rain Jacket is stylish cycling functionality designed for very wet conditions. Created with a more urban aesthetic than the lighter-weight Rain Jacket, this piece is durable, windproof and highly water-resistant. The jacket comes with a waterproof bag to keep the jacket from damaging other belongings in your luggage.

That ticks all my boxes.

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

Waterproof fabric, fully-taped waterproof seams, highly-breathable membrane, zip-away, high-visibility storm tail and neoprene cuffs for warmth.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

It's not a light stowable jacket, but then it's not designed to be.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

Perfectly, it made riding in the rain a pleasure, almost.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit, the waterproofness, the pink bits. It not looking like a cycling jacket.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, apart from the price, natch.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, in the sale.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 9/10

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

 

50 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Have to say that I love Rapha clothes but never pay full price for them (usually get them for half price or less in the sale) - the quality and attention to detail is second to none.

The Paul Smith Merino top that I got for £50 is worn every day and is great quality.

Just received the Rapha Bomber Jacket which I paid £80.75 (sale price plus 15% discount), and at that price it's a great buy.

Only Rapha items that I own that I'm not to keen on are the cream base layers which have so many sweat stain marks that they look like they've been used to mop up the urinal floor in a train station toilet.

posted by jockywilson [21 posts]
24th January 2012 - 13:37

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As per usual, I see we have our two camps forming:

camp 1: people who *have* worn it saying it's good. and expensive.

camp 2: people who *haven't* worn it saying it's bad. and expensive.

draw your own conclusions on that one

cactuscat's picture

posted by cactuscat [302 posts]
24th January 2012 - 13:55

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@cactuscat: please get your facts right Smile ... no one here is saying that Rapha gear is bad (though some of it might be). The main issue is whether or not the rather steep asking price is justified by the quality/performance/styling/etc. Thinking

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
24th January 2012 - 14:26

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Quote:
The main issue is whether or not the rather steep asking price is justified by the quality/performance/styling/etc

vecchiojo reckons it is, and he's worn it. you reckon it isn't, and you haven't. i'm sure he has a wardrobe full of jackets to compare this one to.

Quote:
Wearing Rapha is more a sign of affluence than practicality or performance. There's really not a lot to like about this brand IMHO

that quote shows who the biased one is here, IMO. like vecchiojo says, you didn't bother to read the review at all, just looked at the price and got your fingers and opinions out.

cactuscat's picture

posted by cactuscat [302 posts]
24th January 2012 - 15:46

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Quote:
that quote shows who the biased one is here, IMO. like vecchiojo says, you didn't bother to read the review at all, just looked at the price and got your fingers and opinions out.

Really? Surely if I hadn't read the review, then I wouldn't have been able to quote from it? Thinking

Having never worn Rapha gear I cannot say one way or another whether it is good or bad, and as such I never make such statements. Big Grin However, people do have strong opinions on the brand. If you like it, buy it... Smile

Is it value for money? If not, then can a 4.5 star review really be justified? Thinking

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
24th January 2012 - 17:04

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I managed to pick up the Paul Smith version this weekend for £105 (from a small Paul Smith shop in London near Bond St), which I was very happy about. Used it twice, and it’s awesome. Looks good on the bike, looks good off the bike (even though it’s purple Smile ), it’s very breathable, and there are some lovely touches, as stated in the review.

They’ve still got some small and mediums left if anyone wants one.

As for price: I wouldn’t have paid the RRP.

posted by low-fi [29 posts]
24th January 2012 - 17:13

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some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing

in my wardrobe i have some cycle clothing that at the time of purchase was ridiculously expensive but as it's still being used over ten years later that expense has slowly been forgotten as it's flowed into value, in fact some of it has been handed on to friends who still use it on a frequent basis, adding further value

i feel the Rapha City rain Jacket will be one of those bits of clothing i shall be pulling on in a decades time

posted by VecchioJo [749 posts]
24th January 2012 - 17:18

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VecchioJo wrote:
some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing

in my wardrobe i have some cycle clothing that at the time of purchase was ridiculously expensive but as it's still being used over ten years later that expense has slowly been forgotten as it's flowed into value, in fact some of it has been handed on to friends who still use it on a frequent basis, adding further value

i feel the Rapha City rain Jacket will be one of those bits of clothing i shall be pulling on in a decades time

That’s true — they’re good “investments” if you amortise the cost over time. I’ve bought some Rapha gear at full retail price, and don’t look back and regret the expense at all. It’s lasting well, and still performs.

posted by low-fi [29 posts]
24th January 2012 - 17:24

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As long as you're not buying cheap stuff, most good quality clothing will last a decade ... I have an Addidas sweatshirt that has lasted over 35 years, and many other items of quality clothing that I've had for well over a decade. You don't always need to pay high-end prices to get durability. Nerd

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
24th January 2012 - 17:56

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having never worn Adidas i couldn't comment

posted by VecchioJo [749 posts]
24th January 2012 - 18:22

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Ah the Dreaded R@ph@ debate rears it ugly/beautiful head yet again. Price vs poseability factor..I mean performance.

