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Most breathable bike rainwear?

Old 10-22-21, 12:18 PM
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irpheus
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Most breathable bike rainwear?

Hi All - greetings ,

I am considering retiring my car and getting back to cycling some more. However, a couple of years ago when I biked more frequently I remember that the then "better" bike rainwear actually was not that breathable - and I often ended up being quite sweaty/wet after a bike drive in the rain.

So I wonder if things have gotten better today - & also what is considered the current "98% best" bike rainwear in terms of breathability (& also durability)? When I say "98% best" I am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that the very best bike wear may be quite costly - I am looking for a very-close-to-best but also less costly solution ...

Any suggestions / concensus on what such rainwear would be? I'd appreciate your experiences ...

Cheers & thanks - Jesper
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Old 10-22-21, 12:22 PM
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Atlas Shrugged
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Goretex Shakedry, absolutely amazing!
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Old 10-22-21, 12:28 PM
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wolfchild
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100% waterproof and 100% breathable doesn't exist, the isn't a fabric out there that can keep water out and let sweat out at the same time...You have a choice, you can either accept getting wet with rain or getting soaked with sweat... I don't care what they advertise out there or how expensive it is, the truth is that any intense physical activity will overcome the breathability of the fabric and you will end up wet with your own sweat.
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Old 10-22-21, 12:35 PM
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irpheus
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@Atlas Shrugged: Thanks for your input ... I will check it out!
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Old 10-22-21, 12:55 PM
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I agree with wolfchild. Unless you're riding at a very easy pace, you're going to sweat faster than the breathable fabric will "breathe". For warm weather, just get wet ("technical" fabrics will absorb less water, which has other advantages, but you'll still be wet). For cool/cold weather, focus on blocking the wind to keep the sweat/rain mixture from evaporating and chilling you.

For hiking during warm weather, it is just barely possible for breathable fabrics to work, if you're not hiking too hard. IME, if it's much above 70°F or if my HR climbs into the aerobic zone or above, breathable fabrics cannot keep up with sweat production.
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Old 10-22-21, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Goretex Shakedry, absolutely amazing!
This has gotta be the right answer, as I have read nothing but amazingly positive info about this stuff.
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Old 10-22-21, 01:23 PM
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If there is a bit of rain/snow and a lot of cold, the Castelli RoS line-up is excellent. Too bad it is so expensive, but consider getting one jacket in this line-up. I have the Alpha RoS.

Here is a review from someone who actually used it and is not just repeating the marketing points: https://www.teknecycling.com/collect...a-ros-2-jacket.

I used to commute in downpours in my "youth", but not doing that any more..
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Old 10-22-21, 01:28 PM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
I agree with wolfchild. Unless you're riding at a very easy pace, you're going to sweat faster than the breathable fabric will "breathe". For warm weather, just get wet ("technical" fabrics will absorb less water, which has other advantages, but you'll still be wet). For cool/cold weather, focus on blocking the wind to keep the sweat/rain mixture from evaporating and chilling you.
+2. Other than during relatively short commutes, I am usually wearing rain gear when I am touring and thus on the bike for often long periods. If it's cold/cool out and I am working at moderate level or above, I count on my rain gear to keep me warm not warm and dry by the gear "breathing."
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Old 10-22-21, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
100% waterproof and 100% breathable doesn't exist, the isn't a fabric out there that can keep water out and let sweat out at the same time...You have a choice, you can either accept getting wet with rain or getting soaked with sweat... I don't care what they advertise out there or how expensive it is, the truth is that any intense physical activity will overcome the breathability of the fabric and you will end up wet with your own sweat.
When fact and truth intersect.
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Old 10-22-21, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Goretex Shakedry, absolutely amazing!
Agreed.

I have a cycling shakedry jacket and also one for backpacking.

Nothing else comes close.
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Old 10-22-21, 02:05 PM
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I have used a rain cape or as some call it a bicyclists rain poncho. I also wear the waterproof rain covers for my shoes.
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Old 10-22-21, 02:14 PM
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Agree w/several others- you cant be windproof & breathable at the same time. Disclaimer: I have never worn gore or any other expen$ive fabric.
Im looking for something that has a windproof front only, w/breathable in the back. I have a jacket that matches that description, but the back/breathable is so heavy it may as well be windproof. I only wear it @ 30degF or below.
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Old 10-22-21, 02:58 PM
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My go to autumn/winter rainwear is either one of the better jackets from Decathlon, from their Van Rysel brand of budget premium stuff which is very well sized and tailored, or the Castelli Perfetto ROS which is made out of somewhat better materials but while width and tightness is perfect I wish it extended a bit further down. That said neither is completely waterproof. If it is really pouring and really cold I add a packable rain jacket over all of it. As long as I dress that I'm cold at the start of the ride, the sweating isn't a big issue.

