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Verdict: 
It's Gore Shakedry with Rapha branding and a not crazy price
Weight: 
125g
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The new Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex jacket offers all the performance of the unique Gore-Tex Shakedry fabric with a few Rapha details, at a price that isn't excessive compared to other Shakedry jackets. It's totally waterproof, very breathable and impressively packable.

  • Pros: Waterproof, breathable, packable, cheaper than other Shakedry jackets
  • Cons: Dark colour

You're essentially getting the stunning performance of Shakedry with Rapha branding. Rapha fans will love it! Rapha has until now sought out its own fabrics, but it has clearly been unable to look past Gore-Tex's stunning Shakedry waterproof fabric and so this winter launches two new jackets built around it, the Pro Team Insulated and the Pro Team Lightweight tested here. (They're currently only available to Rapha Cycling Club members; non-members will have to wait until Thursday to buy.)

> Buy this online here

Shakedry is the very best waterproof fabric from Gore-Tex, the culmination of 30 years' development, and first launched in 2016. The fabric is unique in having a two-layer construction with the outer surface being the actual membrane. Water beads off and since there's no DWR treatment, the waterproofing ability does not diminish over time or through multiple machine washes. But the real upshot is that it's more breathable and packable than any other waterproof on the market.

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket - Gore Tex logo.jpg

There are several companies now using Gore-Tex Shakedry and, for the most part, they are all nigh-on identical. The Rapha jacket adds a few signature details like the Pro Team stripes and the iconic armband, but otherwise there's not a lot to distinguish it from any other Shakedry jacket.

One reason for this is that a current technical limitation of the Shakedry fabric is that it's only available in a few pretty dull colours, which even Rapha hasn't been able to get around. People concerned with visibility will want to make sure they've got plenty of lights, or spend their money elsewhere, such as the Core Rain Jacket II which does come in bright colours. (Or Gore's Shakedry Viz adds coloured panels.)

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket - back.jpg

One point of difference not found on other Shakedry jackets is a thin flap covering the main zipper with a larger Velcro flap. Considering the zipper is waterproofed and not a weakness for the elements on other Shakedry jackets, it seems rather a moot difference and just served to make it a little trickier to unzip the jacket one-handed. The zipper is two-way which makes for slightly easier temperature control.

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket - velcro flap.jpg

There are no compartments other than a very small mesh pocket on the inside. It can be used to store a few bits and bobs, or it can be used as a stuff pouch to compress the jacket into a very small size. It's not quite as nice or easy to use as the zipped pouch that comes on some Shakedry jackets. I found it easier to simply roll the jacket up, after which it fits very easily in a jersey pocket ready to be deployed into service. And it's so light you won't notice it, with the size medium tested here weighing just 125g.

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket - pocket.jpg

The fit is good, on and off the bike. It's a shape that works best on the bike: the front waist is higher, the rear is dropped down for good lower back and bum coverage. A stretchy rear waistband keeps it in place.

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket - riding.jpg

The sleeves are a good length and the elasticated cuffs help when pulling the jacket on and off, as well as ensuring a good seal to prevent cold air flowing up the arms.

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket - cuff.jpg

There's no stretch in the fabric but the cut and shape are good enough that I experienced no restriction of movement. It's comfortably roomy, with space for a couple of layers underneath – a good thing for the winter as the Shakedry doesn't offer any insulation. I suspect I could have downsized for a more streamlined fit.

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket - back tail.jpg

I've been testing this jacket for several weeks now, and luckily I have had some rubbish conditions to put it through its paces. This included a trip to Germany for three days of very wet and muddy gravel biking with Shimano. There it had to endure being pasted with gravel and grit, having a muddy bike slung over the shoulder, scrunched up into a pocket when the sun came out, washed in the hotel room sink and squashed in the bottom of my suitcase.

rapha shakedry riding pics Irmo Keizer2

© Irmo Keizer

It handled it all with ease. The performance is on a level I've come to expect from Shakedry. It keeps you totally waterproof. It's as close to a magical shield to the rain as it gets. Overheating is managed well if the sun comes out; I never found it to be a sweaty experience like rain jackets of the past. And you can always open up the AquaGuard zipper to let some air in if you need to cool down.

rapha shakedry riding pics Irmo Keizer3

© Irmo Keizer

It's been through the washing machine a couple of times, just a regular 30-degree wash, and water still beads off the surface as it did when it was brand new. That's the beauty of Shakedry, there is no DWR treatment to wear out over time. Toughness is a worry with the Shakedry fabric – Gore recommends it only for road cycling, and not for use with a backpack, but I've used it cyclo-cross and gravel biking, and with a backpack, and so far it is just fine. But you might want to be careful.

