Rapha has been busy designing jackets recently and one that has really caught our eye is the Insulated Field Coat from the City Collection, and it’s not just because of the £495 price tag.
The primary reason that we suspect this could be a winner is the use of a 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric for the outer shell. Rapha claims that this has been designed to meet Gore’s Black Diamond standard of protection which, in plain English, means it should do a very good job of keeping even the heaviest rain out.
That waterproofing is generally why brands and customers opt for a Gore-Tex option and while Gore’s ShakeDry technology provides incredible waterproofing and breathability, it is far too delicate to be used with a rucksack and thus isn’t suitable for many commuters.
In the place of Shakedry, Rapha has used a Gore-Tex laminate which is a three-layer sandwich comprising a face fabric, a membrane, and a knit backer. The laminated design means that a 3L fabric will generally be lighter, more durable and provide less bulk than a 2L fabric. It’s also the reason for the high price.
That outer layer is also windproof and the styling, Rapha says, comes from classic military field jackets. It’s certainly one of the most pub-friendly designs that we’ve seen for a commuting jacket and yes, that is an important factor for us here at road.cc.
If you intend wearing the shell without the liner, Rapha has used Gore’s C-Knit backer which it claims offers improved next to skin comfort.
Three pockets located on the front are all waterproof, providing a secure place to store keys, phones and other daily essentials away from the rain.
The waist, and the packable hood, are both adjustable and the cuffs are adjustable too so that you can get a nice close fit around gloves. Those cuffs also feature fold-away hi-vis pink tabs to help other road users identify when you are signalling.
Inside, Rapha has used a detachable short sleeve liner which can be worn separately or left at home to increase the range of temperatures that the jacket can be used in. This liner uses 60gsm EcoDown polyester sheet insulation to keep you toasty through the depths of winter.
Currently, Rapha is offering the jacket in a men’s cut only with sizes ranging from XS-XXL. Availability is set as ‘mid-December’ and RCC members will get first dibs with 48-hour early access. We’ll have a full review on the site soon to clarify whether this really is the ultimate winter commuting jacket.