Rain and wind are very rarely high on a cyclists list of “favourite conditions to ride in”, but there will always come a day when the heavens open and you find yourself pedalling through it. The best thing you can do is kit up and ride through the storm – so here’s our run down of 3 of the best waterproof jackets:
The ‘put it over your clothes commuter jacket':
The dhb commuter is specifically designed, as the name suggests, for riding from A to B. Should rain be on the forecast, reviews suggest it will shine.
The jacket has received an average rating of 4.2/5 from Wiggle’s 68 customer reviews, so it’s had good feedback with 4/5 or more on quality, value, performance, appearance and fit.
The own brand design from Wiggle puts a focus on visibility and protection from the elements, with large reflective panels on the sleeves, torso and rear to help ensure you’re seen on the road.
The fit gives a little more room than more race orientated clothing, meaning it’s a comfortable option to wear over a mid layer if you’re making a short journey and popping it over your normal clothing, but not designed for anyone with aerodynamics high on their priority list.
An elasticated hem, silicone gripper and adjustable cuffs will keep rain water from sullying your civvies, as you can adjust the jacket to fit you, whilst ventilation panels mean you shouldn’t be sweltering either.
This one is medium weight, so not designed for the depths of winter unless teamed with a toasty warming mid layer, and it’s not a packable version so you won’t be able to pop it into a jersey pocket.
The ‘packable waterproof layer’
This layer is great for popping into a jersey pocket or stuffing into a tiny space still available in your backpack or pannier.
If there is a chance of rain, but you don’t want to wear an extra bulky jacket on the ‘off chance’, this is a transportable barrier that will protect you from the worst if it does pour.
The back of the jacket is long to protect you from road spray, and this one comes in black, white and yellow.
One road cycling customer reviewer from Somerset said: “Packs down to fit in back pocket. Have used for several sportives. It has no wicking properties but has vents so you don’t get too hot but still stay dry. Perfect for changeable weather conditions when you don’t want to wear a heavier breathable jacket.”
This is a jacket that gives you options, and will fit into your luggage conveniently, but it isn’t designed to keep you bone dry or warm.
The big spend
This jacket is more of an investment than a ‘quick buy’ because you got wet on the way to work. However, Gore Bike Wear are renowned for making excellent all weather kit, and introduced Gore-Tex and Windstopper materials that have since been adopted by many other brands, so they know what they’re doing.
The Active Jacket is a tighter fit than more commuter focused jackets, so it will go over a base layer and won’t flap in the wind. A slim fit will keep the cold air from circulating around your body and feel snug on blustery days. Breathability is important, as is wicking, and Gore have catered for riders who are expecting to get hot and bothered with components designed for optimised sweat management.
Reflective sleeves and rear pocket decals mean that visibility is considered, and the blue, red and black versions of this garment have yellow markings and a yellow zip.
A clever ‘Loksak’ waterproof plastic pocket is included, and deisgned to hold a mobile phone or other device which you want to keep dry, meaning you can be safe in the knowledge your phone is safe and dry, as well as nearby.
Do you have a favourite waterproof that has served you well over the years? We’d love to hear about your waterproof joys and woes. If you are struggling with the rain, we talked about some of the best wet weather kit here and posted some handy wet weather riding tips here.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.