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The Best Cycling Jackets For Commuters

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Cycling to work is a great way to beat the traffic, make your commute greener and add some casual exercise to your routine. To ensure it’s an enjoyable experience, however, you’re going to want to look beyond your standard office wear when you saddle up. A cycling jacket is one of the first bits of kit you should consider adding to your wardrobe. Designed with the demands of cycling in mind, the best cyclists’ jackets offer protection from the wind and rain yet remain breathable, ensuring you stay dry in all weather without feeling (or looking) like you’re wearing a bin bag.

A good cycling jacket should be functional but not look too out of place when you’re off the bike. Our top picks will keep you dry even on the wettest ride, while some can hold their own on the coldest winter days, too.

Fjallraven Specialized anorak

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Specialized/Fjällräven Räven Anorak

The ideal jacket for the urban biker and countryside hiker

Specifications

RRP: £265
Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

Reasons to buy

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Water- and wind-resistant
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Fashionable enough to turn heads for the right reason

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive

When two of the biggest brands in hiking and biking combine on a range of clothing and accessories, you’d better believe we sit up and take notice. The collaboration features this multi-functional anorak which has all the pockets and snap-button pouches you could need for a day in the hills and a slightly dropped hem at the back to keep you comfortable and dry when in the saddle. Sure, it’s expensive, but can you put a price on a durable jacket that will look good and perform for years to come?

Buy men’s from Fjällräven (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Fjällräven (opens in new tab) | £265


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Chrome Storm Salute Commute

Stylish jacket to keep you cool (figuratively and literally) and dry

Specifications

RRP: £189
Sizes: S, M, L, XL

Reasons to buy

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Waterproof and breathable
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Looks as good off the bike as on it

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
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More reflective alternatives available

Olive green or black might not seem like the obvious choices for a jacket that’s got to keep you safe when riding after dark, but Chrome’s Storm Salute Commute has a few tricks up its sleeves (and on its back). Reflective details on the rear keep you visible from behind, while detailing on the arms and wrists ensure your hand signals are as clear as day. Its protection from the elements is second to none, and will guarantee you turn up looking on point – even if you get caught in a downpour.

Buy men’s from Chrome (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Chrome (opens in new tab) | £189


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Proviz Reflect360 Plus

The most reflective jacket on the market

Specifications

RRP: £119.99
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, XXXXL, XXXXXL

Reasons to buy

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All-round reflectivity to boost visibility after dark
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Waterproof and breathable

Reasons to avoid

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Not the most stylish jacket

Unless you work on a building site or are a lollipop man, full hi-viz is a bit overkill. Of course you want to be safe and be seen on the roads, but surely there’s an alternative to dressing up like a human traffic cone? Enter Proviz’s Reflect360 Plus jacket. This waterproof jacket is made from a unique material that is grey in the day but comes to life at night, reflecting the light from vehicles to turn you into the most visible thing on the road. It has to be seen to be believed, but if you cycle commute at night it’s almost certain you’ll see people wearing them – they’re hard to miss. Its updated version is even more breathable and waterproof than the original.

Buy men’s from Proviz (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Proviz (opens in new tab) | £119.99


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Triban Men’s Cycling Rainproof Jacket RC500

Ideal for weekday commuting and weekend road riding

Specifications

RRP: £54.99
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Reasons to buy

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Good value for money
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Waterproof membrane provides protection from showers

Reasons to avoid

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Fit might not be relaxed enough for some
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Style screams road cycling, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea

Sports retailer Decathlon’s in-house cycling brand does everything from bikes to boots, and offers great value. Its RC500 Rainproof Jacket’s cut is certainly road bike-focused – with its slightly extended rear hem and wide zip pocket on the back – but is quite subtle in design. The waterproof membrane will keep you dry in a heavy shower, and its breathability keeps the sweat at bay on milder days. It gets extra points for its roll-up saddle flap, a great feature that protects your backside from puddle splashes.

