Rapha launches new flagship Explore Gore-Tex jacket - at £395/$530 you'd better not fall off...
New high-end jacket and trousers added to Explore off-road collection
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Rapha has added a new Gore-Tex jacket and Gore-Tex pants/trousers to its Explore collection. The Explore range is, in Rapha’s words, “created to offer high-performance protection from harsh weather throughout off-road adventures (opens in new tab)."
The new premium-priced jacket is clearly aimed at taking on the best waterproof cycling jackets (opens in new tab) while the best waterproof trousers (opens in new tab) are often aimed at commuting - but clearly not Rapha's.
The two new garments are for the men's Explore collection, with no women's-specific versions planned, but Rapha says they are of course fine for women to wear.
Rapha Explore Gore-Tex C-knit Jacket
The Explore Gore-Tex C-knit Jacket - which at $530/£395 is the highest-priced jacket in any of Rapha's ranges - features Gore C-knit Backer Technology. This, according to Gore, fuses together three layers of material but is measurably lighter and just as durable as previous 3-layer Gore-Tex fabrics.
The fabric is designed to keep the wearer dry without adding bulk. Its inner layer - the backer - is made from a dense, thin circular knit to form a less bulky laminate that Gore says is patent pending. It's soft and smooth so that when the jacket is used as an outer layer it can be pulled on without any snagging or stuffing.
Indeed Rapha says the Explore Gore-Tex C-knit Jacket is designed to comfortably fit the Explore Down Jacket underneath in colder weather, and packs down to fit into the Explore bar bag. The Explore Gore-Tex C-knit Jacket “integrates seamlessly into the wider Explore collection,” says Rapha.
It delivers “unparalleled breathability and ventilation with complete rain protection” and has Aquaguard zips to seal the deal.
- Breathable and fully waterproof with the GORE-TEX GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY promise, featuring GORE® C-KNIT backer technology
- Aquaguard zips
- Vented back and two-way zip for ventilation and breathability to keep cool and dry in the rain without the jacket billowing up while riding
- Packs into its own hood to fit inside the Explore bar bag
- Two external pockets with Aquaguard zips
- Comfortably fits a down jacket underneath for warmth in cold and wet conditions
- Hood tailored to fit neatly under a helmet
- Adjustable hem to shorten the front of the jacket and prevent bunching over the saddle when on the bike, whilst ensuring rain protection at the back
- Long sleeves for wrist coverage when on the bike
- Men’s available in Dark Navy and Brick
Rapha Explore Pants
Meanwhile the new Explore Pants (trousers if you're British) have been created “to overcome unpredictable days thanks to a durable and ergonomic design.”
Rapha says these combine lightweight, abrasion-resistant and quick-drying materials for uninterrupted adventures.
According to Rapha the Explore Pants feature four-way stretch materials, an adjustable waist and integrated belt for comfort and style, while zippable hand-warmer pockets and cinchable hems provide further practicality and comfort whether on two feet or two wheels. They have a durable water repellent (DWR) coating and come with colour matched iron-on patches for easy repairability.
These are priced at $180/£140
- Durable and breathable stretch material made to move with the rider for long-lasting comfort and freedom on and off the bike
- Integrated adjustable belt
- Two side-zip pockets
- Two hand warmer pockets
- Cinchable hems, both for on-bike functionality and off-bike style
- Pair with a tee, midlayer or Explore Jacket to suit any weather conditions
- Regular fit for comfort on and off the bike.
- Men’s available in Black and Dark Grey
Head over to Rapha's website (opens in new tab) for the full details and don't forget to check out our own buyer's guide to the
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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