I’ve just spotted a significant downgrade in the spec of the Rapha down jacket - 750fp from 850, heavier, no more detachable hood, looks like pack size is bigger, etc. and no price decrease either.
New: Men's Explore Hooded Lightweight Down Jacket | Rapha
Old: Men's Explore Down Cycling Jacket - Insulated Jacket | Rapha
Original 2019 product launch page: Explore Down Jacket | Rapha
Got me thinking about mine, which I got off of SportPursuit for £130 (I guess bright orange wasn’t very popular). I bought it not because I thought it was ‘best’ but because 130 was so much cheaper than any of the ultralight mountaineering options.
But I think it might actually be ‘best’ by a significant margin now I compare to the mountaineering jackets: Mens Lightweight Down Jackets | UK | Ultralight Outdoor Gear
Montbell Ex-Light is the only hooded option on that list that comes in under the weight of the (outgoing) Rapha jacket and it’s more expensive. Montbell Plasma 1000 is only a few grams heavier, probably significantly warmer, and might even pack down smaller due to 1000fp, but it’s £400.
Rab Mythic Alpine Light is 37g heavier than OG Rapha, and I’ve always heard that Rab Mythic products are meant to be the pinnacle of ultralight down tech.
I wouldn’t have expected Rapha to be a tech leader in down garments so I imagine they probably achieved those stats by using a much lower total fill weight than the mountaineers’ options, but I can’t actually find a fill weight quoted anywhere. I wonder if anyone knows the figure or can make a direct comparison to another summer-weight down jacket? It’s very very much a summer weight piece of kit, but that’s also exactly what I need it for - warm layer for summer evenings and nights with minimal size for bikepacking.
So I guess this is a bit of a fan letter and maybe a PSA to say if this kind of jacket appeals to you then go find one of the old ones ASAP if there’s still stock where you are or be prepared to jump at secondhand listings when they come up! I’m certainly going to be even more careful with mine now…
Does anyone know of anything else out there that can compete? Was the Rapha Down Jacket V1 a totally unique and underappreciated bit of kit? Did we just lose a total gem?