Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Waterproof cycling jacket

Hobbers85Hobbers85 Posts: 30
edited April 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi,

I am soon to start commuting in central London, 12 mile round trip a day. I need a decent waterproof, but breathable jacket. I have looked into Gore Bikewear, if this generally considered the best or are there other cheaper jackets that will work well? I want something brightly coloured for obvious reasons, preferably yellow.

Can anyone recommend a particular jacket, links and prices would be good.

Thanks.
«1

Posts

  • The Montane Velo featherlight jacket is utterly brilliant.

    It's reviewed/advertised as semi-waterproof, but mine has kept me dry in really heavy rain. It's so light you hardly know you're wearing it, and it's windproof, and scrunches down to the size of a cricket ball.

    Also, I think its a fair bit cheaper than Gore ones.
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    Hi,

    My main advice would be not to scrimp on the jacket, it makes a huge difference to your comfort. I started using a £35 waterproof when I started commuting and was so hot/sweaty it was grim, total false economy.

    I use the rapha lightweight softshell most days unless it is heavy rain, its not 100% waterproof but is really breathable. They are expensive but honestly I think worth the money. Very well made and good features. Also on sale at the mo:

    http://www.rapha.cc/index.php?page=606

    Otherwise if you want a genuinely waterproof jacket I would buy a good goretex or eVENT jacket, both of which will be breathable enough to stop the dreaded "boil in the bag" problem. I have eVENT trousers and they are amazing. Again pricy but worth it. DHB do a good value eVENT jacket:

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/dhb_W ... 360037016/

    Hope you find something you like!
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    It doesnt rain very often in London so you may be better off with a windproof/softwhell as well as a waterproof. Windproofs (like the Montaine featherlight) are far more breathable, less clammy and more comfortable than gortex.
    The only jacket which I find really waterproof and breathable is Paramo but they are warmer than most others. If you cruise along they are ideal for winter.
  • I bought a rain jacket when I started commuting and hardly use it now. They keep the rain out but you sweat like a stuffed pig as there's nowhere for the moisture to go. I have a Gore Next 2 Skin Windstopper Jacket which is a really good piece piece of kit (although I have never worn it next to my skin). Worn with two long sleeved layers and a waterproof gillet on top, it has kept me warm and dry this winter. Mine has removable arms, but I rarely use this option. It is 3 years old and shows little signs of having been worn. It gets chucked in the washing machine once a week. Coupled with a pair of Endura bib tights, you can get through the winter in relative comfort.
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    The Montane Velo featherlight jacket is utterly brilliant.

    It's reviewed/advertised as semi-waterproof, but mine has kept me dry in really heavy rain. It's so light you hardly know you're wearing it, and it's windproof, and scrunches down to the size of a cricket ball.

    Also, I think its a fair bit cheaper than Gore ones.

    I was looking at one of those the other day but put it back when I saw the "semi-waterproof" bit. Would it put up with a long day in the rain? If I knew it was going to rain all day I'd take my bulkier jacket but I'm after something I can stow away for the summer day that turns nasty.
  • iain_j wrote:
    The Montane Velo featherlight jacket is utterly brilliant.

    It's reviewed/advertised as semi-waterproof, but mine has kept me dry in really heavy rain. It's so light you hardly know you're wearing it, and it's windproof, and scrunches down to the size of a cricket ball.

    Also, I think its a fair bit cheaper than Gore ones.

    I was looking at one of those the other day but put it back when I saw the "semi-waterproof" bit. Would it put up with a long day in the rain? If I knew it was going to rain all day I'd take my bulkier jacket but I'm after something I can stow away for the summer day that turns nasty.

    It's perfect for that, in my opinion anyway! I wouldn't wear it as a heavy-duty waterproof, for a really long ride when I knew it would tip down, but for example in the serious rain last night it kept me dry on the bike for about 40 minutes, then my housemate dry for an hour and a half in the same rain when she stole it off my back and went for a run.

