Check out our list of awesome tops for awful weather.
Words - James Raison
We're very lucky at La Velocita. We get to test a whole lot of awesome waterproof gear. Some of the list below was sent for review, and some of it are our personal favorites that we've bought and loved ourselves. In all cases this is not a paid piece, it's purely to help you guys choose the best weather fighting gear!
All rain-fighting tops are about choosing a balance between water resistance, weight, and breathability. So below we’ve sorted some options for the spectrum of rain that will try and ruin your rides.
The Gabba was an industry changing item. It’s a light jersey that is surprisingly waterproof. Other brands have rushed to release their own version - see Rapha shadow, Sportful Flandre for examples.
Castelli’s Gabba and its lighter variation Perfetto jerseys can withstand a surprising amount of rain. Every cyclist should have a water-resistant jersey in their collection. They’re just so fantastically versatile. They’re not as light or breathable than the Morvelo but they’ll hold out more rain. As an added bonus they’ll help keep a helluvalot of wind out too. We never reviewed it but those that have it agree that it's awesome.
Morvelo Storm Shield Rain Jersey
Nobody knows more about getting rained on than the British and it shows with the Morvelo Rain Shield. This is the lightest waterproof jersey we’ve tested. It’s a rather interesting piece of kit. It’ll withstand quite a lot of rain. It can get a little sweaty if you're riding hard but that's the concession you make. We think of it as basically a hard shell jersey. We like it and we think you’ll like it too.
Cafe du Cycliste Josette Waterproof jersey
Another entrant in the emerging waterproof jersey segment came to us all the way from France. The Josette waterproof jersey puts up a solid fight to the cold and wet, and perfectly suits light rain, or sudden showers. It's not the most breathable but that's just the nature of these waterproofs. No kit collection is complete without a quality waterproof jersey.
Gore Windstopper Active Shell Vest
A well-sorted gilet can see you through some pretty horrid weather. The Gore Windstopper Active Shell Vest is a damn good performer. This thing is sealed up to keep out the wind, but I’m yet to have any rain get through. It’s light, packs down tiny, and can be carried in your jersey all winter. It’s a premium product that goes for a premium price. We think it’s worth it though.
Morvelo Plan B Race Cape
The 79 gram Morvelo Plan B Race Cape will keep you dry when things get showery. It’s a race cut, ultralight, stuffaway waterproof membrane that has but incredibly useful for me. It’ll withstand about an hour of decent rain before it gets overwhelmed and soaks through. It’s also great for long, cold descents. This is literally my plan-b item. It has spends a lot of time in my jersey pocket when weather looks like it could get nasty. Pricing is outstanding as well. Add one of these to your collection, you won’t regret it.
Rapha Pro Team Race Cape
The Pro Team Race Cape is the top of the pile when it comes to racing waterproof jackets. Their front, back, and arms are impressively waterproof. The side and underarm panels are a more breathable material to keep you from overheating. Sustained heavy rain will eventually seep in through the arm zippers, and down your neck, and into the underarm panels but it takes a while. This is not a cheap item but it’s one we keep going back to because it’s outstanding.
Pedla AquaDRY Race
Pedla's entry into the race cape category has yielded some very positive results. This thing has had a solid workout since we got it. It has quickly become a go-to jacket for rainy mornings and is a competitor to the Rapha Race Cape - just without zippered cuffs. It's light, breathes reasonably well, and looks pretty damn stylish with those colours and patterns. It ain't cheap, but it's damn good.
Rapha Core Rain jacket
At the more affordable end of the Rapha spectrum is the Core rain jacket. It’s not as racey as the Pro Team Race Cape but it’ll keep a lot of rain at bay. It's substantially cheaper than the Race Cape as well, so that's always a plus. It's all put together with Rapha's high quality. Mind that fit though - this is a little bigger than standard Rapha offerings.
Pearl Izumi Elite WxB jacket
I tested this full-blown waterproof last year and it hit a lot of good notes: arms were long, butt-coverage was good, and the neck was high. Most importantly it kept out a lot of rain. That’s the one and only feature of this jacket. It has no pockets, elastic in the cuffs, and a single zipper down the front. But that’s fine because this thing will keep you dry in torrential rain. What more can we ask? It isn't the most aggressive fit though, so this is for days when you want to be dry more than fast.
Gore Oxygen 2.0 Active Jacket
This is a positively deluxe hard shell waterproof. I love its reflective trim, its raised collar and its satisfyingly firm arms. It’s also a much slimmer cut than most full waterproofs. There’s zippered cuffs in case that help you get some air into your arms and some lovely angular zippers on the rear to let you access your pockets. It feels surprisingly supple to wear. Rain? Pffft, this thing laughs it off. It’s a top quality product.