Best Winter Cycling Gear 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Riding in the cold is a risky thing to do, especially if we’re talking winter cold. However, it can actually be an amazing experience if you’re prepared for it with the right winter jacket or generally, the right winter cycling gear.

It’s an idea that’s sort of crazy but one that earns a cyclist some kind of honor seeing that most people will shy away from riding in extreme cold.

The right winter gear for cycling includes the right glove set, the best waterproof cycling rain jacket, thermal bib tights, the best winter shoe covers, all of which will help you keep your optimal temperature in such harsh weather conditions that you don’t get either too hot and sweaty or too cold.

You don’t want to be too warm when you increase your pace since there’s no time to start removing your jacket and everything else but at the same time, you don’t want to wear a layer less and freeze because it’s rather uncomfortable.

You need to find the best fitting stuff that also reduces puffy insulation. That said, it’s not easy choosing the right cycling winter gear.

Should you go for a jacket with a soft shell or not? Does the type of base layer matter?

If so, what’s the best base layer for the jacket? So many possible questions.

Whether you’re looking for just a winter jacket or a full-blown winter cycling gear, here’s a review that will help you. Take a look at the best winter cycling gear on the market nowadays!

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Winter Cycling Gear

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

  • Castelli Perfetto Jacket Top Pick
  • Gore Bikewear C3 Active Jacket Runner-up
  • Endura Pro SL Thermal Jacket Runner-up

Top 7 Best Winter Cycling Gear 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Castelli Perfetto Jacket

The Castelli Perfetto is everything you’d wish to have in a winter jacket.

It’s interesting that for a long time, professional cyclists would throw on some kind of unlabelled or unnamed jacket during those hard winter races in the worst conditions. For long, the winter jackets’ manufacturer remained unknown until it was discovered that Castelli was actually the jacket’s manufacturer.

Now, the Perfetto jacket is well constructed and comes with enhanced breathability and water resistance, and maintains the favorite features from the Castelli Gabba, an earlier fan favorite from the same manufacturer. 

Carrying forward these Castelli Gabba features was already a great idea, but the manufacturer spiced things up by adding elevated fabrics and the latest technology in making the jacket. 

It’s a trending winter jacket that packs in a new type of Gore-tex Infinium fabrics. These Gore-tex fabrics offer you more heat while at the core and provide more ventilation at the back, thus facilitating an enjoyable ride regardless of the weather conditions.

Aside from the impressive materials used in the manufacture of the jacket, it’s the attention to detail when it comes to fit that cyclists really appreciate. This winter jacket’s cut is made with a race in mind, featuring sleeves that come forward-oriented and an abbreviated chest that reduces bulk when you’re cycling.

While this makes it feel tighter around the chest when you’re standing in an upright position, it feels comfortable when in a stretched out position on your bike. The long sleeve jacket contours to your muscles almost perfectly, skipping the bulky folds and excess fabric to give you an aerodynamic fit.

This winter jacket fits closer to your chest and stomach compared to the Gabba, meaning it does not sag or bulk through your core.

Key Features

  • Gore-tex Infinium fabric
  • 2 rear pockets with pump sleeves
  • Zippered vents on jacket chest
  • Form-fitting silhouette
  • Breathable membranes
  • Flexible back pannel
  • Long sleeve

Pros

  • Has water resistance and excels through both rain and wind
  • Warm fabrics keep you insulated
  • Allows you to move freely
  • Exceptional moisture management
  • Drops heat faster
  • Pockets can be accessed while wearing gloves

Cons

  • Feels tight when you stand upright
  • Expensive

2. Gore Bikewear C3 Active Jacket

The Gore-tex fabric used in making this Gore Bikewear C3 makes it one of the best winter cycling jackets you can wear. The manufacturer of the jacket is also well known for producing high-quality long sleeve jackets.

It comes with a long black flap that ensures you remain protected from water splashes that might come up from the rear wheel. This breathable winter jacket is waterproof and windproof, too.

The Gore Bikewear C3 Active Jacket is a lightweight one that stows inside the zippered rear pocket. This facilitates easy carrying around or stuffing into a hydration pack.

It’s designed with an active fit that closely follows your body, minimizing excessive flapping without being restrictive or too tight. The Gore-tex active membrane hinders showers and heavy downpours from passing or penetrating through the winter jacket and is soft, quiet, and more breathable.

As such, you will remain dry and will not have to face the constant rustling that comes with most waterproof jackets out there.

