Best waterproof cycling jacket 2022: Stay dry and warm whatever the weather


Ride in comfort and style all year round with our pick of the very best cycling jackets that money can buy

The best cycling jackets can make the difference between loving every minute of a ride or wishing you’d never left the house. You want a jacket that will shrug off rain showers, keep the wind and cold out on blustery days, and ideally not soak you with sweat from the inside out. It’s not a lot to ask, is it?

Cycling jackets aren’t purely a foul weather friend: they’re an essential outer layer in winter months, but many are also comfortable enough to wear throughout the rest of the year as an extra protective layer when the mercury falls or shine turns to rain. Some even manage to add a dash of pub-friendly style to the proceedings.

Let’s be honest, the good old UK weather means that buying the best cycling jacket you can afford is an essential purchase if you don’t want to leave your bike gathering dust in the garage for months on end. Here we’ve compiled a list of the best jackets for every eventuality, so read on to find the right one for you.

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How to choose the best waterproof cycling jacket for you

What types of cycling jackets are out there?

There are a few different types of cycling jackets, and the best one for you will largely depend on your cycling habits. Here are the two main types of cycling jacket:

Waterproof jacket: This should be fairly self-explanatory. Waterproof cycling jackets are made from a waterproof hard shell which makes them more suited to extreme weather conditions – whether it be wind, rain, or both. They’ll likely be a bit more bulky and less breathable than your other options though.

Softshell jacket: Softshell jackets offer a middle ground between hardshell waterproofs and lighter fleece jackets. Often lined with a fleece inner, they’re water resistant as well as being soft and light. That said, many softshell jackets don’t offer complete waterproof protection. So, if you’re after something to withstand the extremes of the Great British weather, then you might have to sacrifice some breathability in exchange for something more durable against the rain.

While most of the entries on our list are fully waterproof, we’ve included two water resistant softshell options, from Canyon and Vulpine, because they offer a breathable and lightweight edge over some of the more heavier waterproofs.

Are there any extras I should consider?

In addition to essentials such as waterproofing, high-vis patches and sensibly-placed pockets, some jackets will have additional features which can improve your cycling experience. A common feature is the drop tail: a flap that comes down at the back of the jacket to protect your lower back against the rain and from splashes. A common issue with the drop tail is that it can sometimes get caught on the seat of your bike, but many manufacturers have found a way around this problem by making the tail stowable inside the jacket.

Some cycling jackets will also have pit zips. These are, if it wasn’t already obvious, zips underneath the armpits of the jacket. They provide ventilation and can be very useful if you’re liable to sweat a lot on your ride. No matter how breathable a jacket’s fabric is, sometimes only a pit zip can allow enough air movement to keep things dry and sweat-free inside.

There’s also aesthetics to think about: Do you want a packable jacket you can just scrunch up and pack away as soon as you’re off your bike, or are you after something a bit more stylish? Some jackets are designed for urban cycling, so you might not even be able to tell they’re a cycling jacket at all. Others are designed and shaped exclusively to be effective in a riding position, with short front panels and long drop tails, so aren’t suitable for wearing casually down the pub.

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The best waterproof and water resistant cycling jackets to buy

1. Dhb Aeron Tempo FLT: Best for lightweight breathability

Price: £90 | Buy now from Wiggle

This lightweight cycling jacket provides excellent protection against the rain, while packing up neatly for compact storage when not in use. The jacket’s streamlined design has performance in mind, built to withstand “high-tempo blasts and long winter training miles”. It has a waterproof rating of 30,000mm and a high breathability rating of 25,000g/m2 (this latter measurement refers to how much moisture can pass through a square metre of fabric in 24 hours). Extra protection comes from the jacket’s drop tail and shaped cuffs, while back vents are added as a further precaution against overheating.

The Aeron Tempo FLT also utilises Dhb’s ‘Flashlight Technology’, keeping you visible at night with reflective patterns and logos. It’s a great cycling jacket but bear in mind that, given its performance-focused design, it fits quite tightly around the chest.

