Here Is A List Of Best Winter Cycling Jackets 2017 For All The Cycling Enthusiasts To Continue Their Open Air Adventure And Not Swell With Fear During Cold Weather
If you are a cycling enthusiast and have been undertaking those enduring rides all through the summer to work on your fitness game, then the fore-running winter season might just refrain you from hitting those trails, given the harsh weather conditions impacting your cycling pursuits.
Although, one cannot anticipate and have any control on all those harsh weather elements, the right type of high performance sports wear for winter cycling can certainly help you protect against wind and water and extend warmth at the same time.
The performance sportswear brands have been engineering technical fabrics to help the outdoor adventurists beat all sorts of winter intensities and thus enjoy their open air pursuits without any apprehensions. And one such performance outfit for cycling enthusiasts is a winter jacket that is crafted using advanced fabrics incorporating layers of membranes to make it windproof, waterproof, breathable, insulated and aerodynamic at the same time.
Since, the winter weather intensity varies from region to region, there cannot be a single jacket that can act as a shield for beating all those harsh winter elements. Windproof Jackets can act as a shield on those windy days, rain or waterproof jackets can protect you during those heavy downpours or when it is snowing heavily while softshell jackets extend warmth when the temperature goes extremely down.
Well, these days, the performance sportswear brands have crafted jackets using advanced fabrics that render performance with regards to making it windproof, waterproof, breathable and insulated at the same time. But incorporating all such features in a single jacket is quite expensive a bet.
Hence, to make things quite comprehensive, first its important to know what type of cycling jackets are available and what purpose each one resolves? According to purpose, basically there are Windproof and Waterproof Jackets (which are also called as hardshells) and then there are softshell jackets. So you have to prioritize either staying warm or dry and in case you want both, you have to spend a lot of money to buy a winter cycling jacket that incorporates all the features.
What Are Hardhsell Jackets?
Hardshell Jackets are primarily designed from fabrics that help to keep you dry during rains and hence are waterproof and windproof. But hardshells can further be categorized as waterproof and windproof.
Gore-Tex Laminate Bonded Between a High-Performance Lining And Outer Textiles
A Waterproof Jacket is crafted from a waterproof fabric that keeps the rain out but compromises a great deal on breathability as it is is technically challenging to make a waterproof jacket breathable at the same time. Hence, while cycling, a waterproof jacket can act as a great shield against rain water and snow, but an endurance ride can make you sweat a lot inside given the low breathability of such a fabric.
Garments Engineered With GORE-TEX® Fabrics Are Waterproof and Windproof, Combined With Optimized Breathability
Hence to resolve such a challenge, performance sportswear brands have engineered breathable laminated fabrics comprising of multiple layers of fabric: one to wick the moisture, the other acting as a waterproof membrane and a third layer on the outside that receives Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Treatment . The waterproof membrane that sits between the moisture wicking fabric and an outer layer of fabric consists of pores that are big enough for the body moisture to escape but small enough for the rain water droplets outside to seep into the jacket.
The commonly used internal waterproof membranes found in expensive waterproof cycling jackets are Gore-Tex, Thinsulate, Polartec and eVent. The DWR Treatment is just a finish used along with waterproof membrane fabrics that makes the water to roll off, thus preventing the material from becoming satiated with water. Apart from this, taped seams are used on the inside to avoid any sort of water leaks.
Some manufacturers also incorporate zipped vents under the armpits or under flaps round the body for the moisture to escape while working hard.
Gore Windstopper Membrane
Windproof Jackets come to your rescue on extremely windy days as these are windproof, breathable, water resistant and much lighter in weight than your waterproof jackets. How is it different from a waterproof jacket? Well, a windproof jacket is water resistant and not waterproof. Such a jacket works best only during light showers.
So instead of a waterproof membrane like the Gore-Tex, we have the WINDSTOPPER membrane that has all the windproof characteristics and is water resistant to just keep out light rain showers.
Since hardshells are meant to provide ultimate protection against prolonged rain and compromise on breathability, these can be worn as a part of the layering system in order to work well in varied weather conditions. But you have to see how many layers you need to wear
under a hardshell jacket since hard effort can make your body sweat inside.
