Off season? What off season? Check out our favorite men's wet weather riding kit. | Rapha photo.
When it comes to unisex and men’s apparel, there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of cold and wet weather riding gear for mountain bikers. However, with so many options on the market, we wanted to find the best options for technical apparel to keep you dry and operating at the optimal temperature when temps drop and the dirt finally gets tacky. Let’s face it, not a whole lot beats riding a bike during leaf peeping season, but with the advent of winter come shorter, wetter, and colder days. Here are some of our favorite picks that will keep you happy and dry while you milk the last of the season. Make your friends jealous as you ride deep into off-season, while they stay at home complaining of boredom.
Rapha Trail GORE-TEX Infinium Jacket - $375
Didn’t know that Rapha makes mountain bike apparel? Well, they’ve been slowly making forays into the dirt world for a few years, carrying over their expertise from the road world flawlessly. In a nutshell, Rapha’s brand-new Trail GORE-TEX Infinium Jacket is really f***ing nice. The jacket is designed to keep you riding no matter the conditions, and that means it doesn’t just keep water out. There’s a trend among rain jackets where they feel like wearing a trash bag. Yes, they’re incredibly waterproof, but you end up sweat-soaked and overheated after every short pedal. Rapha’s new jacket is made of the incredibly lightweight and breathable GORE-TEX Infinium fabric and contains double-layer mesh underarm vents for increased breathability. Rapha also masterfully cuts the jacket to be slightly longer in the back, to cover your rear end when in a riding position. Additionally, the hood is oversized with a cinch, so it easily fits over a helmet. The jacket contains just two chest pockets (one interior + one exterior) which makes it very packable and gives it a smooth, soft, and comfortable finish. I wore it for long rides over just a short-sleeve jersey and the soft interior felt very comfortable directly on my skin.
POC Ardour All-Weather Pants – $280
What good is a rain jacket if all it does is cover your torso? Pair it with POC’s Ardour All-Weather pants, and you’ll be set to go. Again, the point of these pants is to maximize waterproofness and breathability, to keep you comfortable on long chilly pedals where there’s also a good chance of getting wet. You know, like what happens when you leave the house with your bike in the fall. The pants are constructed out of a combination of materials, with a lightweight stretch material on the front of the thighs and behind the knees. That’s paired with POC’s own waterproof three-layer material over the calves, knee, seat, and rear (exactly where you’ll get splashed when riding wet trails). With a baggy fit that’s tight around the ankles, the pants will easily accommodate kneepads and liner shorts and are a great choice for shuttle laps and pedals alike. Finally, if you're among the lucky few to have lift-service riding during the loamy months, the pants come with a small zipper card pocket along the waistband to keep a lift pass or credit card handy.