The Rapha Pro Team Shadow is designed to be the best windproof, water resistant, breathable kit for use in foul weather. How well does it perform and is the high price justified?
Ok, so it is very expensive, but the Rapha Pro Team Shadow kit is designed to be the ultimate clothing for when you riding hard in foul weather. Contrary to popular belief it is not named after the 90’s Gladiator either. The fit is very good but getting the right size is crucial. At 6’1 and 70kgs I tried both a medium and a small, with the latter fitting very well.
Having tested it in a variety of conditions I can report that the Shadow performs superbly. The fabric is thinner and lighter than that used in the Castelli Gabba, but impressively offers comparable wind-proofing. Water repellency is superb and the best I have seen on garments of this type.
The Rapha Pro Team Shadow was featured in our February tech of the month video which is below. Skip to 3mins 20seconds to see the Shadow and how well it repels water, it really is impressive.
Watch: Tech of the Month – February 2016
Breathability of the fabric is also very good and I found that at around 7ºC with a base layer and arm warmers I was comfortable when riding hard. If I were doing an event such as the Fred Whitton in May where there’s often a chance of rain, this would without question be my clothing of choice.
However, the Rapha Pro Team Shadow jersey is not perfect. I would like some reflective details on a garment that is designed to be worn in bad weather. I am not suggesting Rapha goes all fluoro, but some tasteful touches here and there would be nice.
Another thing to note is that the Shadow doesn’t have low cut tail to protect against road spray. This is because it is designed to be worn with the Rapha Pro Team Shadow shorts, that are made from the same material. This could be an issue for those not wanting to also purchase the shorts.
Despite these niggles, Rapha has raised the bar in this kind of garment. It may be very expensive, but we can expect this kind of fabric technology to trickle down into more affordable products which can only be a good thing.
For more information, head over to Rapha.cc.
Prohibitively expensive, but performs very well. Rapha has raised the bar in terms of what to expect from this kind of garment