Best Winter Cycling Jackets of 2020

Ride through winter with the right winter jacket


Best Winter Cycling Jackets

It can be hard enough finding the motivation to get outside during the winter month. That can be tremendously hard if your fighting to stay warm with lesser gear. We’ve tested and these jackets in the coldest and harshest winter conditions out there and came up with a concentrated list of the best winter cycling jackets around. No matter if you ride in the woods or spend your base time on the gravel paths – these jackets will keep you warm and stylish over the cold months.

Bontrager Velocis Sub-Zero Jacket

A warm jacket packed into a thin unassuming package. The Bontrager Velocis Sub Zero uses cutting edge fabric and strategically placed water/windproof paneling to keep in moisture and expel sweat.  A perfect jacket for riders who don’t like the bulky look of winter gear and prefer a closer fit.  The softshell fabric is wind- and water-resistant for inclement weather protection while the soft ribbed material at wrists and collar add warmth allowing easy layering.  There are three generously size open-back pockets with built-in stretch for easy access while wearing gloves.  For security, there are an additional rear zippered security pocket stores valuables. Thermal inserts under arm allow excellent breathability and movement is road and mountain rides. 

Price: $219.00

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45NRTH Naughtvind Jacket

One of the warmest cycling jackets were ever worn is the 45NRTH Naughtvind. The jacket is crafted to handle winter’s worst, with Schoeller Softshell making up the body and keeping your core insulated while concentrating on the ride at hand. Schoeller combines weather protection with generous stretch to move with you while you ride, while breathable fibers wick away sweat, actively managing moisture so you don’t get bogged down. If the weather heats up or you need some extra venting the Naughtvind jacket is equipped with underarm zips for boosting ventilation and overlapping back vents that expel heat on the regular.  45NRTH equips the Naughtvind with black reflective panels on the elbows and back of neck to boost your visibility under headlights, while still keeping aesthetics sharp. In front, it features a full-length zipper with an offset collar designed to reduce irritation to your chin, and offer enough room to layer in a balaclava for extra warmth. Finally, the jacket is finished off with three deep back pockets to store cycling essentials, and one zippered pocket at the chest that allows for safekeeping while you ride, and easy access, should you be riding with a pack.

Price: $295.00

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Endura MT500 Waterproof Jacket

This award-winning cycling jacket has been the undisputed go-to garment for pro riders like Danny MacAskill as well as your trail weekend warrior. It has earned legendary status in the mountain bike scene for its endurance and waterproofing. Now in its third generation, it continues to impress and expand on the offerings. The MT 500 employs ExoShell60 3-Layer waterproof fabric which boasts a monster 60,000 gm/m2/24hr breathability as well as being powerfully waterproof. Not only that, but it is environmentally friendly, containing no PFC’s.  The jacket incorporates stretch paneling where riders need it most, while backpack compatible venting ensures that airflow around the body isn’t compromised by wearing a pack. All zippers are YKK and highly rain-resistant – the hood has been developed to wear either over or under a helmet. Multiple pockets ensure that essentials can be stowed away and the chest pockets even double as venting.

Price: $299.95

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Specialized Therminal Deflect Jacket

A combo of puff, warmth, and style – the Thermal Deflector jacket from Specialized is perfect for on the road on in the woods. The warm, quilted core fleece insulation over the entirety of the jacket will keep your core nice and warm. A wind-resistant Deflect layer over the chest cuts wind chill— like wearing a vest over a thermal jacket. Our favorite detail on this jacket is the freedom of movement it enables. Whether on the road, gravel or hucking off icy drops this jacket is nimble and does not inhibit shredding. Other features that make the Therminal Deflect Jacket a winter hit include; reflective details for increased visibility, a single super large zippered rear pocket, and a trim fit that prevents flapping. 

Price: $200.00

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Rapha Brevet Insulated Jacket

A super packable warm and stylish jacket that will be the star of your next winter ride. The jacket features a full-length two-way zip for easy adjustability and reflective detailing for visibility in low light. The fast-drying Polartec Alpha insulation is coated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating meaning the jacket sheds water rather than holding it like natural down insulation. Soft, brushed jersey side panels add warmth and allow the jacket to stretch over full pockets, while reflective detailing increases visibility in low light. The jacket has two accessories pockets of its own on the lower back, secured with snap-down zippers. When not in use the jacket rolls up neatly, secured by an elasticated loop at the neck. Polartec Alpha is also highly compressible, made with a stable core… that prevents ‘fiber migration’ to keep a uniform consistency, even after heavy wear and repeated laundering.

