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Verdict: 
Well pricey, but well worth it
Weight: 
408g
Contact: 
www.rapha.cc
Rapha City Rain Jacket
9 10

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

 

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

50 comments

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phax71 [287 posts] 4 years ago
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Crikey, thats cheap, I'll take three ...

Just had to be the first.

For what its worth, I love Rapha stuff and own a few pieces but this jacket will have to wait a while methinx .... that lovely Mr Cameron's been talking about "austerity" and how "we're all in it together" dont ya know ....  1

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 4 years ago
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over to you nbrus…

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captain_slog [335 posts] 4 years ago
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220 pounds!?! For a rain jacket???!?!? When I were a lad we cut armholes in black bin liners and thought we were lucky.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 4 years ago
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Fast work phax71!

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 4 years ago
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Yeah sorry - I don't care how good it is, I'm not spending more on a rain jacket than I spent on my last pair of wheels - If that makes me a "hater" (nice pigeon holing of your readers btw) then so be it

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yocto [20 posts] 4 years ago
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I bought the Rapha-Paul Smith version (same but in black) when it went on sale on the Rapha website and got it for £150. My impressions are that it is a great jacket. Very smart, functional and with some lovely useful details. However, in my opinion I wouldn’t say it’s worth paying 220 for it. It’s a lot of money for what is essentially not a lot of coat. Understandably a parka is going to be of no use on a bike. At the reduced price I was very happy with my purchase but even at that price I didn’t feel like I had a ‘bargain’ (though it is my go to coat, rain or not, at £150 it’s going to get more use than just in the wet!). As said in the review Rapha currently have this new ‘navy’ version on sale for £180 though I think the sale ends today…

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timlennon [210 posts] 4 years ago
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captain_slog wrote:

220 pounds!?! For a rain jacket???!?!? When I were a lad we cut armholes in black bin liners and thought we were lucky.

Black bin-liner? You were lucky. (&c.)

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dave atkinson [6207 posts] 4 years ago
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captain_slog wrote:

220 pounds!?! For a rain jacket???!?!? When I were a lad we cut armholes in black bin liners and thought we were lucky.

You had bin liners? you were lucky. We had to make our own bin liners out of asda smart price crisp packets and sellotape, and *then* cut arm holes in them

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Philx [37 posts] 4 years ago
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captain_slog wrote:

220 pounds!?! For a rain jacket???!?!? When I were a lad we cut armholes in black bin liners and thought we were lucky.

And when we got home we'd eat a handful of hot gravel for dinner and go to sleep in the septic tank.  4

Personally I love the Rapha stuff; I own a bunch and it's never let me down. But at full price, I agree, it's hard to justify. Sample sales and some of the better on-line deals are the way to go.

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Darkerside [75 posts] 4 years ago
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Thoroughly recommend the bomber jacket, especially if it's still at £95. Moves the slider a fair bit more towards the 'smart around town' end of the scale, but still very wearable on the bike.

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step-hent [720 posts] 4 years ago
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Darkerside wrote:

Thoroughly recommend the bomber jacket, especially if it's still at £95. Moves the slider a fair bit more towards the 'smart around town' end of the scale, but still very wearable on the bike.

Agreed, the bomber jacket is great, particularly at £95 - it gets regular comments when wearing it off the bike about how nice it is! It's pretty warm though - I don't own the city rain jacket, but I have the standard rain jacket and the bomber is a lot warmer than that.

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RichTheRoadie [67 posts] 4 years ago
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I've got one of these and I flippin' loves it.

It's on sale at the moment too - almost bargainous now that it's forty quid less...  3

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andyp [1444 posts] 4 years ago
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I can't afford it, therefore it's crap. And so on...
Seriously, this looks ace.

