We’ve tested 18 of the best winter cycling jackets to find out which will keep you snug and dry this winter.

Find more group tests from Triathlon Plus in our other best triathlon gear reviews.

B’TWIN MEMBRANE JACKET
£54.99
Weight 410g Sizes S-XXXL
decathlon.co.uk


With a big expansion of their sports supermarche empire already announced, Decathlon are set to become a very big player in the equipment market. Judging by this jacket that’s great news for fans of simple, cost-effective clothing. The furry fleece interior makes for a cosy feel straight away, and the snug fit gets a tall collar and dropped tail with deep gripper strip to keep the hem in place. The sleeves also get flared ends with a soft double cuff for a draft free connection to all types of gloves. Very handy for keeping warm blood flowing to the fingers. The same faced and fleecey fabric throughout means wind and weatherproofing is excellent, but sweat builds up quickly once you or the pace heats up, which on a long ride can make it uncomfortable.  The pockets are well positioned but can prove to be a real fight even when you’re not wearing gloves. But that is a small fault compared to the excellent overall package on offer.

Verdict
Tight pockets and potentially sweaty but great weatherproofing and fit for the money.

Performance 3/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

DHB WINDSLAM ROUBAIX
£63.99
Weight 420g Sizes S-XXL
wiggle.co.uk

Dhb’s windslam is a weather protected jersey rather than a full softshell (they do one of those too) but it’s a versatile spring/autumn top at a competitive price. The fleecey Roubaix fabric is instantly cosy, it wicks and dries reasonably quickly to cope with showers and sweat and it feels comfortable against the skin. Windproof chest, sleeves and high back flapped collar add the weatherproof element and even when sopping wet it stays pretty warm in single digit temperatures.  Fit is fairly baggy so size down for snugness as the panelled stretch fabric, taped cuffs and a silicon hem gripper keep wrists and rump covered. The two outside pockets are open topped with the right hand one also getting a small zipped stash, while the middle pocket gets a cash-bag style flap and a sweat guard lining to protect whatever you’ve got in there. There’s a lighter weight fabric Windslam jersey (£48.99) for milder days too.

Verdict
Versatile, good value, weatherproofed and surprisingly warm jersey. Size down for snugness though.

Performance 3/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

ENDURA WINDCHILL
£75.99
Weight 540g Sizes S-XXL
endura.co.uk

This top sits halfway between reinforced jerseys and a full softshell, offering enough protection for cold climates at the expense ofsweaty sleeves. Typically for Endura it’s loaded with features such as zipped armpit vents for lowering core temperature, chest pocket with glass wipe cloth and headphone port plus a waterproof zipped stash pocket added to the three traditional back pockets.  The Windchill front and arm panels offer high levels of rain protection and total windproofing. Hot blooded riders will be happy through winter with just a thin base layer underneath. Generous trunk and sleeve length mean no draughts, but the fit is boxy rather than slim. It’s a sign of how far fabric and jacket design has moved on though that this previously benchmark performer now seems distinctly sweaty. Even with the armpit zips open, lack of wicking through the proofed panels – particularly the reflective sections – rapidly meant sodden baselayer sleeves on higher intensity rides.

Verdict
Soggy sleeves, but still a versatile, good value  top for longer, steadier rides.

Performance 3/5
Value 4/5
Overall 3/5

POLARIS TORNADO
£79.99
Weight 380g Sizes S-XXL
polaris-apparel.co.uk

The new tornado does a good job of keeping the weather out, but it’s not suitable for heavy sweaters. Again it’s a windfronted jacket rather than a full softshell but the snakeskin effect windproof panels on chest and arms will shrug off a lot of water. Thumb loops are a nice touch on the end of super long arms and the long tail elasticated and gripper stripped tail comes right down over your bum. The Thermastretch fabric is soft enough to sit against skin and it’s naturally warm when you put it on.  The four rear pockets are enhanced with a zipped stash for valuables too.Unfortunately the price shows in the performance of the weatherproof sections. The elbow darts added to offset lack of stretch in the fabric suck in water that runs off your shoulders and biceps so forearms end up wetter and colder than they would otherwise. It doesn’t wick well either so even if it’s dry, you won’t be for long. The sleeves were still wet the next day which was rather unpleasant and very disappointing.

