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Rapha Classic Softshell jacket review

Rapha Classic softshell review
5 May 2015

Looking good in the pouring rain is hard but the Rapha Classic Softshell makes it that little bit easier.

Cyclist Rating: 
Excellent performance
A bit pricey

A few years ago, you could hardly walk into a bar in London without spotting someone wearing a Rapha Softshell twinned with a pair of jeans. Whether or not you think that’s an acceptable outfit to wear on a night out or that it’s acceptable to spend £240 on a cycling jacket are questions of personal temperament. However, it’s undeniable that this jacket, with its asymmetrical zip and shoulder panel, created a stylistic trend that’s still going strong. This was one of Rapha’s original products and it’s continued on over the years with very few changes.

Rapha Classic softshell vents

Luckily this jacket isn’t just for posing. The water resistance of the fabric is excellent and, whilst it is just a treatment rather than a membrane, it holds onto it well. The thickness of the material is enough to provide some insulation without ever getting too hot thanks to the exellent breathability. There are some zipped vents in the armipits too if things get really hot. While it’s not as tight as Rapha’s new Pro Team Softshell, the cut is still on the racier side – something that along with the high, fleece-lined collar helps any layers underneath retain warmth. I’ve owned one of these jackets for years, and quite often wear it into spring with just a baselayer underneath.

Rapha Classic softshell pockets

There are three big pockets at the rear and two additional zipped pockets: one on the back big enough for a phone, and a small one on the front for your keys. A stowable bum flap includes a large reflective logo and can be deployed to add visibility. Otherwise, subtle reflective piping helps alert drivers to your presence without spoiling the jacket’s looks. A softshell is a must for every rider’s wardrobe and while it’s possible to find technically similar jackets for less, few look as good. It's worth nothing that the jacket is also available cut for women.

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