Price: $125.00

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Castelli Alpha Ros Jacket

For those that love the race-ready look the Alpha ROS Jacket’s aggressive cut rides very tight to the body but warm like a puffer. The articulated collar is cut to prevent wind from catching it, and the shell and thermal layers’ zippers are offset to eliminate bulk and allow easy access on the go. It has three rear pockets and a zippered pocket in the rear and the front. The Castelli Alpha ROS Jacket’s two-layer construction separates the thermal insulation layer from the wind and waterproof outer shell. A double front opening to diffuse the cold air when you open up to ventilate on the climbs and prevent overheating. The thermal layer is breathable and is able to dissipate heat easily so temperature regulation is an all-over affair and not just confined to small pockets. If things heat up, even more, the thermal layer can also be zipped down. By creating two layers, each can do their job more efficiently. The thermal piece adds warmth and is more breathable while the outer Windstopper fabric keeps you dry and keeps the cold out. This results in you being less clammy at the top of the climb, and with a quick zip up, you can descend shiver-free since you’ll be warm and dry. Castelli rates the optimum operating temperature range between 23- to 50-degrees Fahrenheit. The Italian brand is typically conservative with its temperature estimates, so that huge range speaks volumes for the jacket’s versatility.

Price: $259.00

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Verge Forza Jacket

Verge is a staple in the domestic scene in nearly every facet of our sport but where they really excel is the cold winter months of cyclocross. The Forza Jacket is one that you’ll see on the pro riders from the Experzafootlogix UCI cyclocross team every weekend in the winter. The jacket is constructed from incredibly lightweight wind and waterproof Volare 3-layer membrane fabric for protection against the elements while maintaining breathability. Since safety is always top priority this jacket has a unique single rear pocket in pixel reflective technology along with pixel cuffs and reflective piping and easy storage. Solid double-opening zipper for maximum ventilation control. For those who are looking to customize their gear, Verge offers full sublimation and customization of its products.

Price: $150.00

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Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket – Women’s

Showers Pass bestselling Elite 2.1 cycling jacket uses Elite 3-Layer ripstop fabrics, body-mapped to maximize breathability and waterproof/windproof protection. When temperatures rise, Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket rises to the occasion with 6 venting options to keep you cool (2 core vents, 2 cuff vents, front zipper, and back vent). 3M Reflective trim keeps you visible from all angles. A large back pocket and chest pocket with audio port provide plenty of storage space for keys, flat repair kit, and energy bars. Long sleeves provide full wrist coverage and accommodate reach while on the bicycle. This jacket was designed with long-distance randonneurs and roadies in mind but has become a favorite training jacket of professional cyclists such as the Katusha Pro Russian Cycling team, everyday commuters, Kayakers, and Cross-country Skiers.

Price: $259.00

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 Pearl Izumi Quest Amfib Jacket – Women’s

When the cold wind starts blowing, one option is to hunker down inside with copious amounts of hot chocolate and marathon the latest show on your list, but that won’t serve you well when the spring miles hit. A better option is to don the Quest Amfib Jacket and take to the tarmac, burying yourself in the cozy warmth of the three-layer softshell while you keep toasty on the ride, braving sleet, cold gusts, and hail. It’s built with a little more room than most of Pearl’s road-ready lineup, offering the space you need to toss on a base layer and thermal jersey underneath when the temperatures plummet while keeping mobility a priority. Pearl employs its SELECT 3-Layer AmFIB softshell fabric on the Quest, offering protection against wind and water, while soft fibers inside wick away perspiration to keep you dry on the ride. The jacket is finished off with a zippered back pocket for stashing cards and keys, and reflective elements to help you stay seen in low lighting conditions.

Price: $130.00

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Terry Hybrid Jacket -Women’s

The Terry Hybrid Jacket is designed to do it all in one garment: full wind protection in front; moisture transport and temperature regulation in the rear; high visibility, coming and going. Stretch panels aid in on-bike mobility; full-length front zipper; elastic-free arms and hemline; flat-seam construction; 2 open rear pockets. Semi-fitted.

Price: $259.00

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Women’s Deflect Jacket W/ SWAT

Relationships with the weather forecast can be touch and go—sometimes they’re correct, but oftentimes, well, not so much. For the times when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate with the forecast, we’ve developed the Women’s Deflect Jacket w/ SWAT. The fabric consists of a Pertex Nylon that’s breathable, wind-resistant, and when combined with a DWR water-repellant coating, water-resistant. To add to its mountain-capability, we’ve added abrasion-resistant panels to the arms of the jacket, to prevent rips and tears when your shredding single-track. Unlike many of our other SWAT products, this jacket doesn’t house a myriad of pockets. Instead, it has one—simple and clean. While it may seem like a normal stuff pocket, it’s actually been designed in a rectangle shape to fit into the downtube of our SWAT-equipped bikes. The Deflect Jacket w/ SWAT is sure to be your go-to variable weather jacket, both on and off the bike.

Price: $125.00

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About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.

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