Best Urban Cycling Jacket: Top 15 Bike Commuter Jackets in 2023

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With your bag packed and your bike ready to ride, you’re all set for your commute to work. Off you go, speeding through the streets without a care in the world, when all of a sudden, your worst nightmare sets upon you: rain.

Without a good cycling jacket to soak it up, you arrive at work looking like a drowned rat. Your possessions may be kept nice and warm inside your bag, but not you. So, what can you do?

It’s in case of scenarios like these that a proper bicycle jacket is essential. Below, we’ll take a look at some key features of the best bike commuter jackets, run through three of the best for both men and women, and answer some important FAQs on the matter.

Urban Cycling Jackets [Men] [Women]

  1. Rapha Men’s Commuter Jacket

    A sleek and practical cycling jacket, designed for urban commutes and adverse weather conditions.

  2. Chrome Two-Way Insulated Shacket

    A versatile and stylish jacket that can be worn as a shirt or a jacket.

  3. Velocio Recon Snap Jacket

    A lightweight and breathable cycling jacket, designed for performance and all-day comfort.

  4. Helly Hansen Ride Hooded Cycling Jacket

    A waterproof and windproof jacket, perfect for intense outdoor activities.

  5. Ministry of Supply Composite Merino EcoFleece Jacket

    A sustainable and comfortable jacket, perfect for everyday wear.

  6. Chrome Merino Wool Cobra 3.0

    A warm and durable cycling jacket, designed for urban riders and commuters.

  7. PROVIZ Reflect360 Plus Men’s Cycling Jacket

    A highly visible and reflective jacket, ideal for night-time rides.

  8. Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket

    A sleek and breathable cycling jacket, designed for urban riders and commuters.

  9. Chrome Storm Salute Commute Jacket

    A waterproof and durable jacket, perfect for rainy commutes and outdoor activities.

  10. Mission Workshop Eiger Jacket

    A versatile and stylish jacket, designed for all-day comfort and outdoor adventures.

  11. Rapha Packable Down Jacket

    A lightweight and compressible jacket, ideal for travel and outdoor activities in cold weather.

Read More:

Bike Commuting Jacket: Key Features

Of course, your first port of call should be waterproof and water-resistance, because getting drenched by the heavens en route to work is nobody’s idea of fun.

But that should hardly be your only concern when picking the right jacket for you. Is it breathable enough? Does it offer much in the way of stretch? What kind of fit does it provide? Is it as effective as a summer cycling jacket as in the depths of winter? And how many pockets does it have for that extra bit of storage?

You may also be on the lookout for a more stylish cycling jacket, because why just stop at functional when you look great, too? And if you’re keen on giving your head a little extra cover, what about coats with hoods?

Hopefully, you’ll find something for you in our top three of both male and female commuter jackets. Let’s dive in:

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Cycling Commuter Jacket for Men [Top 11]

  1. Rapha Men’s Commuter Jacket [REVIEW]
  2. Chrome Two-Way Insulated Shacket [REVIEW]
  3. Velocio Recon Snap Jacket [REVIEW]
  4. Helly Hansen Ride Hooded Cycling Jacket [REVIEW]
  5. Ministry of Supply Composite Merino EcoFleece Jacket [REVIEW]
  6. Chrome Merino Wool Cobra 3.0 [REVIEW]
  7. PROVIZ Reflect360 Plus Men’s Cycling Jacket [REVIEW]
  8. Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket [REVIEW]
  9. Chrome Storm Salute Commute Jacket [REVIEW]
  10. Mission Workshop Eiger Jacket [REVIEW]
  11. Rapha Packable Down Jacket [REVIEW]

Looking for women’s jackets? Click here to skip straight to them.

1. Rapha Men’s Commuter Jacket

  • UK Flag £100
  • US Flag $115
  • EU Flag €115

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Fully waterproof

Waterproof membrane

Rear illumination

Sealed seams

Designed explicitly for the daily commute (and with a lower riding position than other offerings from Rapha) this jacket manages to be both lightweight and durable with no compromises made on either side.

Waterproofing is top notch with sealed seams to prevent water ingress and a special membrane on the inside of the jacket. The membrane keeps water at bay but it’s light and airy so you won’t have to worry about sweat building up. A mesh lining up the back helps with ventilation.

You also get welted zip pockets (enough to hold essentials like your keys and phone). The zipper is made using “Aquaguard” technology – in laymen’s terms that just means that it’s super waterproof and not a single drop of moisture can find its way inside.

