Best Waterproof Cycling Rain Jackets 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

No one would blame you for splashing the cash on an exorbitantly priced waterproof cycling rain jacket. After all, as a cyclist, you’re all too familiar with the unpredictable downpour or drizzle on your riding sessions.

Owing to advancements made in every sector, hoping for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable is no longer a pipe dream. This once impossible blend is now the cornerstone of every biking jacket worth the purchase.

A reliable waterproof cycling rain jacket doesn’t only keep you warm in the blistering cold weather but it also shields you from the harmful (UVA and UVB) rays of the sun. Trust me when I say this—unlike some of your outfits that you discard every few months, a biking rain jacket will become an essential you simply can’t do without.

Now that I’ve established the paramount importance of a waterproof cycling rain jacket, let’s cut to the chase and look at 7 of the best-selling waterproof cycling jackets on the market.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Waterproof Cycling Rain Jackets

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the waterproof cycling rain jackets that most people buy).

  • Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shake Dry 1985 Jacket Top Pick
  • Castelli Idro 2 Jacket Runner-up
  • DHB Aeron Tempo Waterproof 2 Jacket Runner-up

Top 7 Best Waterproof Cycling Rain Jackets 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shake Dry 1985 Jacket

The Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shake Dry has the year 1985 inscribed as an indicator to suggest its dominance in the outdoor jacket realm.

1985 also happens to be the year Gore pioneered the release of Gore-Tex jackets. When it comes to waterproof jackets, no one does it better.

Let’s talk about the Gore C5 now. Boasting of Gore’s coveted Shakedry technology, this highly advanced apparel forces water to roll off the outer layer and ensures the entrapped humidity inside finds its way out easily.

Since the jacket can’t be soaked in water physically, it doesn’t give off a chilling effect. This feature makes the Gore C5 an excellent choice as a windcheater jacket too.

I also like the fact that the Gore C5 packs easily and is lightweight beyond belief. On the back, you will find reflective detailing for safety measures and a zipped pocket that can be used expertly to store the jacket.

Lastly, the Gore C5 comes equipped with a two-way zipper and an adjustable collar, making it both convenient and comfortable. Definitely one the best winter cycling gear, best believe that this rain jacket will keep you as dry as a bone.

Pros

  • Breathable and lightweight fabric
  • Has hydrophobic waterproofing
  • Has been made to last for a long time
  • Suitable for all types of weather conditions
  • Sure to keep you dry

Cons

  • Many can be turned off by its high price

2. Castelli Idro 2 Jacket

Castelli has acknowledged the benefits of Gore’s revolutionary Shakedry material and has it licensed to use on their own line of products. Therefore, the Castelli Idro 2 also enjoys the benefit of having water roll off its outer layer, completely preventing the jacket from getting soaked.

Additionally, you can rest assured that you won’t find moisture trapped inside your Castelli Idro 2.

With a tall collar, anatomical cuffs, and elasticated drip tail to boot, the Castelli Idro 2 gives you a snug fit, ensuring your riding sessions are as comfortable as possible.

Boasting a minimalist design, this rain jacket weighs a mere 107 g, making it one of the lightest and smallest Gore-Tex jackets around.

On the downside, there are no pockets or adjustment features available on the Castelli Idro 2. I must admit that I’m not a big fan of these sacrifices.  

Pros

  • Lightweight fabric
  • Easy to pack
  • Excels in the breathability department
  • Benefits from Gore’s revolutionary Shakedry technology
  • Suitable for all types of weather conditions

Cons

  • No pockets or adjustments available
  • Priced too steeply for my liking

3. DHB Aeron Tempo Waterproof 2 Jacket

Right off the bat, I presented you with a couple of jackets that cost through the roof. You can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there are reliable waterproof cycling jackets that suit your budget.

Despite its low pricing, you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the DHB Aeron Tempo Waterproof 2 isn’t any good.

Available in a variety of colors, the DHB Aeron Tempo Waterproof 2 has a phenomenal waterproof rating of 30,000 mm! Thankfully, the manufacturers haven’t compromised on the breathability of the jacket; they’ve smartly incorporated underarm vents to keep things airy and cool while reducing the build-up of moisture.

