best cycling jackets

The Best Cycling Jackets For Riding in Any Weather

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As a dedicated all-weather bike commuter , I truly believe that, as Alfred Wainwright wrote in Coast to Coast Walk , “there is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Stashing one of the best cycling jackets in your pack or pocket ensures you’ll be prepared, no matter which way the weather turns.

More Gear For Cool-Weather Rides: Best Winter Cycling Caps ● Best Tights for Cold Weather ● Best Winter Cycling Gloves

The Best Cycling Jackets

  • Best Overall: Rapha Brevet Wind Jacket
  • Best Value: Pearl Izumi Quest Barrier Convertible Jacket
  • Best for Men: Assos Mille CT Wind Jacket
  • Best for Women: Assos Uma GT WindJacket
  • Best Waterproof: Showerspass Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket
  • Best for Racing: Assos Equipe RS Targa rain Jacket
  • Best Mountain Bike Jacket: Patagonia Dirt Roamer
  • Best Reflective: Proviz Reflect 360+
  • Best Overall new arrival cycling jacket (winter): Ostroy No Trainer Summit Winter Jacket
The Expert: I’ve worked as a journalist and gear reviewer for 15 years, specializing in cycling and outdoor equipment for publications like Dirt Rag Magazine , Adventure Cycling , BBC Travel , Popular Science , Fodors , Popular Mechanics , Bicycling, and many others.
A NYC-based cyclist, I commute regularly across the city, no matter what the weather. I also participate in long group road or gravel rides every weekend. My cycling jackets really get put to the test on my bikepacking trips: I’ve ridden through Central Asia, Georgia and Armenia, most of Europe, Pakistan, and, most recently, the Himalayas in northern India and Nepal. I always keep a jacket handy because you never know when the weather will take a sudden turn, especially while riding in the mountains.

What to Consider in a Cycling Jacket

You should wear a cycling jacket, rather than other kinds of outerwear, because of how it’s cut. Cycling jackets feature a shorter hemline in the front to accommodate a bent over position, and a longer, drop tail in the rear for protection from road spray and rain. They often feature lightweight materials and a packable construction, making them easy to stow and transport in a jersey pocket. In addition, jackets take all kinds of design features into account, even down to small details like zipper size and pocket placement.

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Many manufacturers call their jackets “waterproof,” but offer a wider range of water-resistance depending on the design, the fabric, and other factors. For cyclists, waterproof is always relative: In my experience (and the experience of my bike messenger friends), most every waterproof jacket will eventually let some water in if you’re out in a driving rain all day. Given that, I recommend looking for a jacket that balances waterproofing and breathability, so you can stay as comfortable as possible on your ride.

The most waterproof jackets feature a “hardshell” design, which is made using multi-layer bonded fabrics – usually a nylon or polyester exterior fabric fused to a  polyurethane  or  polytetrafluoroethylene  waterproof membrane, which gives them a stiffer, plastic-like feel. The best options also feature taped seams to ensure water doesn’t get in through weak points in the fabric. They will eventually get soaked over a long day in a downpour, but in most cases they feel truly waterproof.

The most waterproof jackets often aren’t the best cycling jackets, though. Hardshell jackets provide better weatherproofing, but don’t necessarily make the best cycling jackets because they aren’t very breathable. If you’re pushing hard up a hill or mountain, the membrane that keeps the rain out will trap your sweat inside the jacket, so you end up just as soaked as if you’d been caught in a downpour.

For most circumstances, I prefer (and recommend) a softshell jacket with water resistant properties, especially if most of your rides are recreational and/or training. Single-layer softshells wick moisture treated with  durable water repellent  (DWR) to make them more weatherproof. 

Not only does the thinner construction allow these jackets to be more breathable, but they are generally lighter and more packable. If heavy rain is forecast to last all day it's a pretty good bet that your group ride will be canceled. For sporadic, occasional, light showers during the day, a softshell should be more than adequate.

I use my hardshell primarily when commuting, or on a multi-day (or week) bikepacking adventure when it’s very important to stay as dry as possible. Rolling into a campsite after a day of pedaling in the rain and attempting to dry your clothing is often a losing battle and showing up at work completely soaked is rarely ideal. (Those restroom hand dryers never really dry anything).


If you’re looking for a jacket to carry with you on days when the weather could possibly take a turn for the worse (or for the better), you’ll want to make sure that there’s an easy way to pack it and put it away. Many cycling jackets are designed to pack down small into a pouch or large pocket, either of which could fit into a pocket in your  cycling jersey.


You do not necessarily need a different jacket for every season and occasion. A lightweight, weather-resistant shell can work across a wide range of temperatures: In cooler weather, you can always wear an extra  base layer  underneath, rather than switching to a heavier jacket.

That said, if you ride outside through the winter–through snow and freezing temperatures– you should also get at least one insulated  winter cycling jacket .

Cycling brands make jackets in a few different fits, including slim/racing, regular, or relaxed. A slim or “racing” fit is designed to be tight, and leaves little room for layers under it. “Regular” fit jackets feature a tapered silhouette, but aren’t skin tight. Relaxed fit jackets have a broader cut, so you can comfortably fit layers underneath them.

Picking the right one comes down to personal preference. That said, a tighter fit–Slim or regular–minimizes loose fabric to make you more aerodynamic, so it’s generally better suited to competitive events.

How We Selected The Best Cycling Jackets

I have a jacket problem. It’s the type of clothing I buy most often, and I have no idea why. (Maybe a fear of being caught out in the rain?) At any rate, I own entirely too many cycling jackets, which means I’ve spent tons of time comparing features and determining which designs work best and why. (There may have even been a spreadsheet.)

In addition to my own personal testing, I’ve spoken to many of the cyclists I ride with across all kinds of disciplines (road, gravel, mountain, messenger, and commuter). Everyone has strong opinions, and I’ve done my best to pass along their recommendations and steer clear of their disappointments.

Rapha Brevet Wind Jacket

Brevet Wind Jacket

Named (and presumably designed) for competitive long-distance cycling events, the Brevet Wind Jacket is exceptionally light and packable, making it a great choice for long days in the saddle when you’re likely to ride through a range of temperatures.

It features hi-visibility reflective strips across the chest and back, as well as the brand’s recognizable left arm reflective stripe for visibility while riding in low light. There are also reflective details on the back of the sleeves above the wrists and lower left back.

In the women’s jacket, mesh side panels add breathability, while the elasticized cuffs and bottom keep unwanted drafts from creeping in. Instead of the mesh, the men’s version features laser-cut perforations on the sides, which provide less ventilation.

Successfully completing a brevet event involves pedaling for extended periods of time, including through the night. This jacket is durable, functional, and a perfect fit to meet that challenge.

Pearl Izumi Quest Barrier Convertible Jacket

Quest Barrier Convertible Jacket

The Pearl Izumi Quest Barrier Convertible jacket feels like a bargain because you effectively get two garments in one. The lightweight, water-resistant jacket is perfect for days when there’s a chill in the air. (Some of the best kind of days, in my opinion.) When you start to sweat, you can remove the sleeves and wear it as a vest to protect your core from the wind, or as a high-visibility garment on evening rides.

I usually wear this jacket with a light wool base layer on late autumn or early spring days in the Northeast, when the weather is beginning to transition from cool to cold. When mornings are chilly but the afternoon sun is warm, I shed the sleeves. Either way, it’s very light–8.2 ounces–and easy to pack into a jersey pocket when it gets too warm.

The zippered side pockets give you enough space to securely stash your money, phone, and a snack or two. There’s also a two-way front zip and upper mesh panel in the back for ventilation control.

My only complaint is the choice to make the sleeves in the women’s version snap-off, as opposed to the zip-off designed use in the men’s version. If you’re out on an excessively windy day, these openings make it susceptible to the parachute effect. Despite this, it’s still one of my favorite jackets and the one I tend to reach for if I’m not sure what the weather may do on a given day.

Shop Men’s Shop Women’s

Assos Mille CT Wind Jacket

Mille CT Wind Jacket

The Assos Mille CT wind jacket is perfect for in-between weather days, shifty forecasts, unexpected showers, and winds that pack some chill. It’s light, so you can shove it into a jersey pocket and forget about it if the day turns warm and sunny.

Assos calls this jacket “acoustically innocuous” which is both accurate and a rather satisfying way of saying it doesn’t emit any annoying rustling noises while descending. You may think that the noisiness of a jacket shouldn’t matter, but wait until you wear one that crinkles and rustles loud enough that you can’t sufficiently hear the sound of a vehicle (or fellow rider) about to overtake you.

The Mille CT has elastic at the cuffs and bottom for a secure fit and breathable, stretchy knit side panels to comfortably accommodate movement, and a dual-layered collar that has elasticity so you don’t feel as if your jacket is choking you when bent over in a riding position. It also comes in Fluorescent yellow and orange , in case you plan to ride at night and need extra visibility.

The only potential downside is the lack of pockets, but the packability, breathability, and comfort of this jacket will more than make up for that for many riders.

Assos Uma GT Wind Jacket

Uma GT Wind Jacket

One of the best things you can say about a jacket is that it performs well in a wide range of situations, theoretically eliminating the need to buy lots of different options for varying types of weather. While it isn’t my only jacket, Assos’ Uma GT is highly weather-resistant, but also very breathable, which is a relatively rare combination that would allow me to buy fewer cycling jackets if I were inclined.

At 3.7 ounces, it’s extremely lightweight and stowable. It’s constructed with Assos’ DWR-treated ultralight Foil Ultra fabric in the front, which is water-repellent and exceptionally windproof. The side panels, made from a stretchy warp-knit material, allow for layering underneath without feeling restrictive. The back panel, made from a stretch mesh, provides significant breathability.

There are two rear vents that allow you to access the pockets of your jersey underneath, and elastic at the wrists eliminates any wind getting in. If someone insisted that I edit my cycling jacket collection to only a few, the Assos Uma GT would be on that short list.

Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket

Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket

While I participate in group road cycling rides every weekend, I am, first and foremost, a bike commuter. When I say I ride my bike everywhere all the time, I am not exaggerating. Errands, work, social engagements, interviews, appointments – I cycle to all of them, no matter what the weather. My Showerspass Elite cycling jacket is the one I grab when there’s rain, snow, sleet, or hail in the forecast.

The zippered chest pocket accommodates a cell phone, and the zippered full side vents regulate body temperature. As anyone who has worn a rain jacket knows, they’re usually not very breathable, causing you to sweat enough that you end up just as drenched wearing it as you would be not wearing it. Thanks to these side vents, a generous back vent, and body-mapping that maximizes breathability, this is not the case with this particular jacket.

One of the best things about this jacket, though, is that there’s ample room in the neck when zipped entirely closed to eliminate any choking sensation. I find this a rare thing in a jacket; especially cycling specific ones that always seem to lean towards a tight, constrictive fit in the neck area.

Shop Men’s Shop Women’s Hood Sold Separately

assos Equipe RS Targa Rain Jacket

Equipe RS Targa Rain Jacket

Assos specializes in fitted, high-performance racing gear for cyclists. Case in point, the RS Targa rain jacket features a slim, tapered fit with long, fitted arms made from the brand’s proprietary Schloss Tex fabric–an ultralight hydrophobic material that pulls water away from your skin, while staying stretchy and breathable. It keeps you from getting wet to the point of feeling waterlogged or soggy (neither of which is helpful while racing), without restricting your freedom of movement.

The chunky two-way zipper gives you the ventilation you need, and is easy to adjust mid-ride. The elastic hem keeps it securely where it should be and a panel in the sleeve hem prevents drafting and flapping. These small considerations can make a big difference on a rainy race day.

Available in black or orange, the RS Targa also features a reflective strip down the back for visibility and a generous drop tail hem to protect you from road spray. In lieu of pockets, there are two vents in the rear panel that give access to your jersey pockets. That’s less than ideal for everyday riders, but exactly what you need when you want to post your best time.

Patagonia Dirt Roamer

Dirt Roamer

Made from a stretchy, 100% DWR-coated nylon, the Patagonia Dirt Roamer provides a comfortable fit and feel for navigating technical trails. I consider it my Goldilocks jacket: It’s neither too heavy, nor too light, and it perfectly straddles the line between being breathable and weatherproof.

It functions as an excellent wind shell for cool mornings and adequately resists water throughout a ride that includes perpetual drizzle. Very little sweat builds up inside while climbing, which is a testament to its surprising breathability. Your body heat passes through the jacket and out into the world, as opposed to building up inside the jacket and rendering you a sweaty mess.

I also love its knit interior, which feels much better against bare skin than the plasticky inner linings on many weatherproof outerwear. The hood, a rarity among the top cycling jackets, is also a highlight: It’s large enough to fit around your helmet without blocking your view, and you can roll it down when you don’t need it.

I wish this jacket had one or two front side pockets for additional storage, especially since the rear one is difficult to reach under a backpack.

Last summer I spent two and a half weeks mountain biking across Madagascar, during which I experienced a full range of Malagasy weather. It was supposedly the cool, dry season, but that apparently depends on where you are in the country. I found temperatures ranging from the upper 40s/low 50s to the low 80s, and many mountains – sometimes all in the same day. And there was rain, light and heavy. I wore my Dirt Roamer through all of it. It even made it through a rather bad fall on a rocky downhill without ripping or tearing.

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Proviz Reflect 360+

Reflect 360+

If you plan to ride at night, you need to wear reflective gear to make sure cars and other riders will see you. Even among reflective cycling jackets, which are designed to stand out, the Proviz Reflect 360+ shines bright. It’s made almost entirely from fabric made with tiny reflective glass beads. When a light hits any part of it, the entire jacket lights up, transforming you into a literal beacon of light for all to see.

Proviz 360 jackets provide breathability via zippered underarm vents, a back flap vent, and zippered front chest pockets that double as vents when needed. For comfort, there’s a soft, cotton mesh lining and a fleece lined collar. Water- and windproof, it’s a reliable commuter cycling jacket that’s ready for all sorts of inclement weather. Plus, there are ample pockets for storing a phone, keys, money, and other sundries.