What Are Softshell Jackets?
Gore Power 2.0 Windstopper Soft Shell Jacket
Softshell Jackets are crafted using fabric that is highly breathable and is wind and water resistant as compared to the hardshell fabric. Unlike hardshell jackets, softshells are not waterproof as these incorporate key features like breathability and flexibility and hence
compromise on being waterproof or windproof.
These are worn as a part of layering system to protect you from biting cold. The softshells can act as a mid layer underneath an outer layer (which can be a windproof or a waterproof jacket) in case of extreme weather conditions and can be worn alone with just a base layer in case the weather condition is not that harsh.
Since, we can now clearly distinguish between a hardshell and a softshell cycling jacket, which one to choose to protect you against winter elements certainly depends upon the weather intensity of a particular region. As already mentioned before, there exists no single jacket that is windproof, waterproof, breathable, flexible and comfortable at the same time.
And if the manufacturers are innovating advanced fabrics that render all such features, then certainly such a cycling jacket comes at a cost. As a cycling enthusiast, if price is not a consideration for you and you just want a pro cycling jacket, then those expensive jackets crafted from advanced fabrics are definitely the best choice for you.
For the rest of them, more decently priced cycling jackets that trade off on a few features is a good choice.
These jackets can be worn as a part of layering system to work best in those harsh weather conditions. Now, to choose the right winter cycling jacket, here are the features that you need to consider according to the winter weather intensity:
- Waterproof – This means that the jacket is crafted from a fabric incorporating waterproof technology and also has all the seams of the jacket taped or sealed to prevent the water from penetrating inside the jacket. The ‘waterproof-ness’ of a jacket or an apparel is usually known through the waterproof ratings given to the apparel. These ratings are the result of the extent of the fabric faring in the tests conducted on them. These ratings range from 1,500 mm to 20,000 mm and above. The 20,000 mm and above rating means the jacket renders extreme protection and is best suited for heavy rain, heavy snow, biting cold winds and extremely wet environments.
- Windproof – A windproof fabric is the one that does not allow the wind to cut through the jacket. The measure used to determine the wind resistance of a fabric is cubic feet per minute. This simply means that how many cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air can pass through the fabric. The lesser the number, more windproof is the fabric. A fabric with zero CFM rating is 100% windproof. As mentioned earlier, fabrics like Windstopper by Gore and Polartec are few of the fabrics that have a zero CFM rating.
- Breathable – Breathability of a fabric is its ability to allow moisture vapour to pass through it. Generally, it is measured in terms of mass of moisture that can pass through a square meter of fabric in 24 hours. There is no standardized way to measure breathability but there are few tests that show how many grams of water vapour can pass through a square meter of a fabric in a set period of time. For instance, a 20,000g rated fabric means 20,000 grams of water vapor can pass through a square meter of a fabric within the set period. The larger the number, the more breathable the fabric.
- Packability – This is a must have feature in a cycling jacket. And while riding on the trails that are susceptible to varying weather conditions or during high endurance rides, a cycling jacket that can be easily packed comes to your rescue as changing weather conditions outside and the heat built up inside may demand removing the jacket. Waterproof jackets are usually heavy in weight and are challenging to pack and put it in a rear pocket. Whereas, the water resistant options are much lightweight and can be packed quite easily.
- Fit – Another important feature that you should look out for while searching for a cycling jacket is the fit of a jacket. In case you ride a bike for normal commuting, then an easy or a relaxed fit jacket should be your choice. But if the very purpose for riding the bike is undertaking racing or training, then a slim fit or skin fit construction jacket is the one that you should buy.
Despite being rated as waterproof or windproof, no fabric can guarantee 100% resistance against water or air even if the rating says so. This is because each fabric (even it is highly advanced) might have its own vulnerabilities.
Therefore, considering the above features, we have come up with a list of best winter cycling jackets 2017 so that you don’t shy away from your cycling adventures this winters.
