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The Best… Waterproof Cycling Jackets – Reviewed

The Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets - Reviewed

Review of the Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets

With autumn here and winter fast approaching there is no better time to ensure that you have the right cycling jacket and outerwear for the riding conditions.

Mostly you’ll be looking for a nice, contoured or tailored fit so that you remain aerodynamic and a certain level of waterproofness depending on how exposed your riding area is. City commuting usually requires a different kind of jacket to cycling high in the mountains. Perhaps your cycling wardrobe would be complete by having a choice of jackets – something high-tech and highly waterproof for the very worst and coldest weather and a more mid-weight jacket for tucking in your pocket on warmer days when rain is not forecast.

Many jacket manufacturers describe the waterproofing and breathability of fabrics using two large numbers. The first, in millimetres (mm), is a measure of how waterproof a fabric is. The higher the number, the more waterproof the fabric. The second number is a measure of how breathable the fabric is and, again, the larger the number, the more breathable the fabric.

Here we review some of the best waterproof cycling jackets available:

Altura Varium Waterproof Cycling Jacket

Altura Varium Waterproof Cycling Jacket

The Varium from Altura is a fully taped, stretch waterproof, highly breathable softshell cycling jacket offering a fantastic combination of protection from the elements and a close, performance fit. The Varium has a high waterproof rating >10,000 mm and a breathability rating of 25,000. It’s packed with fantastic features: Waterproof, Breathable, Stretch fabric, Fully taped seams, Chest pocket and 2-way zip rear pocket with internal phone pocket, Pit vents and Reflective trim. Altura are a British clothing brand who have been designing and testing products in the challenging terrain and weather of North Yorkshire for almost 20 years. The jacket’s windproof and moisture management capabilities means it also gets the job done in the Alps and by the Med.

Price: £170.

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

Castelli Misto Stretch Cycling Jacket

Castelli Misto Stretch Rain Jacket

Italian styling comes in the shape of this Castelli stretchy and close fitting jacket. The Misto provides exceptional flexibility for a fully waterproof jacket thanks to the Torrent 2.5 layer stretch fabric with 10,000 mm waterproofness and 8,000 MVP breathability. All seams are fully sealed for total waterproofness, there is a 360deg reflective graphic, a high collar to minimize rain seeping in and a waterproof zipper. It also folds easily to fit in a jersey pocket when it’s not required so it’s the ideal jacket to bring along when rain threatens on an otherwise mild day. Castelli clothing was the brainchild of 1970s pro cyclist Maurizio Castelli, who dedicated his life to designing high-performance racing attire, but traces its roots back to a company which began making sports clothing in 1876. 

Price: £120.

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

Spokesman Ghost Waterproof Cycling Jacket

Spokesman Ghost Jacket

The cornerstones of the new British-designed Spokesman range are technical innovations and rugged quality. The Ghost jacket has a race cut and is made from tough Stormshield fabric which is both windproof and water resistant. The ultra-light 4-way stretch jersey creates a lightweight second skin which is completely aero and gives great protection from the elements. This jacket is similar to the Castelli Gabba and these water resistant, fitted pieces have become an essential item for the majority of pro cyclists. Perfect for spring and autumn as well as much of winter. And as Spokesman’s mantra states: If it isn’t raining, it isn’t training!

Price: £155.

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

Castelli Tempesta Waterproof Cycling Jacket

Castelli Tempesta Race Jacket

This Castelli jacket is for the serious cyclist looking for a professional level outer layer that provides the ultimate protection against the worst elements. The Castelli Tempesta Race Jacket is an excellent breathable, waterproof shell featuring Castelli's cutting-edge eVent fabric – a light, silky fabric that will protect you against even the harshest of conditions. This jacket has an ergonomic, race fit which is designed to be worn on the bike and performs well at high intensities.

Price: £300.

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

Altura Night Vision 360 Cycling Jacket

Altura Night Vision 360 Cycling Jacket

The Altura Night Vision 360 is a heavier duty waterproof and windproof jacket with a soft-touch nylon outer fabric. This is a jacket more suited to commuters and leisure cyclists taking it reasonably steady on the bike but it’s still packed with features including 360 degree reflectivity for maximum dark light visibility. If you're racing or training hard you may prefer a lighter jacket with more breathability, although it’s likely to be less waterproof.

Price: £80.

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

Hump Strobe Waterproof Cycling Jacket

Hump Strobe Waterproof Jacket

Another high visibility jacket aimed at commuters and leisure cyclists. It is fully waterproof and tape seamed – the Strobe will keep you dry in the harshest of storms and rough weather. An adjustable shock cord at the waist also allows you to fine tune the fit to help keep the elements out. If you’re looking for something to make you a little more visible, the Hump Strobe jacket is just the thing for that – plus it’s breathable and waterproof. A really good jacket at a decent price.

Price: £70.

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

Ribble Waterproof Commuter Jacket

Ribble Waterproof Commuter Jacket

This Ribble jacket is a perfect, value for money jacket for those wet rides to work. The Waterproof Commuter Jacket has features you'd expect on a jacket at perhaps twice the price. Ribble is a British bike brand that was established in 1897 in the north west of England where the weather is often wet and windy so you can be sure that this jacket is up to the job.

Price: £40.

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

BBB Pocketshield Rain Jacket

BBB Pocketshield Rain Jacket

The Pocketshield is a lightweight, packable outer layer from BBB – the Dutch brand started by two ex-pro cyclists. It’s fully windproof and water resistant with a full length zip, ventilated back and mesh armpit panels which help make this jacket breathable. With an extra pouch in the rear pocket, the BBB Pocketshield Rain Jacket can be packed down to fit in the back pocket of your jersey to be carried as an emergency jacket. Weighs in at only 95g.

Price: £55

Available from: RIBBLECYCLES.co.uk

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