A looped fastening makes the jacket easy to access so you won’t have to spend hours grappling with the zip, something that can be a big problem with cold hands.

Small touches are what make this jacket so special. The zip is slightly off centre so you won’t have to worry about chaffing on your chin and a reflective gradient dot pattern lights up on the back. Since these jackets are mostly worn at night or in bad weather, that illumination makes a big difference. The Rapha will keep you safe, dry and, above all else, comfortable.

2. Chrome Two-Way Insulated Shacket

  • UK Flag £140
  • US Flag $140
  • EU Flag €158

Prices are approximate

Material(s): 100% recycled polyester


Natty design

100% recycled polyester

We’re on familiar ground here with a jacket – sorry, Shacket – from city cycling experts Chrome Industries.

This jacket’s party piece, and one that you won’t find on any other jackets in our list, is its reversibility. On one side, a more stoic black and on the other a pleasing olive green. Irrespective of which way the shacket is worn it will provide warmth, protection against wind and an element of water resistance – all within a lightweight package.

We particularly like the design of this one – the traditional collars, the semi-quilted fabric pattern and the chest pockets give the garment a natty feel.

Like some other urban cycling brands, Chrome Industries has introduced recycled materials into its lineup of cycling apparel. The Two-Way Insulated Shacket is made from 100% recycled material.

3. Velocio Recon Snap Jacket

  • UK Flag £230
  • US Flag $289
  • EU Flag €230

Prices are approximate

Material(s): 50% Polyester. 50% Polyamide

Top of the style stakes

Extra insulation

DWR coating on the outside and the inside

Although style is subjective, there’s no doubt in our mind that Velocio’s Recon Snap jacket is the best-looking item on our list. The high collar, the slim fit, the button closure and even the elbow patches – own one on you’ll scream suave and sophisticated.

This isn’t to say that the Recon Snap isn’t up to the task of performing either, indeed the jacket is packed (literally) with some of the most technologically advanced material around. The outside is made from Pertex Quantum fabric, a superlight material with plenty of stretch. Stuffed inside the jacket is insulation from well-known provider Polartec.

With a standard DWR coating present and correct the Recon Snap will ward off the odd shower. But top marks to Velocio for adding it to the inner of the jacket too. That way if it does get soaked in an unexpected downpour on the way to work, it should dry out in time for the return leg.

Name a more chic cycling jacket – we’ll wait!

4. Helly Hansen Ride Hooded Cycling Jacket

  • UK Flag £119
  • US Flag $135
  • EU Flag €135

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Fully waterproof

Adjustable hoo

Dual layers

Chest pockets

Waterproof, windproof, breathable and lightweight, the Helly Hansen offers everything you could want from a cycling rain jacket. Better still, it crams all of these features into a bright yellow package that stands out vividly in even the poorest light.

Reflective strips boost visibility even higher and ensure that you won’t ever be missed. The jacket is designed specifically for urban cycling and engineered with an articulated cut for extra mobility as you nip through the traffic.

Waterproofing is, of course, the big area of interest and the Helly Hansen doesn’t disappoint. The combination of Polyamide shell and Polyester lining offers two layers of protection and also gives the jacket its windproof credentials.

The two part design is lightweight and pleasantly breathable (this is one of the lightest jackets on the list at just 450g). Chest and hand pockets offer plenty of room to store essentials.

This jacket comes with a hood. Fortunately (and unlike many other cycling rain jackets) the hood and hem are fully adjustable so you should be able to find a configuration that fits. With a few adjustments, it’s quite easy to stop the hood from flapping in the wind and get a secure fit.

Having a hood further boosts the jacket’s all weather credentials. Throw in some reflective strips and we’d say that the Helly Hansen offers everything you could need to get through the winter.

5. Ministry of Supply Composite Merino EcoFleece Jacket

  • UK Flag £280
  • US Flag $298
  • EU Flag €280

Prices are approximate

Material(s): 54% Merino Wool, 33% Polyester, 13% Nylon

Relaxed fit

Clever use of biodegradable wool

Large, oversize collar

For city cyclists searching for a jacket that won’t look out of place at the water cooler or in the lunch queue, go for Ministry of Supply’s Composite Merino EcoFleece. The fit of this jacket is relaxed; very relaxed when compared to the other jackets in this list.

Ministry of Supply makes great play of their jacket’s use of wool. This wholly natural material is growing in popularity again after decades in the apparel wildness. Wool is a great insulator, so this jacket will keep the rider toasty during a leisurely pedal around town. But that’s not the extent of wool’s abilities. Should any of the wool fibres from the jacket make their way into rivers, lakes or oceans they’ll degrade in a matter of months. Microplastics in polyester jackets will take centuries to degrade.

