Capes and ponchos are commonly overlooked when it comes to cycling. They get passed over for more stylish waterproof jackets instead. However, these billowy shapeless garments are pretty useful, and rather stylish.
When we say ponchos and capes, we're not referring to the thin bin liners you get at the theme parks, we mean quality made cycle specific ones - there is a difference. Investing in a good quality cycling rain cape/poncho is ideal to see you through the wet season. You don't have to worry about changing into or out of anything, you can simply pop them over your existing cycle clothing to ensure that you are kept bone dry.
Ponchos and capes are equipped with an extra long tail. This means you can either sit on the fabric to keep your saddle dry, or use the additional length to cover your seat entirely. These garments provide you with full cycling coverage from your head to your thighs, you can even get longer ones that cover your handlebars too!
They don't all have to be dreary and dull, you can get some pretty stylish designs and colours to compliment your ride, as well as keep you dry...
Carradice - Duxback Rain Poncho
Designed specifically for cycling, this lightweight, reproofable waxed cotton is waterproof, rustle-proof and long lasting. With taped seams throughout and reflective detail, this rain poncho will keep you dry, and seen in low-light conditions.
Available in one side, this poncho measures 97cm at the front and 85cm at the back. With tape fasteners on the inside, you can secure the poncho to yourself, and the bike - ideal for windy conditions. With a high collar and large hooded opening for your helmet, you can really ensure full coverage with this garment.
Otto London - Urban Poncho
Created for urban riders and stylish concious outdoors people, the urban poncho is constructed from waterproof nylon material. With reflective piping edges, cotton lining, a two-way zip and an inside pocket for your personal items, this poncho can also be fastened with a waist string, and fastened to your handle bars with built in straps.
It's simple in design, but it's super effective when battling the elements on the bike.
Colours: Choose from 10 colour options
Sizes: Small and Large
Vaude - Covero Poncho II
Outdoor giants, Vaude, has an extensive range of waterproof jackets, ponchos and capes. The Covero Poncho II is designed from eco-friendly materials to provide ample coverage on your ride.
The poncho features 2 side entries for your arms, a front pocket to stash away essentials, a waist strap and reflective details to help you remain seen. Hand loops are also fitted too hook around your handle bars as you ride.
Colours: Grey - Red - Lemon
Sizes: Small - XX.Large
Brooks England - Cambridge Stowable Rain Cape
While we're not a fan of the term "shrink it n'pink it" in women's cycling, we quite like a little pink here and there. If you're a firm anti-pink wearer, then fear not because the Brooks England Cambridge Stowable Rain Cape is available in a number of other colours as well.
It's easy to fold away into your bag, or rolled up into it's own pouch and attached to your bike. The cape is constructed from extremely light PA fabric which is waterproof up to 10,000 mmH20. The hood is adjustable to accommodate your helmet, and the magnetic tapes are fitted so you can connect to the handlebars.
The People's Poncho
This stylish poncho is made from three layers of hard-wearing, and fully waterproof Japanese polyester. It's been designed to have a number of great features: drawstring hood, zipped waterproof chest pocket, reflective piping, side buttons and internal straps to hook onto the handlebars, or over hands so legs are protected from the rain.
When you're not using the poncho, it can be stowed away in a neat little pouch.
Cleverhood - Cleverlite Rain Cape
If you're looking for simple and faff free coverage then the Cleverlite cape is for you. Designed with reflectivity in mind, the cape also have elestaic thumb loops and a handy mesh pack for when you take it off.
This cape comes in two fabric types: a strong lightweight ripstop fabric, and a more sturdy brushed micro-fibre fabric. Each options is totally breathable and offers a variety of colours.
Sizes: Regular - Small - Tall
Rainfrog - Nadya Navy and White Rose
This cycling poncho is long and stylish for your commute. It features inner hand loops, an adjustable hood, taped seams and inner waist ties to keep it firmly in place - no billowy Marilyn Monroe effect here.
Constructed from a waterproof and windproof nylon, this poncho measures 105cm long at the front, 85cm long at the back and 150cm wide.
Happy Rainy Days - Cape Robin
This super stylish waterproof cape has a lovely bold design to help you get noticed on the ride.
The adjustable hood can be rolled away into the collar when not in use, so it isn't blowing around you when you're riding. There's a large storage pocked at the front, waist fastening and wrist bands to keep the cape firmly in place.
It's sealed and fully waterproof, measuring below the knee, the back length is 98cm.
Ligne 8 - Octavia Cape
Ligne 8 make beautiful bike wear garments that are highly waterproof, and don’t compromise on style, hooray!
Their Octavia Rain Cape has a pretty unique look to it because of its translucent All Weather Shell stretch fabric. The fabric is very lightweight, breathable and it doesn’t restrict your movement on the bike. It's also great for shielding you from the wind.
Cycling Rain Cape
Made from 100% waterproof Pongee fabric, the cycling rain cape has you covered - and your bike too!
There's a detachable hood and thumb hooks to keep your hands covered on the handlebars. When you're not wearing it, simply fold it down into its own stash pouch. The cape measures the length from the collar to the bottom as: 87cm in the back, and 105cm in the front. Reasonably priced at £35, this cape does it all.
Colours: Navy - Black
Convinced yet? Ponchos and cycling capes are convenient alternatives to waterproof jackets and trousers.
Available in a variety of lengths, widths, colours and designs, you can be sure to find something suitable for keeping your body dry during those unexpected showers.
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