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Mountain Bike Jacket: How to choose your MTB jacket?

All year round, waterproof or windproof jackets are appreciated by both cyclists and mountain bikers. Space-saving and often useful, they have a special place in the practitioner's bag, providing.

With or without inner lining, waterproof or only windproof, their prices vary from about twenty euros to more than 350 euros.

It is therefore important to choose the jacket that will best suit you!

Different selection criteria for a mountain bike and/or bicycle jacket


Waterproofing is the main criterion when purchasing a jacket. It is expressed in "Schmerber" and is measured using the "water column" system. Water is applied to the test jacket at increasing pressure. 1 Schmerber corresponds to 1mm of water applied to the jacket.

Following the test, a jacket with a 2000mm resistance will allow you to stay dry if you have to face small showers. A 10000 Schmerber resistant jacket will keep its user dry in almost all situations. The highest quality bicycle jackets are designed to withstand a 15000 mm water column.

The Goretex® label that can be found on many Gore Bike Wear jackets is also a guarantee of quality for a mtb jacket. Indeed, the Gore® brand offers a technology combining several membranes to create warm, ventilated and waterproof jackets.

Membranes prevent external moisture from entering but allow internal moisture to escape from the jacket (water vapour molecules from the human body are smaller than those from external water drops).

The windproof effect

The windproof effect should also be taken into account. Some windbreaks may be sufficient to protect the practitioner when going out at moderate temperatures (10-15 degrees).

To avoid too much wind, a jacket with a tight fit is preferable.

Some windbreaks can protect against rain, some are simply water-repellent, others are waterproof (the criterion to be used is the water column).

Prefer a breathable jacket, avoiding "overheating", it keeps its windproof effect but avoids letting your body sweat excessively.

The "Windstopper®" label developed by the Gore® brand is also a reliable indicator of whether the jacket correctly meets quality requirements (lightweight, breathable jackets) that you can demand.

Warmth and breathability

Thermal ATV jackets are very popular in winter or in cold weather. They will keep you warm for the duration of your outing. Be careful, most of them are not waterproof, so be sure it won't rain during your trip or bring a waterproof jacket to wear over it.

It is important that these jackets are breathable so as not to sweat excessively and remain comfortable. Jackets using Gore technologies have membranes that allow excess heat to escape, keeping the user in optimal conditions.

Breathability is measured in gr/m²/24h, which is the amount of water vapour that the jacket allows to pass through in 24 hours. A highly breathable jacket will allow up to 30,000 grams to pass through.

It should be noted that there are also jackets that combine waterproofing and thermal insulation, which means that only one jacket can be used instead of two in winter.

The size

It is obviously essential to choose a jacket that is best suited to your size: the size guides on the sheets of each product are there to help you!

It is also important to buy a jacket with a fit that fits your body. A loose fitting jacket will reduce your aerodynamics by increasing your air intake, at the wrists, but also at the chest.

Bicycle jacket, some key models :


Castelli Gabba


Spiuk Race


Mavic Cosmic Elite H20


Endura MT500 II

In summary, to choose your jacket :

You must therefore define if a jacket with thermal insulation will be necessary, but also various options such as improved ventilation, the presence of reflective strips, but also high quality waterproofing or the viability of zips and seams. The choice of cut can also have an impact on the purchase of the jacket depending on your practice.


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