Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey
Rapha returned to its roots with the Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey (£ 125 / $ 175), but updated the iconic garment for the modern, greener era with a new fabric.
Originally known as the “sportwool”, the new Rapha Performance Merino 190 is made from 36% merino and 64% post-consumer recycled polyester.
According to Rapha, using recycled polyester reduces its dependence on virgin materials and gives a second life to materials that would otherwise go to landfill.
Rapha’s goal is to be a carbon neutral company by 2025 and the use of recycled materials is just one of the many changes it is bringing, including the shift to 100% renewable energy and the use of 100% low impact packaging.
Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey: construction
The RPM190 fabric in the construction of the Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey is slightly heavier than that of the similarly reworked classic short sleeve jersey, which is now also made from a recycled polyester / merino blend.
Compared to the old Rapha long sleeve jerseys, however, the new fabric is significantly lighter and thinner. This size M sample at 268g weighs 40g less than a 2015 equivalent, although the older jersey has a higher wool component.
It’s also stretchier, less bulky, and a lot more chic with a soft, luxurious feel – there’s something about the cashmere cardigan about it.
The fit, features and general layout are very familiar though: there are the three rear pockets with slightly angled openings, including the zippered one for valuables with the ring puller. There is also the drawstring lock adjuster at the bottom hem that allows you to tighten it. The cuffs are longer on the backs of the hands and the mid-rise collar has the usual reverse zipper garage. There is also the iconic Rapha armband on the left sleeve.
What’s different, as well as the fabric, however, is the fit: Rapha says she has a ‘classic refined fit’ which she says means a ‘close-fitting but relaxed fit, longer in the torso. and suitable for long hikes ”. This applies to Rapha’s Classic, Patent and Core ranges.
The standard Rapha medium – the size of the old Club jersey I’m comparing it to – was a bit smaller, especially around the torso, so if you’re looking for a tighter fit you might want to downsize. I am 178cm / 69kg and it is a medium in the photos. The model on Rapha’s website is 183cm tall and wears a small one, which fits like a running jersey.
Despite its relatively loose fit, it doesn’t suffer from sagging pockets thanks to Rapha’s usual pocket placement.
Plus, as I’ve always found with Rapha swimsuits, the fit is always flattering.
The workmanship is excellent – it is sewn very well with a very high quality look and feel. I have to admit I’m always a little surprised when I see that Rapha clothing is made in China while some of its rivals manage to make theirs in Italy – it doesn’t seem to fit the brand’s philosophy – but whatever you thought it, the build quality is excellent.
You have a choice of a green and dark navy, as well as this all-black scheme.
The Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey is lightweight and breathable enough that you can wear it whenever you wear a short sleeve jersey with cuffs. It’s mid-May as I write, and it’s perfect for those windy, changeable days or for those mornings and evenings when the temperature is a bit cooler – although it’s not windproof. of course.
With less bulk than the old Rapha long sleeve jerseys, it also works well as a mid layer.
I wore the Rapha Classic long sleeve jersey for the first time in a three hour club run that started at 5 ° C but ended much warmer and sunny (and faster). With a short-sleeved base layer underneath and a windproof vest on top, it looked great anywhere. Merino is renowned for both breathability and insulation, and this bike was a perfect example of how it does both. For temperature regulation, it’s hard to beat.
Its understated look and slightly more relaxed fit also make it a great choice for walks in a cafe or pub. At the time of writing, these are still just pub gardens and I have noticed that at nightfall the beer is dropping and the core temperature is dropping, which is perfect.
Value and conclusion
The £ 125 / $ 175 Rapha Classic long sleeve jersey is not the cheapest LS jersey on the market. We really liked the Santini Colore, which is cheaper at £ 90. However, in Rapha’s own lineup, it is priced lower than the £ 150 Rapha Pro Team Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey.
The Castelli Cubi FZ is cheaper at £ 100, as is the Altura Icon (£ 59.99), but for a good quality, stylish and very versatile jersey, the price of the Rapha jersey is not ridiculous.
Therefore the Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey has become one of my favorite clothes lately and I expect it to be used a lot. It has been washed a few times and still looks new so I have no doubt that it will always be there – like my 2015 Club jersey – to compare to subsequent generations of Rapha clothing and I have no doubts that he will do well against them.