There are fair-weather cyclists and then there are those diehards who peddle in the rain, wind, snow, or hail. If this is you, then you need one of the best cycling rain jackets to avoid being wet and miserable. However, it's important to keep in mind that good cycling jackets have several important qualities distinguishing them from regular raincoats:
- Reflective: When you're cycling along busy streets, it's critical for other drivers to be able to see you, so your jacket needs reflective components and bright, highly visible colors.
- Breathable: You sweat a lot more chugging up a hill on your bicycle than you do walking around town. High-quality cycling jackets have things like a mesh lining, strategic zippers, or other ventilating features.
- Wind-resistant: When you're zipping down a hill at top speeds on your bike, the wind chill factor is a much bigger deal. That's why it's critical that your cycling jacket be wind-resistant, too.
- Packable: It's fine for your regular rain coat to be bulky and heavy but cycling jackets need to be thin, lightweight, and easy to pack. The best options can be rolled up or stuffed in a backpack.
In addition to these cycling-specific features, your bike jacket should have strong waterproofing technology, such as materials that have been treated with DWR or similar repellant coating, waterproof zippers, and seam-sealed designs. They should be either hoodless or fully helmet-compatible.
Given these considerations, check out the best cycling rain jackets below.