2016 Winter Gear Review - Part Two

Dec 18, 2016
by Colin Meagher  
Nikki Hollatz and Justin Fernandes taking a November float in the Hood River
Part Two

BY: Colin Meagher & Nikki Hollatz
IMAGES: Colin Meagher
Nikki Hollatz and Justin Fernandes putting some winter clothing to the test with a November float on the Hood River.

Welcome to part two of Pinkbike's 2016 Winter Gear Review, where Nikki Hollatz and Colin Meagher continue with their reports on cold-weather protection from Gore Apparel, Alpinestars, Maloja, 7Mesh, Ion, and Scott. If you have already read part one, then you have been briefed on the intricacies of layering, the definitions of waterproof vs. water resistant, and the science behind breathable fabrics. If not, the introduction of part one is worth a read, because most of the value and effectiveness of winter gear can be attributed to the materials from which they are crafted.

Before we delve into jackets, base layers, and shorts - the meat of this review - we'd like to take some time to cover two often overlooked winter essentials: gloves and shoes. It doesn't matter how warm your legs and core may be, if your feet and your hands are cold as ice, your ride will soon become a suffer-fest.

Cool weather riding gloves.
There's no single glove to rule them all. It depends on how your hands handle the cold, how much dexterity you need, and the severity of the conditions.

About Gloves

Everyone has a different tolerance for cold temperatures. Some riders are happy to go out in the snow with nothing more than a light summer glove. Many with lower thresholds, or those who venture out in Arctic conditions use poagies, an over-glove that wraps around your brake and shift levers to provide maximum protection from all forms of winter nastiness.

Keep in mind when choosing gloves rated for cooler temperatures, that the insulation required will bulk the glove up more, making it more difficult to manipulate shifters, brake levers, and dropper-post controls. Poagies or handlebar mitts can solve that problem by shielding your hands from wind chill and allowing the use of thinner gloves. Think of it as layering for your hands.
POC and Giro gloves
POC's Index glove (left) is a lightweight and suitable for cool fall temperatures. The Giro Ambient glove (right) is more suited for temperatures below freezing. Proper insulation means additional bulk and less dexterity.

About Footwear

If you’re really going to get into winter riding, you'll need to protect your feet. Oversocks are a starting place, especially if you’re on a budget. Bontrager's Stormshell oversocks are featured here, but you can source them from a number of brands. Insulated over-boots are another option for riders who may not want to invest in dedicated cold-weather shoes, but the ultimate way to protect your feet from the ravages of winter is to pony up for the real deal. There are also a number of specialty winter mountain bike shoes available. They are waterproof, breathable, and insulated. If you ride regularly in absolute s**t conditions, they’re what you want.

The Shimano SH-MW7 The Northwave Celsius2 GTX Winter MTB Boot and the Northwave Arctic Celsius2 GTX Winter MTB Boot are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to specialty winter shoes.
(From left) Shimano SH-MW7, Northwave Celsius2 GTX, and the Northwave Arctic Celsius2 GTX are excellent examples of specialty winter shoes.

I sneered at the idea of winter shoes. Initially, I’d just wear thicker socks. Then I moved to the Pacific Northwest, where my feet got soaked and turned into blocks of ice. I tried SealSkinz oversocks, then overboots (which worked well, but were a pain in the butt to wrestle on and off my shoes). Then finally, I stepped up to winter shoes. One word: "Nirvana."

If you do invest in a full-blown winter shoe, here are a few thoughts on what to look for besides a breathable Gore-Tex type outer and waterproof insulation:

• Some sort of speed lacing is a key. It makes lacing up a winter boot ridiculously easy, and the ability to customize your fit quickly and easily while wearing gloves is awesome.
• Mud-flap over the laces: A shield to deflect the crud is essential, and it will extend the life of your lacing system.
• A stiff sole is good, but you'll be walking and pushing, so choose a curved sole (rocker) and one with real lugs, not a couple of cyclocross spikes.,
• Easy clearance: Choose pedals that will shed Ice and packed crud easily. Soles with roomy cleat pockets are easier to clear.
• Pull tabs on the back of the shoes are helpful when wearing gloves or trying to pull on your shoes with numb fingers.
Bontrager Stormshell oversocks
Bontrager Stormshelll oversocks can keep your feet dry inside your warm-weather shoes.

Gore Action Composite
Hood River riding in the autumn is hard to beat.

Gore has been involved in cycling apparel since 1985. However, the Gore Apparel items I tested last year were not my cup of tea. And with 230 female specific Gore Bike products in their line, it was difficult to decide which to review. I asked some ladies I know who regularly ride Gore products, which items they would recommend. Based on their, and Gore’s suggestions, I was able to review gear that compliments my layering system.

Gore detail
Nikki wears a Gore-Tex Power Trail Lady Active jacket and the Element Lady short. Accessories: Giro Xara helmet, Gore Apparel's Power Lady Windstopper gloves, Universal Gore Windstopper socks.

Gore-Tex Power Trail Lady Active Jacket: $279.99

“For the active female cyclist who demands the best, this functional jacket is lightweight and feels comfortable. Designed with style in mind, the jacket is soft to the touch." The Power Trail Lady Jacket utilizes a Gore-Tex Active membrane for 25k breathability, and optimum comfort in high aerobic conditions, while still offering a 28k windproof and waterproof rating. The jacket features two front zip pockets, an adjustable draw cord at the waist, a small zip pocket on the sleeve, and wave shaped cuffs. The hood is adjustable and, thanks to magnets embedded in the fabric, it stays put when not deployed. The Gore-Tex Power Trail Lady Active Jacket comes in pink, black and grey, and in sizes X-small through X-large.

Gore details

I tested the medium-sized Power Trail Lady jacket in black and it fit me perfectly. Sleeve length, torso length, and overall fit were spot on. I had enough room to wear multiple layers under the jacket and I liked that I could cinch down the waist for protection from the cold and easily fit the hood over the helmet when the rain started coming in sideways. I wore this jacket in cold and fairly wretched conditions and what I discovered is, that in spite of the Power Trail Lady's rather steep price tag, it is a top-tier jacket. All the little details: the style and cut, and the superb waterproof technology that Gore Apparel utilizes, made it my favorite pick of this review among the jackets designed for true winter riding. It's a worthy investment, and a jacket that is probably going to last many seasons.

Gore Power Lady Windstopper Gloves: $79.99

Gore Clothing details
Warm and comfortable option for winter riding,.Power Lady Windstopper gloves are thicker than I prefer to wear, but the dexterity was still okay. Some loss of dexterity is a small price to pay for having toasty hands as the temperature drops below freezing on a long ride.

Gore Clothing details

Gore Universal Windstopper Socks $49.99

“These windproof cycling socks are worn like normal socks, ensuring easy and practical wear.” If you can manage to pull them on your feet, they are a stellar option to consider if winter riding shoes are not in your budget. "If you can pull them on" is the key phrase. I have fairly average size feet – women’s US 8.5. The problem with these socks is that they lack an elastic ankle cuff, so pulling them over my heel required both hands, lots of swear words, and the sound of stitches breaking. I understand the cuffs have to be tight to work effectively, but Gore should consider adding some elasticity to key points. Once I got the suckers on, however, they kept my toes and feet warm inside my standard riding shoes.

Alpinestars needs no introduction to anyone with an MX or Moto GP background. Their roots in motorcycle competition has handily translated to their cycling gear, with materials and fit that are top notch. As you may expect, the functionality of their gear is A-grade.

Alpinestars Static
Justin with the All Mountain 2 WP jacket and the All Mountain 2 pants. Accessories are: Giro Montaro Mips helmet, Alpinestars Status glove, Paragon knee guards, and the Northwave Celsius 2 GTX winter boot.

Alpinestars All Mountain 2 WP Jacket: $239.95

The All Mountain 2 Waterproof Jacket is Alpinestar’s top-tier foul weather cycling jacket. It’s constructed of a reasonably lightweight, three-layer material with a 10k waterproof and breathability rating. Two torso vents at the armpits ensure ventilation under heavy exertion. Additional details include; two side pockets and a sleeve pocket for secure and waterproof protection of valuables. The attached hood is helmet-compatible and has shock cord adjusters, and mesh vents in the collar for extra air flow. Reflective detailing allows for visibility when wearing the shell in low light, and its drop seat back will help keep trail debris off your backside. It’s available only in black/steel gray and sizes are small through XX-large.

