Cycling is a versatile form of transportation and recreation that can be enjoyed year-round. However, rain and wet weather present unique challenges that require proper gear to stay comfortable and safe.
This article will explore the best waterproof jackets for two key cycling purposes: recreation road cycling and urban commuting by e-bike.
With the growing popularity of both road cycling and electric bicycles for transportation, there is a need to identify high-quality waterproof jackets suitable for cycling in wet conditions.
E-bikes, in particular, have made commuting by bike accessible to many more people by reducing challenges like long distances and steep hills. As more individuals adopt biking as their regular means of transport, adequate rain gear becomes increasingly essential.
Whether cycling recreationally on the weekends or commuting by e-bike every day, wicking away rain and preventing internal water absorption are key to having an enjoyable ride.
Staying dry allows riders to focus entirely on the road without distractions from discomfort caused by wet clothing clinging to the skin. It also helps maintain safe bicycle control by keeping hands and fingers pliable even in downpours.
In this comprehensive review, we highlight the highest-rated waterproof cycling jackets that are well-suited for protecting recreational cyclists and e-bike commuters from wet weather. Both performance and functionality will be considered to recommend ideal choices for cycling safely and comfortably when it's raining.
Waterproof, breathable membranes are engineered to escape sweat and moisture generated by exertion while preventing outside rain or splash from penetrating in. They feature multiple microscopic layers that create channels for inside-out breathing.
An outer layer deflects water droplets, while an inner layer wicks moisture away from the skin. An intermediate matrix traps tiny air pockets to obstruct liquid water from passing through.
Proper taping and heat-sealing of seams is another crucial factor. This guarantees total protection against pinhole leaks. Top manufacturers use taped or fully welded seams for reinforcement.
Adjustable cuffs, hem drawcords, and hoods aid the design by sealing in vulnerable areas when the elements hit the hardest.
Ventilation zippers provide added breathability control on uphills or descents when heat builds. Mesh-lined backs improve airflow. Some models integrate reflective printing that boosts visibility in low-light conditions. Collectively, these features keep cyclists comfortable even as conditions vary dramatically from ride to ride.
Choosing a model constructed from high-performance waterproof materials and smart engineering touches optimized for cycling ensures your jacket forms a reliable barrier against wet weather, so you stay protected as you pedal through unpredictable conditions with ease.
Choosing A Waterproof Cycling Jacket
When cycling in wet weather, having the right waterproof cycling jacket is essential to stay comfortable and protected from rain. However, with many options on the market, it's important to understand key factors to find the best jacket for your needs:
The first consideration is the material. Look for a jacket made with a waterproof yet breathable fabric. Gore-Tex, eVent, and polyurethane (PU) coated nylons are among the most popular, highly technical options. Gore-Tex and eVent use porous membranes that allow sweat vapor to escape while keeping liquid water out. PU coatings seal fabrics but can limit breathability over time.
Breathability is especially important for cycling, as physical exertion causes more sweat production. A non-breathable jacket may leave the wearer feeling damp from trapped moisture internally. Choose a design with finely tuned ventilation, like under-arm zippers or mesh linings near the back and sides.
Fit is another major factor, as an ill-fitting jacket compromises coverage and comfort on the bike. The ideal cycling jacket has an anatomical fit that is form-fitting but not restrictive. Look for secure, adjustable elements like full-length front zips, waist, and hem cords. Some designs feature pre-curved panels and spans specifically for the bent-over cycling position.
Consider features that enhance usability, like water-resistant zippered pockets large enough for essentials. Vents allow heat release without sacrificing protection from wind and rain. Reflective detailing increases low-light visibility safety. Hoods protect the head and neck on rainy days. For commuting, route-friendly extras like ID viewing windows are convenient.
To perform as intended throughout wet rides, a cycling jacket needs a winning blend of waterproofness, breathability, and fit tailored precisely to the active needs of riding in moisture. Choose carefully based on intended use and conditions to stay protected, dry, and comfortable all season.
Top Picks for Road Cycling Jackets
Endura FS260-Pro Waterproof Cycling Jacket
The Endura FS260-Pro cycling jacket utilizes Weatherproof XP elite fabric, an innovative membrane material engineered to be completely waterproof while also highly breathable. Through advanced design, it regulates temperature precisely to prevent overheating during intense exertion in varied conditions.
The fabric is further reinforced with fully taped seams along all edges and curves to eliminate any possibility of water ingress. For secure storage and access on the move, it features three zippered pockets - two sizable rear pockets and one ample chest pocket.
Reflective graphic details on the rear and sides of the jacket increase the wearer's visibility in low-light environments like dawn, dusk, or tunnel rides to enhance safety. The ergonomic athletic cut allows unrestricted freedom of movement over long-distance rides.