I have been in both camps despite owning several R@ph@ garments. The quality is usually always top notch...I have never paid full price for any R products bought.
...I am not a racing snake, does that make me a poseur? I am not in it for any investment value...I will wear my cycling gear until it either is destroyed thru my own clumsy endeavours/washing machine mishaps/size issues...(me getting lardier).
I couldn't justify the price of a jacket such as this due to financial/economic 'displacement' ...i'm skint and I think the wife and kids would appreciate food more than a Rapha jacket...but if I had spare cash and found the fit suitable...I'd have 3 in different colours to suit my mood on the day...or I'd buy something equally as useful, whatever the price...
I think a lot of people despise the big R brand due to their 'ethical business' practice...threatening 'underdogs' etc..remember the (s)TØRM in a Teacup issue...ah well each to their own...contenders ready.....
let the war of words commence...(yet again)

The_Kaner
FREEEEEEEEDOM!

The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [409 posts]
24th January 2012 - 21:54

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The big pink arseflap is totes amazeballs.

It looks like a sexy lady baboon's arse. Or a prolapsed bum-gland. Or some sort of sub-cultural signifier of deviant lusts.

I like it.

Cool

posted by BigDummy [284 posts]
25th January 2012 - 13:12

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^^If you find a lady baboon's arse sexy, they go check out the zoo and give yourself a treat. Big Grin

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
25th January 2012 - 16:27

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yocto wrote:
I bought the Rapha-Paul Smith version (same but in black) when it went on sale on the Rapha website […]

Ditto, but at a lower price, making it a better alternative to the Gore coat that I'd been considering, due to the less emphatic "bike" styling. Discreet until you drop the bum flap, which as an ageing punk, amuses me.

posted by Dr_Lex [134 posts]
25th January 2012 - 20:47

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nbrus wrote:
As long as you're not buying cheap stuff, most good quality clothing will last a decade ... I have an Addidas sweatshirt that has lasted over 35 years, and many other items of quality clothing that I've had for well over a decade. You don't always need to pay high-end prices to get durability. Nerd

A bit of a generalisation. I have two year winter club tops by Vermarc that are knackered and a Rapha winter top at three times the price bought in 2007 that looks brand new. You get what you pay for and I wonder if someone with a 35 year old sweat shirt is really qualified to discuss 'high end' at all? If only Millets had a cycle range eh? : )

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

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1058 posts]
26th January 2012 - 0:43

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MercuryOne wrote:
nbrus wrote:
As long as you're not buying cheap stuff, most good quality clothing will last a decade ... I have an Addidas sweatshirt that has lasted over 35 years, and many other items of quality clothing that I've had for well over a decade. You don't always need to pay high-end prices to get durability. Nerd

A bit of a generalisation. I have two year winter club tops by Vermarc that are knackered and a Rapha winter top at three times the price bought in 2007 that looks brand new. You get what you pay for and I wonder if someone with a 35 year old sweat shirt is really qualified to discuss 'high end' at all? If only Millets had a cycle range eh? : )

True my statement was a genralisation, as is yours ... you don't always get what you pay for... Smile

Oh, and most of my cycling gear is made by Gore ... though I also have some cheaper items acquired from Aldi ... and mid-range items from Altura, Endura, Pearl Izumi etc. Big Grin

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
26th January 2012 - 17:58

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Wow!
Either this is either brand manager heaven or hell, I" m not sure which but if we believe Henry Ford then it is heaven
I came late in life to road cycling and simply looked for decent kit that was not neon, the choice is limited and Rapha stands out in that group as a bit elegant. Add to that a commitment to quality and it starts to have another level of appeal difficult to ignore if you have a little extra change.
It may not be for everybody and i suspect that aspect is in the brand profiling (don't you love marketing) so we should not all agree on this. In a world where it is possible to spend £1700 on a set of wheels it is surely possible to sell a jacket for £220 and applaud the maker
I have some Rapha kit and it is good stuff, the winter jersey is especially effective and I love it. I didn't go for the tights preferring Mavic but do have several base layers and a pair of touring shorts, very good fit and pretty smart - as I'm 61 and in management I probably won't be sporting them at the next board meeting

posted by Kevcaster [5 posts]
26th January 2012 - 23:56

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£105? or £150?

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
27th January 2012 - 12:51

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robert_obrien wrote:
£105? or £150?

£105 if you're talking about the Paul Smith Rain jacket… I was tempted in the sale, all gone now though

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
27th January 2012 - 13:12

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£105 in the tiny near Bond Street store. Stickered at £120 — they put it through at £105.

posted by low-fi [29 posts]
27th January 2012 - 13:59

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Spendy but lovely, as ever. I would dearly love one of these but I won't be buying one unless they knock about a ton off the price due to ongoing domestic austerity measures.

I broadly agree with the get what you pay for argument but I do think Rapha go slightly beyond that point and edge into the realm of the piss take. Good luck to them I say.

Every once in a blue moon I'll be able to buy a Rapha item (like my completely gorgeous pink Stowaway jacket) and for as long as quality stays as high as it is, I will relish those opportunities.

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
27th January 2012 - 14:33

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low-fi wrote:
£105 in the tiny near Bond Street store. [...]

