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Riding in the rain? Here's some of the best waterproof jackets, tights, gloves and overshoes we've tested on road.cc

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the rain. Whether it’s the daily commute to the office or a training ride that you just don’t want to cancel, riding in the rain is sometimes unavoidable. Luckily there’s some very good clothing designed for such weather, with many fabric and performance advances in recent years.

We've already covered the waterproof essentials previously, looking at some of the key products like mudguards, jackets, gloves, lights that make riding in the rain safer and less unpleasant. So now here's a roundup of the best waterproof  — or at least highly water-resistant — clothing we've tested on road.cc, from jackets to bib tights, gloves, hats and overshoes.

Wet weather cycling jersey

Castelli Gabba WS Rain Jersey — £150

Castelli Gabba WS Rain Jersey

Windproof and highly water-resistant jersey for performance riders looking for an advantage in changeable conditions. Also the choice of many of the pro peloton.

Read our review of the Castelli Gabba

Read more: Wet weather racing jerseys — weatherproof spring/autumn/winter Gabba-style cycling jerseys, from the original to the Shadow jersey

Waterproof jackets

Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel V2 Jacket — £150

Lusso Mens Aqua Extreme Black V2 Jacket.jpg

The Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel V2 Jacket is one of the best waterproof jackets on the market. Made right here in the UK, in Manchester, the Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel Jacket V2 keeps serious rain out without creating that boil in the bag sensation found with many others on the market. A huge amount of reflective detailing makes this jacket perfect for night rides too.

Read our review of the Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel V2 Jacket

B'Twin 500 Women's Waterproof Jacket — £32.99

BTwin 500 Womens Waterproof Jacket.jpg

At just £25, the B'Twin 500 Women's Waterproof Jacket is a real bargain from sports superstore Decathlon. The jacket has a good cut, feels comfortable and has some good features such as the mesh-lined ventilation gussets at the front of the shoulders and on the back. It's a great lightweight, high-vis waterproof to stuff in a jersey pocket or wear on your commute from spring through to autumn.

There's also a men's version, which is similarly excellent value.

Read our review of the B'Twin 500 Women's Waterproof Jacket

dhb Waterproof jacket — £30

dhb-Waterproof-Jacket-Cycling-Waterproof-Jackets-Grey-AW17-A1474XS95.jpg

The dhb Waterproof Jacket does what it says on the tin, at a price that would get you an arm and half a collar from some other brands. It's not loaded with tech – in fact there's almost no tech on show – but if fifty quid is your budget it's hard to go past.

Polaris Fuse Waterproof Jacket — £85.40-£115.19

Polaris New Fuse Waterproof Jacket - riding

If you're after a highly waterproof jacket and are willing to accept a small amount of extra bulk over some other offerings, the Polaris Fuse is well worth looking at. Its waterproof quality is up with the best, keeping you dry in rain that, speaking from experience, would see others fail. It's really well made, and represents good value for money.

Read our review of the Polaris Fuse
Find a Polaris dealer

Endura Pro SL Shell 2 — £156.74

Endura Pro SL Shell jacket II

This is the latest version of Endura's popular FS260-Pro SL Shell, an exceptionally breathable, fully-fledged miserable-weather jacket with a host of features but no excess faff. It's a cracker.

Endura has used a three-layer Exoshell40 fabric (in black or fluoro blue) of amazing thinness and only 70g per square metre (for reference, even a thin merino baselayer is twice that). The fabric can apparently breathe 60 litres of moisture per square metre per day, and has a waterproofness measure of 18,000mm (meaning a tube of water 18m tall with a patch of the fabric over the bottom wouldn't seep through). The whole thing is fully tape-sealed – even around the small square stretchy panels near the hip. It's a masterclass in detailing.

