Ridden & Rated: 12 Jackets for Wet Weather Riding

Dec 18, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  

Canyon Neuron Presslaunch 2018 Sintra Portugal Copyright Markus Greber
Ridden & Satu-Rated
12 Rain Shells

Tested by Daniel Sapp
cropHeightBy=10%Markus Greber photo


Having a solid rain shell in your quiver of riding gear is essential. Choosing one, however, can be daunting. More options are available than one can count, so we have selected a variety of jackets to keep you dry when that afternoon pop-up thunderstorm appears out of nowhere. Where I live, in western North Carolina, we've had over 70 inches of rain so far this year, but it's also been incredibly humid, so a jacket that keeps water out without trapping too much body heat and moisture in is critical to me.

Choices in shells range from ultra-packable and minimalist, to reinforced and ready to withstand seriously inclement conditions for extended periods of time. The selections in this test progress in that order. All of the shells featured here have some give and take to them (you can't get everything in one jacket), but you should find one in this list that will do what you are asking for. I selected 14 jackets that provide what I feel riders need for most weather situations and put them to the test in the elements over the past months. There are other options out there, but if I were going to pick and choose, these are the some of the best for when you're out on the bike and the weather isn't cooperating.



About This Review

These jackets cover a wide range of prices and applications, so they shouldn't necessarily be put directly against each other. Some function as "bike-only" gear that I'd keep solely in my riding bag, while others can go from sport to casual without skipping a beat - they won't leave you looking like a bike nerd if you wear them to work or a family cookout. Some stood out in certain aspects of performance, but any of these would be a good choice if they ticked the boxes for your cold weather needs.

For further comparison, I've created a table at the bottom where you can find prices and features, along with an index of how well the jacket packs down and stows, along with notes on how appropriate it is to wear in more situations than purely outdoor recreation. When you're spending hundreds of dollars on a shell, versatility is a huge added value. In the index, a rating of 1 is low, whereas 5 is optimal.






Patagonia: Dirt Roamer

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Rusty Red, Teal Blue, Black
• Extra features: Back zippered pocket
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Weight: 210g - S
• MSRP: $229 USD
patagonia.com

Patagonia's Dirt Roamer jacket is new in their line for 2019. The jacket is said to be "water-resistant," not waterproof, but it has taped seams and has proved to be as waterproof as anything else to me. It breathes incredibly well and does a good job of not getting clammy on the inside, even on days when you're producing a lot of sweat. The material that the jacket is made of has a little bit of stretch to it so it's comfortable and easy to move in. There's a pocket on the backside of the jacket - perfect for stashing a snack. The hood on the Dirt Roamer is adjustable for a dialed fit but it doesn't fit over the top of a helmet. Although the Dirt Roamer is made for mountain biking, it's stylish enough that it does double duty for any other outdoor recreation pursuits. If you want to wear it out to a casual dinner, you'll pass as a normal person as well.
bigquotesIf you want to wear it out to a casual dinner, you'll pass as a normal person as well.

Patagonia Dirt Roamer
Patagonia Dirt Roamer

Pros

+ Good fit
+ Doesn't get clammy
+ Functional style works on and off the bike
Cons

- Hood doesn't fit over helmet





Mission Workshop Sans

Mission Workshop: Sans

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Black
• Extra features: Highly adjustable
• Sizes: XS-XXL
• Weight: 160g - M
• Material: 3-layer Entrant membrane
• MSRP: $475 USD / €450
missionworkshop.com

The Sans from Mission Workshop is lightweight, breathable, stretchable, waterproof, and really expensive for a minimalist jacket. What sets it apart from similar jackets in the test is that it's made of a three-layer membrane that is highly breathable and fully waterproof, not just water resistant. The jacket has a hood but the hood does not fit over a helmet. Its styling and design don't pigeonhole it as a "bike specific" jacket, which is critical to me if I'm going to consider investing in something this expensive. You could just as easily wear the Sans on the bike, for a trail run, or to the bar. The Sans packs down small and is highly adjustable for a precise fit. While the other lightweight jackets in this test do breathe well, the Sans does an exceptional job of moisture management and is above the rest in this, as it should be for the price.

bigquotes...it's made of a three-layer membrane that is highly breathable - and waterproof, not just water resistant.

Mission Workshop Sans
Mission Workshop Sans

Pros

+ Breathes very well
+ Very adjustable
+ Versatile - on and off the bike
Cons

- Expensive





Bontrager: Avert Stormshell

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Black
• Extra features: BOA hood
• Sizes: XS-XXL
• Weight: 180g - S
• Material: 2.5 layer Profila Stormshell
• MSRP: $175 USD / €130
trekbikes.com

The Avert Stormshell from Bontrager is waterproof, breathable, and packable. This jacket is one of the more practical options tested in terms of affordability and function. The hood fits over a helmet and has a Boa dial on it to cinch things down and quickly manage fit, even with gloves on - the hood on this jacket is one of the better over-the-helmet fits on test. There is a zippered pocket with a port for a headphone cable - a nice feature but I don't know if listening to music while on a rainy bike ride is something many people find themselves doing. The jacket is tailored towards riding but also functions as a casual piece without looking too ridiculous although you should expect plenty of comments asking about the Boa dial no matter where you choose to wear it.

bigquotesThis jacket is one of the more practical options tested in terms of affordability and function.

Bontrager Avert Stormshell
Bontrager Avert Stormshell

Pros

+ Easy to use Boa adjustment
+ Roomy hood
+ Versatile
Cons

- Can be clammy in warm/humid weather





Gore: C5 Active Trail Hooded

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Grey, Orange, Black/Cyan, Black/Grey, Blue
• Extra features: Drop hem, reflective accents
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Weight: 240g - S
• Material: Gore-Tex Active
• MSRP: $280 USD / €230
gorewear.com

Gore Active Wear's C5 Active Trail Hooded jacket is a little more robust than the jackets above. It's still very packable but it has a full on Gore-Tex fabric for waterproofness, windproofness, and excellent breathability. The jacket's primary function is mountain biking but I've found it as a good complement for hiking and other outdoor pursuits. The drop hem does a good job of keeping water off of your back and the fabric of the jacket is of a heavy enough weight that it does provide a little bit of warmth on cooler days. The hood on the jacket is adjustable for a good fit but it will not go over the top of a helmet. The C5 does have adjustable cuffs which is nice when you really need to cinch things down and keep yourself dry or prevent heat from escaping.

bigquotes...the fabric of this jacket is of a heavy enough weight that it does provide a little bit of warmth on cooler days.

Gore C5
Gore C5

Pros

+ Adjustable cuffs
+ Highly breathable
+ Drop hem works well on the bike
Cons

- Hood doesn't fit over a helmet





Pearl Izumi: MTB WRX

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Black, Arctic
• Extra features: Hood vent, Pit vent
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Weight: 260g - S
• Material: Polyester twill with charcoal membrane
• MSRP: $175 USD / €180
pearlizumi.com


Pearl Izumi's MTB WRX jacket is designed to be abrasion resistant in addition to keeping you dry. It does a decent job of being breathable and managing moisture coming from the rider but is not class leading in this area. It has a hood that fits over a helmet and it's compatible with elbow pads. The hood is vented which is a huge plus, however, it is not adjustable and can be a bit to manage if you're actually riding with the hood up. The pit and hood vents do a good job together of allowing some heat to escape and the jacket's material is comfortable to ride in.

bigquotesIt has a hood that fits over a helmet and it's compatible with elbow pads.

