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Rain jackets for cyclists: It's not always easy to store a smartphone

Photo: Gorewear

Rain is something like the natural enemy of cyclists. Who wants to pedal for hours on a bike trip soaked or sit wet in the office after going to work? A rain jacket is needed!

Rain jackets for cyclists have a different cut than corresponding jackets for hikers. As a rule, they are shorter at the front and leave enough space for the legs. They are often longer on the back to provide protection even when slightly bent over on the bike. They have closable cuffs on the sleeves so that the wind does not reach in. The sporty models fit tightly and offer the wind so little surface to attack - an aspect that should not be underestimated on longer bike tours, but also when driving to the office with a headwind.

All the models we tested are waterproof and breathable. This is important: Firstly, a rain jacket should not get soaked after half an hour and secondly, you don't want to sweat excessively. None of the seven jackets tested let us down in these two aspects.

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With the exception of one model, all jackets have a hood. Their adjustability is important: On the one hand, it must be tight enough not to be blown back by the headwind. On the other hand, it must not obstruct the view even when turning the head. And if you wear a helmet: Do you want to wear the hood over or under the helmet? Not all rain jackets can do both.

All rain jackets in the test have pockets. However, you can only store a smartphone safely and dry at the same time on some models. The smartphone bag should also sit high enough so that you don't constantly bump your legs into it when pedaling. For some manufacturers, there is still room for improvement for future developments.

With the exception of AGU's coat, all jackets only protect up to the hips. And even with the coat, the legs of the cyclist get wet. So you are only properly protected if you also have rain pants ready - and the right shoes. But then no rain shower can spoil your enjoyment of cycling.

Endura GV 500 Waterproof Jacket

The GV 500 is a lightweight summer model for adventurers: it can be folded up small, weighs only 228 grams and is therefore well suited to multi-day trips with little luggage. It can be tucked into its own breast pocket, which is turned inside out, and then takes up very little space. The sealed chest pocket is also well suited for a smartphone.

The material consisting of three thin layers is surprisingly stable. However, Endura has dispensed with additional pockets or special features: Only the hood can be adjusted. Elastic bands are incorporated on the cuffs, hood and back, otherwise there are reflective elements on the chest and shoulders.

In the test in Hamburg's continuous rain, the breathable yet completely waterproof material proves its worth. All seams are sealed, the zipper at the front has a storm tab and also remains tight.

The hood can only be adjusted, but not closed even more at the front. On the other hand, the thin material fits very well under a helmet. However, the hood is also large enough to be pulled over a road bike helmet.

Endura offers the jacket in black, olive green and »paprika«. The latter glows bright red. The model is only available in one cut for men and in seven sizes.

What I liked: The GV500 is lightweight, waterproof and breathable. And it is very well made.

The less: The hood could be more adjustable.

For whom the Endura GV 500 is suitable: for sporty cyclists and gravel adventurers. But there's nothing wrong with using it in everyday life – it fits in any saddlebag.

AGU Oversized Rain Shirt

"What's that supposed to be?" asks the tester in disbelief as she puts on the "Oversized Rain Shirt". In fact, AGU has transferred the design of a men's shirt into a kind of raincoat for women. The course of the test shows that the concept works: On the one hand, the raincoat can be easily pulled over clothing suitable for the office and, on the other hand, its design is hardly noticeable in Hamburg's lively Ottensen district.

Although the numerous buttons are all just design elements, they conceal press studs: they can be used to close the protective flap on the front two-way zipper, adjust the cuffs in two steps and open the two breast pockets. In addition, there are two concealed side pockets with zippers and a closable inner pocket - plenty of space for taking your smartphone, keys or wallet with you. Two slits on the sides and the zipper, which also opens from below, leave room for the legs, while at the same time the pool area is protected from rain.

The heavy material (the coat weighs 700 grams in size S) is waterproof and breathable at the same time with its sealed seams. You don't have to take off your coat right away when the sun is shining for a short time or an ascent requires sweaty energy. However, once taken off, the coat cannot be folded as small as other products in the test: It takes a full-blown luggage carrier bag or a bicycle basket to transport the Rain shirt. AGU offers the raincoat in only two shades of beige (light and dark).

