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Best Cycling Jackets

last updated Sep 12, 2019

When the weather starts getting colder, the last thing you want if you are an avid cycler is for the weather to affect your performance. If you’re a regular cycler, then you’ll still want to hit your bike when the weather gets cold, especially during those beautiful spring and fall days. In order to continue your riding during these beautiful seasons and battle the chilly days that they bring, you will want to look at investing in a cycling jacket.

These are a stylish thin jacket that will preserve body heat and keep you riding during the chilly days that fall and spring can bring. Below we have listed the top ten of 2019, and why they are the best of the best on the market.

This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:

icon
INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal
93.3/100 our score
Comfort
92
Weather Resistance
92
Durability
92
Value
97
INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal
Why is it better?

Breathable

Warm

Fleece lining

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal
Test Winner: INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
26
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
11.8k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
10.5
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Sami Kritz
By Sami Kritz:

A cycling jacket is a comfortable and versatile accessory to bring with you on each ride. Our newest additions to this list include the Shower's Pass Elite 2.1 and the Gore Wear Windstopper. Additionally, we have organized and updated each review, added more women's jackets, and added two new expert tips. Don't forget to vote and tell us which criterion is most important to you!

Sorting Options
Comfort Weather Resistance Durability Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Comfort
93 %
Weather Resistance
97 %
Durability
95 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$214.98
Backcountry Link
$269.00
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Comfort
92 %
Weather Resistance
92 %
Durability
92 %
Value
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Comfort
93 %
Weather Resistance
94 %
Durability
92 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$89.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Comfort
92 %
Weather Resistance
92 %
Durability
88 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$89.98
Backcountry Link
$135.00
See Deal
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Comfort
89 %
Weather Resistance
91 %
Durability
91 %
Value
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$199.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Comfort
90 %
Weather Resistance
93 %
Durability
90 %
Value
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$112.50
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Comfort
88 %
Weather Resistance
91 %
Durability
89 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$229.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Comfort
89 %
Weather Resistance
88 %
Durability
88 %
Value
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$28.84
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.3
Comfort
88 %
Weather Resistance
84 %
Durability
86 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$67.47
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Comfort
80 %
Weather Resistance
87 %
Durability
87 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$34.96

Top Ten Cycling Jackets

1. Showers Pass Elite 2.1

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Showers Pass Women's Elite 2.1 Jacket
Showers Pass Women's Elite 2.1 Jacket
Amazon Link
Comfort
93
Weather Resistance
97
Durability
95
Value
90
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$214.98
Backcountry Link
$269.00
See Deal
Pros:

360-degree 3M reflective trim

Fits true to size

Impressively weatherproof

Breathable

Cons:

Hood not included

Expensive

Designed for women, the Elite 2.1 is quite an impressive jacket. It provides excellent weather protection without compromising comfort or durability. There are two conveniently placed pockets for your small accessories. It is one of the most expensive jackets on our list, but it may be the only jacket you ever need.

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Comfort
This regular-fitting jacket will become your favorite rainy-season accessory on or off your bike. Most reviewers love the fit but a few have said that it’s boxier than they would have imagined. It features a long tail to keep you dry while learning over your handlebars and tends to fit true to size. To dial in the fit and keep the bad weather out, there is also a cinch cord at the collar and hem of the jacket. To make carrying your small accessories easy, there is a small chest audio pocket and a larger pocket on the back of the jacket.

Weather Resistance
The Elite 2.1 is wind and waterproof. Even reviewers from Seattle have been impressed with the impermeability of this jacket. Also, the seams are taped for extra protection. You also don’t need to worry about feeling clammy in this jacket because it has great breathability thanks to the built-in zippered vents in the armpit area and back. One downside is that the jacket doesn’t include a hood. However, it is hood compatible.

Durability
As you can expect from Shower’s Pass, this is a durable jacket. The shell of the jacket is made from abrasion-resistant nylon. There haven’t been any complaints about the double-zipper either. The double zipper allows you to have the jacket closed on the top, and open on the bottom.

Value
It is possible that this will be one of the most expensive jackets that you invest in. However, it features great weather resistance, has plenty of reflective trim, and is built to last. It is available in four different colors and sizes XS-XXL. Overall, we think this is a great investment and the only cycling jacket you’ll need.

2. INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal
INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal
Amazon Link
Comfort
92
Weather Resistance
92
Durability
92
Value
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99
Pros:

Breathable

Warm

Fleece lining

Cons:

Some found it to fit small

The Inbike Winter Windproof Thermal jacket is the perfect option for those who plan on cycling in cold winter months. Or, perhaps, you are planning a cycling tour through Iceland, where you will surely need to be prepared for cooler temperatures. Whatever your needs are, if you are a serious cycling aficionado, you will most likely need a warmer jacket at some point, and the INBIKE Winter Windproof Thermal is just the option to go for.

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Comfort
The comfortable lining, which is thermal fleece, will keep your muscles warm in the coldest of months. The jacket tends to fit true to size and chances are that you’ll want to wear it even when you’re not cycling.

Weather Resistance
While the fabric of this jacket is soft and comfortable, it is also tough enough to face the elements. It is both windproof and waterproof to keep you both dry and warm. Not only will this jacket keep you warm and protected from the elements, but it certainly keeps you cool, too, so that you can push up that last hill without overheating. How does this jacket keep you so cool? There are mesh ventilation pockets on the inside that allow air in and sweat out.

Durability
With great comfort and strong weather-resistance on the outside, you can feel confident knowing that this jacket will last you for a while. Many reviewers have commented on its impressive quality.

Value
If you are needing a jacket that you are sure you will feel warm and protected in, this is a fantastic option. It is priced quite affordable and has great features. The Inbike Windproof Thermal jacket doesn't come in a ton of trendy colors, but it is certainly that little black jacket that any serious cyclists should have in rotation for colder months. Additionally, the back of this jacket features a large zip pocket for all of your important items.

3. Sportful Hot Pack 5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Sportful Hot Pack 5
Sportful Hot Pack 5
Amazon Link
Comfort
93
Weather Resistance
94
Durability
92
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$89.99
Pros:

Durable

Good value

Good weather protection

Cons:

Runs small

The Sportful Hot Pack 5 Jacket is made to be a very warm and lightweight jacket, with excellent comfort and breathability. It’s got a great design and it is also very durable.

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Comfort
Made for warmth, this jacket is form-fitting and also very flexible, so it will move with you as you move. Also, it’s very breathable, so you should feel comfortable anytime you wear it.

Weather Protection
This jacket provides a decent barrier between the outdoor elements and your skin. It doesn't have any extra insulation added in, but you'll be heating up from the inside while cycling. There is a high collar that helps to add a bit of warmth to your core. The jacket comes with a water-resistant and wind-resistant outer shell as well.

Durability
This jacket is highly durable and designed with high-quality materials that make it a long-lasting jacket. You’ll get plenty of use out of this jacket if you decide to purchase it.

Value
This jacket runs in the affordable price range, and for everything you get with it, it’s a good value. Since it’s quite durable, you’ll be able to use it for long periods of time.

4. Showers Pass Pro Tech ST

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Showers Pass Pro Tech ST
Showers Pass Pro Tech ST
Amazon Link
Comfort
92
Weather Resistance
92
Durability
88
Value
90
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$89.98
Backcountry Link
$135.00
See Deal
Pros:

Affordable

Good weather protection

Comfortable

Cons:

Could be more durable

The Showers Pass Pro Tech ST brings you plenty of weather protection packed into a well-designed jacket. You’ll be able to stay warm and dry with its waterproof breathable membrane and excellent ventilation.

Read more

Comfort
Bringing you an anatomic fit, this jacket is designed to be flexible and not restrict your movements. Also, this jacket is very comfortable and soft to the touch on the inside.

Weather Resistance
Designed with a waterproof breathable membrane, you’ll get plenty of water and wind protection with this jacket. Also, the waterproof membrane also ventilates well, so you should be able to stay fairly comfortable.

Durability
This jacket is designed with durable materials that are built to be long-lasting. You should get several seasons of use out of this jacket’s design. It’s not quite as durable as some other products on our list, but for its price, it is a good choice.