Pearl MTBWRX
Pearl MTBWRX

Pros

+ Hood does fit over a helmet
+ Ventalated hood
+ Pit vents
Cons

- Material doesn't breathe very well
- Hood is not adjustable





Fox: Attack Pro Water

• Hooded: No
• Colors: Black
• Extra features: Reflective logos, Pocket vents
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Weight: 320g - S
• Material: DWR treated TruSeal, Cordura
• MSRP: $300 USD / €200
foxracing.com

Fox's Attack Pro Water jacket is fully waterproof and windproof- designed for inclement conditions on the bike. It is a complement to Fox's Attack Pro Water pants and is an excellent choice for wet and disgusting trails. The jacket doesn't feature a hood, so there's nothing flapping around behind you when you're rallying through the muck or getting in the way if you have a backpack on. For those riding with a pack, there are rubber pads on the shoulders to help keep it in place. There is venting built into the back of the jacket to allow heat to escape and the front pockets allow further venting of the jacket. It is form fitting and some riders will appreciate the zipper being off-centered. The Attack Pro Water is a solid choice for riding but isn't very versatile for other activities.

bigquotesThe jacket doesn't feature a hood, so there's nothing flapping around behind you when you're rallying through the muck

FOX Attack Water
Fox Attack Water

Pros

+ Fully waterproof, taped seams
+ Good ventilation in back
+ Adjustable cuffs
Cons

- No option for a hood
- Zipper may be awkward for some





Race Face: Conspiracy

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Black, Red
• Extra features: Waterproof inner pocket
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Weight: 280g - M
• Material: 3-ply DWR treated nylon
• MSRP: $200 USD / €200
raceface.com

The Consipracy jacket from RaceFace is slightly heavier duty than some ultralight jackets, but still manages to fold down to a packable size when you don't need it. Its 3-ply nylon DWR treated fabric does a great job of keeping you dry from rain coming down as well as heat coming off of your body. The elbow areas are reinforced with a bonded rubber overlay and there is a waterproof internal pocket for valuables. The hood, cuffs, and waist of the jacket have elastic built into them to help with fit but they are not adjustable. The hood does fit over a trail helmet and tends to stay put most of the time but can get blown back periodically, more than some adjustable jackets would.

bigquotes...slightly heavier duty than some ultralight jackets, but still manages to fold down to a packable size when you don't need it.

Race Face Conspiracy
Race Face Conspiracy

Pros

+ Reinforced elbow patches
+ Pit vents
+ Reflective logos
Cons

- Hood/waist/cuffs are not adjustable





Specialized: Deflect H2O Mountain

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Dark Carbon
• Extra features: Taped seams
• Sizes: XS-XXL
• Weight: 300g - S
• Material: 3-layer Deflect
• MSRP: $225 USD / €200
specialized.com

Specialized's Deflect H2O Mountain jacket has become a favorite throughout testing as a mid-weight and functional rain shell. The jacket has an adjustable hood that fits over a helmet and the waist and cuffs are adjustable as well. For cooler mornings, the heavier weight of the fabric cuts the chill and the 3-layer construction does a good job of not trapping too much moisture and heat from the body. The zipper of the jacket can be a little bit bulky on the pockets but it does keep you dry. The jacket is fairly heavy duty but still rolls up small enough to stuff in a fanny pack or bib pocket. The fabric of the jacket is Bluesign approved - meaning that the material is ecologically sourced and avoids potentially hazardous chemicals. The jacket is subtle and can be worn for more than just riding bikes without looking like a clown.

bigquotesThe fabric of the jacket is Bluesign approved - meaning that the material is ecologically sourced and avoids potentially hazardous chemicals.

Specialized Deflect MTB
Specialized Deflect MTB

Pros

+ Taped seams, fully waterproof
+ Adjustable hood, cuffs, and waist
+ Bluesign approved fabric
Cons

- Bulky zippers
- Limited color options





Endura: MT500

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Black, Mango, Blue
• Extra features: Shoulders w/pack grips, Multiple vents, Highly adjustable, etc.
• Sizes: XS-XXL
• Weight: 440g - S
• Material: ExoShell60 3-layer
• MSRP: $300 USD / €200
endurasport.com

Endura's MT500 jacket is one of the most full-featured, riding-specific jackets in this test. It is designed to be very versatile and it offers a lot of ventilation and easy access to pockets even when wearing a pack. It is a little heavier duty so if you're going to shed it, you'll need to stow it in a pack. The fabric of the jacket is very breathable and the hood can be latched down to keep it from flapping when it's not in use. There are thumb-holes to keep the sleeves in place and a pocket on the left sleeve to stash a lift pass for easy scanning. The MT500 has reflective accents, a drop hem, and is adjustable in a variety of ways. For a riding specific jacket, the Endura MT500 is one of the best options currently available.

bigquotesEndura's MT500 jacket is one of the most full-featured, riding-specific jackets in this test.

Endura MT500
Endura MT500

Pros

+ All of the adjustments
+ Great ventilation
+ Pockets are accessible with a pack
Cons

- Heavy duty construction makes it a little less packable





Leatt: DBX 5.0

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Ink
• Extra features: Magnetic hood, Pack friendly, Adjustable hood, Seat grip on tail, Pass pocket, etc.
• Sizes: XS-XL
• Weight: 610g - M
• Material: 3-layer HydraDri taped
• MSRP: $200 USD / €199
leatt.com

Leatt's DBX 5.0 jacket is, like the MT500, a full-featured riding shell. It is a 3-layer taped shell that is waterproof but also breathes well. There is an innovative adjustable and magnetic hood designed to stay in place over both full face and trail helmets. There are vents in the front pockets and an additional vent on the back of the jacket. The material is soft and comfortable when wearing the jacket. The shoulders have added grip to keep backpacks in place and there is a spot for a lift pass in the left sleeve. Inside the back of the jacket, on the bottom, is a rubberized grip to keep the jacket in place when you're seated on the bike that functions as advertised. This jacket is slightly more bulky than the Endura, but still rolls down small enough to stow in a backpack.

bigquotesThere is an innovative adjustable and magnetic hood designed to stay in place over both full face and trail helmets.

Leatt DBX 5.0
Leatt DBX 5.0

Pros

+ Magnetic hood/very featured
+ Roomy fit for pads
+ Heavy duty
Cons

- Heavy





Shower's Pass IMBA

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Night Ride, Green
• Extra features: 5% of sales to Trail Solutions, adjustable cuffs/hem/hood, pack friendly
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Weight: 410g - S
• Material: Artex 2.5 layer double charcoal
• MSRP: $150 USD / €168.69
showerspass.com

The Showers Pass IMBA jacket is another full-featured riding jacket. It is a little bit lighter weight than both the MT500 and DBX 5.0 and can be easily rolled up to fit in a bib pocket or waist pack. Like the two above, it has grips on the shoulders to keep a pack in place and an adjustable hood, hem, and cuffs. There are huge vents on the front of the jacket to help manage heat. This is the only jacket in this test with a detachable hood - something that I found useful when transitioning from cool morning rides to actual inclement weather, or riding with/without a pack. Behind the large front vents, there are hand pockets and a glasses/goggle cleaning microfiber cloth. Showers Pass has partnered with IMBA and their Trail Solutions team on this one and 5% of proceeds from sales go towards the organization.

bigquotesThis is the only jacket in this test with a detachable hood - something that I found useful when transitioning from cool morning rides to actual inclement weather...

Shower s Pass IMBA
Shower s Pass IMBA

Pros

+ Detachable hood
+ Huge vents
+ 5% of proceeds go to IMBA
Cons

- You may not support IMBA





Arcteryx: Beta AR

• Hooded: Yes
• Colors: Black, Conifer, Caribou, Tui, Deep Cove, Ember
• Extra features: Very adjustable, Versatile, Hood fits all helmets
• Sizes:XS-XXL
• Weight: 430g - S
• Material: Gore-Tex Pro
• MSRP: $575 USD / €480
arcteryx.com

The Beta AR from Arcteryx is the most robust jacket in this test. It is over-the-top, but it offers more versatile performance and protection from the elements than any other jacket. It is not mountain bike specific, therefore, you aren't going to find anything on the shoulders to keep a pack in place or reinforcements in the elbows however the Gore-Tex Pro material is pretty heavy duty and will stand up to years of abuse - mandatory if you're spending a couple car payments on a rain shell. The zippers on the jacket are placed so you can access a pack and the hood fits over any helmet. The Beta AR breathes extremely well and keeps you dry in downright horrible conditions. There are large pit zips for added ventilation and the fit is roomy enough for layering in cool weather.

bigquotesIt is over-the-top, but it offers more versatile performance and protection from the elements than any other jacket.

