Best waterproof jackets for cyclists 2019

The best cycling jackets for road cyclists and mountain bikers of all budgets

This is a comprehensive list of the best waterproof jackets BikeRadar has tested for road cyclists and mountain bikers in 2019.


Not everybody enjoys riding in the rain but sometimes it’s unavoidable, and on those occasions you need to put something between you and the weather.

Best waterproof jackets for cycling in 2019

Endura Pro SL Shell

5.0 out of 5 star rating
We love Endura's PRO SL shell jacket
We love Endura’s PRO SL shell jacket
Dave Caudrey / Cycling Plus
  • £165 / $220 / AU$TBC
  • Exoshell40 fabric is very breathable
  • Excellent fit
  • Weighs 205g

Designed in the heart of Scotland — a country that isn’t exactly renowned for its favourable climes — the Endura Pro SL Shell is a super-high-quality and  excellent performing jacket for the discerning roadie.

At £165/$220, the jacket is still obviously a high-ticket purchase, but presents great value for money when compared to jackets of a similar quality.

And to top it off, it even comes in a classy shade of navy — what’s not to love?

Gore C5 Shakedry 1985 Viz jacket

5.0 out of 5 star rating
Gore C5 Shakedry 1985 Viz jacket. Black with yellow sleeves
Gore’s C5 Shakedry 1985 Viz addresses many of the issues we had with the original jacket
Immediate Media
  • 250 / $300 / AU$360
  • Fixes many of the issues with the original jacket
  • Ludicrously light and breathable
  • 134g

Made from Gore’s now-legendary Shakedry material, the C5 Shakedry 1985 Viz jacket is an update to the original model (more on that below) and addresses many of the issues we had with that jacket.

The new model is available in a range of high-vis colours, is ridiculously light, has unrivalled breathability and it’s better than the old one — what’s not to love?

Gore Power Trail GT Active

5.0 out of 5 star rating
Gore's Power Trail is the best mountain biking jacket money can buy
Gore’s Power Trail is the best mountain-biking jacket money can buy
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £229 / $280 / AU$460
  • Perfect cut
  • Under-the-helmet hood works well
  • Weighs 311g

If you’re looking for a full-on waterproof for mountain biking, the Gore Power Trail GT Active is an excellent choice.

The cut is among the best on the market, with plenty of room for adding layers without being too loose.

Unusually, the hood is designed to fit underneath a helmet rather than over. Our tester was fond of this feature and found it to be better than even the best-cut alternatives.

7Mesh Oro

4.5 out of 5 star rating
7Mesh's Oro weighs just 93g
7Mesh’s Oro weighs just 93g
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
  • £250 / $300 / AU$TBC
  • Packs down to the size of an apple
  • Rear flaps for pocket access
  • Weighs 93g

7Mesh is a small brand based in Canada’s North Shore and was founded by former Arc’teryx team members — and their experience with technical fabrics shows with the Oro.

Made using Gore-Tex’s Active with Shakedry technology fabric, instead of the normal three-layer laminated fabric, the waterproof membrane occupies the outermost layer.

In addition to welded raw-hem edges, a laminated zipper and taped seams, the jacket also sees rear flaps that allow for easy access to pockets. It also has a drop tail and reflective strip on the bottom edge.

Unfortunately, the jacket’s collar is a bit short and the zipper isn’t so easy to use while riding.

7Mesh Renegade

4.5 out of 5 star rating
7 Mesh's Renegade jacket is super hard wearing
7 Mesh’s Renegade jacket is super hard-wearing
Dave Caudrey / Cycling Plus
  • £300 / $349 / AU$546
  • Amazing all-round weather protection
  • Super robust construction
  • Weighs 205g

While the 7Mesh Renegade is one of the most expensive jackets we’ve tested, it’s also one of the best performing.

The jacket is made from Gore Tex’s Active three-layered fabric, which is one of the most breathable options out there.

Silicone tabs on the tail do a great job of keeping it in place and a waterproof pocket on the rear should also keep valuables safe.

