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Essential Guide to Jackets
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Wednesday 17th February 2010

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(You can also check out our other guides to: Front Lights, Rear Lights and Turbo Trainers).

Introduction to Jackets - Cycle Waterproofs

It has been said there's no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes. We couldn't agree more. If you're a cyclist in the UK and you want to make the most of your riding time, you have to invest in a waterproof jacket. Thankfully modern waterproofs are a million miles away from the clammy, leaky crinkly things we all had as kids. Modern waterproof jackets owe their existence to the fabric developed by WLGore -'Gore Tex' - these days there are many versions of this microporous membrane material that stops rain water from getting in but allows moisture vapour from sweat to escape. The theory is the hard working membrane keeps you dry.

In reality, it actually does work - to a point. There is only so much the material can manage and you will need to manage the venting of your waterproof jacket during strenuous activity, such as riding up long steep climbs. So, cyclists usually look for jackets which have a degree more venting options than jackets made for hiking, climbing or nipping to the shops, details such as pit zips, packets with vented backs and even removable sleeves all help cyclists manage their core temperature during their ride. If you are staying dryer, you are more comfortable and more comfort means more fun. Fun is good.

Beyond the weather cheating fabric, you can have as many or as few technical features as you feel necessary. One of the best selling jackets from Wiggle has been the multi award winning Pro Speed model from Gill an eVent (now called the dhb eVent Wickham jacket) fabric jacket stripped of every unnecessary feature, leaving only it's great cycling ergonomics. But if you think you need handwarmer pockets, a map pocket, stowable hood or arm pit zip vents, then there are models with those too. Modern waterproof jackets are so comfortable and stylish, you'll probably end up wearing them off the bike for other outdoor activities as well as cycling.

Entry level:

Even entry level waterproof jackets can be peppered with features and you can expect these jackets to do the business in foul weather situations. Look for microporous laminate materials, sealed seams, storm flap, pocket baffles and some ergonomic tuning for the cycling position.


Many of the more expensive waterproof jackets will feature higher quality materials which will perform better under more severe rainfall situations. Many feature laser cut, thermally welded seams removing the needle holes created with traditional thread which can lead to water ingress. Fit and ergonomics may be more tailored to riding.


This is where the extra expense makes a huge difference. Premium price means premium quality from the basic ability to shed water for extended periods, through to a more function specific design ethos, jackets may be stripped for sleek performance or loaded with the highest level of features.

Gore Fusion II Waterproof Cycling Jacket (More Details)

  • GORE-TEX® Performance Shell
  • Highly functional material mix
  • Slim fit
  • Reflective print for more safety
  • Close-fitting hood
  • Stow-away hood in collar
  • Zip tags for easy opening
  • Zip-underflap and zip-port
  • Napoleon pocket with zip
  • Pre-shaped elbows
  • Adjustable cuff
  • Ventilation slits with zips at back of sleeves
  • Ventilation in back
  • Lasercut pouched pocket with zipper
  • Fold-away shirt tail, extra-long
  • Hem-width adjustable by easy-to-use covered cord stoppers and elastic draw-cord
  • Press-stud fastening for cord on inside

Wiggle price: £242.99 (BUY NOW)

dhb Wickham eVENT Waterproof Cycling Jacket (More Details)

  • Fully taped seams - makes the garment 100% waterproof
  • Waterproof YPK zipper on the front
  • Velcro adjustable cuffs
  • Drop-tail hem
  • High slim line collar design
  • Single-handed adjustable waist pullers
  • Reflective piping and dhb branding

An award winning jacket which compromises nothing when it comes to performance and comfort. Made from the eVENT three-layer fabric – one of the most breathable fabrics on the market - this superlight shell looks the part and certainly delivers. Its fully taped seams make it 100 per cent waterproof while the Velcro adjustable cuffs, waterproof front zipper and reflective piping and dhb branding all combine to help keep you dry, warm and safely seen. The drop-tail hem and high slimline collar design give this jacket a sleek look.

Wiggle price: £65.99 (BUY NOW) - SAVE 45%!

Altura Nevis Waterproof Cycling Jacket (More Details)

  • Altec waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric
  • Airflow underarm/back vents
  • Internal front storm flap with rain gutter
  • Dropped tail
  • Velcro adjustable cuffs
  • Drawcorded hem
  • Fleece lined collar
  • Stores in own rear pocket
  • Fabrics Used: Altek 2 layer
  • Fit: Performance
  • Venting: Pit And Back Vents

The Nevis is now produced in a more vibrant blue and with a xxxl size option with new features including a chest pocket with water repel zip, a water repel front zip and increased tail reflectivity. Altec waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric

Wiggle price: £44.99 (BUY NOW)

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