Originally only available in silver, the company recently released it in a wider range of high-visibility colors . All of them feature the same reflective technology, though, and shine bright in the spotlight (or, more likely, a car’s headlights.) While it isn’t my personal favorite only because I don’t really care for the color choices, riders who spend a good deal of time riding in traffic will appreciate that this jacket gives you an extra bump in the visibility department.

Ostroy No Trainer Summit Winter Jacket

No Trainer Summit Winter Jacket

I just brought the Ostroy No Trainer Summit Winter Jacket on a short bikepacking trip through a portion of the Himalayan mountain range–Leh to Manali–where there was snow and freezing morning temperatures. Though it looks thin, this jacket’s fleece-backed “fusion fabric” kept me warm through the bitter cold. Water-resistant with four-way stretch, my movement was never hindered and snow never penetrated the outer layer.

There are three back pockets for storage and a hefty 2-way zipper for ventilation when climbing. I also appreciated that the sleeves were longer than those of many of my other jackets, as well as their stretch-knit cuffs, which kept wind from creeping in.

The neck’s a little tight, likely for the same reason, but you can always soften that with a neck buff. Plus, the no trainer logo and olive color suit my personal style perfectly (I’m the cyclist you see pedaling to work in the sleet or snow). I own several pieces from Ostroy and have always been impressed with the quality and fit. This jacket is no exception.

Q+A With Cycling Jacket Aficionado Vanessa Nirode

How do you stay warm while cycling in the cold.

The secret, whether you’re riding or standing still, is to dress in layers. As the temperature drops, start adding extra pieces to trap more heat: A wind-blocking cycling jacket is a good place to start, then a moisture-wicking base layer, then a long-sleeve thermal jersey. On especially cold days (temperatures well below freezing), I’ll switch the wind jacket out for a winter specific jacket with a thermal lining or a polyester fiberfill.

The tricky part for cyclists, of course, is balancing the need to insulate your body heat with the equally important need to vent water vapor when you start to sweat. The best solution is to wear less clothing at the beginning of the ride to reduce sweating. (Though I am rarely, if ever, successful in this.) In winter weather, you should  always start your ride cold .

How Do You Stay Warm While Cycling in Wet Conditions?

In cool or cold conditions, layering and ventilation are your friends. A moisture-wicking layer and a waterproof cycling jacket with good ventilation usually provides enough protection. Hardshell waterproof jackets will block wind and water, keeping you warm and dry.

That said, wet does not always mean cold. I rarely don a rain jacket when cycling during the summer. On a hot, steamy day, a rainshower may be just what you need to cool down. And even if it isn’t, no waterproof jacket will offer enough ventilation to compensate for the extra sweat you’ll build up while riding in 75 degrees or more.

When Should I Consider Wearing a Cycling Jacket?

It depends on how sensitive you are to the cold, but the team at  Runner’s World  offers a good rule of thumb for any kind of cold-weather exercise: “Dress like it’s 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is.” Personally, I usually take a jacket with me if it’s 55 degrees or cooler.

Can I wear a road cycling jacket for gravel?

You can, though you should be aware that some road cycling jackets are made with super thin, lightweight materials that will not hold up well when scraped against a tree branch (or the ground!).

Headshot of Vanessa Nirode

Vanessa Nirode is a freelance writer who covers wellness, culture, outdoor adventure and travel for Hearst , HuffPost , PopSci , BBC Travel , and Threads , among others. She’s also a pattern maker and tailor for film and television but most of the time, she’d rather just be riding her bicycle.

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Best Urban Cycling Jacket: Top 15 Bike Commuter Jackets in 2023

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By Pete Reynolds

Updated Dec 08, 2023

This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep Discerning Cyclist rolling. Learn more .

With your bag packed and your bike ready to ride, you’re all set for your commute to work. Off you go, speeding through the streets without a care in the world, when all of a sudden, your worst nightmare sets upon you: rain.

Without a good cycling jacket to soak it up, you arrive at work looking like a drowned rat. Your possessions may be kept nice and warm inside your bag, but not you. So, what can you do?

It’s in case of scenarios like these that a proper bicycle jacket is essential. Below, we’ll take a look at some key features of the best bike commuter jackets , run through three of the best for both men and women, and answer some important FAQs on the matter.

Urban Cycling Jackets [ Men ] [ Women ]

bike travel jacket

Rapha Men’s Commuter Jacket

A sleek and practical cycling jacket, designed for urban commutes and adverse weather conditions.

bike travel jacket

Chrome Two-Way Insulated Shacket

A versatile and stylish jacket that can be worn as a shirt or a jacket.

bike travel jacket

Velocio Recon Snap Jacket

A lightweight and breathable cycling jacket, designed for performance and all-day comfort.

bike travel jacket

Helly Hansen Ride Hooded Cycling Jacket

A waterproof and windproof jacket, perfect for intense outdoor activities.

bike travel jacket

Ministry of Supply Composite Merino EcoFleece Jacket

A sustainable and comfortable jacket, perfect for everyday wear.

bike travel jacket

Chrome Merino Wool Cobra 3.0

A warm and durable cycling jacket, designed for urban riders and commuters.

bike travel jacket

PROVIZ Reflect360 Plus Men’s Cycling Jacket

A highly visible and reflective jacket, ideal for night-time rides.

bike travel jacket

Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket

A sleek and breathable cycling jacket, designed for urban riders and commuters.

bike travel jacket

Chrome Storm Salute Commute Jacket

A waterproof and durable jacket, perfect for rainy commutes and outdoor activities.

bike travel jacket

Mission Workshop Eiger Jacket

A versatile and stylish jacket, designed for all-day comfort and outdoor adventures.

bike travel jacket

Rapha Packable Down Jacket

A lightweight and compressible jacket, ideal for travel and outdoor activities in cold weather.

bike travel jacket

  • Best Cycling Jeans
  • Best Smart Bike Helmets (with Built-In Bluetooth)

Bike Commuting Jacket: Key Features

Of course, your first port of call should be waterproof and water-resistance, because getting drenched by the heavens en route to work is nobody’s idea of fun.

But that should hardly be your only concern when picking the right jacket for you. Is it breathable enough? Does it offer much in the way of stretch? What kind of fit does it provide? Is it as effective as a summer cycling jacket as in the depths of winter? And how many pockets does it have for that extra bit of storage?

You may also be on the lookout for a more stylish cycling jacket, because why just stop at functional when you look great, too? And if you’re keen on giving your head a little extra cover, what about coats with hoods?

Hopefully, you’ll find something for you in our top three of both male and female commuter jackets. Let’s dive in:

bike travel jacket

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Cycling Commuter Jacket for Men [Top 11]

  • Rapha Men’s Commuter Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Chrome Two-Way Insulated Shacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Velocio Recon Snap Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Helly Hansen Ride Hooded Cycling Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Ministry of Supply Composite Merino EcoFleece Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Chrome Merino Wool Cobra 3.0 [ REVIEW ]
  • PROVIZ Reflect360 Plus Men’s Cycling Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Chrome Storm Salute Commute Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Mission Workshop Eiger Jacket [ REVIEW ]
  • Rapha Packable Down Jacket [ REVIEW ]

Looking for women’s jackets? Click here to skip straight to them.

1. Rapha Men’s Commuter Jacket

bike travel jacket

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating:  Fully waterproof

Waterproof membrane

Rear illumination

Sealed seams

Designed explicitly for the daily commute (and with a lower riding position than other offerings from Rapha) this jacket manages to be both lightweight and durable with no compromises made on either side.

Waterproofing is top notch with sealed seams to prevent water ingress and a special membrane on the inside of the jacket. The membrane keeps water at bay but it’s light and airy so you won’t have to worry about sweat building up. A mesh lining up the back helps with ventilation.

You also get welted zip pockets (enough to hold essentials like your keys and phone). The zipper is made using “Aquaguard” technology – in laymen’s terms that just means that it’s super waterproof and not a single drop of moisture can find its way inside.

A looped fastening makes the jacket easy to access so you won’t have to spend hours grappling with the zip, something that can be a big problem with cold hands.

Small touches are what make this jacket so special. The zip is slightly off centre so you won’t have to worry about chaffing on your chin and a reflective gradient dot pattern lights up on the back. Since these jackets are mostly worn at night or in bad weather, that illumination makes a big difference. The Rapha will keep you safe, dry and, above all else, comfortable.

2. Chrome Two-Way Insulated Shacket

bike travel jacket

Material(s):  100% recycled polyester

Natty design

100% recycled polyester

We’re on familiar ground here with a jacket – sorry, Shacket – from city cycling experts Chrome Industries.

This jacket’s party piece, and one that you won’t find on any other jackets in our list, is its reversibility. On one side, a more stoic black and on the other a pleasing olive green. Irrespective of which way the shacket is worn it will provide warmth, protection against wind and an element of water resistance – all within a lightweight package.

We particularly like the design of this one – the traditional collars, the semi-quilted fabric pattern and the chest pockets give the garment a natty feel.

Like some other urban cycling brands, Chrome Industries has introduced recycled materials into its lineup of cycling apparel. The Two-Way Insulated Shacket is made from 100% recycled material.

3. Velocio Recon Snap Jacket

bike travel jacket

Material(s):  50% Polyester. 50% Polyamide

Top of the style stakes

Extra insulation

DWR coating on the outside  and  the inside

Although style is subjective, there’s no doubt in our mind that  Velocio’s Recon Snap jacket  is the best-looking item on our list. The high collar, the slim fit, the button closure and even the elbow patches – own one on you’ll scream suave and sophisticated.

This isn’t to say that the Recon Snap isn’t up to the task of performing either, indeed the jacket is packed (literally) with some of the most technologically advanced material around. The outside is made from Pertex Quantum fabric, a superlight material with plenty of stretch. Stuffed inside the jacket is insulation from well-known provider Polartec.

With a standard DWR coating present and correct the Recon Snap will ward off the odd shower. But top marks to Velocio for adding it to the inner of the jacket too. That way if it does get soaked in an unexpected downpour on the way to work, it should dry out in time for the return leg.

Name a more chic cycling jacket – we’ll wait!

4. Helly Hansen Ride Hooded Cycling Jacket

bike travel jacket

Adjustable hoo

Dual layers

Chest pockets

Waterproof, windproof, breathable and lightweight, the Helly Hansen offers everything you could want from a cycling rain jacket. Better still, it crams all of these features into a bright yellow package that stands out vividly in even the poorest light.

Reflective strips boost visibility even higher and ensure that you won’t ever be missed. The jacket is designed specifically  for urban cycling  and engineered with an articulated cut for extra mobility as you nip through the traffic.

Waterproofing is, of course, the big area of interest and the Helly Hansen doesn’t disappoint. The combination of Polyamide shell and Polyester lining offers two layers of protection and also gives the jacket its windproof credentials.

The two part design is lightweight and pleasantly breathable (this is one of the lightest jackets on the list at just 450g). Chest and hand pockets offer plenty of room to store essentials.

This jacket comes with a hood. Fortunately (and unlike many other cycling rain jackets) the hood and hem are fully adjustable so you should be able to find a configuration that fits. With a few adjustments, it’s quite easy to stop the hood from flapping in the wind and get a secure fit.

Having a hood further boosts the jacket’s all weather credentials. Throw in some reflective strips and we’d say that the Helly Hansen offers everything you could need to get through the winter.

5. Ministry of Supply Composite Merino EcoFleece Jacket

bike travel jacket

Material(s):  54% Merino Wool, 33% Polyester, 13% Nylon

Relaxed fit

Clever use of biodegradable wool

Large, oversize collar

For city cyclists searching for a jacket that won’t look out of place at the water cooler or in the lunch queue, go for Ministry of Supply’s Composite Merino EcoFleece. The fit of this jacket is relaxed; very relaxed when compared to the other jackets in this list.

Ministry of Supply makes great play of their jacket’s use of wool. This wholly natural material is growing in popularity again after decades in the apparel wildness. Wool is a great insulator, so this jacket will keep the rider toasty during a leisurely pedal around town. But that’s not the extent of wool’s abilities. Should any of the wool fibres from the jacket make their way into rivers, lakes or oceans they’ll degrade in a matter of months. Microplastics in polyester jackets will take centuries to degrade.

One final feature of this jacket is the large, oversize collar. Worn flat it’s a style feature, but popped up and supported by a tug of the zip, the collar provides some simple protection from inclement weather.

6. Chrome Merino Wool Cobra 3.0

bike travel jacket

Material(s):  53% Merino Wool, 44% Polyester, 3% Spandex

Cycling-specific hoodie

Made from merino wool, recycled polyester and spandex

Thumb holes in sleeves

Chrome Industries get their second entry on our list, with the Merino Wool Cobra 3.0 Hoodie. As the name suggests this is the third iteration of the garment. It has a cycling-specific fit with a drop tail for extra coverage when riding, an athletic (slim) fit to prevent it from flapping in the wind and a nice high collar to keep the wearer warm and comfortable, whatever the weather.

Cycling hoodies are definitely not ten-a-penny, especially ones made from merino wool. Like the option from Ministry of Supply, this cycling jacket is made from a blend of merino wool and polyester, but unlike the EcoFleece the Merino Cobra also has Spandex in the material. This triumvirate of materials delivers warmth, breathability and stretch respectively.

A feature not seen on any other jackets in our list, Chrome’s Merino Wool Cobra 3.0 has thumb loops (or holes) in the sleeves. A simple but clever solution to prevent sleeves riding up or a pesky gap appearing between gloves and jacket.

7. PROVIZ Reflect360 Plus Men’s Cycling Jacket

bike travel jacket

Reflective from all directions

Machine washable

ProViz is a big name in the sports world, and their Nightrider jacket doesn’t disappoint. This is the jacket to go for if you’re worried about visibility. Not only is the jacket itself glaringly bright (you can choose between neon pink and the even more vivid yellow) but it comes with massive reflective strips around the shoulders, back and waist. Quite simply, it’s the brightest cycling jacket you’ll find and will ensure that you’re visible in even the lowest light.

That’s not all, though. The material is fully waterproof while retaining breathability and the zip is engineered to prevent water ingress. It also comes with a small “zip garage” at the top. That might not sound like much, but it’s a feature that anyone who has ever experienced neck chaffing will certainly appreciate! Even the cuffs are adjustable. You can widen them for increased airflow in the summer or tighten them to keep the water out in winter. That, of course, makes the jacket an all-season choice.

