The Rapha Classic Gilet II represents a well-thought-out and considered design, with lots of nice little touches. There’s a nice range of colours available too. The price is justified by the quality, versatility and repair service.
Why you can trust Cycling Weekly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Rapha’s second iteration of the Classic Gilet is much lighter than the previous one, hitting our scales at a mere 78g. It is also 20 per cent less expensive with the previous version retailing at £125, the review of which you can read here.
The low weight of the Rapha Classic Gilet II also transpires to excellent packability – this a gilet that won’t dominate your pockets and will not cause uncomfortable jersey distortion.
Despite the low weight, the windproof panel on the front is effective. Mesh panels are placed on the back and sides to aid ventilation. Overall, I really like the fit and aesthetic. I found the sizing to be consistent with other Rapha kit – a size small fitted me perfectly at 6ft 1in and 69kg. At £100 the second iteration is still a pricey gilet but I feel the price is justified by the excellent quality, versatility and Rapha's repair service.
Water resistance is good too, with the hydrophobic coating performing well and remaining intact even after a few runs through the wash. It remains to be seen how long it will last, but these coatings can be reapplied. Although it is capable of seeing off a short shower, be aware that the mesh panel on the rear instantly lets in water. It's a trade-off I am willing to accept against weight, breathability and ventilation.
A small front zipped pocket is useful for a key or credit card and there are also two rear pockets, ideal for a phone and food. Many lightweight packable gilets often don't have pockets meaning you have to lift them up or awkwardly reach through a flap to gain access to your jersey pockets beneath. Consequently, I found the inclusion of pockets on the rear of the Rapha Classic Gilet II a welcome feature.
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Oliver Bridgewood - no, Doctor Oliver Bridgewood - is a PhD Chemist who discovered a love of cycling. He enjoys racing time trials, hill climbs, road races and criteriums. During his time at Cycling Weekly, he worked predominantly within the tech team, also utilising his science background to produce insightful fitness articles, before moving to an entirely video-focused role heading up the Cycling Weekly YouTube channel, where his feature-length documentary 'Project 49' was his crowning glory.
CW Live: Nairo Quintana to ride Colombian National Championships; State goes carbon; Tom Pidcock's 2023 road programme; British Cycling announce squad for upcoming UEC European Track Championships; Are Giant about to launch the 2023 Revolt X gravel bike?
All the need to know news in cycling this Monday
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Sven Nys says Tom Pidcock skipping cyclo-cross World title defence ‘makes sense’
‘An effort to win in Hoogerheide will cost so much’ says Belgian cyclocross legend on a course that favours Pidcock's rivals
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Three punctures can't prevent Dylan Groenewegen from victory at Saudi Tour
Jayco AlUla rider pays his sponsors back with a stage one win
By Adam Becket • Published