    I don't know why they say semi-waterproof. Mine seems waterproof... so far!
  • That Montane Velo looks like what I need for the Spring showers (if Spring ever comes).
  • BagmanBagman Posts: 311
    Hobbers85 wrote:
    Hi,

    I am soon to start commuting in central London, 12 mile round trip a day. I need a decent waterproof, but breathable jacket. I have looked into Gore Bikewear, if this generally considered the best or are there other cheaper jackets that will work well? I want something brightly coloured for obvious reasons, preferably yellow.

    Can anyone recommend a particular jacket, links and prices would be good.

    Thanks.

    My Gill Pro Speed (in red) is fantastic. No pockets but extremely light, pack away easily and very breathable (Event - better than Goretex IMO). I paid around £75 but not sure whether they are still available a that price.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    My wonderful Descente jacket isn't waterproof but in last night's torrential downpour it barely made an impression on the jersey I was wearing under it, even though the outside jacket material was apparently saturated. Unfortunately Wiggle don't seem to sell it any more and conveniently I can't remember what the model is called.
  • Hey,

    My best commuting jacket so far has to be this one:

    http://www.endura.co.uk/Product.aspx?de ... rod_id=260

    It's easily visible from far away, bit rubbery on the inside with this long sleeves you don't notice. But it is IM(H)O one of the best looking commuting, "you must have seen me" jackets and only £39.99![/url]
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    Have to say I would go with LiT on the Montane jacket - I've used their gear for years and its excellent - only reason they can't say the jacket is waterproof is because it doesn't have taped seams - if you want to be sure try the Montane H2O jacket -fractionally heavier but completely waterproof 8)

    http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/product/108207.html
  • The Haglofs zeal jacket is also very good - similar to the montane but the cut is slightly different. Also has 2 zipped pockets at the back and thumb loops. It's not waterproof but will deal with anything apart from a downpour with ease.

    http://www.tiso.com/shop/haglofs/zeal_jacket/?z=1

    For proper rain I use a Rab Drillium, not cycling specific, but ideal for rainy days in Glasgow.

    http://www.outdoorkit.co.uk/product.php ... n=froogle#
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    Have to say I would go with LiT on the Montane jacket - I've used their gear for years and its excellent - only reason they can't say the jacket is waterproof is because it doesn't have taped seams - if you want to be sure try the Montane H2O jacket -fractionally heavier but completely waterproof 8)

    http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/product/108207.html

    Ordered one from All Terrain - had a look around on Google but nowhere else had any in stock (discontinued?) so I hope All Terrain have got some in. Thanks!
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    Hi Hobbers,

    Can I suggest you consider this from another angle?

    The problem arising from getting a soaking is that you get cold - i.e. being wet may not be a problem. If you have all of the following you may not need a waterproof jacket.
    - Good windproof + breathable jacket and layers
    - Good windproof warm tights/trousers
    - Good windproof/waterproof shoes or overshoes
    - A means of drying wet clothing (both at work and at home)
    - Place to keep a full set of clean dry clothing at work (+ somewhere to change).

    If you choose clothing which is both breathable and which will keep you warm in all conditions for your 6 mile ride you can simply dry wet stuff at work.

    I believe that there are only about 12 days per year (on average) when it is likely to be raining on your commute - so the need for waterproofing can be given too much importance. (Are there any meteorologists out there who can verify or correct my statistics?)

    Waterproof jackets have a number of drawbacks. Even the best ones have limited breathability and you can get as wet inside (from sweat) as if you wore a non-waterproof in the pouring rain. Good waterproof jackets are expensive and need to be re-proofed from time to time to maintain their effectiveness. Any jacket may let some water in around the neck or seams. Finally it is always worth remembering that in extreme conditions any "waterproof" clothing can be beaten by the weather - I found this out the hard way when cycling against driving rain in an evil headwind once (i.e. almost horizontal heavy rain).

    You also need to consider the bits of you that are not protected by the jacket.