Arcteryx Beta AR
Arcteryx Beta AR

Pros

+ Gore-Tex Pro
+ Highly breathable
+ Versatile
Cons

- Expensive



Notes About the Reviewer:

Regarding fit, I typically wear a small in most jackets without a lot of layers underneath. I'm 5'10" and 145lbs - a fairly slim, bike riding type build. A jacket that fits "to size" is what I would consider average and across the board and I am basing all of the fit assessments off of a size small jacket.




210 Comments

  • + 122
 Some people just don't like having their photo taken
  • + 115
 I simply ran out of expression.
  • + 19
 @Travel66 the irony is there couldn't be a more laid back person I know that DSapp. The pics portray the opposite though. :O

But his pucker puss in that Patagonia jacket is by far the most grumpy old man scowl I've seen. His expression is basically how everyone takes my posts...angry, bitter and over it.

@danielsapp the consistency of your facial expression throughout the pics is impeccable! Big Grin
  • + 29
 @danielsapp: no you just like someone looking at the approaching group of riders you were supposed to ride with, they are late and more over they took Mike Levy with them... needless to say he is loudest in the group, has a short travel bike, ikons and you were supposed to ride double black diamond stuff and huck some...
  • + 21
 @WAKIdesigns - pretty much a scenario I could see playing out.
  • + 7
 @danielsapp: Its OK, my expression was the same when I saw that Pearl Izumi was somehow the cheapest jacket on test.....
  • + 1
 lol - I actually look forward to when Sapp is the model, he's just such a natural in front of the camera!
  • + 2
 @danielsapp: me too. That's my vision of what it will be like when I come to BC to meet them... Hi Mike I wanted to do the gnarliest sht in Squamish and then do the Hot Lap, can you show me around? Ends up riding on asphalt between diners like "Bro-ish Columbia", "Down Country Churros" and "Gnarly Donut"
  • + 3
 They are very depressing, doesn't really make people jump to make a purchase! For $500 clothing, shouldn't they be hiring super hot models? It's like trying to sell Ferrari's with Prius delears!
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Nah, you'll have a good time. You'll go to Tim Hortons and maybe I'll even be in town to join.
  • + 6
 @drivereight: @brianpark said we can't hire super hot models this season so you're stuck with @mikelevy and me. Also, personally, I'd more appreciate more of a Ford Raptor/T-100 analogy.
  • + 5
 @danielsapp: Serious question, did any of them let water in? I've encountered so many expensive jackets that fail where a £20 Pac-a-mac proves invincible, if not especially breathable.
  • + 2
 Poor blokes been stood in the rain all day
  • + 3
 @danielsapp has the expression I would have if I had to stand under a cold hose in November for hours having my photo taken.
  • + 2
 Decent posture though
  • + 2
 @danielsapp: he beat me to it
  • + 64
 $575 for a cycling jacket?!?

F*ck that!
  • + 31
 Or even $300+ for a jacket designed to be used in wet weather where eventually, you’re probably going to have an unplanned dismount...
Is there a tissue pocket for when you shred you $575 jacket in a rock garden?
  • + 18
 I own an Arc'Teryx jacket nearly identical to the one on test (I have the Zeta AR). I have it for hiking and other outdoorsy things. I'd never wear it on my mountain bike though. I bought it based on that it would last me 10 years. One MTB crash and you'd probably rip it and either render it useless or need a very expensive repair. f*ck that. I wear an old shit waterproof when I go riding.
  • + 6
 I second you on fucking that!!!
  • + 7
 It is not a cycling jacket. I have one, the first one I had lasted 10 years, had an issue and they replaced it free of charge. I am on the 3rd year with my replacement. You will not catch me riding through the woods with this jacket, though I could I would not. It is good for everything from skiing, to boating, to hiking, to Florida Rain, to whatever.

For the bike I use the Pearl Izumi MTB WRX. I purchased it fir $75 and if I crash and I kill it, it was $75. Easy enough to replace, cannot say the same for the Arcteryx.
  • + 3
 Its not actually a cycling jacket. Its a proper snow shell. Thats why its expensive (on top of being a premium brand).
  • - 1
 @tom666: Arc’teryx would replace for free. They have a lifetime warranty
  • + 8
 A DHB jacket or similar for 50-100 Eur/$ is really good enough for mtb, especially if you anticipate crashing. I understand the above as vanity items for the more affluent. Of course there is nothing wrong with buying expensive stuff. They are frequently really nice to use and someone has to pay for the development of new features that finally find their way to the mid-range. We should by no means however accept $300 jackets as something normal everybody should be buying.
  • + 7
 @Ryanrobinson1984: Nope. They have a 'limited lifetime warranty' that lasts as long as the practical lifespan of the product.

arcteryx.com/ca/en/help/product-service
  • + 3
 @ReformedRoadie: FWIW I have an older generation of the Endura MT500 and it has held up well to crashes. The super light options do make me nervous though.
  • + 1
 I was thinking the same that much money to get it caked in mud and chances of crashes, and gore tex or not you gonna sweat in it anyway I got an old mountain hardware jacket I don't care about anymore and does the job.
  • + 1
 I use an Arcteryx NorVan for my primary riding jacket. Yes, it's $400 CAD, but you definitely get what you pay for. By far it's more breathable than any of the other waterproof "breathable" jackets I own. Additionally, the fit of it is far superior to anything else I've worn. It doesn't need adjustments to make up for a poor fit. If I was going for a casual pedal, then it likely wouldn't matter, but I still like to get after it even when it's wet. I've had a couple minor wrecks in it and it's still looking good to go. If I'm going on a ride where I'm likely going to wreck or shuttling, I use my RF Agent jacket which is good enough as long as I'm not doing a too intense ride.
  • + 3
 Got a MEC Tonquin 2.5 layer Goretex jacket for everything including riding this summer. $179 ($133 USD). Fits well, one of the few I found where hood fits over helmet, reasonably priced, windproof and waterproof and backed by MEC warranty and return policy. Not ultralight, but still pack able. Hoping that turns out to be a good purchase, so far so good.
  • + 1
 @steflund: They have replaced jackets for me that are 20 years old and simply worn out. I have 8-10 Arcteryx jackets (mid layers, shells, windbreakers, etc..) and will continue to buy them. Never paid retail though, you can get them at REI with their 20% off sales or on clearance at the end of the season for a greater discount at Moosejaw, Backcountry, and even Arcteryx direct.
  • - 3
 @xcmountain80: I dont care about the money but this Arcteryx look way tho short for cycling.

