Rapha Hardshell Jacket, Winter Base Layer and Deep Winter Tights update

I wanted to give a quick update on these, that is emblematic of my experience with them.

On Saturday, Mr. B and I headed out for 50 miles on our respective gravel steeds.  I left my house at about 7:30am, with temps hovering at 30 degrees and a heavy fog in the air.  Heading out, I wore my Deep Winter Tights over a pair of bib shorts, along with a Rapha Wool Base Layer and Hardshell Jacket.  Heading out the door, I was zipped up fully, and on the fringe of being cold.

5 minutes in, I started to warm up, and opened the zipper on the jacket a bit.

During the ride, the temps went up to the high 30s, and the moisture content increased.  There was mist, and as I was headed back to my house, even some light rain.  The ground was saturated from the frost coming out, and we rode limestone paths that in some areas were complete mush…slogging along at 10-12mph and sinking in appreciably.

At times that we were working harder or had the wind at our backs, I would zip down the jacket a bit and ventilate.  If we stopped for a quick snack or headed into the wind, I could zip up and regulate my temps easily.  When I got home, I was amazed to see how dry I was after nearly 3.5 hours of hard effort in really damp conditions.  My base layer was damp, but not wet, and my skin was totally comfortable.

At first, I thought this was rain or dew on my jacket, but then I noticed that I had it in areas that were not exposed to the rain…

Sorry to tell you folks, but that’s sweat.  I was running late at the end of my ride, and for the last 10 miles, I was pushing as hard as I could.  How breathable is the Hardshell?  Breathable enough that it let the sweat through en masse.  How waterproof is it?  Waterproof enough that I didn’t get wet from the limestone spray or the mist or rain.

Having ridden them for a couple of months now, I did wash the jacket and tights.  I machine washed them, cold/cold, and then hung them to dry.  They look perfect, and ready for more action.

I continue to be impressed by this kit.


One thought on “Rapha Hardshell Jacket, Winter Base Layer and Deep Winter Tights update

  1. I’ll give an update on sizing if I could. I’ve been leaning to a lot of medium things recently (trying hard to). I will say the jacket had a massive difference between the large and medium. Plus the medium had no thumb holes and seemed to be a different jacket. I also have numerous pairs of Rapha winter tights and wanted to try the deep winter as a treat. The tights were the smallest larges I’ve ever seen and probably were 2+ inches shorter than any other Rapha tights, of the same size. (plus the left leg was 3/4inch shorter than the right) Both the medium jacket and tights were seemingly after a lull in availability. I’m partly thinking they switched manufacturing plants and the sizing was just off. That said, I went with the large jacket. I used it in the 32mile Birkebiener skate ski race and have ridden it a ton on my bike and it truly is awesome. Most riding and skiing has been in single digits this winter and I’ll just vary the thickness of my long undershirt.

    Eventhough I cut the stirrups off my large deep winter tights as I do on all my larges (at 5ft11in), Rapha still gave me a full refund. No way I’m going to XL’s.

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