    My own choice of clothing varies considerably and depends on the weather, which bike I am riding and whether it is a normal commute (10 miles each way) or a longer or shorter ride.

    Head - imprtant to keep your head warm. I use a Buff thing in all weather 'cos it fits under the helmet. I also have a Gore-tex helmet cover but really only use it in torrential rain to keep water off the back of my neck.

    Jacket varies and may be a Demarchi windproof jersey, an altura heavy warm jacket which is supposed to be waterproof and breathable - but will only stop water when I re-proof it :? I also always carry a Gore-Tex paclite jacket but generally only use it when it is hissing down. excellent waterproof - but sweat builds up quickly in spite of breathability. For drizzle or a quick shower I tend to let the Demarchi just get wet and dry it at work or at home. One vital thing (for me) is the tail flap found on all good cycling jackets. There is nothing worse than sitting on a wet saddle and getting a wet backside :cry:

    For my legs I have waterproof overtrousers for when I have to ride in civies. My prefernce, however, is for my warm bib tights (they get wet but my legs stay warm.

    I hate cold feet and have lots of options for keeping my tootsies toasty.

    For my hands I now never use waterproof gloves as I find the sweat too unpleasant. Again I concentrate on keeping my hands warm rather than dry and use liner gloves in cold weather. In summer I just use cycling fingerless mitts

    Check the availability of drying facilities at work. I use a powerful air blower thing situatated accross a door wich is locked at night (when I am working). This is not only good enough to dry wet cycling gear but will completely dry all my scuba diving kit if I have used it on a dive before going to work :D Other dryning options include boiler rooms (sometimes kept locked and these days are often with so much insulation that there is not much heat left for drying purposes. Radiators can be OK - but are not ususlly working in the summer month.

    One final thing to throw into the melting pot is the way you ride. I tend to ride hard and fast (and I have a steep hill at the end of my run to work) . This means that I always sweat a lot when I am cycling. If you ride at a more sedate pace then sweat may be less of an issue for you. If that is the case then breathability becomes less important and you may be able to get away with a less expensive non-breathable waterproof


    I hope this has not totally confused you - best of luck
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    From a visibilty point of view - may I recommend an Altura 'Night Vision' jacket in yellow?

    Having said that, it isn't super breathable so might be a bit much for 12 miles. For winter/autumn trips though, it should be fine.

    In spring/summer I tend to use a Montane featherlight gilet (v. light pertex, yellow, with reflective bits) all the time. If its a bit cool I put a long sleeve pertex top underneath.

    I'll second the recommendation on eVent fabric - I also have a red Gore Pro Speed but it isn't very brightly coloured (the back panel is grey)'. Prices also seem to have gone up quite a bit recently.

    I think Kenjaja has summed it up pretty well though..
  • Thank you so much for all your comments. Its great to be part of a forum that is so popular and your responses have given me plenty to think about. Does anyone have any exprience of this jacket, I was originally interested in this but think it is more of a windstopper???

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/gor ... t-ec018013

    Thanks.
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    Hobbers85 wrote:
    Thank you so much for all your comments. Its great to be part of a forum that is so popular and your responses have given me plenty to think about. Does anyone have any exprience of this jacket, I was originally interested in this but think it is more of a windstopper???

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/gor ... t-ec018013

    Thanks.

    I have not used this jacket but here are some thoughts
    It is essentially a warm jersey & shell combined. The shell might resist water - but it is not water proof It looks like a very nice jacket at a reasonable price. Generally you are better off getting your warmth by layering rather than from one specific or main jacket but you definitely need a wind stopper layer or you will catch a chill the first time you ride in cool conditions. It is a tight cut (race fit) so you should make sure you try one on before you buy it. It will probably not be very good if you intend wearing civvies underneath it - but will be great if you are going to wear cycle specific gear and change at work (a much more comfortable option and worth it for the length of commute you will be doing). It should be warm in cold and cooler weather - but may well be a bit hot in milder/warmer weather.