Articulated elbows and shoulders are tailored for an optimal range of motion. The adjustable hem cord enables customization of coverage and locks out drafts and splashes when fully cinched.
Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Jacket
The Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Jacket is constructed from a premium two-layer Gore-Tex fabric, a world-leading membrane material engineered to be completely waterproof while allowing ambient moisture vapor to permeate out, preventing overheating.
Its advanced cybernetic matrix construction delivers optimally breathable weather protection for cycling in the most fickle conditions. All seams are ultrasonically welded to ensure zero water ingress through any seam or panel. It incorporates two zippered exterior pockets and two interior fleece-lined pockets for convenient storage and access.
Reflective logo prints on the rear and sides increase the wearer's nighttime visibility and safety on dimly lit roads. Its athletic cut is tailored for freedom of movement without compromising on performance.
Articulated shoulders and sleeves allow an enhanced dynamic range of motion. The hem features an elasticated binding to prevent draughts or splashes from ruining an enjoyable ride.
Rapha Core Cycling Jacket
The Rapha Core Cycling Jacket is crafted from a carefully engineered waterproof, windproof and highly breathable polyester fabric. An advanced membrane construction protects the rider from inclement weather without impeding significant heat and moisture escape.
This allows all-day comfort in the saddle. The trim fit is closely contoured while avoiding constrictive panels, enabling a full range of natural cycling motions. It features two thoughtfully designed zippered rear pockets and brushed fleece-lined inner pockets for storage and insulation from the chill.
Reflective logos on the rear and sides increase low-light visibility for safety in dusk and night rides. An understated silhouette looks equally suitable for performance or relaxed weekend adventures.
Articulated elbows and shoulders facilitate unhindered mobility.
The jacket also includes an adjustable hem and cuffed sleeves to seal out drafts and prevent moisture ingress during unpredictable weather changes.
Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket
The Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket is crafted from a superior 2-layer Gore-Tex fabric renowned for its waterproof yet highly breathable qualities.
An advanced microporous construction protects against relentless rain yet allows excess heat and sweat to escape rapidly, keeping the rider dry and thermally regulated even during strenuous exertion.
All seams are ultrasonically welded to guarantee water cannot penetrate. It features two sealed zippered pockets and reflective logos on the rear and sides, increasing nighttime visibility.
An athletic race-cut with pre-shaped sleeves is engineered to maximize freedom of movement like a second skin. Articulated panels on the backs and at the elbows promote an enhanced dynamic range of motion for aggressive riding positions.
The hem has an elastic binding customized to block infiltrations from water or chilly gusts. Overall, it delivers a breathable, fully protective outer layer optimized for performance.
dhb Aeron Tempo 3 Jacket
The dhb Aeron Tempo 3 Jacket is constructed from a versatile 3-layer weatherproof fabric engineered to shield riders from wind, rain, and wet conditions. Its lightweight membrane construction allows ambient heat and perspiration to discharge efficiently while maintaining fully waterproof qualities. Taped seams along all potential water ingress points reinforce the fabric's protection. It features an adjustable hem and sealed cuffs to fine-tune the fit and lock out drafts and moisture.
Two zippered pockets provide secure storage for essentials. Its sleek fit is carefully tailored for an unfettered cycling motion, allowing natural and efficient pedal strokes. Articulated rear panels and shoulders provide unfettered mobility. Reflective logos discreetly printed at the rear and sides increase low-light safety on dusk and night rides. Overall, it offers a streamlined protective outer layer with breathability, storage and performance-enhancing attributes.
Each of these top jackets performs exceedingly well in cycling-specific criteria:
- Breathability is high thanks to technical, efficient fabrics that minimize moisture buildup during strenuous efforts.
- Comfort and fit enable extended use throughout long rides. Panels are articulated for full range of motion, and hems seal out drafts.
- Storage pockets and reflective elements maintain indispensable gear and nighttime safety where it counts.
- Visibility in varied conditions, from dusk to downpours, gives peace of mind to both riders and motorists sharing the roads.
- For performance road cyclists seeking full water and wind protection without compromise, these jackets deliver standout breathability, comfort, and features to stay completely focused on the ride.
Best Commuter/E-bike Jackets
Showers Pass Elite Commuter Jacket
The REI Co-op Cyclone Jacket is constructed from a premium 3-layer RevX fabric engineered to be fully waterproof, windproof, and highly breathable. Its advanced membrane construction shields the wearer from rain and storms, allowing body heat and moisture to diffuse away from the skin efficiently.
It features a reinforced media pocket with cord access to use devices safely, even in wet conditions. Dual hand pockets with reflective trim provide secure storage and increased visibility.
The adjustable hem and tapered cuffs can fit comfortably over multiple layers, allowing versatile cold-weather layering. Articulated panels at the elbows and shoulders maintain a wide range of motion. Its generously cut size is designed to fit over bulky baselayers or chill-busting insulating pieces.
