Keeping warm on the bike is essential to keep you riding and keep you healthy. With a decent jacket, the cold weather needn't be a reason to stay at home. Here we look at the best winter cycling jackets across a range of prices
We love riding, but when the temperature plummets during winter it’s hard to stay smiling on the bike. So to protect ourselves from the frost outside, we have looked for the best winter cycling jackets that are top value and offer top levels of warmth to match. We have found a selection of winter cycling jackets and grouped them by price.
Each of our testers will be paid close attention to how the jackets handle the British winter. Between December and February weather boffins predict that the median temperature in the UK will be just 3°C, so we want to know the jackets can perform in these temperatures.
We were all interested in performance, but style, quality and price were also key factors when reviewing the jackets, so our testers will offer feedback based on these factors.
What to look for
Most brands will publish a recommended temperature range for their jackets, so it’s wise to keep in mind the type of weather you generally encounter. Whether it’s early morning misty coldness or afternoon winter sun, combine your jacket with the right base layer for optimal performance and to make the most of its warming potential.
The majority of winter jackets will come with the standard three rear pockets. This not only eliminates the need to wear a jersey underneath your winter jacket — making it easier to get your hands on riding supplies — it also makes your winter jacket’s breathability more efficient as there are fewer layers underneath to trap moisture. Ideally, all you want under your jacket is a suitable base layer for cold conditions and you’re ready to ride.
Many jackets provide ventilation via mesh panels or zips to stop you from overheating. Another option is to employ a very breathable rear material to help release excess heat from
your biggest surface area, your back.
Here’s our pick of the best winter cycling jackets
Up to £100
>>> dhb Professional ASV Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey, £69.99, 9/10
>>> Proviz Reflect 360 jacket, £74.99, 8/10
>>> Funkier WJ-1314 Jacket, £79.99, 7/10
>>> Briko GT Team Jacket, £89.99, 7/10
>>> Polaris Tornado Jacket, £90.00, 7/10
>>> Madison Road Race Thermal Jacket, £100.00, 7/10
£100 – £200
>>> Bontrager RXL Convertible Softshell Jacket, £119.99, 8/10
>>> Giordana Donna Silverline Windtex, £120.99, 8/10
>>> Prendas Ciclismo Winter Jacket, £125.00, 9/10
>>> Lusso Windtex Aero+ jacket, £135.00, 9/10
With winter well established, now is the perfect time for cost-conscious cyclists to pay close attention to this jacket round-up.
Many offer an impressive array of features and performance at this relatively low price point. There are, of course, strengths and weaknesses throughout the jackets on test, and some will suit certain types of riders better than others.
For this reason we’re not going to single out any particular jacket as the best on test. What we will do, however, is recommend a few particular jackets, for standout features worthy of extra attention.
Prendas has always had an ethos of ‘quality kit for all at affordable prices’. Indeed, it is the only firm that offers sizes up to 6XL; ideal for larger riders looking for a great fit.
For safety and visibility, you won’t get better than Proviz’s Reflect360 jacket. It really has to be seen to be believed, and it’s easily the most practical jacket here for night-time riding.
If you require a jacket to use between bike and bar, the Funkier offers a casual fit, and a fairly subtle design that won’t single you out as a cyclist. Finally, the Bontrager RXL Convertible jacket is the only jacket here with removable sleeves, making it great for mixed conditions.