    The jacket is available in several colour combinations. The yellow is definitely the most visible - an important point raised by others. It looks as though that is the only colour Evans has so you will need to do shop around if you fancy orange, blue, red or black. (Wiggle has other colours but at £112.54!)

    The Evans price is pretty good and they are very helpful people. If you think this jacket is right for you then phone the store you intend to visit and make sure they have the appropriate size in stock. If they don't have it they will get it in for you. As it is a tight cut then you may need a larger size than you would normally get.

    The only other thing to be aware of is that, if you decide while riding, that it is a bit too warm and take it off you may find it a bit bulky to pop into a back pack.

    My guess is that it will prove a good cycling jacket for most circumstances and at a reasonable price. Hopefully someone with direct experience will be able to share their knowledge with you.

    Incidentally if you find that this jacket (or whatever you go for) is not warm enough in cold weather then go for a Marks and Spencer long-sleeved thermal vest as a base layer. Not the sexiest cycling gear - but no one sees it and it does the job brilliantly. They also do a short sleeved one made from merino wool. Merino wool is terrific stuff 'cos it keeps you warm even when it gets wet!
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Windproof is the most important. Windproofing plus layers will keep you warm even when wet. AFAIK there is not a breathable waterproof jacket on the market. Most devent windproof will keep the rain off for a while though, and that is preferable to getting boiled in your own sweat by a waterproof.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    Windproof is the most important. Windproofing plus layers will keep you warm even when wet. AFAIK there is not a breathable waterproof jacket on the market. Most devent windproof will keep the rain off for a while though, and that is preferable to getting boiled in your own sweat by a waterproof.

    Yes and no...

    I agree that being boiled by your sweat isn't a good option, but there are some very breathable waterproofs out there (I have been tempted by this paramo jacket) because their technology is very breathable and long-lasting (I regularly use a 1992-vintage paramo jacket, and during the recent snow, I wore my 1992-vintage paramo overtrousers on my cycle commute, rolled up so they looked like freaky breeches and I looked more of a twassock than usual, and with the side ventilation fully open.) 12-miles from Stockport to the Peak District, and remained dry, with moderately vigorous cycling.

    The downside is that they are very warm (I use them when fellwalking, and use lightweight fleeces even in winter). They are too warm for summer use, but are great in winter. I have remained dry when all my friends in gore-ex have got wet - most fabrics, if they stop beading, then the water on the outside of the jacket from the rain, will stop the moisture escaping from the inside.

    Saying this, I don't use my paramo jackert for cycling (due to the whole visibility thing just as said by don_don below:

    don_don wrote:
    From a visibilty point of view - may I recommend an Altura 'Night Vision' jacket in yellow?

    Having said that, it isn't super breathable so might be a bit much for 12 miles. For winter/autumn trips though, it should be fine.

    In spring/summer I tend to use a Montane featherlight gilet (v. light pertex, yellow, with reflective bits) all the time. If its a bit cool I put a long sleeve pertex top underneath.

    I'll second the recommendation on eVent fabric - I also have a red Gore Pro Speed but it isn't very brightly coloured (the back panel is grey)'. Prices also seem to have gone up quite a bit recently.

    I think Kenjaja has summed it up pretty well though...

    "Having said that, it isn't super breathable so might be a bit much for 12 miles. For winter/autumn trips though, it should be fine. "

    Indeed, and this is when it is actually important to be dry.

    And as Kenjaja has said, *I* find my best option is to have spare dry clothes, and I only worry about the rain/sleat/snow when it is cold an miserable.
  • I invested in a Gore Phantom jacket.....it's snug, warm and wind-proof (and the best piece of athletic clothing I've ever bought). I didn't want to have the clammy boil-in-bag factor of a waterproof jacket except when absolutely necessary. So for those instances when it rained I used a highly packable waterproof scrunched up in a stuff-sack at the bottom of my bag (North Face Diad). I knew I couldn't get everything I needed (in performance terms) from one jacket so invested in two that are each good at what they're designed to do. It worked-out to be a little more expensive in short-term but in the long-term it was worth it.
  • Don't know whether this reply is too late or not but it's another vote for the Altura Night Vision (mines in Black)
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Altur ... 360029726/

    I've never got all hot and bothered when using it due to the jacket having large zipped vents under each arm pit. If it's particularly cold I wear my Gore wind-stopper gillet. This combo has got me through some pretty cold/rainy weather
  • double post.... :oops:
  • Endura Gridlock gets my vote.

