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To keep you cycling in style throughout the winter season, we’ve brought together a selection of urban winter cycling jackets which look great on and off the bike and will keep the cold out effectively without being overly warm when you get going on the bike.

Chrome Barrow Parka Thermal Jacket

Chrome Barrow Parka
Chrome Barrow Parka

Is this the mother of all urban winter cycling jackets? With more insulation and a longer length than most other winter cycling jackets we have come across, the Barrow Parka Thermal Jacket is warm and then some. It’s thicker padding would be especially welcome on those really cold days where you feel like you’re really battling the cold, or in places where temperatures regularly hover around or drop below the 0°C mark. Its extra insulation would also be ideal if you like to take things easy on the bike and so need a bit of extra warmth because you’re generating less of your own.

In line with the Chrome manifesto to make gear which works ‘on the bike and in the bar’, the Barrow Parka excels at blending in with the crowd when off the bike. As would be expected from Chrome, this is definitely a proper cycling jacket though, with internal cuffs, a double ended zip and rear pass through pocket and Chrome’s usual (over?)engineering to ensure longevity - triple needle stitching on major seams, extra reinforcement on high impact and wear areas and the use of abrasion resistant Cordura for the outer shell.

The outer shell is also water resistant and, if the wet does manage to penetrate through, the thermo-fibre insulation on the inside should stay warm even when wet. The fit of the parka is designed so you can layer up as necessary from day to day depending on the temperature.

Cost:
£200.00

Insulation:
Thick! (not quite ski jacket level but not that far off it).

Sizing:
Men's only. Sizing is pretty standard so ordering your normal clothing size is a pretty safe bet.

Ideal if:
You’re going to be riding in super cold conditions or ride really slow and so need the extra warmth.

Lumo Clissold Bomber Jacket

New for 2016/17, innovative cycle outerwear brand Lumo are launching a cycle-specific take on the bomber jacket (currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter). In line with the rest of their range, excellent on and off the bike styling and enhanced visibility are key aspects of the jacket's design. The jacket features their unique integrated lighting system, which is cleverly built into the jacket's design so that most of the time you have what looks like a regular jacket but then, when the light fades, pow! the lighting system kicks in: strips of waterproof, high power LEDs front and rear transform the jacket into a stylish visibility aid which can be seen from 400m away.

In addition to the jacket's amazing visibility, it is also really well specced for day to day cycling. It uses Schoeller® 3XDRY® performance fabric which is very effective at keeping you dry and comfortable both by repelling water very efficiently and through its high breathability. The cut of the jacket has longer sleeves, a dropped tail and a high ribbed collar and ribbed sleeves for good on the bike coverage and wind protection. Several zipped pockets on both the inside and outside of the jacket make it easy to keep essentials close to hand.

The jacket is being made in both men's and women's sizes (the cut of the jacket is the same for both sexes but the women's version has slightly shorter sleeves and a slightly shorter rear hem) and is expected to retail at £175 - not bad at all when you think about how much is packed into its design. The jacket should be available in February 2017.

Cost:
£175.00

Insulation:
Quite a light jacket - designed to go over two lightweight layers.

Sizing:
Men's and women's. A relaxed, regular fit - your normal clothing size should be fine.

Ideal if:
You want the extra visibility offered by the integrated LED lighting.

Vaude Cyclist Padded Jacket

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The Vaude Cyclist Padded Jacket is a technical jacket which doesn’t look like one - it packs in all the features you would expect from a cycle specific jacket which has been designed for riding in cooler weather, yet does so in such a way that it looks very much like a regular winter jacket. We love its elegant cut and quilted sleeves - we think the jacket offers an excellent combination of technical performance and smart, office-ready styling.

