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Rapha Rain Jacket – Review

Cycling Cartoon Illustration Rapha

Wanting to have smart cycling clothes, that are both stylish and highly functional plus look good on and off the bike was something that became keen interest to me when I first began my time on the bike and just over 18 months ago a few spare pennies (well pounds) fell in my pocket and I decided to indulge myself and buy a rain coat to wear for the cycle to work when it, well, rained.

So a search began for the rain jacket. I went to Evans Cycles and had a look around, got introduced to Gore Jacket’s which looked nice but a bit sporty. I wanted cycling attire that was a bit more tailored and smart looking. I knew about Rapha for a while but couldn’t find another jacket that matched what Rapha had on offer.

So I ordered it. The Rapha Cycling Rain Jacket.

Spending over Β£100 for a piece of clothing was something I had never done before but want, desire and functionality convinced me to part with the cash and very soon after a nice red cycling jacket landed on my doormat (well I wasn’t in so I had it delivered to my mum & dad’s but you get the idea.)

The first thing you notice is the actual packaging the rain jacket comes in. A very high finish pack with a fabric backing and a plastic, slightly tinted front giving you a teasing glance at the smart piece of cycling clothing you’re about to instantly try on and oogle at yourself in.

Key Features

  • Waterproof front and rear panels
  • Breathable side panels
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Waterproof zips
  • Taped seams on shoulders and upper arms
  • Offset front zip for comfort
  • Reflective details

The jacket is light but strong and the quality is apparent straight away. The fit is tailored as well so you potentially may need to get the size up if you are carrying any extra weight and don’t want a tight fit but Rapha’s size guide is generally pretty accurate so you shouldn’t have any real problems.

The thing that seperates this jacket from other smart cycling jackets is the details. The side zip that is fully waterproofed is offset so instantly gives a unqiue look, upping the stylishness of the jacket as it’s got that little something different, more time went into moving that zip to gives this jacket it’s own image. Breathable underarm fabric  mean its not too hot and not tool cold to cycle in and neoprene cuffs mean no water is getting in that way. The tapered seams along the back of the jacket form fit which finishes of the jacket nicely so its not overly baggy in the wind even when getting a size up.

The most attractive thing about Rapha’s Cycling Rain Jacket is although it’s functional it’s not too sporty. It comes in three colours (Red, Off White and Grey) and each one is fully in that colour no stripes or slashes of another colour. Just Rapha’s trademark armband wrapping around the right arm breaks up the one colour jacket and in doing so just makes this sit on the edge of a sporty jacket.

Rapha Rain Jacket Red

With the extended back to cover rain splashes from the rear whilst riding. This jacket probably isn’t duel purpose, bike only. Certainly the red is only usable for bike riding. The other colours may be able to be worn in a casual nature but that shouldn’t take anything away from the Rapha Cycling Rain Jacket as it’s a fantasticly well made high quality tailored jacket with superb details throughout.

One major beef of the Rapha Cycling Rain Jacket is the lack of care instructions past the obvious. No mentioning of using a waterproofer after washing and future care of the jacket which I had to be told by Evans Cycles and the fact that after a few washes the rain didn’t repel as well. I think that’s something they could certainly address.

Rapha Cycling Rain Jacket

All in all if you’re after a high stylish cycling jacket with the extra tailored look, the Rapha Cycling Rain Jacket is for you.

Rapha Rain Jacket











  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Packable
  • Reflective Detailing


  • Cost
  • Lack of Care Instructions


1. πŸͺ–Fend ONE Folding Helmet
A folding helmet that actually looks good.

2. πŸ§₯Helly Hansen Hooded Rain Jacket
Stay dry in style.

3. 🧴Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit
Keep your bike feeling brand new.

4. πŸ‘–DUER-All Weather Jeans
Waterproof cycling jeans. Seriously.

5. πŸŽ’Rapha Reflective Backpack
A beautiful backpack that you can't miss.

