Depending on where you live, “spring showers” might mean anything from drizzle to downpours to hail to sleet. Riding a bike in the rain isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but for commuters, it might be a necessary reality of transportation. It can be made more enjoyable with a carefully considered suite of items that not only keep you dry but also preserve style too.
Arc’teryx Keppel Trench Coat
Rainwear doesn’t have to look overtly technical or outdoorsy. Arc’teryx mastered the idea, and the Keppel Trench Coat acts as the primary example: it’s neither flashy nor loaded with features, but uses a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane to resist all inclement weather that you might encounter during a ride in the rain. A two-way zipper and reflective detailing under the collar make it ideal for biking, but again, these things are hidden, leaving a coat that performs better than its stylishness might imply.
Rapha Crew Neck Knit
Commuting isn’t just about what’s worn on the outside — Rapha’s toned-down crew neck provides an insulating layer that looks good enough for when the rain jacket comes off at the office. Rapha made it with mesh and merino wool for riding, so if a storm passes during the day, you can ditch the outer layer and still travel in comfort.
Duer Performance Denim Weatherproof Jean
Pants are arguably the toughest item to find that’s both storm-proof and stylish. Let’s face it, any pair of pants that’s waterproof enough to withstand a deluge will look the part (and will be extra swishy-sounding while walking around the office). You wouldn’t know that Duer’s Performance Denim Jeans are weatherproof though, until you wear them in the rain. They have loads of stretch that aids movement, and you can turn up the cuffs to reveal reflective details.
Black Ember WPRT Minimal Backpack
Black Ember put more thought and resources into this backpack than some companies allot to an entire collection. The bag is a seam-free, laser-cut container that’s decked out in sealed zippers and high-grade hardware with a unique option to customize its functions with other modular add-ons that Black Ember makes. The main roll-top compartment has a separate zipper for quick access, and your laptop gets its own pocket, too. Also, the entire thing is waterproof.
Specialized Flux 900
Lights are vital for town and city riders — in many places, they’re also required by law. Specialized’s Flux 900 not only stands up to moisture but uses two different bulbs to throw light into the distance and flood the immediate foreground at the same time. It also has a handy USB fast charge function that’ll bring the battery to 90 percent.
Alba Optics Handlebar Soft Case
When you don’t have a backpack but do have more than your pockets can handle, there’s this sleek little weather-resistant handlebar bag from Alba Optics.
Portland Design Works Origami Fender
A waterproof jacket, pants, backpack — these items will take a thorough dousing during a rainy ride, but it’ll be compounded significantly if your bike doesn’t have fenders. The Portland Design Works Origami fender set is as convenient as they come — both the front and rear pieces use easily removed attachments and fold up to fit into a bag. That way you can ride fender-free when there’s no precipitation in the forecast.
It can be hard to find a fully waterproof backpack, but after rigorous testing, we found that these five can handle any downpour. Read the Story