Staying warm and dry is essential during the winter months and a good waterproof jacket can be the difference between embracing the elements and being beaten by them! We've been out on the bike in all sorts of weather putting various coats through the wringer to bring a list of the best mountain bike jackets we've tested.
As well as the top performing jackets we've tested, we've also written a 'Buyer's Guide' so you know what makes a good waterproof riding coat and you can get to know your breathability ratings from your taped seams. Read on for our top-rated coats, just click on the picture of the jacket to go straight to the full review.
The AlpKit Gravitas jacket is an ultralight waterproof with a minimalist build, perfect for fast moving outdoor sports. It certainly managed to deliver the goods out on the bike. We were impressed with the level of breathability, helped by the thin fabric it is made from. The jacket is also is properly waterproof - our tester spent three hours in heavy rain checking this fact out. The seams held up and the only place water found a way in was through the neck, as it crept down from his head. In a range of temperatures, it kept its breathability, and it has been fine up to around 12 degrees, which is about as warm as it got while raining in the test period. With a pack on, there was a degree of sweaty back, but nothing to get upset about, and it soon dried out. Good job Alpkit!
Ion’s aesthetically cool and ergonomically hot products are forging quite a name for themselves in the bike world. The 3 layer waterproof Shelter jacket continues this foray with a host of features and performance highlights although minor issues with fit and shape could question the high-end price tag. That said, our tester reported that the lightweight and flexible material is superbly unobtrusive on the bike, feels great against the skin and is outstandingly breathable, one of the best he's ever tested. During the test period it got covered it in muck time and time again and been out in some truly biblical downpours where it never missed a beat, never leaked and always kept the rider comfortable. It looks uber-cool, oozes quality and performs with some of the very best, you’ll have to save some pennies mind!
Altura’s flagship waterproof jacket, the Five/40, oozes quality and performs well but a few ergonomic woes and a leaky zip mean you’ll have to love its aesthetics to part with your hard-earned. Aesthetically is where the Five/40 shines, its uber cool, especially in the burgundy colour we tested with its fluro green accents. Altura has worked really hard to improve their mountain bike image and the Five/40 is a prime example of that achievement. The adjustable dropped rear hem and hood work well and can easily be cinched in with one hand, should you want to do so on the move. The Five/40 oozes quality in its construction, feel and cool aesthetics, at £169.99, it does promise good value when similar jackets are priced a fair bit higher but its technical bloopers must be a consideration.
Donned with several technical acronyms, the Mayhem 2 is Altura’s all day waterproof trail riding jacket. With a waterproof and breathability rating of 20k/20k, it offers high end protection and comfort, packaged into a well priced piece of kit at £119.99. All in all, the Mayhem 2 proved to be quite a jacket, especially when you consider its humble price tag which could have potentially been a boil-in-a-bag-rice-sack. A good performer for the wonga and with what appears to be a very durable construction. Altura is certainly a brand worth keeping your eyes on, new things are a’coming so they tell us.
We will be updating this list as we test more kit receiving a score of 3.5 and above - check back again for more!
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