24 Responses

  1. Francis says:

    Hard to compare the Rapha Rain Jacket and the Vulpine Rain Jacket in terms of performance too, as the vulpine isn’t waterproof, only water resistant (or so it states on its website). I have the Rapha Rain Jacket and I’ve been in some pretty harsh rain conditions, both commuting and out on the road bike, and its never let me down. Only downer is the neoprene cuffs as they take a while to dry, so can become a little wet and cold.

    I have never used the Vulpine Rain Jacket but my experiences with treated cottons being ‘water resistant’ not ‘waterproof’ is that they are ok for short downfalls (10-30 minutes) but for anything longer or in extreme conditions they just don’t cut it, as they will eventually let in water and become soaked through. Plus they take a while to dry once wet. ‘Waterproof’ jackets like the Rapha rain jacket take minutes to shake off the rain on the outside.

    • thecyclist says:

      Hi Francis,

      Thanks for the comment. I think you’ve made a good point and after reading back the post I realised I didn’t mean to sound like I was comparing the 2 on a function level but on a style level so I’ve corrected that to reflect the point I had in mind (still finding my blogger writing feet). I’m a big fan of the look of the Vulpine Rain Jacket but I do agree with you the Rapha is a fine coat for cycling through a down pour.

      Thanks again

  2. Francis says:

    Loving the site and Illustrations too! Hope to see more soon.

    • thecyclist says:

      Really appreciate you saying so man. Try to update the blog as much as possible so you definitely will.

      Nice one.


  3. Mark says:

    Just got the red version as a (very generous) birthday present and went out today in a total downpour. This jacket is excellent, the rain just beaded off it… and not only the rain, all the mud and sheep’s wotsit that is all over the Gower roads just rolled off.

    Not sure how long that level of water proofing will last but very impressed so far.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Was doing a Google search for reviews on the Rapha Rain Jacket and came across your stylish blog πŸ™‚

    I already have other Rapha cycling pieces but after getting caught in the rain on a recent ride (not surprising for London in November I suppose ) have started my hunt for a rain jacket. Am eyeing the cream one but one reviewer had stated that it becomes too noticeably dirty so red could be the next choice.

    So my question is, with the spray on water proofing that you have done after 1 year how long will that re-spray last based on similar usage to that first year? Is it a case of diminishing performance as the item gets on.

    • thecyclist says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks for the comment. The red has a cream ring around the arm and that is slowly getting mucky so I can imagine the cream version will get noticeably dirty. They do a black version now that looks very sleek but you loose the visibility.

      I’ve noticed that with the spray, don’t skimp and then it usually lasts a good few months but after you’ve wash the jacket you’ve got to re-treat it just to be safe. It’s been a bit of trial and error as Rapha don’t have care instructions for re-waterproofing the jacket.

      Let me know how you get on and enjoy the jacket.


  5. Jonathan says:

    Ended up going with the Team issue Rapha Condor rain jacket as it went on sale on the Rapha website, only comes in black but I can only assume its very similar to the normal Rapha rain jacket.

    • Ste Johnson says:

      I imagine the fit would be a bit closer as it’s dedicated to the sport side rather than the commuter style. Still think it’ll do you very proud and black! Very snazzy πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for your comments man, appreciate it πŸ™‚


      • Jonathan says:

        My pleasure adding my quasi mediocre comments πŸ™‚

        Rode this weekend with the Rapha Condor team issue rain jacket in a medium and was a good fit (have tried on a small in the normal cut which is my normal size and as you said is very similar) given I was wearing a bib, baselayer, jersey and gillet underneath


        • Ste Johnson says:

          Hey none of that. You’ve taken the time to comment and we’re very grateful here.

          Glad the jacket fitted well. Did it get a test against water from above?


          • Jonathan says:

            Was exposed to a bit of rain but as expected was beading off nicely. Has since doubled up as a wind jacket.

            Back to the topic of the Rapha rain jacket my mate uses the grey one and is about to re-waterproof after having washed it. Be interesting to see his results.


