Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Winter Gear

Wanted to take a couple minutes to talk about some of my favorite winter riding gear. Why? 'cuase i'm a blogger and that's what blogger's do - babble-on and on and on ...

Craft Face Protector - very thin material, breathable, good in modest temps (30) and good for ultra-cold (-10) by layering other hats. Wind-stopper material at neck. Well designed. This has replaced all the other neck warmers i own...

Buff Headgear - they're a sponsor, so i got a couple for free, but keep one with me at almost all times. it is the perfect hat for temps from 30-55 - and before i got the Craft Face Protector, a solid neck warmer.

Hoodless lightweight Jackets - i've collected 3 i use regularly:

Non-waterproof Craft safety yellow with pit zips for night commuting.
Waterproof Sierra Designs single-layer shell (can't find any mention of the Sierra Designs jacket online, i snagged it for $10 on clearance rack at REI.
The infamous Marmot Windshirt, one of the best designed light-weight jackets on the planet.

In my opinion, what makes a jacket good or bad is air-flow. Cuffs that aren't too tight, allow air to get in there and cool your arms, if you need to keep air out, that's what gloves are for. the Craft jacket does not allow air to travel up arms... pit zips are nice, but not necessary as long as there are vents in back. pit zips on Craft jacket do not offset lack of airflow in sleeves, arms are soaked in sweat after only 30mins of riding, but it is cut long and protects lower back from road spray.

Patagonia Capaline - Silk, Light and Mid-weight. Layering the bottoms, tops and socks keeps me warm and happy in any temp and by buying it off-season from "web specials" can usually find it for less than half-price. lots of breathable materials out there, but keep coming back to the Patagucci as it wears like iron.

IBEX wool - these stuff is the shit!, but for ultra-cold days. The same weight material from IBEX is 2-3times warmer than Capiliene, but pricey stuff. Someday i'll own more of this stuff - when i'm rich.

Booties - Craft Nemo Cover - they work.

Gloves - 661 is a sponsor, so i get their stuff on the cheap, but the Storm Plus gloves have really been great. The cinching gauntlet is perfect when temps plummet or in cold rain. Waterproof, bomb-proof, and great for skiing when temps are 25 or above. but, no venting, so when temps get about 35-40, they are just too warm.

I think that's it. that's the scoop on what keeps me happy and on the bike all winter long...


At 2/08/2006 10:01 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Been using the 06 661 Storm. Really like it. Rode with it last Sat. in some rain and was surised how dry my hand were. Not sure how they would hold up to prolonged down pours but impressed.


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