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Essential wet weather cycle clothing and gear - find the best ways to beat bad weather on the bike

From mudguards to waterproof jackets to overshoes and more, here's some of the best clothing and equipment to help you survive the rain

With the right wet weather cycle clothing and a determined attitude, riding in the rain can be less of a chore, though few cyclists say they enjoy it. If you're commuting on a daily basis, or just keen to stick to a training schedule to prepare for the summer, here's a selection of the best gear to help you handle the rain. Got your own favourites? Tell us about them in the comments.

24 of the best bits of winter clothing and equipment for 2021

There are lots of very good rain-specific cycling products available, from waterproof jackets to mudguards and overshoes. We've rounded up some of the best wet weather clothing and gear that will hopefully make riding in the rain a little less unpleasant.

Waterproof jackets

A good waterproof jacket is your first line of defence against the wet. With high tech fabrics getting better all the time, you can now get a lightweight jacket that will keep you dry and that's breathable enough to prevent the 'boil in the bag' effect of waterproof jackets from years ago.

B'Twin Men's City Cycling Rain Jacket 120 — £29.99

B'Twin Men's City Cycling Rain Jacket 100

The B'Twin 100 High Visibility Waterproof Cycling Jacket provides excellent rain protection with a coated membrane material and taped seams plus plenty of reflective details to help you been seen on the commute to work. There are vents and breathability is very good.

Read our review of the B'Twin 500 jacket
Find a B'Twin dealer

Madison Prime — £39.99-£79.99

Madison Prime men's waterproof jacket

A longtime commuter favourite, Madison's Prime shell is lined for comfort, festooned with reflective patches and well thought-out for everyday riding. Useful features include pit ips and vents for cooling, a chest pocket for your wallet and keys and a light loop out back for extra visibility. It comes in a big range of sizes too: up to XXL in men's and 18 in women's.

The price above is for colours other than yellow in men's, and women's yellow, though we'd argue that in low light it's reflective patches and not colour that make the biggest difference in how easily you're seen.

Read our review of the Madison Prima jacket
Find a Madison dealer

Showers Pass Elite 2.1 — £225

Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket.jpg

The Elite 2.1 is a fabulous choice for riding long days in awful weather, through a range of temperatures. The technical features to allow adjustment are all do-able one-handed on the bike, meaning every time you put it on you'll be glad you invested the money.

Pretty much the last word in extreme-weather cycling protection, that lets you control your temperature perfectly.

Read our review of the Showers Pass Elite 2.1

>>Read more: the full archive of cycling jacket reviews on

>>Read more: Buyer's Guide to Waterproof jackets


It's not just rain that gets you soaked, your own spray from the road can, without mudguards, ensure you'll be soaked very quickly. Mudguards are available in wide range to fit just about every model of road bike, from full-length traditional 'guards to simple and cheap clip-ons.

The mudguards you can fit depends on your bike. If you have eyelets at the fork and rear dropouts and clearance in the frame, you can fit full-length traditional mudguards. They are light and offer the best protection from the spray as they nearly fully enclose both wheels.

Worry not if your frame isn't compatible, there are many mudguards that can be fitted to almost any bike. Using clips and zip ties these 'guards can be attached, and removed easily, to any road bike. While they don't quite give the same level of protection as traditional mudguards, they're better than not having any at all.

SKS S-Blade — £14.99

The SKS S-Blade will fit seatpost diameters between 25.4 and 35mm. It works best with 18-26mm tyres. 28mm upwards shows signs of compromise with tell-tale spatter congregating along the peripheries. Getting everything aboard is effortlessly simple; you'll just need a 4mm Allen key for tweaking the angle.

Read our review of the SKS S-Blade mudguard

SKS Chromoplastic — £31

Jamis Quest Audax - SKS chromoplastic mudguards 4

The SKS Chromoplastic mudguards are one of the best known, and very highly regarded, full-length options. They’re made by sandwiching aluminium strips inside a plastic housing. The resulting profile is quite deep which makes it stiff and sturdy. Stainless steel stays fix them in place and the Secu-Clips on the front means they pop out of the mount if somehting gets caught between the mudguard and tyre, rather than locking teh wheel and putting you on your face. You get a generous mudflap on the front mudguard and a reflector on the rear. They’re available in several sizes to fit tyres from 20 to 45mm.