Alpinestars Detail
All Mountain 2 WP Jacket details: (clockwise) Zip vents, helmet-friendly hood, three-layer waterproof fabric, and secure zip pockets.

This is a pretty serious jacket. When you pull it on, you just know that it will repel water like garlic repels vampires. The fit was good - roomy in fact - compared to some of the more fitted jackets in this review. Consequently, it offered a full range of movement although it tended to bag a bit when riding low over the bars. Accessing the zipper pulls for the venting was adequate with a pack on. And, the vents allowed a generous amount of airflow for those times when the 10k breathability wasn’t quite cutting it. The hood's helmet compatibility was also good. There was a bit of binding when I craned my head all the way to one side or the other, but I blame that more on the helmet I was wearing than the design of the hood. Adjustability, even with thicker winter riding gloves on was easy. I’m uncertain as to how effective the mesh vents in the collar are, but when I was pedaling hard and it was raining icepicks on my head, the less I needed to open up to get some extra ventilation, the warmer I remained.

The only dis I can level at the All Mountain 2 WP jacket is that it’s a heavyweight. It pedals well, but even with a 10k breathability rating, it heats up in a hurry when you’re going full gas. I was forced to open the venting all the way up on a 40-minute climb, in addition to opening the main zipper nearly all the way to the waist. Luckily, it wasn’t really raining much. It wasn't particularly cold (about 40F/6C), which may have contributed to the sauna in my jacket. The sheer heft of the All Mountain 2 WP suggests that it is more of a shuttle and less, a pedal-all-day-in-the-rain kind of jacket. Drop the temperature to below freezing, and I would probably change my tune on that assessment. Overall, it’s a solid performer, particularly if you’re riding the lifts or shuttling.

Alpinestars All Mountain 2 Pant: $144.95

The All Mountain 2 pants are ergonomically cut with a slim-fitting design, with enough room inside for the use of lighter-weight knee guards. The main shell is a two-way stretch fabric with a DWR coating. The thighs are lined with a micro fleece to the knees for a bit of lightweight insulation. There are waist tab adjusters, zippered thigh vents, and Cordura reinforced panels on the knees and also a panel on the back of the waist. Velcro adjusters at the cuffs help reduce fabric flap. The outside of each leg has a zipper that runs from mid-calf to the ankle for quick dressing and adjusters on the cuff of the ankles. Lastly, there are two stash pockets at the waist, just large enough for a smartphone. Sizes are 28 to 40 in even numbers.

Alpinestars Detail
Alpinestars All Mountain 2 pant details.

I found the All Mountain 2 pant was snug at the waist, but perfect otherwise. The thighs offered a comfortable fit without giving me the impression that I was going cycling in a pair of baggy pajamas. And, I was readily able to wear a set of Alpinestar’s Paragon knee guards underneath them without any binding sensation when on the pedals, or scrambling over downed trees. Maybe it’s the two-way stretch fabric, but the pants moved exceptionally well, compared to other pants I’ve worn in the past. They kept me dry while pedaling for an hour in the rain and they breathed surprisingly well, considering the micro fleece insulation in the upper thighs. I’d say these are perfect for cool, damp, cold, and moderately rainy conditions, but my impression is that they may eventually wet out if you’re pedaling in Squamish, BC, during a November monsoon.

Alpinestars Status Glove: $39.95

All I know is that the Status glove is warm and has a terry cloth nose wipe on the thumb (it says dirt on the website). I also noticed that the thin palm offered excellent handlebar feel, but I have fat fingers, and this glove caters to more slender hands. Colors are yellow, black, red/black and blue, and sizes are small through X-large.
Alpinestar gloves

Maloja (pronounced “mah-low-yah”) is a German company that was founded 11 years ago. The brand was born out of a desire to make better mountain bike clothing in an era when the two available options were Lycra XC kits or ridiculously baggy gravity gear. Since that early beginning, Maloja has grown to a mid-size company that employs a cadre of full-time designers who create gear for cycling, lifestyle, and winter sports.

Maloja Static
Nikki with a Betsym snow jacket and Janism snow shorts. Accessories include; Giro Montara Mips helmet, Warrenm gloves, Concordiam long-sleeve base layer, Sock Guy Wooligan socks, and Shimano shoes.

Maloja Betsym Snow Jacket: $300

The Betsym snow jacket from Maloja, is a women-specific rain jacket made with Gore-Tex Paclite - a fabric with a waterproof-breathability rating of 23k/15k. The jacket also features a DWR treatment on the face fabric, taped seams, reflective elements for visibility in low light conditions, and water-resistant zippers. It comes in Avocado Cadillac, Nightfall, and Whiskey, and is available in sizes X-small through X-large.

I tested a size small Betsym snow jacket in Avocado. The jacket had a slimmer style fit on my frame, but still allowed full, unrestricted movement of my upper body. On colder test rides, I was able to comfortably wear a long-sleeve base layer and a mid-layer underneath it. The Betsym jacket felt light in comparison to some of the shells I reviewed, but it is also a minimalist design that lacks a hood and side pockets.

The Betsym had excellent breathability and despite the lack of pit zips or other vents, I didn’t sweat inside the coat on prolonged climbs. It effectively repelled cold and I was able to stay bone dry in torrential rain which, in turn, meant that I wasn’t grumpy (my happiness is directly proportional to how warm I am).

Malpja Details
Betsym snow jacket details.

Overall, I was impressed with the ability of this high-tech jacket to withstand the elements while offering a simple and stylish appearance. This is a get-what-you-pay-for jacket. Gore-Tex waterproof technology is proven, but it comes with a higher price tag than a jacket utilizing, say, only a DWR-treated fabric. Maloja has put a lot of time and effort into their design and, you should add a Betsym to your list of must-try items.

For those of you who want a more affordable option from Maloja, I included some pictures of the Zulam jacket - a windproof, multi-sport, soft-shell jacket. It’s both stylish, comfortable and features premium insulation, a storm hood, and a DWR-treated fabric. I’ve been wearing this jacket a lot lately – to work, travel to both Arizona and California, and during “snowpocalyspe” 2016 at home in Hood River, Oregon. It is the perfect soft-shell or mid-layer piece for enjoying a cold ride on the trails, or a foray around town, particularly when it's too cold for a single layer and too warm for a heavy coat.

Maljoa static
Zulam snow jacket

Maloja Janism Snow Shorts: $200

“Whether you’re a commuter who often arrives with soggy shorts or a trail enthusiast who doesn't let a little damp weather keep her off the dirt, the Maloja Janism Snow women's tech shorts plug a glaring gap in most inclement weather wardrobes. We have a glut of jackets and jerseys and vests with DWR treatment but shorts that keep your engine dry are in short supply.” These all-weather freeride bike shorts also feature Gore-Tex Paclite membrane with its 23k/15k waterproof breathability rating, taped seams, a DWR coating, water-repellent zips, adjustable waistband, and one small zip pocket. Like the Betsym snow Jacket, it’s available in Avocado, Cadillac, Nightfall, and Whiskey, in size X-small through X-large.

I tested the size small Janism shorts in Avocado (not my favorite color) with the matching jacket, and I felt like a chameleon blending into the surrounding forest. That aside, the shorts fit a bit tight in the waist and hips. They were sized correctly, but because the material is less stretchy, I felt more restricted in my movements than I like. So, I would consider sizing up if you fall towards the top of a specific size and like a looser feel.

Maloja Details
Janism snow short details

The shorts had a 13.2-inch inseam so they come to about the top of the knees in a static position, a bit more of an XC length than a freeride short. These shorts are the ultimate rain short, and they were the only waterproof short I had for testing in this review. Rest assured, having a pair of these supremely lightweight shorts in the arsenal of riding gear is a guarantee that you will stay dry in nasty conditions and prevent that clammy, damp feeling you get after your water repellent shorts soak through.

