The Best Winter Cycling Gear of 2021

Keep riding through the cold with these helpful picks

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"It provides all the protective features you need for the winter, including an adjustable hood and a back pocket for storage."
"Plenty of features keep you comfy as you spin, like the moisture-wicking lining, a cinch cord at the waist, and venting options."
"The high waistband won’t dig into your sides when you're seated, and the chamois has enough support for up to six hours of riding."
"The fast-dry pad under your seat will keep you comfortable, no matter how long you’re riding or how sweaty you get."
"Along with providing breathability and temperature regulation, it offers moisture management without any itchiness."
"Wear it under your windbreaker and it’ll give you the added layer of warmth you need on cold rides in the city or on the trails."
"Give your feet some extra protection with these shoe covers, which offer water and wind resistance while keeping you warm."
"These moisture-wicking socks will help regulate your feet's temperature so they don’t get too hot or cold as you pedal."
"It offers UV protection and keeps the wind at bay—a key trait for when you’re pedaling fast and catching a cold breeze."
"Add an extra layer under your helmet with this skull cap liner, made to keep your head warm as you log miles."

Cold weather and snowstorms can make you feel like you want to curl up inside on the couch. But as long as you protect yourself with winter cycling apparel, shoes, and accessories, a ride on your two-wheeler will be just as fun as during warmer months. So cover yourself from head to toe with quality jackets, mid-layers, and socks to stay warm as you pedal to your next destination.

Here is the best winter cycling gear on the market.

Best Jacket for Women: Baleaf Women’s Cycling Reflective Jacket

This jacket provides all the features you need to protect yourself from the elements. Most importantly, it features a water-resistant and windproof finish. You also get an adjustable hood, so you can fit it tightly on your head or loosely over your helmet, and a back pocket to store your belongings—like extra gloves, keys, and maybe a set of hand warmers.

Wear a solid base layer underneath, and if you start to heat up as you ride, you can always take the jacket off, fold it into itself, and store it in your mid-layer pocket or your bike basket. 

Best Jacket for Men: Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket

Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket

Thanks to the pocket on the front and back of this jacket, you can conveniently carry your stuff with you as you pedal around town or out for a fitness ride. Plenty of features also keep you comfy as you spin, like a moisture-wicking lining at the collar (where we tend to sweat a lot), a cinch cord at the hem if you prefer to wear your jacket tight, and a few venting options, particularly under the pits (where things also heat up).

It’ll also keep water out while still offering breathability as you move. 

Best Cycling Pants for Women: Machines for Freedom Essential Cycling Pant

Machines for Freedom Essential Cycling Pant

Built for women who want to ride for hours and stay comfortable in the saddle, these Machines for Freedom pants feature a compression material that keeps them in place as you pedal. The high waistband (inspired by yoga styles) won’t dig into your sides when you're seated, and the chamois has enough support for up to six hours of riding.

These pants also wick away moisture, feel silky against the skin, and offer UPF 50+ protection. Use the size chart to find your best fit, ranging from extra-small to 3XL. 

Best Cycling Pants for Men: Rapha Men’s Cargo Winter Tights with Pad

Rapha Men’s Cargo Winter Tights with Pad

These tights give you added warmth, thanks to a fleece-lined fabric that’s also water-repellent. To keep you visible on the streets, they also have reflective detailing so cars and other bikes can spot you as you ride.

If you’re carrying goods with you—like snacks, tissues, or other must-haves—these pants feature water-resistant zipped pockets, plus mesh compartments for storing essentials.

Finally, the fast-dry pad under your seat will keep you comfortable, no matter how long you’re riding or how sweaty you get. 

Best Midlayer for Women: Icebreaker Merino Women’s Quantum II Long Sleeve

Merino wool has mega benefits for everyday wear, including breathability, temperature regulation, and anti-stink properties. So you can sport this full zip-up for multiple rides without having to wash it.

It also offers moisture management, and unlike some other wool products, it doesn’t feel super itchy against the skin—just a light, added layer of warmth. It comes in various classic colors and in sizes extra-small through extra-large.

