We've been testing Rapha's all-new Brevet Insulated jacket during a chilly South Australian Winter. How does it go?
Words - James Raison Images - Lana Adams
I was pretty indifferent to the Rapha Brevet Insulated jacket when I first saw it announced. No pockets? Just water resistant? What even is this? When would I wear it? Meh…
It arrived with a pile of other pieces from the Brevet collection and once I’d tried on everything else I pulled this thing on. Then it all made sense. This thing is lovely to wear.
The jacket is mostly made of Polartec Insulation material that forms the front and back panels. The underarms and lower-arms are made of a stretchy mesh and bottom panels on the front and back are made of a very sheer material. There’s a couple of exhaust holes on your shoulder blades to let out your body heat.
Fit... oh the fit! Rapha gets me. They understand that skinny people can be tall. So this thing is bang-on correct length for my bike position and even has arms almost long enough for my 189 cm wingspan in size small. Trust me, “almost long enough” is as good as it gets for me with my weird shape. My only complaint is that it’s just a wee bit too short for me to wear with casual clothes off the bike. Rapha please make a longer version for me to wear off the bike. I want that.
This thing is a real pleasure to ride in.
Rapha already showed with their Windblock Brevet jerseys that they understand how to balance warmth with breathability. The Brevet Insulated jacket is a masterclass on functional design. The Polartec material is exactly where you need it on the front, back, and the outside of your arms fending off the wind. The thinner materials are exactly where they should be too under your arms and at your lower torso. So you have warmth and breathability in spades.
Even the shoulder vents play a crucial role. When I started to hustle, I could feel pockets of cooler air around the vents where the heat was escaping. Drop the zipper and it gets even more effective as air goes in the front and gets sucked out the back.
It’ll even keep out light rain and thick mist. Sure, it ain’t no waterproof but it has seen me through some moist mornings.
Now, I do have to find fault with everything (it’s part of my role description) and this jacket makes your pockets annoying to access. It’s a tight fit so you’re up for a wrestling match with the jacket to grab anything out. So you more compulsive instagrammers might find your phone hard to get to.
The Rapha Brevet insulated jacket is hard to classify and there’s not much to compare it to. It’s just a damn nice piece of kit. I’m very lucky to have a lot of quality cycling kit to choose from. I’ve reached for the Rapha Windblock constantly this autumn/winter. Whenever it’s clean and the weather isn’t too wet, this is the jacket I want to wear. It’s fantastic.
The Brevet Insulated jacket sells for $255 AUD and is available from the Rapha website.
Disclosure statement: This jacket was supplied by Rapha Australia for review. It is not a paid review.