This page presents and reviews the best available waterproof cycling gear to help you keep cycling comfortably through the rainy season. We hope you find it useful! We have included waterproof jackets, waterproof cycling pants, waterproof gloves, and warm balaclavas.
Updated November 2019.
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Best Waterproof Cycling Gear: Best Cycling Jackets
Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Waterproof Cycling Jacket
This jacket is the top of the line in Showers Pass cycling jackets and really has it all: top quality materials and construction, and meticulous attention to every possible detail. It’s got so much going for it that it’s almost certainly got everything you need. First off, it has 3 layers of eVent rip stop fabric, which gives exceptional breathability, waterproofness, and durability. The tail is especially long to ensure a dry lower back and butt. And the arms are especially long so you never end up with exposed wrists. Of course, you can cinch them closed.
The Elite 2.1 features a big back pocket and a breast pocket, both with excellent quality waterproof zips. The main zip tucks away at the neck so it doesn’t irritate your neck! The breast pocket has an audio port for the cord of your cell phone. This video shows you all the features of the jacket:
An extra special feature is the moisture-wicking comfort lining on the inside of the neck, which can really help you to feel warm and cozy on a cold bike ride. Plus, you can cinch the neck with a pull cord to make sure no air gets in. The neck has concealed attachments for a waterproof hood (available separately).
One of the main problems with cycling jackets is that once you start cycling, you rapidly heat up. This cycling jacket tackles that problem with an impressive SEVEN vent options to let in air: 2 pit vents, 2 cuff vents, a two-way zipper and back vent. The two-way zipper means you can unzip the jacket from the top or the bottom to let cooling air get to your chest or stomach, as needed. Finally, there is 3M reflective trim all around the jacket to make you more visible. And it’s available in red, black, yellow, blue, and pink.
This is a simply outstanding jacket – well worth the price for those who can afford it. No wonder it is a top choice with everyone from bike commuters to pro cycling teams to kayakers to skiers to motorcyclists. It fits small, so order a size larger than usual.
Note that there is also an excellent women’s version of the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket.
Gore Bike Wear Power Gore-Tex Active Jacket
This jacket gets rave reviews from customers, who love it. They rate it extremely highly for breathability and waterproof-ness. It is also roomy enough to put a layer or two underneath. This cycling jacket is part of Gore Bike Wear’s Power series, which they designed to keep the year-round cyclist dry. It can be comfortably worn with the inner mesh layer right next to the skin. And it’s available in slim-fit or roomy, which I really like. Roomy would give you space for layers – or just be more comfy, if you don’t happen to like going around looking like a sausage.
This jacket is neither very heavy nor very light – it’s somewhat of an in-the-middle-weight jacket, with a high level of waterproofness. If you want to make just one jacket work for you all year around, this could be the one.
This video sums up the best features of this Gore Bike Wear jacket for you:
Note that there is also an excellent women’s version of the Gore Bike Wear PHANTOM 2.0 WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell Jacket.
Best Waterproof Cycling Gear: Best Cycling Pants
These pants have it all: superb quality materials and construction, and superb waterproofness and breathability. These are simply outstanding pants – well worth the price for those who can afford it.
These pants are made from premium materials: they have 2.5 layers; they are 100% Polyester; and they include the famous Gore-Tex membrane. Gore invented the waterproof and breathable fabric category many years ago. These pants are Gore’s lightweight Active Shell. All Gore-Tex® fabrics are nylon and polyester face fabric, laminated with a Gore-Tex® membrane. They come in a range of grades, including Gore-Tex® Pro, Gore-Tex® Active, and regular Gore-Tex®. Active Shell is a newer Gore-Tex membrane, designed to be very breathable, waterproof, windproof, and lightweight. So the fact that these pants are Gore-Tex Active Shell means they are stellar performers in the waterproof but breathable category – which is what you need for comfy, dry, non-sweaty cycling.
Of course, these cycling pants are also fully seam sealed for wind and waterproofness. (See below if you want to read about what seam sealed means.) These pants also have high visibility thanks to reflective inserts. The Gore Bike Wear Men’s Element Gore-Tex Active Pants also offer ample storage with a zipped stow pocket on the back of the pants. This is very useful if you don’t want to be standing in the pouring rain, digging under your cycling pants to try and retrieve your keys from your regular pants underneath.
These excellent waterproof cycling pants can be purchased from Competitive Cyclist, REI.com and Backcountry.com.
This video provides a graphic overview of these cycling pants:
In terms of design, there is an adjustable elastic waistband with a flat cord. Also, the pants have been optimized for cycling. One of the things I don’t like with cheap plastic cycling pants is that feeling that you cannot move properly. These pants offer a high level of freedom of movement with pre-shaped knees. They are also comfort fit and comfortable to wear. The wear-resistant seat reinforcement increases comfort. The pants come with washing instructions that explain how to reactivate the Gore-Tex with each washing.