Value
This jacket is one of the most affordable products on our list and is made with value in mind. While it might last as long as some other jackets, it’s still a solid investment.

5. Castelli Gabba 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Castelli Gabba 2
Castelli Gabba 2
Amazon Link
Comfort
89
Weather Resistance
91
Durability
91
Value
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.99
Pros:

Comfortable

Great ventilation

Durable

Cons:

Can run small

The Castelli Gabba 2 Jacket comes with some very durable materials, and also provides great comfort and ventilation. You’ll get a lot of weather protection and value out of this jacket if you decide to purchase it.

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Comfort
This jacket provides you with a lot of comfort since it’s designed to provide great ventilation and keep you dry. The fit is form-fitting, but the material is stretchy and flexible, so you won’t have to worry about your movements feeling restricted.

Weather Resistance
This jacket provides you with ample amounts of weather protection since it does a great job of keeping out the cold weather. With Gore Windstopper Fabric, you get a nice, breathable protective outer shell that can keep you dry and ventilate well.

Durability
Made from polyester and the Gore Windstopper fabric, you get a strong, durable shell with this jacket. Also, the jacket isn’t totally waterproof, but it is water-resistant, and the technology used to provide this jacket with weather protection makes it very durable as well.

Value
This jacket falls in the average price range, so it’s a good value for what you’ll get. Since it’s so durable, the jacket will last you many seasons.

6. Endura Pro-SL

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Endura Pro-SL
Endura Pro-SL
Amazon Link
Comfort
90
Weather Resistance
93
Durability
90
Value
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$112.50
Pros:

Well made

Attention to detail in design

Lightweight

Cons:

Can run small

For any serious roadie out there, the Endura Pro-SL Waterproof Shell is a key item to consider adding to your riding attire. It is lightweight, breathable, streamlined, and of course, waterproof. You can't go wrong with this high-quality layer.

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Comfort
The fit of this jacket is athletic built, meaning that it is streamlined to fit close to the body. However, the seams are fully sealed to offer complete comfort and no chance of water infiltration. To add to the comfort, the shoulders are stretchy and waterproof. There are zipped pockets on the rear where you can store belongings needed, such as keys, cell phone, or an electrolyte gel pack.

Weather Resistance
The Endura Pro-SL Waterproof Shell is a 3 layer Exoshell that is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof. How can you go wrong? Well, with this shell, you really can only go right (and of course, left). The point is, you will be well prepared for an epic ride in this quality jacket.

Durability
With a great fit, weather-resistance, and materials, you can count on this jacket to be your go-to for many seasons. The seams are fully sealed and the three-layer Exoshell can endure many harsh conditions.

Value
If you are in the market for a waterproof jacket that not only looks great, but is waterproof, lightweight, and offers maximum airflow, you may have just found your match. Additionally, to ensure your safety on the roads when dark nears, there are reflective strips on both arms. It is slightly expensive, but with great features and durability, we think it’s worth every penny.

7. Gore Bike Wear Oxygen

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Gore Bike Wear Oxygen
Gore Bike Wear Oxygen
Amazon Link
Comfort
88
Weather Resistance
91
Durability
89
Value
85
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$229.99
Pros:

Comfortable

Great weather protection

Good ventilation

Cons:

No pockets

The Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Jacket uses some of the best weather protection technology on the market today. This jacket is also very breathable and comfortable and brings you everything you need for your rides.

Read more

Comfort
This jacket fits very well and provides an excellent fit around the neck. It also provides you with a lot of comfort, and it ventilates very well.

Weather Resistance
This polyester shell jacket comes with a Gore-Tex membrane, which makes the jacket waterproof and windproof. So, you’ll get all of the weather protection you need combined into one with this jacket.

Durability
Made with top-of-the-line Gore-Tex technology and high-quality fabrics, this jacket is very durable. It will last you quite some time before you’ll need to worry about purchasing a new jacket.

Value
This jacket features some of the best weather protection available on the market today, but that also makes it more expensive than many other products on our list. So, if you are shopping on a budget, this might not be the jacket for you.

