Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey review - warm, visible and reliable
The Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey is a robust and versatile piece of kit to have at your disposal this autumn
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The Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey is a durable and reliable piece of kit that's definitely better suited to touring and multi-day use as opposed to faster paced club rides. Its best features are that it's quick drying, visible and easy to layer underneath and on top of with a light jacket.
Lots of pockets
Great features to improve visibility
Soft and warm material
Very relaxed fit – you may need to size down from your usual size
Not very strong elasticated cuffs
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The Rapha Brevet Long Sleeve Jersey is the Swiss Army Knife of Rapha’s range of long sleeve jerseys. It's designed to be breathable enough for sustained efforts up long climbs, whilst also being warm and comfortable enough to keep you cosy on long, cool rides.
Similar to some of the other best long sleeve cycling jerseys, the Brevet is full of pockets and comes stacked with zips and pull cords, making it enormously versatile for a wide range of riding and adventuring.
Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey: construction
Rapha's Brevet range is for all-day epics and multi-day bikpacking trips, boasting a total of four pockets on the rear – three normal and one zipped. On my regular rides, I only used the three standard pockets – but it was nice to have the option to stuff more in the back if I needed to.
On the front, the Brevet Long Sleeve has another zipped pocket plus two draw chords around the waist to cinch it in tight.
Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey: the ride
On the cool autumnal mornings, which have so far made up the bulk of the testing, the Brevet Long Sleeve hit just the right balance of breathability and warmth. With the slightly relaxed fit – in contrast to the more aerodynamic and figure-hugging Pro Team jerseys – there was ample space for fitting in a Rapha Pro Team base layer.
This boosts the jersey's versatility and helps for economising on winter kit. Combining a mid-weight long-sleeve jersey with a base layer and waterproof jacket has much the same effect as a dedicated deep-winter jackets with thick insulation and water-repellent outer shells – but gives you alternative options for milder conditions on either side of the summer.
Certainly, when the weather gets even colder as winter arrives, the thick merino wool of the Rapha Pro Team should be more than enough for the jersey to retain its warmth.
Fitting a jacket over the top isn't difficult either. Rapha has its own Core II rain jacket, but any of the best waterproof jackets we've tested will do the trick.
Another excellent quality of the jersey is its visibility in low light. The jersey has two coloured bands of reflective material around the upper torso as well as a signature Rapha armband on the left sleeve and a reflective grey tab at the base of the rear. I had the jersey in a dark navy colour but it is also available on Rapha’s website in a stone/dark beige colour if you want to improve your visibility even further.
The draw cords on the jersey were also another added bonus. The elastic cord stayed nicely in place throughout each of my rides, ensuring no air came through any gaps in my layering. The merino material's relative thickness also meant that I stayed nice and warm throughout the duration of each ride.
However there is one minor downside to the jersey although depending on your personal riding preferences, it may not be an issue for you.
I found that the design of the cuffs meant that occasionally the sleeves would ride up and leave my wrists exposed between the jersey and my gloves. Perhaps an elasticated band on each cuff would help keep the jersey in place.
The jersey isn’t suited to riders looking for a close, aero fit. Although, if you like the jersey's features, it could be worth opting for a size down and seeing how it turns out on you.
Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey: value and conclusion
All things considered, the Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey is an excellent piece of kit for long days on the bike and when speed and aerodynamics aren't the priority.
The jersey is definitely more suited to riders looking for a solid and reliable piece of kit to provide warmth and visibility as they chalk off the kilometres on long haul rides.
Currently priced at $168.00 / £124.00 ( reduced from $210.00 / £155.00), it's not the cheapest long sleeve jersey out there, but the build quality and materials means that it's an investment which will likely last you for many years to come.
The Endura Pro SL Long Sleeve Jersey II comes in at $139.99 / £99.99 and uses recycled fabrics in its construction. We were very impressed by its performance, although it's not quite as warm as the Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey.
All in all it is an excellent piece of kit which won't let you down in cooler autumnal and winter weather this year.
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Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. Alongside his day job, prior to starting with the team, he wrote a variety of different pieces as a contributor to a cycling website, Casquettes and Bidons, which included interviews with up and coming British riders.
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