Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gilet – A Review

A GOOD TIGHT FIT

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gilet is available in four colors - black, white, pink and light blue. I chose white because it is classic.

Like everything else in Rapha's Pro line, the Gilet is tight fitting - and this is how it should be. Rapha has used stretch fabric at the edges the bottom around the arm opening, and in the thin mesh that covers most of the back. Therefore the Gilet shapes itself to the body, and therefore it does not feel tight, but it sits firmly. In other words; The fit is very good and the same goes for the build quality.

PACKABLE SIZE

Rapha's Pro Team Lightweight Gilet can fold down to little more than a handful. Thus not as small as the very lightest Gilets on the market but in return this Gilet balance between packable size, and usability very well. In contrast to the very small light Gilets on the market, then Rapha's is of a much more usable quality. Here you can see that Rapha has received constructive feedback from Team Sky's riders.

"Despite the gilet’ slender 73 grams, Rapha has struck a really good balance between light weight and wind resistance."

73 GRAMS RAPHA

With a weight of 73 grams in size small - which is approximately half of Rapha's classic gilet - then there is no excuse not to bring it when riding in the mountains where weight matters to many.

Despite the gilet’ slender 73 grams,  Rapha has struck a really good balance between lightweight and wind resistance. I do not notice a marked difference between it and the classic Rapha Gilet when I decent down the Etna here in Sicily, where I tested both. But I notice that the Rapha Pro Gilet flaps a little bit on top of the shoulders when speed is high. It's a bit annoying to hear when you are used to Rapha's classic Gilet that is completely silent.

DOUBLE ZIPPER BUT NOT WATERPROOF

The Double zipper design I have not seen before on a Gilet. It is well thought of Rapha, because when the Gilet sits close to the body, then you can very easily reach the back pockets in the cycling jersey by unzipping from the bottom.

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gilet is not completely waterproof but takes a little shower with ease. It must be said that the mesh fabric on the back is similar to the fabric that Rapha use in their Pro Team baselayers, and it is certainly not waterproof. So if you are riding on a more rainy day then it is not Pro Team Lightweight Gilet you want to bring.

"Because the Rapha Pro Team Gilet is so light and small it is the perfect Gilet for riding in the mountains"

PERFECT FOR THE MOUNTAINS

Here in Sicily we do a lot of climbing. Especially on Etna where you reach high altitude the temperature can swing dramatically from the start to the top of the climb. This is where Raphas Pro Team Lightweight Gilet excels.

In Sicily it is so hot 8-9 months of year that you do not bother to have Gilet on when riding the climbs - you simply overheat and your baselayer and jersey will likely be soaked, and if that happens, then the downhill will be a cold pleasure and increases the likelihood that you catch a cold. Because the Rapha Pro Team Gilet is so light and small it is the perfect Gilet for riding in the mountains and a must to wear on the decent. 

Because of the mesh material used on the back, it is easier to breathe in it but it also means that it is not as warm as Rapha's classic Gilet. Therefore do the best in temperatures between 13-20 degrees Celsius.

In Denmark, this means that the best use is in late spring all summer, and early autumn on hot days. Here in Sicily it can be used practically all year. However, there may be days in January and February when the temperature dropping below 14 degrees, so the classic Rapha Gilet will be a better choice.

By having a Gilet that fits small in your pocket I would be more likely to bring it with me when training in the mountains. So in a terrain with variable height meters it is really brilliant. But even in flat terrain if you're the type who would rather avoid wearing a Gilet but would like it in reserve should the weather change. Then it sneaks almost unnoticed into a jersey pocket.

Pros: Elegant design, Low weight, sneaks easily in a jersey pocket, double zipper for easy access to jerseypockets, very breathable.

Cons: Flapping a bit at high speed. Does not keep out the rain very well. Like everything else from Rapha the price is high.

  SICILY CYCLING CLUB - TRAINING, ACCOMMODATION, AND EXPERIENCE IN SICILY

We organize bicycle trips for everybody - from cycling enthusiasts to serious cyclist. We plan regular training camps at selected times throughout the year. We also customize tours for groups and companies. If you have specific wishes for a tour we help you to make it a reality.

The people behind Sicily Cycling Club:

Tommaso Paxia is 38 years old Sicilian. Several times Ironman. Is the president of one of Southern Italy’s major triathlon Clubs. He has a background in Computer Science. Partner in a software company and lives in Catania with his wife Anna.

Thomas Opstrup is 43 years old, previously licensed rider, and has participated in bicycle racing for over 2 decades. He has trained a large number of cyclists and has been spinning instructor for 20+ years. He holds a Master Degree from Copenhagen Business School and has worked for international advertising agencies for 7 years. He is living in Sicily half of the year.

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