Scott's Helium Plus is a very good jacket for the cold weather, offering windproof insulation and water resistance in an athletic cut.
The Helium Plus is made mostly of a soft Windstopper material from technical fabric-specialists Gore. It justifies its name by preventing cold air getting through while the inner face is Superroubaix soft, fleecy, deep pile polyester that provides a whole lot of warmth.
I know what youre thinking, and youre right: £230 is a big old wedge of cash to spend on a bike jacket. But then the Castelli Espresso Due is a really high-quality piece of clothing with some excellent cold-weather features behind its cool looks.
The Espresso is made from Gore Windstopper X-Fast fabric. You probably know about Windstopper, and even if you dont, the clue is in the name. This fabric blocks out cold air completely so you can build up your warmth inside. This version has the added advantage of being very stretchy too.
The Massimo Jacket is intended as a high performance winter jacket, capable of tackling the worst of the cold whilst also handling the odd spot of rain. Hailing from Quebec, the folks over at Louis Garneau undoubtedly have plenty of experience of riding in harsh weather; experience which shines through in the fit and features on the Massimo.
This has to be a great idea. The Mavic H2O is a top-notch waterproof that also doubles as a reflective garment for bad weather or night time riding. Since having this on test I have to admit that I don't bother packing anything else for either commuting or training in either bad weather or at night. I've been delighted with its performance in every regard.
The Turbulence jacket from dhb (the in-house brand from on-line superstore Wiggle) is a lightweight windproof top that's an ideal outer layer for cycling on cold days, and it easily packs down small enough to stuff in your back pocket if the weather should turn balmy while you're out on your bike.
Look at the spec and Madison's Prime waterproof jacket looks like just another decent quality entry-level technical model to add to the pile. Look at the jacket though and you've got a really versatile jacket that doesn't, as the blurb puts it, "scream cyclist" and is ideal for round-town duties and other outdoor activities too.
Polaris started life as a small outfit making mountain bike clothing about two decades ago, and since then has also branched into other cycling worlds, with the RBS range of clothing aimed at the road and commuter markets. The range includes this RBS Jacket. And a very nice piece of kit it is too.
A lightweight windproof is an incredibly useful piece of cycling kit and the Vento from OneTen is a solid option.
The Vento is made from polyamide (nylon) and it stops the wind stone dead. That means it's handy pretty much all year round bar the height of summer. It takes up about half a jersey pocket and weighs just 86g so it's easy to carry.
Put the Vento on when the temperature drops and it makes a huge difference to your warmth. Remove cold wind from the equation and you retain much more of the heat that your body generates.
Bontrager's Sport Commuter Rainshell jacket cuts a dash whether in the saddle, on tour or just meandering round town thanks to its tasteful blue/grey livery and tailored fit. Pockets are limited to hip and poacher types complete with LED tab but adequate for parking hands and stashing spare batteries, lights, keys and generic nick nacks. The close cut flatters both cycling and civvie wardrobes handsomely but remember when riding to drop the front and pit zips or you'll feel like a steamed pudding after 20 minutes enthusiastic effort.