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Rapha's new jacket and sleeping bag system aims to tempt riders out into the wild

25 Oct 2018
Verdict:

Snuggle up with Rapha’s ultralight overnight sleeping system for executive dirtbags and bikepackers

Comprising a conventional looking down-filled jacket, and a very clever and adaptable sleeping bag, Rapha’s new sleep system aims to cut the size and weight of the equipment needed to comfortably sleep out overnight.

Made up of two pieces that can also be used independently, the jacket is typically stylish and features a removable hood. However, it’s the bag that’s really clever.

It takes the bikepacking trend for combining a micro, waist length sleeping bag with a puffer jacket and adapts it. Below the waist, the bag’s insulated construction combines lightweight down filling to keep the sleeper warm.

Buy the Explore Down Jacket and the Explore Down Sleeping bag from Rapha

However, the thinner upper section is made from nylon and sits on top of the jacket, forming a protective shell against insects and moisture.

Just enough to give you some sense of security from the elements, it features an adjustable opening. The result is a bag that’s about half the size and weight you’d expect.

Despite this, it still packs in loads of features. These include a half-length zip that extends from the top and down the side, and an elastic drawcord at the waist that keeps the bag in place against the jacket to lock in warmth.

At the foot of the bag is another drawcord allowing you to walk around while wearing it, like a giant bike-packing worm.

With a DWR (durable water resistant) coating, both halves offer some moisture protection. Although given how down’s insulation properties collapse when it gets wet we’d be cautious about relying on this.

Available in small/medium and medium/large riders can match the system to their height.

Given the average price of down filled products, at £240 for the jacket and £245 for the bag, Rapha’s are very reasonable.

Compared to the 550 grams most ultra-light down bags weigh they’re also stupidly light, at 238g for the jacket and 270g for the bag including stuff sack.

Animal lovers might want to take note that although the down fill is ethically sourced, that won’t be of great comfort to the dead ducks it’s been pulled off of.

Still, no other material is going to work in a product of this type. With an 850 fill power, the system should be comfortable in warmer conditions.

Buy the Explore Down Jacket and the Explore Down Sleeping bag from Rapha

Packed into your panniers or bike-packing bags the system will also save a serious amount of space. Sleeping bags being one of the bulkiest items on most explorers' kit lists.

The products are part of Rapha’s expanding range of adventure and mixed terrain products. These now include its cargo bib shorts, bike-packing bags, and technical t-shirts.

Look out for a full review of the Rapha Explore Down Jacket soon.

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