Riding your bike under the rain is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. However, it won’t be as pleasant if your protective jacket doesn’t fend off the rain.
There’s a wide variety of rain jackets in the market. However, not all of them are fit for cycling conditions. You’ll want something that’s durable enough to survive cold and wet weather. Especially if you’re in the middle of a training regime such as me at the moment (Training for Half-Ironman!).
If you’re looking for the best waterproof cycling jackets, then you want to ensure that you have the right information. Today, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know before picking your ideal waterproof cycling jacket. First of all I’ll show you the five best that I think are available right now. Many options are very affordable.
Afterwards, I’ll dive into a complete guide of what you should look out for before picking your waterproof cycling rain jacket.
Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets Compared and Reviewed
|Top||ARSUXEO Winter Warm UP Cycling Rain Jacket||ARSUXEO||Check Price on Amazon|
|OUTON Men's Cycling Rain Jacket||OUTON||Check Price on Amazon|
|BALEAF Men's Cycling Rain Jacket||BALEAF||Check Price on Amazon|
|MECASTAR Cycling Rain Jacket||MECASTAR||Check Price on Amazon|
|Columbia Men's Cycling Rain Jacket||Columbia||Check Price on Amazon|
#1 - ARSUXEO Winter Warm UP Cycling Waterproof Cycling Jacket
ARSUXEO waterproof jacket is available in sizes from small to XX-large. Also, it comes in 7 different colors, including bright colors for daylight visibility and safety.
The jacket is made of a blend of polyester (85%) and spandex (15%). The jacket fabric is made out of 3 layers for the highest level of weather and water resistance.
The outer layer is treated with a waterproof layer that sheds off the water and moisture like beads. This layer also protects you from the wind thanks to its rugged construction.
The middle layer contains a breathable membrane that passes the internal moisture to the outside. The inner layer is made of soft fleece to keep you warm and comfortable all the time.
Although this part is great for flexibility and free movement, this black part isn’t waterproof and windproof. The jacket comes with an elastic drop tail hem that ensures a snug fit while cycling. This makes it ideal for cyclists who are looking for speed and protection and of the best waterproof cycling jackets on our list.
#2 - OUTON Men's Waterproof Cycling Jacket
Next up is the OUTON’s rain jacket. This rain jacket is great for all kinds of winter sports, including cycling. Similar to ARSUXEO’s jacket, this one also has a composite snug fit design that’s both rain and wind-resistant.
This waterproof jacket is also made of polyester and spandex. Spandex is great for flexibility, movement, and fitting. On the other hand, polyester is great for water resistance and keeping the jacket lightweight.
The inner layer of the jacket is lined with soft fleece to keep you warm in winter. However, you can still enjoy a decent level of ventilation thanks to its creative design.
Adding to its breathability, the black elastic fabric on arms and back is more about ventilation. This area has an elastic fabric that helps in transferring sweat quickly to keep your dry.
The body of the jacket has 3 pockets to store your phone and wallet. Also, it has reflective strips to keep you visible at night. The waterproof cycling jacket comes with a silicone non-slip band on the inner bottom to keep the jacket close to you. This is one of the most affordable and best waterproof cycling jackets available today going by the ratings of users.
#3 - BALEAF Men's Waterproof Cycling Rain Jacket
The jacket is available in three colors only, which are fluorescent green, yellow and orange. However, the colors are bright enough to keep you visible in daylight. Moreover, the jacket has a reflective logo and multiple strips to keep you safe and visible at night.
The jacket is made of ultralight materials that provide the jacket with a superb level of protection against cycling wind. Moreover, the material sheds off moisture and protects you from rain and moisture.
One of the best features of this jacket is that it comes with zip-off sleeves and shoulder yoke. Whenever you want, you can easily remove the sleeves and turn this jacket into a cycling vest.
This adds to the versatility and functionality of the jacket. Additionally, it allows you to make the jacket more breathable in summer days to keep your body cool.