The collar comes with a soft microfleece. It’s warm and snug and the material is so soft that it’s hardly noticeable – you won’t experience any chafing. Waterproof pockets and an adjustable waistband complete the package.

8. Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket

bike travel jacket

Reflective lighting

Optional hood

Another Rapha variant, this jacket is slightly cheaper than their other addition on the list but it’s still designed with the commute in mind. The jacket is cut loose enough to be worn over a shirt, jumper or blazer, so it’s ideal on the way to the office. It even accommodates backpacks, with a mesh covering around the shoulders for extra breathability. Two pockets offer ample storage space and there’s an optional hood. It can be attached, detached or worn underneath a helmet.

This jacket is all about convenience. It folds down into a  compact stuff sack  that will fit inside any bag. You also get some reflective dots along the lower back for increased visibility behind. These dots are designed to appear just below any rucksack and at the eye level of motorists, so you should have no problem cycling in low light. The jacket even has an integrated hanger hoop for additional convenience.

Water and windproofing are of course top of the range. The 100% polyester is fully waterproof while remaining breathable. The zip pockets are protected against liquid incursion by stay-down pullers. Seam stitching along the rest of the jacket will keep any moisture out. With its relaxed fit and lightweight fabric, this jacket is the perfect commuter companion.

9. Chrome Storm Salute Commute Jacket

bike travel jacket

Reflective sleeves

Seam sealed

It might come with a hefty price tag, but the Storm Salute more than justifies the outlay. Waterproofing is top of the range due to a 2.5, fully waterproof rain shell.

The pockets are similarly protected to prevent even light water ingress. At the other end of the weather scale, ventilation along the back of the jacket will keep you cool and sweat free.

You also get plenty of storage with a spacious back cargo pocket and an interior one for your phone. The latter is easy access for added convenience. The Storm Salute is one for the style conscious cyclist. Its laid back, clean cut looks give it a modern aesthetic that’s unmatched across other jackets.

That Storm Salute has been able to pair style with functionality is a triumph. The jacket is fully seam sealed, has the second highest waterproofing rating of any on the list and even comes with a fully adjustable storm hood.

A drop tail hem offers protection against splashes from the rear wheel and there are visibility strips along the sleeves, cuffs and lower back. To top things off, this jacket comes with a 365 day warranty. When it comes to style fused with functionality, you can’t go wrong here.

10. Mission Workshop Eiger Jacket

bike travel jacket

Waterproof Rating:  ePTFE

Military grade materials

Temperature regulation

This might well be the best bike commuter jacket ever made. So why is it not #1? Because it’s  maddeningly  expensive.

Made using Swiss engineered, military grade materials it’s the only ePTFE waterproof/windproof and breathable jacket on the list.

This jacket is more than weatherproof. The Schoeller fabric uses a special membrane to regulate body temperate while keeping water and wind at bay. It will keep you dry and warm (but never too warm) and it’s incredibly breathable.

Full seam tapering keeps even the worst weather at bay and there are premium touches everywhere. You get Italian Riri and German Prym metal snaps, as well as YKK weatherproof zippers. These do more than just give the jacket a stylish look. They guarantee complete imperviousness to water. A wool outer shell completes the package with another warm layer.

It almost goes without saying that a jacket this expensive has a style like no other. The military yet modern aesthetic ensures that it stands out from the crowd.

We love the subtle detailing around the shoulders and the clean lines. If you want a luxury, top of the range jacket that’s likely to last a lifetime, then the Eigar is the best on the market (as long as money is no object!).

11. Rapha Packable Down Jacket

bike travel jacket

Material(s):  Main: 100% polyester. Insulation: 90% goose down, 10% feather. Lining: 100% polyester.

Packed with ethically sourced down

Two-way zip

Detachable hood

Whether a down jacket constitutes a cycling softshell is up for debate, but Rapha’s Packable Down Jacket, is definitely worthy of a place on our list – it’s not a hardshell jacket that’s for sure!

If you’ve owned a down jacket you can attest to their comfort and warmth. Purchase this jacket and you’ll happily rely on it when cycling in cold weather. The jacket has a relaxed fit designed with comfort on the bike in mind and unlike some other items on our list, the jacket packs down into a stuff sack. A DWR coating will keep the wearer dry in the event of a brief shower.

There are two further features that caught our attention. First, a two-way zip might not sound like the most complex or noteworthy of features but it’s something every cyclist will relish using if they start getting too hot under the collar. Unzip the bottom to enable a cooling waft of air. Further to this, if you ride in a traditional cycling jersey with rear pockets, this feature allows easy access to items stored back there.

The second notable feature is the hood. Now obviously it’s not going to go over a helmet, but it will provide extra warmth should the situation demand it. It’s also detachable.

Best Women’s Commuter Cycling Jackets (Top 4)

bike travel jacket

Rapha Women’s Commuter Jacket

A stylish and practical outerwear option for cycling in all weather conditions. It’s waterproof, breathable, and reflective.

bike travel jacket

Helly Hansen Women’s Ride Cycling Jacket

A lightweight and durable outer layer designed for optimal comfort and protection while cycling. It’s windproof and water-resistant.

bike travel jacket

PROVIZ Nightrider Women’s Cycling Jacket 2.0

A highly reflective and waterproof jacket that ensures maximum visibility and protection during night rides.

bike travel jacket

A breathable and waterproof layer designed for comfortable and stylish cycling in any weather.

Best Women’s Bike Commuter Jacket

1. rapha women’s commuter jacket.

rapha women commuter jacket

Waterproof Rating:  Waterproof

5 colour options

Full length waterproof zip

Rapha are well known for producing high quality stylish cycle clothing and this women’s commuter jacket is no exception.

Described as “the definitive jacket for riding to work in wet conditions”, they’ve opted for a durable but lightweight fabric with a hydrophobic membrane.

The seams are also all sealed and the inside of the fabric has a dry touch print so it is breathable. In addition to this the hem is elasticated, and the cuffs have internal storm binding to keep water out.

On the outside, there is a full length waterproof zip which they’ve strategically placed off centre to avoid it rubbing on your chin when zipped up.

A handy hood is also included which can be worn underneath a helmet. This is particularly useful for very heavy rain as it also has an integrated drawcord. The hood can also be easily packed away using a reflective strap.

With regards to visibility, the jacket has a reflective gradient dot print on the tail which is another thoughtful placement so you can wear a backpack and still be seen, especially by drivers as it is in their eyeline.

Available in five colours ranging from grey blue to peach and in sizes XXS to XL, it caters to a wide range of women.

2. Helly Hansen Women’s Ride Cycling Jacket

bike travel jacket

Drawcord adjustment at hip

Back yoke with ventilation

Weighs only 400g

A Discerning Cyclist tried and tested product, Helly Hansen’s jacket was described in  our review  as a “great all round waterproof and windproof cycling jacket for commuting or leisure riding” that is “versatile and well thought out” thanks to it being lightweight, waterproof and stylish.

Made from 100% recycled materials, this breathable and windproof 3 layer jacket is aimed at urban riders and commuters so it is good for both you and the planet.

They’ve carefully considered and integrated specific features for cycling including ventilation to keep you cool, a comfortable wicking collar and a trail drop hemline which can be easily adjusted.

Available in white or black, it also has a hood to help during heavier downpours, spacious pockets and reflective elements to keep you visible during darker rides.

3. PROVIZ Nightrider Women’s Cycling Jacket 2.0

bike travel jacket

Highly breathable

Quick-dry mesh lining

Waterproof storm zip

PROVIZ are world renowned for their cycling jackets so it is no surprise that their Nightrider Women’s Cycling Jacket 2.0 has made this list.

Bursting with features and also colour as it is available in 8 different options, this is another stylish but durable option.

This jacket is particularly suited for riding in the dark as it features PROVIZ’s infamous retro-reflective REFLECT360 material which they have positioned to optimise visibility.

On top of being seen, you’ll also be comfortable and dry as the jacket is both highly breathable and waterproof with sealed seams.

In terms of the design, it has a micro fleece lined collar to keep you warm, quick-dry mesh lining, an adjustable waistband and velcro cuffs, and a waterproof storm zip.

From a practical perspective it has side pockets, is machine washable and only weighs 440g.

4. Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket

bike travel jacket

Waterproof Rating:  Resistant

Integrated stuff sack

Roll down hood

Reflective elements

Another excellent product from Rapha, their Commuter Lightweight Jacket is versatile both on and off the bike.

Featuring a new breathable fabric and a mesh panel over the shoulders, this windproof and water resistant jacket will keep you cool, comfortable and dry if you get caught in any showers en route.

You’ll also be visible on your ride thanks to a reflective pixel print pattern and oversized dot on the lower back which, like their other commuter jacket, has been placed so you can wear a backpack and still be seen. This jacket also has reflective cuffs for when you’re signalling.

Practicality is built into every element of this jacket. Two concealed pockets with zips with stay down pullers mean you can securely store your supplies. A roll down hood means you can stop your hair from getting wet.

When you arrive at your destination, a strategic stuff sack allows you to quickly pack the jacket away and pop it into a bag. Or if you prefer to hang it up, it even has an integrated hanger loop ready to show off the wonderful colour choices of pink, mauve or blue.

Urban Cycling Jacket – FAQs

What is a commuter jacket.

A commuter jacket is a jacket that has been to be practical and functional while you commute to work by bicycle. Typical features of commuter jackets include water resistance, breathable materials, a dropped hem at the back, zipped pockets and stretchy material.

What is the best waterproof cycling jacket?

It depends on your preference, of course. If you’re into style and looks, the Velocio is probably the mens’ best bet, and the Storm Salute from Chrome Industries for women. For something built to last, the Endura coat is ideal, too.

But as a great all-rounder, and one which caters for both genders more than adequately, the Rapha jackets are the best jack of all trades (in our humble opinion, anyway).

What to wear under cycling jacket?

More breathable gear specifically designed for wearing while cycling (i.e. Lycra). 

Riding with a cotton T-shirt underneath will soon leave you saddled with pools of sweat, as they simply don’t have the ability to ‘wick’ it anywhere near as efficiently.

What’s the best way to wash a waterproof jacket?

Brush off any loose mud or dirt, and close any zipped compartments. In a washing machine, don’t wash your waterproof jacket with other items or more than two clothes at a time.

Then, wash and rinse at about 30 degrees, before either air-drying or tumble-drying (only tumble-dry on low or medium heat, though.)

But of course, always check the clothing label for advice, too.

  • Best Waterproof Cycling Backpacks
  • Best Folding Bike Locks
  • Best Smartwatch for Cyclists

Best Urban Cycling Jackets

Just because you want to stay warm and dry on your ride doesn’t mean you can’t look good too.

Find stylish cycling jackets for everyday life by reading our reviews and style guides below.

Whether you’re an urban commuter or just like riding your bike around the city, your jacket is one of the most important clothing considerations make.

Regular jackets often don’t fare well when cycling as sleeves ride up your arm, the material is too short on your back and therefore exposing your rear, while warm jackets can often prove too hot when you’re cycling.

Therefore, finding a good commuter cycling jacket can help dramatical improve your comfort on rides.

But Discerning Cyclist isn’t focussed on just functionality. I also love clothes that look good and don’t scream: “CYCLIST!” every where you go. I focus on the sweet spot that combines practicality with style, showcasing products that you can enjoy on your ride and that look great at your destination.

In this guide, I’ll help you find the best urban cycling jackets for stylish city commuters, looking at what features and materials you should look for in a casual cycling jacket, as well as look at the different types of gear available, such as waterproof bike jackets, breathable cycling jackets , packable jackets, hi-vis and reflective cycling jackets, as well as hardy winter cycling jackets.

I’ll also show you some of the best urban cycling brands and places to buy stylish cycling jackets – regardless of whether you live in the UK, Europe, America or Canada.

READ: Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets for Stylish Urban Riders

To kick start your search for the best bike jacket for your needs, I’m going to take a look at some special features and materials to look out for.

Features and Materials to Look Out For

Weather is a key factor to consider when you want to buy a commuter cycling jacket. Do you want to keep the rain off? Do you want to stay warm? Do you want to be visible? Do you just want a waterproof cycling jacket you can throw in your bag in case of a surprise downpour? Or do you just want a good all-round jacket to get your through the cooler months?

Getting a jacket that fits well for cycling is also important, as regular jackets can often ride up on the sleeves and back and provide little in the way of stretch – which is useful for cyclists.

Another useful feature for cyclists is finding jackets with reflective material. This can range from full on hi-vis cycling jackets, to more subtle reflective detailing on the jacket.

Hoods are often over-looked on jackets for road cyclists as these types of cyclists often want to stay as aero-dynamic as possible, but for the everyday commuter cyclist going through a city – a hood – ideally a packable hood – is a very welcome feature and one that you’re grateful for in an unexpected downpour.

The last feature I want to discuss is pockets. Pockets are so often overlooked when designing urban cycling jackets. But having a good couple of hand pockets – ideally with zips – are hugely useful for commuters and something I consider integral when I’m picking out a new bike jacket.

What’s the Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Jackets?

When it comes to waterproof cycling clothing (or waterproof anything for that matter) it’s important to understand that this is not a black and white feature, but instead a scale. Just because something’s water resistant doesn’t mean it’ll keep you bone dry in a heavy down pour.

But there are pros and cons of waterproof cycling jackets too, as, typically, is something is waterproof – it normally isn’t breathable – meaning you may be dry on the outside but wet from sweat on the inside – an equally uncomfortable feeling. With water resistant jackets though, it’s possible that the material can also breathe more. It’s therefore important to figure out where to draw your own line on keeping water outside and staying cool inside.

In particular, what do the IPX ratings actually mean? Well, the IPX ratings range from IPX0 to IPX8 and below is a breakdown of what each represents.

IPX Rating System Summary

What is IPX0? – This is not at all water resistant. Like paper.

What is IPX1? – Provides minimal protection from dripping water (up to 1mm rainfall per minute).

What is IPX2? – Provides minimal protection from dripping water (up to 3mm rainfall per minute) when at a 15 ˚ angle.

