Last year in the UK, it rained for an average of 168 days, which just highlights the fact that waterproofs are an essential purchase. In the wintertime, you not only want something that will keep you dry from the rain but will also keep you nice and warm. The wrong piece of kit could not only leave you showing up to work damp, but also compromise your comfort when riding. We've put together a list of what we believe is the best and most essential winter attire to tackle that wet weather.
For the cyclists that want an all-round jacket to ride to work, but also for their weekend group rides. This lightweight waterproof shell jacket is packable enough to fit in a back pocket but waterproof and breathable enough to keep the Movistar Team pro's comfortable through a big day in the saddle. Endura being based in Scotland, have the best testing ground for waterproof clothing. The multi-panel construction stops the jacket from flapping in the wind and has various pockets for extra versatility. Using an innovative 3 layer construction, and weighing in at only 70gsm ExoShell40™, it delivers a formidable combination of minimal pack size, immense breathability and high durability, making the £160 cost worthwhile.
The definitive jacket for riding to work in wet conditions, the Commuter Jacket is designed specifically for your journey. It's cut with a less extreme riding position than other Rapha jackets. The full length waterproof and off-center zip keeps you extra dry and allows for chin comfort. The reflective dots with ‘Rapha’ logo is a classy way to help been seen. The jacket’s elasticated hem and subtly integrated hood drawcord can be adjusted while internal storm binding keeps water out at the cuffs. The jacket is designed to be worn on top of a couple of layers, but bear this in mind when choosing your size. The £100 price tag is actually quite cheap. Rapha doesn’t create clothing cheaply resulting in the Commuter Jacket being a great option around this price point.
The Brompton waterproof jacket is the perfect option for the city cyclist that wants to look good on and off the bike, as well as keeping the technical features that a jacket needs. Made from a highly breathable waterproof fabric (15k) the London Jacket in Navy is constructed with fully taped seams; keeping you dry in the worst of conditions. With zipped under-arm vents, various pockets and reflective panels that can be hidden away, it is a great jacket for the £150. It also looks great off the bike, allowing you to wear it when you decide not to ride to your destination.
The MT500 Trouser is more of a mountain bike trouser, but it's also perfect for commuting. The lightweight, durable, 4-way stretch front panels are suitable for long distances in addition to the durable 3-layer waterproof rear panels with taped seams for spray and dirt protection during the heart of winter. At £109.99 and various options available, it is a reasonable price. Endura even says that a ‘Rear Mudguard is not required!’
The fully waterproof cycling GORE-TEX trousers allow you to ride in any conditions at any time. The fabric is softer and quieter which maximises comfort while riding. Although fully waterproof, the trousers are also lightweight and extremely breathable. The downside is that it only has one pocket on the rear, which may not be an issue for commuting but zipped pockets can be used in other situations. For £150, they are the perfect commuter trousers if using a pannier or backpack to carry your essentials to work.
Other Waterproof Essentials
The PROVIZ Classic gloves have a waterproof outer layer to keep your hands dry during the worst of the winter, as well as a micro-fibre inner fleece that will keep them warm. In addition to this, the Classic’s are breathable so that your hands will not feel sweaty during your ride. The silicone webbed grip and touchscreen compatible finger pads make it perfect for wet weather conditions. The reasonable price of £39.99 makes them a great all-round riding glove that could be worn most of the year.
The three-layer construction of the Sealskinz allows your feet to stay warm, comfortable and most importantly dry. The merino wool lining allows moisture control whilst allowing odours to disappear quickly. They are not cheap at £40 but are perfect for the worst that may happen. A good decision if going to commute/ride to work over muddy and wet terrain.
If you'd like to see additional tips for winter commuting clothing, then check out our blog: A Guide to Winter Clothing for the Cycling Commuter
What do you use to combat the weather?
Let us know in the comments below!