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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

[This article was last updated on November 8, 2017]

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 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 — £99-£150

Castelli Gabba WS Rain Jersey

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 

Waterproof jackets

B'Twin 500 Women's Waterproof Jacket — £24.99

BTwin 500 Womens Waterproof Jacket.jpg

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 — £50

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

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 — £88.39-£113.99

Polaris New Fuse Waterproof Jacket - riding

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 FS260-Pro SL Shell — £156.74

Endura FS260 Pro SL Shell - riding.jpg

Endura FS260 Pro SL Shell - riding.jpg

The Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell is 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 green) 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

Gore Bike Wear One GTX Active — £220

Gore Bike Wear ONE GORE-TEX Active Bike Jacket - riding.jpg

Gore Bike Wear ONE GORE-TEX Active Bike Jacket - riding.jpg

Gore stands out in the cycle jacket market because it designs and develops its own fabrics, many of which are used by the leading brands in the market. Gore Bike Wear's stunning One Active waterproof jacket comes as close to the Holy Grail of perfect waterproof jacket as any we've tested.

Gore's One Active fabric replaces the durable water repellent treatment of its previous Active fabric with a new Permanent Beading Surface. This allows Gore to reduce the construction of the jacket from three to two layers, improving breathability, making it very easy to pack away and reducing its weight to not much more than an emergency gilet, It's the benchmark lightweight waterproof jacket.

Read our review of the Gore Bike Wear One GTX Active
Find a Gore dealer

Sportful Fiandre Extreme NeoShell — £220

Sportful Fiandre Extreme Neoshell jacket - riding.jpg

Sportful Fiandre Extreme Neoshell jacket - riding.jpg

Dressing for the UK winter got a whole lot easier with the Sportful Fiandre Extreme Neoshell, a comfortable, warm and waterproof jacket that copes well with a wide range of weather conditions. It really is one jacket to rule in all weathers.

Like the rest of Sportful's Fiandre range, this jacket is designed to cope with variable and constantly changing conditions. It's been race-tested, like all Sportful's top-end clothing, by the Tinkoff-Saxo professional cycling team. It's designed to keep you warm and dry, and be breathable enough to avoid overheating.

Read our review of the Sportful Extreme NeoShell Jacket 

Wet weather bib tights

Funkier S-984W Winter Aqua Repellent Bib Tights — £71.99

Funkier Aqua Repel Bib Tights - riding.jpg

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 AmFib Cyc Bib Tights — £64.99

Pearl Izumi Elite AmFib Cyc Bib Tight - riding

Pearl Izumi Elite AmFib Cyc Bib Tight - riding

They're supposed to retail for £130, so at this price, these almost impregnable water-resistant and toasty-warm tights are a bargain. 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 Cyc 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 rains 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, and anthing comparable is a lot more expensive.

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

Waterproof overshoes

Madison Sportive PU Thermal Overshoes — £19.41

Madison Sportive Aero overshoes.jpg

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.

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

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 — £23.99

SealSkinz Neoprene Halo Overshoe - heels

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 — £44.33

GripGrab Arctic overshoes

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

Shimano S3000R Overshoes — £37.99

Shimano S3000R Overshoes.jpg

Shimano S3000R Overshoes.jpg

When the cold and wet hits, these Shimano S3000R NPU overshoes, with their thick neoprene construction and water resistant coating, provide the necessary barrier to the elements and insulation to keep you pedalling happy circles and not frozen squares.

Read our review of the Shimano S3000R Overshoes

Find a Shimano dealer

Waterproof cycling gloves

GripGrab Windster Gloves — £43.34

GripGrab Windster Glove

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 — £41.98-£59.99

Gore Universal Gore-Tex Thermo Gloves.jpg

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 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 Bike Wear Equipe Gore-Tex cap — £24.99

Gore Bike Wear EQUIPE GORE-TEX cap

Gore Bike Wear EQUIPE GORE-TEX cap

The Equipe cap from Gore Bike Wear 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

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

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.

14 comments

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Gourmet Shot [176 posts] 1 year 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_ [49 posts] 1 year 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_ [49 posts] 1 year ago
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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 [819 posts] 1 year 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 [320 posts] 11 months 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 [713 posts] 11 months 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 [403 posts] 8 months 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 [11 posts] 8 months ago
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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 [692 posts] 8 months ago
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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... [314 posts] 8 months 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] 2 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] 2 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 [2327 posts] 2 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.