8. Proviz PixElite Softshell

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Proviz PixElite Softshell
Proviz PixElite Softshell
Amazon Link
Comfort
89
Weather Resistance
88
Durability
88
Value
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$28.84
Pros:

Comfortable

Durable

Front and rear pockets

Features reflective performance fabric

Cons:

Can run small

If you want a jacket that offers a lot of reflective features for extra protection when you ride in low-light, then you might want to consider the Proviz PixElite Softshell Jacket. It’s a very reflective jacket that still looks great during the day, so it’s got fashion and style to boot.

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Comfort
This jacket has a performance fit and is designed to be form-fitting and not slow you down. It has been said that the sizes in this type of jacket can run small. Therefore, make sure you check the size chart before you purchase this jacket. Otherwise, this jacket offers a lot of comforts and is very flexible.

Weather Protection
This jacket is water-resistant, although not fully waterproof. However, it will protect you decently if run into some light rain. Even when damp, the jacket still provides great breathability. Proviz’s jacket also features built-in wind resistance.

Durability
Proviz’s jacket is made to be durable, and its high-quality materials, including polyester, elastane, and polyurethane, and weather protection make it a long-lasting jacket. You’ll be able to wear it for many seasons before you’ll need to worry about replacing it.

Value
This jacket runs in the average price range, and for what you get with it, it comes at a good price. You’ll have everything you need, including durability, comfort, reflectiveness. Overall, you can invest with ease, knowing that you’ll be making a solid investment.

9. Gore Wear WIndstopper

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.3
Gore Wear Windstopper
Gore Wear Windstopper
Amazon Link
Comfort
88
Weather Resistance
84
Durability
86
Value
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$67.47
Pros:

Zip-off sleeves

Windproof

Great color choices

Cons:

Not waterproof, as it claims

Bulky to pack

The Windstopper is a jacket for all seasons. Not only does it have great breathability, but the sleeves of the jacket can be zipped off- turning it into a great summer cycling vest. If you're looking for a comfortable softshell, this is a great option.

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Comfort
With 13% elastane built into this softshell jacket, it is flexible and comfortable. It has a slim fit and tends to run slightly large. If you plan to layer underneath, your normal size should be fine, but if not, you may want to size down. To keep wind and water out there is an elastic hem. Additionally, to your small necessities with you, there is a small zippered chest pocket, as well as a large back storage pouch.

Weather Resistance
This jacket does not provide you with a lot of warmth, but you’ll body temperature will be up from cycling so it isn’t much of an issue. This jacket is praised for its wind stopping abilities. With a Gore-Tex layer, the jacket claims that it is waterproof, but reviewers say that water-resistant is more realistic. One of the best aspects of this jacket is its year-round use. The sleeves of the jacket can be zipped off, turning it into a summer cycling vest.

Durability
There has been neither praise nor criticism about the durability of this jacket. The softshell of the jacket is made of polyester. With the great flexibility of the jacket, we can expect that it will last you for quite a few seasons. Be cautious when washing the jacket, to ensure that you don’t end up washing off the “waterproof” coating and technologies. However, these can (and should be) be reapplied, so don’t overstress it.

Value
The price of this jacked depends on the size and color that you choose. While we would prefer improved water resistance, we still think it’s a great jacket. It will keep the wind chill and burn away and keep you comfortable during your rides.

10. Louis Garneau Modesto 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Louis Garneau Modesto 2
Louis Garneau Modesto 2
Amazon Link
Comfort
80
Weather Resistance
87
Durability
87
Value
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$34.96
Pros:

Good weather protection

Durable

Flexible

Cons:

Not fully waterproof

The Louis Garneau Modesto 2 Jacket lightweight jacket that offers you excellent weather protection and performance. It’s flexible fabric and comfort will feel great each time you want to ride your bike.

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Comfort
This jacket is designed to be both form-fitting and flexible, so it offers you a lot of comfort while you are on the go. It’s also very breathable and provides you with excellent ventilation.

Weather Protection
This polyester jacket comes with Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric, which makes the jacket very weatherproof. You’ll get full wind protection plus a jacket that can repel water well.

Durability
Made with durable fabrics, this jacket will give you a lot of protection and stay strong when you need it to be. You should be able to use this jacket for quite some time.