          • Ste Johnson says:

            Oh yes very interested. You’ll have to let me know.

            What’s he using to re-proof?

            Thanks for keeping me up to date with it too πŸ™‚ Really pleased hearing how it’s getting on.


  6. neil's wheels says:

    I have been using reproofing stuff for a few years and have just bought one of these red Rapha rain jackets. I really like it as you can carry it in you pocket at all times, and as Jonathan says, doubles up well as a wind-proof. My suggestion is that you need to pay more attention to what you wash the jacket with so that the proofing treatment doesn’t get washed off. Do NOT use a regular machine-wash detergent under any circumstance as you will need to keep reproofing, as the detergent removes all the oil-based DWR (durable water-repellant coating). Instead use a soap-based solution eg Nikwax ‘Techwash’ or Grangers performance wash. If you are handwashing – soap flakes are cheap, available from any supermarket and work well. You will then need to apply a new DWR coating much less often.

    • Ste Johnson says:

      Thanks Neil,

      Brilliant advice. Certainly will be even more careful in future.

      Rapha jacket is a brilliant jacket and I hope the 2 of you have many happy rides together.

      Thanks for your comment


  7. Ste Johnson says:

    I’ve just been made aware of these apparel wash and re-proofers from Rapha from very nice chap Mark on twitter

  8. Rich says:

    Hi Guys

    I’m after a bit of advice from people that own a Rapha Rain Jacket, if I may.

    Do you use it all year round i.e. sub 10 degrees in January with a decent base layer / long sleeve jersey underneath?

    I have just sent back a Castlelli Espresso Duo due to issues with the fit though it felt nice and warm – though not as cool to look at as rapha


    • Ste Johnson says:

      Hi Rich,

      I love the Rapha Rain Jacket, I do wear it all year round and just build my gear around it (like the influential midfielder in your favourite football team :D)

      In winter extra layers go beneath, in summer it’s lightweight enough to not make you boiling hot when you’re caught in a summer shower.

      I really do recommend it highly πŸ™‚

      Hope that helps, anything else or more details. Just drop us another comment or email πŸ™‚


  9. Phil says:

    I usually wear a medium rapha jersey
    Do you need to go up a size ?

    • Ste Johnson says:

      Hi Phil,

      I went a size up as I wear a lot underneath a jacket as I feel the cold but the size guide on the site is spot on if you’re just going to wear a base layer and mid layer underneath then you’re usual size should be fine.

      Hope that helps

  10. Doug says:

    Hi, love this site! Found it via London Cyclist, which I found via NYCE Wheels’ site, which I found because because they do excellent video reviews, particularly of folding bikes. I live near Sydney Australia. I digress…

    I need to replace my rain jacket soon. Currently I have a Ground Effect Stormtrooper. This is an amazingly functional jacket in terms of waterproofness AND breathability, the holy grail. It may not be quite as stylish as the Rapha though. The Rapha is beautiful! I’m just wondering about the waterproofness on the neck closure of the Rapha though? In a real monsoonal downpour I mean?

    Best regards, Doug

    • Ste Johnson says:

      Hi Doug,

      Thanks very much, I’m glad you like the website.

      The Rapha jacket hasn’t let me down, I highly recommend it. I will say bad rain in Liverpool may not reach the monsoonal downpour level you mention where you live but the Rapha rain jacket has kept me dry in every type of rain I’ve ridden in it in.

      Hope that helps man, any other help I can give, just drop us a mail or another comment


  11. Martin says:

    Just to help sizewise, I’m 5′ 11″ with a weight varying between 72kg and 78kg depending on my training and about a 37″ chest.

    In the winter I usually wear Med Pro Team Jacket (my favourite piece of Rapha clothing) and a base layer and if it’s raining put on a Med Rain jacket over.

    In the summer it’s just a jersey under the Rain Jacket.

    I have the previous version to the current one, and find it can get quite damp from sweating – but utterly dependable from keeping the rain out. If I’m going to be slightly damp, I don’t want it to be from cold rain!!

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