Castelli Idro

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Castelli's Idro is made using Gore's Active with ShakeDry technology fabric
Castelli’s Idro is made using Gore’s Active with Shakedry technology fabric
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
  • £260 / $350 / AU$380
  • Tall collar and YKK Zipper
  • Red and reflective accents
  • Weighs 120g

Also made from Gore’s Active with Shakedry fabric, Castelli’s Idro is tight fitting and weighs 125g, size Large.

With red accents, reflective stripes and Castelli’s trademark Scorpion logo it’s great looking, though we’re hoping Gore will start making the Active fabric in a colour that’s not black.

The wrist closures are tight fitting, which limits flapping, but also makes getting your hand out of the sleeve precarious. It’s also got a tall fitted collar and a chunky YKK zip with a pull tab that’s easy to use on the bike.

Madison Road Race Premio

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Madison's Road Race Premio jacket is great value for money
Madison’s Road Race Premio jacket is great value for money
Dave Caudrey / Cycling Plus
  • £120, international pricing TBC
  • Race friendly cut developed in conjunction with Madison/Genesis team
  • Subtle reflective details
  • Weighs 145g

Like the Stelvio, the Madison Race Premio jacket is cut for racing, so take this into account when sizing.

The jacket uses Madison’s own P3DRY fabric, with a claimed hydrostatic head of 20,000mm.

The jacket is light and small enough to fit into a jersey pocket or saddle bag and has nifty reflective highlights to boot.

Sportful Stelvio

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Sportful Stelvio has a proper race fit
The Sportful Stelvio has a proper race fit
Cycling Plus
  • £260 / $299 / AU$463
  • Proper race fit
  • Chunky hard-wearing zip
  • Weighs 165g

The Stelvio is Sportful’s lightweight and robust waterproof and was developed in conjunction with Team Tinkoff for racing and intense training in foul weather.

The jacket is made with RainWick fabric, which was developed specifically for Sportful in Japan.

The Stelvio has a claimed hydrostatic head of 20,000mm — an impressive number, but one that was in line with our experiences out on the road.

The race fit means that most will have to size up, but this also makes it a great choice for more lithe racers.

Sweet Protection Delirious

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The delightfully minimal Sweet Protecion Delirious would be an easy five stars if it came with a hood
The minimal Sweet Protection Delirious would be an easy five stars if it came with a hood
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £240, international pricing TBC
  • Long cut
  • Good for road or mountain biking
  • Weighs 258g

The high-performing and minimalist Sweet Protection Delirious could have been a top scorer if it wasn’t for the lack of a hood.

That said, while hood situation makes it less appropriate for mountain biking, it also means it’s more appropriate for road and commuting duties than some of the other options here.

The drawcord around the hem is also a nice touch, keeping you well sealed on the wettest days and a little warmer on cold rides.

The jacket is made from Gore-Tex Active Shell, which we’ve always had good experiences with.

7Mesh Guardian

4.0 out of 5 star rating
If you can get over the price, the 7Mesh Guardian is a great option
If you can get over the price, the 7Mesh Guardian is a great option
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £325 / $400 / AU$N/A
  • Very light
  • Great design
  • Weighs 267g

The well-designed and high-performing 7Mesh Guardian is an excellent jacket… if you can get over the price.

In typical 7Mesh style, the jacket is pared down to the minimum, with super-clean lines throughout.

As expected of Gore-Tex’s Active fabric, the jacket is very breathable and lightweight, coming in at just 267g in size Medium.

It’s hard to get over the price of the jacket, but if you value style as much as performance, this is one for you.

Altura Mayhem 2

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Altura's Mayhem jacket performed as well as many jackets many times its price
Altura’s Mayhem jacket performed as well as many jackets many times its price
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £120 / $170 / AU$220
  • Good cut and well featured for the money
  • Generous pit vents
  • Weighs 369g

The Altura Mayhem 2 may be one of the cheaper jackets in this list, but it performs almost as well as those many times its price.

The Mayhem 2 has a great cut, with a slim body and enough room in the shoulders for complete freedom of movement.

It isn’t the most breathable, but large pit-vents make it easy to regulate temperature.

Ashmei waterproof jacket

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Ashmei waterproof jacket is stretchier than most
The Ashmei waterproof jacket is stretchier than most
Dave Caudrey / Cycling Plus
  • £259 / $375 / AU$N/A
  • Super-stretchy fabric
  • Well made
  • Weighs 240g

Ashmei might be a relatively new name to the cycling world, but this super stretchy waterproof did not disappoint.