The jacket is lightly padded with a thin layer of high quality Primaloft insulation - enough to add that necessary extra bit of warmth without making you overly warm once you’ve got going on the bike. We would expect this level of insulation to be ideal for most riders in temperate climates on all but the coldest days of winter - for riding on a day where the cold is really biting, you may want a thin extra layer underneath the jacket to provide a bit of a heat boost. As well as providing warmth, the Primaloft insulation is also breathable and water resistant to help keep you comfortable, and the jacket is also coated with an environmentally friendly water repellent coating for additional protection from wet weather.

Other features which make the jacket really nice to wear on the bike include extra lycra cuffs inside the sleeves, a subtly dropped rear hem, and a reflective strip across the rear which is definitely large enough to be effective but is also well integrated with the jacket’s overall styling. At £140, the jacket isn’t the cheapest option available, but neither is it the most expensive - and if you’re looking for a jacket which you can waltz into the office wearing but which also meets the technical criteria of a winter urban cycling jacket, it’s a great option to go for. Being made by Vaude, a company which goes well beyond the norm in terms of taking its environmental and social responsibilities seriously, the jacket is also made in a highly environmentally and socially conscious way.

Cost:
£140.00

Insulation:
60g Primaloft Silver artificial down.

Sizing:
Men's and women's, relatively fitted so size up for wearing over multiple layers.

Ideal if:
You want an ‘office ready’ jacket which packs in the technical features to perform well on the bike.

Pedal Ed Attakai Wool Jacket

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The Pedal Ed Attakai Wool Jacket is definitely more of a ‘cycling jacket’ than many of the other urban winter cycling jackets we have featured, not necessarily in terms of styling (although the jacket is noticeably more fitted than most of the alternatives) but more in terms of features - the jacket includes many of the features you would find on a road cycling jersey, such as a gripper hem around the waistband and horizontal access rear pockets on the back of the jacket. However, the jacket equally has many features which are definitely designed with the urban rider in mind, such as its lycra shoulders which, as well as enhancing on the bike fit, also make the jacket more durable against wear from backpack straps.

The Attakai jacket would be most suitable as a winter cycling jacket if you are a fairly quick urban rider, as it is thinner and closer fitting than alternatives - although it still offers more warmth than a regular long sleeved cycling jacket because of its use of snug Merino wool. The jacket’s distinctly urban styling looks good on and off the bike, displaying the simple, stylish aesthetic we have come to expect from Pedal Ed.

One of the main benefits of the Attakai jacket for us is its versatility - if your riding involves weekend spins as well as weekday commuting and you want a winter cycling jacket which can tackle both, this could be the jacket for you. As the jacket is not water or wind resistant, a packable wind jacket or waterproof stashed away somewhere for cold starts or unexpected showers might be a good ride companion to have alongside the Attakai.

Cost:
£125.00

Insulation:
The jacket is made from a warm Merino wool/cotton/polyamide blend.

Sizing:
Men's only. Size up from your regular (non-cycling) size for this fitted, performance-oriented jacket.


Ideal if:
You want a jacket for both longer weekend rides and regular around town riding.

Swrve Milwaukee Jacket

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The Swrve Milwaukee Jacket is a firm favourite among Always Riding customers, offering excellent technical performance and a cut which works as well off the bike as on. With its three layer softshell fabric (including inward facing fleece), the Milwaukee is super comfy, and also protects well from the elements through its windproof and water resistant outer layer and waterproof two-way front zip.

The jacket has lots of other features which make it great for cycling (without looking really ‘bikey’) - underarm zippers for venting, double cuffs keep out draughts, a dropped tail hem at the back and a higher hem at the front. In terms of styling, the Milwaukee is definitely towards the casual end of the spectrum (so probably not one to go for if you want a jacket you can wear to smart work meetings) but if you’re quite a casual dresser anyway you can be sure of an exquisite level of comfort with the Milwaukee.

Cost:
£109.00

Insulation:
Soft fleece interior.

Sizing:
Men's only. Size up if you want to fit several layers underneath.

Ideal if:
You’re after a fairly casual looking jacket which will perform really well technically.