My f*cking endura MT500 is also to short and this is a cycling jacket.
This whole test is rubbish because of this feature who is a must, a f*cking long back...
  • + 2
 @shawnoen: Wow, that is lucky. My experience is blatant damage (torn sleeve from a tree branch, for example) is not covered. Personally, I ride with my Arcteryx in bad weather too but I don't expect a company to replace a jacket I crashed on.
  • + 3
 @steflund: pro tip if you rip it, just use a tire patch. worked for every rain jacket I ever had.
  • + 1
 @Ryanrobinson1984: Their warranty specifically says they won't warranty items damaged in accidents. From what I understand they're happy to replace anything that wears out or dies unexpectedly soon - but if you've crashed in it or just straight up worn it out over 10 years I don't think they can be expected to give you another one.
  • + 1
 GoreTex Pro is simply not a good material for a bike jacket. It's heavy and expensive. Sure the fabric requirements for Pro will make it pretty durable but a big crash in a rocky area is probably going to rip it just like any other fabric in the test.
  • + 0
 @dhx42: I'd argue it's a great material for a bike jacket - particularly the gore tex active variation. It's just too expensive.
  • + 2
 I got the Arcteryx and the Specialized. I like both of them for different reasons. I don't ride the Arctryx on trail however I use it for commuting amongst other uses like traveling, hiking, skiing, walking the dog in the rain and anything else. I got it for 6 years now and probably used it more than any other jacket so far. If I break it down on days used it was probably on of the cheapest pieces of apparel I ever bought. On the other side, the Specialized is awesome with the hood fitting over the helmet and the fit being more suited to riding. I also like the bulky zippers as they are easier to handle onehanded, especially if you put some soap on the every once in a while. Vislon zippers with the big exposed teeth like used on the Specialized Jacket are way better when it coms to wind and water resistance compared to the usual reversed coil zippers. The fact that it cost less than half gives me piece of mind riding through the woods and over slippery rocks. Main reason for me having 2 jackets is that the S jacket is permanently cluttered in mud and I would not want to show up in the office like that. Had I not had the Arcteryx previously I would probably own 2 of the S ones.... They are both great jackets and so are probably many of the other jackets in this test. It really depends on your specific use and the conditions you're using it in. BTW, the S used to be available in 3 colors. Last years Moab Orange and Navy Blue colors can probably still be found on sale somewhere. I got the Moab Orange on and it looks awesome.
  • + 1
 I know you can buy jackets for £50 or less why dont you test a few as well. For one I am not riding in a £300 quid jacket so I can rip it and also I can't afford one anyway. Stop test rich people only gear.....
  • + 0
 @Serpentras: Yup. That or a strip of Tenacious tape. Works wonders on my big rips in the insulative jackets.
  • + 2
 @tom666: Goretex pro and Goretex active are completely different things... Gore has a lot membrane and face fabric requirements depending on the membrane.
  • + 4
 @atrokz: this is an odd Arcteryx shell to test for mountain biking. Arcteryx has a million shells, and I would think the Beta AR is way too heavy duty of a shell to be considered for mountain biking. its a skiing/mountaineering shell....
  • + 1
 For the same price you can buy a Gore-Tex Pro motorcycle jacket with 600D+ Cordura reinforced with Armacor, separate isolated winter liner, waterproof zippers, lots of pockets and more. I wouldn't wear that jacket mountainbiking, but I'm sure their production costs are far more than these cycling jackets.
Cycling gear is usually overpriced, but real waterproof jackets (like GTX or eVent) take this to the next level (the same goes for waterproof jackets for skiing or hiking).
  • + 1
 @tom666 I've got a fairly lightweight Marmot cycling shell (long sleeves, huge hood, drop hem) made of Gore-Tex Active that I've been using year-round on and off the bike for probably 5+ years. Riding road, MTB, street, balling it up and shoving it into a bag full of tools, tying it in a knot around my top tube....it has been shockingly resilient. Despite crashing on concrete on multiple occasions, the only damage has been a broken zipper, replaced under warranty.

I probably can't afford to replace it if it does die but it's been way stronger than I could have reasonably expected. I bet your Arcteryx can handle some hefty abuse too, if you decide to get reckless.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: I crashed in mine, ripedit in 5 spots, destroyed the front pocket zipper. Used Gear Aid Tenacious tape to 'fix' it. Still use it. ????
  • + 1
 I had an Arcteyx jacket that was so old it was made in Canada. When my dog chewed a hole in it I sent it in for repair. They said the repair would be $80USD but They didn’t have the color fabric and therefore let me pick any jacket I wanted for the same $80USD
Got myself a new Beta AR! @steflund:
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: Do you patch it from the outside or inside? Will definitely try this.
  • + 1
 @crs-one: Sounds like that marmot is a dope jacket. Good to hear yours has held up so well. Maybe in the future I'll ride in the Arc'Teryx - when I decided I've got my money's worth and it isn't the end of the world if it gets damaged or caked in mud. Mine is only 18 months old at the moment though so I'm still trying to look after it - but nice to hear yours has held up well
  • + 1
 @swartzwerk: That sucks! I definitely haven't gone down on anything particularly sharp. It's usually the wet roots that take me out when I'm wearing my MT500 and they have fewer sharp edges. Haha.
  • + 2
 @bananowy: most of the time from the outside but I had one where the glue only worked on the inside.
  • + 1
 @Mac1987:The reason cycling stuff is usually more expensive than motorcycle gear is usually the fact that Moto gear doesn't consider weight as a limiting factor. This is true not only for apparel but also for components and bikes themselves.
no one would like to bike in a 10pound jacket but that would be an easy goal for any manufacturer.
Contrary to what most people believe usually its not the "MORE" that makes development and production complicated and expensive. The cost comes from trying to get the same functions and durability out of less and lighter material.

For example If you separate waterproof from the need to be light and durable you can find super cheap materials and making it doesn't really require skilled workers.
One of the most costly steps in producing a jacket like these is sealing all the seams and for a truly water proof jacket every seam has to be sealed.
If I produce a jacket with pockets, adjustable hoods vents ad all kinds of other features sealing everything is becomes lot of work. On the other side when I create an independent liner thats nothing more than a long sleeve T-shirt with a zipper that laves me with 4 seams to seal (tape) and is therefore is way faster, easier and cheaper.
Bottom-line is its simpler and therefore cheaper to make a independent waterproof liner and extra crash proof outer jacket than trying to do all this in one product. The average moto jacket just takes some short cuts witch allows them so sell a similar feature list for a lower retail price while still making the same margin.
On the other side you will find plenty of Moto-Jackets for a 1000$ or more that have a waterproof outer shell and protection integrated in one piece.

Anyway, out of professional curiosity, do you really like the removable waterproof liner construction? Would you not be concerned about the fact that the outer jacket would soak up water like a sponge and would become cold and super heavy in extended use in wet conditions?
  • + 2
 @michibretz:
I didn't say removable waterproof liner, but removable isolated winter liner (purely thermal isolation) Smile . In another post I advise everybody to go for laminated membranes as opposed to separate layers. That should answer your question Wink .
With regards to your point about development and production costs, I agree in general. For example, it is hard to manufacture good working brakes and suspension that is still lightweight.
However, with regards to jackets, I don't agree. Bonding a membrane to a lightweight material is no harder than bonding it to a heavyweight material. The lightweight material (usually a low denier nylon) is also not more expensive. I would even say that very high denier Cordura is more expensive to manufacture, hence it is only used on the parts of the jacket most likely to hit the road in a crash and only on more expensive jackets. Also, my €150 MQP jacket was lighter than my current €749 Dane Torben jacket.
Furthermore, cycling and running jackets are fairly simple, usually consisting of a simple single layer of material that require little work to manufacture. Motorcycle jackets of the same price usually consist of multiple layers, protectors with their pockets and Velcro or zippers, isolated liners with their zippers, waterproof pockets inside and out, etc. This requires far more labour to manufacture.
I think the high prices of sports equipment in general is caused by low quantity of sales (every motorcyclist needs a somewhat waterproof jacket. How many mountainbikers buy waterproof jackets?), which leads to high margins to cover development and marketing costs. This in turn prevents the increase of sales numbers...
  • + 1
 @Mac1987:

"every motorcyclist needs a somewhat waterproof jacket"

Not me. Fair weather biker haha
  • + 1
 @jlawie: you got me there Smile Although in the Netherlands you can start in sunny weather and be riding in a rainstorm half an hour later Wink
  • + 1
 @Mac1987:
quantities sold definitely make a huge difference here. In general Cycling doesn't sell as much product as people think which is part of the cost compared to for example motorcycle products.

When it comes to materials, 600D nylon or Polyester (Cordura is just one Brand by DuPont/Invista) is actually fairly cheap. Its a very basic weave and the yarn is so thick that even a blind machine operator can produce it. That's why you see it in all your basic moto pants for 50 bucks and up.
Stretch makes fabrics expensive and so dose low denier yarn. its just harder to work with and produce.
Lamination to light weight fabrics is definitely trickier than to a heavy fabric. 600D is like a freaking cardboard and you can pretty much stick anything to it. if you have a 100g stretch fabric that is sensitive to higher temperatures things get tricky on a whole nether level. Materials like the ones used with a decent membrane are usually somewhere around 25-40USD vs. sub 10 bucks for a yard of Cordura. You need about 1.5-2Yards of Fabric for a Jacket. so that's already 50-80Bucks.
DWR and other treatments like anti odor can add cost too, especially when you want treatments that are somewhat environmentally friendly but overall the cost for that is usually that's not too bad.
Add Labor, Factory Overhead, Shipping, Duty, Overhead at the Brand, Brand Margin, Retail Margin...

