Rapha’s Pro Team jacket sits somewhere between jacket and jersey, and depending on what you wear with it can be used across a wide range of temperatures. It’s made with a very fine micro fleece material from Polartec with a wind-blocking, water-repellent membrane added to the chest and front of the arms. (It won a Polartec Apex award last winter for best use of the Power Shield Pro material.)
Where the fleece and wind-blocker membrane double up, the jacket remains extremely thin and light, but still does a good job of keeping you warm. All this makes for a very versatile piece of clothing. With a heavy base layer it will be enough (in the dry) down to around six or seven degrees, with a thin, sleeveless string base layer – and the zip partially undone – you can use it up to 14-15 degrees. With a rain cape over the top it will be enough in even colder weather.
The tight fit is excellent if you’re slim, although it does limit the amount of people who can wear it. If you’re not slim, it’s probably not for you. This is part of Rapha’s Pro Team range, so it’s made for their riders and those of that shape. It’s also made for someone in a riding position. Try this on while you’re standing upright and you’ll think the fit is terrible. As soon as you sit on your bike, you’ll realise it’s perfect.
The detailing is good too. The cuffs are soft and extend the sleeves to give good coverage, and the soft fleece neck-lining – and zip cover – ensure comfort. It has three standard pockets with two extra-small zipped pockets, one inside the standard pocket on the right and one small, easily accessible pocket on the left.
The six stripes on the rear are reflective, as is the band on the left arm. The stripes are a new design angle for Rapha and linked to the Forçats de la Route (convicts of the road) signature that is used across the ProTeam range.
Unfortunately this lime green is an old colour option and it is now only available in black.
This top became my go to piece of clothing throughout Autumn and on the warmer winter days. It wasn’t warm enough for the depths of winter, but above seven degrees it comes in to its own. Slim fitting, comfortable, versatile and light. A great bit of kit.