One final feature of this jacket is the large, oversize collar. Worn flat it’s a style feature, but popped up and supported by a tug of the zip, the collar provides some simple protection from inclement weather.

6. Chrome Merino Wool Cobra 3.0

  • UK Flag £189
  • US Flag $185
  • EU Flag €210

Prices are approximate

Material(s): 53% Merino Wool, 44% Polyester, 3% Spandex

Cycling-specific hoodie

Made from merino wool, recycled polyester and spandex

Thumb holes in sleeves

Chrome Industries get their second entry on our list, with the Merino Wool Cobra 3.0 Hoodie. As the name suggests this is the third iteration of the garment. It has a cycling-specific fit with a drop tail for extra coverage when riding, an athletic (slim) fit to prevent it from flapping in the wind and a nice high collar to keep the wearer warm and comfortable, whatever the weather.

Cycling hoodies are definitely not ten-a-penny, especially ones made from merino wool. Like the option from Ministry of Supply, this cycling jacket is made from a blend of merino wool and polyester, but unlike the EcoFleece the Merino Cobra also has Spandex in the material. This triumvirate of materials delivers warmth, breathability and stretch respectively.

A feature not seen on any other jackets in our list, Chrome’s Merino Wool Cobra 3.0 has thumb loops (or holes) in the sleeves. A simple but clever solution to prevent sleeves riding up or a pesky gap appearing between gloves and jacket.

7. PROVIZ Reflect360 Plus Men’s Cycling Jacket

  • UK Flag £85
  • US Flag $100
  • EU Flag €100

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Fully waterproof

Reflective from all directions


Machine washable

ProViz is a big name in the sports world, and their Nightrider jacket doesn’t disappoint. This is the jacket to go for if you’re worried about visibility. Not only is the jacket itself glaringly bright (you can choose between neon pink and the even more vivid yellow) but it comes with massive reflective strips around the shoulders, back and waist. Quite simply, it’s the brightest cycling jacket you’ll find and will ensure that you’re visible in even the lowest light.

That’s not all, though. The material is fully waterproof while retaining breathability and the zip is engineered to prevent water ingress. It also comes with a small “zip garage” at the top. That might not sound like much, but it’s a feature that anyone who has ever experienced neck chaffing will certainly appreciate! Even the cuffs are adjustable. You can widen them for increased airflow in the summer or tighten them to keep the water out in winter. That, of course, makes the jacket an all-season choice.

The collar comes with a soft microfleece. It’s warm and snug and the material is so soft that it’s hardly noticeable – you won’t experience any chafing. Waterproof pockets and an adjustable waistband complete the package.

8. Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket

  • UK Flag £85
  • US Flag $100
  • EU Flag €100

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Fully waterproof

Loose fit

Reflective lighting

Optional hood

Another Rapha variant, this jacket is slightly cheaper than their other addition on the list but it’s still designed with the commute in mind. The jacket is cut loose enough to be worn over a shirt, jumper or blazer, so it’s ideal on the way to the office. It even accommodates backpacks, with a mesh covering around the shoulders for extra breathability. Two pockets offer ample storage space and there’s an optional hood. It can be attached, detached or worn underneath a helmet.

This jacket is all about convenience. It folds down into a compact stuff sack that will fit inside any bag. You also get some reflective dots along the lower back for increased visibility behind. These dots are designed to appear just below any rucksack and at the eye level of motorists, so you should have no problem cycling in low light. The jacket even has an integrated hanger hoop for additional convenience.

Water and windproofing are of course top of the range. The 100% polyester is fully waterproof while remaining breathable. The zip pockets are protected against liquid incursion by stay-down pullers. Seam stitching along the rest of the jacket will keep any moisture out. With its relaxed fit and lightweight fabric, this jacket is the perfect commuter companion.

9. Chrome Storm Salute Commute Jacket

  • UK Flag £189
  • US Flag $215
  • EU Flag €215

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Fully waterproof

Storm hood

Reflective sleeves

Seam sealed

It might come with a hefty price tag, but the Storm Salute more than justifies the outlay. Waterproofing is top of the range due to a 2.5, fully waterproof rain shell.

The pockets are similarly protected to prevent even light water ingress. At the other end of the weather scale, ventilation along the back of the jacket will keep you cool and sweat free.