Maloja Warenm Gloves: $50

Maloja Clothing details
"A breathable, non-slip, tough glove that will make you feel like you want to Rock and Roll."
Maloja Concordiam Women’s Base Layer: $95

Maloja Clothing details
Concordiam long-sleeve women's base layer in "Nightfall" - a slim-fitting, multi-sport women's long-sleeve undershirt that is fast drying.

Being based in Squamish assumes that the designers at 7Mesh not only ride hard; but that they also ride in some of the worst kinds of weather. Consequently, their gear is famous for being built for the purpose of remaining comfortable in absolutely miserable conditions.

7mesh Details
Justin with the 7Mesh Revelation jacket and Revo short. Accessories include Giro Chronicle Mips helmet, Giro Blaze gloves, Troy Lee Designs Speed knee sleeves and Ace wool socks, and Shimano MW7 Shoes.

7Mesh Revelation Jacket: $450

The Revelation Jacket is a no-holds-barred, get-outside-no-matter-how-wet-it-is jacket - a minimalist design, made from Gore-Tex Pro fabric with a 28k/25k rating, engineered specifically for those who demand the most from their clothing and tend to abuse their gear - exactly the conditions that core mountain bikers in Squamish, BC, experience for much of the year.

The cut of the Revelation was designed with riding in mind, but it’s not so fitted as to prevent proper layering for serious cold-weather riding, and you won't look like a bike nerd if you’re wearing one to the pub for drinks after the ride. It has two zippered torso vents, and a zippered intake vent on the forearm of each sleeve. There are two pockets at the waist for storing critical items like a smartphone and there’s a lightweight, removable hood for when things really get nasty out. The adjustable hood is designed to fit under your helmet, which reflects the minimalist 7mesh design philosophy. Adjustable waist with a slight drop tail, reflective details, and adjustable cuffs round out the design, which comes in black and Goldstone, and in sizes X-small through XX-large.

7mesh Details
Revelation Jacket Details.

My wallet cried a little bit when it saw the price tag on this jacket, but throw one on and you’ll realize that it’s the real deal. Actually taking the Revelation out for a test spin inspires more lust and appreciation. The jacket is semi-fitted, but they designed this one right: it’s roomy, but not too roomy, and it moves well without binding in the shoulders - or anywhere else, for that matter. The torso vents have zipper pulls for easy operation and are placed to allow a hand to access a jersey pocket. Despite its impressive performance, the Revelation is a no-frills jacket. Sure, there’s vents, pockets, and a removable hood, but those features are absolutely what you need. Consequently, the Revelation was noticeably more lightweight than any of the other jackets tested - 9.5 oz (270 grams).

The performance was everything that it should be in a jacket of this quality. The Revelation is easily light enough to stuff into a pack as a just in case item for threatening weather, but hardy enough to throw on when it’s sleeting outside. In keeping with that minimalist design ethos, too, the hood fits easily under the helmet, and wears almost like a skull cap. My only beef is that the three snaps on the hood are almost too easy to unsnap. Losing the hood of a $450 jacket would be a financial disaster. I stowed mine in one of the side pockets when I wasn’t using it. Yes, it rings up at an astonishing price at the cash register, but this is definitely a go-to jacket for crap weather, particularly if you’re striving to go light and fast.

7Mesh Revo Short: $225

If the Revelation jacket sets a benchmark for quality and performance, the Revo Short is its match. Constructed of Gore-Tex 3L fabric (also with a 28k/25k rating). It has an over the knee cut - almost like a knicker, but not quite that long. There is a scalloped treatment behind the knee to minimize excess fabric, and the crotch gusset seams have been moved to the side to prevent mud on the saddle from abrading the stitching there. The fit is tailored for the riding position and articulated for freedom of movement. There are two non-zippered hip pockets and low-profile waist adjusters backed up by belt loops. Everything is secured by a single, industrial-size snap closure.The Revo Short comes in black or blue, in sizes X-small through XX-large.

7Mesh Details
Revo Short Details.

My wallet cried even more when I slipped into these shorts. Like the Revelation Jacket, they inspire nothing but appreciation for a well-crafted piece of equipment. The fit on the Revo short is spot on. It’s semi-fitted, so there’s no sag in the crotch area to hook a saddle, and while there’s no excess fabric on the legs, it still offers a full range of movement when salsa dancing over greasy root lines. The length of the scalloped knees is only noticeable in the mirror and serves the more practical purpose of offering some abrasion protection from brush. Despite the fitted cut, there’s still plenty of room inside for knee guards. I rode these during a miserable day on the trails and had zero complaints on the cut, the way they shed water, or their breathability. They pretty much ruled. You'll need to pay attention to 7Mesh’s size chart: I wear a size 32 waist, which is a size small at 7Mesh, Typically a 32-inch waist translates to a size medium, so take note.

Ion has been around since 2004. They began as a watersports based clothing company and worked hard to create innovative and progressive designs for everything from surfing to kiteboarding. They launched their cycling division in 2012 with functional clothing, accessories, gloves, and protection. Ion is an innovative and environmentally sensitive business that has earned a loyal following.

Ion Static
Nikki with a Shell Amp Vario women's jacket and a Scrub Amp women's short. She's also wearing a Giro Cartelle Mips helmet, Haze Gloves, K-Lite R knee guards, Mid Pole socks, and Giro Terradura shoes.

Ion Shell Amp Vario Women's Jacket: $299.95

The Shell Amp Jacket is touted by Ion as: “the perfect jacket for those rainy and cold days on and off the bike.” It is a waterproof jacket, using four-way stretch, three-layer material, with taped seams and YKK waterproof zippers. The fabric has a waterproof-breathability rating of 20k/20k, and the design features a venting zip on the back of each arm, two pockets and adjustable shock cords at the waist, hook-and-loop adjustments on each cuff, and a hood with a 3D shock-cord adjustment. Color is Combat Red and sizes range from X-small to X-large.

Ion Details
Shell Amp Vario jacket details.

I tested the size medium Shell Amp Vario women's jacket, and it was fairly loose and baggy on my frame, with a more relaxed fit than the other shells in this review. It is designed to have what Ion described as “classic T-shirt fit, not slim, not wide, just right in the middle.” Given that, I would probably err on the side of sizing down if you are on the fringe of a particular size and prefer a more classic fit. The jacket had a long torso that I could pull or cinch down using the adjustable hem.

I wore this jacket in a slew of weather conditions - from cold and windy, to full downpour. At 20,000mm/20,000 g/m2 /24h, this jacket is on par with the Gore, Scott, and Maloja kit as my top choice for waterproofness and breathability. It has fully taped seams, which assures maximum protection in bad weather conditions, and is a requirement for any true waterproof designation. Despite its breathability ratings, I found I was using the zip vents often on prolonged climbs to prevent overheating. Vents are a really important addition to most rain-specific riding jackets (nobody likes to be dripping with sweat inside their jacket). I also utilized the hood in the wind and it easily pulled up over my helmet. I stayed dry and warm, and throughout testing, I had a lot of people complement the kit, especially when I showed them some of its unique features like the built-in glass cleaning fabric that you can pull out of the right hand pocket. Last but not least, the price tag is on par with other jackets with similar technology and design.

Ion Scrub Amp Women's Shorts: $134.95

“Ion's top notch bike shorts: The Scrub Amp Women's! Lightweight and flexible bike shorts in Ion’s unique surf short style, with a relaxed, loose fit.” This four-way-stretch material has a double-weave construction that is treated with a water repellent. The idea is to offer protection on rainy and muddy days without losing breathability. They feature two zip pockets on the front, including an integrated neoprene phone pouch and Velcro waist adjusters. For added durability, all seams are triple stitched. There are laser-cut ventilation holes for ventilation, and color options are black and Dark Night. They are available in sizes from X-small to X-large

Ion Details
Scrub Amp women's bike short details.

I tested the size small Scrub Amp in Dark Night. The shorts fit me perfectly in the waist and hips, and had a loose cut with a lightweight feel on my legs. The longer inseam (approximately 13 inches) fit easily over all of my knee guards. The four-way-stretch fabric gives these shorts an incredibly comfortable feel and allows full, unrestricted movement.