What I liked: The Oversized Rain Shirt is an unusual design idea and yet a very practical rain protection. The smartphone sits securely and dry.

The less: The »shirt« is quite a heavy coat and can't even be taken with you for shower-like rain emergencies. In addition, some cyclists are likely to lack the hood.

For whom the Oversized Rain Shirt is suitable: For all discerning cyclists who are horrified by the typical functional jacket design and who still don't want to do without effective rain protection.

Gorewear Endure Jacket

The Endure by Gorewear is designed for sporty cyclists and is very suitable for cycling trips with its low weight and compact pack size. It is a direct competitor to the GV500 from Endura - although at 284 grams (size M, men) not quite as light and not quite as compact. On the other hand, it is more customizable: The hood is not only adjustable in depth, but also individually adjustable on the left and right with elastic bands. With two additional elastic bands, the hem on the lower back can be adjusted. And the cuffs can be closed tightly with Velcro. In direct comparison with the Endura GV 500, the version for men is cut less close to the body.

The hood fits nicely over a helmet and can be securely fixed with the tensioners. With a little effort, you can also stow the Endure in one of its own pockets, which are turned inside out. There is no special pocket for the smartphone. The outer pockets, which can be closed with a zipper, are secure, but sit so low that the smartphone can interfere with pedaling.

I like the collar cuff, which, at least for the test cyclist, ensures that no wind gets to the neck and no rain or dripping water.

The jacket is very well made and is waterproof in the test. We can also confirm the promised breathability.

Gorewear offers the jacket in a total of eight colors for men and five colors for women. There are five sizes for each sex. If you choose a jacket in plain (without pattern), it is very restrained in design and shows only two small reflective elements on the back in addition to the logo.

What I liked: Gorewear's Endure is waterproof, breathable and highly customizable.

The less: The reflective elements are small and hardly help to be more visible in the dark. A pocket for a smartphone is missing.

For whom the Gorewear Endure is suitable: For sporty cyclists who want to go on tours well protected, but also don't want to get wet while commuting.

Gonso Sura Plus

The Sura Plus by Gonso is a lightweight and sporty cycling jacket for women. It has a body-hugging cut and a high collar - very high. The advantage: In heavy rain and especially in headwinds, even part of the face is protected. The disadvantage: If the jacket remains slightly open in the upper part, the hood cannot be closed tightly.

The hood itself is not adjustable, but is held close to the head with integrated elastic bands. This works very well and it can also be worn under a helmet. However, the hood does not fit over a helmet - as with some competing products. A fine detail: a soft fabric is sewn in at the transition from the collar to the hood. This means that no rough material rubs against your chin or cheeks when you turn your head.

The cuffs are also rubberized, have a pattern and are extended on the back of the hand so that no water can run between the jacket and any glove that may be worn. The hem at the lower back, on the other hand, can be adjusted with integrated straps. There are two outer pockets that can be closed with zippers and two inner pockets, but they remain open at the top. A smartphone fits inside, but can interfere with the deep-seated pockets when cycling. The seams of the jacket are sealed throughout.

Gonso offers the Sura Plus in four colors and ten sizes. For men, there is the differently cut, but otherwise the same model Save Plus. The men are offered five colors and nine sizes to choose from.

What I liked: The jacket is streamlined, lightweight, breathable and rainproof. And it looks chic, even if that's a matter of opinion, of course.

The less: The high collar has advantages and disadvantages. A more adjustable hood would make the jacket much more flexible at the neck.

For whom the Sora Plus is suitable: For sporty and at the same time fashion-conscious cyclists who also want to be prepared for bike tours.

Vaude Cyclist III Jacket

The Cyclist III is a jacket for spring and summer, but made of a stronger material than the competing products. The jacket warms a little more, and the surface is softer and more flexible than all other jackets. At best, the Hummvee hooded jacket from Endura is comparable. However, the fabric of the Cyclist III has a slight stretch character - if necessary, it can also fit snugly, as it adapts well to the body. The hood and inner back are additionally lined with soft fabric, which increases comfort. However, the additional use of material increases the weight: Our test model for women in size 38 weighs 404 grams.

