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    Explore Part 4: Down Jacket

    Developed with the most adventurous riders over thousands of miles in the saddle, our first down jacket was designed to be incredibly warm, packable and lightweight.

    22 October 2018

    THE ULTIMATE AIDE FOR EXPLORATION

    INSULATED WARMTH

    FEATHERWEIGHT

    850-fill-power down with 90% down to 10% feather ratio for exceptional insulation from a jacket that weighs just 240 grams in size medium.

    WARM IN THE WET

    Durable water repellent treatment ensures insulation maintains loft and retains heat even in wet conditions.

    RESPONSIBLY SOURCED

    The down in every one of our jackets is fully traceable, ethically sourced and free of fluorocarbon. Track the exact origin of the fabric at trackmydown.com using the code 18180317979.


    “Having a jacket that is so compact and versatile is ideal for bikepacking. A dual purpose garment that works in cold riding conditions and eliminates the need for an extra off-bike jacket.”

    Marius Nilsen, ultra endurance racer and wear tester


    Fit

    ON BIKE, OFF BIKE

    A more relaxed fit than our other jackets for comfort on adventures in the saddle and beyond.

    ADJUSTABLE, ADAPTABLE

    Internal adjustable waist band and elasticated cuffs for a comfortable fit on and off bike.

    VENTILATED VERSATILITY

    Open the two-way zip and remove the hood for improved airflow when working hard.


    “The jacket offers really impressive warmth for weight. Considering the jacket packs down so small, it retains body heat extraordinarily well.”

    Anna McLeod, winner of the Veneto Trail and wear tester

     

    Technical Features

    WARMTH WITHOUT WEIGHT

    Durable yet super lightweight woven ripstop nylon outer fabric with stitched Brevet stripes to shave grams.

    PACK LIGHT

    The jacket packs down into a small stuff sack, taking up next to no space when not in use.

    HEAT TRAP

    An internal, cinchable waist, elasticated cuffs and a high collar lock body heat in to keep you warm in extreme cold conditions.

    Explore Down Jacket

    Dark Navy

    Buy now

    Dark Green

    Buy now

    Black

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    Explore Sleep System

    Inspired by ultra-endurance bike racing where the clock doesn’t stop for rest, the down jacket combines with our new sleeping bag to form the Rapha Sleep System. Extremely lightweight, highly insulating and packable into a just a third of a bar bag, the Sleep System creates a new way of travelling by bike, sleeping wherever you lay your mat.

    Explore Sleeping Bag

    Buy now

    Our Man in Oman

    Testing the sleep system in the desert.

    Back in February, Norwegian endurance rider and photographer Marius Nilsen used a prototype of the sleeping system on a 1,000km race through the desert. It was just one in a series of tests, from climate chambers to chilly overnighters, to ensure the best possible bedfellow for bikepackers.

    Marius Nilsen is keen to state that he is “not a racer”. He’d probably prefer the term ‘explorer’, spending almost every weekend seeking unridden roads in Norway’s empty expanses. He wants to ride them all.

    In February, Marius decided to escape the freeze of the northern winter for the melting heat of the desert by taking part in the BikingMan Oman, a 1,000km ultra endurance race. Flying from minus 15 degrees in Oslo to 30 degrees in Muscat was “quite a shock to the body”, he says.

    With a prototype of the new sleeping system packed in his bags – “the weight and compactness is impressive” –, Marius belied his natural instincts and turned racer, powering home in under 76 hours, including a 420km last stretch. “I wasn’t planning to race, I just ended up getting into the whole competition aspect of it.”

    Riding 1,000km in three days doesn’t allow for much rest time, but when Marius did stop, the system proved an efficient and useful flick of the switch from full gas to lights out. “I would get off the bike, immediately put the jacket on, and then get ready, without being in the sleeping bag,” he says.

    The bottom of the Rapha ‘bag’ is open, meaning you don’t even have to take your shoes off if you don’t want to: “You can put it on while standing, then if you forget something while lying down you can get up and wiggle your way to the bike as opposed to unzipping a standard sleeping bag and getting out into the cold.”

    “On day two I was in that moment between fatigue and overcoming it. I’d had four hours sleep the night before and even though it was 1pm, I was at the point where I just had to sleep. So I found this closed down coffee shop and slept in a small section of shade on the tiles in front of it. It was 25 degrees, but I still got out the sleeping system. Having some sort of cover felt nice.”

    This latest piece from the Explore range is the result of an extensive testing programme from Rapha’s product development team. Early prototypes were tried out in a climate chamber for thermal comfort at temperatures and humidity ratings that mimicked Northern Europe and Australia’s winter.

    Different constructions and down fill options were also tested, using thermal imaging to track changes in skin surface temperature, with the core body temperature of the tester also measured before and after exposure.

    The best performing combination was then used in the field – often quite literally – by Rapha’s network of wear testers across France, Italy, Sweden and the UK, in conditions that included driving rain in the cold as well as the heat and wind of the desert.

    For Marius, it made an ideal product for bikepacking, when packing light is paramount: “It makes the process of getting to sleep more fluid. It’s a super versatile piece.”

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