Rapha Pro Team Softshell Jacket review

The Rapha Pro Team Softshell Jacket is designed to offer insulation and water resistance in a well fitted package, but how does it stack up against competing products?

Cycling Weekly Verdict

The jacket performs well, but it is not as breathable as many other competing products we have tested. At £200, the equivalent Gabba offers better performance at a lower price.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Fits well

  • +

    Wipe clean panel on the rear

  • +

    Looks great

Reasons to avoid
  • -


  • -

    Not as breathable as competition

  • -

    Shorter tail than others

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Rapha already has a selection of jackets and jerseys suitable for racing and high-tempo riding, but this, the Rapha Pro Team Softshell jacket, is its first attempt at making a Castelli Gabba rival. In terms of technology, it’s a jump, rather than a step forward for Rapha. The firm has developed a brand new stretchy and water-resistant three-ply material over a year of extreme testing – Some of which involved riding back and forth along the Foscagano Pass, Italy, in horrendous weather.


The jacket features some venting under the arms
(Image credit: mike prior)

The material is bathed, rather than coated, in a water-repellent treatment. Like the Gabba, it’s not totally waterproof. Water soaked through the shoulders under a serious battering of winter weather, but the material performed well enough compared to the various competitors that have been tested this winter. On the shoulders, it has externally taped seams, with which we have a small quibble. After a couple of wash cycles, the taping looked slightly tarnished, so we’d worry about the jersey’s performance over the long term.


The wipe clean rear panel, fits over the middle pocket
(Image credit: mike prior)

The fit, as with most Rapha products, is excellent. It doesn’t have the long tail we liked so much on Castelli’s Gabba, but it does have a headline-grabbing wipe-clean rear panel, designed to fend off constant road spray.

The Pro Team Softshell was ideal on five-degree days (rainy or not), where high-tempo riding kept us warm over shorter rides. Its ventilation is weak, so higher temperatures were sweaty, and the fabric was too thin for freezing conditions.

For more information head over to Rapha

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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.