This waterproof cycling jacket can be stretched to a certain extent too, ensuring your movement isn’t restricted in any way. I also like the large drop tail on the DHB Aeron Tempo Waterproof 2 that protects riders from wheel-spray.

The presence of a generous rear pocket with a storm flap further adds to its charm. Also, like all high-quality waterproof jackets, this one comes with reflective detailing on the back, too.

Pros

  • Waterproof rating of a whopping 30,000 mm
  • Affordable pricing
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Will keep you dry throughout your journey
  • Lightweight fabric

Cons 

  • The arm sleeves could’ve been slimmer

4. Endura Pro SL Shell II Jacket

Endura doesn’t need to rely on Gore’s revolutionary Shakedry material as it has a phenomenal material of its own. The company’s trademarked ExoShell40 material ensures that the Endura Pro SL Shell II  remains waterproof and has a high level of breathability at the same time.

To achieve such a performance, the waterproof cycling jacket has been made with lightweight fabric that comprises of a fluorine-free waterproof membrane. This membrane is at least 50% lighter than your standard membrane.

Constructed with the requirements of racers and fast training in mind, the Endura Pro SL Shell II has a minimalist design with a close cut.

The strategically placed stretch panels on the shoulder, cuff, and side ensure that the rider’s performance isn’t hindered or restricted in any way. The external gel pocket with its zipped rear opening has also been positioned strategically to maximize efficiency.

Featuring reflective panels on both the front and back and a raised collar for an added layer of neck protection, the Endura Pro SL Shell II excels in the safety and performance departments.

 Pros

  • Trademarked ExoShell40 fabric material
  • Lightweight and highly breathable fabric
  • All around reflective panels to ensure safety
  • Excellent transfer of moisture

Cons

  • Unfortunately, it isn’t as packable as other jackets on the list

5. Assos Equipe RS Rain Jacket

Many brands have jumped on Gore’s “Shakedry tech” bandwagon. However, Assos has decided to take a different approach with its Assos Equipe RS Rain Jacket, choosing to develop its own tech, the Schloss Tex.

In essence, this tech boasts 3 layers of construction and mainly focuses on DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment. This specific treatment causes water to roll off the fabric without adding weight to the Assos Equipe RS.

Additionally, the layer also shields the innermost hydrophobic membrane. The rear vents in the Assos Equipe RS are also a welcome addition, ensuring the moisture doesn’t build up inside.

However, I will be the first to admit that the Assos Equipe RS Rain Jacket doesn’t compare to Gore’s offerings in terms of beading levels and pack size.

On the bright side, what it lacks in those departments, it makes up for it in durability and stretching ability, facilitating a comfy fit. The wonderful aerodynamics on this jacket is also a major plus point.

All in all, we’ve got ourselves a winner here with the Assos Equipe RS Rain Jacket.

Pros

  • Arguably one of the best waterproof cycling jackets around
  • Boasts of a race fit
  • Suitable for all types of weather conditions
  • This rain jacket will keep you dry throughout
  • Lightweight fabric

Cons

  • The price should have been made more competitive

6. Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket

What do we have here? Another jacket that features Gore’s Shake dry tech?

Understandably, Rapha has decided to adopt the tech too; somehow, this company seems to know every trick in the book to further their products efficiently.

Although predominantly constructed of Gore’s tech, the Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex has a distinct Rapha design with its pro team strip and classic white armband.  

Advertised as a racing apparel, the Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex does well to live up to the billing. The presence of a raised collar with sweat-absorbing lining and the half-elasticated cuffs do more than enough for a rider to perform to the best of his abilities.

The zipper on this waterproof cycling jacket comes with a reinforced zip guard that does a phenomenal job of shielding your bib shorts from the external elements. On the inside, you will locate a neat mesh pocket designed to store your jacket when not in use.

This waterproof cycling jacket gives the impression that you aren’t in the biking circuit to play around—you mean serious business!

Pros

  • Reinforced zip guard to keep the water out
  • The fabric is breathable and lightweight
  • Has hydrophobic waterproofing
  • Excellent classic design
  • This rain jacket will keep you dry throughout your journey

Cons

  • Priced rather steeply

7. Altura Firestorm Jacket

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly jacket that offers bang for the buck, the Altura Firestorm should be your first choice.

