Has Rapha just launched the best bad weather jacket?

Rapha's new Pro Team Shadow is designed to be a protective and breathable jersey/jacket for use in changeable weather

British clothing brand Rapha has launched its new Shadow range designed for use in foul weather.

We first saw the Rapha Shadow being worn by Team Sky during their 2015 Classics campaign and also the first week of the Tour de France.

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Based upon the product description, the Shadow appears to be similar to the very popular Castelli Gabba 2.


Luke Rowe racing in the Pro Team Shadow during the 2015 Classics

The success of wet weather racing jackets hinges on the fabric employed.

>>> Better than the Gabba? Wet weather racing jackets on test

The Shadow is utilising a new stretch-woven fabric, that Rapha claims “offers an unprecedented combination of protection against the elements and breathable comfort under duress.”

Video – How to Winterise your bike

Rapha claims the Shadow stands out from the crowd due to its superior breathability whilst continuing to keep the rider dry by keeping the rain out.

>>> Review of the Castelli Gabba

The key is said to be the fabric which is flexible yet densely woven along with a durable weather repellent that is applied to both the yarn and the finished fabric.

The result, it is claimed, is that the garment is impervious to rainwater but allows the rider’s body to breathe.

The garment features a hydrophobic coating

The garment features a hydrophobic coating

According to Rapha, a DWR (durable water repellent) finish is applied twice during the manufacturing process to make the garment ‘hydrophobic.’

It is not yet clear how long this coating lasts, or how it is reapplied.

Three rear pockets, with drainage holes and zipped pocket on the rear

Three rear pockets, with drainage holes and zipped pocket on the rear

To go with the jersey/jacket Rapha has also launched a pair of shorts in the Shadow range, that also are said to offer water repellant, foul weather protection.


Rapha Shadow shorts, in a shadow

The Shadow is initially only available in black and is retailing at £220, considerably more than the equivalent short sleeve Gabba.

We look forward to testing whether it lives up to the hype and is able to knock the Castelli Gabba off its mantel.

For more information go to Rapha.