This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
- Highs: Shapely with a cut that hugs your figure without being restrictive
- Lows: Nowhere to carry your must-haves when out riding
- Buy if: You want to look the most stylish on a bike on a rainy day!
The Core rain jacket has been a useful extension in the Core range for this season. It has been fashioned with winter use in mind, give or take a few rainy days while on a training ride or commuting. Oh, and it's Rapha — so you'll have no worries in the style department.
'Core' is Rapha's range of more accessibly priced kit. It uses similar technology, and the classic Rapha styling you'd expect, but sits at a lower price point.
At first glance this jacket's colour is very striking. The yellow that we're used to seeing on rain jackets can often be garish, veering towards lime green, but the shade on the Core has a hint of cream. This gives it a slightly buttery shade, while still being highly visible on the road.
I liked the black elastane cuffs, which improves the fit on the arms, as well as on the wrists. In a way, this made me feel as though I was wearing a casual jacket rather than a functional high-vis waterproof.
Typically, Rapha has managed to make a bog-standard waterproof jacket look cool, and I definitely felt happy to show this one off, and even parade around the office wearing it.
The Core is highly visible without being garish
The slightly off-centre zip, characteristic of other Rapha jackets, is there. In addition, darts on the body and bust show that care has been taken to make this jacket fit a female frame accurately, while still allowing for movement. Draw cords at the base of the jacket can also gather in the jacket if that's your preference too.
Talking of fit, this design comes up slightly larger than other jacket sizes. Where I have previously needed a large in Rapha tops, this design a medium was the best fit for me.
Draw cords at the base of the jacket can gather it in, if needed
As this rain jacket is likely to be worn at night, Rapha has added reflective strips on the flank and on the back, with the Rapha signature also being highly visible.
I wore this jacket on my commute to work, which was through London on a dull day, and then at night. I also wore it while doing a training ride through suburban lanes in Kent and Surrey.
The air vents, a triangular arrangement of holes along the armpits meant I didn't overheat even when riding at speed. I didn't even get any moisture on the inside of the jacket when riding uphill, something that can be a bugbear when wearing rain jackets.
In fact this jacket, being lightweight, helped with temperature and sweat management.
This simple jacket has no pockets
As I only experienced light rain, I can say the jacket worked well in those conditions, keeping me dry during my training ride.
I particularly liked having the AquaGuard invisible zip with zip guard — it offered reassurance it would keep the rain out, but also it was easy to unzip while on the move.
Once I removed the jacket it was easy to stash away in my jersey pocket, as it folds or rolls to a fairly small size.
Rapha has managed to make a bog-standard waterproof jacket look cool
There was one thing missing for me on this jacket, though — a pocket. There is nowhere to carry anything. As someone who likes to reach for my phone and wallet through a pocket in my outer layer, this was slightly inconvenient.
Overall, I enjoyed wearing the Rapha women's Core rain jacket, but found it offered more style over substance.
Pricing, sizing and availability
The Core jacket is available in the yellow pictured above, which Rapha calls chartreuse, plus red and navy blue. Sizing goes from XXS to XL and, as I've mentioned, sizes up large so you may want to go down a size.