Key features - Material: 100% nylon; Waterproof/water resistant: Waterproof; Wind resistant? Unspecified; Colours available: Two (Black, fluorescent yellow)

Buy now from Wiggle

2. Proviz Switch: Best jacket for night-time visibility

Price: £100 | Buy Men’s | Women’s from Proviz

Like the Canyon jacket, the Proviz Switch is fully reversible (although perhaps not quite as stylish). Fluorescent yellow on one side with Proviz’s signature Reflect360 material on the reverse, you can feel safe knowing that everyone is going to see you zipping down the road - day or night.

It’s fully waterproof, too, so will keep you dry in all but the most torrential of downpours. Zipped side vents provide extra ventilation, too, which stops you getting too sweaty when you’re pedalling hard or just trying to stay dry in summer showers.

Key features - Material: 100% polyester; Waterproof/water resistant: Waterproof; Wind resistant? Yes; Colours available: One (Yellow/reflective)

Buy Men's from Proviz Buy Women's from Proviz

3. Triban RC500 Waterproof Cycling Jacket: Best budget waterproof cycling jacket

Price: £55 | Buy now from Decathlon

With an 8,000mm waterproof rating (5,000mm after it’s been washed five times according to Decathlon), the RC500 isn’t designed for torrential downpours. That said, it can handle itself in moderate rain. And at £55, it’s a fair bit more affordable than a lot of other cycling jackets that’ll cost you £100 and above.

Nice added touches include a YKK AquaGuard front zip to stop water seeping in, and a foldable rear flap that is coloured bright orange for visibility.

Key features - Material: Polyester; Waterproof/water resistant: Waterproof; Wind resistant? Unspecified; Colours available: Two (Black, navy)

Buy now from Decathlon

4. Rapha Commuter: Best waterproof jacket for commuters

Price: £100 | Buy Men’s | Women’s from Rapha

The Rapha Commuter - while lightweight and packable - is also fully waterproof, making it the ideal jacket if you cycle to work in a city such as London where it seems to rain more often than not.

It’s also got a roll-up hood, waterproof zip, reflective details on the back and a mesh-lined panel for ventilation. The taped seams are a nice touch at the price, too, and ensure that the jacket keeps you dry even when the heavens truly open. The relaxed fit is spot on, with enough room to layer normal everyday clothes underneath.

Rapha doesn’t always make the most affordable of products, but the Commuter is far from the most expensive jacket on our list and, for £100, it’s actually very good value. Especially when you consider you get a lifetime of free repairs for crash and accident damage.

Key features - Material: 100% polyester, 2.5 layer fabric with waterproof membrane; Waterproof/Water resistant: Waterproof; Wind resistant: Yes; Colours available: Men’s - Eight (purple, green, black, hi-vis pink, dark navy, dark yellow, dark olive, yellow), Women’s - five (dark purple, dark green, black, hi-vis pink, chartreuse)

Buy men's from Rapha Buy women's from Rapha

5. Canyon Signature Urban Reflective Turn Jacket: Best stylish urban cycling jacket

Price: £110 | Buy now from Canyon

Fully reversible, this wind- and water-resistant black bomber can be turned inside out to reveal a bright reflective side - perfect for cycling at night. The jacket comes with a stowable drop tail for road spray protection, as well as small air intakes in the armpits for ventilation.

It looks pretty cool too and, while it's not fully waterproof, it’s this versatility that makes it a perfect jacket to wear on and off the bike.

Key features - Material: 100% polyester; Waterproof/Water resistant: Water resistant; Wind resistant? Yes; Colours available: Two (black, black/white); Guarantee: Two-year

Buy now from Canyon

6. Vulpine Softshell Harrington: Best softshell jacket under £250

Price: £200 | Buy now from Vulpine

Vulpine’s Softshell Harrington looks pretty minimal for the price, but don’t be deceived - it comes with a number of handy features, including buttoned back adjusters, ventilation panels, reflective details and lots of pockets.

Aside from the waterproof zip and storm guard, the jacket itself - like most softshells - is water resistant rather than fully waterproof. So, if you’re after a bit more protection from the rain, check out Vulpine’s Harrington rain jacket or the Portixol waterproof. Otherwise, the Harrington Softshell is a great cycling jacket - warm, durable and more than capable in light showers.

Key features - Material: Cotton, Polyester, Elastane, fleece inner; Waterproof/water resistant: Water resistant; Wind resistant? Yes; Colours available: Two (Black, dark navy)

Buy now from Vulpine

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