Chrome Utility Bomber Jacket

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The Chrome Utility Bomber Jacket takes the classic bomber jacket style and reinvents it for cycling, retaining the distinctive bomber silhouette but adapting it to the needs of the typical urban rider. This includes, in typical Chrome style, adding an obscene number of pockets - we challenge you to come up with something you want to carry about your person that there is not a pocket for.

In terms of insulation, you get 100 grams of diamond quilted internal liner which, coupled with the elasticated ribbed cuffs, waist and collar, will keep you snug when the temperature drops. The jacket’s ruggedly utilitarian look definitely earns some style points but perhaps more importantly will be able to withstand considerable abuse - this isn’t a single season jacket and will be able to be put away when the warm weather returns ready to continue serving you stolidly the following winter.

The jacket is made from a stretchy nylon/spandex combo for good on the bike flexibility. Its DWR (durable water repellent) adds some wet weather protection which should be sufficient for most urban trips (although if your day involves long stints in really persistent heavy rain, the DWR might struggle to hold up to this).

Cost:
£130.00

Insulation:
Diamond quilted nylon with 100g insulation.

Sizing:
Men's sizes only. Sizing is pretty standard so ordering your normal clothing size is a pretty safe bet.

Ideal if:
You like Chrome’s no-nonsense styling and need a moderate amount of insulation.

Cafe du Cycliste Heidi Jacket

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Like Pedal Ed’s Attakai Jacket, the Heidi Jacket would be as at home on a longer weekend ride as the daily commute. Available in a men’s and a women’s cut, the Heidi uses a soft polyester microfibre inner coupled with quilted windproof panels on the front to keep you warm. It can be worn over a single layer on milder days or you can layer up underneath when the temperature really drops. The jacket is designed to be able to cope with higher intensity riding, with zipped shoulder vents and a high wicking inner.

The Heidi looks really stylish on and off the bike - as is always the case with Cafe pieces, the jacket looks impeccable - every single design feature has been carefully thought through and then executed perfectly. Its sophisticated tailoring would look as at home at a chic city cafe as on the bike.

Cost:
£175.00

Insulation:
Brushed polyester microfibre inner and quilted windproof panelling.

Sizing:
Men's and women's, quite a slim fit style so you may want to size up.

Ideal if:
You can’t get enough of Cafe’s smooth Cote d'Azur styling.

Cadence Ericson Insulator Jacket

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The Cadence Ericson Insulator Jacket is the result of a collaboration between cycle apparel makers Cadence and technical outdoor specialists 686, and the Ericson does really look like a love child of these two Californian brands, both of which are renowned for their stylish technical apparel. With a toasty level of insulation provided by the lightweight 100g Primaloft insulation, the Ericson is a bit of a jack of all trades, the ideal option whether you're heading into town at the weekend, meeting friends down the pub, or heading out on the bike for some casual weekend riding.

The Ericson has lots of features to keep you comfortable and well-assisted on the bike, including stretch underarm and side panels, adjustable lycra cuffs, plenty of pockets and some subtle reflective detailing too. Its relaxed fit is suitable for wearing over multiple layers.

Cost:
£219.00

Insulation:
100g Primaloft.

Sizing:
Men's sizes only, designed for layering and with pretty standard sizing.

Ideal if:
You're in the market for a casual looking technical jacket equally suited to town or trail.

Final note: If you like the look of one of the jackets featured but can't see any stock in your size, please do get in touch - chances are we may already have some wangling its way to us and if not, we should be able to let you know when we can get hold of some.


Shop Urban Winter Cycling Jackets

 

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About the Rider: Anne
Domestique-in-training, Anne’s unique selling points are her super-strong thumbs (a hangover from her days as a beefy bike mechanic) and her enthusiasm for cake (both baking and eating). When she isn’t sorting out returns or writing for the website she can be found working to make the transport system better for cycling (in her non-Always Riding role as a transport planner), fixing up friends’ bikes or enjoying the ride.
@alwaysriding
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