Staying dry while riding in the wet is one of the eternal battles we face as cyclists. Staying dry in the wet without overheating is the holy grail. Fabrics that are designed to keep the water out, ultimately tend to also keep sweat inside. GORE-TEX was the first to introduce a breathable membrane, and is still probably the brand leader when it comes to waterproof-breathable fabrics.
Until now, Rapha used in-house fabrics in its waterproofs, but has announced a partnership with GORE-TEX for the first time – after working together to develop three new foul-weather cycling jackets. None of the jackets are exactly cheap, but compare pretty well with equivalent jackets with the same fabric from other manufacturers. We are interested to try some out, so will report back.
Pro Team Lightweight GORE-TEX Jacket
The new Pro Team Lightweight waterproof jackets for both men and women employ GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY(TM). This fabric has been around for a few years now, and we’ve loved the jackets we’ve used which features it. It uses the waterproof membrane on the external facing of the two-layer construction (most other fabrics use it below another layer). This means that water simply beads off the fabric without the need for DWR coating. It’s impossible for the fabric to “wet out” and the fabric is highly breathable. It’s also very lightweight. Win-win.
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.
The jacket is also available as the Women’s Pro Team Lightweight GORE-TEX Jacket, with a streamlined, female-specific fit.
- GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY(TM) waterproof, moisture-beading membrane Anatomical, storm-sealed race fit
- Integrated lightweight mesh pack pocket
- 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
- Bonded cuffs designed to sit on top of gloves
- RRP: £220
Pro Team Insulated GORE-TEX Jacket
For added warmth under the worst conditions Rapha is also introducing the Pro Team Insulated GORE-TEX Jacket. The first line of defence is the same GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY(TM). Inside, the jacket is fully lined with PolarTec Alpha® insulation – hydrophobic, extremely warm but low-volume and lightweight. The jacket also features a storm hood, made with waterproof but flexible GORE-TEX Stretch material, too eliminate exposed skin and protect the face. An angled zip prevents irritation at the chin. The same Stretch fabric features on the lower back for a stretchy fit over pockets and at the cuffs for a stormproof seal. Vents on the side of the hood aid hearing and peripheral awareness.
Rapha reckons that if the conditions are any worse than those the Pro Team Insulated GORE-TEX Jacket is designed for, it’s better not to ride at all. Not sure it we really want to test that out…
- GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY(TM) waterproof, moisture-beading membrane PolarTec Alpha® hydrophobic, lightweight and breathable insulation GORE-TEX Stretch for an anatomical, storm-sealed race fit
- Waterproof, two-way AquaGuard zip
- Signature Pro Team placket with double velcro fastening
- Two zips on lower back for access to jersey pockets
- High-stretch, waterproof lower back panel for snug fit
- Zipped sleeves for tight fit over winter gloves
- Bonded edges on storm hood to prevent rubbing
- Reflective Pro Team decals
- Storm hood side vents to aid hearing and temperature regulation
- RRP: £320
Explore Hooded GORE-TEX Pullover
Taking a slightly different angle, the Explore Hooded GORE-TEX Pullover is “made for adventure, not speed”. It’s a waterproof hooded rain jacket with a chest pocket for storage. The quarter-zip waterproof pullover makes use of the more traditional GORE-TEX Active(TM) membrane. With a new, more relaxed fit and soft next-to-skin feel, the jacket is designed to be comfortable on and off the bike, no matter what you’re wearing underneath.
Perhaps most relevant to gravel riders, the jacket has a few features that are designed to keep you comfortable off-road. The storm hood features an elasticated closure to keep the weather at bay and can be worn with or without a helmet.
A large chest pocket with internal mesh dividers keeps riding rations and maps out of the rain and close to hand. Reflective stripes on the side panels and dots on the rear ensure you stay seen in low light conditions. Once night falls, the jacket packs down into an integrated stuff sack which doubles as a pillow for overnight pit stops. The jacket is also available in a women cut.
- GORE-TEX ActiveTM – GORE-TEX’s lightest ever three-layer waterproof fabric.
- Durable, all-terrain fit with storm hood.
- All-in-one map pocket, pillow and stuff sack.
- Relaxed fit for comfort on and off-bike
- Aquaguard quarter zip with O-ring puller
- Drawcord hem with integrated valve core tool
- Microfibre lining on collar to prevent rubbing
- Elasticated hood to be worn over a helmet
- Available in Dark Navy, Plum, Dark Yellow
- RRP: £250
More info is available at https://www.rapha.cc/category/Rapha-GORE-TEX
The products will be available exclusively to Rapha Cycling Club Members for 48h before general release on the 9th October.