Finally, they have adjustable leg width (essential in cycling pants to avoid contact with your drive chain). You adjust the leg width with Velcro fastenings. And it is easy to get the pants on and off over your shoes, thanks to zippers on the lower legs. All in all, these are great, practical, well-made cycling pants that should be excellent for bike commuters who cycle in the rain.
|Buy it now! Find the best price for Gore Bike Wear Element Gore-Tex Active Pants|
Note that there is also an excellent women’s version of these premium cycling pants.
Also note that there are two versions of Gore Bike Wear Element Pants – one has a bright yellow strip, one does not, as shown in the photo below (the photo shows two views of the pants with the yellow strip – from the front and from the back). You can choose either. Personally, I prefer the pants with the bright yellow strip, as I like to be as visible as possible in the dark and the rain. Clicking on the photo below will take you to the product details and price for the version with the yellow strip.
These Showers Pass Transit Cycling Pants are completely waterproof and breathable, made from 3 layers of premium materials: 100% Nylon, and Artex Hard-shell rip-stop fabric. They are fully seam sealed for wind and waterproofness. Reflective trims increase visibility. Optional suspenders are available. Some cyclists find these handy to help keep their rain pants up, so they don’t cinch down.
Articulated knees make for easy cycling with these Showers Pass Transit Pants. As these pants are lightweight, they can easily be packed into the mesh stuff sack that comes with them. Ankle zips are provided for easy on-off over cycling shoes, while Velcro cinch straps keep your pant legs away from your chain. The photo shows several different views of the pants. On the far right you can see the lower leg zip that enables you to easily pull the pants over your shoes. I also really like the white strip down the side, which increases visibility.
Best Waterproof Cycling Gear: Best Cycling Gloves
Craft Siberian Wind and Waterproof Bike Gloves
Craft is a Swedish brand that specializes in clothing for endurance sports, and they make some really great products. These fleece-lined Craft cycling gloves are highly rated for keeping your hands warm and dry in cold, wet conditions. These gloves strike a nice balance between keeping your hands warm and allowing you to work your gears and brakes. They are also bright and highly visible.
Pearl Izumi – Ride Pro AMFIB Lobster Gloves
These Pearl Izumi cycling gloves have a lobster claw design to keep your fingers warmer (because they are clustered together). Clever design enables you to still be dexterous enough to control your bike. These gloves have a lot of added attention to design and quality, including synthetic leather palms to improve grip. Many cyclists recommend these gloves as the warmest they have ever tried.
Best Waterproof Cycling Gear: Best Cycling Balaclavas
Strictly speaking, balaclavas are usually not completely waterproof. (Luckily, if you wear a bike helmet, they usually don’t get too much rain on them.) However, you will often be wearing them when it is rainy, so they are included here. When it is cold and wet, having a warm head will go a long way towards keeping you feeling comfortable. A disproportionate amount of heat is lost from the head, so a great cycling balaclava is essential.
This one has been a favorite with many users for a long time. Like other more advanced products, it uses a combination of fabrics: 100% polyester with windstopper membrane for the forehead and ears, and a combination of nylon and elastane for the rest.
A meshed thermo-stretch panel over the mouth and nose is provided for breathing. This product is lightweight yet offers excellent cold protection, but some riders will find it a bit claustrophobic. However, it can be pulled down, so that should not be a problem. Some cyclists increase the breathability by the simple method of sticking a ballpoint pen through the holes! Buy it here from Amazon – its competitive price and great quality makes it my top pick.
This is my new favorite balaclava, due to its premium design and materials, plus the fact that it is so versatile. Basically it is a modular balaclava in two pieces, which you can use in various configurations. It can range from just a neck gaiter, all the way to full face coverage. The photo below shows me wearing this balaclava in various configurations. I use it for cycling and for cross-country hiking in snowy terrain.
The Weatherneck System Balaclava completely covers the back of your neck with its unique “mullet,” and the face mask completely covers your throat. It fits smoothly under a helmet, soft and comfortable. Invented and manufactured in the USA, this is a truly premium cycling balaclava; also ideal for all outdoor sports.
You can read a full review of the Weatherneck System Balaclava here. And below, the inventor of the Weatherneck System shows what it does:
We hope this information helps you to stay dry and warm while cycling in rainy weather! And if these reviews help you to find the right product, please be so kind as to click on the affiliate links to purchase them. This is the only way we can get paid for our work, and it costs you nothing at all.
Need More Choices for the Best Waterproof Cycling Gear?
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