Buy men’s from Decathlon (opens in new tab) | £54.99


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Endura Hummvee Lite Waterproof Jacket II

A packable off-road-focused waterproof great for stuffing in a pannier or commuting rucksack

Specifications

RRP: £94.99
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Reasons to buy

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Packable
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Lightweight and waterproof

Reasons to avoid

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No hood

Endura is renowned for its mountain biking roots, so you can be sure that its jackets can stand up to more than a bit of drizzle on your way to work. The Hummvee Lite is fully seam-sealed and constructed from a breathable 2.5-layer waterproof fabric, which means your top half will be kept dry and comfortable in all conditions. It has rubber strips on the shoulders to prevent a rucksack’s straps wearing through the durable water-repellent finish. It also folds down into a small pack, making it ideal for stuffing in your pannier or backpack even in the warmer months so you have some protection from those all-too-frequent summer deluges.

Buy men’s from Endura (opens in new tab) | £94.99


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Vulpine Portixol Waterproof Jacket

Superb waterproofing and breathability in a fashionable design

Specifications

RRP: £100
Sizes: S, M, L, XL

Reasons to buy

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Withstands extreme conditions
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Splash guard to protect your backside

Reasons to avoid

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Not as reflective as alternatives

London-based Vulpine’s modus operandi is to make clothing that is functional when cycling, but also looks the part when you arrive at your destination – after all, head-to-toe Lycra might prompt sniggers down the pub. The Portixol jacket is fully waterproof and extremely breathable, with a fleece collar that guarantees you’ll stay warm once winter hits. The full-length zip has a handy puller that makes it easy to use even when wearing gloves. Like the Triban jacket, it has a reflective saddle flap – although this one is held in place by magnets when not in use. It also comes in a women’s cut.

Buy men’s from Vulpine (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Vulpine (opens in new tab) | £100


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Rapha Commuter Jacket

A waterproof jacket that won’t look out of place in the pub

Specifications

RRP: £100
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

Reasons to buy

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Relaxed fit that will easily go over office clothes
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Waterproof and breathable

Reasons to avoid

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Might need something warmer for winter riding

There’s no doubt Rapha knows how to make functional-yet-fashionable cycling kit, and its commuter jacket is a case in point. On first inspection, it could be a waterproof jacket from any outdoor-focused brand, but it’s packed full of clever features. The waterproof zip is off-centre to stop it rubbing against your chin. Its hood will fit under a helmet, and can be stowed away using a reflective strap when not in use. Its reflective detailing on the rear is designed to sit below a backpack and in the eyeline of motorists. The jacket’s relaxed fit – in both men’s and women’s cuts – is made to be worn over office clothes too, meaning you can say goodbye to riding to work in a different set of clothes.

Buy men’s from Rapha (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Rapha (opens in new tab) | £100


DHB Flashlight Waterproof Jacket

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DHB Flashlight Waterproof Jacket

Cheap and cheerful waterproof shell

Specifications

RRP : £80
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL (men’s); UK 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 (women’s)

Reasons to buy

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Highly waterproof and breathable
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Reflective detailing

Reasons to avoid

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Not the most fashionable design

A good waterproof layer doesn’t have to cost the earth, as this jacket from Wiggle’s in-house brand proves. The waterproof and breathability rating rivals that of coats twice its price and its 360° reflective detailing keeps you safe while not lighting you up like a Christmas tree. While it’s a great outer shell for year-round riding, its lightweight stature comes into its own from spring through to autumn, where it’s handy to have an emergency layer stuffed away safely in your commuter rucksack or pannier. 

Buy men’s from Wiggle (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Wiggle (opens in new tab) | £80

Charlie Allenby is a journalist with a passion for pedalling. He contributes features and buying advice about cycling, and is participating in RideLondon in 2022 as well as covering it for Coach. 


As Charlie is also training for a triathlon, he has become Coach’s chief whey and casein protein powder tester, trying as many brands as possible.


Charlie’s first book, Bike London (opens in new tab), is out now. He has written for The Guardian (opens in new tab), The Independent (opens in new tab), BikeRadar (opens in new tab) and others.