Review: Rapha Trail Fast + Light collection is ready for summer

The snow is starting to melt in Canada but Rapha is already ready for the summer heat. It’s rolling out its feather-light Trail Fast + Light collection of pants, shorts and tops for 2022 already.

“An all-new collection of lightweight, streamlined mountain bike apparel from Rapha Performance Trailwear is crafted for riders seeking to go faster, farther, and cooler as they savor the haze of summer dust. Built for hot laps, all-day singletrack sessions, and everything in between, the Fast + Light collection will enhance your riding season as the mercury rises”

We’ve put some time into the Fast + Light pants and Lightweight T-Shirt to see how they compare to Rapha’s previous Trail offerings.

Again, all the new apparel comes with repair kits included and are covered under Rapha’s free repair service for more significant damage. Which is a solid selling point for mountain bike gear that lives in the woods.

Rapha Trail Fast + Light shorts and pants and Trail liner

Rapha takes its very solid Trail shorts and pants and re-tools them for summer. Both use a lightweight four-way stretch and abrasion-resistant nylon. It’s breathable, stretchy and durable. It’s also coated with a Durable water-repellent (DWR) finish to stay dry (and dry faster) in unexpected light spring rains. Both men’s garments use a webbing system to adjust fit in the wide waistband. The women’s version use a low-profile stretch waistband.

The Trail Fast + Light shorts and pants feature a left thigh zip pocket with an internal phone sleeve. The men’s versions also add a zippered right rear pocket, offset slightly to not interfere with the seat.

Rapha’s Trail liner is a very light option for under your shorts or pants. It uses recycled materials, built around Rapha’s long-standing performance chamois pad for comfort. Two materials, a solid fabric for front and rear panels and a near see-through material for side panels, are breathable and help expel heat.

Rapha Trail Lightweight jerseys

Similar to the shorts, the Lightweight jerseys take the existing cuts and make them lighter. The Trail Lightweight T-Shirt and Women’s Tank use 68 per cent recycled polyester for function with a lower environmental impact. Both use a combination of two featherweight fabrics with sweat-wicking and antibacterial properties to keep you cool and dry on hot trail days. A UV protective fabric is also supposed to help keep you safe from the sun.

Review: Rapha Trail Fast + Light collection

Rapha’s proven it can make exceptionally comfortable mountain bike apparel with its first collections. With the Fast + Light apparel, it turns up the heat. We tested the men’s Fast + Light pants and Lightweight T-Shirt.

The Fast + Light pants actually deliver on Rapha’s promise of an all-day pedalling pant. They’re light enough they basically disappear on the bike, while still keeping me dry when I was caught in a 20-minute bout of light rain. They fit comfortably around knee pads without tugging or pulling. A half-elastomer ankle cuff keeps the pants tight and away from the chain but also makes them easy to put on and take off. Keeping the repair kit and free service for the light pants also makes the $205 price more appealing, though the material does seem tough.

Both pockets are well positioned to be out of the way and not interfere with pedalling. The left thigh pocket is far enough to the side of the leg that it almost keeps your phone out of the way of impact if you do hit your leg on a tree. Rapha uses a lighter-weight zipper and dual Duraflex snap closure for the Fast + Light pants than it’s regular Trail shorts. Presumably because, as a warm weather garment, these aren’t expected to see as much wet-weather riding.

The Lightweight T-Shirt is exactly that: a featherweight jersey that is comfortable and soft but exceptionally light. I do wish the men’s came in more colours than the cool mint green, but functionally it works as advertised. The jersey is cut nicely long in the back so you aren’t left exposed when your seat is up and you’re on the pedals.

Canadian Pricing: Rapha Trail Fast + Light

Rapha’s spring collection is available now through Rapha and retailers.

Sizing on all items runs from XS to XXL, with detailed sizing charts available on Rapha’s website.

Trail Fast + Light Shorts (men’s and women’s): $170.00
Trail Fast + Light Pants (men’s and women’s) : $205.00
Women’s Trail Lightweight Tank: $95.00
Trail Lightweight T-Shirt: $110.00
Trail Liner: $170

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