As the race to counteract climate change mounts in its intensity, many people around the world are opting to forgo their cars in favor of more environmentally-friendly transportation. And here’s the thing: it’s not just some token eco effort made for the illusion of going green. Traveling on foot or by bike comes with plenty of practical benefits, including improved health, shortened commutes, and less money spent on gas. In other words, the only thing you’re missing by spending less time behind the wheel is the inevitable road rage brought about by sitting in traffic.
Well, and a roof over your head to shield you from — you know — the rain. But that’s okay. Leave the comforts of the car and embrace the outdoors; when armed with the right piece of outerwear, you can keep on pedaling no matter the weather. Of course, not just any old jacket will do. You need one that’s fitted enough to cut through the wind yet also relaxed enough to move on your bike. You need one that’s insulated enough to keep you warm yet also airy enough to let you breathe. If finding such a jacket seems like a tall order, never fret — we’re here to help. Having scoured the web high and low for only the most choice outerwear on the market, these are what we feel to be the 15 best commuter jackets you can buy.
Adidas BSC 3-Stripes Rain.Rdy Jacket
Any time there’s even a slight chance of rain in the forecast, it’s best to equip yourself accordingly; otherwise, that spirited commute will quickly become a sodden slog. This lightweight jacket from adidas features a fully waterproof RAIN.RDY technology that channels moisture away from your body whilst ensuring you stay cool and comfortable. Built with handy details like a cinchable hood and an adjustable hem, it’s made only better by a recycled Primegreen construction and some classic three stripes branding.
Levi’s Vintage Fit Trucker Jacket
However, if you’re after some outerwear with a bit more street-ready style, you can’t go wrong with this Levi’s trucker jacket. Made from 100% cotton-based denim, it’s cut with a loose, boxy fit a set of roomy extra-long sleeves. A true ’90s-inspired silhouette, then, it’s perfect for layering over a tee or in conjunction with a hoodie. Above all else, this is a jacket for those who take pride in caring for their clothes; it’s heaped with old-school cool, and it’ll only get better with age.
Patagonia Lightweight All-Wear Hemp Coaches Jacket
Coaches jackets are always a good look, and this pick from Patagonia is certainly no exception. Lightweight, cinchable, and as sustainable as they come, it sports a blend of organic cotton and hemp that’s 100% Fair Trade Certified sewn. And because it comes with helpful features like an adjustable hem, a pair of side slash pockets, and a front chest pocket, this baby is practically purpose-built for commuting. Left up to us, we’d have it in the ‘Pumice’ colorway pictured here, but you can’t go wrong — regardless of which option you choose.
Rapha Commuter Jacket
Rapha’s really nailed it with their performance-focused cycling apparel, and their expertise extends to their more casual offerings as well. In the case of this Commuter Jacket, for instance, you’re getting a tough 2.5L hydrophobic fabric, a seam-sealed construction, and a full-length waterproof zip. In other words, it’s pretty much the cream of the crop insofar as element protection is concerned. Top it off with some exterior reflective details — like a retention strap around the hood and a dot pattern above the hem — and you’re left with a jacket that’s a true cut above the rest.
Chrome Industries Storm Salute Commute Jacket
Ever an authority when it comes to all things two-wheeled, Chrome Industries is a name synonymous with superior cycling quality. Their Storm Salute Commute Jacket offers a more utilitarian alternative to the above option from Rapha, as it features added storage (a zippered phone pocket and a large back cargo pouch) and extra coverage (a slightly dropped tail) with a subtle, understated finish. As Rapha is to roadies, then, Chrome Industries is to messengers and commuters.
Showers Pass Men’s Transit Jacket
Honestly, just about any jacket from Showers Pass will serve you well; they’re all exceptionally weatherproof, durable, and warm. However, we like the Transit in particular because it offers a trimmer bike-friendly fit, a packable design, and a plethora of vents for when the weather starts to heat up. Sewn from a top-notch 3-layer breathable waterproof Artex fabric, it features some of the smartest reflective details in the game. That is, between a blinker-compatible drop tail and some trimmed cuffs and vents, the Transit is a jacket that’s sure to keep you safely seen.