Verdict
Attractive price, but lower performance materials undermine dryness and fit.

Performance 2/5
Value 3/5
Overall 2/5

BONTRAGER THERMAL WINDBLOCK
£89.99
Weight
520g Sizes S-XXXL
bontrager.com

Bontrager’s windblock jacket is a properly protective Euro style training top, which is great for long base training rides, but it gets warm quickly if the pace or intensity increases.  The outer weatherproof fabric is low on stretch and crinkly in feel, but it’ll bounce pretty much any weather off for as long as all but the best sealed hardshells. It’s comfy on long descents even in frosty conditions too, with only a bit of chill from the stretchy side panels. Body and sleeve length are generous to stop drafts and there’s a traditional three pocket line-up at the back. The high collar treads a fine line between being cosy and a choker though, particularly if you’ve got a swimmer’s neck. The bold reflective graphics aid visibility and make every ride feel like a team training camp. The weatherproof front and back do create a hot pork sandwich as soon as you start to pick the pace up though. Even on rolling terrain/changing pace rides it takes a while to wick and dry out.

Verdict
High protection for price but best suited to longer, steadier rather than hot and hard sessions.

Performance 3/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

ALTURA ERGOFIT WINDPROOF
£99.99
Weight 390g Sizes S-XXL
zyro.co.uk

Smart design makes Altura’s new Ergofit jacket a premium-feeling, weather-beating winter top at a very cost effective price. Multi-panel sleeves and cunning shoulder cut are properly tailored to your riding position. Mini cuff sections seal gloves, a soft extended hem stops back drafts and neck is tall for warmth without being a strangler. The Repel weatherproof sleeve, front and shoulder panels are relatively light weight (as is the whole jacket) so the first frosty descent of the day will feel chilly. Once you’re up to riding pace it’s just right for most winter conditions and a fair amount of spring and autumn rides too. The fleecey inner is comfy over a thin short sleeve base layer. Thinner side panels and back mean it doesn’t overheat when you’re pushing the pace plus it dries quickly after rain and hard climbs. Three normal pockets are enhanced with a zipped stash and there’s a white version as well as the high-vis one here.

Verdict
Great fit and decent fabric create a standout winter training top for the money.

Performance 4/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Top Value Award, issue 35

Left to right: Nalini, Northwave, Mavic

NALINI PIKE THERMO
£109.99
Weight 410g Sizes S-XXL
chickencycles.co.uk

nalini’s weather beater is another old-school Euro style training top that’s best for long steady rides rather than short blasts.  The MANTOVENT fabric is impressive in terms of weather proofing, with all but the most prolonged rain just rolling off. Even the first frosty descent of the day didn’t drill into our core temperature either. Teflon coating helps resist staining too. The tall collar, extended gum-strip back and long sleeves mean no gaps either. Three pockets at the back keep your feeding and fixing to hand too. While the old-school look will appeal to some riders, the cut is a basic feeling and fitting ‘70s tracksuit’ style. The hard scratchy fabric is really obvious where it’s turned inside out on the seams, particularly around the neck. This less than ideal interior undermines the otherwise comfy fleecey ‘broad bean pod’ feel. The wicking performance is low too, so expect lingering sweat even at relatively low exertion levels.

Verdict
High protection, but stiff, scratchy fabric and  sweat levels don’t match up to the price.