Best Midlayer for Men: The North Face Men’s Tekno Pullover Hoodie

The North Face Men’s Tekno Pullover Hoodie

Designed to keep you warm in snowy conditions, this water-resistant fleece has your back when it comes to cycling in the elements. Zipped pockets on the front offer more storage, while the hood fits under helmets for added heat on top. Wear it under your windbreaker jacket and it’ll give you the added layer of warmth you need on cold rides around the city or out on the trails. 

The jacket comes in a few classic colors and in sizes small through 2XL.

Best Cycling Shoe Cover: Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Shoe Cover

When you want added protection for your feet, these Pearl Izumi shoe covers (meant for road shoes with external cleats) will keep ‘em dry and warm. The fabric offers water and wind resistance, plus the fleece lining helps keep your toes toasty. The hook-and-loop closure also allows for easy on and off. Buy the bright yellow color to add to your visibility on the road too. 

The shoe covers will fit both men's and women's cycling shoes and come in sizes small through extra-extra-large.

Best Socks: Danish Endurance Merino Wool Light Socks

From wicking away wetness to offering breathability, these merino wool socks will help regulate the temperature of your feet so they don’t get too hot or cold, depending on the external temperature and how much you heat up as you pedal.

The socks also help stop blisters and wick away wetness, so you don’t have to worry about sweaty feet either. This bundle comes in packs of three with various color combinations.

Best Gaiter: Achiou Neck Gaiter

Snag this affordable neck gaiter to keep your face and neck warm as you pedal. You have a range of colors and patterns to choose from with this pick, which features a silky-soft fabric that’ll feel nice against your face.

It also offers UV protection, breathability, and stops the wind from leaving you chilled—a key trait for when you’re pedaling fast and catching a cold breeze. 

Best Hat: Outdoor Essentials Skull Cap

Keeping your head warm when you’re on the move is super important for lasting through miles. Add an extra layer under your helmet with this skull cap liner. The tight fit means it won’t feel super bulky under your helmet, while the polyester and spandex fabric makes for a comfortable cap. 

The cap also doubles as a helmet liner for winter sports like snowboarding and skiing.

Best Cycling Gloves: Pearl Izumi AmFIB Gel Glove

Pearl Izumi AmFIB Gel Glove

Holding onto handlebars as you tackle windy conditions often means cold hands—unless you have these gloves for temperature protection. With Primaloft insulation (made of recycled materials), you get the warmth you need to tackle winter riding.

The main fabric also offers a shield against wind and water, while the gel palm adds comfort without too much bulk. The synthetic leather on the palm of the hand also makes these cycling gloves extra durable. 

Best Bike Lights: Ascher USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

ashcer-bike-light

Stay safe as you ride the streets, especially in lower light conditions, with these affordable bike lights. Rechargeable with a USB cord, they offer four light modes, from full and half brightness to fast and slow flashing.

Put the red one on the back of your bike via the silicone strap and cars will spot you from behind, while placing the white light on the front will illuminate the streets as you cruise around and alert traffic of your presence. 

Final Verdict

The most important part of bundling up when heading outside to ride your bike in winter is having layers on so you can remove them as needed when you heat up. Make sure you have an outer layer that’ll protect you against the elements, like wind and rain or snow, which you’ll find in the Baleaf Women’s Cycling Jacket and Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket.

What to Look for in Winter Cycling Gear

Temperature Control

Warmth always wins out when we’re talking about winter and working out outside in cold temperatures and unpredictable weather. Look for gear that’s breathable for when you start to heat up but will keep you warm even through super cold days. 

Comfort

You never want your wardrobe to stop your ride short. Comfort is key to going long and cycling strong. Look for gear with soft materials that feel great against the skin and offer enough stretch to move with you as you pedal fast. 

Safety

Gear with safety features, like reflectivity, will help you stay visible in early morning or evening hours when the sun’s not quite at its highest—or those dreary days when you need a little illumination for cars and other bikers to spot you on the street. 

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Mallory Creveling, a personal trainer and avid city biker, knows what it takes to bundle up and still hit the streets on a two-wheeler. She’s also been covering fitness gear for more than 10 years and is familiar with the brands that stand out for their tech features and comfort. 

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