So I think I finally found the right mix of clothing & gear to be comfortable commuting when the weather is in the high 20’s/low 30’s. This ensemble has been years in the making- so I want to share, and hear what works for you, too.
Here’s my basic formula:
Hand-stitched balaclava from Bike Winter. Mine is fleece printed with sea turtles (?). I like the balaclava because it covers the head, neck and nose, and it’s thin so I don’t feel overly garmet-burdened.
Next is a lightweight and loose-fitting wool t-shirt. I am deeply ambivalent about so-called performance fabrics. Ibex, Smartwool, Swrve, and Nau have some good wool options that are nice and plain.
Then do a layer that has a full zip front. I think you could do any mid-weight fabric but I like zip-up wool sweaters best. The zip helps because you feel like you could escape if needed.
For on top, the an unlined, light windbreaker works great. It cuts the wind and isn’t too bulky.
Wow, this is fun! For pants, I insist on a silk baselayer under windproof pants. I wish I had several colors of these Patagonia trousers because they are practical and plain, with belt loops and big pockets:
I am not too picky about socks but tall ones are warmer. For shoes, sturdy Gore-Tex shoes or boots have kept me warm and dry.
But one of the most important parts of successful winter cycling is having warm hands. I cannot recommend these mittens enough.
Yum! So cozy.
And of course one of these:
So what combos work for you? Are there any brands or product categories that you consider essential?