Before we dive into the deep freeze, there’s still plenty of autumn pedaling to enjoy. The common denominator for warmth, comfort and style on your urban ride at this time of year is a great piece of outerwear.
This season offers women’s cycling jackets to suit every need and style, from sophisticated bombers to tailored blazers to sporty anoraks. Wear them on their own on warmer days or layer them up when the temperatures dip. All blend seamlessly with daily urban living.
Some bike-friendly features to look for when shopping for jackets: breathable fabric, subtle stretch that moves with you, a closure at the neck, coverage at the rear, zip pockets and reflective details. Here are six great options:
Top photo: Rapha + Liberty Two-Tone Bomber, $190
British-based cycling apparel maker Rapha has partnered with Liberty of London, the venerable Regent Street merchant, in a capsule collection for women that includes clothing and accessories for everyday cycling.
While Liberty is perhaps best known for its florals, the distinctive print on the bomber (above) has a contemporary feel. It was chosen from Liberty’s design archive of 40,000 patterns, according to Rapha. The windproof front is constructed of polymide with a touch of elastane for traveling around town, and the sleeves and back contain Merino wool for warmth and softness. A pocket with a concealed zipper stows essentials, and reflective details help keep you visible. Also included in the Rapha + Liberty collection are leggings, a Merino sweatshirt and accessories.
Reid Miller Apparel Riding Jacket, $385 (pre-order)
New on the scene this season, Durham, NC-based Reid Miller Apparel has created a beautifully tailored, fully lined wool blazer in the tradition of equestrian jackets. She chose Harris Tweed for its natural water resistance and warmth. Subtle flecks of color in the dark brown weave enhance versatility. The design provides an extra measure of length in the sleeves and breadth in the shoulders, as well as a reverse pleat between the shoulders, for ease of reach to the handlebars. Two front flap pockets, as well as a generously sized, hidden zippered back pocket deliver on-the-go convenience.
Ligne 8 Brushed Wool Laurence Jacket, $420
From Ligne 8, the most comprehensive collection of fashionable apparel for bicycle commuting, comes a warm cocoon of a jacket with a cool silhouette that transitions easily from bicycling to whatever is next. It’s constructed of DuPont Teflon™-coated wool for resistance to water, oil and stains. Pull up the stand collar for edgy style plus draft protection. Raglan sleeves and elimination of seams at the shoulders assure an easy-going ride. A reflective detail is incorporated high on the back.
Athleta Drippity Jacket, $128
Prefer an anorak style? This is the one that saw me through my urban cycling adventures in Denmark and Germany in October. Lightweight and easy to carry for daily wear with room to layer underneath, this is a go-two piece, whether traveling around town or farther afield. The fit can be adjusted with an inner drawstring at the waist. Generous zip side pockets hold phone, camera, sunglasses and more. The polyester jacket is windproof, water-resistant and has a hood that stows away inside the zip collar. A dropped hem lends coverage and protection.
Arc’teryx A2B Commuter Jacket, $445
This water-resistant, soft-shell jacket is a great choice for bicycle commuting. The keys here are articulation and gussets that prevent restriction of movement as the body bends and reaches. The flattering, streamlined fit still leaves room for layers beneath. The off-set zipper adds style, while the pull-up collar protects the wearer from the elements. Reflective details are found on the cuffs. Two zippered front pockets as well as zippered back pockets round out this jacket’s features.
Levi’s Women’s Commuter Waxed Shell, $248
Levi’s continues to expand their women’s collection for bicycle commuting beyond their excellent cycling jeans. New for fall, this waxed cotton jacket is both waterproof and breathable. Look for a vented back with reflective piping and a handy chest pocket in addition to side pockets. Off the bike, the jacket front folds open to lapels. With a cut that’s roomy enough for layering, this jacket can steer you right through the autumn and winter seasons.
Photos: Courtesy of manufacturers