Also, it has to hand pockets with a protective zipper to store your smartphone and wallet. The zippers on the jacket are durable, so you won’t have to worry about them going off.
#4 - MECASTAR Waterproof Cycling Jacket
This jacket is uniquely lightweight. However, it offers an outstanding level of water and wind resistance. Additionally, whenever you don’t need the jacket, you can fold it up to the size of your palm!
This makes it ideal for travelers who like to take their bikes along. It comes with a small bag to store the jacket for extra convenience.
The portable jacket also comes with a rain hat for extra protection against moisture and bad weather. The great thing is that these hats are detachable for whenever the weather is clear.
#5 - Columbia Men's Cycling Rain Jacket
One of the reasons that make this jacket among the top-selling ones in the market is the abundance of sizes and colors. No matter how unique your size or favorite color is, there’s one for it in this jacket.
The top layer is made of nylon, which is one of the most durable materials for jackets around. This means that this jacket will surely stand the test of time.
With the Columbia waterproof cycling jacket, you won’t have to take a storage bag to keep your personal belongings. The jacket comes with two large hand pockets to store your personal belongings.
Despite being a bit pricier than other jackets on the list, you can use this jacket for cycling, hiking, climbing, and more! All that makes up for its price and puts it in our list of the best waterproof cycling jackets.
My Number One Pick
Key Considerations When Looking For The Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets
When considering a purchase for the best waterproof cycling jacket you want to make sure you’re equipped with the right level of information. Below is a list of key features that I believe you should look out for when trying to find the right jacket that will suit your needs as a recreational cyclist.
Sizing and Fitting
One of the first things that you should keep in mind shopping for rain jackets is sizing and fitting. Getting a jacket with all the features you’re looking for but with an off-sizing is no use.
While sizing and fitting are usually the same things, they slightly differ in cycling rain jackets. For example, a cycling jacket with a slim fit will give you better aerodynamics, more speed, and less flapping noise.
However, you won’t be able to wear multiple layers of clothing beneath it and it might be uncomfortable for long rides.
On the other hand, a jacket your size but with a loose fit will give you more comfort and more protection against the weather with layers of clothing. But, this comfort will be in exchange for speed and aero.
The choice here depends on your personal preferences and how long and fast you use your bike.
Type of Fabric Used
Another crucial factor that controls a lot of aspects is the type of fabric you’re using in the jacket. Waterproof cycling jackets are made of several materials and in different designs. These materials vary in terms of durability, overall weight, and others.
The best materials for cycling rain jackets are polyester, spandex, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and Nylon. They’re highly durable and protect the jacket from pulls and tears, allowing you to use them in different situations.
In addition to durability, nylon and TPU have good levels of waterproofing and weather protection. But more on this shortly.
As the name suggests, this type of waterproof jacket depends on the idea of stacking multiple layers of fabric on top of each other.
This creates a multi-layered fabric with ultra-small pores that prevents water droplets from passing through. However, these pores are not small enough to trap perspiration and sweat inside.
They’re usually treated externally with a water-repelling material for extra fortification against wetness. They’re the best at waterproofing but they’re usually a bit pricer than the other type.
These jackets only offer external treatment with a hydrophobic material. “Hydro” means water and “Phobic” means repelling. These materials decrease the surface tension of water droplets.
This makes them retain their drop shape with breaking, so they slide off the surface instead of passing into the fabric layers.
While waterproofing is usually the most important aspect of a waterproof jacket, you shouldn’t forget about other elements of the weather.
While riding a bike in the rain, you should expect a lot of wind currents. It’s important to make sure that the jacket overcomes wind without slowing you down. Fortunately, all top-notch quality jackets offer decent resistance against dirt, wind, and others.
The waterproof rating is measured with millimeters within a 1 x 1-inch tube that’s filled with water.
For example, if a cycling rain jacket has a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm, this means that it can withstand up to 10,000 millimeters of water in that tube before it soaks the water in. of course, the higher the number, the more water it can withstand.
