Rapha Men's Brevet Insulated Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey review - an excellent all-round winter riding jersey
A very well-executed winter piece: the insulation works well, fit is spot on and visibility is excellent
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The Rapha Brevet Insulated Infinium Jersey combines a perfectly tailored fit and strategically placed insulation with Gore Tex’s Infinium windproof and weather-resistant outer material. That said, the styling isn’t for everyone.
Excellent breathability, water resistance, and warmth
Tailored fit is Goldilocks-esque, not too big, not too small
Rapha repair program
Too warm for high-output riding
Two-stripe brevet aesthetic not for everyone
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Often the hardest conditions to dress for are not simply the coldest. Thirty-five to forty-five degrees Fahrenheit (or 1-8 degrees Celsius) and rain can be the most miserable weather to ride in. The high percentage of moisture in the air drains warmth and energy from your body rapidly and once you get cold it’s very hard to get back to a comfortable temperature.
These conditions are where the Brevet Jersey shines. Colder temperatures might mean slippery roads, but drier air allows sweat to evaporate more readily and makes it easier for your body to regulate heat. Breathability, windproofing and water resistance are all paramount in cold and wet conditions.
Brevet Insulated Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey: construction
The Rapha Brevet Insulated Infinium Jersey uses Gore-Tex’s Infinium Windstopper outer fabric and combines it with strategically placed fleece insulation for a warm, weather resistant jacket—ahem, jersey. The primary fabric is made with recycled material.
Rapha utilizes Teijin’s Octa lightweight insulation in key areas: the chest of the garment, the collar and shoulders, and the front of the arms. The sides and back are uninsulated for breathability and there are thin stretchy panels under the armpits. The lined collar is cut quite high and does a good job keeping heat in.
The main zipper is a large gauge that doesn’t bind. Small front hand-warmer pockets have unobtrusive zipper pulls that stay out of the way and the rear pockets are deep and stretchy—great for long rides with plenty of snacks and accessories that may need to be stowed part way through.
Like many of Rapha’s Brevet pieces, an emphasis is placed on visibility: the jersey has two bright stripes at chest level front and back, as well as a single stripe around the left bicep. One of the stripes is reflective, the other high-vis for daytime. There are also reflective details on and above the rear pockets and cuffs.
This piece has become my go-to winter jacket this season. It does a great job fending off mixed precipitation and even short, heavier rainfall events. The insulation isn’t so thick that it causes overheating, but the targeted zones make a difference on properly cold days.
I found it best suited to long winter training rides where exertion stays below a high level. For harder, shorter efforts I prefer to wear an uninsulated piece which allows for dumping heat more easily. I also found myself grabbing the Brevet Infinium Jersey for recovery rides—the insulation is cozy and it’s nice to only throw on a single piece over a baselayer—which makes getting out the door that much easier.
Often I left the house while it was still foggy and chilly in full winter kit: heavy gloves, a neck warmer, winter hat and shoe covers. As the day warmed up, I could remove the accessories and still remain comfortable in the jersey even several hours into a ride.
The standout feature of this piece is the fit: Rapha got it right with this one. It has a slimmer cut than other items in the Brevet line, though it’s not as snug as the Pro Team line. It hugs the torso comfortably with long enough arms to prevent gaps at the wrist. At 181 cm/65 kg, a size small fits me just right.
It’s worth mentioning Rapha’s repair program—they offer free repairs for the lifetime of the product. I have used this program a number of times to repair items I’ve crashed in or to fix seams that split on their own accord and have been very happy with the quality of the repair work. Hopefully it’s not needed, but it helps to justify the premium price.
My quibbles are minor: the front pockets are unobtrusive and don’t cause any issues, but it’s not a feature I need to have. I would make use of a zippered rear pocket, however, which is not included.
My preference is often to use multiple layers to regulate temperature as it allows for maximum flexibility, and replacing two layers with one locks you into a temperature range, but certain conditions do require heavier garments. Finding what works best for you might take some trial and error.
The color choices are in keeping with previous offerings from Rapha, but it would be nice to see some new and different colors introduced. I’m not a big fan of Rapha’s horizontal bands—it would be nice if they offered a color scheme without the stripes. There is a functional reason for this too: the reflective stripes inhibit the breathability of the outer material, so that sweat gets trapped in stripes across the chest and back. It’s not a big issue, but it seems like a detail that could be easily remedied.
Value and Conclusion
Value is always a tricky thing to pin down, as it’s a subjective assessment. At $325 . £240, this is not an inexpensive piece. That said, Assos’s new Equipe RS Johdah S9 Targa, for example, comes in at a whopping $725 / £610. Is it more than twice as good? Tough to say. Some better analogues to the Brevet Infinium Jersey include Gore’s C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket, at $220.00 / £200.00 or Castelli’s Alpha Ultimate Insulated Jacket, $450 / £380. Both feature an Infinium Windstopper outer layer paired with an insulated lining, and fit and styling are what set them apart.
A good argument could be made for justifying a $325 / £240 price tag in that this jersey can replace the function of both a midlayer and outer weatherproof top. I found it worked very well for me in the Pacific Northwest’s wet and cold climate, though it might not be the right thing for riders everywhere. I wish that Rapha offered this piece in some different colors with slightly different styling, but that’s my only real critique—otherwise, it’s excellent.
Price: £240, $325
Weight: 339 grams (size small)
Colors: Navy, Red, Light Gray
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Tyler Boucher is a former (and occasionally still) bike racer across several disciplines. These days, he spends most of his time in the saddle piloting his children around in a cargo bike. His writing has appeared in magazines published in Europe, the UK and North America. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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