Sometimes when it rains, it pours. When it does you want to be prepared, there’s nothing worse than getting caught on your bike in a downpour, whether it be on your morning commute to work or out on a long ride. Cycling rain jackets are great for throwing on over a jersey, but fail to keep your legs (or backpack) dry. This is where rain capes come in.
When your hear the words rain cape or poncho, you may picture those cheap plastic capes you’d get on a water ride at Disneyland. However, there are cycling specific capes that are not only much more functional, but won’t make it look like you’re wearing a garbage bag.
Features of a cycling cape
Generally speaking, cycling capes will have an extra long tail that you sit on, both keeping your bottom dry and acting as an anchor so the cape doesn’t flap in the wind (you’re not trying to be a superhero). Many have little thumb holes or wrist straps in the front so the cape can sit right over your arms and handlebars, essentially creating a small tent over your legs and keeping your whole body dry. Finally, a cycling cape should have a drawstring that can be used to cinch tight around your waist and keep it in place.
Pros of a cycling cape
One of the main pros of a cycling cape over a jacket is its breathability. As the bottom of the poncho remains open and your arms unconstricted by sleeves, there is a lot more airflow, and therefore they are much more comfortable in hot weather. Capes are perfect for city commuters as they keep your legs dry, can be draped over your backpack so you arrive to work ready to go, and they’re quick to take on and off.
5 Of the best cycling rain capes
The weather can change quickly and without warning, so when it does be sure you’re prepared with a cycling cape at hand. Here are 5 of the best capes on the market to keep you dry no matter what mother nature decides to throw at you.
Cleverhood is top of the line when it comes to cycling capes. The Electric Houndstooth is carefully crafted to live up to the reputation of the brand with durable, waterproof polyester and tightly sealed seams to keep you dry. Featuring unique hidden reflective thread, the bright grid will make you stand out even on the darkest, wettest nights.
The Cambridge Cape is made of lightweight, waterproof nylon and is designed to be easy to carry with you or even attach to your bike when not in use. Featuring a carrying pouch, waterproof up to 10,000 mmH2O, and an adjustable hood to fit over or under your helmet, this is a great option for most cyclists.
Exped really thought of everything with this lightweight and well designed rain cape. With reflective strips on the sides and back for visibility, large inner pockets doubling as a stuff sack, adjustable elastic hoops for the handlebars, and an adjustable inner elastic cord this is a great rain cape for cyclists. The hood has one hand operation cinch cords for the right fit without obstructing your peripheral vision.
The Ferrino Dryride Cape has all the practical features you want in a rain cape with ripstop nylon, taped seams, a carry pouch, shaped hood, and a reflective band on the front and back for cycling on those dark, wet nights. There are loops for fastening to your wrist and anchoring the cape to the handlebars, and side openings for you hands if needed.
Featuring a long front panel to fit over the handlebars, the Happy Rainy Days is a great middle-of-the-road option. With a waterproof viscose outer shell and breathable fabric, it’s a great fit for the city commuter.