You also get plenty of storage with a spacious back cargo pocket and an interior one for your phone. The latter is easy access for added convenience. The Storm Salute is one for the style conscious cyclist. Its laid back, clean cut looks give it a modern aesthetic that’s unmatched across other jackets.

That Storm Salute has been able to pair style with functionality is a triumph. The jacket is fully seam sealed, has the second highest waterproofing rating of any on the list and even comes with a fully adjustable storm hood.

A drop tail hem offers protection against splashes from the rear wheel and there are visibility strips along the sleeves, cuffs and lower back. To top things off, this jacket comes with a 365 day warranty. When it comes to style fused with functionality, you can’t go wrong here.

10. Mission Workshop Eiger Jacket

  • UK Flag £850
  • US Flag $1000
  • EU Flag €1000

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: ePTFE

Military grade materials

Wool layer

Temperature regulation

This might well be the best bike commuter jacket ever made. So why is it not #1? Because it’s maddeningly expensive.

Made using Swiss engineered, military grade materials it’s the only ePTFE waterproof/windproof and breathable jacket on the list.

This jacket is more than weatherproof. The Schoeller fabric uses a special membrane to regulate body temperate while keeping water and wind at bay. It will keep you dry and warm (but never too warm) and it’s incredibly breathable.

Full seam tapering keeps even the worst weather at bay and there are premium touches everywhere. You get Italian Riri and German Prym metal snaps, as well as YKK weatherproof zippers. These do more than just give the jacket a stylish look. They guarantee complete imperviousness to water. A wool outer shell completes the package with another warm layer.

It almost goes without saying that a jacket this expensive has a style like no other. The military yet modern aesthetic ensures that it stands out from the crowd.

We love the subtle detailing around the shoulders and the clean lines. If you want a luxury, top of the range jacket that’s likely to last a lifetime, then the Eigar is the best on the market (as long as money is no object!).

11. Rapha Packable Down Jacket

  • UK Flag £240
  • US Flag $325
  • EU Flag €285

Prices are approximate

Material(s): Main: 100% polyester. Insulation: 90% goose down, 10% feather. Lining: 100% polyester.

Packed with ethically sourced down

Two-way zip

Detachable hood

Whether a down jacket constitutes a cycling softshell is up for debate, but Rapha’s Packable Down Jacket, is definitely worthy of a place on our list – it’s not a hardshell jacket that’s for sure!

If you’ve owned a down jacket you can attest to their comfort and warmth. Purchase this jacket and you’ll happily rely on it when cycling in cold weather. The jacket has a relaxed fit designed with comfort on the bike in mind and unlike some other items on our list, the jacket packs down into a stuff sack. A DWR coating will keep the wearer dry in the event of a brief shower.

There are two further features that caught our attention. First, a two-way zip might not sound like the most complex or noteworthy of features but it’s something every cyclist will relish using if they start getting too hot under the collar. Unzip the bottom to enable a cooling waft of air. Further to this, if you ride in a traditional cycling jersey with rear pockets, this feature allows easy access to items stored back there.

The second notable feature is the hood. Now obviously it’s not going to go over a helmet, but it will provide extra warmth should the situation demand it. It’s also detachable.

Best Women’s Commuter Cycling Jackets (Top 4)

  1. Rapha Women’s Commuter Jacket

    A stylish and practical outerwear option for cycling in all weather conditions. It’s waterproof, breathable, and reflective.

  2. Helly Hansen Women’s Ride Cycling Jacket

    A lightweight and durable outer layer designed for optimal comfort and protection while cycling. It’s windproof and water-resistant.

  3. PROVIZ Nightrider Women’s Cycling Jacket 2.0

    A highly reflective and waterproof jacket that ensures maximum visibility and protection during night rides.

  4. Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket

    A breathable and waterproof layer designed for comfortable and stylish cycling in any weather.

Best Women’s Bike Commuter Jacket

1. Rapha Women’s Commuter Jacket

rapha women commuter jacket
  • UK Flag £100
  • US Flag $115
  • EU Flag €115

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Waterproof

5 colour options

Full length waterproof zip


Rapha are well known for producing high quality stylish cycle clothing and this women’s commuter jacket is no exception.

Described as “the definitive jacket for riding to work in wet conditions”, they’ve opted for a durable but lightweight fabric with a hydrophobic membrane.

The seams are also all sealed and the inside of the fabric has a dry touch print so it is breathable. In addition to this the hem is elasticated, and the cuffs have internal storm binding to keep water out.

On the outside, there is a full length waterproof zip which they’ve strategically placed off centre to avoid it rubbing on your chin when zipped up.