Key Features

  • Active construction
  • Active fit
  • Zippered chest pocket
  • Adjustable drawstring hemline
  • Reflective accents along the sides, the front, and back
  • Folds inside zippered rear pockets
  • Lightweight minimalist shell

Pros

  • Minimalist shell for cycling in the rain
  • Not noisy
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Water-resistant
  • Doesn’t feel restrictive when worn
  • Zippered pockets allow storage while cycling
  • Allows for compact travel
  • Keeps out chilly air
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Has no rip fast zip
  • Low-vis

3. Endura Pro SL Thermal Jacket

The Endura Pro SL Thermal Jacket is specifically constructed with the everyday cyclist in mind. It provides a light kind of water resistance while ensuring cold winds stay away from your skin.

The jacket uses high-stretch windproof fabric to ensure you get a close fit. This fabric has an inner thermal lining that keeps you comfortable regardless of how many miles you have covered while winter cycling.

It also has a high-cut double-layer collar that goes almost as high as the chin, keeping your neck warm. The Endura Pro Jacket also features extended cuffs that seamlessly integrate with the cycling gloves you prefer to wear, making the jacket more likable while winter cycling.

Another jacket part that winter gear cycling enthusiasts will appreciate is its reflective trims. These provide that extra safety during low-light winter times and on extremely cloudy winter days.

Key Features

  • High-cut double-layer collar
  • Extended cuffs
  • External rear gripper
  • Three rear pockets
  • Reflective trim
  • Zipped security pockets

Pros

  • Maximum comfort and warmth in winter
  • The jacket doesn’t ride up
  • Reflective trim gives extra visibility

Cons

  • More for the everyday cyclist than a racer

4. Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Of course, you need a backpack when you’re out there riding in the cold weather, but it has to be a waterproof backpack. Aside from helping you save money, this also helps keep all of your belongings safe.

A backpack is also useful as it helps you to be seen better. It contributes to your focus as it helps you stay calm while riding in cold weather knowing that all your belongings are safe.

Nobody wants to ride to their destination only to find their stuff drenched in water or damaged, right?

The Timbuk2 Spire Backpack easily makes it to our list of the best winter cycling gear you can find. It has a waterproof rolltop that has an incognito back zip to allow easy access.

At the same time, the front zipper pocket allows you to fit in all kinds of things ranging from your wallet, smartphone, shades, and so much more. This Timbuk2 Spire Backpack also comes with a great internal organizer that helps you keep the important stuff like your ID, your passports, and even pens.

Key Features

  • Incognito back zip
  • Waterproof
  • Internal organizer
  • Front zipper
  • 32-liter capacity
  • Ventilated back

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Pockets are convenient and accessible
  • The design is sleek and modern
  • Ideal for use all year

Cons

  • The straps are narrow
  • Heavy compared to others in its range

5. Cygolite Metro 700 and Hotshot 100 Bike Light Combo Set

When it comes to visibility, you can never be too trusting during winter and because of that, it’s worth making yourself and everything else more visible.

The Cygolite Metro 700 and Hotshot 100 Bike Light Combo Set comes in handy as it’s a 700-lumen bike headlight that lets you clearly see what’s ahead. The 100-lumen bike tail light, meanwhile, makes sure you’re properly seen.

These headlights are great because they can go up to 115 hours with just a single charge. The rear bike light also features a 270-hour battery capacity that will serve you well.

This light combo set has exclusive day and night modes. It also comes with a steady pulse mode and a low battery indicator.

It’s also water-resistant so it doesn’t get easily damaged. When it comes to design, it’s also lightweight.

The Cygolite Metro 700 and Hotshot 100 Bike Light Combo Set is one of the best cycling gear for winter as it ensures your safety.

Key Features

  • Moisture-resistant
  • 700-lumen bike headlight
  • The 100-lumen bike tail light

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistance
  • Gives value for its price
  • USB rechargeable

Cons

  • Only water-resistant, not waterproof

6. Artica R5 Cycling Boots

For you to ride in cold weather, you need to get yourself a good pair of reliable shoes that can help you pedal through the snow.

They are highly reliable when it comes to the winter boots category that it’s almost a no-brainer that they’re the type of cycling boots you should go for.

These Artica R5 insulated boots are waterproof, making them a great option for winter riding. They are also easy to wear and boast an accurate fit, even more when you’re wearing cycling socks.

