Rapha's Souplesse Jacket looks as good as it performs. With the practicality of a rain jacket mixed with the breathability of a jersey, it's the perfect lovechild of the two.
The Souplesse is made with two very different fabrics, giving it a lovely look and feel. This combination allows the jacket to work to your body temperature while battling the elements. The chest and fronts of the sleeves are made from a soft-shell fabric that is windproof and shower resistant. The backs of the arms and the middle of the back are made from a breathable fabric.
The design of these fabric panels is intended to stop you getting that sweaty feel that we can all get when riding. It works. The jacket allows your skin to stay warm while sweat gets to escape, resulting in a warm and dry ride.
I rode in wind and light rain and the Souplesse performed very well. It also has ample pockets for storage of all essentials. The rear has two large side pockets and a 'pump sleeve' in the middle, along with a zipped pocket for money etc and an inside rear pocket.
The zip is offset, which Rapha say helps with layering, they probably make a valid point and it looks good too. The collar feels soft against your neck and the sleeve cuffs sit next to your skin so no rain water or splash back can get up there.
I wore a large and it's a snug fit. It sits tighter than the large Rapha rain jacket that I have, so if you want to layer up you may want to think about size. However it fits a base layer and jersey under it no problem and the fact it sits close means there is no room for wind to sneak in.
Warmth, great colours and very practical
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Make and model: Rapha Women's Souplesse Jacket
Size tested: n/a
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 jacket is aimed at road users who want to cycle in cooler temperatures. Rapha say its breathable while being warm. During my time wearing it, it certainly was all these things.
Stylish and insulating jacket for cold weather
The Souplesse Jacket combines two distinct fabrics to create a highly technical garment that insulates against the elements while allowing temperature regulation. The chest panel and sleeve fronts are constructed from a softshell fabric that is windproof and water-resistant, giving protection and warmth. The rear panel and back of the sleeves are made from a breathable and high stretch fabric, similar to that in the Souplesse Jersey, that vents heat and sweat, preventing the clammy and uncomfortable feelings of traditionally constructed jackets.
An offset zip allows for easy layering, and the jacket has two large rear pockets separated by a pump sleeve, zipped and lined valuables pocket, and sleeve pocket on the left sleeve. Reflective piping and Rapha logo increase visibility in low winter light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
DWR softshell front and sleeves
Zipped valuables pockets on sleeve and back
Breathable rear panel in contrast colour
Tone-on-tone Rapha arm stripe
The jacket is well made, with flat seams and high quality material.
Windproof, breathable and water resistance make the jacket a great go to item.
The jacket is very durable and shows no sign of wear.
A very comfortable jacket.
At the higher end of the price market, this jacket seems expensive. However it will last a long time and looks great.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Designed to keep you warm and relatively dry, the jacket lives up to its purpose.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I loved the colours and feel of the jacket.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing at all.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Don't let the price put you off. If you invest in it, it will pay you back over the years.
Age: 34 Height: 158cms Weight: 61kg
I usually ride: Giant defy My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,