Rapha Trail Lightweight T-Shirt Reviews – Shirts – Clothing
Rapha’s latest introduction to Performance Trailwear features this lightweight t-shirt, designed to be worn on the hottest days in the saddle.
Rapha also offers a women’s version of this jersey, as well as its Trail Fast & Light pants and shorts, which are also available in men’s and women’s versions.
Yes, £60 is a lot of money for a short sleeve top, so is Rapha’s new Trail Lightweight t-shirt worth it?
Rapha Trail Lightweight T-Shirt Construction Details
Rapha offers the Trail Lightweight T-Shirt in six impressive sizes (XS-XXL). The fit is loose, but still snug enough on the torso that it doesn’t feel like it’s going to flutter in the breeze as you ride.
The sleeves end just above the elbow, while the body length is sufficient so that, even while sitting on the bike, the lower back is well covered.
Rapha crafted this lightweight jersey from 90gsm polyester fabric, 68% of which is recycled material.
The front, shoulder and sleeve panels use a honeycomb knit, which Rapha says helps increase airflow (it’s partially away from the skin). It will also wick away sweat effectively and efficiently when you are working hard.
The underarms and back panel are made from a super-soft, completely smooth fabric that’s just as lightweight but doesn’t get the same honeycomb knit treatment.
An antibacterial treatment should help keep stale sweat odors away until you wash the jersey.
All panels are connected by flat points, except for the very discreet neck, although this has no impact on comfort while riding.
Although the price is quite steep, Rapha does include a patch kit to repair minor rips and tears, which should increase longevity.
Rapha Trail Lightweight T-Shirt Performance
The Rapha Trail Lightweight T-Shirt is incredibly comfortable and extremely soft against the skin.
There’s enough slack in the neck that it never feels restrictive, but not so much that you’ll gape while riding.
The sizing is accurate and my petite size is almost perfectly snug, with a good length across the torso, but snug enough that it isn’t too baggy and choppy on the trail.
It’s also a plus when wearing a backpack, because the absence of excess material prevents it from bunching up under the bag or the straps.
When you’re working hard, the Trail Lightweight t-shirt does a decent job of wicking sweat away from the skin, but more importantly, it dries quickly after getting soaked.
Even after long days of sweating in the saddle, he never developed that nasty smell that some synthetic fabrics can.
Due to the thinness of the fabric, I most often found that this jersey needed to be paired with a cycling base layer as it really is quite airy otherwise.
On hot days that’s not a problem, but for much of the British summer wearing it without something underneath is not an option. This limits the appeal slightly, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Rapha Trail Lightweight T-Shirt and how it compares
The closest competitors to the Trail Lightweight t-shirt I’ve worn are the Troy Lee Designs Skyline Short Sleeve Jersey (a Skyline Air version is also available) and the Giro Roust. Both are relatively light, comfortable and cut in a very similar shape. The Trail Lightweight t-shirt, however, is made from a thinner, lighter fabric, making it ideal for scorching days.
That said, if you live in a climate similar to the one I experience in the UK, thinner jerseys like this often need to be paired with a base layer, otherwise they’re just a bit too windy.
In terms of pricing, Rapha’s offering is competitive with its competitors and is a bit cheaper than the Skyline TLD.
Rapha Trail Lightweight T-Shirt Bottom Line
Rapha has done a great job with the Trail Lightweight t-shirt. The shape and fit are perfect, while the lightweight fabric is incredibly soft against the skin.
It’s light and airy, making it ideal for warm summer rides, although you’ll want to pair it with a base layer until early summer so you don’t get too cold.
Although pricey, this price compares favorably to the best mountain bike jerseys and it’s a plus that it comes with a repair kit to help increase longevity.
I’m also a big fan of the subtle yet distinctive Rapha style and color.