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The Rapha Women's Pro Team Insulated Rain Jacket is all about covering you for those mega grim days when it's both cold and wet, and it delivers on this very effectively. Simply put this jacket on at the start of a ride that looks to be throwing everything at you and you can happily stay warm and dry. There's a two-way zip so you have easy access to your pockets below, though the jacket itself has two rear pockets too, plus a chest pocket, so plenty of options.
The jacket pairs Gore-Tex's two-layer Paclite Plus outer, for wind and rain protection, with a synthetic liner for cosy warmth. The outer is made from 100% recycled nylon, while on the inside you've got 65gsm synthetic insulation for its warmth and breathable qualities – it's wonderfully soft which means you can wear the jacket directly next to bare skin.
If you're standing about before or after a ride, or during – if you or your riding buddy have a mechanical issue – this insulation helps keep you snugly warm when not moving.
The waterproof protection meets Gore's Black Diamond standard and has a 28,000mm waterproof rating – after cycling through heavy rain for prolonged periods on a three-hour ride no water penetrated the fabric. With the breathability and soft lining of this jacket, even when it stopped raining and it was just a bit cold and windy, I didn't feel particularly clammy or, therefore, the need to take it off.
On slightly milder rainy days, I did find myself overheating a little on climbs but was definitely grateful for the wind defence on the way down in those temperatures. Zipping up from the bottom helped get some air circulating on the climb, but I'd say that if you are choosing to really dig in on the ascents you're better off going for a layering system rather than this do-it-all. Breathability is impressive for the protection it provides, but there are limits – this jacket is a great no-fuss all-rounder for slightly longer, steadier paced road rides in the grim.
The outer fabric feels robust too. I've taken the jacket out on gravel rides, with inevitable brushes against overhanging shrubbery, and the jacket remains unscathed.
At 270g, it's really light for the protection and warmth it provides. This lightness makes it very comfortable to wear, but that said, it doesn't pack down small enough to be rolled into a jersey pocket.
This jacket is part of Rapha's Pro Team line that's aimed at racier folk. The short length at the front prevents any bunching, the close fit throughout means there's nothing flapping in the wind, and it is comfortable when leaning forward on the bike.
The only area of the fit that wasn't quite right for me was at the sleeve ends. To help keep out the elements, each cuff features an Aquaquard zip which extends halfway up the forearm. While it does provide a close fit that protects against the rain when zipped up, I found that when unzipped the opening is still too tight and so it's a struggle to take the jacket on and off. I have fairly narrow wrists and this is not a problem I've experienced with other winter jackets, which suggests others could also find this an issue.
Even though this jacket is not designed to be a packable layer that you take on and off quickly as you ride, it's still inconvenient that it doesn't fit so well here. Having the zip at the sleeves also compromises on comfort slightly as it's stiff and doesn't sit as nicely against your body, so it's a shame it's not been executed quite as well as it could have.
To help hold out the nasty weather, Rapha has raised the collar, and it's lined to keep things comfortable.
Down below, a 4.5cm-wide waistband is incorporated into the dropped tail and is designed to help with providing a secure fit – it does so very well.
Two fairly sizeable pockets can be found on the rear. There's a gap in the middle, with both of the pockets positioned on each outer edge for easy access while riding. A drainage hole is included in each to let any water that's accumulated drip out.
A hidden chest pocket gives you another option for storing winter essentials. You could secure cards here or a fairly large smartphone. Mine's 16.5cm tall and just about fits.
The two-way Aquaguard zip keeps you dry when it's chucking it down, while also giving you access to your pockets underneath.
Other neat touches are zip tags that are a little larger than some, which helps when wearing winter gloves, and an internal hanger loop for easy storage pre or post ride.
To help cover you on rides in low light conditions Rapha has included reflective bars on the sleeves as well as a large reflective logo between the rear pockets, with a stripe just below it. The miserable days which this jacket is intended for are most likely going to be gloomy and dull, so it's great to see plenty of reflectives.
At £310, this is certainly a premium buy, but you are definitely investing in a garment that'll keep you warm and dry so you can continue riding through the very worst of British weather, which we unfortunately get a lot of!
The cheaper NVPA Storm Jacket (£240) impressed with its protection against the rain and wind alongside plenty of breathability. 'I have worn it in steady rain for a couple of hours without any wetness getting through, and in light rain or drizzle the rain seems to bead forever,' Stu said when he reviewed it.
Pearl Izumi's PRO AmFib Softshell (£199.99) is another form-fitting thermal long sleeve that's amazingly water resistant.
But looking at jackets with a similar level of prolonged waterproofness with breathability, 7mesh's relaxed offering, the Skypilot jacket, which I've also been testing (full review to come) is £300 – but that's a more packable layer and doesn't have a similar snug lining for warmth.
And Gore's own C5 Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 Insulated Jacket costs more – it's gone up to £329.99 since David tested it in 2019. There's no women's equivalent though.
Overall, the Rapha Women's Pro Team Insulated Rain Jacket is a high quality option that'll certainly see you through the worst of British winters. You might find the fit at the wrists is a little tight, though.
Wonderfully cosy and impressively waterproof layer for unrelenting cold, wet rides – but the sleeve ends are narrow
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Women's Pro Team Insulated Rain Jacket
Size tested: Small
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 Insulated Rain Jacket pairs a GORE-TEX Paclite Plus® membrane with a synthetic insulated liner to provide unparalleled protection in cold, wet weather conditions. With an abrasion resistant face fabric, the 2L Paclite shell provides durable waterproof protection – certified to Gore's Black Diamond standard – without compromise on breathability. Inside, 65gsm synthetic insulation delivers class-leading warmth and is also highly breathable, ensuring you don't overheat. To keep the elements out, there's a wide elasticated gripper at the waist, zipped cuffs and a raised collar that is fully lined for maximum protection. There's space in the internal chest pocket for a phone and cards, while two oversized rear pockets can be accessed easily even when wearing gloves. And for riding in low light conditions, there are reflective Pro Team bars on the sleeves as well as a larger reflective tab between the pockets."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Fully lined raised collar for maximum protection
Internal hanger loop
Durable construction for extended use in harsh conditions
Extra-wide waistband for stable fit
Two large rear pockets for easy access when wearing gloves
Hidden chest pockets to store winter essentials
GORE-TEX Black Diamond certification
Two-way Aquaguard zip
Zipped cuffs for use with winter gloves
100% Recycled Nylon
The sleeve ends are tight even when fully unzipped.
The robust, waterproof zip along the forearm does compromise on comfort slightly.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
All good when machine washed at 40 degrees.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great no-fuss option for riding through cold and wet days.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Its all-round protection from the cold and wet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Having the zip on the sleeve ends, as it didn't make it any easier to take the jacket off.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
NVPA's Storm Jacket and Pearl Izumi's PRO AmFib Softshell are cheaper, at £240 and £199.99 respectively, but for similar levels of waterproofing, 7mesh's Skypilot jacket is around the same price (£300) – and Gore's C5 Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 Insulated Jacket is £329.99.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? No, the fit of the sleeves doesn't quite work for me.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes, but would recommend they try it on first.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall, it's very good. It's expensive but the performance is excellent – it uses a highly effective and breathable waterproof outer layer and pairs it with cosy insulation, and thanks to this combination it'll see you through the worst wet and cold weather rides. It's light and fits comfortably everywhere but at the sleeve ends in my experience, where it could do with being a little looser when unzipped.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike 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, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track