Bikepackers will be spending long, long days in the saddle, and with this they will inevitably encounter a wide range of weather conditions. There may be precipitation. In fact, there almost certainly will be: let’s face it, you’re cycling up that mountain pass in the Highlands or the Alps for the scenery not the balmy weather.

With this in mind, cycling brand Rapha have in one fell swoop, turned out what will swiftly become one of the most versatile garments in your wardrobe with the Brevet Vest. So much so, it’s almost become a modern classic. And while Rapha’s focus is on road cycling, this is the perfect winter gear for bike packing or, well, anything really.

While Rapha’s focus is on road cycling, this is the perfect winter gear for bike packing or, well, anything really."

The key to its versatility is down to Polartec’s Alpha insulation inside. It was originally developed for the US Special Forces who were looking for an insulation that was warming even when wet, but also remained very breathable for high activity sports. Basically, they were looking for something you could keep on all day, rain or shine. Alpha has since been used in many outdoor garments, but it’s those designed for activities such as cycling and winter running, where it excels.

Graeme Raeburn, lead designer of product innovation at Rapha, said: “If you’re riding in the desert, it’s obviously going to be hot. But the temperature can drop a huge amount during the night, and the same goes for changes in altitude. The growing trend in bike packing and adventure riding requires durable, versatile products that can be ridden hard but also keep you warm when the riding day ends."

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The Brevet gilet provides a warmth for the core, but the Alpha means you won’t be overheating on those windy ascents either. There is a DWR treatment to the outer material so that rain should bead off in quick showers and the Alpha insulation retains most of its insulating properties when it’s wet. It’s also very quick to dry.

There are mesh side panels that stretch to fit over full pockets and the whole thing folds up very small into an elasticated loop at the neck. Reflective detailing makes it more visible on the roads.

The Rapha Brevet Vest is a very versatile piece of kit and one that will quickly find it’s way into your panniers - or onto your back - on every winter ride.

Rapha Brevet Insulated Gilet Stats:

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Shot on location in Chamonix