A handy hood is also included which can be worn underneath a helmet. This is particularly useful for very heavy rain as it also has an integrated drawcord. The hood can also be easily packed away using a reflective strap.

With regards to visibility, the jacket has a reflective gradient dot print on the tail which is another thoughtful placement so you can wear a backpack and still be seen, especially by drivers as it is in their eyeline.

Available in five colours ranging from grey blue to peach and in sizes XXS to XL, it caters to a wide range of women.

2. Helly Hansen Women’s Ride Cycling Jacket

  • UK Flag £160
  • US Flag $185
  • EU Flag €184

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Waterproof

Drawcord adjustment at hip

Back yoke with ventilation

Weighs only 400g

A Discerning Cyclist tried and tested product, Helly Hansen’s jacket was described in our review as a “great all round waterproof and windproof cycling jacket for commuting or leisure riding” that is “versatile and well thought out” thanks to it being lightweight, waterproof and stylish.

Made from 100% recycled materials, this breathable and windproof 3 layer jacket is aimed at urban riders and commuters so it is good for both you and the planet.

They’ve carefully considered and integrated specific features for cycling including ventilation to keep you cool, a comfortable wicking collar and a trail drop hemline which can be easily adjusted.

Available in white or black, it also has a hood to help during heavier downpours, spacious pockets and reflective elements to keep you visible during darker rides.

3. PROVIZ Nightrider Women’s Cycling Jacket 2.0

  • UK Flag £86
  • US Flag $100
  • EU Flag €100

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Waterproof

Highly breathable

Quick-dry mesh lining

Waterproof storm zip

PROVIZ are world renowned for their cycling jackets so it is no surprise that their Nightrider Women’s Cycling Jacket 2.0 has made this list.

Bursting with features and also colour as it is available in 8 different options, this is another stylish but durable option.

This jacket is particularly suited for riding in the dark as it features PROVIZ’s infamous retro-reflective REFLECT360 material which they have positioned to optimise visibility.

On top of being seen, you’ll also be comfortable and dry as the jacket is both highly breathable and waterproof with sealed seams.

In terms of the design, it has a micro fleece lined collar to keep you warm, quick-dry mesh lining, an adjustable waistband and velcro cuffs, and a waterproof storm zip.

From a practical perspective it has side pockets, is machine washable and only weighs 440g.

4. Rapha Commuter Lightweight Jacket

  • UK Flag £85
  • US Flag $98
  • EU Flag €98

Prices are approximate

Waterproof Rating: Resistant

Integrated stuff sack

Roll down hood

Reflective elements

Another excellent product from Rapha, their Commuter Lightweight Jacket is versatile both on and off the bike.

Featuring a new breathable fabric and a mesh panel over the shoulders, this windproof and water resistant jacket will keep you cool, comfortable and dry if you get caught in any showers en route.

You’ll also be visible on your ride thanks to a reflective pixel print pattern and oversized dot on the lower back which, like their other commuter jacket, has been placed so you can wear a backpack and still be seen. This jacket also has reflective cuffs for when you’re signalling.

Practicality is built into every element of this jacket. Two concealed pockets with zips with stay down pullers mean you can securely store your supplies. A roll down hood means you can stop your hair from getting wet.

When you arrive at your destination, a strategic stuff sack allows you to quickly pack the jacket away and pop it into a bag. Or if you prefer to hang it up, it even has an integrated hanger loop ready to show off the wonderful colour choices of pink, mauve or blue.

Urban Cycling Jacket – FAQs

What is a commuter jacket?

A commuter jacket is a jacket that has been to be practical and functional while you commute to work by bicycle. Typical features of commuter jackets include water resistance, breathable materials, a dropped hem at the back, zipped pockets and stretchy material.

What is the best waterproof cycling jacket?

It depends on your preference, of course. If you’re into style and looks, the Velocio is probably the mens’ best bet, and the Storm Salute from Chrome Industries for women. For something built to last, the Endura coat is ideal, too.

But as a great all-rounder, and one which caters for both genders more than adequately, the Rapha jackets are the best jack of all trades (in our humble opinion, anyway).

What to wear under cycling jacket?

More breathable gear specifically designed for wearing while cycling (i.e. Lycra). 

Riding with a cotton T-shirt underneath will soon leave you saddled with pools of sweat, as they simply don’t have the ability to ‘wick’ it anywhere near as efficiently.

What’s the best way to wash a waterproof jacket?

Brush off any loose mud or dirt, and close any zipped compartments. In a washing machine, don’t wash your waterproof jacket with other items or more than two clothes at a time.

