Whether it’s a full-on waterproof for winter storms or a lightweight showerproof you can roll up in your pannier for midsummer emergencies, if you’re commuting by bike you’ll need a jacket (or three…)
Our wonderful British climate means that even if you leave home on a bright, sunny morning, there’s no real guarantee you won’t have a miserable and wet ride home at the end of the working day.
One way to thwart the ‘miserable’ part of the experience is to have the right clothing for the conditions: a warm, waterproof jacket for depth-of-winter commutes, and a lightweight emergency ‘shell’ you can pull on to ward off a summer shower.
Whether it’s for winter, summer or in between, when choosing a jacket look for longer back panels to keep rain from getting up under the lower hem – a drawcord helps here – along with longer sleeves than you’d generally have in your non-cycling jackets. Adjustable cuffs that can be operated with gloves on are useful too.
And, of course, if you’re riding in urban conditions with traffic, look for jackets with a high level of reflective detailing. Ideally, choose jackets with detailing that is visible from 360 degrees, as you never know from what angle the next Sorry-Mate-I-Didn’t-See-You will approach from…
Cycling Jackets for all Conditions
Endura Luminite 4 in 1
RRP: £129 | Cyclescheme price: £91.59*
Endura’s Luminite jacket is designed to cocoon you in a protective waterproof breathable 2-layer shell. The outer jacket has all the features you need to trim the fit such as Velcro cuffs, hidden adjustable neck and hem pulls, and a fitted neckline to keep wind and rain out. Zipped vents help you regulate your temperature. The zip-in inner fleece has a high-vis inner face and is reversible. As the name suggests, the Luminite has lots of reflective detailing to ‘pop’ in headlights, as well as an integrated rear LED. endurasport.com
dhb Classic Women’s Rain Shell
RRP: £50 | Cyclescheme price: £35.50*
dhb's Classic Women’s Rain Shell employs a 2.5 layer breathable membrane fabric with sealed seams throughout, cut to cheat the wind yet still allow a degree of layering to combat the chills. A short collar is fleece-lined for comfort and warmth, and an elasticated lower hem and cuffs seal out the worst of the weather. A rear pocket can be used to carry light items or to store the jacket itself when not in use. De rigueur reflective elements are present to afford a good degree of night-time visibility. wiggle.co.uk
Polaris RBS Pack Me Windproof
RRP: £54.99 | Cyclescheme price: £39.04*
The Pack Me is a featherweight reserve jacket to keep in your bag or rolled into a jersey pocket on the off-chance of a shower. The fit is relaxed without being shapeless, making it ideal for throwing on over other kit.
It uses Polaris’s ‘Really Bright Stuff’ reflective detailing and some in-your-face bright colour to make sure traffic and pedestrians see you in good time. There are no vents, so the main zip controls heat build-up when you’re pedalling for home, and a rear zip pocket means quick access to essentials. polaris-bikewear.co.uk
Lusso Giro Rain jacket
RRP: £29.99 | Cyclescheme price: £21.29*
For much of the year you don’t want or need a full scale multi-layer jacket, and for those days a jacket like this lightweight Lusso Giro Rain is ideal. With a deep rear, for splash protection, and a short fitted neck, the drips will stay on the outside. Unfussy soft-fit elastic cuffs and hem ensure that the jacket stays put, however energetic you get. A zipped rear pocket and reflective detailing on the rear are useful additions. One to keep rolled up in your pannier for fast deployment when that shower hits! lusso.bike
RRP: £120 | Cyclescheme price: £85.20*
A DWR (durable water repellent) finish and taped seams mean the Reverence offers great protection against the elements on a ride. But it’s also useful when off the bike: the cut apes an outdoor jacket with a slight drop tail and relatively roomy fit, and it has a detachable (and helmet-friendly) hood. Long sleeves with Velcro cuffs and a drawcord hem help seal out wind and rain, and 360-degree reflective detailing gives essential traffic safety. Hand warmer and chest pockets are useful, and the rear LED light window in the rear pocket is a nice touch. dare2b.com
Cube Tour Wind Jacket
RRP: £54.99 | Cyclescheme price: £39.04*
Cube describes its Tour Wind jacket as a ‘light windbreaker’. It’s made from lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabric called Aerolite, which as well as being windproof is water-repellent for keeping you dry in a shower. It dries quickly too, so if you’ve used it on your morning commute it’ll be ready to pack away for the (dry!) ride home. It has a semi-fitted cut, a zipped chest pocket, vented panels under the arms to help regulate temperature, and 360-degree reflective detailing on the cuffs and hem to help you be seen. cube.eu
RRP: £44.99 | Cyclescheme price: £31.94*
Advances in fabric technology make superlight rain jackets such as this Microlite a genuinely worthy response to a shower. The lightweight shell packs down small enough for even the smallest bag – even a jersey pocket if you’re commuting light. It’s semi-form fitting (tech speak for ‘not too flappy’), and the women’s version is neatly tailored through the body. The drop tail and long sleeves work well to keep you covered, with a rear pocket for small items and
reflective trim to help night-time visibility. altura.co.uk