Winter bike jackets: 4 of the best reviewed

To enjoy your winter bike training sets, you’ll need a breathable jacket that deflects wind, rain and the cold. And hopefully looks alright in the pub. Testing four winter bike jackets is Adam Leitch

Credit: Steve Sayers

Sundried Zero Thermal



Stylish Brit brand Sundried has kept its focus on making this jacket as warm as possible. On test it delivers on that front and also proves to be reasonably – if not outstandingly – breathable. The makers further boast it’d continue to deliver warmth even when temperatures drop as low as -5°C, which makes it a good choice for those really cold winter days. Three big pockets at the rear make storage easy, while the addition of a security zip pocket is welcome. The jacket is waterproof and windproof, and does look fairly stylish both on and off the bike, meaning it could have a dual use if required. It’s deliberately designed to be a tight fit, which aids in delivering warmth to the rider, but be wary when ordering that it does come up small. 

Verdict: A strong and stylish contender at the low-mid range bike jacket price point 85%

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Pedal ED Yuki


Curious why this jacket is called Yuki? Well, it’s the Japanese for snow, which hints at this creation’s focus from the Japan-hailing brand Pedal Ed. Warmth is the order of the day and the jacket is certainly one that you could happily take out when the thermometer plummets. It delivers as promised, with a snug and comfortable fit and an inner fleece that’s breathable but provides plenty of warmth. On the roads it proves to have good waterproofing even in heavy rain and it promises to deliver the same if you’re riding in snow. The four pockets offer excellent variation in sizes to allow for further storage of warm weather gear, energy gels and bars, and even a phone and wallet. It boasts a stylish look and is only let down by a lack of visibility, as the odd patches of white struggle to truly stand out in dull light conditions.

Verdict: One for the coldest of weather, but lacking in the visibility stakes 83%

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Gore C5 Shakedry1985


Gore have constructed one of the most technology-laden cycling jackets you could wish for, and one that oozes quality. It’s incredibly lightweight yet, tested in wet and windy conditions, proved to be impervious to both, while staying both incredibly breathable and warm. The Shakedry surface causes rain to bead on the outside, which really does mean one quick shake and the jacket is dry. The jacket is a comfortable fit with elastic cuffs and an adjustable Velcro collar, and on test it proved easy enough to fold down and fit in the back of a cycle jersey. The two-way zip is great for easy ventilation. In an ideal world it could do with being suitable for backpack use, and offer more than one small pocket and a little more illumination than is provided by the yellow panelling.  But the positioning of the strips is perfect for clear hand signalling.

Verdict: A couple of quirks and a high price tag, but a top-drawer jacket for facing the elements, 91%

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FWE Reflective Coldharbour+


The aim of FWE here was to produce something that can be worn both on the bike and around town, and in terms of styling and fit the Coldharbour+ ticks those boxes. To combine both means the serious cyclist – who demands fabric performance during the long winter miles – might want to look elsewhere, as it’s not especially warm or breathable. But for commuters, or those heading out in poor conditions for a couple of hours, this jacket offers flexibility. It’s waterproof and offers a comfortable fit, though due to its targeted usage it’d be bracketed in the casual range rather than performance. There’s a detachable hood, which adds to the around-town appeal, and the pockets are plentiful. The design is eye catching and, despite looking like it might be dull on the road, the amazing print styling has incredible reflective value when catching headlights.

Verdict: A solid-enough offering for casual cyclists, and elevated by its reflective illumination 76%


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