Scrub Amp shorts have a stylish look and, yes, they do match well with the Ion jacket I reviewed. It’s not often you see normal people out shredding in a full matching kit, so when you do, make sure to give them s**t. Like the jacket, Ion's shorts include unique add-on features like, the built-in neoprene phone pouch in the side pocket and the laser-cut ventilation. The shorts are also DWR treated to prevent the fabric from absorbing rain, but it’s not as waterproof as a Gore-Tex type fabric. Despite that, I stayed dry during all our testing and breathability was good. Scrub Amp shorts were my second-favorite shorts of this review, and would be perfect for all styles of riding, from the bike park to all-day adventures in the mountains

Ion K Lite R Knee Guards. $119.95

Ion Clothing details
K Lite R features a very breathable neoprene called Super Perforator to create a lightweight, flexible knee guard that pedals easily, but offers protection for riders looking to go fast and light.

Ion Haze gloves: $64.95

Ion Clothing details
Haze gloves utilize neoprene and "Wind Hater" technology for comfort and a secure fit. The result is a warm, fully articulated glove that's touch screen friendly and warm.

Scott is perhaps better known for their bikes, but they have been in the clothing business for some time. And, they bring the same focus and precision of their bicycle range to their clothing designs. With their location in the Swiss Alps, and a slew of top-shelf athletes on tap for design feedback, it goes without saying that the fit and functionality of their gear is among the very best.

Scott Static
Justin wearing the Scott Trail Mountain Dryo Plus jacket, the Scott Trail Mtn Polar Plus jacket (mid layer), and Scott Trail AS short. Accessories include the Scott Stego helmet, Giro Blaze gloves, Scott Soldier 2 knee guard, and Shimano MW7 winter shoe.

Scott Trail MTN Dryo Plus Jacket: $239.99

This is a three-layer shell jacket that utilizes Scott's Dryosphere fabric with a waterproof-breathability rating of 10k/12k. It features an athletic cut with venting zippers on either side of the torso, a main chest pocket, and an ergonomic and adjustable hood. There’s a security pocket within the chest pocket, and another pocket on the upper portion of the left sleeve for lift passes or other small essentials. It has a drop seat in the rear, and shock-cord adjusters for the waist. The Dryo Plus comes in four colors: Fiery Red/Seaport Blue, Seaport Blue/Macaw Green, Empire Blue/Blue Nights, and Zinnea Orange/Hawaiian Blue. Sizes range from small to XX-large.

Scott Details
Scott Trail MTN Dryo Plus jacket details.

The Trail Mountain Dryo Plus Jacket isn't in the cycling portion of Scott's website. It's found in their running apparel, but it makes a great cycling jacket. The color on this piece is the first thing to catch one's eye, especially the Zinnia Orange and Hawaiian Blue combination. The Dryo Plus has a fitted athletic cut and it wears well. It was a bit snug while standing, but this jacket is obviously cut for a riding posture, and that snug fit vanished once I was on the bike. The Dryo Plus moved easily over my mid-layer, too. Breathability was more than adequate, but I definitely appreciated the accessibility of the side vent zippers if I started to overheat on a climb. What little rain I encountered when testing this jacket was easily repelled by the Dryosphere fabric, and like the 7Mesh jackets, this is a very utilitarian design. It has only what a rider needs and nothing extra - other than a pocket on the left sleeve. The drop-seat did its job without hooking the saddle or otherwise making its presence known. It's reasonably lightweight and could conceivably be stuffed into a hydration pack as a just-in-case-the-weather-goes-to-hell item year 'round.

My one beef was with the hood. Like the Race Face Agent, it couldn't decide whether to be an over-the-helmet or an under-the-helmet-hood. When worn over the helmet, and zipped all the way up it constricted my movements. But wearing it under the helmet wasn't a better solution, because there’s extra fabric that wadded under my helmet and drooped into my field of vision. Otherwise, the jacket worked well and was definitely something I'd take for long missions in miserable weather.

Scott Trail MTN Polar Plus Jacket: $119.95

Touted as a jacket, but really more of a mid layer, this zip-up design uses Polartec PowerDry material composed of a stretchy polyester/Spandex blend. There is a single zip pocket on the left side of the chest for some essentials and it comes in Blue Nights, Hawaiian Blue/Empire Blue and Macaw Green/Seaport Blue. Sizes are X-small through XX-large.

This is a fitted piece that works well as a mid-layer, where the waffle pattern of the Polartec PowerDry weave works well to trap heat and move excess moisture to the surface of the Polar Plus jacket where it can vent out. I found it to be a good piece to wear solo on cool dry days., but it also layered under the Mountain Dryo Plus jacket with minimal bulk. The only downside is that spandex-a component of the fabric blend-tends to hold water, but the stretch that spandex offers is what allows the garment to fit well without hampering movement. But they got the blend just right: I never noticed the Polar Plus Jacket was holding excessive moisture while reviewing this garment.
Midlayer pieces
Scott Trail MTN Polar Plus jacket.

Scott Trail AS Short: $129.99

The Trail AS Short is touted by Scott as a "must-have in your winter biking gear." It has waterproof fabric in the seat, insulation on the tops of the thighs, an adjustable waist, and two venting zippers on the thighs to offer relief if you're overheating. There are no pockets, and there is a single snap closure at the waist, and two waist tab adjusters in addition to belt loops. The fabric used in the main body of the short is 50% polyamide (the seat) and 50% polyester. The durable, three-layer polyamide fabric Scott used in the seat has a 20k/15k waterproof-breathability rating, but for comfort reasons, the seams aren't taped, so it can't be rated as a waterproof garment. The Trail AS short is only available in Blue Night/Seaport Blue, and it can be found in sizes small, through XX-large.

Scott Details
Scott Trail AS short details.

The fit of the Trail AS was good in the waist and the length was just right, resting just below the middle of the knee when standing, but still offering good overlap with knee guards. I found the short to be warm, but not overly so and it breathed quite well - enough so I never felt the need to use the zippered vents - and I tested them in a wide range of temperatures (0C to 6C). I stayed warm on the descents, and even on long, uphill slogs, I never overheated. I hit several boggy sections and while the seat of the short was liberally speckled in goo, I was still dry at the end of the ride. In monsoon conditions, you're likely to get seepage through the untaped seams, but I never did.

I had only two issues: a waist snap broke while fastening the short for a test ride. Scott sent me a replacement pair straight away and I have had zero issues since. And, the waist tab adjusters were so stretchy that they were useless. However, Scott includes belt loops, so you have an alternative. you can cinch them down just fine. Overall, though, these are a great pair of shorts.

Scott Action composite

Scott Trail MTN Dryo 30 Women’s Jacket: $199.99

Nikki with the SCOTT Trail MTN DRYO 30 Women s Jacket and Scott Trail AS Womens Short. Accessories include Scott Fuga Plus Helmet Giro Blaze Gloves Scott Soldier 2 Knee guards Long Scott Socks and Shimano Sh MW7 Winter shoes
Nikki wears a Scott Trail MTN Dryo 30 women's jacket and the Scott Trail AS women's short. Accessories are: Scott Fuga Plus helmet, Giro Blaze gloves, Scott Soldier 2 knee guards, Long Scott socks, and Shimano MW7 winter shoes.

Scott’s Trail MTN Dryo 30 is a women’s jacket “made out of a blend of stretch and Dryosphere 3L fabric. This clever combination allows it to protect you from wind and water with optimal comfort.” The jacket also includes under-arm laser-cut ventilation holes, an interior chest pocket to store your essentials, and reflective details for improved visibility in low light. There’s a hood with shock-cord adjusters, shock-cord adjusters at the hem, and Velcro adjusters at each sleeve. The jacket is available in Plum Violet and Carrot Orange colors only, and in and sizes X-small to X-large.

Scott Details
Scott Trail MTN Dryo 30 jacket details.

Scott's MTN Dryo 30 women’s jacket had a slim-style fit, but at the same time, it was loose enough for full movement in all the right places. My shoulders and arms had good articulation and the torso came down far enough to protect my backside from anything wet or gooey. The underarm laser cut venting seemed to do the job of aiding ventilation, keeping sweat to a minimum while I was climbing, and in spite of the slim cut, I was able to comfortably fit a base layer and mid layer under the jacket as needed.

