Best winter cycling jackets 2023 to keep you warm on the bike

The best winter cycling jackets are often the difference that makes winter riding miserable or mega

Image shows a rider wearing one of the best winter cycling jackets.
(Image credit: Future)

The best winter cycling jackets act as a shield from rain and wind, to provide protection from the coldest weather, allowing you to keep riding all year round. 

Blending fleecy, thermal fabrics with water repellent coatings – a quality winter jacket makes pre-ride wardrobe decisions a much more straightforward affair. No wondering whether showers may or may not materialise – unless it's concertedly raining or especially cold, the jacket will be all you need. 

Otherwise, you will need to pair up with on of the best cycling base layers or best waterproof cycling jackets – but at least there's not much ambiguity regarding those most miserable days.

Winter might not strike you as the best time to pick up a good discount – but as retailers vie for your custom, insulated jackets often get offered up as 'loss leaders' to get you onto their sites. 

Best winter cycling jackets reviewed

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Here's a look at some of the best winter cycling jackets we've ridden and rated. Almost all will come with both male and female fit options, so don't just automatically scroll past a great option if the image doesn't show the gendered version you're shopping for.   

Image shows a rider wearing the Rapha Brevet Infinium which is one of the best winter cycling jackets

(Image credit: Future)
Best for lower intensity rides in cool, damp conditions


Fabric: Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper, Teijin Octa
Wind/ water protection : Water resistant and windproof
Temperature range : 1°C/ 35°F - 8°C/ 45°F
Sizes: XS - XXL
Colours : Navy, pink

Reasons to buy

Good weight for cool, damp rides
Can handle shorter downpours
Plenty of carrying capacity

Reasons to avoid

Vertical reflective stripes may not appeal

The Rapha Brevet is designed for the mid-cold, damp conditions typical in the UK winter. Its Gore-Tex Infinium fabric is windproof and there's brand-name Teijin Octa fleece insulation where it's needed on the chest, collar, shoulders and front of the sleeves. Sides and back are uninsulated and the armpits are thinner for breathability. There are small front handwarmer pockets as well as three deep rear pockets, so you can load up for long rides.

Our tester found the Infinium fabric copes well with lower intensity rides on damp days and also with short heavier downpours, while the well-placed insulation avoids overheating while still keeping you warm on cold days. We rated the slim fit and ample arm length too. Weight is just 339g for a small and it's available for both men and women.

Read more: Rapha Men's Brevet Insulated Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Endura Pro SL 3-Season which is one of the best winter cycling jackets.

(Image credit: Future)
Best winter cycling jacket for temperature regulation


Fabric: Endura Pro SL, Primaloft Evolve insulation
Wind/ water protection : Water and wind resistant
Temperature range : 3°C/ 37°F - 15°C/ 59°F
Sizes: XS - XXL (men's )
Colours : Black, aqua, grape, pumpkin

Reasons to buy

Large array of vents to control warmth
Detachable inner vest 
Total of six rear pockets

Reasons to avoid

Tapered rear pockets aren't that usable

The Endura Pro SL  3-Season jacket provides fantastic adjustability so that you can get your core temperature just right no matter how hard you're working and what the weather is doing.

It's round the back that warmer jackets can get uncomfortably sweaty, but Endura uses mesh and includes a large vent top centre. There's even more venting too, with long, zipped slot vents on the front and on the forearms.

When you need more insulation, there's a removable Primaloft vest that covers your front and sides and can be zipped up separately from the outer jacket. Six rear pockets provide loads of carrying room, although the tapered side pockets are fiddly to use.

Read more: Endura Pro SL 3-Season jacket full review (opens in new tab)

Image shows a rider wearing the Le Col Pro Jacket II which is one of the best winter cycling jackets

(Image credit: Andy Turner )
Best for fast paced rides with changing conditions


Fabric: Polartec Neoshell
Wind/ water protection: Wind proof, waterproof
Temperature range: 0°C/ 32°F-15°C/ 59°F
Sizes: XS-XXXL
Colours: Cobalt, Merlot, and Black

Reasons to buy

Great wind and water proofing
Can be worn over a base layer
Race fit should be more aero
Arms and torso are a good length
Reflective detailing
Waterproof pocket
Great for colder conditions

Reasons to avoid

Zip feels a bit chunky when zipped all the way up
It is expensive

The Le Col Pro Jacket II makes great use of Polartec Neoshell to keep you dry and the chill off, whilst the Dynamic air exchange technology keeps you from overheating during the faster paced efforts. The cut makes for a figure hugging fit, ideal for when the temperatures are low but you want to go fast. 

