Rapha Classic Gilet II review

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 Classic Gilet II
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

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.

For
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    Light

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    Packable

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    Excellent quality

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    Fits well

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.

Rapha Classic Gilet II

Rapha Classic Gilet II packs down very small
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)

>>> The best Cycling gilets - and a buyer's guide

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.

Rapha Classic Gilet II

Rapha Classic Gilet II has a small front zipped pocket
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)

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.

 

Rapha Classic Gilet II

Two rear pockets mounted on the sides
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)

 

Rapha Classic Gilet II

Rapha Classic Gilet II – nice details
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)

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.