Then, wash and rinse at about 30 degrees, before either air-drying or tumble-drying (only tumble-dry on low or medium heat, though.)

But of course, always check the clothing label for advice, too.

Read More:

Best Urban Cycling Jackets

Just because you want to stay warm and dry on your ride doesn’t mean you can’t look good too.

Find stylish cycling jackets for everyday life by reading our reviews and style guides below.

Whether you’re an urban commuter or just like riding your bike around the city, your jacket is one of the most important clothing considerations make.

Regular jackets often don’t fare well when cycling as sleeves ride up your arm, the material is too short on your back and therefore exposing your rear, while warm jackets can often prove too hot when you’re cycling.

Therefore, finding a good commuter cycling jacket can help dramatical improve your comfort on rides.

But Discerning Cyclist isn’t focussed on just functionality. I also love clothes that look good and don’t scream: “CYCLIST!” every where you go. I focus on the sweet spot that combines practicality with style, showcasing products that you can enjoy on your ride and that look great at your destination.

In this guide, I’ll help you find the best urban cycling jackets for stylish city commuters, looking at what features and materials you should look for in a casual cycling jacket, as well as look at the different types of gear available, such as waterproof bike jackets, breathable cycling jackets, packable jackets, hi-vis and reflective cycling jackets, as well as hardy winter cycling jackets.

I’ll also show you some of the best urban cycling brands and places to buy stylish cycling jackets – regardless of whether you live in the UK, Europe, America or Canada.

READ: Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets for Stylish Urban Riders

To kick start your search for the best bike jacket for your needs, I’m going to take a look at some special features and materials to look out for.

Features and Materials to Look Out For

Weather is a key factor to consider when you want to buy a commuter cycling jacket. Do you want to keep the rain off? Do you want to stay warm? Do you want to be visible? Do you just want a waterproof cycling jacket you can throw in your bag in case of a surprise downpour? Or do you just want a good all-round jacket to get your through the cooler months?

Getting a jacket that fits well for cycling is also important, as regular jackets can often ride up on the sleeves and back and provide little in the way of stretch – which is useful for cyclists.

Another useful feature for cyclists is finding jackets with reflective material. This can range from full on hi-vis cycling jackets, to more subtle reflective detailing on the jacket.

Hoods are often over-looked on jackets for road cyclists as these types of cyclists often want to stay as aero-dynamic as possible, but for the everyday commuter cyclist going through a city – a hood – ideally a packable hood – is a very welcome feature and one that you’re grateful for in an unexpected downpour.

The last feature I want to discuss is pockets. Pockets are so often overlooked when designing urban cycling jackets. But having a good couple of hand pockets – ideally with zips – are hugely useful for commuters and something I consider integral when I’m picking out a new bike jacket.

What’s the Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Jackets?

When it comes to waterproof cycling clothing (or waterproof anything for that matter) it’s important to understand that this is not a black and white feature, but instead a scale. Just because something’s water resistant doesn’t mean it’ll keep you bone dry in a heavy down pour.

But there are pros and cons of waterproof cycling jackets too, as, typically, is something is waterproof – it normally isn’t breathable – meaning you may be dry on the outside but wet from sweat on the inside – an equally uncomfortable feeling. With water resistant jackets though, it’s possible that the material can also breathe more. It’s therefore important to figure out where to draw your own line on keeping water outside and staying cool inside.

In particular, what do the IPX ratings actually mean? Well, the IPX ratings range from IPX0 to IPX8 and below is a breakdown of what each represents.

IPX Rating System Summary

What is IPX0?This is not at all water resistant. Like paper.

What is IPX1?Provides minimal protection from dripping water (up to 1mm rainfall per minute).

What is IPX2?Provides minimal protection from dripping water (up to 3mm rainfall per minute) when at a 15˚ angle.

What is IPX3?Protects from spraying water (at any angle up to 60˚) of up to 0.7 litres per minute with water pressure 80-100kPa.

What is IPX4?If you want to stay dry in “normal” rain, this is what you should be aiming for. IPX4 protects from splashing water in any direction, dealing with up to 10 litres of water per minute (with water pressure of up to 80-100kPa).

What is IPX5?VERY waterproof clothing. Can deal with a storm in any direction. Tested by having water jets sprays at it for three minutes with 12.5 litres of water firing at it per minute.

What is IPX6?Overkill for cycling. Can go swimming in this stuff.

What is IPX7?See above.