What is IPX3? – Protects from spraying water (at any angle up to 60 ˚) of up to 0.7 litres per minute with water pressure 80-100kPa.

What is IPX4? – If you want to stay dry in “normal” rain, this is what you should be aiming for. IPX4 protects from splashing water in any direction, dealing with up to 10 litres of water per minute (with water pressure of up to 80-100kPa).

What is IPX5? – VERY waterproof clothing. Can deal with a storm in any direction. Tested by having water jets sprays at it for three minutes with 12.5 litres of water firing at it per minute.

What is IPX6? – Overkill for cycling. Can go swimming in this stuff.

What is IPX7? – See above.

Basically, if you want to stay completely dry on the outside, IPX4 or IPX5 gear will do so. IPX2 and IPX3 is what you’d call “water resistant” with most water rolling off the surface of the material.

The alternative to the IPX rating system is the Waterproof Rating (mm), which some other cycling brands use. Below is a summary of this system.

Waterproof Rating System Summary

Rating 0 – 1,500 – Not resistant. Fine for dry weather.

Rating 1,500 – 5,000 – Light resistance and snow proof. Okay for light rain and dry snow.

Rating 5,000 – 10,000 – Waterproof under light pressure and rainproof. Okay for light to moderate rain and average snow.

Rating 10,000 – 15,000 – Waterproof and rainproof unless under high pressure. Okay for moderate rain and quite heavy snow.

Rating 15,000 – 20,000 – Waterproof and rainproof even under high pressure. Okay for heavy rain and wet snow.

Rating 15,000 – 20,000 – Monster. Is very waterproof and rainproof in the most extreme pressure. Okay for any weather on Planet Earth.

Types of Urban Cycling Jacket

While there are some good all-round cycling jackets out there, finding the best cycling commuter jacket is more of a personal thing – depending on your needs. Obviously features can be combined, but generally cycling jackets go in certain directions, i.e. waterproof jackets, lightweight and packable jackets, reflective cycling jackets and cosy winter bike jackets. Below I’ll take a look each type of bike commuter jackets.

Waterproof Cycling Jacket

Having a really waterproof cycling jacket is an important piece of gear to have for any cyclist who lives in wetter climes – i.e. Britain.

But just because you want something to keep you dry, doesn’t mean you have to cycle around looking like you’re wearing a bin bag – or even wear a bin bag, come to that.

There are loads of stylish urban cycling rain jackets out there, but you can find some of my favourites – and contenders for the best waterproof cycling jacket – by following the link below.

Lightweight Cycling Jacket

When cycling in the spring or summer, a lightweight cycling jacket can help take the slight chill out of the air in an evening and ensure you keep enjoying your rides.

Lightweight bike jackets are normally made out of materials like, while you can obviously find jackets that also combine water resistant properties, such as the polyamide nylon, and reflective detailing, such as Resolute Bay’s LS2 jacket – which features discreet reflective pin striping across the jacket, as well as IPX5 waterproof properties and even a detachable hood.

Breathable Cycling Jacket

Just because something’s light doesn’t mean it’s breathable… and so it’s important to know whether you want a lightweight jacket that will simply keep you warm or a breathable cycling jacket that also helps your body breathe on your rides.

Breathable bike jackets come in many different forms, but they typically aren’t found in waterproof materials – although special vents under the arm pits and on the back and chest can help provide.

Packable Cycling Jacket

The quintessential packable jacket is the Kag in a Bag, something I always associate with school trips. But packable cycling jackets have come a long way from these waterproof emergency jackets – you can get some really stylish packable jackets now that you can easily throw in a bag in case of an unexpected downpours.

One of my favourite packable cycling jackets that is great for a light shower is the UNIQLO Pocketable Parker Jacket , which features a cool pattern and can easily rolled up and thrown in a bag. It’s extremely lightweight, water-resistant, looks decent and has two front zipper pockets – and all for a reasonable £24.90.

If you want a waterproof packable jacket though, rather than just a water-resistant light rain number, Blacks have a number of packaway jackets for both men and women.

Of course, you can really go cheap by using disposable waterproof ponchos (the kind of things you often see at festivals) and you can get these for just a few quid on Amazon, but if you do, make sure you get biodegradable ones so that they’re not still lingering on the planets hundreds of years after you used it once or twice.

Reflective Cycling Jacket

When you say reflective or hi-vis cycling jackets, people will often think of a bright yellow jacket similar to what a steward would wear. And while you can get super practical and safe hi-vis jackets like this from the likes of Proviz , there are also stylish reflective cycling jackets available, which disguise their hi-vis functionality in daylight to look like regular jackets.

The Resolute Bay LS2 is one such example of this type of jacket, with the reflective detailing in this jacket hidden in vertical pinstripes, and they don’t become apparent until exposed to bright light – in which moment they do a fine job of making you visible.

Also, as an alternative to reflective or hi-visibility cycling jackets, a few brands now create cycling jackets with lights on, meaning you’re not reliant on third-party light to be seen. LUMO is one such brand that has stylish cycling jackets with flashing lights, although they do cost a pretty penny.

Winter Cycling Jacket

If you’re exposed to freezing cold conditions in winter, then you may well need a no-nonsense winter cycling jacket for commuters, something that will keep you warm and dry whatever the weather.

A thermal cycling jacket is one option, which could come in the form of a simple fleece, but a proper winter bike jacket you really want to be ready for anything.

Soft Shell Bike Jacket

While some people prefer hardy waterproof cycling jackets, soft shell bike jackets are also popular as they are better suited to day-to-day life, while offering a basic level of water-resistance. The materials use in a softshell bike jacket are typically softer – as the name suggests – and also more breathable. Which is an important consideration to make, because although you may be keeping the rain out, you’ll likely be creating your own moisture as your body cannot breathe. Hence, apart from in extreme rain, it’s typically better to wear a softshell cycling jacket instead of a waterproof bike jacket.

Hooded Cycling Jacket

When it comes to road cycling jackets, many of them don’t have hoods as they look to stay as aero-dynamic as possible, but that isn’t such a high priority of urban commuters who just want to arrive dry at their destination.

There are plenty of waterproof cycling jackets with hoods around, although I especially like hoods that can be zipped or buttoned away on my rides – so you’re not fighting headwinds more than you need to.

Again, the Resolute Bay LS2 reflective jacket is a great option as it has a removable hood – giving you the best of both worlds.

Best Urban Cycling Jackets for Men

In terms of multi-functional men’s cycling jackets that look good, I have two favourites that I use on a regular basis.

The first  is the Resolute Bay LS2 jacket , which I’ve previously discussed. This jacket tickets a lot of boxes with lot of reflective detailing, a waterproof/resistant outer, plenty of vents to keep it breathable, as well zipped pockets and removable hood. You really can’t ask for much more from a lightweight urban bike jacket – and that’s why it’s one of the very urban cycling jackets for men.

My second favourite isn’t highly functional. Nor is it particularly water resistant. But it is light as anything and can be packed away into a tiny bag that it comes with. It is though, less than £25 and looks pretty chic for a packaway jacket. It is the UNIQLO Pocketable Parker and it comes with me pretty much everywhere I go – especially on those will-it-won’t-it cloudy days in spring and autumn.

  • Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets: Top 5 for Stylish Riders
  • 4 of the Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets under £35 That Fit in Your Pocket
  • 5 Stylish Cycling Jackets this Winter for Men

Best Urban Cycling Jackets for Women

Women’s cycling jackets with lots of functionality and style are possibly even more plentiful than the options for men, as I discussed in our Stylish Waterproof Cycling Jackets for Men and Women post .

Bike jackets for women are in no short supply, with brands like As Bold As, AGU and Craft leading the charge for stylish female cyclists .

Cheap Urban Cycling Jackets

Unfortunately, with great multi-functional products also comes great price tags. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t affordable and even cheap urban cycling jackets out there that pack in some useful functionality.

With stylish cycling clothes in general, I always recommend checking out UNIQLO if you’re on a budget. Although not built specifically for cycling, lots of the UNIQLO range features breathable and stretchy material, but for a very reasonable price.

The UNIQLO packable jacket is one of my favourite items and I have it in my bag (or on back) nearly all the time. At just £24.90 it’s one of the best cheap rain jackets for cycling (that actually looks good) you can find.

Another cheap place for cycling clothes is Decathlon. In particular, if you’re after something a cheap hi-vis cycling jacket, the B’TWIN 500 Hi Vis Waterproof Urban Cycling Jacket is an absolute warrior (although not the prettiest) and costs just £34.99.

Urban Commuter Cycling Jacket Reviews

With Discerning Cyclist I’m always reviewing urban commuter cycling jackets, and you can read some of them below to get a more in-depth view of these products.

These have been some of the best urban cycling jackets for commuters that I’ve reviewed…

  • Resolute Bay LS2 Jacket – Review
  • LUMO Clissold Bomber Jacket – Review
  • MUXU Town Jacket – Review

But these are also worth checking out:

  • B’TWIN 500 Hi Vis Waterproof Cycling Jacket – Review
  • LUMO Herne Hill Harrington Jacket – Review
  • Oliver Sweeney Langton Cycling Jacket – Review
  • Helly Hansen Universal Moto Jacket – Review
  • Adidas adistar Pluvius Jacket – Review
  • Bianchi Men’s Modica Jacket – Review
  • Vulpine Lightweight Harrington Jacket – Review
  • Vulpine Softshell Jacket – Review
  • Rapha Rain Jacket – Review

Find Stylish Urban Cycling Clothes for Commuters

Discerning Cyclist was created to help bridge the gap between and style and functionality – and showcase the most stylish urban cycling clothes for commuters . Thanks for reading this guide on the best cycling commuter jackets, but you can read more about other topics in the links below.

READ: Best Cycling Jeans for Men + Women

READ: Best Cycling Chinos and Urban Trousers

READ: Best Urban Cycling Trousers for Stylish Commuters

READ: Best Urban Cycling Shorts

READ: Stylish Cycling Shirts for Men

READ: Best Urban Cycling Shirts + Tees

Where to Buy an Urban Cycling Jacket

Of course, when you’re buying an urban cycling jacket online, it’s important to make sure you’re shopping appropriately for your area and won’t be stung by slow delivery, expensive delivery costs and customs charges.

In the tables below, I’ve put together some of the best places to buy urban cycling jackets in the UK, US, Canada and Europe.

Best Places to Buy Urban Cycling Jackets

  • Chrome Industries
  • Ministry of Supply
  • Mission Workshop

bike travel jacket

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The Best Men’s Jackets for Biking to Work, According to Cyclists

Portrait of Liza Corsillo

The perfect jacket for biking to work has to keep you warm, dry , visible, and, in some cases, looking like you didn’t just ride through the rain over the Williamsburg Bridge. Sure, lots of us are still working from home. But for the people who do go into work at actual offices, schools, and stores, biking has become a much more popular way to commute. Depending on your job, the jacket you wear might have to take you from fighting your way through traffic right into a meeting in style.

Seeing as this is a very tall order, we talked to men who’ve been biking to work for years (many of whom still bike to an in-person job), so you can benefit from their wisdom. Here are their secrets, from mastering layering to fitting your helmet in your hood to keeping from getting hit by a taxi to preventing your gloves from getting wet. And of course, there are also some pretty great jackets you should check out right now.

Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket

“The best jacket to wear when cycling to work is a trick question, because there are two,” says Mike Radenbaugh, co-founder and CEO of electric bike company Rad Power Bikes . He starts with a down jacket as a base layer and recommends Patagonia’s Micro Puff Hoody because it’s warm and windproof and the cuffs have elastic that keep water and wind out. For the outer shell, his pro tip is to find a jacket that is  waterproof and reflective with arms long enough to go over your wrists so that water will not trickle down into your gloves. And make sure it has a hood. “When conditions get very tough, I have enjoyed having a jacket with a large hood (actually designed for skiing and snowboarding) that is large enough to go over my bike helmet.” Although his original recommendation, Mountain Hardwear’s Superforma jacket, is sold out, this one from Mountain Hardwear is very similar.

Black Diamond CoEfficient Fleece Hoodie

Jonathan Lee, a cycling coach and elite cyclist/cycling commuter in Reno, California, agrees that buying two jackets that you can wear separately or layer together is a solid investment. His go-to for dry and moderately cold conditions (45–60, degrees he tells us) is the Black Diamond Coefficient Fleece Hoodie, and for similar temperatures with rain or other precipitation, he uses the Rapha Men’s Hooded Rain Jacket. When it’s colder out, he uses them together. “The CoEfficient Fleece Hoodie breathes extremely well and stops me from arriving at work in need of a shower, and the Hooded Rain Jacket does a fantastic job of keeping me dry, allowing me to use the hood with a helmet, and acting as a wind barrier on those particularly frigid mornings,” he says. The fit of the CoEfficient Hoodie is slim, he says, but not uncomfortable, and the longer cut of the Hooded Rain Jacket is very effective at keeping road splash to a minimum. Finally, he likes that both jackets have a more casual, stylish aesthetic than the more serious cycling gear he wears for training.

Levi's Vintage Fit Trucker Jacket

On nice days, Robert Evans , CEO of Cycling Quests, opts for a classic Levi’s denim trucker jacket. “If it’s not wet and I’m feeling kind of hippy-ish, I’ll wear spandex shorts and a jean jacket on top,” he says. Evans has several jean jackets that are all Levi’s. “Levi’s has that iconic styling. The rest just don’t look as cool,” he says. For added warmth on dry days, he’ll layer a Smartwool full-zip under his Levi’s jacket. Like a lot of other Smartwool products, the jacket is breathable and moisture-wicking, but it’s still able to protect your core from high winds, thanks to a nylon-polyester shell. He also likes the headphone access port that’s built into the chest pocket.

Kühl Jetstream Jacket

For rainy or snowy days, Evans wears this lightweight jacket from Kühl because it does a really good job of beating off water but never makes him overheat. “In the wintertime, here in Idaho, I actually put this over other layers because the snow just falls right off of it, and it definitely lets all the sweat and evaporation out,” he says. He does warn that it can flap in the breeze and suggests ordering down a size if you’re a serious cyclist or racer. The jacket is quick-drying with sealed zippers and taped seams to keep you and your stuff bone-dry in even the nastiest storms.