The jacket is made from a super-thin (7 microns!) fabric that is stretchier than most — a good thing given the cut of the jacket is relatively racy.

Uniquely, the jacket features three jersey-style pockets on the back. These feature drain holes, so shouldn’t cause any issues in truly wet weather.

B’Twin 700 Membrane

4.0 out of 5 star rating
B'Twin's 700 Membrane
B’Twin 700 Membrane is great value
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £60 / international pricing N/A
  • Outstandingly good value
  • Quality fabric and construction
  • Plenty of nice touches, including storm flaps for pockets and pit zips for ventilation

At £60, the B’Twin 700 Membrane is by far the cheapest jacket in this list.

The construction and fabric quality is incredible given the price, though it does feel a bit firm and crackles a touch when worn — but for this price, it’s hardly an issue.

The single chest pocket is a usable size and the cut is generous enough that you won’t struggle to fit more layers underneath.

Castelli Tempesta

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Castelli's Tempesta
Castelli Tempesta with eVent fabric
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
  • £299 / $299 / AU$TBC
  • Exceptional eVent fabric is waterproof and breathable
  • Great feel — more like a light windproof garment than heavy waterproof jacket
  • Pockets are an unusual but welcome addition

The Castelli Tempesta Race Jacket is a protective, foul-weather shell that breathes so well you can race in it.

It’s made with eVent fabric, Castelli’s answer to Gore-Tex, and it’s exceptional. Breathability in a fully waterproof layer is no easy trick to pull off, and the Tempesta is right on par with Gore-Tex’s best offerings. Also, the light, silky fabric feels more like a windproof softshell than a stiff, waterproof hardshell.

The rear flap extends below the pockets and is welcome when the rain is pouring. Reflective, elastic seams ring the bottom of the extension and the two large, mesh-bottom pockets.

The presence of pockets on a rain jacket struck us as odd at first, but you’ll appreciate the extra storage and the ease of access they provide when the alternative is removing your jacket or searching through a tightly packed saddle bag.

Endura Women’s SingleTrack

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Endura's Women’s Singletrack
The Endura Women’s Singletrack is competitively priced
Steve Behr / Immediate Media
  • £100 / $170 / AU$TBC
  • Keeps you warm and dry without leaving you overly clammy
  • Flattering slim cut that’s roomy enough
  • A competitively priced jacket that does it all

The SingleTrack’s fully sealed 2.5 layer waterproof fabric breathes well, keeps you dry and causes no more clamminess than is typical for waterproof garments.

It balances temperatures well, so you’ll stay warm when you stop, but won’t overheat when you’re pedalling.

It has a rollaway hood at the top that tucks into the collar and a subtle dropped hem at the bottom that’s adjustable to keep drafts and moisture at bay.

The sleeves are a generous length with adjustable cuffs and zippered underarm vents for when things get a bit heated. It also packs down small, but not tiny, when not in use.

Its slim fit is flattering and it didn’t flap at high speeds, yet it still afforded the space to pull shapes on the bike without moving position or leaving testers feeling restricted.

Gore One Gore-Tex Active Bike Jacket

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Gore's new One Gore-Tex Active is a hyper-thin but hyper-effective rain jacket
Gore’s new One Gore-Tex Active is a hyper-thin but hyper-effective rain jacket
  • £220 / $300 / AU$TBC
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Doesn’t absorb moisture — shakes dry
  • Weighs 109g

Gore’s One jacket and its innovative Shakedry technology shook up the cycling jacket market when it launched a few years ago.

At an insanely low 109g in a size large, the jacket is hardly noticeable when on. This barely there effect is compounded by the jacket’s excellent breathability.

With no fabric on the inside of the jacket, there’s no thermal value apart from wind protection, so pairing it with suitable clothing is key. Thankfully, the cut – which is just about generous enough – makes it easy to layer up underneath.

If the tail was a touch longer with a bit of gripper, and perhaps the wrists were easier to get on and off, we reckon this would be the perfect rain jacket for road riding.

