If you want to stay warm on your bike this winter, you’re going to need to invest in some quality base layers. Heated gear is a great option, but if your bike doesn’t support it or you want to buy some gear that will keep you warm while off the bike as well, you’ll want to pick up something off of this list.
Camping and cycling base layers are a wonderful place to look if you don’t want to spend the big bucks on motorcycle branded gear. While the gear from these segments aren’t necessarily designed with keeping your body warm while exposed to the elements at freeway speeds, sometimes you can pay 50% of the price while getting something 80% as good as dedicated gear. These layers from Sub Sports were designed for playing cold weather sports and to keep your body warm while moving. They are moisture wicking, and the extra compression fit helps keeps blood and oxygen circulating throughout your body, which also helps improve warmth.
We’ve worn these under full adventure gear while riding through snow-covered mountains and under a simple leather jacket for a chilly night out. The chest panel is made from a material they call Stormgear, which is both windproof and waterproof, while the rest of its construction is a thick microfiber. The off-center zip helps keep the zipper (usually the easiest entry point for cold air) protected, while also making the Wind Break Shirt look really cool when worn solo. The sleeves are extra long and have those nifty little thumb holes, ensuring no cold air ever gets in under your cuff. After a year or so, our only complaint is that ours is starting to pill and we’re going to need another one soon.
Forcefield makes some of the highest quality armor available, so we were very interested when we saw the Tornado+ shirt and pant. They’ve come up with their own windstopper material for the outside and paired it with Thermolite, which they say will keep you warm even if it get’s wet. It’s also anti-bacterial and utilizes flat seams and a soft lining to ensure the most comfortable fit possible. Look for more in-depth reviews in the future.
Looks like Dainse has been paying attention to the praise we’ve given Schampa, releasing their own line of windstopper base layers. The Map Windstopper shirt and pant utilize a windstopper front with the same Thermolite as the Forcefield base layers. The one big thing we noticed about these layers from Dainese is that they seem to have paid extra attention to the cuffs, ensuring all the tech of the product won’t be wasted by cold air getting underneath.
Our good buddy Steve, creator of Wilderness Collective, spent a solid half hour the other night singing the praise of this seemingly simple hoodie. After the adventures that guy has had, and as a former “guy who puts together those lists of cool gear for men’s sites,” we trust his judgment. The Space Hoodie has a microfiber ripstop and shell and is filled with 60 grams of Primaloft insulation. The Space Hoodie looks beautiful and packs down incredibly small, so small that Steve says he leaves it folded into its own pocket and then just tosses the tiny roll in his day bag so it’s always available should the weather change. This will definitely find its way onto our Christmas list.
Which of these pieces best suit your needs? What base layers have you had good experiences with?
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