The sleeves utilise an elastic cuff which is just the right level of tight, while the sleeves themselves are long enough for even lanky riders, such as our 190cm / 6'3” reviewer. The three large pockets are easy to access, and there’s an additional waterproof zipped one for keeping valuables.

This jacket excels in temperatures from freezing up to 10 to 14 degrees depending on the intensity of your ride. It’s close fitting, however there is a little bit of bunching at the front when hunched over, and the zip was a little tight on the neck for our tester when fully zipped. Aside from that, comfort is excellent and really does keep you warm when it’s cool – and protected from the elements. Despite the close fit, the jacket is also versatile enough to use over a base layer, if you so wish.

Price wise this is very much at the higher end, but if you can afford it, then you will not be disappointed.

Read more: Le Col Pro Jacket II full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Sportful Tempo which is one of the best winter cycling jackets

(Image credit: Future )
A high quality, all round winter jacket


Fabric: GORE-TEX INFINUM panel on the front, polyester on the rear
Wind/ water protection: Splash proof and highly wind proof material
Temperature range: 3°C/ 37°F-13°C/ 55°F
Sizes: S-XXXL

Reasons to buy

Very well made - no signs of wear after many washes
Comfortable from three to thirteen degrees with the right layers 
Polyester back panel and windproof front means the jacket is warm without being stuffy

Reasons to avoid

Empty List

The Sportful Tempo Jacket is a windproof, breathable jacket that’s designed for use across autumn, winter and spring. Priced at $200 / £160, it’s significantly cheaper than a Castelli Perfetto yet is a rival in terms of quality and performance.

The Tempo jacket has a windproof front panel constructed with ‘GORE-TEX INFINIUM’ material and a breathable polyester panel on the back. Our reviewer found the balance to be spot on, delivering excellent protection from wind chill without such a tendency to overheat.

This combination makes it a great option for those who like to do their intervals on the road during the winter. It won’t keep you dry in a downpour but, thanks to its close fit, a rain shell will easily fit over the top. It’s a great ‘all round’ winter jacket for all but the wettest of days.

Read more: Sportful Tempo Jacket full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Rapha Pro Team which is one of the best winter cycling jackets

(Image credit: Future)
Best winter cycling jacket for multiple temperatures


Fabric: Insulated Polyester. Nylon, Elastane mix
Wind/ Water protection: None specified
Temperature range: Windchill -5°C/ 23°F to 10°C/ 50°F
Sizes : XXS - XL (Women's) XS - XXL (Men's)
Colours : Black/ white, purple (Women's) Black/ white, purple, green (men's)

Reasons to buy

Thermally insulated
Good degree of breathability 
Low Bulk when on 
Great race cut fit
High build quality
Competitively priced

Reasons to avoid

Cuffs could be stretchier

The water resistant Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket (opens in new tab) performs superbly in a wide range of conditions, with a sweet spot around 5°C/ 41°F or slightly higher, but capable of keeping us warm across a good temperature range, depending on base layer selection.

The cut is undoubtedly race, making it low profile and avoiding bunching when on the drops. The sleeves team will with gloves, but could do with being a little stretchier, especially if you're a watch wearer.  

There's plenty of storage front and back and a good deal of reflective detailing, making this racing style jacket highly practical. 

It's priced very competitively when considered alongside the likes of the Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket Evo, but you'll probably need to factor in a purchase of one of the best packable rain jackets to be fully covered for all conditions.

This item is available in men's and women's fit, with the women's version going under the guise of UMA GT.

Read more: Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket full review (opens in new tab)

Image shows a rider wearing the Assos Mille GT Ultraz which is one of the best winter cycling jackets

(Image credit: Future)
Best winter cycling jacket for protection and breathability


Fabrics : NEOS Light, RX Heavy double-layer, 3L softshell, PU bonded, NEOS Ultra
Wind/ Water protection: Windproof, water repellent
Temperature range : Down to sub zero/ below 32°F
Sizes: XS - XLG (women's) / XS - XLG & TIR (Men's)
Colours : Fluro pink, black (women's) or Fluro red/orange, black, fluro green (men's)

Reasons to buy

Very warm even in freezing conditions
Great fit without restrictions
Clever double sleeve design

Reasons to avoid

No zipped pocket for protecting valuables (especially on wet rides)
High price tag 

As winter jackets go, the Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket Evo is one of the toughest. The inner lining is luxuriously soft and provides you with instant warmth the moment you slip the great-fitting winter cycling jacket on.

