Just about the most versatile jersey we’ve ever tested. But versatility and quality come at a cost.
RRP – £135
Website – www.rapha.cc
You know the drill. Everything produced by Rapha – at least that I’ve tried – is absolutely top class. But with that class comes a certain cost. You’ve either made peace with that and you’re happy to invest, or you haven’t and you tend to go for cheaper apparel. The price you pay is, generally, worth it, but it’s still a relatively large outlay.
Does that rule apply to Rapha’s brevet windblock jersey? As it happens, yes. Actually, even more so. This is, by far, the most versatile jersey we’ve ever put through its paces. But we’ll get onto that a bit later.
As usual, Rapha has hit the nail squarely on the head when it comes to looks. Classic, but with touches of the modern, this jersey ticks all the boxes (for me at least). You could argue predictability – if you were being picky – but why stray from such strong aesthetic appeal?
The jersey comes in two colourways. And while it would have been nice to see at least another option, the choice between mono-chrome and navy/high-vis pink is adequate.
Rapha says that its Windblock jersey – part of the ‘Brevet’ range – is inspired by the ‘credo of ‘pack light, travel far’. And that influence is particularly obvious in the jersey’s design.
Featuring a chest-panel made from the same material as Rapha’s own Brevet gilet and a merino construction on the arms and back, the Windblock jersey does a fantastic job of keeping you cool in warm conditions and warm when faced with a wintry breeze.
While I haven’t found time to put the Windblock jersey through the rigours of the 4,000km TCR – something Rapha did with its prototype – I can say with certainty that it’d be with me every step of the way on such an endeavor.
Aside from its excellent performance, this jersey harbours a number of other features both assumed and unexpected. Firstly, it’s designed to be incredibly quick drying, a sign of its long-distance pedigree. If you’re packing light, you don’t want to have to pack more than one kit.
Secondly, it caters for the varying light conditions so often encountered during a long day in the saddle. Two reflective strips across the front and back, in addition to hi-vis detailing, means that you’ll be visible to drivers throughout the day, early starts and late-nights included.
Finally, there are so many pockets on the Windblock jersey, you won’t know quite what to put in them. In addition to the usual 3 to the rear, there’s also a ‘concealed zip compartment’ in close proximity and another zipped pocket to the front left.
Rapha’s Brevet Windblock Jersey is an excellent example of clever design. Such a rigorous design and testing process has clearly yielded results. If you could buy only one cycling jersey, this would be it.