Bicycle Touring Waterproof Gear

Having good waterproof clothing on a bike tour is super important for those days you need to cycle in the rain. Here's a look at the waterproof clothes I'm taking on a bike tour of Iceland.

waterproof clothes for cycling in wet weather on a bike tour

Waterproof Clothes For Bike Touring

Nobody likes to cycle in the rain, but when you are on a long bicycle tour, the chances are you will have a few wet days to ride in sooner or later.

The worst weather I experienced so far was when cycling in Canada. It literally rained for weeks!

There more than anywhere else I noticed that the quality of the waterproof equipment makes a massive difference to your comfort and morale.

Gore-tex or equivalent waterproofs are the way to go when bike touring. Yes, they can be expensive, but a good waterproof jacket for cycling is worth its weight in gold.

Dave cycling in Iceland with a waterproof jacket

Over the years, I've refined my cycling waterproofs, and this list is based on what I took for my July/August 2023 bike tour in Iceland

In preparation for that tour, I was expecting to have to put up with heavy rain on at least some days – I’d heard horror stories of it raining for weeks on end!

As it turned out, I only experienced rain a handful of times when cycling during my 6 week tour of Iceland, and none of those days were too bad.

By the way, I've bought all this kit for bike touring in the rain myself. Nothing here was given to me. These are brands that I trust to have quality gear, but believe me, if they let me down, I won't hesitate in letting you know!

Related: My Iceland Cycling Videos

Here's a look at what waterproof cycling clothes I took for a 6 week cycling trip in Iceland.

Waterproof Jacket: Endura GV500 Waterproof Jacket

This Endura GV500 jacket has a hood designed to fit over a cycling helmet. I've tested it in reasonable rains when bikepacking in Greece, and the few times I used it in Iceland it kept me nice and dry.

Dave’s waterproof cycling jacket


The hood works kinds of ok over the helmet. You tend to need all the zips done up in order to stop the hood blowing backwards, but after a while of cycling, you feel like loosening the zips so you have more ventilation.

During my Iceland tour, I think the jacket got more use as an extra layer in the mornings than it did as a rain jacket! Still, glad I took it, and as everything worked out great, no complaints here!

The Endura GV500 jacket packs down very small, and is extremely light. It's made from a material called Exoshell 40.

Dave’s opinion: Can’t see any reason why I would replace this any time soon.

Price: Can't seem to find receipt

Waterproof Trousers: Endura GV500 Waterproof Trouser

From the same product line as the jacket, I also bought the matching waterproof trousers. There's not really much to say – they have slightly zipped lower legs to get them over cycling shoes, they have a drawstring waist and are made from the same Exoshell 40 material.

Again, I've worn the Endura GV500 trousers a couple of times in the rain, but nothing too extreme. They stood the full on test on my cycling route around Iceland, although as mentioned previously, I was very lucky with the weather overall.

Dave’s opinion: Again, I see no need to replace these anytime soon.

Price: Bought in November 2022 for 102.11 Euros.

Sealskinz Socks

I discovered Sealskinz socks a few years ago, and I am a total convert.

Their combination of Merino wool and other materials gives an element of breathability, but more important, your feet feel warm and dry after a wet cycle ride in the rain.

sealskinz waterproof socks

I actually took two pairs of these sealskinz socks along on the Iceland cycling tour. Mainly because I happen to have two pairs, but also, why not?

One thing to keep in mind, is that the socks are quite thick. This means if you have very tight fitting cycling shoes, it might be a squeeze using these socks with your current shoes.

I'm quite fortunate in that I'm really a half-size (ideally I would be a 45.5 European footsize). This means I have a 46 Euro cycling shoe, and the Sealskinz socks fit me with the shoes just fine. 

Another benefit of these Sealskinz socks is that they are nice to wear on chillier days to keep your feet warm. You can probably just make out the socks in the photos below.

Dave Briggs cycling in Iceland with Sealskinz socks

Dave’s opinion: Everyone packing for a long distance bike tour of a month or longer and heading to colder/rainier climates should pack a pair of Sealskinz socks.

Price: Bought one pair in November 2022 for 33.33 Euros. Have another pair from years ago, don't know the price.

Sealskinz Beanie

While the waterproof cycling jacket I am taking with me has a hood, this Sealskinz beanie serves for warmth as well as waterproofing. 

By the way – I seem to look like the guy delivering milk tray in this photo – will get a better one I promise!

sealskinz waterproof cold weather beanie

You can read an older assessment here of the Sealskinz beanie.

Price: No idea, had it a few years now

Sealskinz All Weather WP Long Gloves

Like other Sealskinz products, the all weather waterproof gloves are designed to keep hands dry and warm in bad weather.

sealskinz waterproof gloves

I wore these gloves a handful of times when cycling around Iceland, typically on colder or rainier days. I did find that my hands got quite sweaty inside them after I’d been cycling for a while.

Dave’s opinion – Perhaps more useful for cycling in colder climates than simply in the rain. Would take again on a long distance tour though.

Price: Can't remember

Sealskinz Waterproof Head Gaitor

Is this overkill? (Yes it was – I didn’t need to wear it once!).

Iceland is known as having some of the most extreme weather in the world so I thought that perhaps this waterproof head gaitor would come in handy.

Also, I can think of few countries where this particular piece of outdoor clothing could have been designed for!

As it turns out, the weather was never so bad that I had to wear it! Having seen other people’s experiences though, I’m glad I had it tucked away just in case.

Dave’s opinion – Glad I took it for Iceland even if I never used it, but wouldn’t take this on a regular bike tour again.

Price: Can't remember

Also read:



3 thoughts on “Bicycle Touring Waterproof Gear”

  1. Hello i will doing this trip in summer, i would like to know which waterproof jacket you propose, because the Endura don’t seems enough waterproof for Iceland ? thank a lot

    • Hi Val,
      The jacket I took was absolutely great for the trip – an important note though is that during my 6 weeks cycling in Iceland, it rained (properly rained) only on two days!
      I did take an emergency goretex packable jacket as well just in case but never needed it.


Leave a Comment