Rapha describes the Stowaway as “windproof, water resistant and extremely breathable”. As succinct summaries go, that one will do nicely. It’s certainly accurate. However, it is just a bit too succinct, for the Stowaway is all of those things and more.
It is, for example, lightweight, size Medium challenging the scales with a claimed 165g. It is cut to fit closely, so that flapping in the wind is kept to a minimum. It is reflective; snug; tailored to suit the cycling posture. It has Lycra cuffs and a soft strip to protect the throat from the zip. It is even slightly translucent, allowing the owner of other Rapha garments to keep them visible even in foul weather.
Worn in fairly heavy rain, the 100% Nylon fabric impressed. It is woven so closely that water simply beads on the outside and falls away. With more use this property may diminish, but the breathabililty of the jacket surely will not. This tester, who generates a lot of heat and is prone to perspire heavily in most shell-type jackets, found the Stowaway comfortable even under hard effort; moisture really does get out when the external surface is wet.
Is there anything to complain about? Ignoring the inevitable moans about the undoubtedly high asking price, perhaps the only real complaint after perhaps two hours of wear is that the fabric is so ethereal that, as the Stowaway is folded, the stiff waterproof pocket zip feels intrusive. You soon find a way to fold the jacket around it. So far, so good.
Rapha Stowaway Jacket £165, sizes XS-XXL, Misty Blue, Orange, Black