I’m a big fan of budget rain suits. Mainly because they don’t need to be expensive to be effective.
Hell, strap yourself into a bin bag, and it’ll do the trick.
As long as your rain suit is made from some form of waterproof construction and the zips and seams are taped, it’ll do the job.
For this reason, I see no reason why most people would need to stretch beyond the budget or mid-range rain suits on this list.
Oxford Rainseal All-Weather Motorcycle Rain Suit
I like the Oxford rain suit. After the nightmare above from a cheap one I found on eBay, I returned home and purchased this one from Oxford.
Impressed with its performance, my dad also bought one – an item he used almost constantly on our recent trip to a very wet Norway.
The suit covers the basics in that it’s waterproof and has water-resistant seams. It has adjustable cuffs and ankles that stop seepage around your gloves and make it easier to get over your boots.
You’ll also find an elasticated waist to prevent flapping whilst adding an element of comfort.
Finally, the Oxford Rainseal comes oversized. This means that if you usually take a size Medium, you won’t need to buy a size or two bigger to accommodate your riding gear. Buy a size Medium, and it should be fine.
This rain suit by Thor has had a bit of a bad rep – but that’s because people keep buying it for the wrong type of riding! If you’re an off-road rider, you’ll know Thor makes gear predominantly for off-roading – not motorway (highway) riding.
Off-road riding requires (generally) slower speeds and more movement on the bike. Therefore, this ‘baggy’ rain suit is NOT made for 120 mph blasts on the autobahn – it’s made for slow speeds and lots of movement.
If you’re a road rider, this isn’t the rain suit you need. But if you’re an off-road rider looking for protection against the elements when on the trails, it’s a decent choice at a fair price.
If you tour in colder, wetter climates, perhaps a mid-range or premium rain suit would suit you best.
With these mid-range options, you’ll find additional features such as waterproof zips (rather than water-resistant), quilted linings for warmth, and even integrated hoods.
Some also have more tactile openings for ease of use when putting them on or taking them off.
These are our favourites in this category.
Weise Siberian Waterproof 1 Rain Suit
Okay, so you’re never going to win any fashion awards wearing this thing! But looks aside, I really like this mid-range offering from Weise.
Whilst even the budget suits are waterproof, they often include water-resistant zips – rather than waterproof. With the Siberian, however, the YKK zips and seams are as waterproof as the rest of the garment.
Unlike the cheaper suits above, the Siberian also offers warmth and insulation – thanks to the polyester thermal quilted lining. It’s definitely suited to winter rides rather than summer ones.
At first, I disliked that the cuffs and ankles were zips and velcro – rather than elastic. But then I realised that the zips and velcro make it a damn sight easier to get on and off – a benefit that far outweighs the benefits of elasticated cuffs!
As mentioned above, I’m a big fan of the Oxford Rainseal suit in the budget section. If you are, too, you might love the mid-range offering by the same company.
It’s pretty much twice the price of the budget version, but you get quite a few upgrades for the extra cash. And at around £70, it’s still good value for money.
As you might expect, it’s fully waterproof. But unlike the Rainseal suit, this Stormseal option is fully mesh lined. Another nice feature is that it has an integrated hood which can be folded away – an underrated feature in my book! Hoods on bikes work wonders.
As with the Spada suit above, the Stormseal has velcro ankles and cuffs for ease and fit and an extra long easy-on zip fastening.
This offering from RST is a great mid-range option for those looking to spend around £50.
It’s made from 100% PVC construction and is fully waterproof. And where most brands go for either elasticated or velcro cuffs and ankles, RST has used both. So you’ll find elasticated cuffs to keep the rain out but velcro ankles that make it easier to get over boots. Pretty clever.
I also like the soft fabric around the collar, which gives additional comfort.
For ease of use, a diagonal zip reaches from the mid-thigh to the neck. But where all the above rain suits are purposefully oversized, be aware that this one from RST is standard size. So you will need to go up around two sizes to accommodate your riding gear.
If you’re a touring rider, the environments you face could change almost daily.
One day it might be wet and windy. The following day it might snow. And then a ferry ride later, you could be riding in 35 degrees.
For this reason, it’s worth paying attention to the insulation properties of the rain suit.
Something like the Weise Siberian has a thermal liner – which would make it great in colder climates but a nightmare in the South of France in July!
Try to match the rain suit with the riding gear you already own. You can probably forego the thermal-lined rain suits if you have well-insulated riding gear. Or vice versa.
Consider Rain Suits As Part Of Your Layering System
There’s nothing to say you can’t wear a rain suit when it isn’t raining. I’ve used them on summer rides where the temperature has dropped, but I hadn’t packed any warmer layers.
Sticking a rain suit on over summer gear is a superb way to warm up if you don’t have any layers to wear.
Equally, you can use rain suits to regulate your temperature on hot (but wet) days.
Putting a rain suit over summer/mesh riding kit (and then controlling the temperature by opening zips and vents) is a great way to stay dry whilst not overheating.
Buying A Motorcycle Rain Suit: Fit & Sizing
By nature, motorcycle rain suits tend to be on the baggier side. This is largely because they need to go over your riding gear.
As mentioned in our list, some rain suits are already oversized – so you won’t need to go up to accommodate your riding gear. Simply buy the size you usually do.
However, some brands do not oversize their rain suits – meaning you will need to accommodate this by going up a few sizes.
Most rain suits come with a dedicated pouch for storage. But some don’t!
If yours doesn’t come with a pouch, find a dry sack (or a compression sack) to keep it in.
Not only will it take up less space in a pouch, but it will also protect it from getting accidentally damaged in your top box. The last thing you need in a downpour is a ripped rain suit!
The On/Off System Of A Motorcycle Rain Suit
As mentioned at the top of this post, getting your rain suit on/off is a priority.
Try a few on, and see if you prefer elasticated or velcro cuffs/ankles – or a mixture of the two.
There’s no right and wrong here. It’s whatever suits you best.
One thing worth mentioning is that whatever system you go for, you should ensure the suit pants go over your boots, whilst your gloves go inside the sleeves.
Consider A Hood & Neck Snood
Hoods on motorcycle gear aren’t really that popular. But I can tell you from experience that they ought to be!
A rain suit with a hood means you can put your helmet over the hood – preventing any rain from getting down the back of your neck or leaking through gaps in your helmet to wet your head/face.
A neck snood (in combination with a hood) is another great way to prevent water from seeping in around your neck.
Top image: Finn Whelen
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