1. Galibier – Mistral Foul II Weather Jacket
Galibier Mistral Foul II Weather Jacket, Price – £67.45, Available At – galibier.cc
As the name suggests, this jacket has been crafted for the foul weather conditions as it protects you from rain, wind and biting cold, all thanks to the three layer German membrane fabric that helps in rendering that protection. This softshell jacket is 100 % windproof but only water resistant. Reason. The Super stretch characteristic of the fabric makes it impossible to tape the seams inside. So in case of downpour, the water will get through. As for the cold weather, the jacket is 100% windproof and is also breathable to a great extent.
Sportful Bodyfit Pro Thermal Jacket For Men, Price – On Request, Available At – sportful.com
The Bodyfit Pro Thermal Jacket from Sportful combines a thin layer of Polartec Alpha insulation with an outer layer that allows air to escape and a breathable inner mesh liner. This combination results into a jacket offers warmth during extreme winter conditions without overheating. The outer layer is crafted from the WindWick fabric that is highly wind resistant, water resistant and is very breathable. The three external rear pockets are easily accessible and can be used to stow the valuables. The reflective details over the shoulders and on the rear of the jacket increase the visibility of the commuters.
Sportful Fiandre Norain W Jacket For Women, Price – On Request, Available At – sportful.com
The Fiandre Norain W Jacket is one of the warmest jackets for women from the house of Sportful. The jacket keeps you warm and dry when riding even in the harsh winter conditions, thanks to the Gore Windstopper 4 Way Mid & Warm and the NoRain Thermal inserts that offer warmth and protection and breathablility respectively. The Drop-Down Tail on the rear of the jacket offers protection from the water to spray onto your lower while pedaling and the three rear pockets keep your valuables safely while you are riding.
Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof Jacket Navy For Men, Price – On Request
A winter training insulation, the Pro SL Thermal Windproof Jacket for both men and women is crafted from high stretch, windproof fabric with thermal lining on front and sleeves that keeps away the biting cold wind and keeps you warm inside. For extending extra warmth and comfort, the jacket also comes with a high cut double layer collar and extended cuffs that can integrate with the gloves.
Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof Jacket Cobalt Blue For Women, Price – On Request, Available At – endurasport.com
The jacket features three rear pockets with additional security pocket for you to keep your essentials safe as well as to keep your hands warm when you are not riding. The reflective trim on the forearms as well as on the rear of the jacket ensures high visibility during the dark.
Castelli Alpha ROS Jacket Orange Black For Men, Price – $349.99
The Castelli Alpha ROS Jacket for both men and women surpasses the original Alpha Jacket as it incorporates features that make it windproof , waterproof and breathable at the same time. So no separate clothing required for wet weather or dry weather. The Gore Windstopper light rain resistant membrane and DWR Treatment, seam sealing at selected areas, careful seam placement and construction, and a waterproof YKK Vislon zipper fabric offer protection from wind and water and also make the jacket highly breathable.
Castelli Alpha Ros W Jacket For Women, Price – $349.99, Available At – castelli-cycling.com
The one characteristic that distinguishes the Alpha ROS Jacket from rest of the jackets is its two layer construction that separates the insulating layer from the outer shell. Such a construction ensures better ventilation and better moisture evaporation. The jacket also incorporates 3 pockets in the rear of the jacket for you to keep your essentials safely.
5. Gore Bike
GORE Bikewear One Rescue Gore-Tex Shakedry Jacket, Price – £ 220.00
The Gore Bikewear One Rescue Jacket incorporates Gore-Tex Active material with Shakedry Product Technology that makes the jacket windproof and waterproof. This Jacket is an ideal piece for bad weather conditions, be it heavy rain or snow. Not only that, for a safe ride during night or when the light is low, the Jacket features reflective elements that increases visibility for the drivers on the road. And to stow your valuables safely, the napoleon pocket with a zip closure that sits in the front comes to your rescue.
GORE Bikewear Power Lady Gore Windstopper Softshell Jacket, Price – £ 149.99, Available At – goreapparel.co.uk
The Gore Bikewear Power Lady Jacket comprises of the soft and versatile Gore Winstopper layer that makes the jacket windproof, waterproof and highly breathable. The jacket comes with a close fit, fleece lined high collar that restricts the cold air to enter and a full length zip in the front with an underflap. The jacket also features reflective elements in the front as well as on the back for high visibility when it turns dark. The extra long back keeps your lowers dry in bad weather conditions.
