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Top 5 Budget Friendly Rain Jackets

by Bike Shop Girl

Rain jackets are one of those pieces that many companies haven’t figured out yet.  Some companies, like Gore or Showers Pass, have the jackets nailed down but you’ll also have a hard time finding them in your local store it seems.

Here is a list of my top 5 budget friendly rain jackets and why.  Take note that you can get by with one of the cheap <$40 rain jackets. They are made out of plastic and you will end up wet from all the sweat that forms inside of the jacket.


J & G Waterproof $45

J & G Waterproof

J & G Waterproof

  • This jacket is waterproof, not breathable and water proo
  • Basic but right on target for the price
  • Reflective parts all over the jacket


Novara Stowable $60

Novara Stowable

Novara Stowable

  • Packs small for your pannier or back jersey pocket
  • Only water resistant so mainly used for those “just incase” situations
  • Reflective parts all over jacket

Carradice Pro Route Cap $65

Carradice Pro Route

  • Reflective
  • One size fits all
  • Great coverage, even over upper legs

Showers Pass Club $80

Showers Pass Club

  • Reflective arms
  • Venting
  • Multiple color options
  • Drop down tail to go over your saddle or backside


Marmot PreCip Jacket $99

Marmot PreCip

Marmot PreCip

  • Packable (they claim you can put this jacket into a water bottle)
  • Ventilation
  • Cut well for free movement
  • Breathable material
  • A lot of options and pluses. Also one why this is at the top of the price list.
 
Burley nomad 269

20 Responses to “Top 5 Budget Friendly Rain Jackets”

  1. Trisha says:

    Great idea for a post; it’s not easy to find something breathable and affordable! Wish it were clear whether any of these are available for women. We read the site too, promise! :)

  2. Bryan Larsen says:

    You completely missed the cheapest & best rain jackets on the market: 3M Propore based jackets. They cost less than $30, and breathe a lot better than Gore-Tex. It’s also a lot lighter, cooler and packs into a tiny little pocket.

    The catch? They’re the flimsiest things you’ll ever find. If you catch your jacket on a tree branch, it will tear. So you can’t use them to go hiking in the woods. But how many low hanging trees do you have on your commute? My commute is through the woods, but you don’t exactly find low hanging branches on well travelled commuter routes!

    Regardless, you will tear them on something eventually. Just tape them back up and keep wearing until they’re more tape than jacket, and replace. You can afford to buy 3-6 of these for the price of one Gore-Tex jacket.

  3. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    You picked my favorite! the Carradice Pro Route Cap! I have had mine since late 05 or early 06. It has great ventilation and I wear what I need to keep warm or cool under it. It makes riding in the rain FUN!

  4. Matthew Cunningham says:

    I bought a vest/jacket convertible from Cannondale a few years back, and I’m definitely sold on removable sleeves (as long as the seams don’t leak). But these are pretty difficult to find as well…at least good ones.

  5. Galen says:

    I was having trouble finding a Carradice pro-route in stock anywhere, ended up going with a similar rain cape from the Center for Appropriate Transportation, and have loved it. As Paul said of the Carradice, I wear what I need to stay warm under it, and trust it to keep me dry above. Fenders are part of that choice of rain gear though.

  6. Patleeman says:

    Please do one of these segments on rain pants!

    I need a pair badly!

  7. ac says:

    I like the rain capes, but is it possible to signal a left turn when you’re wearing one? It seems like either the thumb loops would make that difficult, or the fact that your arm doesn’t poke out would make the turn signal indistinct.

    Having never used one, I’d rather be wrong about this – they look like they’d work great, otherwise.

  8. Galen says:

    The capes make signaling complicated if not impossible. I may have just not figured it out in mine, but you won’t be sticking out a full arm unless you ride with no hands and fling both arms to the same side. I ride commutes mostly in the dark, so my regular signal is lost on drivers anyway. Rather than make use of a driver confusing leg waggle, I typically just slow up until a break in traffic lets me in easily.