Anyway, all I wanted to say is I have not yet seen any outdoor or cycling company make money on these Jackets for 200-300$. To my experience they barley reach their margin targets if at all and are usually just kept in the line to have a complete offering and be more attractive to retailers rather than as big earners r to rip of riders like many folks her seam to suggest...
  • + 1
 @crs-one: which Marmot jacket do you own?
  • + 1
 @grizwald: Great question. It was a gift all those years ago and I can't find it in their current line-up. The Scott Trail MTN Tech GTX Active looks pretty similar (the Marmot lacks the inside pocket).
  • + 43
 Used "The North Face" Gore Tex Jacket in XXL, bought on eBay from some fat chick that got thin: 60€
  • + 6
 hahaha say thanks to the food industry and the fitness hype
  • + 5
 How does she look now?
  • + 14
 @nyhc00: Probably cold and wet if she sold her jacket to that guy.
  • + 1
 I'm disappointed that the Sans main photo, isn't exactly the same as all the rest.... they would all have made a great coffee table photo book otherwise.
  • + 3
 @Waldon83: I am too. A gnome stole that one from me before I could finish photos with it.
  • + 1
 Gnomes don't exist. But that photo does, and the PB Community deserve to see it - for Christmas.
  • + 40
 Holy crap!! I can't afford to ride in the rain.
  • + 0
 So glad I don't live in an area with cold rain winters. I'll take my occasional winter snow living in Connecticut. So much easier, and cheaper, to deal with.
  • + 2
 Royal jackets were 59 bucks on Jenson web site the other day. A bit toastier than fancy solutions out there but very durable so far (2nd winter riding in BC, 4-5 days a week). I sweat even naked on freezing temps so doesn't make a difference for me.
  • + 1
 Look into Frog Togs. I got pants and jacket for around $50.00.. they are made for hunters but are oversized and easily go over any riding gear. Not the coolest looking stuff but it does the job for cheap. I used them on a rainy day at a bike park last year and stayed bone dry.
  • + 22
 @danielsapp Dan, great review. I love the feature chart at the end. Thoughtful pros and cons. It's clear you have been thinking hard about how to present good information to the readers and taking feedback on how these types of articles can be made better for us non-pro riding dweebs. You just keep getting better! Thanks, keep it coming.
  • + 3
 Agreed. Loved the chart at the bottom. Only thing I wish was included in the chart was a breathability rating, and maybe a perceived waterproofness rating. I think this would give a very complete and fair picture of each product, and where their respective strengths are.
  • + 4
 @Metacomet: For sure - That's a hard one to accurately put a number on outside a lab as the humidity I rode each of these in was different. It also varies by effort, temperature, rain intensity etc. That being said, they all do a damn fine job of being breathable, much more than options we've had in years past. It's one thing I look for above anything else- especially living where I live where we have a temperate rainforest climate. For me, if a jacket doesn't breathe, I would prefer just as well to go without than to be in a personal sweat lodge.
  • + 18
 No thanks IMBA, You've already tore down enough jumps and went out of your way to make trails lame since you're not comfortable riding anything more than a sidewalk.
  • + 10
 Patagonia will repair your gear for free if you tear it. I’ve gone through the repair process with a pair of pants and a jacket that I abused and I was very impressed with the quality of the repair and how easy it is. You just fill out a form and mail it with your clothes to Patagonia and they cover the repair and return shipping costs.

Besides that, I’ve been really impressed with all of the gear I’ve bought from them. Everything including their MTB and ski gear to their work clothes have been comfortable and durable.
  • + 6
 Yep, a big selling point for companies like Patagonia. I’ve had a lot of success with their repair program. Plenty of others do it too.
  • + 3
 @danielsapp: That would be a great thing to mention in the review.
  • + 8
 I feel like an alien because its seems I am the only person on this planet who uses elbow pads in wet weather. 95% of those jacket does not accept elbow pads, and even it they would, they do not have abrasion resistance elbows. I can use a gilet, but I would love to have part of my arms covered (especially when it's cold). So I ended with buying a cheap waterproof jacket and cutting halve of the sleeves.
  • + 4
 @ikubica - the Endura and Leatt both take elbow pads and are a pretty heavy duty fabric.
  • + 2
 sometimes I have to wear elbow pads on the outside of a jacket. I look like a nerd, but I'd rather have that than crush my elbows. And the odds of going down in the wet are way higher, so not an option to ride without.
  • + 3
 @danielsapp: not really, I have the MT500 and guess what my lower arm alone is almost to massiv for it.
I could not to a pushup with it, to tight. Size M , 185lbs @ 5,1ft.
  • + 7
 @Serpentras: dang, you must be doing lots of forearm exercises!
  • + 2
 @manglermixer: deathgrip ftw
  • + 8
 It would be great to see all cycling apparel for upper body shot in cycling position(even a little bent forward), because mostly then it occurs that cut of this thing fails: sleeves too short, back too short, or cut not made for cycling!
Upright position does not give a clue.
  • + 2
 @mensch-mueller - agreed. Bike-specific gear separates itself from general-purpose outdoor gear in that regard, especially for riders with a long torso/long arms. Significant drop hem, long sleeves, and a bit of fabric to allow for articulation are key - you can deal with less-than-perfect water-proofness from a slightly cheaper fabric (or a fabric optimized for breathability over water proofness), but having your attack position compromised by sleeves/shoulders binding, or getting wet mud up your back because there's not a long-enough drop hem is a serious downer.

BTW, in terms of the general purpose gear - Marmot makes a 2.5 layer jacket called the precip - retails for about USD100, can be bought on sale pretty much permanently somewhere for around USD70. Pretty long drop hem compared to most generalist jackets, as well as what they call "angel wings" cut (extra material at the pits, resulting in more freedom to move arms/shoulders). Pretty good deal for price/performance.
  • + 6
 I've worn the same arc'teryx hardshell on every adventure, wet ride, and stuffed it every day pack since i bought it in 2013. Ive wrecked who knows how many times wearing it.. its only needed patches twice, the largest was from hitting pavement and grinding a circular hole near the elbow. A little gor-tex patch and its good as new. You can even get the little colorful shaped ones and put a trout on it if your worried. It's still breathable through probably 30-50 washes and seals with nikiwax... I'm not fan-boying arc'teryx, but if you ride or do any out door activity in the wet, live in relatively humid area, you need a breathable shell. If not you might as well not even wear one because youll be soaked from the inside out. You get what you pay for...
  • + 5
 Was the discussion on design and marketing at Leatt something like:
Marketing - "Guys we are out of ideas, Troy Lee has the name and Fox has ... well the Fox logo, we need something"
Marketing - "Margret, stop pouring my coffee and clearing out the board room whilst we are trying to work! Actually Margret can you think of anything?"
Margret "Well lately we have been putting arrows on my 5 year old sons shoes and letters so he can distinguish Left from Right, but that may seem a silly idea and a bit condescending to people"
Marketing "Actually Margret that is genius- guys drop the L & R and just go with the arrows, and whilst you are there jazz it up a bit with some vertical ones also!!"
  • + 5
 Arcteryx is the way to go. Lifetime warranty. You money go a long way and it is a better jacket by far. I got a jacket in 2011, pretty much wore it to the ground. In 2016 Arcteryx replaced it under warranty with the Beta in the test. It is much better than good quality Endura, Izumi, Gore etc. I have had. More breathable, more comfortable, lighter and tougher. Jackets from Giro and Sepcialized lasted 5 and 4 moths before falling apart, they seem to be made out of paper. Hope Arcteryx change to chinese ownership it is not going to destroy the brand.
  • + 8
 “HONEY! Where’s my super suit?”