> Things I couldn't ride without – 1: Gore's Shakedry jacket

There's little here that improves on the Gore Shakedry jacket that has been available for several years. Pleasingly, the price is not ridiculous by Rapha standards – at £220 it's cheaper than Gore's own versions, circa £240-250, and the 7Mesh Oro at £250 and Castelli's Idro at £260.

Yes, it's a lot of cash to spend on a jacket, but Shakedry really is a genuine game-changer when it comes to riding in the rain. Given how much rain we get on this small island, I'd say it's actually a good investment if you do plan to ride outdoors. Personally, I reckon Shakedry is the single best innovation in cycling in the last decade.

Verdict

It's Gore Shakedry with Rapha branding and a not crazy price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the jacket 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 says: "The Pro Team Lightweight GORE-TEX Jacket combines the lightweight, hydrophobic SHAKEDRY™ fabric with a streamlined fit to create a the most protective, superlight layer for wet weather. Water simply beads and runs off the outer surface of the jacket's two-layer laminated material. No saturated face fabric means no chilling effect, and keeps the jacket extremely light and easy to pack down. Every seam is lined and each binding on the jacket's hem, cuffs and collar are carefully engineered with a lightweight, elasticated closure for comprehensive weather seal."

With protection from the elements assured, the highly breathable fabric also allows body heat and moisture to escape, meaning you can work hard in the rain without overheating. Should your efforts be rewarded with brighter skies, the jacket folds down to stow in half a jersey pocket. At just 49gsm, the fabric has an extremely low pack volume. Once you're back home and out of the storm, hang the jacket using its integrated hanger loop. It'll be dry in no time, ready for the next ride.

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

Rapha lists:

Waterproof AquaGuard zip

Signature Pro Team placket with velcro fastening

Contrast armband

Reinforced zip guard at hem to protect bib shorts

Sweat-wicking lining inside raised collar

Integrated pack pouch inside right side panel

Bonded cuffs designed to sit snugly on top of gloves

nb. Not to be worn with a backpack

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well made.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
10/10

Shakedry sets the current benchmark for rain jackets.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
7/10

I will continue testing the Rapha jacket to asses durability, but so far it has been just fine and I'm still using an original Gore Shakedry jacket that shows no signs of wear or lacking water repellency.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
10/10

The best in class.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

It's far more breathable than any other waterproof fabric. You can wear it when it's not raining, and you can avoid stopping all the time to take it off, which is nice.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for weight:
 
10/10
Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
8/10

It's actually a bit cheaper than other Shakedry jackets.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

A doddle to look after.

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

Keeps you dry without overheating.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Lets you enjoy riding in the rain.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

The same gripes with all Shakedry jackets, the lack of colours and reflective details, but they are a small price to pay for the performance.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

There's very little to find fault with here.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

18 comments

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [1147 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Is it included as part of Rapha's repair service?  One crash and I can see these kind of thin Shake Dry jackets as being a write off.

Avatar
CasperCCC [67 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I've been wanting to get one of the shakedry jackets for ages, but the sleeves on the Goretex versions are just a little bit too short for me - I'd have that massively irritating half inch gap between gloves and jacket.

Would love to know how the length on this compares to the Goretex equivalent. (Rapha sleeve length seems to be really inconsistent - I'm fine with some of their stuff, but not others.)

Avatar
michophull [160 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

£220 - "not crazy".

My arse.

Avatar
WDG [63 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
michophull wrote:

£220 - "not crazy".

My arse.

 

Gore one is £250, so what's your point?

Avatar
ktache [2135 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

It's relative.  It's Rapha, and Gore's own is £240-250.

My better half has given me a couple of items as gifts (yes, I DO truely love her, and it would seem she me), the merino base layer is wonderful, and lasts (I managed to get a couple more in the sales), a dhb version started getting holes in it after one wash, and was cheap but nowhere near as good, and I got a couple of Endura Baa shirts, a little thicker and warmer and only a little cheaper, the Raphas edge it, little more practical, more seasons.  She also got me a Rapha Brevit windproof merino thing, such quality, not really cool enough to wear and fully judge.

Avatar
Pilot Pete [230 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Still waiting for a bright orange version before I entertain such a jacket.

