Rapha’s use of new materials is paying dividends. Polartec’s fluffy Alpha insulation has the same properties as down but is lighter, thinner and more packable for less volume.
You’ll get stretchy fabric at the back, which Rapha says helps fit and heat expulsion, plus three pockets with a zipped safety one. At the front, wind proofing and a DWR coating help against chills, spray and showers, and there’s a two-way zip.
As a Pro Team garment it has a race-orientated fit; better than previous versions of the Rapha kit we’ve tested. The Rapha gilet performed very well out on the road, insulating as well as an extra layer during the coldest of spells.
The DWR coating is a nice touch, but once wet (whether from sweating or a sudden downpour) the strands of the fabric tend to stick together. Despite the pockets, the gilet is very packable and will scrunch up to fit into a pocket nicely.