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Insulated Cycling Jackets for the Cold Months

It's cold outside but you want to go out for a bike ride nevertheless? Then a cycling jacket for winter will be a good choice for you! Special thermal jackets keep you warm in low temperatures and protect you from cold draughts. An insulation offers additional, effective protection from the cold. In this buyer's guide, we will show you what to pay attention to when buying an insulated cycling jacket.

We stock a wide range of women's and men's thermal jackets in all common sizes and colours by renowned brands like JACK WOLFSKIN, VAUDE, ALÉ, GORE WEAR, MAVIC, NALINI, GONSO, assos, ENDURA and ROSE.

Windproof membranes – Well protected from draughts and wind chill

Cold draughts make you feel uncomfortable on every bike tour. Therefore, you should make sure your new cycling jacket is made of a material that provides sufficient protection from wind. Ideally, you choose a windproof jacket that comes with a membrane. This microporous protective layer inside the fabric stops wind from passing through the cycling jacket, thus preventing wind chill. With increasing wind speed, the wind chill effect makes the air temperature feel colder than it actually is. An air temperature of 5°C for instance may feel like -18°C for the body at moderate wind speeds. Windproof membranes can be found in softshell jackets as well as in winter jackets and protect you from draughts and wind chill. Some popular windproof membranes are for instance GORE WINDSTOPPER, WINDTEX by ALÉ, WINDPROOF by VAUDE and STORMLOCK by JACK WOLFSKIN.

Waterproof membranes – act against rain!

When riding on stormy days and through one or more rain showers, you should make sure your thermal cycling jacket is well protected against rain and wheel spray. Rain jackets either feature a water-repellent surface coating or a microporous membrane that is laminated to the other layers of the garment to stop water from penetrating.

A waterproof membrane is a thin protective layer integrated in the fabric of your jacket. Thanks to microscopically small perforations, rain drops cannot pass through the layer, so that the cycling jacket will keep you dry. Besides, these perforations offer great breathability, as they allow excess moisture from sweat pass through the microscopic perforations for evaporation. Thus, a waterproof membrane keeps rain outside, while ensuring high breathability for a good body climate. Some popular waterproof membranes are GORE-TEX, CEPLEX by VAUDE and TEXAPORE by JACK WOLFSKIN.

A water-resistant surface treatment withstands less water than waterproof membranes. After a while or in heavy rain, water might break though the coating. That's why a water-repellent surface treatment rather is a good choice when riding in light rain and needing protection from wheel spray. For heavy rain though, a rain jacket with a waterproof membrane might be a better choice.

Softshell – The all-rounder for daily use

Softshell is becoming increasingly popular. The material is very elastic, comes with a windproof membrane like GORE WINDSTOPPER, protects from light rain and spray, feels pleasantly soft on the skin and follows all your movements. The perfect combination for daily commutes and weekend tours!

However, please keep in mind that softshell jackets are only water-resistant, which means that they 'merely' protect you from light rain and wheel spray. For a wider choice of softshell jackets see here.

Insulation – Additional warmth in winter

For especially cold days, thermal cycling jackets often have an insulation to keep you warm. This insulating layer either consists of feathers and down, like in down jackets or down gilets, or of synthetic fibres such as Primaloft (made of polyester). Synthetic insulation jackets are becoming more and more popular.

A classic down insulation offers the perfect combination of packability and protection against cold. The higher the fill power of the down layer, the higher the insulating capabilities. The only disadvantage of down is that you need to be careful when washing them and that they lose their insulating capabilities when wet.

A synthetic insulation on the contrary is much easier to wash and still insulating when wet. Synthetic fibres have a similar fill power, are lightweight, and highly packable – yet, they offer slightly less insulation than down.

We offer a huge range of down jackets and winter jackets with synthetic insulation.

Practical features for functional jackets

  • Hood: If you use your bike for daily commutes, we recommend choosing a winter jacket with hood. The hood of an outdoor jacket protects the sensitive areas around your head from cold weather, wind chill, wind and rain. Winter jackets for cyclists who are rather outside in nature to do sports and always wear a helmet usually don't have a hood but a high stand-up collar to protect your neck.
  • Fleece: A warm and soft lining is a good choice for cold days. A popular material for a lining is fleece, as it retains heat very well while feeling pleasantly soft on the skin. Therefore, many winter jackets feature a fleece lining.
  • Reflective elements: When regularly riding on public roads in twilight or darkness, your thermal jacket should have large reflective elements. Thus, other road users will see you earlier. Ideally, your sport jacket comes in bright hi-vis colours for best visibility. This is where you will find our hi-vis jackets.

These practical tips will help you find a great companion for riding through the winter. If you don't know which thermal cycling jacket is best for you, our experts will be happy to help. Just give us a call or write an email!

We stock a wide range of women's and men's thermal jackets in all common sizes and colours by renowned brands like JACK WOLFSKIN, VAUDE, ALÉ, GORE WEAR, MAVIC, NALINI, GONSO, assos, ENDURA and ROSE.