Read our review of the Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell
Find an Endura dealer

Wet weather bib tights

Funkier S-984W Winter Aqua Repellent Bib Tights — £39.99

Funkier Aqua Repel Bib Tights - riding.jpg

Funkier's S-984W Winter Aqua Repellent unpadded bib tights are comfortable, warm and keep you dry in lighter rain, though torrential downpours will see some water getting through.

The tights are made from a microfleece fabric that's 80% polyamide and 20% Lycra. As the name of the tights suggests, it's designed to repel water, and it works to a large extent, depending on how heavy the rainfall is.

Read the full review of the Funkier S-984W Winter Aqua Repellent Bib Tights
Find a Funkier dealer

Pearl Izumi Elite Escape AmFib Cycling Bib Tights — £174.99

Pearl Izumi Elite AmFib Cyc Bib Tight - riding

With these tights, cold legs are a thing of the past. We've tackled sub-zero morning rides with a hefty dose of windchill with no problems, in fact they're the warmest cycling tights we've ever tested.

The Pearl Izumi Elite AmFib Bib Tights manage this with a combination of the company's own Elite Softshell and Elite Thermal Fleece fabrics. The softshell fabric is used in key areas (seat and front of legs) to provide wind and water resistance, and the Thermal Fleece is used everywhere else for insulation, and more breathability.

The fabric is bulky, but used strategically with shaped panels and pre-curved legs to enhance the fit. Getting them on is a bit of an effort, but once on the tights conform to the legs nicely, and the size and fit is good.

And they're stupendously good in bad weather. The two fabrics provide unparalleled warmth. They stop the wind from causing a chill, and rain just beads off the surface. You can be out for hours in sub-zero temperatures, or in winter rain and be quite happy. When you want the absolute best protection from the wind and rain, few tights are as good.

Read our review of the Pearl Izumi Elite AmFib Cyc Bib Tights
Find a Pearl Izumi dealer

Waterproof overshoes

Madison Sportive PU Thermal Overshoes — £19.99

Madison Sportive Aero overshoes.jpg

Madison's Sportive PU Thermal overshoes are a great option for wet weather riding, with the added thermal benefits providing some much-appreciated insulation at times.

Although described as a mid-weight overshoe by Madison, they don't struggle when the temperature gets down to low single figures.

There are limited sizes at teh link above. If you need a size L try here.

Read the full review of the Madison Sportive PU Thermal overshoes
Find a Madison dealer

Caratti Deep Winter Waterproof Overshoes — £35

Caratti Deep Winter Waterproof Overshoes
If you suffer with cold feet in the winter months read on as Caratti's Deep Winter Overshoes are among the most insulated we've tried. Their waterproofing and build quality are impressive too and a recent price reduction makes them an absolute bargain.

Read our review of the Caratti Deep Winter Waterproof Overshoes

SealSkinz Neoprene Halo Overshoes — £27.03

SealSkinz Neoprene Halo Overshoe - heels

The SealSkinz Neoprene Halo Overshoes incorporate a powerful LED light in the heel, a clever idea that I'm surprised has never been done before. Don't discount them as being a gimmick, they really do work well and are ideal for regular after dark cyclists.

The overshoes are constructed from a neoprene material with taped seams, a silicone leg gripper and storm flap lined rear zip. The zip has to be mounted on the side of the overshoe because of the LED, but getting them on and off isn't hampered at all. A Velcro tab secures the top of the overshoe around the ankle, and there's another underneath the shoe. Getting a good snug fit isn't difficult.

Read the full review of the SealSkinz Neoprene Halo Overshoes
Find a SealSkinz dealer

GripGrab Arctic overshoes — £63.48

GripGrab Arctic overshoes

The Grip Grab Arctic Overshoes are a great example of you need when the UK sees temperatures below freezing. You need decent overshoes, and these provide excellent insulation and very effective waterproofing.

As well as being both warm and waterproof, these overshoes are very durable. The stitching is strong across the body of the shoe and the toe and rear of the shoes are fitted with rubberised and hardened grippers. These add to the already impressive durability.