While it is considered a soft shell, the Dryoshpere 3L fabric's 10k/12k waterproof-breathability rating is waterproof to a level that matches many of the hard shells reviewed in this article. While the MTN Dryo jacket may not be designed for torrential rain, it did hold up to every kind of weather we encountered, and I'd trust it to handle most of the riding conditions I would ever deal with. I received compliments on the color and style, and I even floated the Hood River with a beer in hand in this kit and survived to tell the story. If you are looking for a high-end soft shell that will keep you dry and cozy, I'd suggest Scott's MTN Dryo 30.

Scott Trail AS Women's Short $119.99

I tested the size medium Trail AS women shorts. I would categorize these shorts as puffy pants for my legs with an added waterproof bum. The medium fit me perfectly in the waist, and loose enough in the hips and legs to feel unrestricted in my dance party moves. They look warm, they feel warm, and they offer good breathability and a relaxed comfortable fit.

Scott Details
Scott Trail AS women's short details.

The shorts fell to a mid-knee length and were long enough to fit over my knee guards. Easy access side-vent zippers were a nice addition for anyone who might overheat. I rarely if ever need vents on my shorts, as my lower body never gets warm enough to sweat or overheat, but I can understand how useful they could be. We did run into a minor issue with the button on the shorts popping off on both samples. The replacement pair has held up so far, with two rides under my belt.

That's all folks. We'll see you next spring.
View full-size and additional images in the review gallery.

MENTIONS: @SCOTT-Sports / @AlpinestarsMTB / @IONbike


  • 121 8
 How can you call it winter gear and yet there is zero snow anywhere? Here in Vermont, this would be Fall gear.
  • 18 1
 almost everyones wearing shorts!
  • 37 1
 Yep ... winter here means snow, cold temp. and fat bikes. -26 C this morning, and winter ain't here yet !
  • 34 11
 What a garbage review right. I don't consider any of that real "winter gear". How about reviewing things that would be useful. Products that stop your water from freezing, head gear that doesn't fog up your glasses or goggles at minus 20, boots and gloves that will also keep you warm in similar temperature ranges.
  • 9 4
 right! more like a fashion show! ugh
  • 20 13
 I don't think very many people are planning trail rides in that kinda weather.
  • 19 5
 @uphilarious: Maybe where you live.....
  • 14 0
 This is clearly western Oregon/Washington winter gear. Little snow, highs in the 40s lows in the 20s, and constant rain. At least they didn't do winter gear for New Mexico which is the same as summer gear, we just ride in the afternoon rather than the morning.
  • 6 2
 Imagine in Québec City. End-of-summer gear. -27 deg Celsius (-16F) this morning. Let's NOT go fatbiking...
  • 8 1
 Exactly my thoughts! Who are you kidding! We are in Canada, guys! This is fall gear. For winter, you need a lot more than this -- think 45NRTH gloves and boots, winter bibs + shorts, three layers up top and hot pads on your feet and hands! At least, that's what I've been using for the last 15 years of winter riding.
  • 3 0
 @AbsolutX: I second that!!! It's freezing cold here and we're just mid-december… LOL!
  • 6 0
 Here in SoCal...
  • 13 5
 @VT2wheeledlife we didn't shoot the images yesterday :-D. We shot them in late Oct and early Nov. Before they got covered in mud (so that viewers could see the details). Then we tested everything.
  • 6 10
flag wrinkledpants (Dec 16, 2016 at 10:17) (Below Threshold)
 @VT2wheeledlife Clearly you've never left VT in the winter if you think everyone has snow in January.

Personally, I'm happy to see a huge review of cooler weather gear, rather than this just being a review of 1 jacket.
  • 15 1
 @meagerdude: Good review, here in the uk winter is plus 10 to - 3. All that gear would suit us.... I guess you can`t please all the people all of the time... Cought... Canadians...
  • 4 3
 Google search "ski gear" Mr. Hardcore Vermont Guy. Otherwise, if you're on the west coast, see above review.
  • 3 1
 Seriously. This stuff all looks like spring/fall or summer high country gear.
  • 2 0
 it was too cold to snow........
  • 2 1
 @whitebullit: I was already saying that when they released the part 1; if there are shorts, it's not winter gear. Alpinestars seems to be the only company that knows what winter is.
  • 1 0
 @dannyfag: usually we are very mild mannered people but don't mess with our winter! For some of us it's a source of pride that we live in a barren land that gets colder than Mars sometimes!?
  • 2 0
 I came to say something similar: This is literally Oregon and Washington Fall gear!
  • 1 0
 @pcmxa: For the last week and a half all of our highs have been in the low 30's.
  • 1 0
 @XCMark: Yeah, you have been unusually cold for the last ten days, at least in Olympia, where I grew up. Two Thursdays in a row with snow, too. But the average for December is 44 for the high 33 for the low. So not really Wintery compared to much of the US.
  • 1 0
 @pcmxa: I understand that, but temperature aside, we have some serious fall and winter wind-chill of witch the expressed clothing would not work against on a clear, but chilly as fack day.
  • 1 0
 In NH here... 45 north, Lake, bar mitts, gore, pearl izumi elite barrier etc.. those are the brands etc. that come to mind for actual "winter gear". Stuff that you can wear in what we rode in on saturday. 6" of fresh powder and 19* F and still stay warm and dry while slipping, sliding, and crashing all over the place!
  • 1 0
 COME up to NH or VT and ride with any of the locals right now and you can get a real "winter gear review"
  • 1 0
 No + size to choose from? This can't be right!
  • 1 0
 Agree with OP as it's currently 8F and snow/ice here in Indiana and we haven't even arrived into Jan yet.
  • 74 3
 Shorts for over 200$? Are you serious?
  • 7 6
 Someone chose avocado green for a colour? Are you serious?
  • 12 2
 @rrolly: sure beats lime green. Just ask a seahawk
  • 3 0
 @jrocksdh: Maybe not Jon Ryan though.
  • 2 1
 @jrocksdh: Yup. Hard on the eyes last night - despite the great result.........
  • 3 2
 Yeah but winter shorts, these keep you warm and dry! What a load of marketing bs. I want to see a review of bike specific v's casual/normal outdoors clothing and how much difference the extra $$$ really makes.
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: The 70's make their long awaited return! Do those come with a small bag of powder as well?
  • 4 1
 I'm with you @prevail I think I'll keep buying the season or two old fashions for $50 on jensonusa.com. For some reason, it just feels more responsible to me.
  • 3 0
 Why worry about an extra $150 in shorts when your mortgage in Squamish is probably 10,000 times that? YOLO.
  • 1 0
 Not for people who are shorts on money...
  • 40 1
 ' It doesn't matter how warm your legs and core may be, if your feet and your hands are cold as ice, your ride will soon become a suffer-fest.' Truer words have never been spoken .
  • 1 2
 morning commute, wearing dress pants and my bipper goes numb. that's a weird one...
  • 5 0
 if you keep your core and head warm, it helps greatly to keep you feet and hands warm. clearly the right gloves and socks are needed, but if your core goes, the rest follows quickly. at least in my experience growing up in new England biking, skiing, show showing, ice climbing, etc..... all said, you are totally right, once the hands go, at least for me, holy cow.... suck fest.
  • 2 0
 Not to mention the important bit, face and eyes. I can't see well when it's cold (5c or lower) out, especially starting the ride. I wear 4 layers and have a warm to hot core/legs and my hands are numb but then I have mild Raynaud's phenomenon.
  • 1 0
 @djm35: GF has that and it sucks.
  • 23 4
 I don't care how cool (or warm) you think your gear looks, your prices are just plain insulting!
  • 3 1
 Always assume you'd pay at least 35% down from msrp in this new world of ecommerce.
  • 3 1
 @jrocksdh: $130 for shorts still don't sound great.
  • 19 4
 That communist state army stuff from Maloja is funny. They should stick to the topic and make a black outfit with red band around the arm and Slope Style on both sides of the collar.
  • 6 0
 Understated stuff is actually quite refreshing in this day and age of blasted logo'd apparel. But ya, fidel would have proly approved.
  • 3 0
 I wasn't the only one who noticed. I pictured that kid standing in front of the tank in China when I saw that kit.