Avery Row, 'twixt Brook Street and Grosvenor Street - I always find something good there. Be warned - it's completely rammed on Saturdays.

posted by Dr_Lex [134 posts]
27th January 2012 - 14:56

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ah never been a rapha hater but i think i might be join that elite group.

just bought the team mitts and found a made in china label. first and foremost i have no issue with chinese made products. the thing i have issue with is a company pretending and implying british through and through.

shutt vr are better priced and british made so i will stick to them and torm now.

the gloves are lovely but £50(i paid 30 in the sale) they charged £4 delivery, would have only cost £2.70 recorded, they were just regular post.

i assume the ceo of rapha starts bbq's with £50 notes. so clothes at 3x times the price and no usp apart from the fact they have a teeny splash of pink.

so some poor f++ker gets paid 0.26p per hour, max of 1 hour per jersey? sports wool slab £10 -£20 a meter maybe? delivered to your door for £160. happy christmas

yours sincerely russ raphahater parkin

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
27th January 2012 - 16:14

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russyparkin wrote:
ah never been a rapha hater but i think i might be join that elite group.

just bought the team mitts and found a made in china label. first and foremost i have no issue with chinese made products. the thing i have issue with is a company pretending and implying british through and through.

shutt vr are better priced and british made so i will stick to them and torm now.

the gloves are lovely but £50(i paid 30 in the sale) they charged £4 delivery, would have only cost £2.70 recorded, they were just regular post.

i assume the ceo of rapha starts bbq's with £50 notes. so clothes at 3x times the price and no usp apart from the fact they have a teeny splash of pink.

so some poor f++ker gets paid 0.26p per hour, max of 1 hour per jersey? sports wool slab £10 -£20 a meter maybe? delivered to your door for £160. happy christmas

yours sincerely russ raphahater parkin

Rapha are pretty open about where they manufacture - aside from the leather gloves which used to be made in britain (and I don't think are anymore) their stuff has always been manufactured in the far east. It's the same for most top end brands - the cost of purchase is not relative to the cost of manufacture alone, it's based on a combination of manufacturing costs, design and research costs, marketing costs and the price of similar goods.

What I'm sure Rapha would say you pay for is design (meaning both fit/cut/materials and styling) and r&d. What i'd say you pay for is a bit of design and a combination of performance, styling and branding.

You can get similar stuff for less - you mention Shutt VR and Torm. I have some of both of their kit. Shutt is decent, but I ended up sending some of it back because the cut wasn't consistent and everything apart from the first jersey felt flimsy. Torm is good too, but the range is pretty limited.

The thing I struggle to understand about the so-called 'haters' is that Rapha isn't doing anything unusual - they make stuff that works very well, and that a lot of people think looks good, and they charge a premium for the combination. Why does that make them hateworthy? If it's too expensive, just don't buy it. I'd love to own a Ferrari, but I can't afford it (and if I could I probably couldn't justify the expense). It doesn't mean I hate Ferrari and think they are ripping the world off with their overpriced supercars. If Rapha were pushing up the price of essential, life-giving items, I'd understand. But they are unashamedly a luxury brand, and no-one could claim that they need Rapha stuff to survive but can't afford it. So what's the justification for hating them?

posted by step-hent [674 posts]
27th January 2012 - 18:04

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i spoke to their marketing manager since this post. i stand by it being overpriced to a point but in terms of fashion clothing i know this happens massively. i have sort of forgiven them but maybe suggested they make it clear that they are very much not made in the uk. and i still stand by the gloves are lovely! oh and in terms of cut of garments thats irrelivant unless you have a taylor whos a dab hand with lycra/sportwool. torm stuff fits me perfectly, rapha and shutt can be variable, thats not their fault, its mine and my love of pies and my funny shape generally.

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
27th January 2012 - 19:11

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step-hent wrote:
...So what's the justification for hating them?

Excessive greed... Devil

...and I don't hate Rapha. Big Grin

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
27th January 2012 - 19:23

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I never thought they were anything but open about the fact that there stuff is made in China, (despite all the classical styling which I suppose doesn't shout Far East Manufacture) they had a very interesting blog posting on their site not long ago all about KTC the company that makes their clothing http://www.rapha.cc/made-in-china

And to be fair to them they are also a lot more open than some other high end cycle clothing brands about where their garments are made

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
27th January 2012 - 19:27

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It's good that Rapha at least use a Chinese factory that is dedicated to providing quality jobs ... they deserve credit for that. Cool

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
27th January 2012 - 19:53

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Once again, an item on Rapha generates the most comments. Like Apple on a tech website, haters gonna hate, yet Assos appear to escape the VFM criticism. Go figure!

posted by Dr_Lex [134 posts]
29th January 2012 - 9:45

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back to my last post, got a voucher code through and decided to get the bomber jacket on their clearance. paid out of my own money £75 post voucher (and had £55 in paypal anyway)all i can say is all is forgiven, THE finest piece of clothing ever bought. there is no way this is being used for cycling, it could be ridden in but ultimately its a pub jacket with a bum drop. love it. but jersey wise i will still stick with torm/shutt. simple economics etc

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
11th February 2012 - 22:43

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