Rain jackets for touring

What sort of rain jackets are commonly used when touring?

I presume you look for something that compacts down, waterproof and breathes…

My recommendation would be to get something made with eVent fabric. It is the most breathable waterproof fabric available … much more breathable than the gore-tex fabric options and also very lightweight and durable. It is best known in climbing circles but cycling brands have now also caught onto it.

Most cycling jackets are made without a hood, as generally you don’t wear it. But a good mountaineering or climbing jacket will have a large hood that accommodates a climbing helmet. And I reckon when touring it would be ideal to get one like this as you are likely stuck in the wet for a long period of time and would appreciate the extra protection.

I know that the MacPac shop on Smith St often has sales on their mountaineering jackets made with eVent. I would look at these as an option. At RRP you can expect to pay around $600-$700, but on sale maybe around $400 or less for a good one. But it depends on whether you want to invest that much and how often you would use it.

An alternative is the DHB eVent fabric jacket available on Wiggle. It is much much cheaper than any other eVent fabric jacket I have seen. But as a cycling specific jacket I don’t think it has a hood.

As a minimum I would only buy eVent or a good gore-tex (like pro-shell or XCR). Nothing else really cuts it when it comes to breathability and proper waterproofness. Do not buy Pertex as it is not fully waterproof.

Also note that there are different brands of jackets and then different brands of fabric. Some brands will use different fabrics in different model jackets, so just because you’re buying say a macpac doesn’t mean you’re getting a good jacket because it might be made with a shit fabric.

EDIT: this is also a good deal http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=9261

Or… I saw a guy on a nice old, De Rosa near my place the other day. Wearing team knicks, with one of those big, yellow, rubber fishermans jackets on top.

See my Avatar. It even comes with a hood.

North Face.

Bit small thou… ?

The jacket has to be at least… three times bigger than this!

I’m looking for a jacket as well,
This one looks nice Breathable Waterproof Cycling Jacket - Lightweight Cycling Jacket - Best Cycling Outerwear | Showers Pass
but it would be good to get something you can buy from a store over here.
I found a source for the Rapah rain jacket and even the Paul smith one. Are they any good?

Showers Pass stuff is supposed to be really good. There’s a Melb distro too. I really really wanted the Portland jacket to fit right, but sadly it doesn’t work for me.

They come in all sizes up to OFB. Also comes in a very apples pale pastel blue (for those not self assured enough to carry off the traditional yellow).

i had one of their jackets. it was pretty good for a long time, but their sizing runs a little large.

I have a rain shadow jacket by Patagonia which I use for any wet weather including rides. It packs down well, is breathable and is from a highly regarded, environmentally conscious company; so one’s smugness factor is though the roof when wearing it.
And they’re awesome when anything goes wrong with their clothes

Thanks for the responses!

Now I just have to actually make a decision.

Clarion / Simon’s Showers Pass jacket looks the business. I want one!

Snowgum have a great windproof, waterproof, cycling jacket. I’ve had mine for two years and it’s great. Plus fashionable enough to wear at work.

haha +1
Patagonia is like the Rapha of outdoor equipment

Where do you work- Australian Taxation Office? :smiley: :smiley:

You just made the ‘Review last 5 years of returns’ list mate!

I bought the Rapha rain jacket today. Really light, waterproof and packable but if you’re touring you might want something a bit beefier, it doesn’t have much substance to it and won’t keep you warm at all, just dry.

Hmm, rain jacket is very personal, there are so many different types on the market it can get very confusing, especially with the huge variances in prices. Set a budget and find the best bang for your buck… probably the easiest way to make your decision.

When I cycled across australia during winter, I took a mountain hardware rain jacket, some waterproof shoes and socks. In hindsight I wished I bought some waterproof gloves and ditched the shoes/socks…

Touring isn’t very intensive, unless its warm (and if it is warm, no matter how breathable the jacket, you’re going to be wetter on the inside than the outside), so theres no need to splurge on the most breathable jacket on the market. I read a blog of a dude who pretty much cycled around the world and all he had was a $2 pancho…

There were days during my trip where I would do over 100km in rain. Layering was very important during these days, generally longsleeve merino wool icebreaker along with a windproof vest/jacket (ground effect).
Then the rain jacket on top to keep my upperbody dry (ie. no need for windproof jacket if you have a windproof vest).

I made the stupid mistake of not bringing waterproof gloves, theres nothing worse than cold hands on a day of riding, pants didnt matter so much, but some 3/4 waterproof pants would’ve been handy too, keeping my core warm/dry was my main concern.

Spending ~$200 bucks on waterproof shoes + socks was the worst investment i ever made because they’re not that waterproof in the sense that water rolls down your calves and into your shoes and stays there… sigh.

ghetto waterproof gloves:

ps. Hood was better under the helmet rather than over.