Basically, if you want to stay completely dry on the outside, IPX4 or IPX5 gear will do so. IPX2 and IPX3 is what you’d call “water resistant” with most water rolling off the surface of the material.

The alternative to the IPX rating system is the Waterproof Rating (mm), which some other cycling brands use. Below is a summary of this system.

Waterproof Rating System Summary

Rating 0 – 1,500Not resistant. Fine for dry weather.

Rating 1,500 – 5,000Light resistance and snow proof. Okay for light rain and dry snow.

Rating 5,000 – 10,000Waterproof under light pressure and rainproof. Okay for light to moderate rain and average snow.

Rating 10,000 – 15,000Waterproof and rainproof unless under high pressure. Okay for moderate rain and quite heavy snow.

Rating 15,000 – 20,000Waterproof and rainproof even under high pressure. Okay for heavy rain and wet snow.

Rating 15,000 – 20,000Monster. Is very waterproof and rainproof in the most extreme pressure. Okay for any weather on Planet Earth.

Types of Urban Cycling Jacket

While there are some good all-round cycling jackets out there, finding the best cycling commuter jacket is more of a personal thing – depending on your needs. Obviously features can be combined, but generally cycling jackets go in certain directions, i.e. waterproof jackets, lightweight and packable jackets, reflective cycling jackets and cosy winter bike jackets. Below I’ll take a look each type of bike commuter jackets.

Waterproof Cycling Jacket

Having a really waterproof cycling jacket is an important piece of gear to have for any cyclist who lives in wetter climes – i.e. Britain.

But just because you want something to keep you dry, doesn’t mean you have to cycle around looking like you’re wearing a bin bag – or even wear a bin bag, come to that.

There are loads of stylish urban cycling rain jackets out there, but you can find some of my favourites – and contenders for the best waterproof cycling jacket – by following the link below.

READ: Best Waterproof Cycling Jackets for Stylish Urban Riders

Lightweight Cycling Jacket

When cycling in the spring or summer, a lightweight cycling jacket can help take the slight chill out of the air in an evening and ensure you keep enjoying your rides.

Lightweight bike jackets are normally made out of materials like, while you can obviously find jackets that also combine water resistant properties, such as the polyamide nylon, and reflective detailing, such as Resolute Bay’s LS2 jacket – which features discreet reflective pin striping across the jacket, as well as IPX5 waterproof properties and even a detachable hood.

Breathable Cycling Jacket

Just because something’s light doesn’t mean it’s breathable… and so it’s important to know whether you want a lightweight jacket that will simply keep you warm or a breathable cycling jacket that also helps your body breathe on your rides.

Breathable bike jackets come in many different forms, but they typically aren’t found in waterproof materials – although special vents under the arm pits and on the back and chest can help provide.

Packable Cycling Jacket

The quintessential packable jacket is the Kag in a Bag, something I always associate with school trips. But packable cycling jackets have come a long way from these waterproof emergency jackets – you can get some really stylish packable jackets now that you can easily throw in a bag in case of an unexpected downpours.

One of my favourite packable cycling jackets that is great for a light shower is the UNIQLO Pocketable Parker Jacket, which features a cool pattern and can easily rolled up and thrown in a bag. It’s extremely lightweight, water-resistant, looks decent and has two front zipper pockets – and all for a reasonable £24.90.

If you want a waterproof packable jacket though, rather than just a water-resistant light rain number, Blacks have a number of packaway jackets for both men and women.

Of course, you can really go cheap by using disposable waterproof ponchos (the kind of things you often see at festivals) and you can get these for just a few quid on Amazon, but if you do, make sure you get biodegradable ones so that they’re not still lingering on the planets hundreds of years after you used it once or twice.

Reflective Cycling Jacket

When you say reflective or hi-vis cycling jackets, people will often think of a bright yellow jacket similar to what a steward would wear. And while you can get super practical and safe hi-vis jackets like this from the likes of Proviz, there are also stylish reflective cycling jackets available, which disguise their hi-vis functionality in daylight to look like regular jackets.

The Resolute Bay LS2 is one such example of this type of jacket, with the reflective detailing in this jacket hidden in vertical pinstripes, and they don’t become apparent until exposed to bright light – in which moment they do a fine job of making you visible.

Also, as an alternative to reflective or hi-visibility cycling jackets, a few brands now create cycling jackets with lights on, meaning you’re not reliant on third-party light to be seen. LUMO is one such brand that has stylish cycling jackets with flashing lights, although they do cost a pretty penny.

Winter Cycling Jacket

If you’re exposed to freezing cold conditions in winter, then you may well need a no-nonsense winter cycling jacket for commuters, something that will keep you warm and dry whatever the weather.