The part that sucks is it's actually a good color combo. Big Grin
  • 16 5
 That stuff is called "winter" gear!? ...more like light fall and spring gear, or even a cool summer day gear. And they're called pogies, not pogos. With the laughable "winter" gear in this article, I doubt the author has ever had to use pogies. Try riding when it's -20F and your're into a 30mi loop... theres a fine line between freezing to death and sweating through your layers (and then freezing to death).
  • 3 0
 @cacka-lacka...When I read pogos the first time, I though it was a fat finger/autocorrect but then the second time, I thought the author is really out of touch with actual winter riding. I was optimistic after the first article that it was going to work its way up to actual winter gear and even this one when it started talking about actual winter riding shoes but...

For those who experience cold hands, even when in pogies and insulated gloves, look at AME heated grips. I just got a set a couple weeks ago and I am kicking myself for not getting some a few years ago.

Riding in -25C to -35C weather with those are amazing. Pricey, yes but considering how warm my fingers are by the time I get into work, it is worth it. 6 levels of heat but I have found that inside of pogies, I only need to set them to level 2. The battery life is only good for about 2hours of riding but still one of the best bike part purchases I have made.
  • 2 0
 @ cacka-lacka: I would upvote you a thousand times if i could...
  • 3 0
 poagies is actually the correct spelling, @cacka-lacka; and it was an auto correct feature that slipped the edit process. I'll fix that in a jiffy.
  • 3 1
 @meagerdude: Not to get in an etymology debate, but pogies is the correct and most often used spelling.


Maybe I should write an article on actual cold weather winter gear. It takes a lot of experimenting (and miserable rides) to figure out what works and what doesn't. You also really have to spend some time studying the forecast before heading out... sun/overcast, wind, northern vs southern exposure, any chances of an inversion, etc. If you don't plan correctly, you can get yourself in a dangerous situation. The most important thing is to keep your core warm. If your core gets cold, your body's thermal engine will shut down and then your ride is basically done. It's almost impossible to get your core warmed up again out in the bush, too.

Tomorrow, I'll be riding in -40F windchill conditions. I'm having a hard time deciding which shorts to wear.
  • 4 1
 @cacka-lacka: no worries. I found poagies on line when nosing around; is that a name brand? But the bottom line is that viewers/readers know what to look for.

I've put in my time in cold, hard and remote areas, so I hear you on wanting something that's suitable for your balls cold riding conditions. But as I stated in part one, the temperature range we picked gear for is -3C/28F to 10C/45F. That's the typical conditions most people are willing to venture out in.

Yes, there are a LOT of people like yourself who are more than willing to go ride in conditions that'd make a polar bear want to hole up with a flask of whiskey, and for riders like yourself this gear review is lacking. Why not make a list of what gear you find to be suitable for that kind of riding? Personally, when it's like that here, I'm on the ski hill or hunkered down at the local bar with a whiskey ;-D
  • 1 0
 @slish: Mod it for rechargeable batteries.
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude: shorts at -3C? Wow, you're hardcore.
  • 1 1
 @truffy: the temps when we shot the Scott, 7Mesh, and Fox clothing was 1-4C (it varied through the day) but it wasn't raining on us, and there was 15-20cm of snow on the N facing aspects of the trails we shot on (just no features worth shooting). Overall we had a really warm stretch of weather during shooting, even though everything was shot from late Oct into mid November. Temps dipped down into decent testing range during our review period, though, although the weather was nowhere near as harsh as it was during testing the previous year.

I will ride at -3C if the trails aren't snowed in--our snow is wet and heavy, and more than 4 inches tends to shut our trails down until they melt out as it's like riding in deep mud. Fortunately the snow here rarely stays around for much more than a couple weeks.
  • 2 0
 Northern Minnesota had -30 C this morning - and it's still fall. Winter riding here means 45nrth boots and a Surly Moonlander.
  • 1 0
 I went for a ride this weekend when it warmed up to 11F Saturday. By March I'll be trying to pick out a short that I'll enjoy at 32F.
  • 13 2
 Wow, you guys are harsh. I like these reviews. Where I live, 90% of the season you can wear shorts, and for that other 10%, I just throw on baselayer pants under the shorts and use snowboard socks. (down to -5).
  • 3 2
 its great that they wrote a review just for you and your location. For the rest of Canada, shorts for winter kit? Hell no.
  • 7 2
 @atrokz: I doubt it's just my location, but f-me, right? Bitching about free online reviews? Calling it garbage? It's all a bit much. I would agree that in many places that this stuff isn't completely "winter" gear, but what is, a snowboard jacket?? How many people are riding below -5? anyways, like less than 5% of the riders population? Review even covers temp ranges for lots of this stuff.
  • 8 0
 A really good pair of shoes for cold winter riding are the Five Ten Freerider EPS. I've found they're good until about 10 degree F. Any colder than that just put on some toe warmers and that'll do the job. Definitely worth looking into.
  • 3 0
 I just wanted to write the same. Got Freeride EPS High for winter (that winter when temperature is below freezing and there is snow) and love it. Best winter gear I have.
  • 1 0
 Those would definitely be my winter shoe purchase if I rode a lot in the winter here in MN
  • 4 4
 Anyone else having foot pain in Freeriders and Spitfires?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I haven't experienced any. Where are you getting pain?
  • 3 2
 @LucWicklund: midfoot. No issues in Impacts and Impacts VXi. I just thought that soles on Freerider and Spitfire may be too soft for me
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: yes with the EPS im getting foot pain, but with the regular plain old freeriders never. and the eps could of been a great shoe... but for some reason the tongue isnt sewed up at the bottom allowing water right through, doesnt make much sense when they went through the trouble of sewing the sides of the tongue.
  • 1 0
 Bama Socks in my Impacts have been great as low as -20 c for one to two hour rides. I just remove the insoles.
  • 1 0
 They're hard to get in BC. The one store that has them only has one colour. They look awesome.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah I recently started wearing the Adidas cross trail sl shoes and freerider soles are soft in comparison. Much prefer the firmer soles on the Adidas....
  • 9 0
 seriously expensive kit, ill stick to a thermal base layer beneath baggies and waterproof socks.
  • 6 0
 How about reviewing real winter gear like;
ColdAvenger face masks
Revelate Design frame bags
Lopster style gloves
Smith Prophecy Turbo goggles
Anti-freezing water bottle or water bladder options
Riding boots purposely made for sub zero temps

