Windproof cycling jackets

You look on the BBC weather website and it says wind and light rain for the next day. You watch the ITV weather report and they’re suggesting clear skies. Who to trust? Windproof cycling jackets are for moments like this. When the weather isn’t quite cold enough for a full cycling jacket but you’re not quite sure if the weather will turn nasty.

They feature good portability by being able to fit into a large pocket and highly breathable materials. Unlike the typical £10 jacket you’ll pickup in most outdoor shops these jackets are designed to cover your derriere region as you lean forward on your bike and they’re also a lot less sweat inducing. Finally you won’t have to put up with that horrible flapping noise as the wind speeds pickup.

DHB Wisp

Those with bigger wallets will probably scoff at the low price tag of the DHB Wisp but they’ll be missing a bargain. This windproof cycling jacket offers great performance and packs down to a great portable size. The breathability is excellent and it also offers good water resistance for rainy conditions.

The DHB Wisp Windproof Cycling jacket costs £27.99 and is available only from Wiggle.

DBH wisp windproof cycling jacket

Gore Xenon AS Jacket

Featuring excellent wind resistance and rain protection this Gore Xenon windproof cycling jacket is a great, if expensive, choice. The downside is it doesn’t pack down quite as small as some of the other jackets. It also comes in a women’s edition.

It costs £129.99 from Wiggle.


Is a windproof cycling jacket a worthy purchase?

It’s definitely worth considering though I would find it hard to justify any price tag higher than that offered by the DHB. If you’ve already got yourself a light waterproof jacket that you can stuff in your bag or a waterproof cycling jacket then you may as well stick with them.

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11 Responses to Windproof cycling jackets

  1. Steff Davies 25/10/2010 at 10:25 am #

    I’m very fond of my Montane Featherlight windproof layer – it’s a simple pull-on, but packs down small enough that it can live permanently in a saddlebag and does the job of cutting out the wind nicely.

  2. Damien Breen 25/10/2010 at 10:41 am #

    The main difference between a windproof and waterproof jacket, is that the former is generally a lot more breathable. I’d say on a day to day basis a windproof jacket is a far more versatile purchase – they’re usually nicer to ride in (not so sweaty) and will also offer bit of protection from light rain showers.

    My tip is that layering is definitely the way to go – my blog has some suggestions on this season’s ‘hottest’ new looks!

  3. Chris aka Karmacycle 26/10/2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Must confess that I normally move straight from light vest to waterproof when it starts getting towards winter. I’ll admit there’s a danger of over-heating, but if you layer things properly you can normally get it about right. I’ve just started wearing a very light Endura waterproof jacket which seems about perfect for the current London weather. Think I’d rather err on the side of being dry than caught in a monsoon and freeze to death. If you’ll pardon a little exagerration. BTW – Damian, I like your blog too – it’s amazing how many great cycling blogs there are out there, and great that the London Cyclist often acts as a kind of hub for us all.

    • Filippo Negroni 27/10/2010 at 1:43 pm #

      I am under the impression that all garments get wet, eventually, and I choose them so that they keep me warm even when wet (to some extent).

      To that effect, I hardly ever use waterproof gear, opting instead for layers of windproof material.

      But waterproof gear does have a place when riding: for example, if I wear jeans, I put fully waterproof over-trousers on.

      But I hardly ever bother when commuting. This morning, after about 30 minutes the rain stopped and I got to work dry, 20 minutes later. I didn’t wear any waterproof but the windproof gear I wear is slightly water repellent so didn’t get soaked either.

      • Dave Escandell 27/10/2010 at 2:52 pm #

        I’m sort of in Fillipo’s camp here.

        While I do own a waterproof, I rarely use it because despite living in the UK and commuting daily, it is still relatively rare that it’s actually raining at the same time as my commute. When it does rain it is often light enough for a windproof to deal with.

        If it’s chucking it down, then I get wet and towl down at the end of my journey.

        Maybe I’m just lucky.

      • Phil 01/11/2010 at 9:08 am #

        I’m with Filippo here- I’ve had Goretex, variously proofed jackets of all descriptions, and I always ended up getting wet because either seams failed or the allegedly breathable layer didn’t breathe enough *grin* For the last eight years I have been wearing a Buffalo Special 6 jacket, which is windproof and keeps me warm even when soaked through. Not initially cheap, but has paid for itself many times over in terms of warmth and comfort.

  4. OfficeHoward 29/10/2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Got a Gore – light, takes up little space in my bag, quite breathable.

    Happy customer.

    (ps. its not bright yellow like so much of the commuter-wear out there!)

    (my local Evans store seems to mainly stock mostly black – seems a bit odd for cycling – or, cyclist-uniform-colour: bright yellow)

  5. Steve 01/11/2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Hi all,
    I always carry a waterproof jacket and shorts, both Endura. I have had the jacket 5 years and it has never let me down, even on the wettest days. The shorts (I find) are a must too. There is nothing worse than a wet backside.
    The downside with both is that I cannot wear either without overheating. So the comments above about breathable windproof jackets are very welcome.

  6. Gary DelNero 22/11/2010 at 2:07 am #

    I’ve been very happy with my 1983 Northface/Goretex jacket w/ hood. I wear it in temps from the low 50’s to the teens, adding layers as needed. Windproof fabric is essential for cycling- you might be damp from rain or sweat, but as long as you keep the cold air away from skin, you’ll be fine.

  7. pass plus 31/03/2012 at 2:35 am #

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  8. Martin Hayes 22/05/2012 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m also a big fan of the Montane Featherlite Smock – packs to the size of an orange and I read somewhere it is the worlds lightest jacket and something like 67 grammes. I use all year round with Merino Wool top and T-Shirt underneath for winter and just T-Shirt in the Spring/Summer/ Autumn – I just get too hot in anything else. Very rarely I’ll break out a full on waterproof if it’s absolutely lashing down – and that is a Aldi cheapy Dayglo Jacket.

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