Read our review of SKS Chromoplastic mudguards
Find an SKS dealer

Crud Roadracer Mk III — £37.99

Crud Roadracer rear crop.jpg

The other popular option is the Crud Roadracer. As long as you've got 4mm between the top of your tyre and the inside of your brake caliper, the Roadracers will slide in. The Mk3 version is the longest of any clip-on mudguard, almost as long as full-length mudguards, and has a front mech protector too.

Read our review of the Crud Roadracer Mk III mudguards
Find a Crud Products dealer

>>Read more: Buyer's Guide to mudguards

>>Read more: Full archive of mudguard reviews on

Overshoes and waterproof socks

Ride a bicycle without mudguards and soon your feet will be very wet from front wheel spray. Most cycling shoes are far from waterproof, the large majority have lots of vents. Great in the summer, just let in water during the winter.

Overshoes are simple items that slip over your shoes, with zip or Velcro fastener at the rear to seal them up. While not always completely impenetrable by the rain, they can go a long way to preventing your shoes from becoming paddling pools for your feet.

Madison Sportive PU Thermal Overshoes — £20.99

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

Read our review of the Madison Sportive PU Thermal Overshoes
Find a Madison dealer

SealSkinz Waterproof All Weather Mid Length Socks — £35.00

Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Mid Length Socks

An alternative to overshoes are waterproof socks. Often when it's really wet, we'll pair them with overshoes or oversocks for an extra layer of defence against the rain. Sealskinz is the name you'll come across most often, and its Mid Length Socks are a good thing to have in the drawer once the cold and wet weather draws in. There are some UK conditions that will breach any foot fortifications, but these socks are a great last line of defence. They've been rebranded as mountain bike socks, but they still keep out the wet on the road.

Read our review of the SealSkinz Mid Weight Mid Length Socks
Find a SealSkinz dealer

>>Read more: Buyer's guide to overshoes

>>Read more: Full archive of overshoes reviews on


Perched out on your handlebars your hands face the brunt of the weather. As your hands become sodden from the constant rain, their temperature quickly cools, and before too long you can have some very frozen fingers to deal with. Frozen fingers aren't much good at changing gear, braking or clinging to the handlebars, and they're agonisingly uncomfortable. Here are three typical options.

SealSkinz Ultra Grip Gauntlets — £45

Sealskinz Ultra Grip Gauntlet

SealSkinz Ultra Grip Gauntlets have been designed to cope with cold and wet conditions, offering protection from water and wind as well as being breathable, all in a knit, stretch glove. They deal with the elements competently, keeping your hands protected and dry. They can get a little warm on the inside but rather that than cold, wet hands.

Read our review of the SealSkinz Ultra Grip Gauntlets
Find a SealSkinz dealer

Endura Pro SL Primaloft Waterproof Gloves — £51.00

Endura Pro SL Primaloft Waterproof glove.jpg

Endura's Pro SL Primaloft Waterproof Gloves are warm enough even for freezing temperatures without being bulky, and they live up to their billing by keeping the rain out.

For a start, they're warm, and you really don't want to make any compromises there. You know that person who always gets cold on a ride before everyone else? That's me, yet I've not had numb fingers with these on and my hands have only felt the slightest bit cold in freezing temperatures. Being waterproof, they're also windproof so cold air can't blow through, and Primaloft Gold insulation keeps the warmth in.

Read our review of the Endura Pro SL Primaloft Waterproof gloves
Find an Endura dealer

Dissent 133 Ultimate Cycling Glove Pack — £109.00

Dissent 133 Ultimate Cycling Glove Pack - layers.jpg

The Dissent 133 Ultimate Glove Pack really is just that, and will easily see you through an autumn, winter and spring of road and commuter riding. We never found conditions where these couldn't be used, making them excellent value compared with the three sets of gloves you'd otherwise buy.

Read our review of the Dissent 133 Ultimate Cycling Glove Pack

>>Read more: Full archive of full-finger glove reviews on

>>Read more: Buyer's guide to winter gloves

Waterproof tights/trousers

You've got a good jacket, now you need to think about the lower half. Trousers or tights, depending on your preference, are available in waterproof varieties. Waterproof trousers are ideal for commuting and short rides, they can be worn over regular clothing. There's less choice for waterproof tights, but some brands do add a waterproof finish, like Castelli's No Rain treatment, which encourages the water to bead off the surface. Here's a great example of each.

Lusso Termico Repel Bibtights — £99.99

Lusso Thermico Repel Bibtights - riding.jpg

If you want a pair of tights that'll protect you from pretty much everything the winter can throw at you, then the Lusso Termico Repel Bibtights are a very good option. Thermal, water repellent, with a comfortable pad and blocks of subtle reflectives, they're ideal for dark, dank rides throughout the off season.

