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Stowaway, expensive, but very very nice

Old 03-26-09, 09:12 AM
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Stowaway, expensive, but very very nice

A girlfriend asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I sheepishly asked for a Rapha Stowaway jacket, but quickly added that I'd pay for half of it because it's $290 which I consider a bit ridiculous. Still I've been using a $30 yellow O2 jacket for the last couple of years and it's developed a couple of holes and looks pretty nasty so I've been looking for a new one. The Rapha got great reviews, but I wasn't going to spend $290 on one, but $145........urgh yes I could do that. It arrived from the UK in 3 days and I put it on. It's wonderful, very stylish, a big change form the baggy 02 jacket. the material is a soft, light nylon and I wondered how it could be water resistant so I put it under the shower for a few mins. the water just beaded and ran off. I rode in it a couple of weeks ago it was in the 50s and raining and I have to report that it has the best balance between breathability and water resistance that I've ever found. It won't see you through a winter, but for spring summer and early fall combined with a nice merino wool shirt it seems like the perfect lighweight rain gear.
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Old 03-27-09, 03:36 AM
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Pics? Links?
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Old 03-27-09, 09:04 AM
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Is it DWR, or is it an encapsulated fabric? The pictures make it look like a bicomponent knit, but it comes 'semi-transparent...'
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Old 03-27-09, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by zeppinger
Pics? Links?

Here are some links and pics

https://www.rapha.cc/index.php?page=623

https://www.velodramatic.com/archives/2689

I went out last night and it rained quite heavily. I rode for an hour and when I got home and took the
jacket off the only wet patches on my shirt were from sweat under my arms. I've tried a few jackets and they either leak or behave like mini saunas. The Stowaway is a nice soft brushed nylon so it doesn't cling
to your skin when the outside gets wet like some of those other lightweight shinny jackets do. It's softness against the skin makes it a pleasure to wear, lots of rain jackets are a bit stiff and hard. It only has one small front pocket, no insulation and no vents, so it's not like many jackets that have mesh, vents and lots of zippers. My XXL packs down very small and is very light.

So the only thing it really does is keeps you dry (it does look sharp too). It's better cut and better performing than my O2 jacket which I also chose because the material was soft against the skin. I think I've now have an excellent upper body layering system: merino wool jersey, marmot driclime windshirt and the Rapha Stowaway. With these 3 items of clothing I think I'm good for all combos of weather from high summer down into the 30s.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
Is it DWR, or is it an encapsulated fabric? The pictures make it look like a bicomponent knit, but it comes 'semi-transparent...'
The fabric is a very thin stretch polyamide and as it's described as water repellent I imagine it has a DWR coating, it certainly beads well. I think Rapha are being a bit conservative in describing it as water repellent as so far it's kept me very dry. Maybe after a few hours it would start to leak, but that can be said of most jackets, and if they don't leak you're riding in a pool of sweat.
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Old 03-27-09, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nun
He meant the girlfriend not the jacket!


Seriously and no offense but why black? The last color I would want to be wearing in bad weather (or any kind of weather for that matter) is black. Black might be cool but not very visible.
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Old 03-27-09, 11:07 AM
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I have lots of reflective patches and lights on the bike, and the reflective tape on the shoulders and back of the jacket lights up well, but I see your point, I'm just not that into dayglo. The jacket comes in a nice bright orange if that's what you'd rather have.
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Old 03-29-09, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
Is it DWR, or is it an encapsulated fabric? The pictures make it look like a bicomponent knit, but it comes 'semi-transparent...'
The fabric definitely has DWR as I did a quick experiment. During yesterday's ride I consciously wiped sweat form my brow with the Stowaway's sleeve. When I got home I tested the water repellent-ness of the salty patch. The fabric wetted out. A quick cleaning of the patch and application of heat from a space heater restored the beading of water on the patch, so it must be DWR.
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