10 best cycling jackets

Make sure you’re kitted out for colder days in the saddle. We road test specialist outerwear to keep you warm, waterproof – and looking cool – on the bike

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The Independent Online

As the nights close in and the temperatures plummet, the right clothing is essential to keep you in the saddle through the winter months. Whether it’s breathability, waterproofness or style that’s top of your priorities, we’ve got the jacket for you.

1. Endura MT500 Hooded Jacket, £160, evanscycles.com

 

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The best cycling jackets keep you warm and dry without making you a sweaty mess. This one, with a helmetcompatible hood, is a good example. It’s made of something called PTFE protection, one of the most breathable membrane technologies.

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2. Vulpine Ultralight Quilted The rmal Jacket, £170, vulpine.cc

 

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This quilted, water-resistant jacket scores highly on the style and quality fronts, while being warm and light. The looser-than-average fit means you can get layers underneath and unusually, there are no reflective elements. One for daytime riding that works for days off the bike.

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3. Rapha Hooded Rain Jacket, £230, rapha.cc

 

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In terms of style, they don’t come much better than this slim-fitting option that felt more flexible on the road than some we tried. It packs down small, is super-lightweight and does the job when it comes to keeping the rain out. The reflective pink strips might not be for everyone, though.

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4. Cafe du Cyclist Geraldine City Jacket, £200, cafeducycliste.com

 

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From the name of the company and its origins at a coffee-stop in the South of France to the packaging the jacket arrives in, this feels special. The wrist zips and the ribbed cuffs make it more fitted than most and the mesh lining keeps it comfortable. You can also tuck a reflective panel into a rear pocket for when you’re off the bike.

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5. Altura Night Vision Evo Jacket, £95, evanscycles.com

 

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Traffic will see you coming with this breathable, waterproof jacket. For our money, the high-vis yellow is the best option for maximum visibility. It won’t win any style awards but for those who like gizmos, the rear LED is a fun touch.

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6. Vulpine Harrington Rain Jacket V3, £195, vulpine.cc

 

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Here’s a stylish, breathable jacket for year-round riding. The dropped back and cut of the wrists ensure it feels comfortable in the saddle and against the skin. The magnetic fastener on the collar takes the hassle out of wearing gloves and well-placed pockets and subtle branding add cool points.

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7. Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket, £75, provizsports.com

 

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When those car headlights are upon you, you’ll be a glowing beacon in this 100 per cent reflective coat. There are vents across the jacket which can be open or closed so it’s a good one to use all year round. Take note: out of the external lights, it’s more of a grey colour.

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8. Gore Element GOR ETEX Act ive Jacket, £160, goreapparel.co.uk

 

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The GORE-TEX in this will keep you bone dry and just the right temperature. The soft material is super-comfortable against your skin and the lack of an exaggerated drop-down at the back means it doesn’t look out of place for nonbiking activities.

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9. Water off a Duck’s Back Pamela Cycle Coat, £130, wateroffaducksback.co.uk

 

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Most jackets here can either be worn by women or have a sister design more suitable for female riders. But this one is just for the girls. Waterproof, breathable and lined, it also comes with a detachable hood which the entire coat can be folded into when not using it.

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10. B’Twin 700 Membrane waterproof cycling jacket, £60, decathlon.co.uk

 

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Here’s a good-value, no-nonsense jacket. The threelayer element– a membrane sandwiched between the inner and outer layers – keeps the elements out and there are some handy details, like the wrist holes which let you see your watch on the move.

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Verdict:

For those more bitter days when the car or public transport is looking particularly appealing, look no further than Vulpine’s Ultralight Quilted Thermal Jacket which while snug, somehow manages to ensure you don’t overheat. On the wetter days, the Endura MT500 Hooded Jacket and Gore Element GORE-TEX Active Jacket do the job. However, those two won’t win any awards for style; for that you want Rapha’s Hooded Rain Jacket – pink cuffs have never looked so good.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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