Last winter Rapha sent me an outfit to review during the winter months, including the Pro Team Winter Jacket (see here: http://girodilento.com/autumn-winter-rapha-clothing-pro-team-jersey-bib-tights-rain-jacket-base-layer-first-look-review/) and as you’d hope, I spent a lot of time out riding in them.
As we get into another autumn, one of the first pieces of cycling clothing I’ve dug out to use again is the Rapha Pro Team jacket as I think it’s a fantastic piece of cycling clothing. I rode in this jacket a lot last winter, it was a regular first choice and not just because I wanted to give it a decent review.
Firstly I think it looks terrific. It’s another superbly realised design from Rapha, classy and elegant without trying too hard. I think the blue one that I have is tremendous too (although sadly you can’t get that colour anymore – other choices are available).
However the real reason I am still smitten with the Rapha Pro Team jacket is simply because it works beautifully in the temperature range for most of my winter riding. On the whole, it doesn’t get super cold riding where I live in the UK. It’s rare that I would ride in less than 4 degress Celsius. It’s also rare that I’d ride in over 12 degrees on a winter’s day in Southern England. In that range of 8 degrees, from 4 to 12, which is most days, the Rapha Pro Team Jacket is perfect for the temperature.
Its slim fit, including a higher cut waist and a longer tail at the rear, made me feel like riding at tempo even when I had no plans to and alluded to warmer weather and the accompanying race fit clothing and riding. It’s well made and still looks good after lots of use and washing. It also works perfectly as a pair with a Rapha Rain Jacket that I keep in my back pocket on days that I think I might need the extra layer (when it’s looking like raining more than a little or at the colder end of the working range).
The concept of the jacket isn’t unique but it’s very well executed. The Polartec softshell on the front is both windproof and water resistant but not at all bulky. In use it works very well indeed and in fact feels thinner than the Super Roubaix of the rear panels. There are reflective elements on the front, the rear as well as the collar and sleeves, which helps peace of mind a touch on gloomy days. There is a pocket at the front of the jacket where the reflective stripes are but I have to concede that I’ve yet to use it. The three rear pockets work well, providing useful and stretchy capacity with the middle one featuring an extra brace in the lining that I think is there to help hold the shape when your pockets are in use. The side panels of the Pro Team jacket stretch to help achieve the race fit and provide a good level of give for the size.
The rear of the jacket does help it breathe and manage your temperature through the operating range. In fairness though, this breathable Super Roubaix back is also why it’s not suited for really cold days (unless you run very hot or are working very hard) as it works a bit too well for the coldest of weather.
I’ve really fallen for this jacket and as the temperatures have started to fall, getting it back out of my kit bag has put a smile on my face and helped me look forward to winter riding. It’s become a firm favourite even though I have other conceptually similar jackets in my wardrobe – this is the one I look forward to wearing the most.
It’s a jacket that (to me anyway) just feels a bit special to wear. Pairing it with a matching Rapha Rain Jacket makes it even nicer as that’s another fantastic garment too – this is also important as the Pro Team Jacket isn’t water proof, merely water resistant, so you’ll need a waterproof extra layer from time to time when you’re likely to be caught in any rain heavier than showers. Last winter was relatively mild, so much so that I sold my old cold weather winter jacket after not using it.
For me, this jacket is a nice reminder that while good cycling clothing has to do the job it’s designed for well to succeed, it’s even nicer when you are also able to take pleasure from simply owning and using it. I’ve got a lot of riding kit in my wardrobe now and most of it is very good but there aren’t many items that I could say I love owning. This jacket is one of them.
You can find out more about the Rapha Pro Team Jacket here: http://www.rapha.cc/gb/en/shop/pro-team-jacket/product/PJC02
Thanks for reading.