The Rapha Bomber Jacket initially retailed at £210. The newer version is available for £150. The question is: Even at the new price point, is it worth it?
Let’s start with the looks, because this jacket is going to attract plenty of them.
The Bomber Jacket can just as easily be worn off the bike as on the bike. The cut has however been tailored towards cyclists. With a longer cut at the back and good length cuffs you can lean towards your road bike handlebars and still have a comfortable fit. Rapha have also included a reflective strip for night-time visibility.
When off the bike, I’ve been the welcome recipient of many compliments on the Rapha Bomber jacket. Well, if you are not going to be complimented on your cycling prowess, then you may as well receive some compliments on your choice of cycling gear. The jacket has a smart, urban look, with well placed subtle features such as a Rapha embroidered logo on the left arm. In short, it looks great.
Taking on the winter chills
This morning I awoke to a teeth clattering 2 degrees Celsius. Needless to say, I was pleased to be reaching for the Rapha Bomber jacket to keep me warm. Combined with a base and middle layer, the Rapha jacket is perfect for short rides of up to around 7 miles. For anything longer, I tend to remove the middle layer to keep my body at the perfect temperature.
When we reach the end of the long British winter and temperatures start to rise above 13-15°C (55-59°F) the jacket will be a little too warm. This isn’t one of the most breathable jackets available to cyclists. However, it is excellent for the cold winter months for both short and long rides.
Whilst we’ve had an uncharacteristically dry winter to date, I’ve had the chance to test the Rapha Bomber Jacket during a few downpours. The water repellent finish deflects light rain. However, if you are unfortunate enough to be cycling when the heavens open then you will feel the water seeping though. This is definitely a water resistant jacket and not waterproof.
Excellent comfort and features
The Rapha Bomber Jacket has two zipped side pockets, an external zipped breast pocket and zipped pocket for your keys with a lanyard. In practise, the most useful pocket is the breast pocket. This is a great place for your mobile phone or music player. As it is situated outside of the main zip you have easy access to it at all times. This means you can quickly check directions on your mobile phone when you are stopped at the traffic lights.
The keys pocket near the wrist is also very useful. I’ve found myself attaching the keys to the lanyard so I can quickly lock my bike when I reach my destination.
Another feature of note is the tough construction of the shoulder fabric. When riding around with a bag on your back this means the shoulder straps won’t rub.
Luxurious in pink
The Rapha Bomber Jacket feels comfortable and luxurious in every way. Exactly what Rapha is famed for. On a basic level you get a jacket that looks excellent on and off the bike. Beyond that you appreciate the more subtle features. The way the jacket doesn’t ride up your back, the comfortable lining and the well placed pockets. It is clear a lot of thought has gone into this and it’s a jacket that will be appreciated during the winter months.
Review in brief:
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.