GORE Wear Endure Jacket
GORE Wear is the gold standard in all-weather bike protection, a reality which you’ll quickly find to be the case with the Endure Jacket. Designed for long rides and overnight bikepacking, it’s built with more than enough weather protection for your daily commute. Of course, being a GORE product, this means that it sports some signature GORE-TEX technology. With the PACLITE fabric here, you’re getting the brand’s same trusted wind- and waterproof performance, albeit in a much lighter, more breathable package. Complemented by some pre-shaped sleeves and an over-helmet hood, the Endure Jacket is ready to revolutionize your commute.
lululemon Outpour StretchSeal Anorak
When you’re looking for absolute watertight execution, an anorak is easily your best bet. Just take lululemon’s Outpour jacket, for example. In addition to a two-way stretch waterproof StretchSeal fabric, it also comes with an adjustable hood, a generous fit, and a hidden phone sleeve. Together, such features will keep you dry and ensure that your essentials are protected against the weather, too. As an added bonus, lululemon has even fitted the Outpour with a zippable side seam, an addition that keeps on-and-off quick and easy.
Search and State S1-J Camo Colorblock Riding Jacket
Over the years, Search and State’s S1-J jacket has proven a consistent best-seller, and it’s easy to reason why when you consider all that it has to offer. For one, it boasts a mix of Schoeller C-Change and ultra-durable laminated outerwear fabric, a combination that’s windproof, waterproof, and actively climate-regulating. What’s more, the S1-J comes fastened with only the finest Riri zippers, so it’s just as durable as it is lightweight. Rounded out by a refined-yet-casual fit, this is one jacket that’s ideal for cold commutes and wet training rides alike.
Specialized Legacy Alpha Jacket
When the weather starts to worsen and the temperature takes a dive, you’re going to want some outerwear that can stave off the frigid morning air. We’d suggest the Legacy Alpha Jacket from Specialized, as it comes with 90g of Polartec insulation, a cozy fleece-lined hood, and a pair of soft hand pockets for keeping your digits from freezing. Cut with a comfortable, relaxed fit, it even features some added Deflect technology for up to UV 50+ protection on those breezy bluebird days.
Velocio Recon Snap Jacket
Velocio might be best known for its premium jerseys and ultra-plush bibs, but the brand also happens to make some seriously high-quality commuter gear. Were it our choice, we’d go for the Recon Snap Jacket on account of its casual design and performance-ready materials. Pairing a svelte Pertex Quantum Air shell with some toasty Polartec Alpha Direct insulation, it’s an option that’s lightweight, warm, and waterproof whilst still being low-key enough to wear around town.
Norse Projects Otto Light WR
While this option from Norse Projects isn’t an out-and-out commuter jacket, per se, it’s more than capable of keeping you warm on your way to work. Cut from a 50D polyester, insulated with Primaloft Silver Active, and finished in a PFC-free DWR coating, it works equally well as a brisk spring overshirt or a mid-level winter layer. The best part about the Otto Light, however, is easily its hidden attachment strap. Compatible with the brand’s Norse, Bergen, Harstad, and Fyn shells, it makes for a game-changing modular setup that can be adapted depending on the weather.
Veilance Spere LT Jacket
As Arc’Teryx’s suave younger sibling, Veilance is a brand that balances technical proficiency with an understated street-appropriate style. Case in point: the Spere LT Jacket you see before you. For even though it sports a simple finish and a relaxed fit, Veilance’s offering also comes with weather protection in spades. Between its taped seam construction, its Excella wind guard zipper, and its moisture-repellant DWR coating, the Spere offers some pretty impressive wind and water resistance despite its scant 11.6-ounce weight.
Mission Workshop The Mission Bomber
Just because you’re looking for on-the-bike comfort, doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice when it comes to your jacket’s everyday appearance. With The Mission Bomber, for instance, you’re getting some PrimaLoft Gold Active insulation, a StretchWater-repellent finish, and a 37.5 moisture management system — all in a package that’s heaped with heritage style. Available in classic colors — like black olive green — and packed full of pocket provisions, what results is a jacket that skews less commuter and more daily driver.
Vollebak Indestructible Jacket
When nothing but the toughest, most rugged riding gear will do, Vollebak’s Indestructible Jacket is easily the pick for you. Inspired by traditional utility workwear, it comes with a 100% Dyneema fabric construction (meaning it’s some 15x stronger than steel), a set of shatterproof corozo nut buttons, as well as some heavy-duty military tape reinforcements. Naturally, then, the Indestructible Jacket offers some pretty next-level protection, proven to be safe in slides over 30mph. So, if you’re worried about riding in hectic rush-hour traffic, rest assured — Vollebak will save your skin.
The 15 Best Commuter Backpacks For Cyclists
Staying dry on your way to work is only half the battle; it’s also important that you have the means to carry all of your essentials. Be sure to check out our guide to the best commuter backpacks for cyclists, where you’ll find a roundup of pedal-ready rucksacks purpose-built for hauling your EDC.
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