On first inspection the Lusso tights feel quite bulky thanks to their thermal fabric, so you expect some restriction of movement. Thankfully that issn't the case. The Lusso Termicos fit brilliantly and feel absolutely great when on.

Read our review of the Lusso Termico Repel Bibtights

Showers Pass Transit Pants — £85

Showers Pass Transit Pant
Better fabrics and more careful tailoring mean we've seen a substantial improvement in waterproof overtrousers in the last few years. Made from waterproof and breathable Artex hardshell 3L ripstop fabric, the Showers Pass Transit Pants do a great job of keeping the water out.

Read our review of the Showers Pass Transit Pants

>>Read more: All reviews of Tights and longs on

>>Read more: All reviews of trousers on

>>Read more: Buyer's guide to winter tights and trousers

Waterproof boots & shoes

Sometimes, even overshoes aren't enough protection. Waterproof shoes and boots can be a very smart investment, especially if you're determined to ride in the rain. They typically have a neoprene liner and extended ankle, and a fully waterproof exterior that completely seals the feet up. Pair with waterproof socks for the ultimate protection from wet feet.

Shimano MT7 Gore-Tex SPD shoes — £94.00

Shimano MT7 (MT701) GORE-TEX SPD Shoes.jpg

They're intended for gravel biking but the MT7s are great for road warriors who like running SPDs (and being able to walk around) through the wetter and colder months. The Gore-Tex liner keeps the water out and they're comfortable with mid-weight socks down to low single figure temperatures.

Read our review of the Shimano MT7 Gore-Tex SPD shoes
Find a Shimano dealer

Northwave Celsius R Arctic GTX Winter Boots — £193.50

2021 Northwave Celsius R Arctic.jpg

Northwave's Celsius R Arctic GTX boots are very good winter all-rounders. They keep your feet warm and – for the most part – dry, and they're well designed and the reflective version is super-visible after dark. You're paying for the privilege if you shell out the full £210 RRP, but if you're serious about winter riding you'll get your money's worth out of them.

Read our review of the Northwave Celsius R Arctic GTX Winter Boots
Find a Northwave dealer

>>Read more: All reviews of shoes on


All those vents in your helmet just serve to let the rain in. Wearing a hat or cap underneath will keep some of the rain out, and will stop your head from getting too cold. Simple traditional cotton caps can serve you well, and the peak serves to prevent a lot of rain dripping into your face.

You can buy cycling caps made from waterproof fabric, and there are numerous skull caps made from water resistant and windproof fabrics. A simple Buff-style garment wrapped around your head will go a long way to keeping the cold at bay.

Lusso Repel Thermal Belgium Hat — £19.99

Lusso Repel Belgium Hat.jpg

The Lusso Belgian Hat is ideal for riding in wintry weather (even in spring) especially when things are really extreme: the colder and wetter, the better it performs.

Read our review of the Lusso Repel Thermal Belgium Hat

Lazer Blade helmet — £59.49 & aeroshell cover — £12.82 - £22.94

Lazer Blade helmet

Aero helmets, intended to help you go quicker in the summer, also come in handy in the winter, as the lack of vents — or in this case sealing the vents with a plastic cover — helps to keep out most of the wind and rain compared to a regular helmet. The Lazer Blade is one of the least expensive of this breed of aero designed helmets.

Read our review of the Lazer Blade helmet + aero shell
Find a Lazer dealer

>>Read more: All reviews of helmets on

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Be seen - lights

The rain can seriously impair visibility out on the road. A set of bright front and rear lights in good working order is another consideration for cycling in the rain.

Exposure Strada SL front light — £220

Exposure Strada

The Strada from Exposure is a serious light and punches out 900 lumens onto the road ensuring even on the darkest country lanes you'll be able to see potholes, rabbits, badgers or other road users in plenty of time.

Read our review of the Exposure Strada
Find an Exposure dealer

Oxford Ultratorch Slimline R50 — £14.39

Oxford Ultratorch Slimline R50 Rear LED

A good rear light is a must too. The Oxford Ultratorch Slimline R50 is a compact, lightweight, rechargeable rear light with excellent all-round visibility.

Read our review of the Oxford Ultratorch Slimline R50

>>Read more: All reviews of front lights on

>>Read more: All reviews of rear lights on

Reflective jacket or gilet

A jacket with reflective panels and details, or a gilet that can be worn over the top of anything, is a good way to boost your presence on the road. You want to make sure you can be seen by other road users ahead and behind, and reflective panels, or even a completely reflective jacket will grab the attention of other road users.

