Climate change is expected to disproportionately affect agriculture in Bangladesh; however, there is limited information on smallholder farmers’ overall vulnerability and adaptation needs. This article estimates the impact of climatic shocks on the household agricultural income and, subsequently, on farmers’ adaptation strategies. Relying on data from a survey conducted in several communities in Bangladesh in 2011 and based on an IV probit approach, the results show that a 1 percentage point (pp) climate-induced decline in agricultural income pushes Bangladeshi households to adapt by almost 3 pp. Moreover, Bangladeshi farmers undertake a variety of adaptation options. However, several barriers to adaptation were identified, noticeably access to electricity and wealth. In this respect, policies can be implemented in order to assist the Bangladeshi farming community to adapt to climate change.Policy relevanceThis study contributes to the literature of adaptation to climate change by providing evidence of existing risk-coping strategies and by showing how a household’s ability to adapt to weather-related risk can be limited. This study helps to inform the design of policy in the context of increasing climatic stress on the smallholder farmers in Bangladesh.