REI Co-op Junction Cycling Rain Jacket

Bryan Ray, co-founder of, says the weather where he lives in Florida can be unpredictable, going from sunny and hot to a huge downpour on the same day. His go-to jacket for keeping his work clothes dry is REI’s Co-op Junction Cycling Jacket. “The biggest reason I love this jacket is the hood,” he says. “It fits perfectly over my helmet and it makes it easier to see when it’s really pouring. And it’s super lightweight and does a good job of keeping my shirt dry if it’s raining in the mornings.” While it’s definitely too hot to wear this jacket in the summer where he lives (unless it’s raining), when it cools down a bit in the fall and winter, he says it’s enough to keep him warm.

Gore Wear C5 GORE-TEX Trail Hooded Jacket

Torben Lonne, founder of DiveIn , lives in bike-friendly Copenhagen, where he regularly commutes to work by bike. His current favorite jacket to wear is this C5 GORE-TEX Trail Hooded jacket because it’s great for riding in the rain. “We have a lot of rain in Denmark, and I need to make sure I stay dry when I’m going to work. I love that this jacket is very light and keeps me dry at all times. It’s completely waterproof and actually pretty slim, which helps in case there’s strong wind,” he says.

Patagonia Houdini Full-Zip Jacket - Men's

“I always have this Patagonia shell on me in case the weather unexpectedly turns,” says David Bruno, a cyclist and owner of Départ Wine in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

32 DEGREES Men's Rain Jacket

For a significantly cheaper rain shell that will do a good job protecting your work clothes, Max Bodach , a PR associate in Washington, D.C., who bikes four miles to work and back every day, suggests this jacket he picked up on a trip to Costco (it’s also available at Amazon). “It’s super lightweight, easy to pack down, stretchy (so I can put it over my bag rather than pulling out a rain cover), and relatively breathable,” he says.

The North Face Men’s K2RM DryVent Jacket

“For me, bright colors are important so cars won’t hit me. I’m often biking to work in the dark because the school day starts so early,” says Jacob Cohen, an elementary teacher at the Co-op School in Brooklyn. He wears this sunflower-yellow windbreaker shell while biking to work in rainy weather because it’s lightweight and the armpit vents are very helpful with airflow. When temperatures drop, he just adds a layer underneath.

Proviz Sports REFLECT360 Men's Cycling Jacket

For high visibility in really cold and wet weather, Evans likes this Reflect 360 jacket from Proviz Sports. “If you shine a flashlight on one of these jackets in a dark room, you will illuminate the entire room just with the reflection,” he says. It’s definitely a heavier and less breathable jacket than his others, however, so he saves it for winter rain, sleet, and snow. In addition to the reflective material that “literally illuminates you like Casper the Friendly Ghost in car headlights,” he likes the cool, stylish cut.

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Best jackets for bikepacking and gravel – packable all-day protection

The best packable, weatherproof cycling jackets for off-road adventures

A number of cycling jackets hanging from a branch

  • Waterproof jackets
  • Windproof jackets
  • Insulated jackets
  • How to choose the best jacket for you

The best jackets for gravel riding and bikepacking often overlap with the best MTB jackets , with maybe more emphasis on packability, and less need for crashability. The main things we are looking for are comfort in all seasons, and ideally, something you can leave on and forget about through changes in weather and effort.

In terms of fit, we want the jacket to have more space for layers and movement than road jackets, but still be at the more streamlined end of things. We want long enough rear hems and sleeves for when you’re stretched out; and hoods are high on the list for all-day forays into the wild.  

We’ve divided this guide into waterproof shells and windproofs, and we've also included a couple of insulated jackets you could ride in (but we haven’t included down jackets for camp in this guide).

As our test team knows from having tested a great many jackets over the years, nothing is both waterproof enough and breathable enough, if you’re reasonably active. So the smart money is on embracing the moisture, layering to stay warm when damp, and deciding whether the conditions and your mindset are better suited to getting a little wet from rain or from sweat. See this Bespoken Word column from our tech editor Guy Kesteven for more on that.

Either way, while there’s no one jacket to rule them all 24-7/365, this selection of jackets for gravel riding and bikepacking will give you food for thought for your off-road exploration, from bright dry summer day rides with cold starts, to bivvying in chilly November.

Best waterproof jackets

A waterproof cycling shell jacket offers a barrier to rain and wind in a relatively light package, while doing its best to let sweat out. If you’re out in the foulest weather, or you just don’t trust the ‘damp but warm’ philosophy of more breathable windproofs, you’ll lean towards a waterproof shell.

The jackets here represent a good spectrum of value, protection and packability, including a couple of angles you might not have considered.

Check out the FAQs at the end of this article for questions such as whether jackets will inevitably wet out as they get older; and whether more robust generally means more waterproof.

Gore Endure Jacket

Specifications, reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

The Endure Jacket is made from Gore’s Paclite Plus fabric, which sits midway in its range for breathability and durability, and high for packability. We found it an easy jacket to like. The features are intelligently designed, right down to a non-slip strip on the hood to keep it in place over a helmet. And when the weather comes in, the drawcords cinch it in nicely around the collar and hem, and the high neckline does a good job of keeping rain and draughts out.

At 286g for a medium, it was midweight, and like most of the jackets here, the straight cut means you’re not going to mistake it for a road jacket, but we didn’t find it flappy, and it felt natural on and off the bike.

Even though it’s not at the top of Gore’s fabric tree, in testing we found the rain stayed out even in the worst conditions, and it felt ‘steadily’ breathable – that is, at least as good as most other mid-premium jackets. Like most, it struggled on short sharp efforts when the temperatures were in double digits (50F+), and vents would’ve been handy here. On the positive side, we found it doesn’t feel clammy against bare skin, and the sleeves can be hoiked up easily, so it’s not bad to wear with just a short-sleeved base in mild wet spells.

Decathlon Rockrider All-Mountain Waterproof Jacket

This is a smashing jacket for £90, with features that we were surprised to see at the price. The fit and the arm movement are spot on for all-round off-road cycling, and there’s room for layers without flappiness. With the hood up over a helmet you can move your head naturally without tightness, as on the best more expensive jackets. We don’t tend to have super-high hopes for water resistance and breathability in sub-$/£100 jackets, but the Rockrider has stood up reassuringly well in our tests in the foulest windy rain so far.

Neat features include soft stretch cuffs inside the main cuffs, and flaps that you can fold down over the backs of your hands; a soft hem around the chin; and drawstrings around the collar and waistband.

Down sides are few. At 416g, it’s a bit chunkier than the 200-300g we’d typically aim for in a bikepacking jacket, there’s only one pocket, and while the offset zip is a neat way of keeping it out of the way of your chin, it might take a bit of getting used to.

DHB Trail Waterproof Jacket

The DHB Trail Waterproof Jacket was one we reached for more than we expected to, in conditions from drizzle to persistent rain, and particularly when we didn’t have much packing space. It hit a really nice sweet spot between weight and protection, with enough breathability from the fabric and the underarm vents that it didn't feel like a big decision to sling it on.

At 198g, it’s one of the lightest jackets in this test. It’s pretty flexible and it will just about pack down into a jersey pocket, but it doesn’t feel flimsy. It certainly held up fine during our testing, as did the DWR, which showed little signs of wearing after a number of weeks. I particularly liked the fit – it was slim but movement was very easy, even with the hood snugly over a helmet.

As is reasonable for a lightweight mid-price jacket, some of the features are on the simple side – the cuffs and rear hem are simply elasticated, the inner pocket is a bit of a squeeze even for a small phone the zip, and the only outer pocket is round the back. I’d probably pick something slightly more substantial for consecutive days of the foulest weather, but generally this is a very likeable jacket. 

7mesh Skypilot

Our expert review:

Gore-Tex Active is one step up from Paclite in terms of breathability, and this is what the Skypilot is made from. The waterproofing will be at least as good, too, as our tester concurs via her ‘paper in the pocket’ test in rainstorms. 7mesh has managed to get the weight down to 234g for a large, which is impressive for such a protective jacket.

At $370 / £300, you’re certainly paying for this Goldilocks balance of performance and packability,  but the only way you can get much better in terms of Gore fabrics is to nudge $500/£400 for Gore-Tex Pro, which also carries a weight cost.

The good news is that 7mesh knows its onions when it comes to design, so you’re not just paying for clever fabric. Our tester described the fit as relaxed but close, and liked the classy aesthetic of the Skypilot, along with features like generously sized pockets and a watertight zipper. Her only niggle was the hood which she found flappy when not in use. 

For more details, read our full review of the 7mesh Skypilot .

Columbia OutDry Extreme Mesh Shell

If you get fed up with the water-repellent coating (DWR) on normal jackets wearing off and you don’t have any luck re-proofing them, Columbia’s OutDry might be music to your ears. The waterproof membrane and taping sit on the outside of the jacket instead of the inside, so water beads on the jacket and there’s no coating to wear out. (This is also good news for the environment, as there’s no need for toxic DWR chemicals.) The inner face of the jacket has a light wicking mesh bonded to it.

Despite the external membrane, in testing we found the jacket is far less delicate than, say, Gore Wear’s legendary Shakedry jacket, which makes it more suitable for gravel and bivvying, and it has dedicated fans among the users of the BareBones bikepacking forum. We found it decently if not jaw-droppingly breathable, and it will never suffer from the outer fabric getting waterlogged and reducing warmth and breathability. 

The OutDry Extreme Mesh Shell has its quirks, and not just for its shiny looks. We found the hood fits better under a helmet than over, and that even the smallest size (S) was a bit big for a 173cm male – Columbia agrees that they do size a bit large. It’s fairly expensive at full price but not hard to find on sale.

Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock

This guide could have featured a dozen different 200-300g hardshell jackets at different price points, but you’ve probably got the picture on membrane-based hardshells by now. Paramo does its waterproofing differently, and while its products aren’t for all cycling scenarios, they’re worth a look.

Instead of using a membrane to seal out water, Paramo focuses on getting moisture out faster than it comes in. Its outer layer uses a (non-toxic) water repellent coating to slow the ingress, and its inner layer pumps moisture out using a technique called capillary depression. Unlike membranes, it can move liquid as well as water vapour from the inner to the outer layer. The double layer build does make it heavy – 588g for a size small – but it does mean you don’t need as much on underneath.

Our first real trial of the Velez Light Smock was mountain biking in wind and sleet at 4-6C (39-42F) on the Welsh Borders, with just a thin winter base underneath. It was pretty much perfect for that, like a breathable waterproof cocoon, and its softness and comfort meant it got grabbed for hiking on that holiday as well. It just feels very relaxed and natural to wear, helped by its soft feel, its massive side vents and easily pull-uppable sleeves. You wouldn’t buy it as your do-everything cycling jacket because it’s too warm for efforts as temperatures get towards double figures (10C/50F), but if you’re a general outdoors person, you could get plenty of value out of it.

Best windproof jackets

As Guy argues regularly, one alternative to wrestling with changing temperatures in a waterproof jacket, is to use a softshell that’s more breathable, while still being windproof, and water resistant. This is on the basis that with the right layering you’ll stay warm inside even if damp is getting in, and your body will have a decent chance of drying your layers out because the water vapour will leave faster than in a waterproof. It’s not an option for seriously heavy weather, but fans are surprised at how water resistant some of these jackets are.

Here we include two leave-on options, and a superlight packable option that you could use in addition to a regular waterproof shell.

Rab Cinder Kinetic Waterproof Jacket

If there’s one company that understands being active in British weather, it’s Rab. Its new Cinder range adapts its most breathable technology for off-road cycling, and its Kinetic jacket hits a sweet balance between being waterproof enough and very breathable. Rab gives it a 3 out of 5 rating for waterproofing and a 5 out of 5 for breathability, windproofing and stretch, compared with its other products. Our tester Guy found no problems with the waterproofing and was impressed by the durability of the PFC-free water-repellent coating. And most importantly, he raved about the breathability, starting to overheat only at race-level efforts. 

Even when it does get damp inside, the windproofing keeps the chill off, and crucially, the breathability allows the dampness to escape relatively quickly.

Other features that impressed were the draught-free ‘close casual’ cut, generous pockets, helmet-friendly hood with a useful peak, and fleece-lined chin guard. At 325g it’s a middleweight bivvying jacket, and its muted colours may not be for everyone, but otherwise Guy struggled to find a bad word to say about it.

See the full review of the Rab Cinder Kinetic Waterproof Jacket .

Gore Lupra Jacket

The Lupra is made with a combination of materials – wind and light rain protection on the front, and stretch breathable fabric on the back. The more exposed hood and shoulder areas also have taped seams. This strategic placement of different materials is designed to give protection where you need it the most, but with more breathability than a full waterproof.

The fit particularly impressed our tester. There’s a long back and ingenious pullcords to keep the drop tail in place; perfectly pre-shaped sleeves that let you move your arms without moving the body of the jacket; and a generous hood.

The Lupra Jacket became our tester’s go-to transition season outer layer, in fall temperatures from 7 to 18C, with a merino base layer underneath. It’s easy to recommend for gravel riding and mountain biking; but while at 315g it’s light enough for multi-day bikepacking, you’d probably want to take a full waterproof unless you were sure of the forecast.

Read more in our full Gore Lupra Jacket review . 

OMM Sonic Jacket

Instead of trying – and failing – to find one jacket that maximises waterproofing and breathability, you could supplement your not-so-breathable waterproof with a featherweight, highly breathable windproof. This means that when it’s too chilly or breezy for just a jersey, you don’t have to pull on a full waterproof to stop your core temperature being whipped away by the wind.

There are plenty of options, from the generic windproof cyclists’ gilet, through to the perennially popular 200g Pertex Buffalo Windshirt. But if you want to keep it super light and long-sleeved, something like the Sonic Jacket from adventure running brand OMM is worth your attention. As small and light as an energy bar, and as thin as parachute material, we found that it packed a ridiculous amount of wind protection for something you can hardly tell you’re wearing. (We also stayed surprisingly dry even when we pushed it beyond its intended limits and let the rain soak through for a while – presumably because our base layer could still wick and the jacket could breathe.)