Value
This jacket is priced in the average range, and for what it offers, it’s a good value. You’ll get ample amounts of weather protection and durability with this jacket.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

How well the jacket fits you and how comfortable it feels each time you wear it can be a matter of personal preference, but they do need to have a specific fit so that they don’t slow you down when you are on the go. The cycling jackets we’ve provided on our list are all form-fitting and meant to provide you with a slim fit so that your profile stays aerodynamic as you move on your bike. So, some of the brands we have on our list might run a bit small simply because these jackets are made to fit tight.

Make sure you check the sizing of each brand before you make your choice so that you wind up purchasing the correct size. If you wind up with a jacket that is too tight, it can cut off your circulation when you move, which can be massively uncomfortable.

Also, if you wind up with a jacket that is too large, it can affect the way you perform when you are riding your bike. Since neither one of these occurrences is something that you want to experience, pay careful attention to the brand sizing before you make your selection.

Another area of comfort we analyzed was insulation and breathability. Not all of the jackets on our list come with insulative properties, but some do. If you are looking for something to keep you very warm when you are cycling in the cold weather, then you’ll want to take a close look at jackets that do offer insulation. Make sure, however, that if you are going for insulation, you wind up picking a coat that is still breathable.

Sometimes, jackets that are packed in with extra insulation can decrease the jacket’s ability to ventilate properly, and you’ll wind up feeling sticky and like you are drowning in your sweat. Of course, that’s a factor that’s going to affect how comfortable the jacket feels, and you do want to make sure you’re able to tolerate the jacket’s ventilation and insulation.

Weather Resistance

Different brands typically use different types of materials to help build water protection into their jackets. There are different types of water, and windproofing systems, and not all of them are created equally. Depending on the kind of weather you’re likely to encounter when you hit your bike, you’ll want to make sure you have enough weather protection to stay comfortable and keep you going strong all day long. We’ll take a look at some of the more popular uses of weather protection below.

DWR (Durable Water Repellent)
Durable Water Repellent (DWR) is a treatment you’ll find on a lot of jackets that contributes to providing you some protection from the rain. DWR isn’t a laminate but instead works as a treatment on a jacket that is used to cover the outer shell of the jacket. Many different types of waterproof outdoor clothing come with DWR treatments on them, and with that finish, you’ll get a decent amount of water-resistance.

Another nice thing about jackets featuring a DWR treatment is how breathable they are. While some types of waterproofing protection can affect the way the jacket ventilates, DWR doesn’t have this problem. So, a DWR coating is always a good sign of a jacket that’s got some water-resistance designed into it.

With a DWR treatment, you’ll get a jacket with an outer shell that can easily shed and repel water. The DWR treatment forces the moisture out of the fabric so that your jacket stays dry. DWR coated jackets usually allow the water to bead off of them, and that shows that the DWR treatment on that jacket is working. DWR treatments don’t allow water to get through the fibers of the jacket and are effective at forcing the water droplets out into beads of water that then slide off of the jacket.

However, DWR treatments do have their drawbacks. They can wear off after a lot of use or several washes, and any abrasions on the jacket can also degrade the DWR material. Certain detergents can also damage the DWR in your jacket, so pay attention to the type of detergent you use if you purchase a coat that has a DWR coating. When the DWR coating starts becoming ineffective, you’ll notice the jacket retains water and starts to weigh you down. When this happens, you’ll have the option to either purchase a new coat, or touch up the DWR coating, depending on what you can afford, and what you need at that time.

Laminate Fabrics
Besides DWR coatings, there are other options for waterproofing materials that the various brands will use. Many manufacturers of jackets use laminate fabrics which are also waterproof and breathable. With these types of jackets, you’ll get an inner jacket area that can wick the moisture to the outside, so you don’t wind up soaking in your sweat, a waterproof membrane, and an outer fabric that has some waterproof or water-resistant coating. Often the coating is still DWR.

Many types of laminate fabrics work as internal membranes on a jacket that help keep the water from the rain from reaching the interior of the coat. Gore-Tex, Polartec, eVent, and Thinsulate are all internal membranes, and you’ll usually find them at the center of the jacket, between an outer layer and an inner layer, made up of a liner. Many of these jackets are made to be abrasion-resistant, have a water-resistant outer coating, and the internal membrane that is also waterproof. So, you’ll get two layers of waterproof protection.