The technology behind these fabrics isn't to be underestimated. To gain a weather barrier that's fully windproof, water resistant and still retains great breathability is really impressive. 

On test we found the double cuff design on the arms really effective, doing away with the gloves over or under jacket dilemma.  

Ideally we would like to have seen weatherproofed rear pockets. The inclusion of a waterproof zipped pocket would have put our minds at total rest for valuables protection. 

It's one of the more expensive options in our lineup of the best winter cycling jackets, but it's not comparable with the likes of the Endura Windchill II jacket. It's the ultimate winter cycling jacket for those who won’t let the weather get in the way of their riding. 

Read more: Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket Evo full review (opens in new tab)

Image shows a rider wearing the Castelli Alpha ROS 2 which is one of the best winter cycling jackets

(Image credit: Future)
Best Castelli all-rounder winter cycling jacket


Fabric : Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper 150, ProSecco Strada lightweight, ProSecco Strada lightweight, ProSecco Strada lightweight, Nano Flex Xtra Dry
Wind/ water protection: Wind and water resistant
Temperature range : 8°C/ 46°F - 15 °C / 59°F
Sizes: S - XL (women's) / S - 3XL (men's)
Colours: Black, fluro red (women's) or green, blue, fluro red, silver/gray (men's)

Reasons to buy

Great range of temperature versatility
Warmth generated constantly
Impressive breathability

Reasons to avoid

Baggy sleeves compared to tighter race fit of torso

Castelli's range of winter gear is becoming bewilderingly vast, but if you're looking for a 'suits most conditions' middle ground, this is the one to go for.

The defining feature of the Castelli Alpha ROS 2 light jacket (opens in new tab) is its double layer make-up. On the inside, is an insulating ProSecco Strada lightweight fabric. Over the top, and on the sleeves, there’s an extra blanket of Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper 150 material. The back of the jacket uses Nano Flex Xtra Dry material, with a focus on breathability and rain shedding thanks to a water-repellent finish.

The race cut style means that this is a really easy winter cycling jacket to reach for, although ideally we'd like the arms slimmed down to match the torso's figure hugging fit. 

It's a clear alternative to the much loved Castelli Gabba jacket, and even the more recent Perfetto.

Read more: Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Light jacket full review (opens in new tab)

Image shows a rider wearing the Assos Equipe RS Johdah S9 Targa which is one of the best winter cycling jackets

(Image credit: Owen Rogers)
Best money-no-object winter cycling jacket


Fabric: Assos Sphere, Osmos, Ziggy Zaggy
Wind/ water protection : Water resistant and windproof
Temperature range : 2°C/ 35°F - 10°C/ 50°F
Sizes: XS - XLG
Colours : Black

Reasons to buy

Very warm for its weight
Inner gilet to adjust warmth
Large pockets

Reasons to avoid

Very expensive
Gilet doesn't cover the belly
Non-closable shoulder vents

If you have deep pockets, the Assos Johdah jacket is a class act, that weighs just 520g but manages to be warm enough for easier winter rides and still breathes well enough to keep you comfortable on harder efforts. 

The front includes a short fleece "mini-gilet" over the chest and there is "Ziggy Zaggy" foam insulation in the forearms, which we found a little baggy. Elsewhere, the fit is skin tight though.

Although the chest gilet provides some warmth, it leaves your stomach with less insulation, and we found that we got a little chilly here. There are also shoulder vents, but these aren't sealable and we found that chilly draughts found their way in.

We rated the Assos jacket's voluminous pockets though and there are plenty of reflectives.

Read more: Assos Equipe RS Johdah S9 Targa Winter Jacket full review

All you need to know about winter cycling jackets

While your legs are constantly moving on a bike, your torso and arms spend a lot of the time pretty static. Keeping them warm by wearing a great fitting winter cycling jackets is paramount, not only for your riding enjoyment, but, as the key controllers of your bike, in keeping you safe too.

Differing from the best long sleeved cycling jerseys (opens in new tab), that plug the weather gaps of spring and fall/ autumn, the perfect winter cycling jacket will allow you to keep riding in much colder and wetter conditions, thanks to its thermal insulation, wind and waterproof properties, as well as being capable of maintaining good breathability. 

What should I look for in a winter cycling jacket?

Often ‘thermal’ and made from a Roubaix-style soft, fleece-backed fabric, the best winter cycling jackets will usually come with a windstopper front, which is often paired with a more breathable fabric at the back to allow for heat dissipation.

The difference between winter racing and a gentle commute in the coldest months of the year is vast. Meeting your specific needs is a careful balancing act of keeping the weather out and the warmth in. The best winter cycling jacket for you will need to match these exacting requirements.

