Quality jackets provide shelter from cool winds and some protection at least from showers. When buying a new cycling jacket, look for one that will offer you a comfortable ride for several hours at a time.
1 Windproof is usually better than waterproof
While waterproof jackets provide better protection, this usually comes at the cost of breathability. Will you really go out for a ride in a cloudburst? Windproof jackets will keep you warm, and at the same time offer better breathability, especially with different fabric panels on the back.
2 Good fit
A baggy, flapping jacket will significantly affect your aerodynamics. Try different brands, designs and sizes to make sure you buy a jacket that fits most comfortably, and is long enough when you lean over to ride on the drops.
Be careful about features, ask yourself the questions such as ‘Are the pockets useful?’ ‘Is the collar soft?’ ‘Do the cuffs fit over my gloves?’ ‘Does it fold down small enough to put it in a jersey pocket?’