Many jackets today will provide you with a few layers of waterproof protection if you are willing to pay the money for it. It will cost you a bit more to get a jacket that has an internal membrane and an outer DWR coating, but you’ll also get a more durable, long-lasting jacket with better weather protection that will last longer.

So, depending on where you know you’ll be riding your bike, you’ll need to consider how much weather protection you need. If you do live in a very wet climate, it’s probably worth your time to get a jacket that has the internal membrane. You’ll undoubtedly be much drier and happier each time you ride your bike.

Durability

The durability of the jackets on our list do vary from brand to brand and style to style. We’ve listed how durable each one of our jacket choices on our list really is, and whether the jacket features high-quality materials. Typically, jackets with Gore-Tex weather protection come as more durable jackets because Gore-Tex is also abrasion-resistant, which makes the jacket last much longer. Some brands use a knock-off version of Gore-Tex that works very well for durability, while some jackets simply aren’t as durable as others.

Most of the jackets on our list will give you a decent amount of use. However, some jackets are more durable than others. How much money you can actually spend on your jacket if you are shopping on a budget can affect the overall durability of the type of jacket you decide to purchase. So, keep that in mind. If you can afford to pay a little more, you’ll probably get a better value, since the jacket is much more likely to last you longer.

However, if you are just getting started and want something simple and functional and you just don’t have the money to spend, you’ll be able to get decent performance even out of some of the less durable jackets on our list.

When you do your research to purchase your jacket, you’ll want to check out the seams in the jacket. Many jackets feature taping, which seals the seams in a waterproof jacket. Taping can make a jacket weigh more and also inhibit some of the jacket’s ability to ventilate, but if you live in a very wet climate and you don’t want water to seep through into the interior of the jacket, you will want to check out how the seams are sealed, since taped seams will give you the best weather protection.

Value

Value is another thing you’re going to want to evaluate before investing in a jacket to use while you are out on your bike. If you are shopping on a budget, then the value of your jacket becomes even more important for you. Some of the jackets on our list do run on the expensive end of things, but most of them are affordable or averagely priced. You don’t always get the best performance out of high-priced jackets since sometimes the brand names make those jackets cost more.

Some of the average and affordable jackets on our list will still give you the value you need. When you are trying to get the best value out of the jacket you intend to purchase, make sure that you consider all the features you are really going to need, and then try to eliminate what you don’t need. Knowing what features are important for where you will be riding can help you save some money and help you avoid burning a hole in your pocketbook.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
ico Comfort
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#2
ico Weather Resistance
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#3
ico Durability
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#4
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Ventilation

Finding the best jacket to use when you’re riding your bike can sometimes be a difficult decision. You want something with some type of weather protection, but you also want to make sure that it’s still breathable enough so that you don’t have to feel like you are sitting in your own sweat when you are on your bike. So, taking that into consideration, you’ll need to look closely at the ventilation on these jackets as well.

Hood

While it is a literal life-saver, not all of us wear helmets. However, if you are a cyclist who wears a helmet, you'll want to pay extra close attention to the hood of the jacket. Most of the hoods are made large enough to accommodate a helmet, but not all. If you plan to ride with a helmet, the size of the hood is worth looking into.

Mudguards

If you are looking into one for the rain, you can't forget about a great set of mudguards either. Unless you want to have the back of your new jacket splattered with mud, you'll need to cover up the tires. There are many mudguards that can be easily attached and taken off. Here is a great guide to protect you and your bike from that ugly splatter.

Other Factors to Consider

Breathability

We’ve discussed breathability quite a bit when we talked about comfort, but it’s so important, we figured we’d give it its own category. Unless you really want to sit in your sweat as you ride, which you most likely don’t want to, then you’ll want to make sure your jacket choice provides you with all the ventilation you really need. You don’t want to get soaked in your own sweat as you ride, so check out the membranes on the jacket, the vents, and how breathable the jacket is overall. You certainly don’t want to overheat.

