Recommendations for cheap, lightweight rain jacket-y thing for biking
May 24, 2013 10:21 AM   Subscribe

I bike commute every day year round and as a result often end up biking in the rain. I need recommendations for a lightweight, compact rain jacket-y thing that I can carry with me every day in my bag. It needs to be comfortable for summer. If it's a women's jacket, it needs to fit an XL-XXL with broad shoulders; men's jackets are also okay provided that the fit is fairly tailored. Compactness is key - I carry a medium-sized messenger bag and my current rain jacket takes up most of the room when I bring it. Warmth isn't really a concern as this is for times when I can't wear a wool jacket and hat. Should not be designed to fit super tight, as it will need to go over a shirt and possibly a light cardigan. Cheap is better than expensive, but I would pay for a spendy one if it were perfect.
posted by Frowner to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I read this review of the 02 rain jacket, and it seemed perfect for my needs (same as your needs). I bought one, and it is very nice. It isn't ultra compact, but you can definitely fold it up to the size of a hardback book. Also, they do offer large sizes, which I also need. I was able to get a 3XL from them. Best of all-- cheap.
posted by seasparrow at 10:28 AM on May 24, 2013

I have and like a Pearl Izumi jacket like this one (though mine is the women's version). It keeps light rain out (though heavier rain, when you're riding a bike, is pretty much going to soak you no matter what) and is really comfortable and breathable. I tried a regular rain jacket but it wasn't nearly breathable enough.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:28 AM on May 24, 2013

The Trail Model Rain Jacket from L.L. Bean could fit the bill. It worked for me as a cyclist who used to live in rainy Portland, Oregon. Maybe a bit pricey but Bean's has a lifetime guarantee, I think.
posted by seemoreglass at 10:37 AM on May 24, 2013

I have a woman's Endura rain jacket. While the women's wear does not have the sizes you need, the men's should fit.
I have worn mine in rain and snow. It is breathable (pit zips, pit zip, pit zits!) and comfortable. Because it is made for cyclists, it also has the longer tail in the back to account for your bending forward to your handlebars. It also has reflectors on the jacket placed in strategic places. Though I paid $100, and certainly don't bike 365, I am very happy with the quality and will probably have it for a very long time.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 10:39 AM on May 24, 2013

I have this jacket from REI, and have liked it a lot both for biking and for generally staying dry and keeping the wind off. I generally just leave it in the bottom of one of my panniers in case of wet/cool/dark; it packs pretty small and isn't as stiff as some of the more hardcore waterproof jackets are. This one also looks promising, but I have no personal recommendation for it. They're both available in XL but you'd probably want to check the measurements on them.
posted by asperity at 10:50 AM on May 24, 2013

Comfortable for summer=breathable? If so, you'll need to either stalk online discount retailers like Sierra Trading Post or get ready to spend.

I've been happy with this one from Marmot: It has a bit of stretch and the arms are a bit long--two things that work for me when I'm riding. Along with being lightweight, breathable and water repellent. I found an older version online for under $100.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2013

I'm pretty happy with my Marmot PreCip jacket. It gets pretty compact - I always stuff it at the bottom of my bag when I travel.
posted by backwards guitar at 12:07 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wear this Brooks jacket for running in the rain, and I like it a lot. It is extremely light (4.3 ounces) and folds up into its own pocket, about the size of a paperback book, I guess? (I have the medium, the XL is probably a bit larger). It is a little spendy but is on sale now, and has some great features like a zipper garage.
posted by matcha action at 12:48 PM on May 24, 2013

Do you want one with a tail to block you from getting the spray streak up your butt? I prefer jackets with tail protection even though it doesn't work 100%. The one problem with them is that they can catch on your bike seat sometimes.

The big issue with most lightweight waterproof cycling jackets is that you need access to a dryer for them to remain waterproof. It was a pain when I lived in the UK because I didn't have one and the local laundromats wouldn't let me just dry stuff.

I found most of the jackets I have owned were never really all that breathable - at best you could unzip armpits but if you ride at all hard you still create an interior rain cycle just from your own perspiration.

I use the MEC supermycroft
posted by srboisvert at 2:03 PM on May 24, 2013

2nd Marmot Precip
posted by coolsara at 7:38 PM on May 24, 2013

I did quite a bit of hunting around to answer this question a year or two ago. I found the best reviewed jackets were from Showers Pass.
posted by Borborygmus at 7:49 PM on May 24, 2013

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