I previously reviewed the Assos rs.sturmPrinze and found it to be a surprisingly warm, robust, jacket. It actually excelled in weather much worse than what its lightweight profile would lead you to believe. Then, on the other end, I reviewed the 50 gram Sportful Hotpack which is truly featherweight but isn’t nearly as warm. So what if you need something to slot in between the two? Let me introduce to you the Équipe RS from Assos.
The Équipe RS is firmly in the middle between the 50 gram Hotpack and the 300 gram sturmPrinze at a weight of 170 grams. It also slides in between the two in terms of pricing, as it runs $329, although it is certainly closer to the price of the sturmPrinze than that of the offering from Sportful. In fact, much of the jacket feels an awful lot like a slightly downsized sturmPrinze, but that’s a very good thing.
The sturmPrinze is so much warmer than you’d expect that it actually takes a bit of mental adjustment before you can really be happy with it. There are a lot of times when it’s actually too warm, and that’s where the Équipe RS really shines. Assos has made small adjustments to the basics of what is on offer in the sturmPrinze then slimmed down the material and adjusted the price a bit. Overall, the two are not drastically different, but the newer Équipe RS offering might be more appropriate than the other depending on your particular use.
Both the Équipe RS and the sturmPrinze have the same slot pocket design which allows you to reach the pocket in your jersey, as well as vent heat and vapour. The sturmPrinze, however, offers an additional pocket in the centre of the back while the Équipe RS does not offer a pocket of its own.
I do like the pocket as a place to keep my phone protected from the elements, but also protected from the sweat I generate in a jersey pocket. This is an omission that makes sense on the Équipe RS, though. Pockets are heavy and bulky, and for most people, it’s not going to be sorely missed. The Équipe RS also uses the now vacated centre space to place a large strip of Reflex reflective material. I think far more people will appreciate the increased visibility in exchange for the extra pocket.
The other big difference between the Équipe RS and the sturmPrinze is in the cut. The Équipe RS uses the more relaxed regularFit vs the raceFit found in the sturmPrinze. Despite this more relaxed fit, the Équipe RS is carefully designed so as to avoid any flapping in the wind, such as I found with the Hotpack, and although I generally prefer the raceFit profile, the extra space of regularFit is nice in a jacket designed to fit over a jersey.
In day-to-day use, those are kind of the headline changes, but there’s actually a host of both similarities and differences between the two related jackets. Like the sturmPrinze, the Équipe RS also has the silicon elastic waistband to hold the jacket in place and taped wrists and neck to minimise friction. The Équipe RS does use a newly developed fabric, compared to the sturmPrinze, called Schloss Tex. As always, from Assos, this is a purpose-created textile, and they claim it is their most lightweight and waterproof soft-shell material. Schloss Tex has a 3-layer construction and relies on a hydrophilic membrane.
In use, the Équipe RS feels a bit roomier, a bit lighter, and a bit less warm than the sturmPrinze, but overall very similar, and that’s exactly what it’s meant to be. When the temperature starts to drop enough that you are unlikely to take your jacket off, the sturmPrinze is still a better option. For the rest of the time, the Équipe RS should work perfectly as a jacket that’s warm enough on it’s own, but still light enough to stuff in a pocket on the way up or perhaps when the sun comes out. I can’t say for every person which will be the right choice, and for some both will still make sense, but don’t fear stratification, choice is good.