Métier Beacon jacket

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Metier Beacon jacket
The Beacon’s inbuilt lights are more useful than you might imagine
Immediate Media
  • Price: £250 / international pricing N/A
  • Inbuilt lights genuinely boost visibility
  • Soft touch lining feels great
  • Weight TBC

Metiér’s four product lineup is focussed solely on jackets and gilets fitted with its signature integrated lighting technology. The Beacon is its all-round shell jacket.

The jacket is easy to live with and comes with a dedicated wash bag and a cleaner included, alongside extensive care instructions.

Sizing is a touch snug so pay attention if you can stomach the £250 price tag and are interested in buying one.

Páramo Quito

4.0 out of 5 star rating
From Castelli's sister brand Sportful the Fiandre WS LRR Jacket SS is lightweight and has a relaxed fit
From Castelli’s sister brand Sportful the Fiandre WS LRR Jacket SS is lightweight and has a relaxed fit
Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media
  • £185 / $TBC / AU$TBC
  • Gore’s Windstopper Light Rain Resistant fabric
  • Relaxed fit
  • Brushed interior

Coming from Castelli’s sister company Sportful is the Fiandare WS LRR Jacket SS.

While the name is definitely a mouthful, it’s made using Gore’s Windstopper Light Rain Resistant fabric, making it a bit lighter weight than the Gabba and seeing a more relaxed cut too.

Suggested for temperatures between 5–15°C, the Sportful jacket has three rear pockets complete with drainage holes, a silicone gripper along the bottom hem, brushed interior, YKK waterproof zipper and an extra high collar.

Castelli Gabba

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Castelli's Gabba is the jerket that started them all
Castelli’s Gabba is the jerket that started them all
  • £120 / $179 / AU$230
  • Four-way stretch Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric
  • Racefit
  • Three large pockets

Available in both short- and long-sleeve versions, the Gabba (now called the Perfetto) was the one that started the jerket craze.

In fact, so much of the pro peloton started using them as a joke that the brand began shipping them with a Sharpie so you too could black out the logos.

Made from Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric, the Gabba is meant to be worn as a jersey instead of a temporary shell. It has three pockets and fits close to the skin. Because of this, it doesn’t pack down well and is difficult to fit in your pockets.

The thin soft-shell material wicks well even when you’re hammering along, and two big zipped vents help control core temperature.

It’s completely windproof and largely water repellent, with the coating shrugging off showers, and long sleeves and a dropped tail mean excellent coverage.


What to look for in a waterproof jacket for cycling

A waterproof jacket used to mean a hard-shell garment made from a fabric that felt more like plastic. However, we’re now seeing the rise of the ‘jerket’ or rain jersey. These are softshell tops that feel like a jersey but use a waterproof membrane or DWR treatment to repel precipitation.

Things would be easier if it were simply a matter of keeping the rain out, but pedalling makes you hot and sweaty, and the heat and moisture you generate needs an escape route.

The trouble is, the properties that allow a waterproof jacket to keep the rain off also make it difficult to deal with the damp building up on the inside.

The ideal solution, therefore, is a cycling jacket that combines being waterproof with breathability, which is difficult, but by no means impossible. Some garments manage it by using advanced materials; others solve the problem by incorporating vents into their designs.

Aside from being waterproof and breathable, it’s worth seeking out a jacket that packs down into a tiny package that’s easy to stow. Better still, if the rain stops, you can take it off and put it away rather than keep wearing it long after it’s done its job.

How waterproof fabrics work

Waterproof fabrics are either multi-layer laminate fabrics or regular woven fabrics that get a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment designed to keep water out. While both achieve the same goal, they work slightly differently.


Durable Water Repellent or DWR is your wet weather gear’s first line of defence. It’s not a laminate or coating but a treatment applied to the fabric’s outer surface. All waterproof garments, except those where the membrane is the outermost surface, receive a DWR finish.

The treatment does not inhibit breathability because it doesn’t fill the gaps between the fibres, instead it bonds the individual fibres to help the garment shed water and prevent saturation.

Refreshing and retreating a garment is quite simple and there are plenty of spray on or wash in options available

DWR treatments shed water because they increase the contact angle of moisture on a fabric by forcing a water droplet to maintain its surface tension; so when you see water beading on a fabric, the DWR is hard at work.