  9. Mark says:

    I have the Showers Pass club jacket in bright, bright yellow. I’m never going to fear not being seen in that jacket, but it’s not breathable. You’re going to be sweating like mad by the time you get home, cold or not. Make sure you wear gloves when you wear this jacket or you’re going to end up with very slippery palms. And it would have been nice had this jacket come with a hood instead of having to purchase that separately for another $20.

  10. Bryan -

    All great feedback! I’ve never heard of the 3m type jackets, which ones do you like?

  11. Eric Moritz says:

    I need a Winter gear version of this article :)

  12. hokan says:

    The 3m stuff is used by RainShield in their O2 line:

    http://www.rainshield.com/

    I own both jacket and pants. Get the jacket if you need something cheap, light, and breathable but flimsy. Don’t get the pants as they will be good for only 1-2 uses.

  13. Jewell says:

    Budget?! Hahaha! hahaa! Yeah…

  14. ScottG says:

    I agree this is an excellent idea for a posting. I’ll second the request for a similar review of reasonably priced rain pants – I’m in the market for some myself.

  15. Matt says:

    Sierra Trading Post has the Canari Razor for 38 bucks right now. I bought one earlier this season and it’s a great jacket, definitely worth mentioning when talking about budget jackets!

  16. tmana says:

    Great idea, but my big issue with rain jackets is that none is constructed for a lady with HIPS. I’m ending up having to purchase fabric and tailor my own. (Any suggestions for nylon thread that won’t keep snapping in the sewing machine?)

  17. McAngryPants says:

    *shudder*

    I understand this is over the pricerange you’re talking about here…BUT…

    Save your dimes, nickles and quarters and buy Mountain Equipment Co-Op’s Whoosh jacket. It. Is. Awesome.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442627271&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302692343&bmUID=1257372095673

    (I insist you must buy yellow though)

    The rain pants that go with it are equally awesome.

    I’ve been using mine over four seasons of commuting for the last 5 years…with two nasty falls. MEC makes GREAT gear. I never understood why Burley would design a bike jacket that is mostly black. YIKES!! I’m alllll about ‘be seen.’

    anyhow…

  18. Great article. I happened to be in the market for a new rain jacket (rains a few weeks ago demonstrated that my old jacket had leaks) and went to a few local stores (2 local bike shops and a local REI-type competitor). I ended up getting a PreCip in the brighter blue color.

    The price at the store for the “Shower’s Pass” jackets was odd. I didn’t check exact model names, but there was a very small one at the price you have above and the reasonable sized ones were more ($130?).

    The two bike shops I basically ended up rejecting; the options were generally either not breathable or $150 to $200. They also tended to be way to “bicycle” looking, in ways that seemed like I wouldn’t want to wear them off the bike.

    I liked the options at the general outdoors store a lot better (Sonoma Outfitters). I liked the Marmot the best, partially because they’re a local company (headquarters in my city) but also the price and general features (packs small, breathable, venting, etc). There’s also a longer (slightly more expensive) version that might work better if you’ll be more bent over. And they make PreCip pants; I didn’t look to closely because my existing (3M type) pants are still holding up. I wear XL; not sure if I could actually pack it into a water bottle, but it’s close; I could certainly cram it into a bottle cage in a pinch. I wouldn’t be surprised if the medium or small size could be packed into a wide-mouthed water bottle.

    Also worth mentioning were the Columbia Sportswear Co. jackets that seemed fairly comparable. Not sure which models I was looking at, but these two seem similar:
    http://www.columbia.com/mens-jacket-shells/men-jackets-shells,default,sc.html?sz=1&start=6#
    http://www.columbia.com/mens-jacket-shells/men-jackets-shells,default,sc.html?sz=1&start=7
    Both are “waterproof breathable”. A little cheaper than the PreCip. The cheaper one is packable, the more expensive one has vents (on the side of the chest instead of in the pits like the PreCip)…. Both worth looking at.

  19. Andres says:

    Since last spring I have been using the O2 Cycling Jacket 3Flow, and have been very happy with it. It has kept me completely dry in all the flooding rains we have had here in Atlanta, and yet was breathable to be comfortable. On colder rides I just wear a fleece vest underneath to keep me warm.

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