PP

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CyclingInBeastMode [42 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

If you're really serious about cycling and need something for three quarters of the year that can cover a lot of the bases weather wise and doesn't take up a bunch of space then a shade over £200 isn't a huge amount of money, I don't know the longevity of the garment but if you get 5 solid years from it that's a measly £44/annum, for some people that's 6-7 coffee/cake stops  a year.

Now if you can find similar performance or even better for cheaper and get the fit spot on for you then that's a bonus, however that's rarely easy.

There's the Montura Onice that's a little bit cheaper which also has the gore tex 'shake-dry feature, Castelli do the Idris Pro which is about £100 more than the Rapha. what else is there that compares?

 

Avatar
ktache [2135 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I'm with you there PP.

Avatar
Stueys [36 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Pilot Pete wrote:

Still waiting for a bright orange version before I entertain such a jacket.

PP

 

Its been 3 years and they still haven't managed without compromising the material performance.  How long you planning to hold out?  

For the performance of shakedry I'd fit lights

Avatar
Freddy56 [428 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

I have Galibier's Tourmalet jacket for nearly 2 years which is really waterproof and doesnt get too sticky inside even when pushing full gas.

Fail to see where the performance/£ is here.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [1147 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
WDG wrote:
michophull wrote:

£220 - "not crazy".

My arse.

 

Gore one is £250, so what's your point?

He's being "that guy".

Avatar
nadsta [204 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I don't see how Rapha have added any value here, and it's a product they've been hyping.

Gore equivalent online for under £200-I paid £160 for mine when it came out (returned & replaced a year later as it was letting by)

Rapha fan in general; but I think they're struggling to mark themsleves out as that innovative or aesthetically different these days

 

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Loi [2 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Doesn't look like race fit on the pictures... I'd rather get wet than having a landing parachute (when in a race).

Avatar
quiff [178 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
michophull wrote:

£220 - "not crazy".

My arse.

I probably have about £220 worth of cycling rain jackets which are either waterproof or breathable, but never both. If Shakedry genuinely manages as good a compromise between those two as people suggest, then £220 is not crazy, but I'm still reluctant to drop that much money in case I'm just adding a slightly better 'boil in the bag' to the collection. I've pretty much given up and just reach for a Gabba now.  

Avatar
Prosper0 [239 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Looks huge and flappy. You'd 'think they'd send you guys the right size. 

And seriously, con being a dark colour? If I spend £200+ I want to feel good wearing it, not looking like a traffic cone. Does all clothing have to be yellow if you're not driving a car? I don't see this 'con' being a negative on any other clothing reviews on road.cc. 

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Team EPO [219 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Can this shake dry materail only be made in black?  Are there any other visible colours yet?

Avatar
Truffl3Shuffl3 [19 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
quiff wrote:
michophull wrote:

£220 - "not crazy".

My arse.

I probably have about £220 worth of cycling rain jackets which are either waterproof or breathable, but never both. If Shakedry genuinely manages as good a compromise between those two as people suggest, then £220 is not crazy, but I'm still reluctant to drop that much money in case I'm just adding a slightly better 'boil in the bag' to the collection. I've pretty much given up and just reach for a Gabba now.  

I have the Gore version, and apart from the arms being slightly too short when in the stretched position, and a bit gappy at the sleeves, it's an amazing bit of kit.

I've steered clear of rain jacket for years for exactly the same reason and have 'made do' with softshell alternatives which aren't really very good.

The Gore jacket really works and I sweat like an absolute beast when I get in the zone. It really does breathe well, though I do tend to compensate for the windstopping (read: sweat cooling) abilities of the jacket by wearing as little underneath it as possible, temperature dependent.

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [42 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Prosper0 wrote:

Looks huge and flappy. You'd 'think they'd send you guys the right size. 

And seriously, con being a dark colour? If I spend £200+ I want to feel good wearing it, not looking like a traffic cone. Does all clothing have to be yellow if you're not driving a car? I don't see this 'con' being a negative on any other clothing reviews on road.cc. 

I prefer black, it stands out more than other colours most of the year round and if people can't see black/dark colours then we need to ban around 65% of motors from the roads, the evidence suggests (if you look around the world at their colour crash rates not just from some insurer here) that that's nonsense anyway.

And the flappyness of the jacket does look a bit poor, I use a fairly snug race fit water resistant jacket though likely not as water resistant.breathable as the Gore but then I paid 6x less, it works for me in all but very persistent heavy rain and as I'm not racing/training I either put up with it or find shelter/stop somewhre.