Best shell/outer layer for winter conditions

PB Forum :: Fat Bikes
Best shell/outer layer for winter conditions
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Posted: Jan 20, 2019 at 13:15 Quote
I’ve been having some trouble dialing in my outer wear while fat biking in snowy/winter conditions. I think I have figured out everything except my upper, outer layer. I run hot and tend to sweat a lot even in low temps. I need a good breathable shell that can keep the wind at bay but not lead to overheating on a strenuous ride. Any recommendations? I’m usually out in anything from 10F to 40F.

Posted: Jan 20, 2019 at 17:31 Quote
I use an Arcteryx shell. Expensive, but best thing I ever bought! I dress in layers and ride in temps from -20* Celsius to anything warmer. Check out this website for deals on old stock, it called "The Last Hunt" check it out!

Posted: Jan 20, 2019 at 19:45 Quote
Arcteryx stuff seems to be really high quality. Do you happen to know what she’ll youre using? I want a very minimalist outer layer that breathes really well.

Posted: Jan 21, 2019 at 5:28 Quote
I should also mention that it's what you're wearing under the shell that is just as important. The shell is awesome, but if you don't layer up and regulate your temperature you are still going to sweat. Again, I use Ice Breaker stuff. It's Merino wool and works incredible. Also it did take me a bit to figure out what to wear and how to dress to stay comfortable on the trails. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Posted: Jan 21, 2019 at 9:29 Quote
Something else to consider is cross country ski wear if you can't get what you want in a bike shell.

I'm new to fat biking and already have xc ski stuff so am using it, and it works great.


Posted: Jan 23, 2019 at 18:10 Quote
i use a Pearl Izumi Elite Escape. My goto baselayer is a Craft. This combo works great in the 20’s for me

Posted: Feb 5, 2019 at 23:29 Quote
Lately my favorite. most versatile piece of clothing is a $32 polyester hoodie by Sport-tek. I can layer underneath it if it’s cold, just wear the hoodie if it’s warmer or if the snow is deep and slow, and if it’s windy I’ve got a hood. I like that it isn’t tight, breathes really well and wicks away sweat. For me it lets the right amount of wind through the material to help keep me from getting soaked with sweat yet still provide warmth. This is the 5th winter I’ve regularly been commuting to work and I didn’t hit on a hoody until a couple weeks ago. It’s now my go to outer garment.

I’ve got a Foxwear jacket that’s really nice, custom made for me but it’s generally too hot for my conditions. I’ve worn an outdoor research ferrois shell that is okay but it only works in a narrow temp range and fits tight. I also wore an XC ski shell that worked okay but was also tight fitting limiting how you could layer. My recommendation is try out a cheap, poly hoodie before spending a bunch of money on expensive jackets and shells.

Posted: Feb 17, 2019 at 15:57 Quote
I use a Outdoor Research Ferosi jacket. I usually wear a smartwool lightweight long sleeve base layer, and a light down vest if it’s hovering around 0° when I ride. The Ferosi is a pretty bomber jacket, and the hood is even slightly bigger to fit over your helmet in case you need a little extra warmth or wind protection. It breathes well, offers decent wind protection, and doesn’t feel bulky.

Posted: Feb 17, 2019 at 20:33 Quote
Portland29er wrote:
Arcteryx stuff seems to be really high quality. Do you happen to know what she’ll youre using? I want a very minimalist outer layer that breathes really well.

If you are primarily riding in Portland, based on your user name I would just get a wind proof and waterproof shell. $100 at a bike shop will do the trick. Get taped seams and something with arm pit zipper vents. Bike specific jackets are usually cut shorter at the waist than a hiking jacket or shell, which is nice to not have the extra material.
Since it’s rarely below freezing in Portland, that should be plenty with a light long sleeve or short sleeve underneath. That pretty much my riding attire down to 20f.

The most important thing with winter riding is keeping your legs warm, invest in some nice thermal tights, specialized has some nice ones that can be found on clearance occasionally.

Posted: Feb 18, 2019 at 15:49 Quote
45NRTH has a pretty good temperature/apparel guide. These suggestions work for me at the selected temperature ranges.

Posted: Feb 20, 2019 at 20:06 Quote
I wear a goretex windstopper from Marmot. Not cheap, but not crazy ($145 maybe). Sometimes I wear are warmers underneath, but I don't need anything other than a decent base layer under it.

Posted: Feb 21, 2019 at 8:28 Quote
The issue I’ve had with goretex shells are they don’t breathe well enough during rides that are slow and you are producing a ton of heat from riding through deep snow or a soft trail. If it’s raining or windy they are great. I’ve had the same issue with other wind breaker type shells, even ones that have wicking type fabrics on the back. Unless it’s windy or you are goi g fast enough to get a breeze over you, I overheat. Other people are different though and they don’t get as hot, maybe because they are lighter and don’t sink in as much? I’d encourage people to experiment with layering in their existing clothing before running out and buying an expensive cycling, mountaineering or XC skiing garment that may or may not work as well as what you’ve already own.

Posted: Feb 21, 2019 at 10:58 Quote
Specialized Epic Windstopper 1.5 jacket is what I use. if it gets really cold then I go to a MEC (our version of REI) puffy coat. I usually run two synthetic layers underneath and sometimes a vest as well.

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