Spend any time on a bike in Amsterdam and you’ll soon discover the many types of rain: soft rain, drizzle, spitting, misty rain, downpour, torrential rain and so on. Meaning, you’re bound to get wet. But we’ve got you covered – from coats to boots, we have some great suggestions to keep you dry and comfortable!
After years of suffering the discomfort of Hema rain gear, I decided it was time to invest in some proper rain clothing suitable for cycling. I am a bakfiets Mama – I use it every day as my main form of transportation. So I need to stay dry and not arrive wherever we are going soaked to the bone or looking like a drowned rat. Over time, I developed the perfect outfit for me, and I want to pass it on to you. While the items cost more than the Hema set, I’ve also come up with some equally stylish alternatives if you want to shop around a bit.
Coat: I love my winter parka from Happy Rainy Days. I really do. It’s cosy, snug and completely waterproof. It takes me from autumn, through winter and into the early days of spring. Developed by two Dutch Mamas who wanted to survive the weather stylishly they created it to fit their busy lives.
Trousers: Also Happy Rainy Days. I love that they zip off down the side so that I am not dragging wet trousers on and off over my dry trousers underneath.
Hats: Another Happy Rainy Days essential, because you’ll need an alternative before you master the art of cycling with an umbrella.
Livvy Échapeau: Hoods are great, but when you are on the bike in low weather conditions you want to be able to see easily and quickly all around you. The Livvy Échapeau, while pricey, is perfect for this. Water resistant linen keeps the rain off you and the detachable scarf is invaluable on windy days.
Shabbies: An Amsterdam institution Shabbies are fab. I resisted for a long time but I genuinely find plastic rain boots very uncomfortable. So I wait until the sales and get a good chunky pair of Shabbies. Don’t forget to add extra waterproof protection to them and they will last for years.
Poncho: Amsterdam based Mme de Pe designed a poncho to liberate cycling women and it is certainly more flattering than the plastic version.
Skirt: This great alternative to the trousers can be found here: rainmates
Gloves: I generally carry a pair of leather Hema gloves with me (a bargain at €12,95, especially if you tend to lose a pair or two a season, ahem…) but this year I am definitely investing in a pair of Sealskinz, which have been highly recommended by other Amsterdam Mamas.
I’m ready for the rainy season, are you?
Emmy Coffey McCarthy
Emmy McCarthy was the Director of Stichting Amsterdam Mamas. She is a Mama, Entrepreneur and Connector on a never-ending quest for balance in her life.