There’s no denying it – it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dark. Some of you will have packed your bikes away for the winter, choosing to take the bus as a warmer, safer option. Some of you however, will be wrapping up each morning/evening and braving the chill. Whether or not you’re a fair weather cyclist or a hardy year-round pedaller, for those journeys when it’s raining, dark, misty or just chilly it’s worth investing in a good jacket.
For me, a good cycling jacket will be lightweight so you don’t get too hot while riding, be protective enough to shelter from the elements and also offer some sort of extra visibility for added safety. Oh, and it must be cute. Here’s my pick of the best.
Available in pale blue or navy this trench coat is belted for a slimline silhouette, has concealed interior pleating for extra manoeuverability (and protection of trousers) when riding, and reflective strips around the waist. There’s even a removable hood, but your helmet should be on your head, so it’s strictly for pre/post cycle dashes in the rain please.
Apologies for putting two Bobbins Bicycle jackets in the same post, but if a place does something well… This perky jacket is described as sitting ‘somewhere between a lighthouse keeper and little red riding hood’. Could there be a more jolly description? It’s bang on the money in pillar box red, is waterproof and good lord it’s attractive. Also available in yellow, for those days when you’re bored of being a lighthouse keeper and fancy your chances as a fisherman.
Adidas by Stella McCartney, Run Glow in the Dark Jacket, RRP £150
This might be branded as a running top, but it serves just as well for cycling. The leopard print detailing give it a fashion edge and the breathable fabric will be perfect for people who cycle hard and fast and need to regulate their temperature. The only downside for cyclists is it’s relatively slim fitting so if you’re planning on layering up, maybe go a size larger than you usually would.
New Look, Drawstring Parka, £15.99
This doesn’t have any reflective qualities, but then it wasn’t designed with sport in mind. However, for a cheapy it will do for shorter cycles around town. It’s lightweight, will scrunch up into a tote should you want to stash it in a handbag between rides, is water-resistant and I like the drawstring waist offering a flattering cut. The hood is handy too, and the hemline has a second drawstring which can be pulled tight to keep drafts at bay. Plus it’s purple, which is rather, dare I say it – ‘on-trend’. Cringe.
Again it’s not going to make your more visible, you’ll need to add a reflective strip for that. But the added length will provide enhanced protection from wind and rain while the tabbed sleeves free up arms and wrists should you want extra air (or want to add a chunky pair of ski gloves). Drawstring facilities mean you can lock heat in and chill out. I also like the slightly trashy plastic bag look. But then maybe that’s just me.