“Whaaaa”

“WHERE
IS
MY
SUPER SUIT?”
  • + 8
 Bought my rainjacket for 20 bucks.. does the job, and not afraid to rip it
  • + 1
 100% THIS!!! Go on Amazon and find any number of decent looking waterproof Cycling/Running jackets that would fit the bill from $40 on down. $150 - $500?! Insane...,
  • + 4
 II have the Arcteryx Beta SL Hybrid jacket. While it did cost as much as a wheel set I’ve gotta say it is hands down the best rain jacket I’ve ever encountered. I’ve had it for 5 years and it still works and looks like new.
That said, I’d never wear it riding, hiking/backpacking/climbing etc. yes, but the odds of ripping it while biking just seem too high. Get something more affordable that won’t make you break down in tears if you crash in it.
  • + 4
 It’s that time of year when everyone starts releasing reviews of waterproof jackets…yet every single time they seem to miss the mark for me. Sure, they test the waterproofing and cut, but almost never truly test the ease of washing the jacket when its covered in thick, dried, muddy grime.

So many times I’ve bought a solid jacket with great cut and great waterproofing, but when it comes to washing, it’s always left in dirty stains and never cleans properly. The fabrics may be great at keeping you dry, but the dirt just sticks to the pours and texture - fabric choice matters. You need to realise that riding trails in the rain typically means riding in the mud...

A great review would be one that digs into the details of cleaning the jacket after you've driven an hour home and the mud has dried, or after repeated rides when cleaning isn't possible in-between. And whether the fabrics are easier to clean the next day when the mud has been left to dry, or after you've given it a once-over with a pressure washer at the car park (when that's possible).

Jackets, their waterproofing and general fit-for-purpose would last sooo much longer if this was taken into account in the manufacturing and reviews.
  • + 1
 Yep all water proof jackets are less than waterproof after about 20 mud sprayed rides and perhaps five proper wash and sprayed/ washed with waterproof coating.
If you are actually riding in the rain than I suggest the cheapest jacket that does the job for you.
Wear that fancy 500$ jacket to the pub or skiing.
  • + 1
 i have a Patagonia Refugitive shell that I have gotten REALLY filthy, riding in the rain, several times and it looks great after a wash in the washing machine. Wasnt cheap (i got it for over 40% off retail) but it looks brand new after getting a ton of mud on it
  • + 3
 If you can nab yourself a good climbing shell jacket from Mountain Hardwear or Black Diamond on a sale they are great too. Will have a helmet compatible hood and drop tail in most cases. They are usually really light, breathable and packable. I grabbed a MH one in the spring for 60% off and love it for riding as it doesn't turn into a sauna on the inside.
  • + 1
 Yep, I've been using old & newer ski or climbing jackets for years. If a person isn't worried about wearing last years colours, try thelasthunt.com, I got a Black Diamond packable rain/wind shell ($79Cdn reg. $180), a Black Diamond climbing shell ($190 Cdn. reg $450) that I use for winter riding & a pair of softshell shorts ($60 Cnd reg $140). Or try places like Winners, I got a Patagonia softshell jacket that I proceeded to destroy over the years but I only paid $60 for it...I understand companies need to sell to survive but $500 for a cycling jacket. That's just not a sustainable marketing/selling model.
  • + 2
 Arcterx was Canadian . They sold out to a larger corporation. Still good quality garments.
When I'm hauling up a steep climb I build up heat very fast. Thus I won't even look at a jacket that does not have pit zips . When I stop and it's just hovering above zero I need to close the pit vents so a zipper is of importance to me.
Tiss the season of wet weather.
Plenty of jackets when a good variance in price range.
Last thought: MEC , Patagonia and Arcterx all offer life time guarantee against material defects.
As in broken zippers ,delaminating membranes or bad stitching.
  • + 1
 +1 on pit zips for riding jackets. Lots of companies are ditching them, which is a bummer. Breathable fabrics are great, but sometimes being able to quickly dump out the heat and moisture through the pit zips, while being shielded from the rain, is super nice.
  • + 1
 @klopp: it's as if none of of these testers are slightly overweight or profuse sweaters. Even when I had 6% bodyfat I'd steam up a car window in 10 seconds flat
  • + 2
 One of the most important aspects I look for in mountainbike clothing is strength. Not just against abrasion from crashes or just movement when roosted (where the material rubs itself with dirt between the layers) but also against thorns etc. I just never got myself to invest in a jacket for mountainbiking simply because I was always afraid to rip such an expensive piece of gear that doesn't appear to be up to it. I ride in DH or MX shorts because they hold up nicely. MX jerseys actually hold up well too for how thin they are. They give you burns when you crash but that's ok. And they do look a bit too pro, apparently MX people don't do stealth.

This winter I'm using my time on the bike more for slow speed tech stuff and the pumptrack (which has a rough gravel top layer). So contrary to when hammering on a regular mtb trail, I would actually appreciate being held warm and dry. I just haven't come across a good option. I eventually settled for a jacket from Dickies which does look strong and I can probably patch it when it gets torn. But how do these jackets featured hold up? Do they cut easily and if they cut, do they have an effective rip-stop structure or do they then rip all the way from seam to seam?
  • + 3
 I've worn several of them through thorns with no issue. I have an old Arcteryx Beta AR that has lasted for 10 years of abuse, no rips. I've also had great success repairing old ripped jackets in the past with Gore-Tex tape.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: Thanks, good to know. I actually do own a very basic Gore Bike Wear rainjacket which I do use for commuting. So considering what's being said about the Arcteryx and Gore jackets, this one should be tough enough too. I'm at a stage that I'm willing to pay a bit more, but only if it is going to last me a good while and can be repaired. Ten years for this kind of money sounds decent. Still a lot but I'd rather pay that than two hundred euro for something that last me only three or four years.

Not all of these will work with elbow pads, do they? My Gore jacket has pretty narrow sleeves, so they definitely won't. Maybe next year when you do a test like this, you may want to try that too. Then again this may be a slippery slope. You'll find people who then also want to wear full body armour until those who want to take one of these under jersey Camelbak bags. You've got to draw a line somewhere, I understand.
  • + 2
 @vinay: No, not all of them work with elbow pads. The Gore definitely won't. That could be taken into consideration however, like you said, we have to draw the line somewhere. Hell, I barely ride with knee pads although they saved me the other week so I may bring them into more of a regular rotation.
  • + 2
 @danielsapp: Thanks. Yeah I always wear kneepads because they don't bother me but do give me some peace of mind. I usually don't wear elbow pads for general trail riding but especially in this wet season I practice more on hard surfaces (to avoid excessive erosion of the trails) like logs, rocks and the pumptrack. So even though the pads come handy there because I'm crashing loads, they also scrape up dirt that eventually rubs my skin away. So that's where the long sleeves would help keep the (wet) dirt out. So yeah, I'd probably use them together most of the time. I've got to admit my pads are relatively bulky (ten year old Dianese hard shell pads) so that may be part of the problem.
  • + 2
 Been wearing a waterproof jacket I bought in Decathlon for the last two years and has kept me bone dry I the worst Scottish weather and we get some crap weather

Paid £60 for it,has a good that fits over my Lid,huge pit vents and cool inside pocket big enough for goggles

For what I paid it’s as good as or my mates Madison jacket that was over double the price
  • + 1
 I guess we bought the same jacket (MH-500, 70 €) and I can confirm what you wrote!
  • + 6
 How did you not test 7Mesh?
  • + 2
 I had their Northwoods Wind Jacket in the test but it isn't deemed completely waterproof so we pulled it along with the POC back to stay consistent with the waterproof theme. It's another go-to for me though and does a great job of keeping you dry and warm in less than a total downpour. It also compresses to be very small - a huge plus. Always been impressed by 7Mesh's gear.
  • + 5
 @danielsapp: The Guardian would have been a great choice for this test. Full 3-layer Gore-Tex Active - the best waterproof/breathable membrane in the business. At 266 grams would have been one of the lightest jackets in the test.
  • + 9
 @monsterville: Thanks, agree the Guardian would have slid in here nicely. We had our wires crossed with PB in thinking another editor was going to be doing a review of it so didn't get one to Daniel.
  • + 3
 @danielsapp: Daniel--thanks again for taking the time to chat rain shells with me a couple few weeks back. And thanks for this article. I think it's super helpful, and it's a drag that 75% of the comments is people whining about the cost of the jackets.

