If it is winter where you are and you are riding despite the cold and the damp weather, you might want to update your cycling comfort with a new winter cycling jacket. And if you are willing to spend a little extra – that is, if winter cycling is that important to you – you’ll want to get a jacket that is designed to keep out the cold and the rain.
These jackets, which blend fleecy thermal fabrics with water-repellent coatings, allow you to ride year-round in all kinds of weather and make your pre-winter-ride garment decisions a cinch. Unless there is a tempest or really, really cold weather, this jacket will be all you need. Here is a list of some of the best.
Endura Windchill Cycling Jacket II
Anyone looking for a budget winter cycling jacket must check out the Endura Windchill Jacket II, a terrific example of simple but effective design. For just £72 to £77, at Wiggle, you get warmth even on a slow, snowy ride, excellent water resistance and practical features such as the underarm venting. A drawback is that it does not have a waterproof pocket for your phone so it’s worth taking a sealable bag on the ride. If you are looking for warmth without a skin-tight fit, this is a great choice – especially if budget is a higher priority than some of the technical features of more cutting-edge products. If you are looking for a lot of warmth for your buck, this is the jacket you’ll want.
Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket
One great advantage of the water-resistant Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket is that it performs well across a wide range of temperatures, from -5°C/23°F to 10°C/50°F, with peak performance at around 5°C/ 41°F. Another advantage is its cut, which is racing, giving it a low profile and no bunching when on the drops. The sleeves go well with gloves but may be a bit tight if you wear a wristwatch while riding. This jacket offers plenty of storage in the front and back, and lots of reflective detailing, making it a very practical racing-style jacket. All the jackets listed here offer a men’s and women’s fit but the Rapha sells the women’s fit under the name of UMA GT. Buy it at REI Co-op Shop for $250 (£184).
Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket Evo
If you want a winter jacket that can soak up a lot of wear and tear, the Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket Evo is one you should look at. It offers a wonderfully soft RX inner lining that wraps warmth around your body as soon as you slip it on. On the outside, various NEOS fabrics are used in addition to hardier materials that are deployed in the more exposed locations such as the arms. It offers outstanding breathability and very good waterproofing but you might want to take a dedicated hard-shell if you want to ride through a sustained heavy downpour. The Assos jacket also offers an ingenious double-cuff design on the arms that protects them from wind and rain shooting up the sleeves. Unfortunately, the jacket lacks weatherproof rear pockets and a waterproof zipped pocket. The clever technology that has gone into this product does not come cheaply. You can buy it now for £246.50 at Wiggle, marked down from £290.
Castelli Alpha ROS 2 light jacket
Finally, the Castelli Alpha ROS 2 light jacket is probably the most practical of the broad range of winter jackets Castelli has on offer because it suits most jacket-necessary conditions you are likely to face. The jacket’s key feature is its double-layer construction. On the inside, it has an insulating ProSecco Strada lightweight fabric, while it offers an extra layer of Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper 150 on top and on the sleeves. And if that’s not enough, the back of the jacket employs Nano Flex Xtra Dry material with emphasis on breathability and rain shedding thanks to its water-repellent finish. This is a jacket for cold autumn and clement winter days as it is recommended for use in temperatures of 8°C/46°F to 15 °C/59°F. It is currently available for only £175 (list price £250) at Wiggle.