A thermal cycling jacket is one option, which could come in the form of a simple fleece, but a proper winter bike jacket you really want to be ready for anything.

Soft Shell Bike Jacket

While some people prefer hardy waterproof cycling jackets, soft shell bike jackets are also popular as they are better suited to day-to-day life, while offering a basic level of water-resistance. The materials use in a softshell bike jacket are typically softer – as the name suggests – and also more breathable. Which is an important consideration to make, because although you may be keeping the rain out, you’ll likely be creating your own moisture as your body cannot breathe. Hence, apart from in extreme rain, it’s typically better to wear a softshell cycling jacket instead of a waterproof bike jacket.

Hooded Cycling Jacket

When it comes to road cycling jackets, many of them don’t have hoods as they look to stay as aero-dynamic as possible, but that isn’t such a high priority of urban commuters who just want to arrive dry at their destination.

There are plenty of waterproof cycling jackets with hoods around, although I especially like hoods that can be zipped or buttoned away on my rides – so you’re not fighting headwinds more than you need to.

Again, the Resolute Bay LS2 reflective jacket is a great option as it has a removable hood – giving you the best of both worlds.

Best Urban Cycling Jackets for Men

In terms of multi-functional men’s cycling jackets that look good, I have two favourites that I use on a regular basis.

The first  is the Resolute Bay LS2 jacket, which I’ve previously discussed. This jacket tickets a lot of boxes with lot of reflective detailing, a waterproof/resistant outer, plenty of vents to keep it breathable, as well zipped pockets and removable hood. You really can’t ask for much more from a lightweight urban bike jacket – and that’s why it’s one of the very urban cycling jackets for men.

My second favourite isn’t highly functional. Nor is it particularly water resistant. But it is light as anything and can be packed away into a tiny bag that it comes with. It is though, less than £25 and looks pretty chic for a packaway jacket. It is the UNIQLO Pocketable Parker and it comes with me pretty much everywhere I go – especially on those will-it-won’t-it cloudy days in spring and autumn.

Best Urban Cycling Jackets for Women

Women’s cycling jackets with lots of functionality and style are possibly even more plentiful than the options for men, as I discussed in our Stylish Waterproof Cycling Jackets for Men and Women post.

Bike jackets for women are in no short supply, with brands like As Bold As, AGU and Craft leading the charge for stylish female cyclists.

Cheap Urban Cycling Jackets

Unfortunately, with great multi-functional products also comes great price tags. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t affordable and even cheap urban cycling jackets out there that pack in some useful functionality.

With stylish cycling clothes in general, I always recommend checking out UNIQLO if you’re on a budget. Although not built specifically for cycling, lots of the UNIQLO range features breathable and stretchy material, but for a very reasonable price.

The UNIQLO packable jacket is one of my favourite items and I have it in my bag (or on back) nearly all the time. At just £24.90 it’s one of the best cheap rain jackets for cycling (that actually looks good) you can find.

Another cheap place for cycling clothes is Decathlon. In particular, if you’re after something a cheap hi-vis cycling jacket, the B’TWIN 500 Hi Vis Waterproof Urban Cycling Jacket is an absolute warrior (although not the prettiest) and costs just £34.99.

Urban Commuter Cycling Jacket Reviews

With Discerning Cyclist I’m always reviewing urban commuter cycling jackets, and you can read some of them below to get a more in-depth view of these products.

These have been some of the best urban cycling jackets for commuters that I’ve reviewed…

But these are also worth checking out:

Find Stylish Urban Cycling Clothes for Commuters

Discerning Cyclist was created to help bridge the gap between and style and functionality – and showcase the most stylish urban cycling clothes for commuters. Thanks for reading this guide on the best cycling commuter jackets, but you can read more about other topics in the links below.

READ: Best Cycling Jeans for Men + Women

READ: Best Cycling Chinos and Urban Trousers

READ: Best Urban Cycling Trousers for Stylish Commuters

READ: Best Urban Cycling Shorts

READ: Stylish Cycling Shirts for Men

READ: Best Urban Cycling Shirts + Tees

Where to Buy an Urban Cycling Jacket

Of course, when you’re buying an urban cycling jacket online, it’s important to make sure you’re shopping appropriately for your area and won’t be stung by slow delivery, expensive delivery costs and customs charges.

In the tables below, I’ve put together some of the best places to buy urban cycling jackets in the UK, US, Canada and Europe.

Best Places to Buy Urban Cycling Jackets

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