Just to name a few..........
  • 6 1
 In part one we specifically stated the temperature range for the gear we reviewed. I understand that a LOT of people ride in absolutely butt ass cold conditions. The jackets that we reviewed will work just fine as a layering piece for those temps. The rest, though, as we stated in part one, is for the more moderate temperatures that most riders are willing to venture out in.
  • 3 4
 Yes, this. Who cares about an extra zipper here or there between wind shells. Buy the wrong boot or glove for sub freezing weather, and you could loose a digit. Of course, none of the above are really in-depth reviews anyway, much more a catalogue of the free stuff they were sent. PB, gives us some comparative reviews of REAL winter gear please!
  • 7 1
 aren't the first two women shorts a bit "too short" for winter riding? i mean, when it's really cold i don't think is a good idea to leave the lower part of your thighs exposed to wind, snow, rain and amenities....?
  • 2 1
 The GORE short has a 9" inseam and is not designed for winter riding. It was all they had available for this review - but as you can see we didn't actually review the shorts in this piece because we knew that was not the intended use. The Maloja shorts work fine with a pair of knee warmers.
  • 5 0
 I've been riding on and off here in BC for 30 years. Never skimp on your gear! You want to stay dry and comfortable, pay the price, buy the gortex. You'll ride more, because you're high performance and warm and dry. Maloja does amazing stuff, I've been lucky enough to have a few items that have gotten me through some really adverse weather. Their labels state that their stuff is actually made in factories around Europe, not China, which might contribute to some overheads, but keeping some industry in Europe is a good thing!
  • 1 0
 agreed. anything under 10,000 ml ain't gonna keep you dry in the rain.
  • 6 2
 Also I'd add wool underlayer as a must in winter. Wool is expensive and wears out quickly but it's insulation properties are hard to beat. I ride in wool 200 wool sweater with synthetic compression jersey under it, in cold drizzle and I am warm, despite being soaked through. If you put a water proof jacket on and syntethic thermal layerr, then you'll get cold and wet from your own sweat, no matter how hard and how deep is your super membrane breathing. Then from water proof stuff I trust only Goretex. I 've had enough bad experience with other membranes that turn into a sponge after less than 30 mins of downpour.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns - sounds plausible. I'll try that. Thanks for sharing.
  • 1 0
 I use Icebreaker baselayers, Icebreaker 260w sweater, Icebreaker socks. Army fatigues for pants, arcterxy atom LT hoodie, and a cheap nike windbreaker i add a DWR layer to. Works great, it gets pretty cold here. I got all this uber high end kit for less than some of this stuff, and I'd way rather have icebreaker and arcteryx kit for warmth than anything else. Talking -20c rides which I actually do. Gloves are a hit and miss thing. I've got many pairs but nothing great for winter yet. either too cold or no dexterity. hard to find great gloves for winter.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: try the pogies/poagies that @cacka-lacka and I got into an etymology discussion about. It's a thicker over glove that encloses your brakes and shifter so you can actually wear a lighter weight, more dexterous glove underneath. Kind of like using a glove as a mid and base layer and then the poagies/pogies as an outer layer.
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude: seen those. How are they in terms of mobility if youre still jumping or moving around a lot on the bike?
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: no idea--it's never cold enough here that I have to use them. Anyone else have some advice on mobility with pogies/poagies?
  • 4 1
 Nice to see someone taking a look at these smaller brands that no has heard of. Good press for them. Something that seems to be passed over by all of the reviewed brands is 3/4 shorts. Having coverage over the knee keeps knees warmer and dryer (even with the use of knee pads). And it keeps a lot of cold air from being pushed up your legs while riding. Finally I agree with the comments about price. Most of the reviewed pieces are way out of the reasonable category. Especially when Endura makes such good kit at a price mortals can afford.
  • 7 0
 How about a shovel and rake for winter gear?
  • 2 0
 I couldn't agree more!
  • 2 0
 Yep ! We are currently in full build mode now, finally started on a trail I have had planned for about 6 years !
  • 1 0
 @bigburd: Yeah, we build Nov to January pretty heavy. Try and build one new trail a year. Past two weeks have been impacted by unusual amounts of snow. But should be melting soon!
  • 1 0
 No snow for us but we have been waiting for the brambles and ferns to die back, hate clearing them !
  • 3 0
 @meagerdude This is a straight up awesome review. Its BS the highest upvoted thing on here is a negative comment. If anything I wouldnt mind seeing something with more reasonable prices.
You guys covered a good selection of brands and their offerings. This obviously took a hell of a long time to test and writeup. Props to you guys and gals.
  • 7 2
 i dont understand, goretex socks with shorts? and again all you really need is vodka for them cold days
  • 1 0
 I don't get it either???
  • 2 1
 because it's utterly silly. yay waterproof shorts! said nobody who's ever ridden in the winter.
  • 1 0
 @nfa2005 Only cold days?
  • 1 0
 @nfa2005 I've been doing it all wrong. I thought it was a year round solution.
  • 4 0
 @atrokz: waterproof shorts are perfect for uk winter. It's 10C plus at the moment. So the place is like a swamp. But not cold.
Nice to go out and not end up with a wet muddy gooch.
  • 2 0
 @Intensevp: you arent concerned with water getting into your shoes? Wouldnt pants prevent that and provide more wet weather protection? When it rains here durring a warm weather ride we just get wet. Haha.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz: I wear five ten impact boots. So they actively suck all forest water into the shoe. Good thing is, everyone who is behind you has no puddles. Seal skin socks is a must them shoes. Then two week drying time. Ha ha.
  • 1 0
 @Intensevp: gotcha. Ive got gortex shoes for flats and icebreaker socks and liners for the spds. So always in pants and keeps me warm but it's pretty cold here. Guess there is a use for the shorts though!
  • 3 0
 I tried to read the article, but after looking at the first pic...... I can't stop wondering if an inner tube can be used as a raft? And if so. DAMN! some of my long rides could have been so much more fun
  • 2 0
 The Shimano MW7 shoes are amazing. I never realized how cold and miserably my feet were until they weren't. They aren't XC shoes - they're more like a winter enduro boot. The sole is soft and grippy on wet roots, rocks and snow and the cleat slot clears well. They keep everything warm and dry. Expensive but highly recommended.
  • 3 1
 more money then sense........spend a 1000 dollars on winter gear and 90 for a friggin long sleeved t shirt (base layer) like its some crazy science....some people are soo stupid they will gladly spend this when there are similar options for a lot less money. mind you at least this stuff suits the hipsters that will likely be sitting in the trail café sipping coffes instead of riding. to$$ers.

either you need to be minted to have 2 sets (at least) of all this or this stuffs gonna fall apart cos I ride often enough that this would be in the wash at least 3 times a week.
  • 2 0
 Gore tex wind stopper gloves are very effective. I get non insulated versions from MEC and double up if needed. Insulated gloves give you difficulty holding on to the bars and brake ,shift ect.
Seal skin socks or gore tex socks. Awesome! Then you can where your favourite riding shoes and keep your feet dry.
Two ply Gore tex jackets work better than a laminate style of water proof jacket.
BTW no jacket stays water proof for ever. You need to wash it with a special non detergent conditioner. Then re apply a water proof coating on the pants or jacket.
Plenty of good selections at various price points I this article.
I buy gear that is backed up by a life time guarantee. Cost more but I'm worth it Smile
  • 1 0
 'Yes', I thought, they've addressed the glove issue and it sounds like Pogos are the answer. I then clicked on the link and saw how ridiculous they look. Looks like it'll be the cheap wool gloves under a pair of black Marigolds again this year.
  • 6 3
 This is a sponsored ad piece, not a review. At least with the bike reviews you guys pretend to find something you don't like.
  • 4 0
 @WestwardHo: This is most definitely not a sponsored ad piece. As to pieces that suck...

For the review last year gear was just sent to us and there were some definite dogs in there, like the Gore 2 in 1 pants--those were horrible.

