Oh summer, how we’ll look back on your warm, long days fondly. You’ve left us yet again and in your place stands autumn, the season of rain and cheesy Freeform movies. While we’ll miss you summer, for now we need to capitalize on the wondrous dirt the rain creates. The change in weather can make getting out for a ride more difficult, but with the right wet weather gear you can conquer any storm the Pacific Northwest throws at you. If you’re looking for new rain gear for your blustery adventures, start your search with these recommendations from the PNW crew.
Do you have a "go to" rain jacket?
Jesse (Customer Service) - I wear the Outdoor Research Helium 2 Jacket. It's waterproof and can be packed into one of its pockets so you can stash it in a fanny pack if you don't need it anymore.
TJ (Sales) - The Fox Flexair Pro 3L Water Jacket. It’s thin, breathable, packable, and it’s actually waterproof!
Nathan (Customer Service) - The 7mesh Revelation Jacket is waterproof and perfect for really wet days. It’s super light, vents well, and has an under helmet hood that is removable so I don't have something flapping around catching mud splatter on the descents. For light rain and high aerobic days, I’ll wear the Patagonia Dirt Roamer Jacket. It’s really breathable, stretchy, and packs into its own back pocket, but on really wet days the water goes through the jacket. It’s not an issue if you wear a wool top though.
Lindsay (Field Sales & Marketing) - I have two jackets. First is Leatt's MTB 5.0 Jacket. It’s very tough in case you take a digger in the wet slop and is super waterproof. The second one is the Ion 3 Layer Scrub Amp Jacket. The hood can fit over a helmet and it comes with a built in lens wipe for cleaning your glasses or goggles.
Reilly (Marketing) - My go to jacket for hard rain is the Royal Racing Matrix Jacket. It’s like wearing a tarp in that it’s completely waterproof and has lasted for years, but it’s not very breathable so you’ll likely sweat a lot on the climb.
Are there rain pants that you would recommend to a friend?
TJ - The Fox Ranger Pants. They’re good for warm, cold, wet, or dry days. They’re super comfortable, breathable and actually waterproof too. I can't emphasize how much I appreciate changing after a cold, wet ride and being dry for the whole experience.
Nathan - I either wear the Leatt MTB 5.0 Shorts or the Fox Attack Water rain pants. The Leatt shorts are super waterproof with moderate venting. My Fox Attack Water Pants feel like pajamas. It’s easy to wear pads or an extra base layer underneath them. The upper section is highly waterproof and the lower section is more like a softshell.
Lindsay - TLD Resist Pants! The rain and mud bead off but they're still light and stretchy. They're like unicorns, but for your legs.
Reilly - I don’t have riding pants (I’ll be trying Lindsay’s recommendation soon), but I just scooped up the 100% Hydromatic Shorts and I love them. They feel like you’re wearing basketball shorts, but water and mud roll right off.
How are you keeping your feet dry?
TJ - For especially mucky days, I'll wear my previous season’s shoes. Once I'm in the throes of winter I'll usually just alternate between my current shoes and past shoes to allow the alternating pair to dry in between rides. Next time you update your riding shoes, be sure to hang on to your old shoes as well.
Nathan - I ride in the Ride Concepts Hellion as they don’t absorb much water and also have some venting around the toes. On really wet days I’ll wear some Sealskinz waterproof socks.
Lindsay - I switch over to my Fiveten Freerider EPS High Tops when it gets really wet to keep my feet safe from puddle splashes.
Do you wear special gloves for rain rides?
TJ - I'm a huge fan of Mechanix FastFit Gloves. They use elastic instead of velcro and are durable and comfortable. There’s no palm padding, which I feel gets in the way, and at $15 you can't beat the price. They’re available in a number of colors and sizes.
Nathan - On moderately wet days, I use the 100% Brisker softshell wind gloves, on wet days I use the Giro Pivot 2.0, and on really cold days I wear the Specialized Element 2.0 lobster/trigger glove.
Lindsay - If it’s not pouring I’ll wear my Cold Weather Gloves from Handup.
Reilly - I have less than decent circulation in my hands so staying dry and warm is a must. The 100% Hydromatic Gloves do the trick, but be warned that thicker gloves make you feel a bit disconnected from your bike.
How do you accessorize for wet laps?
Jesse - I have the Portland Design Works Poncho Fender on my gravel bike and a little fork flap on my MTB.
TJ - A good pair of affordable riding glasses is a must. I'm pro at ruining and/or losing riding glasses, so the $12 clear-lensed Carhartt, anti-fog's at your local Work-Wear store are my go-to's.
Nathan - I use a garden water pump/sprayer for rinsing off my bike and muddy gear after a ride. I also ride in goggles, have a fender, and apply Muc-Off Silicon Shine frame polish (or sometimes T-9) because it helps keep mud from sticking to the frame and makes cleaning easy.
Lindsay - I put Rain-X on my clear lenses! Be sure to check first to make sure the Rain-X won’t damage the lens coating.
Reilly - I’m really riding the 100% train right now and have been using the 100% Speedcraft Glasses all year. Their fog resistance is next level, and they almost form a sealed pocket from my cheekbone to my forehead so it’s basically impossible to take a glob of mud or random bug to the eye. Don’t forget to pick up a fender.
Any last second tips and tricks for rain riding?
Jesse - Within reason, wear lots of layers. It's easy to remove a layer if you’re too hot, but it’s not always easy to warm up if you start cold.
TJ - Keep your gloves warm and dry until the descent! If you feel you need gloves for a rainy climb, bring an extra pair for the way down. I always feel a boost of confidence dropping in on a wet day with warm, dry hands.
Nathan - Wool, wool, wool. Always have a good wool jersey/base layer and socks so even if you get wet you are able to stay warm.
Lindsay - Get a boot dryer for your shoes so you can get to the trails the next day and start with dry feet.
Reilly - Ride closely behind your friends so when they go through a puddle you can ride through the dry patch that they created.
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