The Rapha Brevet Insulated Gilet performs exceptionally well in typical British spring/autumn weather. With a weight and packability that belies its warmth and weather protection, the Brevet should be top of your list.
Warmer than it looks
Functional for long rides
Lack of pockets
Lower zip tends to undo when riding
The insulated version of the classic Rapha long distance staple, the Rapha Brevet Insulated Gilet (opens in new tab) is unlike many other cycling garments I have tried.
Primarily made up of seemingly thickly wadded front and back panels attached with the sheerest mesh material I have ever seen used give it a very distinctive look. The insulation comes courtesy of Polartec’s clever Alpha insulator, engineered to work as an active insulator to regulate core body temperatures during both ‘dynamic and static activities’, i.e. protects without overheating whilst riding but also proving warm enough at the café stop.
For such a warm gilet the breathability of the Rapha Brevet Insulated Gilet was excellent and I never felt overly hot whilst wearing it and riding hard. When the temperature to warrant taking it off, the gilet is still small enough to stuff in a jersey pocket, with a loop on the collar to hold it tightly rolled.
Despite the insulated panels having no body conforming stretch Rapha has done an excellent job on the fit of the Brevet, the panels are cut to fit in a riding position and despite my misgivings about the thin mesh side panels they stretch and perform exceptionally well without any sign of being too delicate. The collar is nice and high and the softness of the outer wind and water resistant (DWR-coated) material lends it a great next-to-skin feel.
The Rapha Brevet Insulated Gilet has a full 360° reflective band and a bright contrast colour band for visibility on dawn to dusk rides. I was disappointed not to find any pockets to quickly access nutrition but the two way zip at least allows quick access to jersey pockets.
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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