Seven highlights from Rapha's spring/summer 2017 range - Road Cycling UK

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Seven highlights from Rapha’s spring/summer 2017 range

Collector's edition jackets and gilets, bib shorts, packable backpacks, and lightweight jackets for the new season

Rapha have taken on a change of direction in 2017, having ended their partnership with Team Sky, and the London-based brand’s latest spring/summer collection has been unveiled.

From all-season rain jackets to a new version of Rapha’s classic bib shorts, and with some handy packable kit thrown into the bargain too, there’s plenty in the new collection which caught our eye.

We’ve picked out seven highlights of the range below. Check them out.

Rapha Collector’s Edition Classic Rain Jacket – £200

You’ll have to be quick if you want this re-imagining of Rapha’s Classic Rain Jacket it is limited to 800 pieces.

Though part of the spring-summer collection, Rapha bill their Classic Rain Jacket as a year-round staple. Lightweight and packable, the jacket boasts taped seams throughout and a tailored fit.

It’s also highly breathable, thanks to a panel of horizontal slats on the rear which improve airflow and help with temperature regulation.

Rapha Collector’s Edition Classic Gilet – £150

Another Rapha Classic garment to have been given a limited-edition makeover, the Collector’s Edition Classic Gilet will also be limited to 800 pieces.

The biggest change is at the back, where the rear mesh panel has been replaced by a hand-woven, heritage-inspired design, which Rapha promise will offer the same level of ventilation.

Windproof, shower-resistant and featuring reflective piping and a dropped tail, the Classic Gilet will also pack down small enough to leave you little excuse not to stick it in your back pocket on your next ride.

Rapha Classic Bib Shorts II – £165

Rapha’s award-winning Classic Bib Shorts have also been modified, with the promise of enhanced comfort thanks to a new chamois pad. With body-contoured padding, the multi-thickness pad is finished with a soft chamois for all-day comfort in the saddle.

Elsewhere, the shorts themselves are made from what Rapha say is a luxury blend of lycra, offering plenty of stretch, and the bibs are mesh to help with temperature regulation.

Another nice touch is the flatlock stitching throughout to prevent chafing, while the leg grippers have been improved. The attention to detail also includes a small key pocket.

There’s a wide range of colour options too, if the navy-and-white featured here is not to your liking.

Rapha Gilet II – £100

Rapha’s Gilet is now lighter and packs down smaller than before, making it perfect as an extra layer on milder days which start with cool weather or feature some long descents.

The Gilet II is completely windproof, and is crafted from a new stretch nylon fabric, which is lighter than that used for its predecessor.

Rapha Brevet Bib Shorts II – £180

We tested the original Brevet bib shorts in the summer and found them to be exceptionally comfortable for long distance rides, and these are the updated version of those.

Like the Classic bib shorts, the chamois pad is multi-layered for longer-lasting comfort only on the Brevet is is perforated for quick drying.

New for 2017 is a new fabric construction to enhance support and durability and an open-stripe bib strap to improve its moisture-wicking properties.

Rapha Packable Backpack – £50

Rapha’s innovation extends beyond their high-end performance gear, with this Packable Backpack catching our eye in the City collection.

Crafted from a tough ripstop nylon fabric, it folds down into an essentials case-sized pouch – big enough to hold a phone and credit card – and opens into a lightweight, versatile backpack, big enough for anything up to a shoebox in size.

Though not suited to extremely heavy weights, it’s an ideal addition for your commute and it’s versatile too – it can be zip-fastened or rolled down and secured with snaps.

If the chartreuse yellow featured here is not to your liking, it’s also available in pink, navy and black too.

Rapha Pack Jacket – £120

And while we’re talking packable kit for commuting, Rapha’s Pack Jacket also caught our eye. It’s super-light (less than 100g, and like the Packable BackPack folds down to the size of an essentials case) but doesn’t compromise on performance.

This is windproof, showerproof and boasts a close fit to prevent flapping in the wind. Elastic cuffs and a shockcord waist puller help in that regard, but laser-cut ventilation holes ensures you won’t suffer a ‘boil-in-the-bag’ effect on your journey to/from work.

It’s available in classic Rapha pink or navy, or you can get it in this Optical Art movement-inspired print finish instead.

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