Rapha is a London-born cycling brand first created in 2004. Two decades on, they’ve also become cycling race organisers and sponsors, whilst simultaneously curating cycling clubs all around the world. With a vision of making cycling the most popular sport ever, it goes without saying: Rapha knows about two-wheeled adventures.
Whilst they generally focus their products on road biking, more recently they have produced the Explore range which branches out into off-road and multi-day cycling attire. They’ve broadened their focus to an ‘off-the-skin’ and less constrictive fit that’s more suited to long-distance cycle touring, bikepacking, and the like. Quality, however, is never sacrificed: wicking and micro-mesh fabrics encourage airflow in mid-layers, while GORE-TEX three-layer outer layers provide waterproof protection. With durability, weightlessness, and weatherproof protection at the forefront; there are some high-quality, must-have items here.
‘Tried and tested on the toughest of terrain, the Explore collection comprises technical adventure apparel for off-road riding and multi-day trips’, Rapha explain. Indeed, after choosing the best bike, gearing it up with bikepacking bags, and then finally deciding on which lightweight tent to bring; biking apparel can become an afterthought. Rapha seems to cover everything you need here though, and it’s all in one place.
Though there’s an extensive variety of items in the collection, here’s a first look at three key Outdoors Magic picks from Rapha Explore.
Explore Lightweight Jacket
When on multi-day bikepacking trips, having lightweight and packable gear is essential. You only need to read our bikepacking guide to see why. In this sense, the Explore Lightweight Jacket is a great addition to your kit list.
Made from a lightweight 25gsm fabric, it’s one of the lightest outer layers Rapha makes. It has a breathable nylon build for those sweatier cycles, whilst also blocking the wind in harsher weather conditions. The durable water repellent treatments also give it water resistance on the wetter days.
What’s most handy about this jacket is the side pocket it packs away into. This makes it ideal for clipping onto your bike or your body whilst your cycling, or stowing away when you don’t need it. Hanger loops are cleverly incorporated into this collection, including on this jacket, and are specifically suited to hanging up your garments for post-ride drying. This is a perfect solution for quick drying, especially when the alternative is often laying your clothes out on a muddy rock…