Waterproofing is something you'll also find in many winter cycling jackets, along with storm flaps on the zips, either internal or external. Pockets will often be waterproofed with zips or flaps, as well as deeper - allowing room to stow one of the best waterproof cycling jackets or best cycling gilets.

Shorter days and longer nights in winter will mean that at some point you're probably going to be riding in the dark, or at least lower light levels, so winter cycling jackets often come with more reflective details than most of the best summer cycling jerseys.

What's the difference between 'waterproof' and 'water resistant'?

If you plan on riding through truly biblical conditions, you’ll need a jacket that can stand up to the deluge.

The way a fabric's waterproofness is tested is by measuring the Hydrostatic Head. That is, how tall a column of water can be stood on the material before it starts to penetrate through the fabric. For a proper waterproof jacket, you should be looking for at least 10,000mm and going up to 20,000mm for greater protection from the rain. That said, the more waterproof a fabric is, the less breathable it tends to be. 

How is breathability measured?

There are few feelings less pleasant than the clammy clasp of a jacket with poor breathability. It’s no good being protected from the elements if you just end up getting drenched from the inside.

The key is getting the perfect winter cycling jacket to match your style of riding.

Breathability is measured by the number of grams of water vapour that can pass through a square meter of the material in a 24-hour period. A value of 10,000–20,000g/m²/24hrs tends to be fine for a steady ride, but if you are putting in some spicy efforts you’ll want to be looking in the range of 20,000–40,000g/m²/24hrs.

Get the breathability balance right and it will pay dividends in the comfort of your ride.

What is a softshell?

A water resistant “softshell” jacket sacrifices some waterproofness for warmth and increased ride comfort. As the name suggests, they are made of softer, more comfortable fabric than a "hardshell" rain jacket. They're stretchy too.

These are breathable enough to ride in the dry without feeling clammy and can fend off a shower — although not a downpour. This makes them a great winter cycling jacket for changeable days when you’re not sure what the weather will do — and certainly makes the pre-ride choice of which jacket to put on significantly easier.

Some of the waterproofing properties will be down to spray treatment, often referred to as DWR (durable water resistant coating). While this will wash/ wear out after time, the good news is that you can reapply it yourself. Our guide on how to re-waterproof your cycling jacket will tell you all about it. 

What makes a winter jacket warm?

Although it might be cold out, sometimes it’s worth not opting for the warmest jacket available. As a highly technical piece of clothing, a winter jacket does represent a considerable investment, so you’ll want to maximise the amount of use you will get out of it.

Remember, you can always combine a thinner jacket with more layers, but you can’t make a thick jacket any less warm. In fact, layering is the key to getting the right degree of warmth for the conditions. Don’t make the mistake of paying through the nose for the absolutely best winter cycling jacket you’ll only use on the five coldest days of the year.

Although, if you know you do run irremediably cold, then by all means get the warmest jacket you can to keep you riding through the winter!

What fit should I get?

Even with the best winter cycling jackets, you'll need to decide what kind of fit you want. Some winter jackets are cut to leave space for extra layers to be added underneath. Others share the same tight fit as the lighter-weight options in the range. 

The same principle applies to whether a collar is intended to be skin-tight, preventing any draughts from shooting down your neck, or if the jacket is supposed to be used in combination with a buff and therefore cut to leave a little extra room.

Either way, spend some time reading our reviews and checking sizes before buying so you know whether you're meant to layer up, or if there's only room for the best cycling base layer underneath. 

The best commuter cycling jackets are a good option to consider if you're planning to ride to work and need to fit extra work clothes underneath.

Any other features to consider?

Generally, when the conditions are such that you need a winter jacket, visibility is not going to be great either. Opting for a jacket that uses brighter colours and reflective detailing can go a long way to helping you be seen on the roads.

Most of the best winter cycling jackets will have elements of high-viz or reflectivity built in.

How we test

All of the best winter cycling jackets in this buyers guide have been put through their paces, having been ridden by our tech team in the harshest of conditions 

We all have a wealth of experience of cycling year round, so know what makes an ideal winter warmer, and what doesn't. 

These winter cycling jackets are all standout quality because not only will they keep you warm in the coldest season, but also feature either technical innovation, super practical detailing or are just a great jacket for the price. 

We're testing kit all year round, so as soon as the mercury drops, we'll be pulling our thermals on and reviewing more of the latest winter cycling kit, and will ensure this page is kept up to date with only the best on test.  

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.