When the rains return and you know they’ll stay too long like an unwelcome party guest, it’s time to take stock of the winter gear.
Retiring worn pieces and critique new arrivals, I ritualistically re-Nikwak old favs. They’ll last another season for sure, as long as I don’t wash them until they’re grossly dirty.
In my time blogging about the bike and ultimately the weather, witnessed 3 significant outdoor pieces:
- eVent by REI—the membrane that broke Gore’s monopoly, and brought a well-designed, technical jacket to co-op members at a big-box retail price
- Gabba—a shell and jacket in one, cyclists can wear one less layer with Castelli’s kit
- Gore—see the first bullet, Gore finally responded to their too-hot membrane, with one that breathes for real this time. It even passed our tortilla test.
Showerspass also figured out how to make an eVent-type jacket fit better than a plastic garbage bag and even found themselves outfitting a Tour team.
Rapha Classic Winter Jacket
This year, the shell with some buzz is Rapha’s Classic Winter Jacket. It’s Gabba like and my sample just arrived signaling what comes next, which is heads down riding tempo in the rain.
I get a rush from mastering the elements. Being comfortable in miserable conditions with the right gear.
Rapha describes it like this, “With help from a new fabric from Polartec® we are now able to meld these two jackets into one. However, the design brief remains the same, build the ultimate, highly breathable, cold weather jacket with timeless style and maximum versatility. The new Classic Winter Jacket now has the breathability of our original Softshell, with the same rain protection of the Hardshell. All in one piece with a similar style to its predecessors. A do-anything piece that can handle the coldest, wettest days on a long road ride, a commute to work or even a dash to the bar.”
And, it’s the first significant update to their jacket since 2004.
- Polartec® Power Shield Pro® fabric
- Comfortable stretch
- Highly breathable to regulate temperature during hard efforts
- Taped internal seams to keep out the worst of the weather
- Water-resistant YKK® AquaGuard zip
- Elastane inner cuffs, for better wind protection
- Concealed front pocket
- Debossed logo on sleeve
- Reflective drop tail for visibility
- Drainage holes in rear pockets
- Dark Orange
- Dark Grey
Of those specs, a new fabric from Polartec is the most interesting. Here’s an edit about it.
The fabric isn’t that new, but more likely cut and adapted to a cycling jacket for Rapha. For sure I’m interested, as long as it’s not too hot for our Pacific Northwest conditions.
Find the full details about Rapha’s Classic Winter Jacket and purchase directly or from a retail store near you. It retails for $385.00. My long-term review will follow after I put the miles in this winter, dreeping in the rain. If you live in Seattle long enough, under gray skies, you’ll feel the dreep. That’s a rain that drips and creeps on you, like a wet mass present wherever you are.