What to look for in a waterproof cycling jacket

When searching for the perfect cycling jacket, there are numerous choices available these days. Use this helpful guide to help pick the perfect jacket for your needs and riding style.

Taping

Taping is used to seal the seams in a waterproof jacket on the inside. It does add bulk, though, and reduces a jacket’s breathability – so some of the jackets here trade a bit of seam leaking for a better overall performance.

Breathability

It’s no good keeping rain out if you get soaked by sweat from within. Different fabrics have different water vapor transfer rates but cut, lining and vents all make a significant difference to how dry you stay.

Care

The worst enemy of your wet weather gear is your washing machine. Detergents strip off waterproof coatings and conditioners will clog the pores and fibers that help fabric wick and breathe. Always read washing instructions.

Waterproofing

To be officially waterproof a garment has to withstand the pressure of 1000mm of water without leaking. This test concentrates on jackets that keep moisture managed so you stay warm however foul the forecast.

Features

Pockets, hoods and zipped vents might seem a good idea on a hanger, but not if they make a jacket too bulky to shove in your back pocket when you’re not wearing it. Extra features will all add to the cost too.