Ashmei Ultimate Softshell Jacket For Men, Price – £240.00
The front of the Ultimate Softshell Jacket for both men and women is crafted from a fabric that is 100 % windproof, waterproof and breathable at the same time. The Merino Wool inserted in the rear panel gives you warmth and also keeps you dry .
Ashmei Ultimate Softshell Jacket For Women, Price – £240.00, Available At – ashmei.com
For keeping your valuables safely, the jacket features three rear pockets with elasticated hems. The jacket also has a tail guard in the rear to keep your bib shorts or tights dry during bad weather conditions.
7. Madison Sportive
Madison Sportive Mens Windproof Jacket, Price – £79.99
This Windproof Jacket for both men and women is a Softshell that is crafted from a heavyweight fabric is an ideal winter training jacket and is engineered to give you maximum comfort when in the riding position. The Roubaix Thermal Panel on the rear helps in keeping your body warm without overheating while the windproof panels on the front, sides and over the shoulders protect you from biting cold wind. And the underarm zippers ensure that the temperature inside is regulated in case of hard effort.
Madison Sportive Womens Windproof Jacket, Price – £79.99, Available At – madison.cc
The jacket also features three rear pockets and chest pocket to keep your valuables safe while you ride the bike. And to add reflective visibility feature to the jacket, a reflective tape on the front zipper and raglan seams along with reflective prints on the chest, forearms and the back have been incorporated.
Polaris Bikewear Fuse Waterproof Jacket, Price – £119.99
The Fuse Waterproof Jacket is 2.5 layer cycle specific waterproof jacket that is crafted from a lightweight stretch waterproof fabric and is anatomically engineered to create that perfect cycle specific fit. The jacket features reflective prints that ensure increased visibility in the low light conditions. There are three rear storage pockets for you to store your essentials while riding the bike.
Polaris Bikewear RBS Pack Me Jacket For Men & Women, Price – £54.99, Available At – polaris-bikewear.co.uk
This one’s a unisex jacket that is crafted from 100% polyester taffeta windproof microfiber that is lightweight and compact enough to be packed into the rear pocket quite easily. This Windproof Cycling Commuter Jacket makes use of bright colored fabric to increase the visibility for the drivers while you ride your bike onto the roads during the dark. To further increase the visibility, the jacket also features reflective print trims to the shoulders, arms, side panels, pockets as well as the zippers. And to keep your essentials, the jacket also feaures zipped security pockets.
dhb Classic Mens Windprrof Softshell Jacket, Price – $90.37
The Classic Windproof Softshell Jacket for both men and women is crafted from Roubaix fabric that extends warmth combined with a windproof outer membrane at the front and the sleeves thus blocking the wind. Just keeping the outer membrane windproof helps in maintaining the breathability of the jacket.
dhb Classic Womens Windprrof Softshell Jacket, Price – $90.37, Available At – wiggle.com
The jacket also features a full length zip at the front which can be opened for venting out moisture in case of hard efforts. The body fit construction of the jacket along with the elasticated gripper on the hem ensures that the jacket stays in place. During intense cold or bad weather days, this softshell jacket works best when worn as a mid layer underneath a hardshell jacket.
10. Proviz Sports
Proviz Sports Pixelite Performance Men’s Cycling Jacket, Price – $180.00
A high performance jacket, the Proviz Pixlite for both men and women is crafted majorly from a mix of polyester, elastane and thermal microfiber that help in extending warmth, blocking wind and regulating the temperature inside when working hard.
Proviz Sports Pixelite Performance Women’s Cycling Jacket, Price – $180.00, Available At – provizsports.com
The jacket is high on breathability and also features PixElite fabric in arms, sides, shoulders and at the lower back so that the drivers can easily identify your position on the road. The jacket has a zip pocket in the front and two pockets at the back to safely keep your essentials.
rh+ Shark Jacket For Men, Price – On Request
The Shark Jacket for men from the house of rh+ is mainly crafted using WD Gold Polartec fabric that makes it windproof, waterproof and breathable. The jacket has a slim fit construction and is shaped in such a way that it offers maximum comfort when in a riding position. The jacket integrates side panels crafted from water repellant fabric that helps in keeping water from seeping at bay. For keeping your safely, you can access the rear zipped mini pockets.
