What is best for me?fanyuying
A good cycling waterproof jacket is designed to keep your top half protected from the elements whilst also letting out the moisture that inevitably builds up. It also needs to be relatively hard wearing, easy to move about it and covering you well too when riding. The choice of waterproof jackets available to mountain bikers is widening, the coats on offer are getting more stylish, more comfortable and crucially better performing.
There are a multitude of different flavours too from thin, packable numbers to hardy thick shells to withstand the worst mud and the best crashes. With this comes a wide range of price options too, generally you do get what you pay, pricier jackets tend to have better waterproofing and breathability ratings and therefore are superior performers, but there are exceptions to the rule too!
Some if not most of your winter riding will be in damp and cold conditions so a waterproof jacket of some kind is going to be necessary. Whether you need something light to tuck in your pocket in case of showers, or you need a heavy-duty coat capable of fending off the worst of the weather is up to you. If your normal rides are within the 1-2 hour range and you are never too far from the car park then something lighter and more packable will be right up your street. If you are usually out for over 2 hours and a fair old distance from civilisation then you’d be better off spending money on something with a higher waterproof and breathability rating (see below), one that has all the bells and whistle’s too – waterproof zips, a big hood and good coverage at the rear. Chances are if you are out for a longer time, you’ll have a larger pack to stuff the coat in if the weather changes.