Reflective logos on the rear and sides discreetly enhance the wearer's visibility in low-light commutes to work or school during dawn and dusk hours when weather is difficult to predict.
Assos Mille GT Waterproof Jacket
The Assos Mille GT Waterproof Jacket is crafted from a premium 3-layer Climaproof stretch fabric engineered for fully waterproof protection without compromising breathability or mobility.
Its high-performing membrane construction protects the rider from rain and wind during all-weather rides. An ergonomic pre-curved fit designed through advanced RaceFit analysis enhances torso comfort and allows unrestricted pedaling freedom on long days in the saddle.
Strategically placed reflective logos, piping around the rear, sides, and sleeves optimize visibility to other traffic in low-light conditions.
Ventilated underarm zones boost airflow to wick sweat away from the body, keeping the wearer dry inside. Convenient features include an ID view window, two full-zip secure pockets with reflective details, and an adjustable elastic strap to access and secure essential items conveniently.
Its athletic yet stable full-length design accommodates base layers and protective pieces up to 5mm thickness for variable temperature pedaling comfort year-round.
Proviz Reflect 360 Waterproof Jacket
The Proviz Reflect 360 Waterproof Jacket is made with an innovative 360-degree reflective polyester fabric that provides optimum visibility from any angle in low-light conditions. Its waterproof, windproof, and breathable construction protects riders from rain and wind while regulating body temperature.
Designed for safety and easy adaptability, it features an adjustable hem and reflective trim along all edges to lock out moisture and maximize visibility.
Convenient storage includes a zippered chest pocket and zippered hand pockets to carry daily essentials securely. Its relaxed fit is tailored to accommodate insulating or protective base layers comfortably.
Additionally, the entire jacket packs into an integrated drawcord carry pack at the hips, allowing for compact storage and transportation when not in use.
With enhanced reflectivity and practical functionality, it is ideal for reliable protection during morning, evening, and nighttime commutes.
Mountain Warehouse 360 Waterproof Jacket
The Mountain Warehouse 360 Waterproof Jacket is constructed from a lightweight yet durable and waterproof polyester fabric, delivering reliable precipitation protection.
All potential water entry seams are taped for complete defense against wet weather. Practical features include an adjustable drawstring hood and hem to customize coverage for different conditions and maximize dryness.
Reflective graphic prints along the back and sides optimize low-light visibility without unnecessary bulk.
A breathable mesh lining enhances airflow to regulate body temperature and prevent overheating from varied exertion levels.
Convenient zippered hand pockets securely hold daily essentials. Its roomy yet streamlined cut is designed to work well for additional insulating layers or easily pack down and stow for storage. Brisk weather protection and thoughtful functionality make it affordable for outdoor enthusiasts and commuters.
Other Essential Rain Gear
Rain pants are crucial for keeping legs protected from road spray and unexpected downpours. High quality pants use fully waterproof and breathable fabrics. Top brands to consider include Showers Pass, Endura, and Pearl Izumi.
Look for taped or fully-sealed seams to prevent water ingress. Full-length zippers running up each leg allow easy on/off without disturbing cycling shoes. Elasticated waistbands with a drawcord provide a comfortable yet secure fit.
Built-in reflective elements are important for increased visibility in low-light conditions. Stripes down outer legs alert vehicles to a cyclist's presence at dawn and dusk. Fully covering the calves prevents pants from riding up when pedaling.
Articulated knees enhance mobility, while breathable fabrics paired with rear vents wick away excess moisture from exertion. Water-resistant zippered pockets provide dry storage for valuables and ID. Choose a size accommodating optionally layered base layers.
Overshoes create an extra barrier of weatherproof protection over regular cycling shoes or sneakers. Look for a form-fitting size that doesn't slip around the sole or heel during use. Secure closure straps or adjustable buckles prevent accidental removal risks.
TUFO makes high-quality overshoes with reinforced toe and heel caps for durability. Bontrager's Thermoover booties incorporate reflective accents. Assos makes overshoes compatible with road cleats. For general commutes, shoe covers from Showers Pass are budget-friendly options.
Besides directly shielding the rider's torso, a poncho covers the handlebars, saddle, and frequently used gear like pumps or lights attached to the bike. Designs from companies like CIXIQ and Kolibree feature panels and slash-cuts that accommodate pedaling.
Lightweight and highly packable fabrics fold down to pocket-sized squares. Consider models made with waterproof PU-coated nylon or polyurethane for dependable moisture resistance. Reflective yokes, piping or logos improve visibility on motion during wet rides after dark.
By fully outfitting the essential accessories around a quality waterproof jacket, gloves and helmet cover, cyclists gain full-body rainshedding protection to handle wet weather routines comfortably.
