Rapha has announced its new Pro Team Softshell Jacket, which has the potential to topple the king of wet weather race garments, Castelli’s Gabba, off its throne. It states that the fabric is similar to Rapha’s soft shell concept; incorporating two thin layers separated by a membrane. This, Rapha says, results in a breathable, comfortable, insulating and highly water resistant jacket.
For race level performance in wet and cold conditions there has been a ‘go-to’ word in the peloton, and that word was Gabba. The Castelli Gabba is an excellent product, it keeps you dry and breaths exceptionally, while still being aerodynamic. Garments like this are great because they don’t buffet in the wind like a hard shell or rain cape.
Rapha are a bit late to the party; many rival companies now offer a Gabba alternative. Hitting the shops at £200, £25 more than Catelli’s Gabba 2, Rapha’s answer to wet weather racing is the priciest option on the market, so it will need to be good.
In the quest to be different, Rapha feature laser cut ventilation holes, fully taped seams, a dropped hem at the rear and a nifty wipe clean panel on the back. This panel looks like it could be a great solution to rear wheel bum spray. The garment, which follows Rapha’s usual size and cut, suits a more aggressive riding position and slim build.
Rapha tell us that there is limited stock available to buy now, with more coming soon.
Stay tuned for a full review of the Rapha Pro Team Softshell in Cycling Weekly.