The hood is adjustable in size and can also be pulled tighter at the front. It fits both under and over a helmet. The jacket offers two pockets on the left and right, which are provided with zippers. There are no inside pockets. The hem on the lower back is elastic, but without the possibility of adjustment. Small reflective elements are sewn into the arms and back. In fact, they are only noticeable when the light falls on them.

Vaude offers the Cyclist III for women and men exclusively in muted colors (dark blue, gray and green). There are six sizes each. Attention: The corresponding men's jackets are only called Cyclist, without additives.

What I liked: The jacket feels great, fits comfortably and protects you from rain and wind. It is very well made.

The less: The Cyclist III is a bit heavy and can't be folded up so small.

For whom the Cyclist III is suitable: especially for commuters and urban cyclists. And for all those who are looking for a slightly warming jacket for the transitional period.

AGU Compact Rain Jacket Venture

AGU's Compact Venture is the only jacket in the test field to have a roll-up hood that disappears into the collar if necessary. It can still be pulled tighter with two straps at the front and made larger or smaller with a Velcro strap. But it doesn't fit over a helmet.

But it fits well under the helmet. The material of the entire jacket is very thin. But not quite as light: The jacket in size M weighs about 300 grams. This may also be due to the good features: Two side pockets are equipped with zippers, and there are also two open inside pockets. There is also a larger pocket on the back, which is accessible from the outside on one side via a zipper. Inside, she has sewn in another pocket that – turned inside out – holds the jacket itself. This is a bit tedious, but makes it compact when it is to be put in the saddlebag or attached to the belt. Because there are also tension straps for this. None of the pockets are ideal for a smartphone. We transported it with a bit of a queasy feeling in one of the open inner pockets.

For better ventilation, AGU has provided the fabric with ventilation slots and overlapping fabric portions on the back and under the arms. There are also smaller reflective elements.

In its own online shop, AGU lists the jacket as a men's jacket, but also lists it for women. However, this is unlikely to work out for many women simply because of the lack of downward size gradation. There are six sizes in total, of which M, as the second smallest, fits well with the 1.80-meter-tall male tester. There are only two colors: army green and Armagnac. The latter can probably also be described as "mustard-colored".

What I liked: The jacket is well equipped and well ventilated. And the foldable hood makes the jacket more aerodynamic.

The less: The thin material tends to flutter a bit in windy and fast driving.

For whom AGU's Compact Venture is suitable: especially for commuters and other urban cyclists who want to have the jacket in their saddlebag even in dry weather for emergencies.

Endura Hummvee Hooded Jacket

Similar to the Vaude model, the hooded jacket is made of stronger material and warms more than the more sporty models from Gonso, Gorewear, AGU or the GV 500 from Endura itself. But Endura has also thought about cooling: The Hummvee can be opened with a zipper under the armpits and thus provides fresh air even when exerting yourself on the bike.

The hood can be pulled together with straps at the front. If necessary, it also fits over a bicycle helmet, but is then a bit short at the front. If you like, you can wear the helmet over it despite the light padding of the hood. There are two front pockets and one chest pocket, all three of which can be closed with a zipper. The breast pocket also fits a larger smartphone. The cuffs on the sleeves are made tighter with a Velcro fastener, the lower hem of the jacket can be tightened with an adjustable elastic band.

The Hummvee is available for women in six sizes and four colors, for men there are also four colors, but sometimes different, and seven sizes.

Our model for women has a sporty cut and fits well. With a weight of 446 grams (women, S), it is one of the heaviest models.

What I liked: The jacket is very well equipped, the material is strong, the chest pocket holds a smartphone (and keeps it dry).

The less: The jacket is a bit heavy and the hood is not particularly flexible.

For whom the Hummvee hooded jacket is suitable: For commuters who want a sporty chic spring and summer jacket not only for rain, but for all occasions.

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