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Looks like I'm late to the party ...  19

Sorry to disappoint you guys, but I actually like the look of this jacket (except for the pink bits).  13

The price is a bit steep (as expected), so I won't be buying one, but I'm sure there's a market for minimalist cycling jackets like this one.  39

"...the Rapha City Rain Jacket performs flawlessly, keeping all of the wet out and letting all of the sweat out..."  44 1

I'd take the above statement (and the review) with a pinch of salt though, given that I've yet to find a waterproof jacket that doesn't get even a little bit wet on the inside from condensation when cycling in the rain. Bear in mind the cold weather right now will help to keep perspiration levels low.

Is it likely the review is being exaggerated to justify the rating and the price?  4 39 Or maybe this is quite simply the best cycling rain jacket ever made, performing "flawlessly" in which case it may be worth the rather steep asking price.  13

Personally, I'd have liked to have seen a tuck-away hood included, so that the jacket would be equally useful in the rain, when off the bike.  26

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 4 years ago
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mad_scot_rider wrote:

Yeah sorry - I don't care how good it is, I'm not spending more on a rain jacket than I spent on my last pair of wheels - If that makes me a "hater" (nice pigeon holing of your readers btw) then so be it

I can't afford one either but that doesn't make it a bad jacket… and I'm not sure you are saying that either, Jo's comment is I think aimed at those who think that it does.

Plus from a kit reviewer's point of view it does get a little wearing when you're objectivity and honesty is called in to question if you give some pricey clobber a good review. Although strangely that only really seems to happen when it comes to Rapha reviews

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viveLaPants [94 posts] 4 years ago
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wow very nice.

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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The problem Rapha have is an image problem ... where other manufacturers have different ranges to cater for different budgets, Rapha only cater for the high-end of the market.  19

This makes Rapha exclusive, so those of us that don't fall into that segment will see the brand as overpriced, pretentious, and sending out the wrong message.  13

The lifestyle image of this brand is also not going to fit most users, and the styling is mostly Marmite.  31

Wearing Rapha is more a sign of affluence than practicality or performance. There's really not a lot to like about this brand IMHO. Thankfully, they left out their trademark armbands from this jacket, which is probably why I find it more appealing.  1

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VecchioJo [396 posts] 4 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

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

so it seems the comment at the top of the review about not bothering to read the review (or any Rapha review) is wholly justified

i'm lucky enough to have had the chance to wear a wide selection of clothing brands over the years and the Rapha gets pulled out by choice more than the others because it's both practical and performance led, i apologise if that comes from someone who has actually worn it rather than just having an opinion on it, i'm sure most people who have actually worn Rapha would agree.

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Bigringrider [207 posts] 4 years ago
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I’ve been lusting after this since it came out. If it’s as good as the road Rain Jacket then it’s going to be a top piece.

On the subject of Rapha hating - I buy their kit because it’s really well made and therefore lasts longer than other makes, it looks fantastic, it fits my body shape perfectly and it comes with a free repair service so if I deck it I can have my clothes fixed. I also buy it because it pi$$es people off.

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step-hent [720 posts] 4 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

The problem Rapha have is an image problem ... where other manufacturers have different ranges to cater for different budgets, Rapha only cater for the high-end of the market.  19

Plenty of brands do this - looking at comparable gear, Swrve and Chrome are aiming at a similar market and are not wildly different in price (a little cheaper, perhaps, but not what I'd call a different ball park making it a different market). I don't see what the issue is with aiming at the high end - if they make things that work really well and look really good, why would they not price it as high as people will pay for that combo? And why should they be criticised for doing that?

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jockywilson [21 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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cactuscat [284 posts] 4 years ago
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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

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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@cactuscat: please get your facts right  1 ... 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.  39

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cactuscat [284 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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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?  39

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.  4 However, people do have strong opinions on the brand. If you like it, buy it...  1

Is it value for money? If not, then can a 4.5 star review really be justified?  39

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low-fi [29 posts] 4 years ago
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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  1 ), 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.

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VecchioJo [396 posts] 4 years ago
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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

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low-fi [29 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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nbrus [293 posts] 4 years ago
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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.  26

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VecchioJo [396 posts] 4 years ago
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having never worn Adidas i couldn't comment

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