A lightweight gilet should be a versatile garment that's ideal for cold starts, short showers and chilly descents. The Rapha Classic Gilet II is a refined, second iteration of the original Classic Gilet
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.
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.