When the DWR is applied to a fabric it creates micropegs or microspikes that protrude from the fibres and prevent water from spreading out, forcing it to form beads that slide off the fabric without seeping in.

However, DWR treatments wear off over time, accelerated by abrasions and some detergents. When this happens, the fabric no longer causes water to bead and will become saturated and heavy.

Not to fear, though — refreshing and retreating a garment is simple and there are plenty of spray-on or wash-in options available. Check out our guide on how to rejuvenate your waterproof cycling gear.

Laminate fabrics

While this is a diagram of a GoreTex membrane, those from eVent and Windstopper use a similar construction
GoreTex, eVent and Windstopper membranes all use a similar construction

Most waterproof breathable fabrics are made from laminate materials, which usually consist of an inner fabric optimised for wicking moisture, a waterproof membrane, and an outer face fabric with a DWR treatment.

Gore-Tex, Thinsulate, Polartec and eVent are all internal membranes that are sandwiched between two other materials — usually something abrasion resistant on the outside, with a soft liner on the inside. Even the Castelli Gabba Jersey is made using a Windstopper laminate fabric.

The reason these lamination techniques allow for water repellent characteristics is that the inner membranes are full of holes. This may seem counterintuitive, but a Gore-Tex membrane boasts nine billion pores, each 1µm — a millionth of a metre — wide per square inch. The holes are big enough to allow water vapour created by sweat evaporation to escape, but are too small for water droplets to sneak through.

The advantage of these fabrics is they can’t wet-out because there is no face fabric to saturate

These internal membranes are quite fragile, which is why there’s an abrasion resistant layer on the outside of the garment. This outer layer receives DWR treatment and, as we mentioned before, the problem with DWR treatments is they eventually wash away, causing a jacket to ‘wet out’, meaning the moisture escaping from inside and landing on the outside saturates the outer fabric, clogging the pores of the membrane and eliminating breathability.

When a jacket stops breathing, the moisture your body creates gets trapped inside, creating that unpleasant, steaming-hot sensation.

Most outerwear today is based on this two and a half or three-layer lamination, but the fabrics and membranes are continuing to evolve and we’re now seeing jackets eliminating the outer fabric.

Pioneered by Columbia with its OutDry fabric, brands have figured out how to toughen up these membranes and eliminated the DWR-treated outer fabric.

We’ve now seen a few cycling specific jackets using GoreTex’s version, the One Active fabric, which allows the membrane to be used as an outer ‘beading surface’.

The advantage of these fabrics is they can’t wet-out because there is no face fabric to saturate, and weigh next to nothing and breathe better too.

What to look for when buying a waterproof cycling jacket


Taping is used to seal the seams in a waterproof jacket on the inside. It does add bulk and reduce a jacket’s breathability — so some of the jackets here trade a bit of seam leakage for a better overall performance.


It’s no good keeping rain out if you get soaked by sweat from within. Different fabrics have different water vapour transfer rates but cut, lining, membranes and vents all make a significant difference to how dry you stay.


To be officially waterproof a garment has to withstand the pressure of 1,000mm of water without leaking. This test concentrates on jackets that keep moisture managed so you stay warm however foul the forecast.

Usually, this is achieved through an internal membrane like those from Gore-Tex and eVent.


The worst enemy of your wet-weather gear is your washing machine. Detergents strip off waterproof coatings, and conditioners clog the pores and fibres that help fabric wick and breath. Still, it’s important to keep waterproof fabrics clean because dirt and oil can clog membranes and degrade DWR treatments, too. Always read washing instructions.

Often overlooked is the outer DWR treatment. If your jacket is wetting out as described above, there are ways to revive the treatment on your jacket.

Some manufacturers say to throw the garment in the tumble dryer for a few minutes on low to medium heat, others recommend ‘touch ups’ with an iron on the warm setting. Again refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Finally, if the DWR treatment can’t be saved you can re-treat it — there are quite a few spray-on and wash-in products available from brands such as Granger’s and Nikwax. Again, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Pockets, hoods and zipped vents might seem a good idea on a hanger, but not if they make a jacket too bulky to shove in your back pocket. Remember, extra features all add to the cost too.