I ended up picking up the 7Mesh Guardian, and it is spectacular. It's really light and packable, incredibly breathable, totally waterproof, and the fit is fantastic. The Patagonia sounds really promising too, but I didn't want to wait until spring for it to be released to the public.
  • + 1
 @7mesh: IF you have a rain jacket that doesn't ride over the love handles of my incredibly long torso, that would awesome. Let me know if you need a "stocky" tester.
  • + 2
 Curious why only one of these products lists where it is made (Patagonia made in Vietnam) and none of the others do? Did I miss the "All products made in China unless otherwise noted"? While I have heard many anecdotal stories of both Showers Pass and Arcteryx being particularly good ski and hiking wet weather gear I have know the same folks to say they aren't long enough when bent over and their lower back and plumbers' crack were exposed. Having a long-torso with average-length arms, I'd definitely want a jacket that has a fit that works when I'm in my MTB or road bike position. Good comparison on comparing dryness and ventilation - can the chart be amended to show place of manufacture? That way we might know if we are actually supporting any US or Canadian textile workers - or will these products be potentially subject to some tariff if our unpredictable leadership goes on a Twitter bender?
  • + 5
 Only in the mtb industry you can find Patagonia jackets being cheaper than most others.
  • + 2
 For the weekend or frequent ride, the MT500 is brilliant. But for everyday use, mine's has a lot of wear to show after a year of everyday usage (up to 4x a day to commute to work, and on pretty much any damp/wet/cold weekend ride). Waterproof scotch tape peeling off, not as waterproof/water repelant as it used to be (even after a wash of nikwax tech wash and then tx direct)...

I might just finish mine off and look for something else.
  • + 2
 The reviews missed the 'and the moment you crash, all of these will rip clean open like a weak trash bag thus rendering your 300 dollar purchase pointless within a few rides'. Unless you are minted, people want tougher fabrics that last, especially on the arms!
  • + 2
 Really good write up! I love the table at the bottom. Glad you reviewed a mixture of riding specific and general purpose jackets. I think there's a big problem with MTB jackets though - the fact we crash bikes. If we didn't crash bikes we could easily wear $300+ jackets and get great features, breathability, wind and water protection. But we do crash bikes and nobody wants to trash an expensive jacket after just a few rides. I'd never wear my Arc'Teryx jacket on anything gnarlier than a tow path. I'd love to invest in something like the Enduring MT500 but I'm real cautious about spending that much money on something that could be redundant so quickly Salute
  • + 1
 Decent materials are pretty abrasion resistant even if they look pretty thin and can be easily repaired (a company in Scotland did a great job on my Mavic jacket I spiked)
  • + 1
 Will you take some PFCs and f**ked up chemicals with your jacket ? Yes please gimme more ! Only Spé makes a little effort by using some bluesign fabrics, all the others are basically selling you overpriced products while destroying our environment, well done ...
  • + 1
 A few years ago I bought an oakley shell that is goretex like. it has two large vent pockets in the front and a large pocket in the back, by far the best cycling jacket ever, ive put it through hell riding in the wet and skiing in the spring im just worried i wont be able to find a good replacement when it comes time to retire it
  • + 1
 If you need an Arc'Teryx jacket to keep you dry it's too wet to be riding. I have the Beta as well as the WRX and will only wear the WRX on the trail. If that's soaking through then the trails are soaked and need some time to dry
  • + 1
 If you look after a good quality hard shell, you should get 10 years usage out of it.

Even the Arc'teryx Beta AR at $575 is only $57.5 a year to use it, that's a bargain considering you can use year round and is a great piece of kit.
  • + 1
 When I ride under the rain (I avoid it Smile ) I use a rain-water resistant jacket by Mountain-Hardwear. It's not a gore-tex and there aren't any zip under the arms so when I pedal I sweat quickly and a lot.
I wish I spent 100 or 200 extra euros to get a versatile Gore-Tex jacket with zips at the right place. It's a lot of money but it s not wasting your money if you choose a versatile model that you can use for trekking, snowshowing, skiing, etc.
  • + 1
 The Fox jacket appealed to me when you added 'Hooded: No". I have the Endura and as much as I like it, that stupid hood continues to annoy me. I have not liked hoodies since grade school and as a long time cyclist I disdain them even more. I will be searching out that Fox jacket very soon.
  • + 1
 Is the Patagonia really $229 for a jacket with just a DWR coating? If riding motorcycles is anything to go by, all DWR's wear out or do not resist the heaviest of rain. If you want a durably waterproof jacket, buy one with a good membrane, preferably bonded (laminated) to the outer layer (like Gore-Tex Pro). Coatings lose their effectiveness and non-laminated membranes tear.
  • + 1
 I always just use the most beat up rain coat in my closet till it gets messed up beyond repair, then I start riding in my hiking rain jacket and replace that with something new. I'm not going to buy a brand new rain shell for a sport that might tear it to shreds in one crash.
  • + 1
 I have the MT500 and the Beta AR. I definitely prefer the Arcteryx even though I didn't intent to use it for biking. The fit and quality is amazing. I honestly cant see why the MT500 gets so much praise, crappy cuffs that just seals in all the moisture while in heavy rain sucks up water and soaks your longsleeve. And the hood is not that great really. No good retaining system for when it is not in use, and floppy thin materials, even though the jacket weighs alot for what it is. Still cant understand how it can be heavier then the Arcteryx
  • + 1
 After owning a bunch of different jackets over the years one aspect of these tests that seems neglected is wash-ability. If your like me and do not follow instructions and throw shit in the machine for the most part, it would be helpful to know how they do after even a couple of cycles. My experience suggests welded seem products fall apart and gore-tex becomes cocoon like! Anyway... food for thought and thanks for the reviews.
  • + 1
 I've made that mistake too - you only ruin a $400 jacket once!
  • + 1
 Is that Mission Sans the exact same jacket as the Acre Meridian reviewed in these very pages 3 years ago?
www.pinkbike.com/news/acre-meridian-alpine-jacket-review-2015.html

I bought that one (readily available for *well* under the MSRP) and it's been a fine jacket. But now I'm wondering if there's a factory in Indonesia that is churning out the exact same jacket under other brand names.
  • + 1
 It's not - quite a bit different.
  • + 1
 Mission Workshop and Acre are the same company.
  • + 1
 @bgoldstone: Indeed - but this is a different jacket.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: yes, that was for the above comment on one factory doing the same jacket for different brands.
  • + 1
 Great review! really well put together, and nice to see so many options.
For those of us that might be after something a bit cheaper and robust, worth checking out Madison clothing range of jackets, and maybe Rab and Montane as a less MTB only option.
I've found both Rab and Montane tend to update there jackets, or drop altogether slightly outdated design's every few years, worth looking out for these, as you could pick up a deal for a Gore-Tex or Event jacket.
Bear in mind I'm unsure of how easy these would be to get over the pond, as there UK based company's.
I'd love to see what Dakines new jackets for MTB are going to be like, there supposed around now I think? but I cant find a thing on em!
  • + 3
 Does anyone seriously ride in a hood? Worst thing I can think of. No idea how I've survived UK winters with a mere skullcap/ buff
  • + 1
 MT 500 has fit issues around collar/neck area as it is way to tight. I couldn’t zip the collar up fully with the hood up and even when you opt to use it without the hood it feels way to restrictive and pushes on your neck pretty hard.
  • + 1
 I am already on my second MT500 II Jacket and the fit on the collar is just right. Snug but not restrictive, just high enough to prevent wind coming in. No issues at all. On the other hand I would appreciate slimmer and longer cut in the body.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp 5'10" and 145? Fairly slim is a bit of an understatement. I do enjoy your reviews even though the only thing we could both fit (at the same height) would be socks.
  • + 1
 No offense Pinkbike, but I really enjoyed Colin Meagher's winter gear review. I was really looking forward to it this year especially in light of the unfortunate news regarding his health.
  • + 0
 Caption for the picture of @danielsapp in red jacket