Proviz Reflect 360 Jacket — £89.99

Proviz Reflect 360 Jacket

If you ride in the dark reflectives are what you need. UK company Proviz has taken this to the extreme with the Reflect 360 jacket; the outer is made entirely from reflective material.

Read our review of the Proviz Reflect 360
Find a Proviz dealer

Proviz Reflect 360 gilet — £69.99

Proviz Reflect 360 Gilet - reflective 1.jpg

Like the above, but without sleeves.

Read our review of the Proviz Reflect 360 gilet
Find a Proviz dealer

Spare tubes and a good pump

Water makes a pretty good cutting lubricant, so you're far more prone to punctures in the wet, especially with the rain washing all the debris, grit and glass out of the gutter into the road. Even more than in summer, then, you want to carry tyre levers, a couple of spare tubes and a decent pump.

Topeak Roadie DAX Pump — £19.99


The Topeak Roadie DAX pump combines a larger chamber than most with a useful Dual Action stroke that's always pumping, whether you're pulling or pushing. It's a dependable, no-nonsense tool for making punctures less of an arm-deadening delay.

Read our review of the Topeak Roadie DAX pump
Find a Topeak dealer

Slime sealant-filled tubes — £9.99

Slime Pro Pre-filled Lite inner tube

You can help prevent punctures by fitting a pair of Slime Pre-filled tubes. They're more expensive than regular inner tubes, but you should see a reduction in punctures.

Read our review of Slime Lite tubes

>>Read more: All reviews of pumps and inflators on

Got any rain essential tips you want to add? Let's hear them below

About Buyer's Guides

The aim of buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product if we think it's one of the best of its kind.

As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

Here's some more information on how makes money.

You can also find further guides on our sister sites and ebiketips. buyer's guides are maintained by the tech team. Email us with comments, corrections or queries.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

Add new comment


Parvez | 3 years ago

I wish would review/recommend reasonably priced goods more often than always the top end stuff. This website reads more like an extension of the big brands marketing dept than a consumer website. Gets boring and makes me want to cancel my (admittedly tiny) subscription fees. 

Hirsute replied to Parvez | 3 years ago
1 like

The prices are in low/high range eg £12 mudguard, £20 light.

Somethings will be expensive such as waterproof items although £25 for a rain jacket is pretty cheap.

Hirsute | 3 years ago

I've got some MTB shoes for commuting, but finding overshoes that fit is a challenge. I got one lot that claimed it would fit 47 but I had to give them to my wife who is about 43 but she says they are faff to put on!
Anyone had any success?

Redvee | 4 years ago
1 like

Another tip for riding in the rain. Make sure your helmet pads are relatively clean. Sweat laden pads in the rain aren't nice  2

demi | 4 years ago

An old sea salt once handed me a tea towel during a storm at sea to use as a neckerchief to stop the rain running down my neck and inside my otherwise impermeable jacket. Ever since I have always carried at least a buff which is effective in light rain but if I have to commute in an absolute downpour the teatowel is a go to piece of kit. Neatly rolled up you can tuck it inside your collar and no-one will know except you and any passing sea-salts.

Redvee | 5 years ago
1 like

Hot Tuna neprene gloves from House of Fraser/Debenhams/Tri UK or anywhere else Mike Ashley has bought up. Cost me less than a fiver and although my hands get moist, it's not a cold moist feeling. A blast under the hand drier in work and baby powder and all dry and smelling nice for the next time I need them.

ktache | 5 years ago

I got me some Endura neoprene gloves from the LBS sometimes last year, my first rain gloves, to go with my six pairs of temperature relevant gloves.  My hands stayed warm and toasty through some very cold and wet weather.  They are, of course, not waterproof, and my hands got wet, but it didn't bother me much, soaking wet summer gloves would be so much more annoying.  And these gloves got soaking wet, bit of  a faff having to turn them inside out to get properly dry.

They never started to stink, but I did wash them every week (inside out) if I had worn them.

Very much proper rain gloves, and for when it's cold, they are thick and squidgy and feel awful on the bars.

Glad I brought them.

AJ101 | 6 years ago

There's a couple of very affordable jackets here

Simontuck | 6 years ago

The Crud Roadracer mudguards in the picture look like the MK2, not the MK3. MK3 is attached by plastic velcro, not a rubber band.

Redvee | 6 years ago

The best thing for a wet ride, I've found, is to close the door and go back in the house and watch cycling on TV. #fwc

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