2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Cold weather jackets

Help keep Old Man Winter at bay with these weather-beating tops

Apparel Holiday Gift Guide

Have a cyclist on your holiday shopping list who’s not afraid to ride alongside Old Man Winter? Sure you could buy them a pair of warm socks, beanie, or gloves. But why not go a step further and help them beat back the chills with one of these top-flight cool and cold weather cycling jackets.

Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Jacket

Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Jacket

This top won’t actually go on sale until mid January, but we got our hands on a test model and have been hugely impressed. Indeed, go ahead and splurge on a gift certificate because Pearl Izumi has a sure fire winner with its new MTB WRX Jacket, which is wind and water resistant, easily packs inside a hydration pack, and has a vented hood that fits overtop your helmet. Plus the sleeves are abrasion resistant, meaning it wont tear the first time you sideswipe a branch. $175

Shimano Compact Windbreaker

Shimano Compact Windbreaker

As the name implies, this 100-percent polyester Compact Windbreaker jacket from Shimano is lightweight, highly compactable, and water repellent and wind resistant. Subtle reflective accents make you easier to spot in low light conditions, a wide back pocket provides ample storage capacity, and the elastic silicon gripper on the back helps keep the hem in place. $75

Rapha Hardshell Jacket

Rapha Hardshell Jacket

Even the worst weather is no match for this all-conditions outer shell that’s 100-percent waterproof and windproof. Rapha employs a special proprietary breathable fabric with a laminate membrane, allowing the Hardshell Jacket to perform whether you’re hammering hard or just out for a casual spin. We’ve done both and can attest to its top-line performance. Additional features include fully taped seams, reflective logos, and three easy-to-access rear pockets. $273

Bontrager RXL Convertible 180 Softshell Jacket

Bontrager RXL Convertible 180 Softshell Jacket

This versatile RXL Convertible 180 Softshell jacket from Bontrager has zip off sleeves allowing it to do double duty as a vest. Mid-weight Profila fabric up front is windproof and water-resistant, while the rear panel and underarms are breathable. Three back pockets and one zippered security pocket on the left chest provide ample security, and thumb loops in the cuffs help keep wrists and hands warm. And as you can plainly see, color options include Visibility Yellow, which will help keep your special someone a little safer when riding in low light conditions. $180

Sugoi Zap Jacket

Sugoi Zap Jacket

In daylight, the Sugoi Zap jacket is a functional commuter top that will help keep you warm and dry. But at night its true feature comes to light — literally. The Zap Jacket utilizes a pixilated material that lights up when hit by car lights. Additional features include a rear drop tail that protects you from tire spray, plus a waterproof front zip and taped seams which add additional foul weather protection. There’s even a rear zippered pocket for stowing a phone, cash, and an ID. $160

Pactimo Evergreen Jacket

Pactimo Evergreen Jacket

Part of Pactimo’s RFLX line of high visibility cool-weather clothing, the roomy Evergreen Jacket features reflective trim and high visibility color accents along with an easy-to-grab two-way zipper. Made with wind- and water-resistant fabric and rated for temperatures between 45-70 degrees, this jacket easily packs into a jersey pocket. $85

Bellwether Aqua-No Jacket

Bellwether Aqua-No Jacket

When wet riding conditions are a certainty, Bellwether’s Aqua-No jacket will keep you dry. Fully wind and waterproof, the Aqua-No rugged top features seam-sealed waterproof construction, an extra long fold-away tail, adjustable shock cord collar and waist, and a comfortable fleeced collar. There are also Velcro closures at the wrist, a large rear storage compartment, and a ventilated back panel in case things heat up. $130

Hincapie Arenberg Zero Jacket

Hincapie Arenberg Zero Jacket

Named for the infamous Arenberg forest that features prominently in Paris-Roubaix, this mid-weight jacket from Hincapie Sportswear is made from textured four-way stretch fabric that’s wind and water resistant. The Arenberg Zero Jacket also features a reflective treatment for enhanced lowlight visibility, and it has thick back panel for added warmth. The ergonomic design improves riding comfort, while three rear pockets provide ample storage, and weather protective hem, cuffs and collar help keep the cold at bay. $200

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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  • CrossMax says:

    When is the Pearl Izumi jacket going to be released? Winter is here in the east and I am ready to buy!!

    • Jason Sumner says:

      Turns out the PI jacket wont drop until mid January. But if you can hold out until then it’s a really nice and well thought out piece. Thanks for reading.

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