Read our review of the GripGrab Arctic overshoes

Lusso Windtex Over Boots — £30

Lusso Windtex Stealth Over Boots.jpg

The Lusso Windtex overboots offer a large working temperature range across a myriad of different weather conditions. And don't let that Windtex name fool you – these booties will also keep the rain at bay for way longer than you'd expect of a fabric this light and thin.

I'm nitpicking a bit with that 'con' of not being thick enough for sub-zero temperatures, because Lusso does only say that the Stealth overshoes will work from 0°C through to 14°C, and it was only on rides where the mercury was nudging freezing that I was right on the level of my comfort zone. Any lower and I'd have to think about thicker socks or sneaking a sandwich bag in there. Many people don't ride when it's freezing outside, so for most it won't be an issue.

Read our review of the Lusso Windtex Over Boots

Waterproof cycling gloves

GripGrab Windster Gloves — £41.71

GripGrab Windster Glove

 GripGrab's Windsters are good quality, wind and water proof gloves that allow for lever grip combined with smartphone usability. They're impressively flexible too; they manage to not only keep your hands warm and dry, but it is still relatively easy to grip and feel handlebars and levers.

Read our review of the GripGrab Windster Gloves

Gore Bike Wear Universal Gore-Tex Thermo Glove — £45.29

Gore Universal Gore-Tex Thermo Gloves.jpg

When the temperature reaches freezing the Gore Universal Gore-Tex Thermo Gloves keep on going, keeping out the best that Mother Nature can throw at them. Truly awesome!

They're waterproof too, as you'd expect from the company that invented Gore-Tex, though the extra insulation means they're not as breathable as some – especially at temperatures above 5°C – but until you take them off you don't really notice it.

Read the full review of the Gore Universal Thermo Gloves
Find a Gore dealer

Waterproof cycling socks

SealSkinz Mid Weight Mid Length Socks — £38

Sealskinz Mid Weight Mid Length Sock

SealSkinz sock have Merino on the inside, and acrylic outer and a hydrophilic membrane that's completely waterproof. We're big fans of waterproof socks in these parts, especially those that feel more like ordinary socks when you're wearing them.

Read our review of the SealSkinz Mid Weight Mid Length Socks

Waterproof cycling cap

Gore Wear C7 Gore-Tex cap — £27.18

Gore Bike Wear EQUIPE GORE-TEX cap

The successor to Gore Wear's Equipe cap is made from the same excellent Gore-Tex Active material used in their jackets and, in this cap, provides a completely waterproof and windproof shelter for your head. For anyone intent in not letting the rain stop play, this is a very good investment.

Read the full review of the Gore Bike Wear Equipe Gore-Tex cap
Find a Gore dealer

Waterproof cycling shoes

Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex shoes — £199.99

Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex road shoes

These Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex road shoes offer the sort of protection you need if you're determined enough- or should that be mad enough? - to keep cycling through really bad weather.

As the name implies, there's a Gore-Tex membrane inside the shoe. This delivers impressive rain and road spray protection, and feet stayed dry even in prolonged downpours, or riding through flooded roads. Our tester didn't find himself in any conditions when the G.Winters couldn't cope with the rain and water.

Read our review of the Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex shoes

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Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

26 comments

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Gourmet Shot [183 posts] 2 years ago
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plus 1 for the Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell, its like wearing tissue paper and at first you think no way this keeping the rain out but it works like a charm !

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Mark_1973_ [52 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't care who tested the Sportful Extreme Neoshell - the Neoshell fabric might be waterproof  but the jacket itself isn't and shouldn't be described as such.

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Mark_1973_ [52 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Also, how did the tester manage to stop water ingress from the ankle of the Gaerne boots whilst "in prolonged downpours, or riding through flooded roads"? I'd love to know because I poured an actual plastic cup full of water out of my Northwave Fahrenheit GTXs a couple of weeks ago.

