Right. Here we go. Rapha. People love it. People hate it. People think it's too expensive. People swear by it. Any way you look at it, it is a brand that polarises people.
We've managed to get our hands on a Rapha Brevet Jersey, Rapha's take on the long distance Audax style ride, all day or multi day big ride jersey.
About - Rapha describes their Brevet Jersey as a High-visability cycling jersey. It's available in a long and short sleeve version and comes with a light weight windproof gilet. The jersey is very similar in weight to the Rapha classic jersey but has additional pockets, one zipped at the front and three rear deep pockets and a rear zipped pocket.
The storage levels are awesome and you can easily carry ample supplies for a day on the bike. We really liked the water resistant front pocket for easy access to cash or cards. There are two reflective stripes running horizontally across the jersey that work well without looking garish.
Buying this jersey comes in cheaper than buying a Rapha Classic Jersey and Gilet but note that the Rapha Gilet is a very different, heavier product than the lightweight option supplied with the Brevet.
Quality - There is no doubt that the Brevet Jersey is high quality. The wool jersey feels fantastic and all seams are finished perfectly. Ours has been through the wash several times and still looks great. The gilet is super lightweight, while not tested in the rain, it takes the wind chill off and has great mesh venting to stop you overheating if you want to wear it as a visibility layer. We don't think you'll get too much rain protection from the gilet but it should save you if you are caught in a quick shower.
Ride - This Brevet Jersey has a really wide range of uses. We have used it with a base layer, arm warmers and gilet on 5 degree mornings. Then again with the gilet for a cool early start, when the day warms up we stashed the gilet.
The Jersey feels great against the skin, breathes well and looks great. There is no restriction of movement and you don't get overloaded with pespiration.
Sizes - 6 sizes XS through XXL - The Rapha sizing guide is spot on for a close to racing fit without being skin tight.
Price - Rapha does not come cheap - at $320 for the long sleeve version this is not an entry level, budget conscious combo. For your money you get a wool, high quality product that does its job well and looks great.
Overall - The Brevet Jersey is a great option for a wide range of conditions. Rapha are currently only stocking the long sleeve version but the short sleeve is due back soon. Quality is excellent, usability is good and it offers great visibility. If you have the cash to burn you won't be disapointed.
Check out or ride with the Rapha Brevet Jersey on YouTube
- Breathable, insulating Sportwool™ fabric
- Three large cargo pockets
- Large zipped ballast pocket
- Hi-vis chestbands and armband
- Water-resistant chest pocket to carry brevet card
- Windproof front
- Offset zip for comfortable layering
- Reflective stripes around middle
- Reflective Rapha logo
- Mesh panels for breathability