These also come with a Microtex Reinforced Shell that gives the boots that much-needed protection. They have a breathable membrane that maximizes airflow so that your feet remain warm and cozy even while you cycle through harsh weather.

The Artica 5 also features a Carbon Composite outsole that sees to it that power transfer from your feet to the bike pedals is maximized. It also has a Cycling Insolate made of fleece.

Lastly, it features an aluminum foil material on its underside for the extra warmth. This also makes sure you remain comfortable on the road despite the weather.

Key Features

  • Waterproof
  • Microtex Reinforced Shell
  • Breathable membrane
  • Carbon Composite outsole
  • Fleece-lined Cycling Insolate
  • Underside made of aluminum

Pros

  • Lightweight yet stiff
  • Fully waterproof
  • You can find an accurate fit
  • Easy to wear
  • Has advanced insulation features
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Has restrictive high cuffs that require a lot of adjusting

7. Crosspoint Knit Waterproof Glove

The Crosspoint Knit Waterproof gloves are just what you need to upgrade your winter cycling gear. They give you that mid-weight glove feel and insulation that is sufficient for most freezing temperatures.

When winter cycling, the mercury will climb but your hands will not feel too hot or even sweaty. These Crosspoint Knit Waterproof gloves are also waterproof as the name suggests, and they have a great way of keeping your hands from being the weak spot even on extremely cold and rainy days.

The gloves are made with three bonded layers that include a wear-resistant knit exterior, a breathable Artex membrane, and a Coolmax type of moisture-wicking knit lining that’s antibacterial in nature.

It’s a pliable type of glove, comfortable, and one that has an ergonomic fit. While wearing them, you can still easily pick up different items in the deep winter weather and you can still manipulate all your fingers.

However, you are advised not to grab the Velcro fabric’s loop side. It sticks to the glove.

The Crosspoint Knit Waterproof Gloves don’t feature a nose wipe kind of fabric around the thumb area but are soft enough for use while pinching. The palm fingers come with silicone printing that makes it excellent for gripping in wet weather, although they don’t have padding.

If you’re not into padding, then you’ll truly appreciate this kind of glove. However, if you like it, you might have to wear some fingerless winter cycling ones underneath, meaning you would have to size up on the Crosspoint Knit.

Key Features

  • Three bonded layers
  • Ergonomic fit
  • Soft
  • Silicone printing on palm
  • No padding

Pros

  • They keep you warm even in dripping wet weather
  • Durable
  • They fit like a glove
  • Dry without getting funky
  • Have a tall and secure wrist cuff

Cons

  • Only usable in a limited temperature range
  • Not touchscreen compatible
  • Knit fabric can get caught on Velcro hooks

Conclusion

Among the ways you can improve your winter riding experience is to invest in the best winter cycling gear because doing so makes the difference between you freezing or getting to your destination safe and sound, warm and dry.

However, even with the best winter jacket or fleece-lined and wind-resistant winter gear, keep in mind that cycling when it’s freezing outside is no joke and you might need a good amount of time to get used to it. The more you do it though, the better you become at it.

You may earn the skills to cycle in freezing cold instead of staying indoors much faster if you learn how to keep your body temperature in check, and the best winter cycling gear mentioned above can help you.

All that said, even when your jacket and other gear are wind-resistant, water-resistant, have the recommended base layer, or feature a soft shell, it’s best to exercise caution when cycling in deep winter weather since the conditions are far from the ordinary.

In any case, if you’re on the search for some great winter cycling gear, feel free to go through our review above and let it help you make a wise choice.

My Pick

We have given some of the best winter cycling gear when it comes to gloves, lights, backpacks, and boots, but which one among our winter jacket collection is best? Which one should you invest in first if you have a limited budget?

We’ve carefully looked at all the above items and come to the conclusion that the Castello Perfetto is the best pick. It stands out as the best winter jacket perfect for a rider as the name “Perfetto” suggests.

The fact that it’s an advanced version of the previous preceding Castello Gabba which was already a fan favorite almost automatically builds the reputation of this winter jacket before you even delve deeper into everything it comes with.

Its boost in breathability and water resistance is unmatched which would explain why professional cyclists prefer it. The fabric used in its construction is an elevated type and the manufacturer has also incorporated the latest technology in creating it so that you have the best experience while wearing it as winter cycling gear.

You’ll love how this winter jacket contours your body especially if you normally can’t stand bulky folds and prefer a perfect fit that looks smooth. The Castello Perfetto has more outstanding pros than cons, and its cons are easily manageable.