Rapha Women’s Trail Windblock Jersey review – an MTB-specific cool-weather top

A well-made casual-looking jersey that lives up to Rapha’s reputation for quality

Rapha Women’s Trail Windblock Jersey
(Image: © Jon Slade)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Another well-thought-out piece of functional riding wear from Rapha: comfortable and high quality but it’s expensive and greater breathability would be welcome on cold, sweaty rides.


  • +

    Beautifully made with quality fabrics

  • +

    Luxurious feel against skin

  • +

    Very lightweight yet warm

  • +

    Well cut for freedom of movement

  • +



  • -

    It’s pricey

  • -

    Improved wicking ability would make it even better

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We\'ll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

In a crowded long-sleeve jersey market, Rapha’s Trail Windblock jersey does stand out – as you’d hope considering its price tag – being versatile enough to wear in a range of temperatures, which is just as well as weather conditions can vary wildly even over the course of a ride. 

Our testing explained

For information on Bike Perfect's testing procedures and how our scoring system works, see our how we test page.

This versatility is thanks to its combination of fine merino wool for breathability overlayered with windproof Nylon at the front. It pairs well with Rapha’s Trail Pants, both the Lightweight version (as in the photos) and the thicker standard pants, and the signature band on the left arm is a nod to Rapha’s heritage and adds a touch of style.

This top also comes with repair patches (for the sleeves only) and other damage qualifies for Rapha’s free repair service. There’s a men’s version too, identical bar the color options.

Rapha Women’s Trail Windblock Jersey

The soft merino back isn’t overly long but is perfectly adequate worn with bike-specific shorts or pants (Image credit: Jon Slade)

Design and material

Rapha has constructed its Trail Windblock jersey from a mix of merino and Nylon. The main body is actually a wool blend (52 percent merino, 48 percent Nylon) that gives a super-thin and lightweight 145gsm fabric, with the Nylon adding durability. The pink/red (in this jersey) front panel has a second, separate, layer sewn onto it, made of a fine, windproof ripstop nylon. Meanwhile, the sleeves are mostly nylon with polyester and elastane for a bit of stretch; Rapha says the fabric is hardwearing  and tear-resistant. Underarm is a diamond-shaped wool blend gusset, for ventilation and freedom of movement.

Design is minimal and clean. A high neck keeps drafts out while the sleeves are cut ergonomically so they’re the right shape for cycling; they’re also a good length and finished with a snug wool blend cuff. Another thoughtful detail is that there are no seams at the shoulder that might rub under pack straps. Body length is middling, and my sample has a very subtle dropped rear hem (although the photos on Rapha’s website show a more obvious drop hem).

Rapha Women’s Trail Windblock Jersey

Soft merino cuffs add a snug feel  (Image credit: Jon Slade)


First impressions on pulling this top on are the soft, luxurious feel of the fabric and its feathery weight; second is that the sleeves are actually long enough for me (something I often struggle with in riding tops). In contrast, the body length isn’t overly generous, something to watch if you have a long torso, but for me it was ample paired with Rapha’s Women's Trail Lightweight Pants, even stretched out on the bike. And it just feels ‘right’, especially with neat details like articulated sleeves, for total comfort on the bike.

Rapha Women’s Trail Windblock Jersey

Fit is on the relaxed side, so there’s plenty of room for a wicking undershirt underneath (Image credit: Jon Slade)

Overall fit is relaxed, not bodyhugging like some baselayers, which limits its wicking ability but is fine on milder days and does allow you to wear a wicking undershirt beneath when it’s colder. I found my back did get sweaty beneath my pack – as it does, no matter what I’m wearing – but the beauty of wool is that it stays warm when wet, and the fabric is reasonably fast-drying thanks to its synthetic content.

The front panel does a good job keeping the cold air out, saving me having to don my windproof vest on descents and open terrain, without feeling too hot. The long sleeves aren’t windproof but add a surprising amount of warmth. If I were being picky, I’d say it’d be nice to have the option to pull the sleeves up when the temperature warms up, but the narrow forearms prevent this. Also, you might snag the merino cuffs if your gloves have Velcro wrist tabs. However, the sleeves and front fabric shrugged off spiky undergrowth pretty well, backing up Rapha’s ‘tear-resistant’ claims.

Rapha Women’s Trail Windblock Jersey

The sleeves are shaped to suit the riding position (Image credit: Jon Slade)


There’s no denying it’s a sizable investment for a cycling top , but if you can afford it then Rapha’s Trail Windblock jersey is a great addition to your cycling wardrobe, perfect for cool fall and spring days but maybe not the best for mid-winter if you tend to get very sweaty. The navy/pink option (pictured here) is currently half price on Rapha’s website. Rapha also offers a 10 percent discount off your first order. 

Tech specs: Rapha Women’s Trail Windblock Jersey 

  • Price: $135 / £100
  • Weight: 147g (size Small tested)
  • Sizes: XXS -XL
  • Colors: Navy/pink, navy/grey, black/pistachio, black
Shim Slade
Freelance writer

Shim first discovered MTBs when she moved to Bath in the mid-nineties and has been making up for lost time ever since. She started working on Mountain Biking UK nearly 20 years ago and also counts What Mountain BikeCycling PlusOff-road.cc and Bikeradar among the bike-related magazines and websites she's written for. She loves exploring technical singletrack, has ridden England, Wales and Scotland C2Cs and gets out in the Quantocks and the Black Mountains as often as possible. Other regular riding destinations are the Lake and the Peak Districts, and an MTB holiday in India is her most memorable, partly for its uber-steep tech. The odd trip to the Forest of Dean and Bike Park Wales inspires her to get wheels off the ground, but that’s a work in progress, helped by coaching with Rach at Pro Ride and formerly Pedal Progression