Rapha Pro Team Jacket 01/02/2012
I have to admit when I first took the Pro Team jacket out of the box it felt way to light to be a winter jacket. On trying it on I had even more doubts, the cut which has a high rise around the front of the waist made me want to keep pulling it down. I thought I had got the wrong size. The fit everywhere else seemed perfect. The neck was snug and comfortable, and had enough of a gap that it wasn’t going to allow my holiday stubble to get caught in the zip. And there it stayed in the box for a few weeks ready for a block of riding over the winter holidays.
On the first ride out (in 32˚F) all fears were put to rest. I should really know better and trust in those that know better. One of my pet peeves about winter jackets is the “bunching” you get around the waist when riding, that often also lets in a nice little stream of cold air. The high cut of the Team Jacket prevents said “bunching” and keeps the jacket snug to the body and therefore warm. The fabric has also a nice stretchy quality to it that also makes it very comfortable to ride in, in fact it is pretty safe to say that you could almost forget you are wearing it when jumping in and out of the saddle. Layered up I was wearing a Rapha Merino base layer, a Gore Thermo Layer, and a pair of arm warmers under the jacket and pretty much stayed warm right down to 26˚F riding at a high cadence. It is not completely rain proof, but even when I got caught out in a light shower it still kept me pretty much dry.
Overall it is a great product, well designed as you would expect, and incredibly practical. I am not going to go into the technical details of the jacket, Rapha do a much better job of that on their site. But having road tested it now for over a week in some frigid weather it is definitely staying in the kit bag. (One sad note: on one ride in a random stream of thought I counted I was wearing 5 out of a potential 8 Rapha products).