All waterproof jackets in the market lie between less than 10,000 mm and up to 30,000 mm. The lower range is ideal for cycling in light rain conditions while the higher numbers are for extreme and persistent rain, snow, and wind.
Unless you’re cycling in extreme conditions, you don’t need to get the high-end jackets, as they’re highly specific and more expensive. In most average rain, a range between 10,000 and 20,000 mm is ideal for you.
Breathability and Ventilation
You might think that waterproof jackets should be airtight to prevent water from soaking in. However, a waterproof jacket might still offer decent ventilation.
To choose an ideal level of ventilation, you should make sure that the jacket isn’t too breathable or airtight.
In fact, it’s important to make sure that your waterproof jacket is breathable to avoid trapping the moisture inside. A highly breathable jacket isn’t always great because of the colder days.
That’s why a good waterproof jacket should also have a ventilation mesh that’s covered by a protecting layer. This should keep a constant flow of air inside without being too much or too little.
As a rule of thumb jackets with a waterproof rating between 10,000 and 20,000 mm are the best cycling rain jackets in terms of breathability.
You should make sure that the zippers are durable and made of sturdy materials. Ideally, look for jackets with zippers’ garage.
These ones prevent the direct contact between the zippers and your skin, so they protect your skin from chafing and scratching.
In some cases, you might take the jacket on a trip. That’s why having a jacket that doesn’t take much space is a good thing. If you’re into tight packing, make sure that you pick a jacket that can offer small packing features. For example, the MECASTAR Cycling Rain Jacket.
Compartments and Storage
Waterproof jackets aren’t only for protection against wind and rain. You should also be able to keep your personal belongings using this jacket.
Many waterproof cycling jackets in the market offer different storage options in the form of hand and back pockets. Ideally, the pockets need to have zippers on them to keep them secured.
Light reflection is one of the critical aspects of your safety while cycling. If you’re cycling in the night, you need to make sure that you’re visible to other vehicles.
This is more crucial in low visibility conditions, such as under heavy rain. That’s why a good cycling rain jacket should have a reflective color that makes you highly contrasting.
Bright colors are great for that task, so you need to make sure that the jacket is offered in these colors. Also, you should look for reflective straps. These straps have a strong light-reflective feature that makes it shine brightly when light hits it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Waterproof Cycling Jackets
Q: How do I look after my waterproof cycling jacket?
A: Most manufacturers recommend that you wash the jacket manually with normal temperature water. Read the label on the jacket to know if you can use detergents. However, you should use bleach on waterproof jackets.
Q: Can a waterproof cycling jacket lose it’s waterproofing?
A: It’s important to know that stock water-repelling treatments can wear off. This happens with extensive use throughout a long time with exposure to outdoor factors. This means that the jacket might start to lose its waterproofing abilities after some time. Luckily, there are many products that you can treat your jacket to retain its waterproof features.
You can use sprays like Nikwax Hardshell Cleaning and Waterproofing Spray and 303 30616CSR Fabric Guard. There are also some apparel cleaners that treat clothes against water while cleaning, such as Granger’s Clothing Wash + Repel For Outerwear.
Well, there you have it. A comprehensive guide with everything you need to know before picking the best waterproof cycling jacket for you. Just like cycling gloves, or a helmet, a cycling rain jacket should definitely be in your arsenal if you’re taking cycling seriously and looking to compete at endurance events. You can’t miss a single day of training! Rain, hail or shine! Get out there.
When I think of a good cycling rain jacket. It needs to be super protective of multiple layers. Also, it should provide a high level of breathability to keep me comfortable. For these reasons and more, I believe that MECASTAR Cycling Rain Jacket is the winner out of these products.
However, if you’re on a budget, you can go for the OUTON Cycling Rain Jacket. For a highly reasonable price, you’ll have everything you need to keep yourself protected in cold rainy weather.
Taking your cycling to the next level? We did a review on some of the best indoor bike racks you can use to store your bike away in the ease of your own home, these are truly next level in my opinion. Check out our top 10 tips on becoming a better cyclist as well, while you’re here.
Enjoy the ride!
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.