Performance 2/5
Value 2/5
Overall 2/5

NORTHWAVE BLADE SELECTIVE PROTECT
£109.99
Weight 390g Sizes M-XL
chickencycles.co.uk

North wave’s selective Protect version of their Blade jacket is a decent all-rounder at a decent price. Selective Protect means the weather resistant 4Pro membrane is just used on the front facing parts and upper back to give leading-edge wind and shower protection. While it’s a bit chilly on long or cold descents – particularly through the sleeves – overall warmth levels are satisfactory for most wintery conditions and workloads. If you do build up steam on a long climb or hammer session then it pulls away from your base layer quickly and it dries well after showers too. Three back pockets are fitted with a zipped stash. Long sleeves combined with sticky hems stop the drafts even if you’re really stretched out.  The big flap over the zip will be liked by bearded riders but it’s a bit of a fight to get past with gloved hands. That’s the only niggle we’ve got with an otherwise solid performer though.

Verdict
Relatively simple design but actual on-bike performance is fine for the price.

Performance 3/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

MAVIC CYCLONE
£115
Weight 340g Sizes XXS-XL
mavic.com

Mavic’s altium collection is their premium performance line and the new Cyclone is a very
light, beautifully fitted take on the ‘reinforced
jersey’ idea. The Tech Dry ST fabric covers the leading edges of sleeves and shoulders to shrug off showers and serious windchill without worry. The superbly shaped Ergo Cuffs extends right down over your gloves, the shaped collar comes right up and the windproofing also wraps round the kidney area. This means that while you’ll get frozen armpits and a bit of a shiver on frosty descents it’s generally a lot warmer than you’d expect as long as you keep moving. The high stretch Ride Wick Warm fabric wicks really quick well, and the multi panel cut gives a great riding shape. The asymmetric zip takes a
bit of getting used to it but stops strangling and chunky zips are easy to pull with gloves. A chest pocket and zipped stash on the triple rear pockets deal with cargo and it comes in a wide range of sizes.

Verdict
Excellent fit and performance for those who want to get their head down and hammer whatever the weather.

Performance 4/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

Left to right: Sugoi, Craft, Spiuk

SUGOI FIREWALL 220
£119.99
Weight 440g Sizes S-XXL
cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk

This high performance multi-purpose jacket is a great option for triathletes who don’t mind not having back pockets. The cord-adjusted dropped tail, extended cuffs shaped to shield gloves and tall neck certainly give good on-bike draft stopping. The multi-panel windproofing covers sleeves, chest and shoulders and it shrugs off showers and fast early morning descents fine. A web of wicking material on the thin knitted fabric gives good stretch and mobility for riding or running and it shifts sweat quickly too. That means it’s great for hot bodies or hard workouts but there’s not masses of insulation for slow and steady rides or more frigid folks. The slim casual – rather than overly fitted – cut won’t suit everyone but it’s casual enough to wear off the bike. Zipped handwarmer pockets on the front rather than the traditional three pocket rear makes styling more urban. You obviously can’t carry much on the bike without it bouncing off your legs and belly though.

Verdict
Lightweight, high performance ride or run jacket  for those who don’t want back pockets.

Performance 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

CRAFT ELITE WINTER JERSEY
£133.00
Weight 380g Sizes S-XL
united-brands.co.uk

Swedish brand craft will be well known amongst those with a running background but they also do an extensive range of bike gear.  At under 400g it’s an immediately light and mobile fit and the furry fleece interior feels warm. The laminated fabric on the sleeve fronts, shoulders and upper body is good and wind and shower-proof and the tall collar uses a thinner windproof fabric too. Long, cold descents will leave you cold up to your armpits though so squeeze your elbows in to avoid a shiver. The thinner fleece back means it regulates temperature and sweat well on longer faster rides though, with no lingering sogginess even on long uphill slogs. The slim well-shaped fit includes cowled glove covering sleeves, with a rubber pull tag on the left handed cuff. The tail isn’t particularly long but a silicon hem stops it riding up. Three big conventional back pockets are augmented with a zipped security stash and the whole jacket feels nicely thought out and put together.

