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The 5 Best Mountain Bike Jackets of 2020

It can be hard to choose a new mountain bike jacket. Unlike sports like skiing or snowboarding, where you spend most of your day in your outerwear, for most riders bike jackets serve as an emergency layering piece, only worn if the weather gets bad. So we have to balance the packability of the jacket with how well it protects us - it doesn’t matter how nice your jacket is if it’s so bulky that you don’t often carry it in your pack. Add to that the fact that every rider faces different use scenarios, for example a rider in the rocky mountains can often get away with using a lighter windbreaker, since they rarely deal with prolonged rainfall. But folks in the Pacific Northwest need something that can keep them dry through their whole ride.

So, to help narrow down what style and model of raincoat you should be shopping for, we’ve put together this list of the best mountain bike jackets. They cover the whole spectrum of mountain bike uses, from light windbreakers, so heavier options that can stand up to a whole day of wet riding. So figure out what you need from your mountain bike coat, and pick one that makes your day better, instead of just wasting space in your pack.


Patagonia Dirt Roamer

Best mountain bike jackets of 2020
 
 

The Dirt Roamer is Patagonia’s dedicated mountain bike jacket, with a fit and features designed for long days in the saddle. It’s made of a stretchy fabric that’s designed to move with you smoothly on the bike, and in typical Patagonia fashion, the whole thing is made of recycled materials.

The Dirt Roamer definitely falls on the minimalist end of the spectrum. It only has two pockets, an internal chest pocket that can fit a phone, and a drop pocket that the jacket also packs into. In that vein, it doesn’t have any sort of pit zips or vents. Instead, the Dirt Roamer focuses on the features that make the most difference for riders, like longer sleeves and hem for a better fit on the bike, and a helmet-compatible hood. For riders looking for a high quality, ethically made jacket that packs down small, and is very light, the Dirt Roamer is one of the best mountain bike jackets. Plus, there is a women’s version of the Dirt Roamer as well.

MaterialWeight Original Price
2.3-oz 100% Recycled Nylon with DWR Finish227g$229

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Giro Stow H2O

Best mountain bike jackets of 2020
 

Giro’s take on a bike raincoat is a little different. The Stow uses a more substantial material than the Dirt Roamer, with a 2.5L fabric that will keep you dry even on wet PNW trail days. It also has two zippered chest vents to let you dump heat while climbing.

What the Stow doesn’t have is a hood, instead, Giro cut that out, in order to make the jacket a little more packable and low-profile. The Stow H2O’s stretchy material feels comfortable on the skin, and moves well while riding. So, if you ride in the rain regularly, and don’t need a hood on your bike coat, the Stow is a good option. The Stow is available in both a men’s and women’s version.

MaterialWeight Original Price
100% Polyester with DWR FinishNot Listed$165

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Fox Defend Wind

Best mountain bike jackets of 2020
 
 

Fox calls the Defend a “wind jacket,” and we think that’s a fair assessment. It’s not designed to keep you dry through long wet days. Instead, it’s perfect for those rides where you crest out of the treeline and are hit by a stiff breeze and maybe a light sprinkle. It will keep you warm and dry through your ride, but it’s not designed to withstand a deluge.

Like the Stow, the Defend foregoes the hood to save weight and pack smaller. It also features reflective panels, and packs into its own pocket. The Defend is one of the smallest and lightest coats on this list, it’s easy to carry, even in a small hip pack. If you rarely ride in the rain and just want some light insurance, the Defend is the best packable mountain bike jacket for you.

MaterialWeight Original Price
50 g/m² 100% Cordura™ Nylon RipstopNot Listed$69

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Patagonia Houdini

Best mountain bike jackets of 2020
 
 

While it’s not a bike-specific jacket, the Houdini is the original “just in case” coat. Its longer, slim fit works well on the bike, and the hood fits well over most bike helmets. The material is a little lighter and less durable than the Dirt Roamer, so you won’t want to ride in thick brush, or take a crash in the Houdini, but that lighter fabric pays off with an even lighter weight and smaller packed size than the Dirt Roamer.

The Houdini fits into a similar niche as the Stow, but has added versatility if you’re looking for a coat that works for other sports along with mountain biking. And if you need your ultralight insurance jacket to have a hood, the Houdini has that going for it too.

MaterialWeight Original Price
1.2-oz 100% Recycled Nylon Ripstop with DWR Finish102g$99

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Flylow Davis

Best mountain bike jackets of 2020
 

Flylow calls the Davis “bike inspired” and we’d have to agree. The Davis works well on the bike, its fit is long enough to cover wrists and bums, even in a riding position, and the hood works well with helmets. In addition, it’s got plenty of stretch so it doesn’t rub or chafes.

However, like the Houdini, the Davis works well for a wide variety of sports, and will happily accompany you on trail runs, hikes, or even ski missions. It uses a little more substantial material than the Houdini, and holds up to crashes and tree branches well. So if you’re looking for a well-rounded mountain bike raincoat, the Davis should be high on your list.

MaterialWeight Original Price
Intuitive™ S/G Lite Fabric 100% Nylon with Stretch and DWRNot Listed$125

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