The better the ventilation, the more comfortable you will feel. Most of the jackets on our list do offer you plenty of ventilation, but some are better than others. How much ventilation you really need is essentially up to you, so just make sure you factor this in since some waterproofing fabrics don’t ventilate as well as others.

Flexibility

Also, flexibility is another area we discussed when we analyzed the fit and comfort of these jackets. You do need to consider how stretchy fabric is before you make your decision because you’ll want a cycling jacket that is designed to move with you. Since these jackets do typically fit tight, you don’t want something that will restrict your movement or else it can wind up affecting your performance. Instead, look for something that is flexible and moves with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How do internal membranes work?

a:

Although you’ll get two layers of waterproof protection with jackets that use internal membranes, these internal membranes have holes because they need to be breathable, and allow the water vapor from your sweat to escape outside the jacket so you stay as dry as possible even as you perspire. While the water vapor can come through the holes on the internal membrane to exit the jacket, water droplets from the rain are much larger than this and can’t permeate the holes on the internal membranes.

q: Are jackets with internal membranes better than jackets with only DWR?

a:

Internal membranes on jackets can break down easily, but to combat that, these jackets usually have some type of abrasion resistance built into the outer layer of the jacket. Plus, with these jackets, you’ll get an effective internal membrane, an outer membrane that is abrasion-resistant and coated with DWR for extra weather protection, good ventilation, and a soft liner on the interior. So, jackets with just a DWR coating and no internal membrane for waterproofing protection won’t protect you from the weather as much as jackets that do come with internal membranes. However, how much weather protection you really need is up to you.

q: Can I throw my jacket in the washing machine?

a:

It is so tempting to simply throw your jacket in the washing machine to keep it clean, but this isn’t really a great idea with these types of jackets or any type of waterproof clothing. Many store-bought detergents wreck waterproof coatings on jackets, and can even clog up fabrics that help the jacket breathe or wish moisture out of it, making the jacket less breathable and less waterproof. DWR treatments are often destroyed by well-meaning people throwing their jackets into the washing machine. Instead of doing this, make sure you read the directions that come with the jacket about how you should clean it.

q: How do I save my DWR treatment?

a:

If you start noticing that the DWR treatment on your jacket isn’t performing as well as it should, you can do a few things to help get that DWR treatment working again. For some jackets, you can tumble dry your jacket for a bit on low to medium heat. Or, you can touch your jacket up with a warm iron. Typically, when you purchase your jacket, the manufacturer will provide you with some helpful pointers about how you can make the DWR coating on your jacket work again. If none of these options work, then you can use some spray-on products or something you wash into the jacket to help repair the coating. However, that will depend on the brand of the jacket you purchase.

q: What do I need to look for in a jacket if I am shopping on a budget?

a:

The functionality will then be important for you, whether you are shopping on a budget or not. Some of the jackets on our list provide you with a simpler design with durable, high-quality materials that also offer weather protection, which should be more than enough. However, if you want a lot of bells and whistles on a jacket, or think you need them, then you’ll likely be paying more for your jacket. We’ve listed what type of value you’ll get out of each one of the jacket options provided on our list to help you make your decision. Depending on how much you are willing to spend on a jacket, you’ll simply need to balance that out with what you think you really need. That way, you’ll wind up with a great jacket for yourself and more bang for your buck.

q: What do I need to know about durability if I am shopping on a budget?

a:

Durability is an important feature but it will be widely affected by how much money you can spend on a jacket. So, if you are on a budget and simply can’t afford a higher-priced jacket, you don’t need to worry. You’ll still be protected from the weather and you’ll get enough use out of the jacket to make it worth the price. Just remember that the durability of a jacket usually influences overall cost, and try to factor that into your decision.

Sources

  1. Henry Robertshaw, Best cycling jackets for winter 2017, Informational Cycling Website
  2. Colin Levitch, Best Waterproof Jackets for Cyclists, Informational Cycling Website
  3. Average Joe Cyclist, 7 of the Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets – How to Choose the Best Cycling Jacket, Informational Cycling Website
  4. Maggie, 7 of the Best Women’s Cycling Jackets, 2019 – Waterproof and Windproof, Cyclist Buying Guide