    Had mine 18mths and I have no complaints. £40-£45 and comes in yellow, red or blue.
    <a><img></a>
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    AFAIK there is not a breathable waterproof jacket on the market. .

    There are plenty of breathable waterproof jackets on the market. Whether they are as breathable as something that isn't waterproof is something else.
  • steve-msteve-m Posts: 106
    mikeitup wrote:
    Endura Gridlock gets my vote.

    Had mine 18mths and I have no complaints. £40-£45 and comes in yellow, red or blue.

    I have one of these and while in the recent weather it has been nice, this week it is far too warm, it is one of those jackets worn when a buff is also required.

    However, thanks to this thread I shall be looking to get a Montane featherlight looks perfect for long rides in uncertain weather when it is above 5C
    Fixed, commute: Langster 08, FCN6
    Road : Aravis (byercycles) Shimano 105 triple
    Hybrid: Trek 7.2 FX, unused / unloved
  • jimmypippa wrote:
    Yes and no...

    I agree that being boiled by your sweat isn't a good option, but there are some very breathable waterproofs out there (I have been tempted by this paramo jacket) because their technology is very breathable and long-lasting (I regularly use a 1992-vintage paramo jacket, and during the recent snow, I wore my 1992-vintage paramo overtrousers on my cycle commute, rolled up so they looked like freaky breeches and I looked more of a twassock than usual, and with the side ventilation fully open.) 12-miles from Stockport to the Peak District, and remained dry, with moderately vigorous cycling.

    The downside is that they are very warm (I use them when fellwalking, and use lightweight fleeces even in winter). They are too warm for summer use, but are great in winter. I have remained dry when all my friends in gore-ex have got wet - most fabrics, if they stop beading, then the water on the outside of the jacket from the rain, will stop the moisture escaping from the inside.

    Strictly speaking Paramo aren't actually waterproof at all! It's just that they use a very clever 'water pump' system that moves water to the outside of the fabric and keeps it there. It's based around how animal's fur works apparently!

    However. Personally I have a Montane featherlite top and trousers that live permanently in the backpack mesh pocket. Great piece of kit!
  • The Montane Velo featherlight is definitely the business..
    Many of the 'propper' waterproof jackets are so sweaty to ride in, which I can't bear.

    Montane or similar is really thin/ light etc..
    Picked mine up in the sale for about £30
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    MrChuck wrote:
    AFAIK there is not a breathable waterproof jacket on the market. .

    There are plenty of breathable waterproof jackets on the market. Whether they are as breathable as something that isn't waterproof is something else.

    This was kinda my point...
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • you're not listening to some people.
    layers, layers , layers including gilet if necessary.

    carry a windproof ( you can roll it up ) to stop you getting COLD if it does rain.
    You'll get a bit wet but you'll get wet wearing a "breathable" jacket.

    Save your money and cycle a bit quicker !
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    woodgob wrote:
    I invested in a Gore Phantom jacket.....it's snug, warm and wind-proof (and the best piece of athletic clothing I've ever bought). I didn't want to have the clammy boil-in-bag factor of a waterproof jacket except when absolutely necessary. So for those instances when it rained I used a highly packable waterproof scrunched up in a stuff-sack at the bottom of my bag (North Face Diad). I knew I couldn't get everything I needed (in performance terms) from one jacket so invested in two that are each good at what they're designed to do. It worked-out to be a little more expensive in short-term but in the long-term it was worth it.

    +1. It's the absolute business.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
Sign In or Register to comment.