It’s not 100 percent perfect for off-road cyclists – it probably wouldn’t enjoy a gravelly crash, although it’s been fine for pulling on and off for a few weeks of testing. It’s got a nice slender fit, and it’s long enough for cyclists, though we did find a curious amount of wind vibration in some breezes.

For more info, see our full OMM Sonic Jacket review .

Best light insulated jackets

While layering is at the heart of staying warm and comfortable on a bike, there’s a definite time and place for highly breathable jackets with a little insulation built in. We look at two lightweight options with built-in shells, which are perfect for all-day messing around; and a shell-less mid-layer which might be a better alternative for multi-day trips as you can pair it with the best shell for the conditions.

Castelli Unlimited Puffy Jacket

One of my favorite jackets for gravel day rides this winter has been the Castelli Unlimited Puffy, which combines a windproof shell with a Polartec Alpha lining. With just a base layer underneath it’s been freakishly breathable and warm at the same time, and has been fine in showers.

The Unlimited Puffy is mostly made from a very thin windproof microfiber outer shell, lined with Polartec Alpha Direct, which is a very open-threaded fleece. The panels on the side of the body and the backs of the sleeves are made from an unlined, slightly stretchy fabric. It weighs 217g for a size medium, which is about the same as a very lightweight waterproof jacket and not much more than a thick base layer.

The genius is that the open fleece traps warm air but allows huge breathability, so you barely notice you’re wearing it. Wearing it in winter and spring between about 3C and 12C (37-54F) with just a base layer underneath, I’d describe it as a great ‘messing around all day’ jacket. 

The unlined stretch panels up the side body and the backs of the arms help breathability and movement, but they don’t give enough insulation to make this a wandering around camp jacket.

Read our full Castelli Unlimited Puffy Jacket review .

POC Pro Thermal Jacket

Like the Castelli Unlimited Puffy Jacket, the POC Pro Thermal combines a windproof, showerproof outer with strategically placed lightweight thermal panels inside. Instead of Polartec Alpha fleece, it uses a thermal mesh, which impressed our tester with its warmth and wicking ability. He also appreciated the slim cut, the pre-curved sleeves, and the intelligently placed pockets, which were generous without sagging when full.

The Pro Thermal Jacket earned its stripes in a wider range of conditions than our tester first expected; with a thermal base layer it more than held up on frosty morning starts, as well as on the milder days of the transition seasons. The venting also impressed with under-arm gills and a double-ended zip.

Read more from our tester in the full POC Pro Thermal Jacket review . 

Rab Alpha Flash Jacket

While Polartec Alpha jackets continue to blow our testers away with their all-day natural warmth and breathability, the one down side is that the very open fleece has to be combined with a windproof shell to retain warmth. 

While this design is fine in showers, and surprisingly warm when damp, if it really tips down you either have to take the Polartec jacket off and put a rain shell on, losing its thermal benefit, or you have to put a shell over the Polartec jacket, meaning you’d have two shell layers to sweat through.

Rab’s Alpha Flash Jacket is just made of the Polartec Alpha inner, which gives you the versatility to pair it with whichever shell you need. So on a bivvying trip you could take it with a 50g OMM Sonic windproof (above), a 200-300g waterproof, and still have change from 550g, while enjoying the potential of five jacket combinations. (The Alpha Flash Jacket weighs 206g for a small.)

In our tests, we’ve found it a reassuring companion for spring bivvying. The slim but flexible cut works nicely under almost any shell, and even though it’s not intended for use without a shell because the breeze goes straight through the super-breathable fleece, we’ve found ourselves wearing it by itself on mild days too.

Meet the testers

Sean's a soft southerner, but while some of his gravel riding and bivvying is on the South Downs and Kent, he's also in his element in Wales and the North. He's enjoyed Yorkshire bikepacking in February and solo South Downs one-dayers and after multiple jacket experiments, from boil in the bag to freeze in the wind, he's glad to get down to a sensible shortlist.

Guy has written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Russell has been heavily involved in mountain biking for decades. He originally started out designing and building trail center routes, but soon moved specializing in MTB photography and product testing. Over the years, he's shot and written for just about every British MTB mag and website in existence, including MBUK, What Mountain Bike, and most recently

Mildred enjoys everything from road cycling to mountain biking, but is a utilitarian cyclist at heart. She’s spent over four years volunteering as a mechanic and workshop coordinator at the Bristol Bike Project.

Best jackets for gravel and bikepacking: your questions answered

How much should i spend on a jacket for gravel and bikepacking.

The very cheapest generic jackets will simply let rain through, or they’ll be very sweaty, or both. Fine for an emergency short commute, but not what you want on the hill. That said, you can find decent starter options from bike-specific brands under $/£100, as our guide to best budget waterproof jackets shows. From $/£100-200 you tend to get better cuts, so the jackets don’t flap and let you move easily without tight spots, and the waterproofing and breathability are usually better. Over $/£200 ups the game again, and many jackets will be using a Gore-Tex membrane here, but no amount of money will keep you 100 percent dry. If you’re happy to forgo some waterproofing for breathability and focus on layering to stay warm while a little damp, you’ll get more comfort for your money.

How do waterproof cycling jackets work?

The heart of most waterproof jackets is a delicate membrane that resists water coming in, while letting water vapour out (what we call breathing). Normally, they have a woven fabric on the outside for durability and initial water resistance, and this is a big factor in how breathable the jacket is.  That fabric has to balance durability, weight, and water resistance, because if it soaks through, the membrane underneath will stay water resistant, but it won’t be able to breathe as well because the gaps in the outer fabric are now filled with water.

How can I re-proof my cycling jacket?

We all know the pleasure of the way water beads on the surface of a new jacket… and the way it stops doing so over weeks or months. The good news is that you can rejuvenate the ‘durable water-repellent coating’ (DWR) with a product like Nikwax TX.Direct, which you put in your washing machine along with one or two jackets. The two absolute keys are that the washing machine needs to be free of detergent traces – so maybe do a hot towel wash with no detergent first – and the jacket needs to be super-clean. You’ll need to use a technical washing liquid, and be ready to scrub out ingrained dirt with a toothbrush if necessary.

What’s the difference between a hardshell and softshell jacket?

The qualities of hardshells and softshells have become more blurred, but the classic hardshell is a tough-feeling waterproof, with a non-stretch, woven outer, taped seams, and a rustly feel; while the classic softshell is softer and quieter with a little stretch, more breathability, but less weather protection. Thanks to fabrics like Gore-Tex Infinium, softshells can now be highly windproof and much more water resistant than before; at the same time, hardshells are often quieter and softer. So you can have your cake and eat at least some of it.

Is a thicker cycling jacket better?

All else being equal (and it’s usually not) the weight or thickness of a jacket shouldn't make much difference to its waterproofing. A thicker jacket will generally be more durable, less breathable, and maybe a little more wind resistant, and give psychological comfort. It’ll make a little thermal difference, but mostly that should come from your underlayers. Most cyclists would prioritise breathability, and in this guide we’re also prioritising packability.

Sean Fishpool

Sean has old school cycle touring in his blood, with a coast to coast USA ride and a number of month-long European tours in his very relaxed palmares. Also an enthusiastic midpack club cyclocross and XC racer, he loves his role as a junior cycle coach on the Kent/Sussex borders, and likes to squeeze in a one-day unsupported 100-miler on the South Downs Way at least once a year. Triathlon and adventure racing fit into his meandering cycling past, as does clattering around the Peak District on a rigid Stumpjumper back in the day.

Height: 173cm

Weight: 65kg

Rides: Specialized Chisel Comp; Canyon Inflite CF SLX; Canyon Aeroad; Roberts custom road bike

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Best winter cycling jackets reviewed 2024: keep warm with these top rated models

The best winter cycling jackets are often the difference that makes winter riding miserable or mega

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Male cyclist wearing 6 different winter cycling jackets that he has tested

The Quick List

1. best overall, 2. best for warmth, 3. best all-rounder, 4. best value, 5. best for weatherproofing, 6. best lightweight softshell, all you need to know about winter cycling jackets, how we test.

Stefan Abram

Best Winter Jackets 2024: Jump Menu

The list in brief ↴

1. Best overall 2. Best for warmth 3. Best all-rounder 4. Best value 5. Best for weatherproofing 6. Best lightweight softshell

Advice All you need to know about winter jackets

The best winter cycling jackets act as a shield from rain and wind, to provide protection from the coldest weather, allowing you to keep riding all year round. 

Blending fleecy, thermal fabrics with water repellent coatings – a quality winter jacket makes pre-ride wardrobe decisions a much more straightforward affair. No wondering whether showers may or may not materialise – unless it's concertedly raining or especially cold, the jacket will be all you need. 

Otherwise, you will need to pair up with on of the best cycling base layers or best waterproof cycling jackets – but at least there's not much ambiguity regarding those most miserable days.

We are out riding whatever the weather and all the jackets below have been extensively tested in a variety of conditions from the merely damp and cool to full-on cold winter rides.

Best Overall

Lightweight yet warm, with decent waterproofing, this is a supremely comfortable jacket with plenty of neat details including a double cuff.

Read more below

Best for warmth

Heavily insulated but not bulky, the close race fit is suited to hard training in the cold rather than base miles. Taped seams but not fully waterproof.

Best all-rounder

Quality materials and construction equal plenty of warmth with impressive weatherproofing for a softshell. A smart choice if you want to own only one winter jacket.

Packed with features, including a detachable internal gilet, the Pro SL3 is a versatile jacket that can handle the full gamut of winter weather.

Best for weatherproofing

Wind and waterproof, with fully taped seams but with some added insulation for lower temperatures, it's a smart choice if you ride in the rain a lot. 

Best lightweight softshell

While not fully weatherproof, this versatile softshell is warm, comfortable to wear and light enough to make it easy to stow away. 

Best Winter Cycling Jackets: Our picks

1. castelli alpha doppio.

Our expert review:


Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

This is Castelli’s latest and greatest softshell jacket, boasting a variety of improvements and upgrades to the previous iteration. I actually tested that previous iteration two winters ago, and was very impressed by its performance. By no means does the Alpha Doppio have an easy act to follow, but I can safely say that it has fully stepped up and surpassed its predecessor.

The biggest difference between the two jackets is the move from a ‘fleecy’ insulating layer to Polartec’s Alpha Direct insulation. This fabric (if you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing it on any other garment) is very lofty, fabulously warm and very lightweight. 

To put some numbers on it, I’ve been happily riding in this jacket down to about 4°C without a baselayer. I haven’t yet discovered the limits with a baselayer due to an insufficient number of adequately cold days so far this year at the time of writing. Regarding the weight, about 100 grams are saved from the previous model - around 20% of the garment’s weight.

Now, reducing a winter jacket’s weight might not sound the most obvious stat to boast about, but it genuinely is a relevant one. Compared to the previous iteration (and other, heavy-duty winter jackets), you don’t feel as cooped up or swaddled as you can in some winter getup, which itself makes riding in the cold a better experience. 

The external seam taping has gone (what you can see on the shoulders is just a reflective strip, plus it’s offset from the actual seam). Despite this, the water resistance is just as good - potentially even better than before. Although it might be classed as a ‘softshell’, in my experience the waterproofing matches that of many hardshell rain jackets. 

Then there’s just all the nice little touches, from the double cuff making glove arrangement decisions easier to the double collar at the rear - providing an extra level of warmth when hunkered down on the bars, blocking drafts coming down the back of your neck. In all, it’s really a very good jacket. It is also very, very expensive. 

2. Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket

Rapha’s Pro Team Winter Jacket really stands out against all the others of this group test in relation to two of its qualities. The first is the level of insulation. The Pro Team Winter Jacket is really notably warm - a particularly thick fleece is used across the chest, whilst a slightly thinner (though still generous) fleece is used in areas that are little more protected from the wind, aiding breathability. I’ve found 3°C to be about the limit without wearing a baselayer.

The second superlative relates to the cut. This jacket is much more ‘aggressive’ in its design, rising higher at the front to minimise bunching when bent over the bars in a low, aero position. If you prefer to work on your conditioning through the winter, rather than sitting up and plodding through the base miles, you’ll get on well with this jacket. 

But if you are ready to shuffle a few spacers under the stem, or mix things up with winter gravel rides, then you’ll likely find that Rapha’s Pro Team Winter Jacket comes up short - more literally than figuratively, although there is some equivalence. 

Notably, after MAAP’s Training Winter Jacket, Rapha’s Pro Team Winter jacket ranks second for taped seams. But despite that, the fabric itself isn’t as waterproof as that of Castelli’s or MAAP’s, and after a while in sustained rain the fabric does become saturated. So long as you’re pushing on a little bit, you do stay warm - which I think is preferable to a clammy rain shell. But if you’re tapping along at an easier pace, you’ll feel most comfortable pairing it with a rain shell. 

The Pro Team Winter Jacket does miss out on a few ‘nice-to-haves’, such as the lack of a double cuff for easier glove layering or a two-way zip for better heat management. But then again, it still costs significantly less than the most expensive jacket on test, it’s a little warmer, and the zippered chest pocket is also handy for making it a little easier to get your card out for an impromptu café stop. 

3. Santini Vega Absolute

Some of the jackets on test are quite straightforwardly best in their respective classes. The MAAP Training Winter Jacket has exceptional water and weather proofing qualities. The Castelli Alpha Doppio is super warm for its weight. The Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket is super warm full stop. 

The Vega Absolute doesn’t conquer any categories quite like that, but what it does do is perform strongly across many categories - and at a price which is now quite competitive for a winter softshell jacket. 

Although the gridded fleece of the Vega Absolute isn’t as warm as Castelli’s Polartec Alpha fabric nor the much thicker fleece of Rapha’s Pro Team Winter Jacket, it still provides effective insulation without feeling cumbersome - which, to be fair, Rapha’s jacket can be somewhat accused of. 

Without a baselayer, I was happy riding this jacket down to temperatures of around 6°C - and it could be taken much lower with a good quality merino baselayer (again, I haven’t yet found the lower limits with this pairing). It is notable, though, that the insulation around the collar is a little more minimalist, making a buff a necessity much sooner than with other jackets with a fleecier layer..