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dottigirl [842 posts] 2 years ago
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Top tip: insulation tape around the tops of boots or waterproof socks helps minimise water ingress. 

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strangerous [9 posts] 1 year ago
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Was any Assos gear tested?

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Freddy56 [353 posts] 1 year ago
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Galibier's Tourmalet rain jacket and SealSkin's gloves and you are ready for anything that comes outta the sky!

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Jack Osbourne snr [719 posts] 1 year ago
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The Gaerne boots are great for wet weather but not in near freezing temperatures.

I find these boots much tighter than my other Gaerne footwear. Size up by two on everyday life shoes to allow for warm socks. (I wear 43 in shoes and trainers and 44 in Gaerne cycling shoes)

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Redvee [414 posts] 1 year ago
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A bufget option for gloves are Hot Tuna neoprene gloves from  Mike Ashley, list price is £6 but I think I paid less than that. Only christened them this week and although my hands got wet, they weren't cold after 40 minutes of rain.

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randonneur [12 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

How is it that black is considered a suitable material for cycling.
I bought the Endura FS260 in bright green.
It's the most breathable jacket I've had but the cuffs are not waterproof.

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ClubSmed [758 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
randonneur wrote:

How is it that black is considered a suitable material for cycling. I bought the Endura FS260 in bright green. It's the most breathable jacket I've had but the cuffs are not waterproof.

I am not aware of this material "black", what is it made of?

If (as I assume to be the case) you are not actually talking about materials but the colour of the items, then why not? In most cases reflective qualities are more important than Hi-vis, and most black cycling clothing includes this. From a personal perspective, My bike is hi-vis lime green as is my helmet, gloves, overshoes and backpack cover. Why do I have to suffer a jacket to be hi-vis too, surely I am visible enough and I want to not be covered in hi-vis when I get off the bike (remove my helmet, overshoes, gloves and backpack cover) to walk down the street!

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Disfunctional_T... [339 posts] 1 year ago
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None of the bibtights featured in this article are waterproof.

Bontrager, Endura, and SealSkinz make actual waterproof bibtights.

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js120 [1 post] 7 months ago
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I prefer to cycle indoor when the temperature is below 5`C. No pleasure below that outdoors.

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felixcat [585 posts] 7 months ago
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js120 wrote:

I prefer to cycle indoor when the temperature is below 5`C. No pleasure below that outdoors.

Rule 5. Velominati.

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don simon fbpe [2712 posts] 7 months ago
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I must be doing sopmething wrong with my Gaerne shoes as they let in so much water during heavier rain that they are considered, by myself, as a failed buy and a total waste of money.

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KendalRed [259 posts] 2 months ago
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The problem with feet is that they are the lowest point of the body, and the problem with water is it obeys the laws of gravity really well. I've found lots of things that keep the water out, but nothing I have found yet will stop the water hitting the legs, running down the shins/leg warmers and into the shoes. If you are then wearing waterproof shoes and/or socks, then you are effectively removing an escapre route for the water.

So what do you do? Not bother with waterproofing on the feet, and hope the water dries naturally when the rain stops (if it ever does)? I do like the idea of insulation tape around the top of the sock/overshoe. I did once buy a pair of those thin rubber Velotoze overshoes that are skintight, but I put a hole in them the first time I tried to use them!

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vonhelmet [1350 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

The trick with wet weather cycling is to go out for a long ride in the most appallingly wet conditions, such that you are utterly soaked through and have to strip off your sodden clothes in the porch before you venture any further into the house for fear of flooding the place. That way, when you go out in the rain at any point in the future, you just think “Well, it’s not as bad as that time...” On the off chance that it actually is as bad as that time, then you just replace the old that time with the new that time.