Verdict
Quality semi-softshell that’s slim and lightweight  but still warm and weatherproof.

Performance 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

SPIUK ELITE JACKET
£139.95
Weight 390g Sizes S-XXL
silverfish-uk.com

From experience Spanish cyclists are in full winter gear when we’d still be in shorts here and Spiuk’s top softshell isn’t short on performance or style. Typically for Mediterranean clothes, sizing is on the small size, so if you may need to go up one from the usual. The multi-panel sleeves are plenty long enough and fit really well, with no flapping but no blood cut off either. The silicon detailed tail stays in position well but the tall collar was a choker for testers with well connected heads. The weatherproof M2V Elite membrane fabric on leading edges is mixed with stretchy Super Roubaix fleece, with embossed back detailing for a good balance of chill stopping without excess sweat build up. There are zipped vents to help manage core temperature too although the tabs on them and the ribbons on the zipped rear pockets are hard to grab with gloved fingers. The unproofed lower front section is right over your bladder too, which is uncomfortable on descents.

Verdict
Small sizing and hard to grab zips, but otherwise a proper premium feel and look for the price.

Performance 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

Left to right: Lous Garneau, 2XU, Gore

LOUIS GARNEAU MASSIMO
£139.99
Weight 420g Sizes XS-XXL
evanscycles.com

This lightweight top from Canada isn’t cheap but it’s a deceptively protective and versatile jacket. that’ll take hard working or naturally hot riders right through winter as well as the months either side. The lightweight WindDry 12k fabric is stretchy despite impressive wet/wind protection. The well shaped sleeves with very good windproofing on the forearms and soft extenders over your gloves mean your hands stay warm. Kidneys are protected by windproof panels either side of the spine and the long tail gets a sticky gripper to cover your bum. Stretch side panels mean you’ll be clenching your teeth against the extreme cold. You’ll be glad of the thinner panels to delay sweating once you start working hard on climbs or pushing your heart rate. The fleecey inner wicks well throughout too, so any soggy spots don’t linger for long. Three pockets on the back give good cargo capacity while the zipped chest pocket gets an internal headphone jack.

Verdict
Expensive, but a quality feel and deceptively well protected, particularly in wetter conditions.

Performance 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

2XU BLADE MEMBRANE CYCLE JACKET
£165
Weight 500g Sizes XS-XXL
tclsports.co.uk

2XU’s heavyweight top fights off the worst winter weather impressively well. Fit and warmth won’t suit everyone though. The 10:8 membrane is very nearly waterproof, so while rain will eventually seep in through the seams and come in quick through the thinner back panel, it’s trawler-tough when hammering into a storm. It’s surprisingly breathable and quick to dry too, although the high insulation levels mean it’s best suited to more cold-blooded riders. The tall neck means no cringing in the rain, but the short hem can ride up and leave a gap despite having a silicon gripper. The simple gathered – rather than cowled or double cuffed – sleeves tend to leave a wrist gap. There’s plenty of room in the multi-panel cut for a those with larger chests and it’s casual enough to wear off the bike. Chest pocket has a headphone slot but watch long items don’t fall out of the steeply sloped side pockets.

Verdict
Great protection for the worst weather,  but simple fit can leave drafty gaps.

Performance 3/5
Value 2/5
Overall 2/5

GORE BIKE WEAR XENON SO
£179.99
Weight 440g Sizes S-XXL
gorebikewear.co.uk

Gore’s latest Windstopper jacket is a great example of the cutting edge of clothing technology. With several less aggressively styled Windstopper jackets in their range, Gore have given the Xenon an unashamedly close fitting, welded seam ‘aero’ cut. There’s no protection compromise though as the back of the collar comes up in a high soft flange, the long tail gets a logo gripper and the half forearm length zippers close the sculpted cuffs right down or open for venting. There are zips at the side of the chest for more airflow too, with a zipped stash pocket and three conventional pockets out back. The thin Windstopper fabric and jersey fabric on flanks and underarms mean you’ll whimper on long frosty descents until you’re up to temperature. Wet weather protection is excellent though. Fabric performance, close cut and the potential to vent means it’s an outstandingly comfortable and dry feeling jacket on long, hard runs and well worth the extra money.