The wet weather performance is at the tier just below MAAP’s Training Winter Jacket and Castelli’s Alpha Doppio - two jackets which rival fully fledged hardshells for their waterproofing capabilities. 

The Vega Absolute sits around the more modest performance of Endura’s Pro SL 3 and Rapha’s Pro Team Winter Jacket - though I would say this jacket actually did a better job than both of those, thanks in part to the extra layer of material covering the chest. 

In all, I think that this is a really good jacket and would be my recommendation for most people. It’s a little more expensive than Endura’s - but you can see what you’re paying for in the more breathable, slightly warmer and more weatherproof fabrics. You can also see what you’re paying for in contrast with the Castelli Alpha Doppio, but I think the performance gains are more modest for the level of price increase.

4. Endura Pro SL 3

It’s not often that the cheapest product on test packs quite this many features. The Pro SL 3 really is a very well thought-out jacket, and there are genuine reasons to choose this over the Santini Vega Absolute - even though my personal preference and recommendation would be for the Italian marque. 

To start running through those features, the Endura Pro SL 3 comes with a detachable internal gilet which uses Primaloft’s Evolve fabric. This is very similar to the Polartec fabric of the Castelli Alpha Doppio and provides an impressive amount of warmth for its weight. 

The rest of the jacket is a mixture of dense fleece and the unbacked softshell fabric. This is a point of contrast with the Castelli Alpha Doppio, which not only has the lofty insulation around the torso, but also extends this down the sleeves - keeping your arms that bit warmer.

With the Endura only having the lofty insulation as part of the gilet, this can result in a bit of a temperature mismatch, with your arms getting colder than your body. To be fair, that is pretty much the premise behind a gilet, but equally, there is a balance to strike.

Endura’s softshell fabric isn’t as breathable as Castelli’s Alpha Doppio jacket or Santini’s Vega Absolute, although it does outrank MAAP’s Training Winter Jacket. On the flipside, MAAP’s jacket provides really top-notch weatherproofing, so it’s largely a matter of preference and application there.

The Endura Pro SL 3, however, does have a party trick in its many zippered vents - two on the front and two on the sleeves. These help increase the airflow, boosting breathability beyond what the fabric on its own would be capable of. 

Plus, if you take off the insulated gilet, it’s perfectly possible to ride this jacket on rainy days up to 16 degrees more comfortably than with a hardshell rain jacket - making it more versatile than the others on test. But for pure winter application, I would personally choose the Santini Vega Absolute over Endura’s Pro SL 3, as the materials used do feel higher quality. 

5. MAAP Training Winter Jacket

It might surprise you how cold, wet and unpleasant Australian winters can actually be. 

But even so, it is still a little unexpected that a winter jacket quite as robust and weatherproof as this was developed Down Under. Although the outer material doesn’t quite feel exactly like a hardshell rain jacket, it is pretty close in texture. With this comes exceptional windproofing properties and waterproofing that is fully on a par with hardshell rain jackets. 

Further to that end, the seams are fully taped throughout - the biggest point of difference between this and a straight-up rain jacket really comes down to the full fleece backing, providing a considerable degree of warmth. I would say slightly less warm than Santini’s Vega Absolute jacket, although the two are very close.

With this level of weather sealing, the breathability of the jacket does take a hit compared to other softshell jackets, such as Castelli’s exceptional Alpha Doppio jacket, or Rapha’s (less weatherproof) Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket. 

That said, MAAP’s Training Winter Jacket does come with holes punched in the under arms to bolster the breathability - plus the two way YKK zipper does help expel some excess heat and moisture without exposing your chest to the elements. So, as an overall package, the level of breathability isn’t such to really cause a problem. 

The double cuff does feel somewhat halfhearted: the extra internal fabric which should sit underneath the glove measures just two centimetres long - much shorter than is needed for it to actually sit underneath the cuff of the glove and have the jacket’s sleeve extend over. I just layered the jacket sleeve on top to aid the water run-off, like a standard jacket.

In all, MAAP’s Training Winter Jacket offers truly excellent waterproofing. If you’re looking for something more breathable than a hardshell to essentially replace your hardshell, this is a great option. Plus, despite the high price, it is still a fair chunk cheaper than Castelli’s Alpha Doppio. However, for general winter riding, I think that Santini’s Vega Absolute is a more well rounded jacket and it is considerably cheaper still.

6. Pearl Izumi Pro Insulated Jacket

Pearl Izumi has gone for quite a different approach with its soft shell insulated jacket. Rather than using a densely woven fleecy fabric (like most of the others here) the outer shell of the Pro Insulated Jacket is more like that of a wind shell - thin and very lightweight. Inside the jacket, Polartec Alpha insulation is used to provide the warmth.

This makes the jacket notably warmer than a ‘standard’ windshell, but it adds very little to the bulk or the weight. Roll this jacket into a tight tube and it takes up about the same amount of space as a traditional hard shell rain jacket, which makes the Pro Insulated Jacket particularly well suited to being a flexible part of your layering system. 

I live just south of Bannau Brycheiniog (rough pronunciation: ‘Ban-ow’ ‘Brick-in-yog’ - formerly the Brecon Beacons). As such, the hills near me are really very steep and you do generate a lot of heat whilst climbing up them. On the flipside, the descents are fast and long - you can get very cold, very quickly bombing down the other side. It’s worth being aware that an ambient temperature of 2°C is actually equivalent to -6°C, once the windchill of riding at 60 kph is factored in. 

As such, this jacket has become a regular feature on most of my rides. I start off wearing the jacket, whip it off once I’ve warmed up, and pop it back on if/when I need that extra insulation. I’d usually use a packable rain jacket for this, but Pearl Izumi’s Pro Insulated Jacket is that much warmer.

When used just on its own, though, the Pro Insulated Jacket does match the other jackets on test for warmth. I’m comfortable wearing the jacket without a baselayer at 7°C, but on endurance rides in weather that’s any colder I end up feeling chilly. Equally, the weather proofing isn’t on the same level as the other jackets on test, and this jacket feels colder when soaked through than the others on test. 

Essentially, it’s really great as an extra layer - but as a softshell in its own right, there are better alternatives.

While your legs are constantly moving on a bike, your torso and arms spend a lot of the time pretty static. Keeping them warm by wearing a great fitting winter cycling jackets is paramount, not only for your riding enjoyment, but, as the key controllers of your bike, in keeping you safe too.

Differing from the best long sleeved cycling jerseys , that plug the weather gaps of spring and fall/ autumn, the perfect winter cycling jacket will allow you to keep riding in much colder and wetter conditions, thanks to its thermal insulation, wind and waterproof properties, as well as being capable of maintaining good breathability. 

What should I look for in a winter cycling jacket?

Often ‘thermal’ and made from a Roubaix-style soft, fleece-backed fabric, the best winter cycling jackets will usually come with a windstopper front, which is often paired with a more breathable fabric at the back to allow for heat dissipation.

The difference between winter racing and a gentle commute in the coldest months of the year is vast. Meeting your specific needs is a careful balancing act of keeping the weather out and the warmth in. The best winter cycling jacket for you will need to match these exacting requirements.

Waterproofing is something you'll also find in many winter cycling jackets, along with storm flaps on the zips, either internal or external. Pockets will often be waterproofed with zips or flaps, as well as deeper - allowing room to stow one of the best waterproof cycling jackets or best cycling gilets .

Shorter days and longer nights in winter will mean that at some point you're probably going to be riding in the dark, or at least lower light levels, so winter cycling jackets often come with more reflective details than most of the best summer cycling jerseys .

What's the difference between 'waterproof' and 'water resistant'?

If you plan on riding through truly biblical conditions, you’ll need a jacket that can stand up to the deluge.

The way a fabric's waterproofness is tested is by measuring the Hydrostatic Head. That is, how tall a column of water can be stood on the material before it starts to penetrate through the fabric. For a proper waterproof jacket, you should be looking for at least 10,000mm and going up to 20,000mm for greater protection from the rain. That said, the more waterproof a fabric is, the less breathable it tends to be. 

How is breathability measured?

There are few feelings less pleasant than the clammy clasp of a jacket with poor breathability. It’s no good being protected from the elements if you just end up getting drenched from the inside.

The key is getting the perfect winter cycling jacket to match your style of riding.

Breathability is measured by the number of grams of water vapour that can pass through a square meter of the material in a 24-hour period. A value of 10,000–20,000g/m²/24hrs tends to be fine for a steady ride, but if you are putting in some spicy efforts you’ll want to be looking in the range of 20,000–40,000g/m²/24hrs.

Get the breathability balance right and it will pay dividends in the comfort of your ride.

What is a softshell?

A water resistant “softshell” jacket sacrifices some waterproofness for warmth and increased ride comfort. As the name suggests, they are made of softer, more comfortable fabric than a "hardshell" rain jacket. They're stretchy too.

These are breathable enough to ride in the dry without feeling clammy and can fend off a shower — although not a downpour. This makes them a great winter cycling jacket for changeable days when you’re not sure what the weather will do — and certainly makes the pre-ride choice of which jacket to put on significantly easier.

Some of the waterproofing properties will be down to spray treatment, often referred to as DWR (durable water resistant coating). While this will wash/ wear out after time, the good news is that you can reapply it yourself. Our guide on how to re-waterproof your cycling jacket will tell you all about it. 

What makes a winter jacket warm?

Although it might be cold out, sometimes it’s worth not opting for the warmest jacket available. As a highly technical piece of clothing, a winter jacket does represent a considerable investment, so you’ll want to maximise the amount of use you will get out of it.

Remember, you can always combine a thinner jacket with more layers, but you can’t make a thick jacket any less warm. In fact, layering is the key to getting the right degree of warmth for the conditions. Don’t make the mistake of paying through the nose for the absolutely best winter cycling jacket you’ll only use on the five coldest days of the year.

Although, if you know you do run irremediably cold, then by all means get the warmest jacket you can to keep you riding through the winter!

What fit should I get?

Even with the best winter cycling jackets, you'll need to decide what kind of fit you want. Some winter jackets are cut to leave space for extra layers to be added underneath. Others share the same tight fit as the lighter-weight options in the range. 

The same principle applies to whether a collar is intended to be skin-tight, preventing any draughts from shooting down your neck, or if the jacket is supposed to be used in combination with a buff and therefore cut to leave a little extra room.

Either way, spend some time reading our reviews and checking sizes before buying so you know whether you're meant to layer up, or if there's only room for the best cycling base layer underneath. 

The best commuter cycling jackets are a good option to consider if you're planning to ride to work and need to fit extra work clothes underneath.

Any other features to consider?

Generally, when the conditions are such that you need a winter jacket, visibility is not going to be great either. Opting for a jacket that uses brighter colors and reflective detailing can go a long way to helping you be seen on the roads.

Most of the best winter cycling jackets will have elements of high-viz or reflectivity built in.

All of the best winter cycling jackets in this buyers guide have been put through their paces, having been ridden by our tech team in the harshest of conditions 

We all have a wealth of experience of cycling year round, so know what makes an ideal winter warmer, and what doesn't. 

These winter cycling jackets are all standout quality because not only will they keep you warm in the coldest season, but also feature either technical innovation, super practical detailing or are just a great jacket for the price. 

We're testing kit all year round, so as soon as the mercury drops, we'll be pulling our thermals on and reviewing more of the latest winter cycling kit, and will ensure this page is kept up to date with only the best on test.  

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After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third , completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12 .

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia . 

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg

Slovenian wins by almost three minutes in Siena after dominant display in Tuscany

By Adam Becket Published 2 March 24

Belgian beats Elisa Longo Borghini to take her first WorldTour win in the rainbow jersey

By Tom Davidson Published 2 March 24

The best cycling overshoes will keep your feet warm so you can stay riding in the worst of the winter weather

By Hannah Bussey Published 5 October 23

Prepare for the winter blues with hand picked winter cycling clothing to make those chilly rides a little bit easier to bear

By Luke Friend Last updated 8 February 24

How to find the best bib tights to keep your legs warm as the weather gets colder

By Hannah Bussey Last updated 18 October 23

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Best Winter Cycling Jacket For Commuting, Bikpacking & Touring

bike travel jacket

Winter is here or almost and you are looking for the best jacket to keep you warm and dry while you tough it out in the harsh conditions. With the technology of todays clothing technology we are so lucky that we can use these too out advantage to be able to get out a explore eve if the weather is not too shabby.

If you are into bikepacking and exploring by bike, which is what we are all about here at Cycle Travel Overload. There is a good article we wrote specifying some of the best bikepacking clothing and this is where we started to introduce some of the best winter cycling jacket options. Along with some mentioned in that article we are going to include even more that have been recommended by cyclists who commute, race or prefer to stop and smell the flowers as the travel across country or even around the world.

Along with this are you potentially looking for winter cycling shoes or boots too? If so this article should be some help to get you introduced to some of the options and weather or not winter style cycling shoes would be for you.

What To Look For In A Winter Cycling Jacket?

When you first look at a winter cycling jacket. You might want to confirm what style of riding you intend to do. Are you road racing and training? Or commuting to work? Or bikepacking up in the mountains? We are going to cover the best winter cycling jackets for all these different categories of riding. But you should personally figure out what style you like best. Do you want to look and feel like a pro racer in tight lycra? And get all the aerodynamic benefits from a tight fitting jacket? Or are you more like me and prefer to look for casual and chill so you can go into cafes and shops and stiff feel comfort with a more loose fit? This is something you need to figure out for yourself. I care very little about being aero when I am bikepacking around Australia. But having this said most of the jacket options for commuting or touring are lighter weight then some rather bulky options you can find out there.

With winter it brings rain! This means a jacket that is either waterproof (ideal) or water repellent is still a good option. Along with this it would be perfect if the material of the jacket dries quickly too. If it is going to rain full on and non-stop your best bet is a fully waterproof rain jacket. But if it is just on and off drizzle, then something like a soft-shell jacket with water repellent fabrics is okay too. Waterproof specific jackets are often bigger, heavier and bulker then a soft-shell. The lighter weight soft-shell jackets are good at shrugging off road spray or a short shower, but usually offer better fit, comfort and breathability. It is best if possible to get a jacket that does a good job repelling water but also provides great breathability as you don’t want your own sweat making you cold when it rains.

