Waterproof, Windproof and Showerproof Cycling Clothing: What’s The Difference?

Cycling Clothing

Whether you’re a road-going cyclist in the week or prefer countryside rides at the weekend, the last thing you want to be peddling against is the weather. Come rain, wind or shine– or all three in the UK! – this article will take you through the main types of Cycling Clothing for wet and windy conditions, and explain the difference between waterproof, windproof and showerproof constructions.

Whatever The Weather

Firstly, you need to think about the kind of weather you’ll be riding in and for how long. If you’re looking for a commuting jacket and will be cycling for less than an hour around residential streets, a showerproof cycling jacket will be fine. If, on the other hand, you’re planning to navigate hilltops and rough terrain in the depths of winter, you’ll need a waterproof cycling jacket. A windproof cycling jacket could prove useful for either, so it’s well worth finding out a little bit more about its properties to determine whether it’s a good choice for you.

Is Showerproof The Same As Waterproof?

In short, no. Showerproof cycling jackets are designed to protect you from lighter spells for shorter periods and are treated with a waterproof coating, rather than being made with a waterproof shell. The plus is that this makes showerproof cycling jackets lighter – great for comfort, storage and speed – with the added advantage of shielding your kit from unexpected drizzle. They’re often cheaper too. We love the B’Twin 700 Cycling Showerproof Jacket with its stretchy fit and semi-transparent look. It promises to deter 3000mm of water as well, which isn’t far behind some of its waterproof counterparts.

Cycling Clothing
B’Twin 700 Cycling Showerproof Jacket

The Advantages Of A Waterproof Cycling Jacket

For extra protection over longer periods, waterproof cycling jackets are made with a waterproof membrane and often have taped or sealed seams to stop water seeping through to your clothes and trickling down your body. The waterproof membrane has a thin layer of tiny pores that are both large enough to let perspiration out and small enough to stop rain drops getting in, meaning this kind of jacket is better at keeping you dry and ventilated than showerproof styles.

If you’re torn between the litheness of a showerproof design and the rain-warding abilities of a waterproof style, our vibrant pink B’Twin 500 Cycling Jacket is a great combination of both and has reflective panels. It’s recommended for up to 2-hours wear, but if that’s not enough, take a look at the same brand’s 700 Membrane Waterproof Cycling Jacket. It’s made with frequent riders in mind and is 100% waterproof and windproof (more on what that means further down the page), and offers great breathability owing to the 3-ply Novadry membrane, which can handle up to 5000mm of rain.

Cycling Clothing
B’Twin 500 Women’s Waterproof Cycling Jacket

Why Windproof?

So, why would you opt for a windproof cycling jacket? As any keen cyclist will know, peddling in the wind is hard but despite working up a sweat, the wrong jacket can actually make you feel colder. Picture this: the wind whips up inside your jacket and cools down the sweat on your body, meaning a long ride can leave you drenched in icy water. Windproof cycling jackets are designed to stop the wind in its tracks, and they’re super lightweight, so you can always carry it in your bag until you reach higher ground. Try the B’Twin 700 Ultralight Windproof Cycling Jacket for £19.99 – it’s a great choice for breezy spring days as well as colder autumn outings.

Cycling Clothing
B’Twin 700 Ultralight Windproof Cycling Jacket

For More Information

If you are cycling during winter and you want to know more about the adequate equipment, read our advice on What To Wear During Winter Cycling!

Leave a comment