As a cyclist, you’ll be aware that it rains in the UK – and rather a lot. But, while you might be happy to accept that fact, there’s nothing comfortable about getting soaked during a ride. Especially if it’s unexpected and you’re left without protection.
Getting yourself a robust waterproof cycling jacket will make cycling in wet weather more enjoyable. But with so many options on the market, where do you start?
The main rule of thumb is to try not to scrimp. Of course, you may not want to max out your budget on an all-singing, all-dancing model. However, for the sake of comfort, we’d advise spending as much as you can afford on a decent jacket that won’t let you down when it starts pouring.
Look for practical features over and above water-repellence, too. Internal waterproof pockets are always a winner – as are high-vis elements to ensure you’re not only dry but safer, too.
How warm do you need the jacket to be? If you’re seeking something that will fend off water during the spring and summer, you’ll get away with a lightweight jacket. But, factor in the icy chill of a winter’s morning and you’ll need to go for a softshell jacket with insulation.
Don’t forget breathability. It’s all well and good being protected from rain on the outside, but if your jacket’s fabric means you build up a sweat, it’s almost pointless.
Lastly, depending on where and how often you’ll be cycling, you might also want to consider a jacket that packs away easily into a bag or backpack.
With this in mind, here’s our lowdown of the top waterproof cycling jackets for both men and women.
Decathlon is the brand of choice if you’re looking for a jacket that does the job but doesn’t cost the earth. This one ticks both of those boxes.
It’s high-visibility, lightweight, and has been tested to keep you dry over a decent distance. The fabric is also breathable, meaning you’ll be dry inside and out. It comes with an affordable price tag, too.
The Castelli Idro Pro 2 sits at the opposite end of the price scale but justifies its extra cost. It’s breathable, lightweight, and – thanks to its Gore-Tex SHAKEDRY fabric – is guaranteed to keep you dry, whatever the weather throws at you.
The jacket is also packed with impressive features such as stretch inserts at the elbow, shoulder, and side, plus fully waterproof external pockets.
Oh, and it’s Italian. Which means it looks cool. Yes, it’s pricey. But if you’ve set aside a sizeable budget for your next cycling jacket, this is our top choice.
If you’re looking for a jacket that won’t just keep you dry but warm, too, the Santini Vega Extreme is a great option.
Stocked in a range of stylish colours, this three-layer softshell jacket offers excellent heat insulation for those cold winter rides. It’s waterproof, fast-drying and high-visibility, and includes clever technology as part of the package.
With “storm” in its name, you’d expect this Madison jacket to protect you in all kinds of adverse weather conditions. And that it does.
Although it’s a little heavier than other models on this list (which means it’s not as easy to pack away), the Madison RoadRace Apex Storm Waterproof is an absolute winner when it comes to repelling wind, rain, and more.
It’s perfectly breathable and stands up to the more expensive jackets out there. And at well under £100, it’s a steal.
As you’ll have guessed from the name, this jacket is made for throwing on top of your workwear for a rainy journey to or from the office. That means it’s ideal for shorter city journeys on which you don’t plan to get hot or sweaty.
It comes in a great range of bright colours, meaning you’ll be seen from afar, and is incredibly lightweight while still offering great waterproof-ability.
Another packable option, the Endura MTR Shell is great if you’re looking for a versatile jacket that is light but still keeps you dry.
Full disclosure: it comes without pockets (these have been removed to make way for its lightweight portability). However, it more than makes up for that in terms of comfort and clean lines.
It’s very breathable, making it a great option for warmer rainy days when insulation isn’t a priority.
Last, but by no means least, is the Gore SHAKEDRY 1985 Viz. It’s an absolute corker of a jacket that’s durable in any weather.
It’s very light (just 140g), which means it can be packed away easily – but without compromising on the incredible water repellence that SHAKEDRY fabric provides. Relax as you watch water beading up and rolling off you.
It’s also highly breathable and packs down small, with lots of pockets to keep your phone, keys, and wallet safe and dry. You’ll need deep pockets to purchase this jacket, but you won’t be disappointed if you do.
Whichever of these waterproof cycling jackets you choose to buy, it’s important to ensure you’re safe and protected while on two wheels. Our specialist cycling insurance means you’ll be covered against injuries and your bike and accessories will be covered against damage, theft, or loss – whether you’re out riding or at home. Find out more by clicking the link above, or get an instant online quote and see what we can do for you.