"Oh for fks sake @mikelevy... showing up on that SB100, don't you have another bike?! if he talks sht on the climb and then blocks us on descents again, I'll stuff a charger pump up his donut"
  • + 2
 I ride with the Pearl Izumi jacket and while I love it, it for sure does not breathe super well. Does it's job as a great moisture and wind barrier though.
  • + 0
 From experience, the Pearl Izumi is not water proof. I havent tried the new Specialized h20, but the previous model was not waterproof. My current Gore jacket has performed perfect in downpours. I think these companies need to start testing these jackets in the South where it pours rain. A lot.
  • + 2
 Every afternoon, most of the year.
  • + 3
 Good thing I live in Southern California, 'cause it looks like I'm too poor to ride in the rain.
  • + 3
 These prices are a joke...and we can blame most of us for buying this stuff
  • + 1
 Daniel, great article, thanks. Curious: if you could keep only one of these, which would it be? I understand that's dependent upon your local climate, riding preferences, and fit, but it would be interesting to know that.
  • + 2
 That's a hard call. The Arcteryx based on the fact I had one that lasted over 10 years but it's not the most comfortable for a wide range of rides - just the best at handling severe shit. The jacket I have been consistently grabbing going out the door in cool and damp weather here in North Carolina is the Patagonia. It rolls up to fit in a pocket, fits well, and breathes.
  • + 2
 @danielsapp: I don't see it listed on Patagonia's website. Is it still current? I just picked up a Stretch Rain Shadow jacked, but have not put it to a real test yet.
  • + 1
 @Scepticshock: It hasn't been released yet. It'll be a spring 2019 release.
  • + 3
 @Scepticshock: It's beyond current. It will be available this spring.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: have you tried the Patagonia Dirt Craft jacket? If so, is it even comparable to the new Dirt Roamer?
  • + 1
 @ericearle: I haven't but they look to be a good bit different. The Dirt Roamer is about 3oz lighter, has a hood, etc.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: any idea when this thing will be released?! I am trying to patient!
  • + 3
 I have a Showers Pass non-IMBA jacket that works very well. I got it in bright orange for the hunters to see me.
  • + 1
 IMO a couple key stats were missed: Waterproof rating and breathability rating in mm. Also, what are the warranty on this gear? Are they making a jacket to last one season or lifetime?
  • + 1
 I'd like to see these under a shower and timed until/if water gets through.

Had a lot of 'waterproof' clothing of various prices and all eventually let in water. Or drowned me in sweat!
  • + 1
 Waterproof and breathable are mutually excusive. Ok, when a garment is shiny and new it likely performs wonderfully but as soon as its just a bit dirty it all goes away and you're wet. No exceptions I've ever encountered.
  • + 1
 Maybe I am old school, but I don't wear a rain jacket during the winter/rains. I break out my Ibex merino wool long sleeve jersey.
  • + 2
 @danielsapp Kudos on the comparison table, I think you guys should make these standard on all reviews.
  • + 2
 I purchased a Columbia water resistant jacket for 20 bucks at an outlet store. 6 years and it's still going strong.
  • + 1
 For no pack days, I've been riding in my Arcteryx Alpha SL, it's considerably cheaper than the Beta AR (albeit lighter weight), but a great jacket none the less.
  • + 1
 I immediately filtered the whole list by keyword "breathable". Every "waterproof" jacket will do the job for some time, but crucial is how it gets moisture out.
  • + 1
 Why so expensive ? Seems like my 15€ Decathlon rain jacket does the job as well. Im wondering how much profit companies actually make with 200€ rainjackets.
  • + 1
 who the f*ck spends that much on a coat? On any coat, not just for MTB.

$475 for a Mission Workshop: Sans jacket? I'll take 3. Get realistic.
  • - 2
 $575 for a Arcteryx: Beta AR? Sweet baby Jesus. If you buy that coat for mountain biking, you literally have too much money to spend.

This review is relevant to literally no-one.
  • + 3
 I Don’t need a jacket,because Australia.
  • + 1
 I've been looking at the Leatt, but I'd like something light enough to stuff into my hip pack. I wish a local retailer carried the brand....
  • + 1
 It's not light. I wouldn't pick it as my first choice to fit in a hip pack...It would lash to the outside though.
  • + 2
 From Dechatlon 10$.Good enough.
  • + 1
 bought leatt yesterday, just need to wait until it is shipped, hope it is a good choice.
  • + 1
 for the prices of these i would hope they wake me up in the morning with a bacon sandwich
  • + 1
 Pinkbike, based in Squamish, doesn't include the 7Mesh (based in Squamish) Guardian, which is a MTB specific jacket. Lame.
  • + 1
 Leatt seems to be killing it with their mtb product. I like their jackets and most of their stuff looks really good.
  • + 1
 I would recommend a platzangst jacket. It's longer waterproof then you will like the color...
  • + 1
 Those prices for a f#cking wp jacket..I would rather ride naked than pay 300$ for something like that....or wear a tent
  • + 3
 Fuck imba
  • + 5
 whats wrong with IMBA? Seriously asking.
  • + 1
 Bought myself a cycling rainjacket at Lidl for $19... Does the job and it's made from ripstop fabric.
  • - 2
 EDITED:
Having a solid rain shell in your quiver of riding gear is essential. Wearing one on bike, however, can be very expensive.*

This article is about thing unnessesary to 98,5% riders imo. Just wear cheap wind jacket or more tight layers to keep you warm and not soaking wet...unless you are 4 year old city girl (I have expensive minimalist Gore Tex jacket as well but Iam not using it for bike to destroy it)
  • + 1
 I need a jacket that can keep me from sweating so much in -15° Celsius temperatures. The heat is really bothering me.
  • + 1
 Go for softshell then, preferably with panels under the arms and on the back for ventilation. You will always be sweating, the question is how is your jacket going to handle it? My best breathing hardshell jacket doesn't breathe as well as my softshell does.
  • + 2
 When you unlock all the outfits for the character customization screen.
  • + 1
 Anyone have a good suggestion for the tall and extra long armed amongst us?
  • + 3
 The RaceFace, Endura, and Leatt have a longer sleeve fit. You may have to size up depending how long armed you are though.

Arcteryx make a few other jackets that are a bit longer and many jackets designed with snow in mind can work for taller folks since they’re made to keep powder spray out.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: Thanks for the info. I wish more companies would list arm and back length in their sizing for this sort of thing.
  • + 2
 Fox
Con:
Billboard size logo on back.
  • + 5
 It needs 5 more fox heads to justify the price.
  • + 2
 I'll stick with my sleeveless trash bag poncho.
  • + 0
 You wanna sell us stuff, you better hire a hotter model! These prices are the same as those designer brands from Gucci or Luivitton!
  • + 1
 Error in the article: Fox's website is listed under the Race Face product.
  • + 1
 Whoops - thanks!
  • + 1
 I don't like hoods on my cycling jackets. They can get hooked on branches etc.
  • + 1
 Is the Patagonia N2O? Price is more than double their N20 rain shells.
  • + 2
 IMBA = clown shoes.
  • + 1
 Nice shot...taken in Sintra, Portugal
  • + 1
 Does anybody know what brand the blue gloves are that he wearing?
  • + 2
 Those are Leatt.
  • + 1
 Ride in the rain, complain about trail erosion! Blame the horses and cows!
  • + 2
 Not every trail system closes down in the rain.

Here on Vancouver Island, we live in a rain forest and our trails actually fare worse in the summer when it's dry and dusty! Our trails are built to be ridden in the rain.

If you go to an area, check with the local trail builders/shops/riders and get the lowdown on the local trail etiquette for wet weather riding.
  • + 1
 Any word on the chromag tachyon?
  • + 1
 My Oregrown waterproof hoodie beats all of these.
  • + 1
 looks like you could use a trap massage
  • + 1
 What, no Rapha?
  • + 4
 ask your local barista or their feedback.
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