8 best reflective cycling jackets for women
Stay seen and safe, whether you're in the city or the country, with one of these high-visibility cover-ups
Wearing high-vis cycle kit used to involve nothing more than a fluoro sash over your regular jacket, but improvements in reflective technology, not to mention demand from cyclists wanting to be safe, has seen the high-vis market explode in recent years.
What do you need to look for when buying a reflective cycling jacket? High-visibility in low light, rain, fog and darkness is of course paramount. But you also want something waterproof, windproof and breathable to make cycling in winter as comfortable as possible. Especially if you plan to commute by bike, as well-functioning kit will definitely make you more likely to stick at it.
Some of the jackets featured are sturdier and more suited to the rigours of daily commuting, whereas others are more lightweight, breathable and suited to faster cycling – on a training ride, for example. So, think about what you will primarily be using your jacket for when making your choice.
Most cycling jackets have a longer length at the back to keep you dry from rain splash, plus longer sleeves and adjustable cuffs to avoid cold air getting in at the join with your gloves. Cycling jackets don’t tend to have hoods, presumably as manufacturers expect you to be wearing a helmet. Zips under the arm pits are useful for cooling down when you’ve worked up too much of a sweat.
These reflective cycling jackets were tested in Brighton during winter on dark squally nights.
Endura Women’s Urban Luminite Jacket: £99.99, Endura
We loved the lightweight feel of the Urban Luminite jacket from Endura – and it looked good on, feeling like a nice compromise between a hardy commuting jacket, which can sometimes feel clunky, and a more stylish lightweight option. The reflective panels were extremely effective in the dark. There weren’t as many as on some of the other commuter-style jackets, though we didn’t find that diminished the jacket’s reflectiveness.
The Urban Luminite was reliably waterproof, windproof and breathable, with good pit zips to further cool you down, and hand-warmer pockets if you needed warming up. A top choice. Sold in sizes S-XL.
B’Twin 900 Urban Cycling Poncho Jacket: £24.99, Decathlon
We weren’t sure about this Poncho jacket from Decathlon’s bike brand B’Twin at first, but when we tried it, we were impressed with both its waterproofing capabilities and its coverage – it kept us dry to just below the ankles. And though it did blow about a little in the wind, it has straps which secure to each leg, so it doesn’t come close to getting tangled in your chain. The reflective panels weren’t massive, but they were effective.
We liked that it had a hood, most jackets don’t as manufacturers presume you’ll be wearing a helmet, but not everyone does and we also like wearing a hood over our helmet in heavy rain. We liked the clear side sections in the hood, which improved visibility when looking over our shoulder to pull out into traffic. This is best suited to city cycling on an upright bike, rather than a drop-down racing-style posture. Available in sizes in XS-XXL.
dhb Flashlight Waterproof Jacket: £90, Wiggle
The Flashlight, from Wiggle’s in-house brand dhb, is a top quality high-vis cycling jacket at a pretty reasonable price. This classic fluoro colour stood out well in bad daytime weather and the many reflective panels were really impressive at night. We especially liked the panel below your bum, which would keep you visible if paired with a non-reflective rucksack.
The jacket was warm in the wind and waterproof, with vent zips at the arm pits if you needed to cool down. It also had lots of useful pockets and the fabric felt durable. A great choice for year-round commuters. Also available in blue/black and red/black; sold in sizes XS-XL.
Rapha Women’s Brevity Visibility Jacket: £140, Rapha
The Brevity jacket from cult cycling brand Rapha was the lightest and brightest jacket on test. It was a joy to wear, keeping the cold wind and rain out, without steaming up at all on the inside when we dialled the pace up. We loved the colour, design and streamlined fit, and the fact it folds up easily into a bikepack or even pocket of a racing jersey. But the lightness of the fabric did also mean it didn’t seem super durable, so we’d recommend this more as a jacket suited to club rides and winter training, than the mucky toil of a regular commute. Though it did wipe clean well when we did get it mucky. Available in sizes XS-XL.
Proviz Reflect360 CRS Plus Women’s Cycling Jacket: £149.99, Proviz
We were impressed with this super-reflective jacket from Proviz, which is made up of thousands of reflective beads that each catch the light at a different angle. It felt robust and durable, as if it would last for a good few commuting winters. It was great at keeping out the freezing winds and rain, though it was one of the heavier jackets on test, so would be more suited to regular commuting than long distance riding or racing.
The underarm vents were effective when we did heat up though. It has plenty of pockets, and a soft fleece lining on the neck to tuck your chin into. Also available in blue and red; sold in sizes 6-16.
Liv Zorya Wind Jacket: £99.99, Liv
We really liked the racing fit-style and original design of this jacket by the women’s-specific cycling brand Liv. As the name suggests, it was very good at keeping the wind out, and fairly waterproof too, while the close cuffs on the sleeves kept us extra snug. The reflectivity was incorporated nicely into the design but there wasn’t a lot of it, so we’d recommend this jacket more as a training or racing option with occasional low light and dark use, rather than your regular commuting choice. The jacket has inside and small outside pockets for gels and snacks. It was the shortest on our test. Available in S-XL.
Galibier Mistral Foul Weather: £72.76, Galibier
We liked this black reflective option from the core cycling brand Galibier, as not everyone wants to ride in full-fluoro all the time. And the reflective panels it does have are very effective. It was one of the warmest jackets on test, great at keeping brutal winds out, and we just needed to wear a single base layer under it. It was also very soft and comfy, more like a hoodie rather than a regular cycling jacket. The water repellence worked fine for us in mid-level rain, though the brand advice is that water would eventually get through in serious downpours. There is a spacious pocket on the lower back. Sold in sizes XS-XXXL.
B’Twin 500 Women’s Showerproof Cycling Jacket: £32.99, Decathlon
Considering the price, we thought this was a pretty good lightweight jacket from B’Twin. The fit was more of a racing style than something you would wear a lot of layers under, and though we liked the design, it’s a no-frills jacket with limited reflective strips, not much venting and just one pocket at the back. While the waterproofing held well in windy showers, we wouldn’t recommend it for heavy downpours. It was also one of the least breathable jackets on test. Available in sizes UK8-16; also sold in blue/grey.
The verdict: Women's reflective cycling jackets
For high visibility and waterproofing on your regular commute, we recommend the Endura Women’s Urban Luminite Jacket, closely followed by the Proviz Reflect360 CRS Plus Women’s Cycling Jacket and dhb Flashlight Waterproof Jacket.
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