This year we requested specific quality apparel that we knew would fit and function well with the idea of giving readers as many good options as possible.
  • 3 0
 7Mesh for the love of god give me an option for a hood that goes over the helmet NOT under it. I'd throw my money at you if you didn't force me to wear it under the helmet.
  • 1 0
 I agree, it really does limit articulation. I gotta say though their Revo shorts are pretty awesome for west coast winter riding.
  • 1 0
 @d-railed, @bsedola and others, we're listening! Lots of spirited debate in the office on this topic. We designed the Rev hood to be very functional (under-the-helmet) while actually riding. For over-the-helmet, is it for covering up while stationary, and using off the bike, or do you want it fully functional while riding? The latter is tougher without it becoming a bit of a water and wind bucket, but curious what you're after. Also if you have a hood you like the most, let us know what it is and how and when you use it. All input welcome!
  • 2 0
 @tj7mesh: It's more cumbersome to take your helmet on and off depending on how heavy it is raining to put on the hood. To slip it over the helmet when needed, without having to stop would be way more convenient. I have a Sugoi jacket that has an under the helmet hood. Not only the issue of not being able to quickly put it on or off, but the fact is now you can't turn your head as easily since the hood is connected to your collar. Not that I've used my Arcteryx jacket riding, but the over the helmet hood design would seem to lend far more functionality than the under the helmet type.
That's my 2 cents anyway.
Thanks for listening.
  • 2 0
 @tj7mesh: my feeling is that adjusting my helmet to use the hood is annoying. I typically ride up with the hood over my helmet keeping my head dry and not having rain run down my back. But will take the hood off for the downhill as I don't like the way I feel restricted by it even over the helmet and I'm going to get soaked on the down so my head getting wet at that point is not a concern for me. Maybe I'm the only one that rides like this. And living on the North Shore may not be typical of most riding as it's relatively straight up and straight down.
I also don't like the feel of the hood against my skin and then cinched down by the helmet and how hot it gets. I much prefer the way ski/snowboard jackets go over and not under the helmets. It's a lot easier to control temperatures by just pulling the hood off instead of taking helmet off, then hood, re-adjusting helmet.
Currently using former gortex ski/snowboard jackets for wet wet weather, Burton AK and a Arcteryx Beta Jacket. Neither are as form fitting as I'd like but they both do the job well for me.
  • 1 0
 @d-railed @bsedola thanks I will share with everyone here. We don't have anything immediate for you but we are working on hoods for some future pieces right now, so this is perfect timing! Always open to more rider insight, cheers.
  • 2 1
 Please look at a current satellite image of North America - you will find that much of it is covered in something called snow. Please write an article that actually reviews winter gear and DIY strategies for keeping warm in real winter weather.
  • 1 0
 The big winner is the Endura MT500 Waterproof II jacket. With its 18K/64K youd be crazy to buy anything else; since the jackets shown here in the same price range are only 10K/10K and 12K/12K. Okay, the design is indeed very 2005, but it works better than anything else.
  • 2 0
 When it gets cold I switch to SPD pedals? Nope. Please seomone make a cold weather shoes for flats. I fat bike with flats but all the boots don't really do it or have funny names.
  • 1 0
 This doesn't look too cold in the pictures. For actual snow and ice i would definitely recommend warmer clothes and especially a good pair of goggles to prevent snow blindness. For biking i suggest small light tone glasses (I for example use this one: www.edel-optics.co.uk/CROWBAR-(OO7005-02-850)-by-Oakley.htmlOO7005-02-850 ) that fit nicely under the biking helm. This works very good for me since i'm wearing eyesight glasses or contacts underneath it.
  • 6 1
 Endura missing
  • 1 1
 We did Endura last year. We wanted to review a few other brands this year.
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude: May as well include the standard by which to judge all the others. Smile
  • 1 0
 @DrPete: the only real standard that we can apply is the waterproof breathability rating. We weren't able to test everything in one day--we rode a minimum of an hour in each kit, and even then the temperature varied a lot during rides. Consequently the reviews here are more of a first impression vs a long term test and we didn't feel a need to declare a "winner". We just wanted to give good, accurate descriptions to a broad variety of heavy weather gear.
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude: Oh, I get it. And the reviews are very well done. You just created many monsters when you told us about the awesomeness of Endura last year. Smile
  • 2 0
 One winter in a pair of Northwave Celcius,never again.Freezing cold,feet constantly wet through.Customer service wouldn't even return emails.Youve been warned folks
  • 1 0
 Over $200 for a 10k/10k jacket is rediculous. I've seen plenty of ski jackets that are bothe more waterproof and more breathable for less. I'd go that route any day over something that will turn into a sauna.
  • 2 0
 yea thats amateur hour levels. get a cheap windbreaker and add some dwr and it works as well as a 10k.10k for the first bit.

if you're serious about wet riding, Patigonia, NF, and every other company makes a 10k for around $100.
  • 3 0
 just replaced my scroll wheel after Part 1, blew it out again. you owe me money mr meagher
  • 4 0
 How much, and will you take whiskey for payment?
  • 5 1
 Screw that it's snowboarding time. See you in April
  • 4 4
 Okay I'm getting on this bitch-fest train too. My complaint is not about the fashion show its about the f@ckin' glass bottles in the river--one of the many reasons so many microbrewers use cans nowadays is to avoid broken glass in the water/wilderness. FFS! Many of us bikers are also river rats--show some respect for water "trails" too poseurs!
  • 9 2
 C'mon, really? It's not like the photo shows them smashing the bottles over each other's heads and then leaving the shards on the ground. That would be something you could complain about.
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer: Ha! I knew I'd get this type of response but I forgive your ignorance Mike. I spent many summers as a shuttle driver and later guide for a couple of local outfitters and have first-hand experience of broken glass gashes--they are brutal and bloody. BTW I am referring to broken glass that is hidden under the water and may have legitimately slipped out of the offending jackass's hand--not "shards on the ground".
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: did that happen after the shoot?
  • 3 1
 Great article and great product information. A big thanks to all the contributors! this is exactly why I continue to visit PinkBike!
  • 8 1
 Thanks man. That was a shit ton of work; not only the shooting and typing but sourcing the gear and scheduling everything, Plus multiple days of riding with a stupid camera bag on my back and massive gear bags on Nikki and Justin for mid ride clothing changes. Then all the saddle time reviewing all the gear. It took a lot of time and effort.
  • 3 0
 So what flat shoes would they recommend for winter? as i cant run cleats due to an injury.
  • 1 0
 For applications between 0 - 30 degrees F

Dry-fit long sleeve (any brand) = $20
Walmart sweats (top and bottom) = $15
Good socks (invest here) = $12
Glove liners = $20
Sum total = Good to go
  • 4 2
 Looks more like a fall gear review? Why dont you reveiw some proper winter gear.... maybe a few pairs of pants
  • 1 0
 I usually get real cold on descents and flat trails,windproof is what I feel like I need most,and of course I wear pants in winter
  • 4 0
 Complain much?
  • 2 0
 Winter where I live means a buff for your neck, baselayer and a light jacket because of the wind...
  • 2 1
 I ride less in winter anyways so I think I'll just stick to suffering through it and save hundreds of $ so i can waste it on other bike stuff in the summer
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah! Then again it gets cold here, but not -20 below cold. At that point I'm more interested in what temp wax I have on the deck and what the breweries have on the board.
  • 1 0
 I guess the bike industry is trying to cash in on cheap labor like the ski industry, when in comes to clothing. A jacket made in China for $20 sells for $300 or more. BS
  • 1 0
 Would have liked to see Dirtlej's Dirtsuit tested. A short-legged onesie that costs less than the shorts here and no gap for the cold to creep into.
  • 2 0
 It was 15 degrees here this morning. Winter. I was not wearing shorts.
  • 5 3
 when did riding your bike become such a fashion show? fack.
  • 1 1
 Since average desirable bike cost 7k. You attract certain crowd with those prices... I heard 7mash goes incredibly well with carbon anything, haven't tried either so can't comment further.
  • 1 0
 Gore Windstopper fabric is like a sponge. Soaks up water like a... Uh... That thing that soaks up water...
  • 5 3
 Garbage advert articles like this are becoming far too frequent pinkbike.
  • 3 1
 What don't you like about it or what can we do to make you feel like it is actually useful information? (Aside from changing the weather where we live)
  • 2 0
 @nkrohan: it's negative 7 here, so which item would you recommend for that... the shorts maybe?
  • 2 2

Not many epic adventure rides can't be handled in a standard hooded waterproof jacket and good layers. $50-$100 for a jacket tops.
  • 2 1
 Pretty sure it doesn't count as winter riding if there's more green grass than snow.
  • 3 0
 COUGH endura
  • 1 0
 Wtf is up with these prices! Adidas mesh jacket, zippered pockets, moisture wicking, lightweight=60$
  • 2 0
 With no drop back, no pack friendly/accessible pockets, no helmet friendly hood, no WP media ports..... get what you pay for i guess.
  • 2 0
 The lightweight refers to your wallet after purchase.
  • 1 0
 When di dour beloved sport become so unaffordable? bikes are as much as a used car and clothes are idiotic.
  • 1 0
 All clipless shoes..poor review. Well,global warming is good here in DK,doing fine with thermo socks in my freeriders.
  • 1 0
 Wind stopper socks with vented shoes...huh? This looks like paid advertising / review.
  • 1 0
 Love the styling on that Alpine Stars jacket
  • 2 2
 Just in case you're bored of clothing reviews...

  • 1 0
 The Giro gloves look the warmest thing there
  • 1 0
 Hate to be a cliché but... the 90s called...
  • 1 0
 What is Justin looking at?
  • 1 1
 Just search bike winter gear on Amazon and get everything under 100 bucks...
  • 1 0
 Not reviewing Norrøna Fjørå Dri3 shorts is a crime against Scandinavia!
  • 1 0
 ~distant Australian/New Zealand laughter~
  • 1 0
 This stuff is more expensive than Motorcycle gear. Who buys this stuff?
  • 1 0
 I meant BULLSHIT!!!
  • 1 4
 Bro, do you Enduro?
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