If it's really warm and raining I just don't care and wear summer kit with maybe a water resistant gilet and simply get wet 🤷 There's no winning move to stay dry when it's both warm and raining.

Castelli have also made some sort of Shakedry based packable rain jacket but it's obscenely expensive even for my tastes.
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Old 10-23-21, 07:54 AM
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My best rain jacket hands down is my camo Kuiu Chugach packable, stretchable, hunting jacket.

For obvious reasons I don't wear it biking...

Last edited by Toadmeister; 10-23-21 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 10-23-21, 08:24 AM
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I started using DIY rain capes a few years ago. Not as dry as a rain jacket, but much cooler and more comfortable (for me). I commuted in bike clothes and changed at work, so a little wetness didn't matter.
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Old 10-23-21, 08:45 AM
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Hi again - wow, so many replies and experiences - thanks all ;-)

I think I will just consider your suggestions for rainwear - as well as my own specific needs - and see if I can find a rainwear that is appropriate both in terms of functionality and cost. As it is I already have some Goretex "rainwear trousers" that have positively surprised me in terms of breathability (not for biking, though) so I have a slight preference here.

Thanks again for your feedbacks & have a good day wherever you may be!

Cheers - Jesper
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Old 10-23-21, 08:48 AM
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My first goretex jacket was 40 years ago, they have come a long long way.

With a proper baselayer, I do not get wet inside Gore Shakedry UNLESS I am climbing slowly on a long climb but let's be honest, we'd be sweating in our birthday suit on an extended climb.

I was backpacking in the Smokes this spring and it was pouring and sleeting. Two younger and stronger thruhikers (Triple Crowners at that) got hypothermic. I survived much better in my shakedry. Moisture control is much more difficult hiking than bicycling. Shakedry is fragile and expensive and not for everyone.

I am amazed when people say nothing will keep you dry and breath and yet in the same breath admit that they have not used any of these new fabrics. We have come a long way since waxed cotton.
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Old 10-23-21, 09:56 AM
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I have both a Shakedry jacket and Shakedry cap. I've gotten the jacket to have a thin layer of moisture on the inside, never more. Bought the cap recently and first wore it on my commute when the forecast called for rain that never fell. When I took it off, it was absolutely dry. When I've worn fabric caps (polyester, never cotton) they have been completely soaked from sweat at the end of the same commute.

The downside of the Shakedry tech is that it isn't reinforced for wear and tear, so high friction contact points are not good applications for it. That and it can be very expensive if you don't find it on sale -- when it is on sale, it's only somewhat expensive.
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Old 10-23-21, 11:01 AM
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@GhostRider62 & surak: I did some searching on the shakedry but it seems there are more models .. Might you have a suggestion for a/some models that are accessible to get/buy - maybe also occasionally on sale? In a first round I would need a jacket & bike trousers (if available?) ...

Cheers, Jesper
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Old 10-23-21, 11:11 AM
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The 7mesh Oro jacket - found here: https://7mesh.com/mens-oro-jacket

Expensive as all get out, but damn. Worth every penny.
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Old 10-23-21, 11:44 AM
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There really is no such thing as "breathable rainwear". However, if you look at it another way, there is at least one solution to the stated problems. If you ask what is the most ventilating garment that keeps you dry while riding in the rain, my answer is a combination of a hood-less rain cape, a helmet cover and effective fenders on the bicycle. That combo provides all the rain protection I need. The cape is waterproof but open enough to get ventilation.
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Old 10-23-21, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by irpheus View Post
@GhostRider62 & surak: I did some searching on the shakedry but it seems there are more models .. Might you have a suggestion for a/some models that are accessible to get/buy - maybe also occasionally on sale? In a first round I would need a jacket & bike trousers (if available?) ...

Cheers, Jesper
Here are some reviews. I have the C7 cycling and Montbell shakedry for backpacking. I don't follow the sales very closely, sorry about that.

https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buy...-rain-jackets/
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Old 10-23-21, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by irpheus View Post
@GhostRider62 & surak: I did some searching on the shakedry but it seems there are more models .. Might you have a suggestion for a/some models that are accessible to get/buy - maybe also occasionally on sale?
This thread has also got me looking at shakedry, my current windbreaker is 30+ years old so I figure I deserve a new one. The Catstelli Idro 2 is on sale at Amazon for $240 or so .. could not find anything cheaper that was a quality brand. https://www.amazon.com/Castelli-Idro...78H?th=1&psc=1. Unfortunately these newer fabrics are primo $$.
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Old 10-23-21, 12:46 PM
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Birthday suit?
gm
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Old 10-23-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Agreed.

I have a cycling shakedry jacket and also one for backpacking.

Nothing else comes close.
They advertise the Goretex Shakedry jacket as ‘totally windproof’
What exactly does that mean?
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