Rapha’s Brevet Windblock is effectively a lightweight merino jersey back with gilet material fused onto its front panels. How does the hybrid all-day-adventure jersey stack up?
Words - James Raison Images - Lana Adams
The Brevet Windblock is a product of Rapha’s push into adventure cycling. It’s meant for long days, mixed weather, and was tested during Trans Continental race in 2016.
For the short sleeve variety, the gilet material covers just the front torso panels but the long-sleeve version has it continue all the way down the arm. The side and rear panels are a thin but warm merino material. There’s three positively cavernous pockets on the rear that easily swallowed up everything I dropped in. Two more zippered pockets are ready to carry even more of your stuff.
The Brevet range falls between the Pro Team and Core on the Rapha spectrum. It’s not particularly firm because of its adventure-focus as Rapha have designed it for comfort over very long days. I found it a little loose through the torso with the waist gripper not really up to the task of keeping it in place. Often I’d find myself having to straighten the jersey when the weight of my phone in a side pocket was enough to turn the jersey around my waist. For me, the fit was the weakest part of the overall package. I like a firm jersey, and this one felt a little bit sloppy. I would recommend people who wear small in Rapha’s Pro Team and Aero range go a size down for the brevet.
Conceptually, I found myself rather liking the Brevet jersey. It is an excellent choice for chilly Autumn/Winter mornings.
The placement of the windblock polyester panels keeps your core warm while the light merino back and sides give the wonderful warmth and breathability we’ve come to expect from the material. I was frequently surprised at how well the merino panels dissipate the heat that comes off your back.
Yes, it’s a little like wearing a gilet that you can’t take off. So you need to make sure the maximum temperatures you encounter aren’t too high. When the mercury rose to sweaty levels, I found that opening up the front did enough to cool me down. Like all cold-weather apparel you just need to choose the right conditions.
The short sleeve version handles a very wide range of temperatures. I mixed it with a few base layers and even wore gilets over the top to battle some cold temperatures down to 5 Celsius. It’s a very functional jersey. The only small gripe is the short sleeves. It doesn’t take long for them to slide up your bicep and give everyone a free ticket to the world’s least impressive gun show… cuz I’m a cyclist...
The long sleeve version suits proper winter awfulness. You get more merino and polyester all the way down to your wrists with an ample-arm length. That means even more warmth and even more windblocking. As with the short sleeve, it’s a very nice garment when matched to the right conditions.
Meshing merino and polyester into a single jersey keeps your your front warm and lets your back breathe. That versatility is quite rare and I came to enjoy it. I have a couple of gripes with the fit and short sleeves but that won’t be a universal experience for all buyers. It is a damn good performer when worn in the right conditions and will see you through some cool-weather adventures.
Disclosure statement: These jerseys were supplied by Rapha for review. It is not a paid review and we do not receive any proceeds from the sale of Rapha.