Maintenance and Accessories
While a high-quality waterproof cycling jacket is essential for riding in wet weather, proper maintenance and additional supporting gear are also important factors for maximizing protection and performance. Accessories can enhance both comfort and visibility when braving rain or damp conditions. With regular care, the right base layers, water-resistant bags, and repair supplies, an effective barrier against moisture can be sustained over the long term.
Cleaning and Waterproofing
Regular gentle cleaning with a soft cloth and mild soap keeps waterproof fabrics fresh. Avoid harsh chemicals that could degrade protective coatings. Reapply coats of waterproofing spray depending on usage frequency and material.
Bags and Packs
Reflective accents, LED lights, and blinkers attached directly to packs enhance visibility for commuters riding before dawn or after dusk. Consider packs with multi-functional pockets carefully organized for easy access to passports, lunch, and devices.
Proper maintenance and choice of compatible protective accessories ensure that high-quality waterproof cycling gear continues performing optimally through many seasons on the road. Regular cleaning prevents degraded waterproofness over time. Outfitting with layers and organized packing keeps riders comfortable in any conditions.
This article has presented a selection of top-performing waterproof cycling jackets suited for both recreational riding and daily commutes by bike or e-bike. The jackets highlighted provide breathable, fully waterproof protection through technical fabrics and attention to features that maximize comfort and functionality on the move.
By selecting a high-performance waterproof jacket and maintaining it properly alongside compatible layers and accessories, cyclists gain the security and focus required to ride easily in wet conditions. Staying completely dry preserves both safety and enjoyment on bikes - whether shooting for personal bests or simply embracing active transportation as a routine. Choosing the right gear allows the joys and wellness benefits of cycling to shine through whatever weather may arise.
Do I need a waterproof cycling jacket?
While not absolutely necessary, a quality waterproof cycling jacket offers vital benefits. It protects you and your equipment from unexpected rain, extends your riding season into damper months, and keeps you comfortable in wet conditions so that inclement weather does not derail plans or enjoyment. Investing in a breathable, waterproof design suited to your riding needs brings valued peace of mind.
Are cycling jackets worth it?
Yes, cycling-specific jackets provide features that make them worth owning for dedicated riders. In addition to basic waterproofness, high-performance designs optimize breathability, facilitate a full range of motion, offer storage, and enhance visibility—all crucial aspects for comfortable, safe riding. Jackets from reputable brands are constructed to withstand frequent washings and last for many seasons with proper care. The benefits easily outweigh the upfront investment.
Are waterproof jackets good for cycling?
A waterproof cycling jacket can significantly improve safety and enjoyment on wet rides. Beyond keeping you dry, breathable materials regulate heat and sweat to prevent overheating during exertion. Reflective accents, visibility-enhancing colors, and cuts optimized for pedaling add extra protection in low-light conditions. With full coverage and smart design details, a waterproof cycling jacket truly allows you to focus solely on the ride, come rain or shine.
What type of jacket is best for cycling in rainy weather?
Commuter cycling jackets made from waterproof and breathable materials like Gore-Tex or eVent membranes are tops for bike commuting in wet conditions. Look for designs with pockets, reflective tabs, and adjustments for coverage and fit over layers.
How do I select a cycling jacket suitable for rainy rides?
Water-resistant pans sufficient perhaps are key bike commuting waterproof gear that suit riding needs. Adjustable closures, storage, and visibility features let a jacket suit varied conditions alongside compatible protection layers.
What features should waterproof cycling jackets include?
Beyond waterproofness, quality cycling apparel for wet weather incorporate breathability, protective pockets, cozy fleece lining, adjustable hems and vents. Reflective print, optional hoods increase safety in dim lights or complete downpours.
How do I maintain a waterproof cycling jacket?
Regular gentle washing and reapplication of waterproofing maintain waterproof clothing for cyclists performance. Minor damage repair prevents water ingress. Correct layering under the jacket optimizes breathability and comfort too for riding bikes in wet weather.
What additional gear do I need for cycling in rain?
Overshoes, gloves, and a helmet cover complement any attire for cycling when raining. Ponchos protect when briefly outdoors. Water-resistant commuting packs carry dry gear and lights make you visible in wet gloom for equipment for cycling on rainy days.
Can I still ride my bike in heavy rain?
With proper waterproof cycling outerwear for wet bike rides and cautious riding, biking continues as usual in some heavy rain. Reduce speed on flooding roads, watch out for reduced visibility and slippery surfaces though for safety in torrential downpours or storms.
How do I store my waterproof cycling gear?
Keep properly dried waterproof cycling clothing for cycling to work in rain folded or hung in breathable areas away from direct heat to maintain coatings. Compress bulky pieces for easy storage between wet weather rides in portable waterproof bags or pannier rolls.