My “that time” is still my trip to watch the Tour of Britain TT in 2013. Our navigator was off on one so we took an utterly absurd route that took far too long in the driving rain, then had to stand in the rain for further hours in our soaking gear with just our light rain jackets, dry off briefly over lunch in the pub, then crawl home again in the pouring rain. Utter hell, but no ride since has been as bad.

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Danzxer [84 posts] 2 months ago
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GribGrab makes these gaiters, haven't tried them so don't know how well they work.

 

https://www.gripgrab.com/products/cyclingaiter

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WilliamAC1 [16 posts] 2 months ago
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KendalRed wrote:

The problem with feet is that they are the lowest point of the body, and the problem with water is it obeys the laws of gravity really well. I've found lots of things that keep the water out, but nothing I have found yet will stop the water hitting the legs, running down the shins/leg warmers and into the shoes. If you are then wearing waterproof shoes and/or socks, then you are effectively removing an escapre route for the water.

So what do you do? Not bother with waterproofing on the feet, and hope the water dries naturally when the rain stops (if it ever does)? I do like the idea of insulation tape around the top of the sock/overshoe. I did once buy a pair of those thin rubber Velotoze overshoes that are skintight, but I put a hole in them the first time I tried to use them!

 

Cut the cuffs off a pair of marigolds and put on over your feet before putting on boots and use them as a gaitor to seal between your ankles and the boots.  Not tried with shoes, but will depend how far they cover the ankle for it to work

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ktache [1018 posts] 2 months ago
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Just got some Endura neoprene Pro Nemo gloves, didn't have any gloves for the wet in my collection.  I am not exactly eager to be trying them out.

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vonhelmet [1350 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Two plop rain forecast all day for Thursday. Balls. That’ll be some fun commuting. Never mind getting wet, drivers lose their minds in bad weather.

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henryb [67 posts] 2 months ago
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Gourmet Shot wrote:

plus 1 for the Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell, its like wearing tissue paper and at first you think no way this keeping the rain out but it works like a charm !

The other great thing about this jacket is that it's thin and light enough to roll up and go in a jersey pocket

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KendalRed [259 posts] 2 months ago
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Danzxer wrote:

GribGrab makes these gaiters, haven't tried them so don't know how well they work.

 

https://www.gripgrab.com/products/cyclingaiter

Those look good - just ordered a pair from Tredz (£12). Not sure about the sizing though, I ordered S/M as I'm a bit of a shortarse, even though they say this size is for 38-41 (I'm 43). Not sure what relevance shoe size is, given they just need to fit around the calves.

Oh well, they can always go for a swap if not right.

Thanks for the steer

 

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TheHungryGhost [63 posts] 2 months ago
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Big fan of the SealSkinz socks.  I commute on my MTB and wear trainers.  The socks keep my feet dry, and more importantly, at the end of the day, when I go to put my still wet trainers back on, the socks keep that horrible putting on wet shoes sensation at bay.

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aegisdesign [113 posts] 2 months ago
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Endura seem to have killed off the FS260-Pro SL Shell. It's not on their website or in stock anywhere online. They killed off the cheaper Helium last year too which I quite liked. The Helium was a bit more robust but also not so breathable. If anyone finds a red one on the Way of The Roses route near Pocklington - it's mine indecision

I had to replace it with a white Helium (£30 in a clearance) but I was looking for a FS260-Pro SL Shell. It's already "no longer white" but it'll do until Endura replace either the Helium or FS260-Pro SL Shell with something new.

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fenix [1116 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

No mention or the gore shake dry Jackets ? Expensive but the best bit of kit ever for wet conditions.

And also - mudguards. With flaps. No point in showering yourself with crap and it's cheaper than most of the kit.

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a1white [157 posts] 2 months ago
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Anyone have any experience of Decathlon B-Twin tights?

I cycle 10miles to work in London, but find it rarely gets cold enough for thick winter tights but I just need something cheap for the colder mornings. The description looks interesting anyway...

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/100-padded-cycling-tights-black-white-id_835...