Cycling Rain Jackets – Watch for This
A waterproof cycling rain jacket therefore presents a basic garment for all kinds of cyclists. It should always be at hand in unpredictable weather conditions. But not all cycling rain jackets are the same, there are major differences depending on the sports discipline, the use and the demands. You will probably be very surprised to see the variety of cycling rain jackets and their differences in terms of price. We would like to shed some light on the world of rain jackets for cyclists and point out the most important features to you:
1. The cut of a cycling rain jacket is always adapted to the seated cycling posture. The back has to be extra long for your behind to stay dry. This way you are not simply protected from rain but also from spray if your bicycle has no mudguards. In the front area the jacket must be shorter for it not to bulk in the seated posture bent over. The more extreme the seated posture (e.g. in road biking) the more pronounced this difference in length between front and back needs to be in cycling rain jackets.
2. Concerning the material of cycling rain jackets you will probably find the most striking differences. High quality rain jackets for cycling are made from a 3-layer membrane fabric which prevents moisture from penetrating from outside yet wicks excess body heat and perspiration away towards the outside. In this context a balance between protection from rain and breathability is extremely important. Because cycling rain jackets with poor or no breathability at all make you feel like you are wrapped in a plastic bag. Cycling jackets for performance driven cyclists are made from membrane material with a high ratio of stretch material. This way the jacket can feature a tight fit without restricting your freedom of movement or reducing comfort.
3. Apart from the material the seams and zippers also need to prevent water from penetrating. The waterproof features of a rain jacket for cycling include:
- seams welded from the inside
- waterproof zippers in front and pockets
- well fitting grippers at sleeve ends and hem
- a high and tight fitting collar or, depending on the use, a hood
4. Weight and pack size of a rain jacket for cycling should be as small as possible because it needs to fit either into a backpack or a jersey pocket.
Cycling rain jackets are available with a specific cut either for women, men or kids. Women’s cycling rain jackets differ from men’s cycling rain jackets only in terms of colour and perhaps more feminine details.