And has a slim fit construction that offers maximum comfort when in a riding position. The 3 rear pockets help in keeping your cargo safely and the full zip front help in venting the body moisture. The jacket also features grip fit Xlight waist gripper with anti slip inner silicone that ensures a perfect grip and an ergonomic grip.
rh+ Sancy W Jacket For Women, Price – On Request, Available At – zerorh.com
A perfect winter jacket for all kind of rides, the Sancy W Jacket for women in black pastel water is crafted from AD Gold fabric and is constructed in such a way that it gives you maximum comfort while in a riding position. The jacket integrates Grip Fit Xlight Waist gripper with anti slip inner silicone to avoid the jacket to sag. The jacket incorporates three rear pockets to store valuables and has reflective applications for a better visibility by the commuters.
12. 7Mesh Inc
7Mesh Inc Renegade Jacket For Men, Price – $350.00
The Renegade Jacket from 7Mesh Inc uses the Gore-Tex Active fabric that makes the jacket 100% waterproof and windproof. The jacket weighs just 220 gms, all thanks to the trimmed seams and 13 mm seam tape that help in minimizing the weight of the jacket. The jacket also features watertight zippered rear pocket to protect your essentials.
7Mesh Inc Callaghan Jersey Women’s, Price – $200.00, Available At – 7meshinc.com
Weighing just 255 gms, this Callaghan Jersey for Women is a must have winter cycling jacket that comes integrated with Merino Wool to offer warmth as well as wick moisture thus extending maximum comfort while riding. The Callaghan features two large angled rear pockets with internal sleeves that can be accessed easily and hence is safe place to keep your cargo.
Rapha Classic Winter Jacket, Price – $385.00
An ideal garment for winters, the Rapha Classic Winter Jacket for both men and women is the most versatile of all the jackets offered by the brand. The jacket is crafted from Polartec Power Shield Pro Fabric that not only offers wind and water proofing but also helps in keeping the moisture away from the skin. This Classic winter jacket for men incorporates taped internal seams to keep you dry during worst of the weather conditions.
Rapha Women’s Classic Winter Jacket, Price – $385.00, Available At – rapha.cc
The underarm zips allow for increased ventilation when the temperature rises during hard efforts. The jacket also features hi-visibility detailing that makes riding in low light quite easy.
14. Pearl Izumi
Pearl Izumi Men’s P.R.O. Escape Jacket, Price – $250.00 USD
The men’s P.R.O. Escape Jacket comes with a 3 layer membrane incorporated into key areas that help in protecting against wind and water. The sleeves of the jacket are shaped in such a way that the arms snug into it completely thus offering a correct fit for the body. The fleece lining on the sides as well as at the center back offer warmth and breathability thus keeping body moisture at bay. The zippered side vents help in regulating the temperature. And for keeping safe your valuables, a small chest pocket and a large zippered back pocket comes to your rescue.
Women’s SELECT Escape Softshell Jacket, Price – $125.00 USD, Available At – pearlizumi.com
This cold weather cycling jacket for women offers maximum wind and water protection, all thanks to the SELECT Softshell fabric that offers a shield against the elements like the wind and the water. The inner layer of Thermal Fleece provides maximum moisture transfer and also offers warmth to the body while cycling through the trails in those cold and windy days. The full length zippered front ensures the moisture to escape and the zippered back pockets are quite handy to keep your priced things safely.
15. B’ Twin
B’ Twin 900 High Visibility Cycling Jacket Yellow, Price – 74.99 £, Available At – btwin.com
This winter cycling jacket for men is designed to render comfort while cycling for 3 hours or more during winters. The jacket is crafted from windproof fabric that protects you from cold and wind and the underneath fleece lining offers warmth and breathability. The jacket has vents under the arms and the middle of the back for water vapours produced by the body to escape. It also features 4 back pockets and one chest pocket for you to keep your valuables.