Assos Équipe RS Rain Jacket
A review of the ultralight, highly packable, and seriously protective Assos Équipe RS rain jacket.
People complaining about stratification in bike frames is a common topic in the cycling word. Do we really need a gravel frame, a road endurance frame, a road race frame, and so on. For now, I’m not going to touch that topic. What I will say is that if you feel a bit confused by all the classification in frames, don’t think too hard about what’s on offer in the clothing department!
The Équipe RS rain jacket sits between the Assos SturmPrinz and the Sportful Hot Pack.
I previously reviewed the Assos rs.sturmPrinze. It is a surprisingly warm, robust, jacket that excelled in weather much worse than what its lightweight profile would lead you to believe. I’ve also reviewed the 50 gram Sportful Hot Pack. It is truly featherweight but isn’t nearly as warm. So what if you need something to slot in between the two? Let me introduce you to the Équipe RS rain jacket 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. At $349 it also slides in between the two in terms of pricing. Much of the jacket feels an awful lot like a slightly downsized sturmPrinze. 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.
The Équipe RS is a good choice if you might need to pack it in a jersey pocket.
Assos has made small adjustments to the basics of what is on offer in the sturmPrinze. The two are not drastically different. The Équipe RS is almost as warm but is more packable. Which one is more appropriate will be different depending on your particular use.
Both the Équipe RS and the sturmPrinze have the same slot pocket design. You can reach through to the pocket in your jersey and the openings vent heat and vapor. Unlike the sturmPrinze, the Équipe RS does not offer a pocket of its own. This is an omission that makes sense on the Équipe RS, though. Leaving pockets out allows it to be lighter and more packable.
The Équipe RS also uses the now vacated center 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. This fit was chosen to provide extra room for layering and there is no flapping in the wind.
As is typical of Assos the Équipe RS is built from a unique textile. The fabric is called Schloss Tex 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. At the waist the Équipe RS has a silicon elastic waistband.
In use, the Équipe RS feels a bit roomier, a bit lighter, and a bit less warm than the sturmPrinze. The design is very similar but each has their own specific use. 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.
EDIT: This article is an update to the original I published May 15, 2018. Recently I had the opportunity to be a part of a video about a night time ride on single track. After more than a year the Équipe RS is still one of my most used pieces of gear and I wore it on this ride. I wanted to share the article again but I also felt like it could use a bit of updating.