The Rain Cape

The first time I saw someone wearing a rain cape I thought, “wow, that guy looks totally strange, why wouldn’t he just wear a rain jacket like a normal person?” after which I inspected my wet pant thighs and thought a little more about how such a garment could be pretty useful- regardless of how funny one might look wearing it. From a cyclist stand point, there is much to be gained from wearing a rain cape versus a regular rain jacket which the drawing above illustrates pretty well: a dry protected “cockpit” depending on the size and shape, total seat area protection, and some protection for the upper thighs. Some capes even have room to wear a backpack underneath.

Iva Jean is a fairly young company based out of Seattle making cycling-specific rain capes out of a dense coated fabric called Ultrex. Unique to their design is the ability to pull one’s arms from under the cape or through central arm holes. Other notable features are the billed hood and many cord pulls for adjustability.. they also get bonus points for that beautiful porteur bike!

This fella wears Carradice’s cycling-specific waxed cotton cape that features reflective strips and is available in two sizes depending on your coverage needs.

Brooklyn based Postal Co’s version is made from nylon, suitable for all applications but seems more fashion oriented.. NOT cheap!

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10 Comments

Filed under bike, outside, wear

10 responses to “The Rain Cape

  1. I like the idea of rain capes, but have never found one I like in person. They slip and bunch up and just end up interfering with cycling instead of staying put over my knees. Have been admiring the Iva Jean cape for some time though, beautiful photos.

  2. Pingback: The Rain Cape (via cork grips) « Kitesurf Bike rambling

  3. tom

    fyi…. that ain’t me in the carradice, though there’s certainly a resemblance!

    • Bob

      Ha, he’s either one hell of a doppleganger or you’re just embarrassed to be seen in a rain cape- giving you the benefit of the doubt!

      • tom

        lotta dopplegangers out there if you have a beard and glasses….

        PS, best deal out there on cycling capes is definitely from my hometown cyclist’s co-op. made in the back room by natalie or the interns. same material as the Iva Jean, ultrex, but only $75.

        http://www.catoregon.org/?page_id=536

  4. I love the carradice one I have. I was shocked on how dry I was, I was just used to at least getting damp riding to work, but it really works. I would never use on fast rides, as it looks like wind would push you and the cape around, but ideal for commuting.

  5. heh – raincapes were all the go when I was in Beijing about 25 years ago – cost about 25c at every corner shop. nice bright colours too!

  6. jo

    i love raincapes a lot!!!
    I have more than 200 pieces, i use them every day!!
    I am wearing them in the woods, but in the city also.
    I dont care what other people think abount me in capes.
    I simply love wearing capes!!!!

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