Specialized RBX Elite Waterproof Jacket Review

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After a very rainy weekend in the UK, we were more than happy that we’d been sent out with a handful of rain jackets to test.  The full title of this jacket is the Specialized Rbx Elite High Vis Waterproof Rain Jacket. Not long before these and the rest of the waterproof top layers will be finally put to the bottom of the kit drawer for winter.
With an RRP of £84.99, the Specialized RBX Elite  isn’t on the cheap side of the range. Although currently retailing at £38.99 they’re much more on the affordable side. Do to the slimline nature, on the surface this product looks aimed at roadies and commuters although we though that it would hold its own on the MTB scene.

Specialized’s introduction to the jacket is “a comfortable construction with semi form fit to keep you comfortable yet allow for free movement while cycling. The Platino 70 fabric has a waterproof membrane and hot welded seams, to keep you insulated while the rain rolls off!”

 

Aesthetic:

Available in three colours, we quite like the plain aesthetic of the Specialized RBX Elite. Black carbon, orange & yellow are the three available colours. It’s very clear from a glance at this jacket that’s its come straight out of the development cave of the Californian marketing machine. With the name clear at the bottom of the back of the jacket and the logo hidden on the sleeve it’s not thrown in your face like some companies like to do.

Specialized could have done more with the  trim of the jacket to follow the scheme available in the Comp Deflect. This is the lightweight, transportable version of the jacket. This would give the jacket that extra edge on the plain aesthetic. Although simple and sleek works well for most specialized items, we feel that a little extra thought could have made all the difference here.

Less comfortable than the fit of the Comp Deflect jacket is relaxed and can be associated with any form of riding. Available in 5 sizes, you can pick the one to suit. Less common amongst the commuter due to it’s lack of thermal properties and reduced visibility, this top can easily suit any roadie, triathlete or mountain biker.

Specialized are claiming that the Specialized RBX Elite has ‘high visibility material and reflective accents keep your visibility high in low light conditions’. We were eager to try that claim. With safety and visibility being high on the priority list for most commuters and night riders. We weren’t entirely sure this jacket was up to the job.

The orange and yellow options are certainly far more visible and catch the eye much better. Although with high visibility in the name, it’s certainly not top of our list for safety.

Performance:

Straight from box this packet looks the part. Professional, slick and part of the brand. Specialized have thought it through from start to finish. The Specialized RBX Elite has long sleeves and chin protection will look good in conjunction with any other garments you choose to wear. Despite being more rainproof we slightly preferred the comp version for ease of use and transport.

As far as wind and water proofing go, the Comp Deflect Wind Jacket does as much as keeping it out. It doesn’t offer much thermal protection, but if the weather is on the edge, and you’re not sure which way it will tip. You can be safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to drag this top around with you. It’s lightweight meaning that it’s best used a top layer, and does contain some heat, although we thought that it was generally just stopping moisture leaving the jacket.

Ideal for spring, autumn or summer. This jacket is perfect for the cooler climates when the showers are kept brief and it’s not too clammy. It’ll definitely keep some water out and it’s easy to lift up to access your jersey pockets underneath. The lapel pocket also offers a perfect place to put your valuables for the ride.

 

Verdict:

Not up to the usual standard that we’d expect from the Californian giants. We preferred the compact version of the jacket. That being said, the Specialized RBX Elite keeps the water out whilst being lightweight and smart. We thought the visibility was slightly reduced with minimal reflective strips although it keeps up with a lot of the competitors in this area. For a waterproof winter top layer, it’d still be on our list of considerations.

  • 83%
    Value - 83%
  • 85%
    Aesthetic - 85%
  • 82%
    Performance - 82%
83%