Windproof fabrics are a godsend! With winter conditions comes cold winds. So you want to avoid very thin material jackets where the cold wind will go straight through the jacket. But you also don’t want a wind blocking material that stops the wind completely and does not allow for any breathability. Today though we are lucky as there are materials that exist which give us the best of both worlds; stopping cold air flow coming in and allowing our sweat or some of the hotter air to escape to stop from over heating and sweating too much. Also some well designed jackers offer heavier, less breathable fabrics on the front, and lighter, more breathable fabrics on the rear.

Choosing jackets with reflective details and are high visibility colors is something else that is important when selecting. As you want to be seen even if you have lights on your bike when riding at night or when it gets really overcast. Having this added visibility will be more safe while out on the road. Also this doesn’t mean you have to wear clothing that makes you look like a road worker. There are some really stylish jackets out there that offer high visibility colors that also look really cool.

Showers Pass Elite 2.1

bike travel jacket

This Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket by far takes the cake for one of the best winter cycling jackets on the market. It has been around for more then5 years and continues to deliver on great quality and value. Such a popular jacket that is has so many great reviews ( don’t believe me? Read more here )

This is a 3-layer waterproof, breathable shell with fully taped seams, that delivers maximum weather protection! Talk about breathability the jacket has 7 ventilation points to keep you cool! 2 pit vents, 2 cuff vents, single back vent and 2-way zipper. When it comes to reflect-ability you get a 3M reflective trim keeping you visible from all angles. A YKK AquaGuard Vislon water-resistant front zipper with stormflap. The jacket is almost designed like a proper road cycling jacket but you get that space for some movement. You do get a large back pocket and chest pocket with audio port provide plenty of storage space. During long rides you are kept comfortable with a soft moisture-wicking lining at collar.

Again the type of waterproofing is a 3-layer waterproof breathable laminate. The material is nylon and the jacket weighs in at 15.5 ounces or 439.5 grams. The jacket keeps is great at keeping you dry even in a down poor, and the vents are plenty large enough to allow ample breath-ability when the hills get steep and you are more active. One of the great things about this jacket is the high visibility. The red is nice but more so those reflective trims shine bright at night. The only thing to consider with this jacket is that it comes with the velcro for an optional hood without including the hood. This jacket is priced at $269.00 from This is the mens options if you are after the same but in the womens model, that can be found here .

Arc’teryx Gamma MX

bike travel jacket

Arc’teryx make some really great quality stuff. I am a big fan of this brand! They re like the idealistic outdoor brand. I have two of their jackets to share with you today. The Gamma is a breathable, articulated soft shell jacket with some stretch. It is ideal for alpine climbing and backcountry activities, like bikepacking!

Marketed as highly breathable and abrasion resistant. While also best used for mixed weather conditions, When the weather conditions are changing. Made from a breathable material, which allows moisture vapour to escape, helping regulate temperature and elevating comfort inside garment. The material is called Fortius 2.0. At the face of the jacket this means: 85% nylon, 15% elastane. And the backer: 94% polyester, 6% elastane.

Designed around a regular fit this means you get some freedom of movement with room for layers. It has a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish that acts at repelling moisture. This could quite probably be the best soft-shell jacket you can buy. It works perfect for any high output activity in the cold, as it will regulate your temperature over a much broader range of conditions. Great when temperatures are anywhere between -15c to +10, with light wool to heavy fleece underneath depending on activity and temperature. Like most soft-shell jackets it is not the warmest when stationary. It is not the best when it comes to everyday wear. However, the jacket is rather durable and made for tough conditions expected when bikepacking or adventure cycling. Price is 30% off at $243.93 over at

7mesh Rebellion Bike Jacket

bike travel jacket

7 Mesh also make some really great bike gear, and it is no different from there rain jackets. Designed for those riders planning to put in long days. Making it a perfect match for use who like to go on bikepacking adventures of multiple days. This jacket features, GORE-TEX Active fabric and 13mm seam tape provide waterproof, highly breathable protection from the elements. The pass-through vents provide jersey pocket access. Completely waterproof jacket that has a watertight, zippered side pocket. And watertight #3 Vislon front zip; watertight zipper cuff vent closure; zippered wrist vents. They have even thought about potential chafing, with the soft brushed collar and chin guard. You also do get night riding visibility with the dropped reflective back hem.

The jacket weighs in at 6.4 ounces or 181.5 grams. The great thing about this jacket is the packability. The GORE-TEX Active membrane is very thin, so it’s packable and somewhat breathable. One little thing to consider about this jacket is the fabric sometimes makes a little noise in the high winds although it’s normally quite. Overall the Gore Active does what it is designed to do, keep you dry! Jacket is priced at $244.93 which is 30% off at

Showers Pass Double Century

bike travel jacket

Here we have another Showers Pass jacket that is also very popular! Newly designed to be lighter for even more compact packing. So if that is your main concern when bikepacking then this might be the best jacket option for you. The jacket packs down to fit in a jersey pocket. Great jacket for sudden showers and even steady rain. The men’s Double Century bike jacket feels soft next to your skin while keeping you dry. The waterproof, breathable membrane and durable water repellent finish provide reliable protection from rain and wind; seams are taped to seal out moisture. Venting options keep you cool when temperatures rise: 2 core vents, 2 cuff vents, a 2-way front zipper and a back vent.

They have even thought about your position when riding the bike and the long sleeves provide full wrist coverage and accommodate for reach when on bike. You also get a chest pocket with audio port and large back pocket with water-resistant zippers. Plus tons of reflectivity for enhanced visibility in low light situations. Yes this jacket is waterproof, however it is made from Atrex 2.5-layer waterproof breathable fabric. When compared to the other Showers Pass jacket that is a 3 layer design. The jacket weighs 11.2 ounces or 317.5 grams. Priced at $179.00 at

Patagonia Dirt Roamer

bike travel jacket

The last casual style cycling jacket that we have for you is from Patagonia and the name is fitting as the ‘Dirt Roamer’. That is a mountain bike specific jacket that is made from sustainable sources, containing recycled materials, Fair Trade Certified sewing. Weighs in at 8 ounces or 226.8 grams. The jacket features an extremely breathable, extraordinarily stretchy, 100% recycled nylon fabric allows unrestricted movement and eliminates the need for annoying pit zips. Durable water repellent (DWR) finish helps moisture bead up on the surface. V-shaped rear drop pocket centers and distributes weight, and nests between the Dirt Roamer liner bibs’ torso pockets. Another great thing is this jacket has small packability being able to pack down small and stow in the back pocket. Priced at $160.29 at

Rapha Classic Winter Jacket

bike travel jacket

Now that we have covered the best casual style of cycling or mountain bike jackets that are perfect for any type of bicycle touring or bikepacking. We have included these next two road cycling style jackets. That are tight fitting and best if you are after those speed gains and aerodynamics.

The Rapha Classic Winter jacket is a popular selling option. They say that this jacket is over 10 years of testing, Rapha’s evolutionary jacket with all their learnings in this one product. the most versatile bad weather jacket from Rapha. And if I was to be honest it kind of looks really trendy. Has the ability to withstand harsh conditions. Made from Polartec® Power Shield Pro® fabric. The jacket finds a nice combination of wind- and waterproofing with incredible breathability. Priced from $200 AUD

Gore C7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Stretch Jacket

bike travel jacket

Last but not least is Gore’s winter cycling jacket. Know for their popular gore-tex technology this jacket is built with a sleek, body-hugging design, combined with Gore-Tex’s Shakedry technology, which proves an impenetrable barrier from heavy rainfall and whipping winds. Also lightweight and extremely breathable. Weighing in at 6 ounces or 170 grams also making it very packable. It is essentially a protective rain jacket that fits like a second skin. Priced from $369.95

About The Author

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Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.

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Cycling Jackets

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With a huge range of cycling footwear and clothing available at Wiggle, it is super easy to refresh your kit.

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Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Jacket

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Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Light Jacket

Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Light Jacket

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dhb Blok Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket

dhb Blok Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket

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dhb Aeron Men's All Winter Softshell Jacket 2.0

dhb Aeron Men's All Winter Softshell Jacket 2.0

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dhb Aeron Men's Insulated Jacket

dhb Aeron Men's Insulated Jacket

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dhb FL Men’s Packable Waterproof Jacket

dhb FL Men’s Packable Waterproof Jacket

dhb FL Women's Packable Waterproof Jacket

dhb FL Women's Packable Waterproof Jacket

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Castelli Perfetto Ros 2 Jacket

Castelli Perfetto Ros 2 Jacket

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Nukeproof Blackline Men's 2.5L Packable Cycling Jacket

Nukeproof Blackline Men's 2.5L Packable Cycling Jacket

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dhb Aeron Men's Softshell Jacket 2.0

dhb Aeron Men's Softshell Jacket 2.0

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dhb Aeron Men's Tempo 3 Waterproof Jacket

dhb Aeron Men's Tempo 3 Waterproof Jacket

Castelli Beta ROS Jacket

Castelli Beta ROS Jacket

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dhb Aeron Men's Tempo FLT Waterproof Jacket

dhb Aeron Men's Tempo FLT Waterproof Jacket

dhb FL Men’s Reflective Waterproof Jacket

dhb FL Men’s Reflective Waterproof Jacket

Endura Windchill Cycling Jacket II

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dhb Aeron Men's Deep Winter Softshell Jacket 2.0

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Castelli Entrata Jacket

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Endura FS260 Pro Adrenaline Race Cape Jacket

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How to explore Moscow in 1 day on 2 wheels: 5 cycling routes

Riding a bike from a city public bike rental station along the embankment of Muzeon Arts Park.

Riding a bike from a city public bike rental station along the embankment of Muzeon Arts Park.

Moscow cycling routes. / Stepan Zharky

Along the moskva river - 29km.

Nagatinskaya Embankment – Red Square – Taynitsky Garden - Kremlin Embankment - Cathedral of Christ the Savior – Luzhniki – The Alley of Fame - Krasnaya Presnya Park - Moscow International Business Center ( Moscow City )

Stepan Zharky

This scenic route along the embankment of the Moskva River will take you away from the city’s infamous traffic. Start at Nagatinskaya Embankment, one of the most beautiful in the capital due to the fascinating architecture dotted along it.

Cycle onto Novospassky Bridge and cross onto the other side of the embankment before riding over to Ustinsky Bridge. Jump off your bike and take the stairs down.

Once on level ground, pedal past two of Moscow’s most iconic landmarks - Red Square and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior - then on to Luzhniki.

Follow signs to the Novodevichya and Savvinskaya Embankments.

Ride in the direction of Smolenskaya and Krasnopresnenskaya Metro stations and you’ll eventually reach the Moscow International Business Center (Moscow City) and its stunning array of skyscrapers.

Soviet grandeur - 13km

VDNKh - Moscow Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences - Rock Garden - Ostankino Park - Ostankino Palace

Stepan Zharky

If the sights and sounds of the city center are wearing you down, head to VDNKh. It’s a unique park, rich in history and architecture. The complex includes more than 500 permanent structures and 49 of them are objects of cultural heritage. Cycle through the park before arriving at the Moscow Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences, right next to VDNKh. Then follow signs to the Rock Garden, also referred as the Moscow’s “stone jungle.”

Ostankino Park is the next stop and it’s known for its wide avenues, ponds, and lush greenery. Cycle a little further and you’ll come to some beautiful examples of 17th and 18th century architecture. Ostankino Palace is a unique Russian monument made entirely of wood and amazingly it’s retained its original interiors.

Bright lights, big city - 12km

Moscow International Business Center ( Moscow City ) - Radisson Royal Hotel (Hotel Ukraine) - Square of Europe – Observation deck - Ministry of Foreign Affairs  - Arbat Street – Red Square

Stepan Zharky

Try this route at night and you'll be blown away. The Russian capital is a city of contrasts: Set off from the Taras Shevchenko Embankment and soak up the striking modernity of Moscow City before cruising past the classical, Stalinist magnificence of the Hotel Ukraine.

Pass by both the Berezhkovskaya and Vorobyevskaya Embankments and take a break on the observation deck at Sparrow Hills. From here you can see all of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers. Next, ride on down to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then to Arbat Street, which will lead you to an unforgettable view of the Kremlin and Red Square.

Right in the capital’s heart - 9km

Rozhdestvensky Boulevard - Tsvetnoy Boulevard - Strastnoy Boulevard - Novopushkinskiy square - Tverskaya Street - New Arbat Avenue - Patriarch Ponds - Garden Ring - Moscow Hermitage Garden

Stepan Zharky

This route takes you right through the heart of the city center. Glide past some of Moscow’s most iconic sights. Start at Pushkin Square and bike over to the Government of Moscow building. Then head to New Arbat Avenue and take a rest at Patriarch Ponds. Visit the Bulgakov Museum and take a look at the Moscow Satire Theater and Mossovet Theater. Continue biking towards Sadovo-Trimfalnyy Square and follow the signs to Moscow’s Hermitage Garden. Here you can enjoy a cool beer in the shade.

Chistyye Prudy to Sokolniki Park - 7km

Ustyinsky  Square -  Chistyye  Prudy - Sretensky Boulevard - Sovremennik Theater - Komsomolskaya Square - Sokolniki Park

Stepan Zharky

This route starts off at the Ustinsky Bridge that stretches over Moskva River. After enjoying the beautiful views bike northeast to Yauzsky Boulevard, continue onto Pokrovsky Boulevard, and then cycle to Chistoprudny Boulevard. Your first stop will be Chistyye Prudy – a park in the city center surrounding a charming pond and pavilion. There are a number of sculptures and monuments here that have been glorified countless times in both literary and musical works.

Once you’ve had your fill of Moscow’s “green island,” pedal in the direction of Turgenevskaya Metro - you’ll end up at Academician Sakharov Avenue. Then continue to Komsomolskaya Metro followed by Rusakovskaya Street. Turn left and follow signs to one of the city’s most bike-friendly parks: Sokolniki.

Read more:  Wheels of change: Russia’s cycling revolution gathers speed

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

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