The primary selling point of the Altura Firestorm is its all-around reflective detailing. With 360-degree visibility, there’s no chance that you’ll go unnoticed when cycling on a dark, under-lit road.  

This waterproof cycling jacket features taped seams to ensure water remains out where it should and has a semi-fitted design that cuts low on the hips. The shaped cuffs add to the charm of the jacket and the rear pocket serves as a storage option for your jacket.

The Altura Firestorm has been designed for daily commutes rather than competitive biking. It particularly shines the most when used for winter riding.

Pros

  • 360-degree visibility because of all-around reflective detailing
  • Affordable pricing
  • Taped seams to keep the water out
  • Best-suited for winter riding and daily commutes

Cons

  • Not suitable for racing

What to Consider When Buying Waterproof Cycling Jackets?

Fabric

More often than not, a waterproof cycling jacket is constructed of multi-layered laminate fabric and is treated with Durable Water Repellent. Premium brands such as Gore usually use their own trademarked materials that offer unmatched breathability and waterproof ratings.

In a nutshell, a proper waterproof cycling jacket must be constructed of 3 layers: the outer layer, middle layer, and the inner layer.

The outer layer, also widely known as the Face Fabric, shields the jacket as a whole. This layer of fabric is often treated with a Durable Water Repellent solution, ensuring water knocks off the jacket.

The middle layer, also recognized as the membrane, is tasked with preventing the water from seeping in.

Lastly, the inner layer, which is also called the mesh liner, focuses on keeping the jacket comfortable for wear. In most cases, the mesh liner possesses sweat-absorbing abilities.

Waterproof Ratings

Waterproof jackets differ according to their waterproofing capabilities.  

A waterproof jacket with a rating of less than 10,000 mm isn’t suitable for wear during a downpour. Such a jacket is usually reserved for wear during drizzles.

A waterproof cycling jacket that boasts a rating somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 mm performs much better at harsher conditions.

However, to be on the safe side, I would recommend you to go for a waterproof cycling jacket with a rating of over 20,000 mm. These types of waterproof jackets can be used for a variety of demanding activities such as ice climbing, skiing, kayaking, and mountaineering.

A word of advice—ensure your waterproof jacket has exemplary seam taping on it. Your jacket may boast of the highest waterproof ratings but without a seam taping to keep the water out, it will prove to be completely useless.

Breathability Ratings

No matter how cold the weather, you will still sweat bullets if you cycle at a rigorous pace for extended periods. Also, let’s be honest—no one likes being covered in sweat or the chilling after-effects of it.

To prevent moisture from building up from inside, it is imperative that you get a waterproof jacket with impressive breathability features. Waterproof cycling jackets will also have breathability ratings to showcase the jacket’s ability to stay dry.

To be on the safe side, I would urge you to go for a jacket with a minimum breathability rating of 10,000 g/m 2/24 hours for biking. That should be good enough for most cyclists.

Size and Fit

To determine the size and fit of the cycling jacket, you need to identify the type of cycling you intend to do. If you’re looking to race, you’ll require a slim-fitted jacket designed with aerodynamics in mind.

However, if you intend to stay out in the cold for a long period of cycling, it’s better for you to go for a looser fit. Doing so gives you the room to wear a couple of layers underneath for added insulation.

Packable Design

Most of the modern waterproof cycling jackets are designed to be packed up and stored with relative ease. Some will even have their own integrated pockets that serve as a storage option.

Of course, lighter jackets are much easier to pack and store, and since they can be folded down to a small size, they’re much more convenient than heavier, bulkier jackets.

Also, a couple of extra pockets on your apparel wouldn’t hurt now, would it? Consider the special features of jackets too.

Conclusion

I’m confident that you now possess the technical know-how to choose a waterproof cycling jacket that best suits your needs and the weather in your area. 

However, if you still want my recommendation, I would suggest the Gore C5 Gore-Tex.

The Gore C5 is one of the best waterproof cycling jackets around and it has been constructed of only the finest materials, fabric, and tech. Therefore, it is durable beyond belief and packs quite easily.

Although it is priced relatively high, it does offer excellent value for money.