Verdict
The ultimate fit, comfort and weather beating performance for hard and fast riders.

Performance 5/5
Value 4/5
Overall 5/5
Triathlon Plus Gold Award, issue 35

Left to right: Scott, Castelli, Pearl Izumi

SCOTT LIMITED PLUS
£199
Weight 410g Sizes S-XXL
scott-sports.com

Scott’s close-fitting Windstopper training jacket is super comfortable and adds some nice new colour choices despite being rather expensive. The slim fit with Windstopper upper and sleeves and thinner Super Roubaix and Roubaix back mark this out as a performance piece straight away. The multi-panel cut wraps round really well in a riding position. The tall collar, long tail with silicon gripper and neat double cuff mean no drafts get in however icy the conditions or stretched out you are. There’s the inevitable slight chill on descents but weather protection is excellent, shrugging off all but the most prolonged rain and staying warm even then. Small zipped vents at the top of your arms add some air flow to add to an already good wicking and drying performance and it’s a very comfy top to ride in. The rear pockets are extremely tight to get into with gloves on though and the overall price is high when you compare it with similar Windstopper products from other brands.

Verdict
Really comfortable and weatherproof fit and forget training top, but expensive compared to others.

Performance 4/5
Value 2/5
Overall 3/5

CASTELLI ESPRESSO DUE
£230
Weight 530g Sizes S-XXXL
saddleback.co.uk

If you can afford it Castelli’s luxurious Windstopper jacket offers beautifully tailored, super cosy winter weather protection. The Windstopper X fabric is thicker than most in the family, with a looped knit that increases stretchiness as well as insulation. Pleated shoulders give fantastic arm mobility while the long logo gripper hem and flip up silicon coated collar seal out the winter elements.  A full wicking panel down the back helps suck sweat off your skin and small chest vents and zipped wrists add some air cooling but this is still one hot and sweaty jacket if you’re going hard in milder weather. It’s the only one we’d front out a whole sub-zero day of snow or sleet in though. Sublimated logos in the wrist darts, rubberised Tricolore logo, internal MP3 pocket with headphone port and overall fit all reinforce the premium feel and excuse the high asking price.

Verdict
Properly luxurious and cosy jacket for seriously cold or less strenuous rides.

Performance 5/5
Value 3/5
Overall 4/5
Triathlon Plus Peak Performer Award, issue 35

PEARL IZUMI P.R.O SOFTSHELL 3X1
£299.99
Weight 720g Sizes XS-XXL
madison.co.uk

Pearl Izumi’s combo jacket offers ultimate winter weather protection in a versatile semi casual cut, but you’d have to live somewhere proper cold to really reap its value. The main element is a Cocona fabric softshell jacket which provides extremely impressive weather and windproofing for a thin, fast breathing fabric. The combination of relaxed cut and pleated elbow details gives it great mobility too and it’s fine for running in or walking the dog. Two zipped chest and one rear pocket give it a casual feel too. Generous sleeves, tall collar and dropped (but not sticky) tail give ample sealing on the bike though and there’s even a removeable balaclava poppered into the collar. The third element is a thin Primaloft inner jacket that clips neatly into place without affecting mobility. It copes with temperatures way below anything you’re likely to see regularly in this country and wicking slows right down too, making actual UK practicality limited this side of an ice age.

Verdict
A beautiful piece of combo kit, but needs serious cold and long alpine descents to make it worthwhile.

Performance 5/5
Value 3/5
Overall 3/5

Find more group tests from Triathlon Plus in our other best triathlon gear reviews.

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