Best cold weather jacket?



amazinmets73

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Aug 11, 2010
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Looking for a jacket that can withstand anything a northeastern winter can throw at it without sacrificing too much weight and mobility to do so. Winter temperatures in my area rarely dip below 10 degrees, (I'll be in Philadelphia) so I don't need a parka. I've been looking at the offerings from the major brands (Gore, Pearl Izumi, etc), and they seem to have some good offerings, albeit pricey.
 

Volnix

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2011
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Most winter jackets dedicated for cycling are just a membrane which is water - wind resistant. They start at about 50 euro.

The temperature insulation comes from the insided layering.

There are some jackets which are made from Softshell which are also a bit warm. But if you wash them too much they might start to soak and need some kind of treatment with a product to restore their waterproof-ness.

Btw if you want to save some $$ in clothing, joing a team.
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Teams usually make their own custom clothing and they sell them at cost price to the members of the team.
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dabac

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
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It's hard to advice. Riders sweat different amounts, and ride at different effort levels, and have different opinions about comfort.
I'm an excessive sweater, and will generally look for clothes with somewhat windproof front panels and highly ventilated rear panels.
No need to limit yourself to cycling gear though, there are plenty of runner's gear that'll work OK too.
If you don't sweat that much, or don't ride that hard, climbing gear work OK too. Longish arms, good pocket placement.

But you'll have to rethink this bit:"withstand anything a northeastern winter can throw at it".

If you buy something to keep you entirely comfortable during a worst case scenario, odds are it'll be too warm for average conditions. So either plan your "upgrades", or to get more than one garment.

When I'm starting from home, I have a range of jackets to choose from, and I'll pick the one most appropriate.
But if I'm starting from a limited selection, I'll use a rain-proof climber's jacket with pit zips. Arranged for maximum ventilation, it'll do OK even in nice weather straight over a wicking base layer. Then I can escalate gradually by closing zips, adding a vest, adding another thermal layer etc.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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Quote by a-mets73:
"I'll be in Philadelphia"

I would recommend something in at least a level IIA protection and capable of stopping 9MM, .40 S&W and .45 ACP calibers at the very least. Philly ain't the city of love, brotherly or otherwise.

Seriously, there's a big difference in riding in 35° and 15°. I don't think any one jacket, even with varied under layers, works optimally over the range of weather we see during winter.

A few good suggestions here:
http://www.bikeradar.com/us/tags/winter-clothing/?keywords=tag-hub%2Cwinter-clothing&rows=25&sortBy=publishedDate&dateFromYear=2003&searchTerm=&productPriceFrom=&productPriceTo=&productBrand=

Despite the cost, the Castelli Gabba is rated highly by users, including one of my training partners.
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/castelli-gabba-2-convertibile-jacket-mens?skid=CST002L-BK-S&rec=best

It would not think it would be your 10° 'go to' jacket, but down to maybe 25° or so my friend claims he is warm. The Gabba vents well if the temperature or tempo goes up.

For the lower temperature I need genuine insulation, as well as wind stopping properties to keep my core at operating temperature. I don't mind sacrificing freedom of movement for warmth. YMMV.

Down to 18°-19° last winter my old Nashbar insulated cycling jacket over base layers or my insulated Helly Hansen jacket work OK. Both lack the modern venting and fabrics available today so I dial back the climbing tempo to avoid over-heating and excessive seating.
 

amazinmets73

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Aug 11, 2010
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Campybob, I was perfectly fine in Baltimore, Philly should be a walk in the park Multiple jackets is obviously optimal. My two cycling specific jackets are a Bellwether velocity and a Royal Matrix. Obviously, these aren't going to be acceptable when the temperature dips into the teens and twenties
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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Should have typed "excessive sweating" in the reply above.

For a challenge you might hike through Camden!

I used to go to Philly for the Core States race and hung out in Manayunk. I don't think I ever saw a city that so much reminded me of a bombed out, post-war Berlin, Germany as Philly. All those post-apocalypse sci-fi movies must have been shot on Philly's streets. And yeah, Baltimore can be really bad.

Check out Bike Nashbar and subscribe to their email ads, if you do not currently do so. They come up with some pretty good winter clothing bargains, including the much under-rated (IMO at least) Bellwether stuff. Performance stores might also be a source of a good jacket at a decent price, although my local Performance store has not impressed me with their selection lately.

For high-teens I go with 5 layers and to hell with venting! All I have to do is unzip the jacket a few inches and I'm good. I've layered two lighter weight jackets together over base layers and jerseys with warmth that works for me. Like dabac stated, sweating, workout tempos, length of ride time/exposure time and preferences really vary, so base your choices on what has worked for you in the past.

I am a fan of the new multi-vent technology coupled with good, old-fashioned insulation and a front that stops the wind chill in its tracks. A stand-up collar is a bonus and I have yet to find sleeves that I would call too long. Eliminating a cold spot at the wrist takes long sleeves AND gauntlets when it's in the teens. I don't yet have a hi-vis deep winter jacket and visibility is high on my list for my next one. Safety yellow or green with lots of reflective surface area sounds good to me.
 

amazinmets73

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Aug 11, 2010
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Have you been to Berlin? I plan to move to Europe in a year or so and Berlin is definitely on my radar. Never been to Camden, the roughest areas I've seen in the Northeast have been in Trenton, and everyone says Camden trumps Trenton with ease. Maybe I'll go for a ride through Camden sometime when I'm feeling brave. Yea, Nashbar has the best deals as far as the online merchants go... You can pick up their Derby Softshell for 40 bucks with the 20% off discounts. Have you ever used Santini products? They're heavily discounted on Nashbar ATM. As far as layering goes, what do you use for base layers?
 

Volnix

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Feb 19, 2011
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Originally Posted by amazinmets73

Have you been to Berlin? I plan to move to Europe in a year or so and Berlin is definitely on my radar.

As far as layering goes, what do you use for base layers?

I've been to Munchen and also lived in Austria for about a year. (-17C, snow, but dry weather.)

@CAMPYBOB was in ehmmm, Kosovo or something?
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I'm not going to Berlin any time soon.
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Base layers:

For down to 0C:

-A thermal layer
-A thick wool sweater.
-A microfleece jacket
-A water - wind proof shell.


For colder stuff:

-A thermal layer.
-A thick-er wool sweater.
-A microfleece jacket.
-A Softshell fleece jacket.


For seriously miserable situations:
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-Thermal layer (the extra warm stuff).
-Thicker wool sweater.
-Microfleece jacket.
-Dawn filled jacket.


"Hell is cold"®:
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-Thermal layer.
-Thicker wool sweater.
-A dawn filled liner.
-A choice of either Softshell jacket or maybe a leather jacket lined with something like fur?
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Or another dawn filled jacket?
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Add ons:

Scarf, Gloves, Cap etc.

Cycling specific jackets have a longer back, so the waist is not exposed whilst cycling. They also have back pockets. They usually have a snug fit. Hiking specific stuff doesn't have the waist, pocket etc but they can also be used in cycling.

Some jackets also have wind - snow guards and straps for adjustment in inside of the the waist line which can help alot.


Check Salomon and Crux too, they make some nice jackets.
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"Nie - wieder - Berlin!"
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