Gear Up for Winter: 25 Cold-Weather Essentials Reviewed

Dec 10, 2015
by Colin Meagher  
Cleaning off after a wet ride.
R E V I E W

GEAR UP FOR WINTER

25 cold-weather essentials
pitted against the elements
in the Pacific Northwest.

WORDS & IMAGES: Colin Meagher
Nikki Hollatz getting the jet wash test from Bekah Rottenberg in her Endura ensemble - Hood River, Oregon.

In case you didn’t already know, it’s that cold and dark time of year up here in the Northern Hemisphere. You lucky souls south of the equator are just getting into the meat and potatoes of summer. I hate on you just a bit for that, but mostly I’m envious, because I’m stuck on the part of this planet that’s guaranteed to be cold, wet, and miserable for at least the next four months. And, by cold and wet, I mean a fine and pleasant misery, well-seasoned with rain and sleet on the days when it’s not merely bitterly cold and windy. What better conditions could we possibly ask for when testing a few clothing items meant for these dark months?



Bad Weather Basics

The key to savoring a ride in this type of gnar is quality outer layers that’ll hold off the elements yet still breathe well. Breathability is every bit as crucial as waterproofness, too; all the high-tech waterproof fabrics in the world will do you about as much good as tassels on a pig if it’s raining just as hard inside your jacket as it is outside.

Nearly everyone in the bike clothing game these days is making something for riding in (dare I say it?) “epic” conditions, but not all winter clothing is created equal. Some gear will breathe about as well as your average trash bag and some gear will repel water like a sponge. But, most of it excels. And by "excels," I mean it’s the kind of gear that will keep you dry in a jet wash (true story).

So, if you plan on venturing out in the kind of conditions that mean hosing off your gear before you drop them in the clothes washer, trust me when I say that good waterproof shorts or pants and a similar quality jacket are the way to go. And, while you have your credit card out, consider adding a decent base layer, a pair of good winter cycling gloves and some wool socks or sealskins (it’s the golden age of the interwebs—look 'em up). And, for extra points, you might add knee warmers and a skullcap to that mix.
Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.


Laying Down the Rules

We chose not to perform long-term tests, limiting the review intervals to an average of two or three rides for each item to get solid impressions on fit and function. Most of the testing was conducted in temps that ranged from 25F to 42 F (-4C to 6C), and in conditions that varied from clear and cold, to sleeting, to raining hammers sideways. With the exception of the below-freezing temps, we were wearing a base layer; a jersey; chamois-lined shorts under our outer shorts or pants; a jacket; knee warmers or lightweight knee guards; and a trail helmet. In the below-freezing temps, an additional or thicker jersey was worn. Testing included everything from short punchy climbs to hour-long uphill grinds, as well as jump trails and extended descents.

About the testers: Colin Meagher stands 5’9" tall and weighs in at 165 lbs. with a 32-33” waist depending on beer consumption. He typically fits a size medium pair of shorts or pants, and a size medium jersey and jacket. Nikki Hollatz stands 5’5” tall and weighs 130 lbs. with a 28-inch waist, 34-inch hips. She typically wears a size medium short or pant and a size medium jersey/jacket. Special thanks to Tyler Horton of Transition Bikes who was kind enough to be Colin's stunt/body double for the men’s action shots (someone had to take the photos, after all). Nikki Hollatz, on the other hand, does her own stunts.

Word on Waterproof and Breathability

The standard for waterproofness is measured by the height of a column of water that can be held by a fabric without leaking. One meter (1000mm) is the minimum measure a fabric can have and be called waterproof. Breathability, on the other hand, is measured in grams of moisture that can pass through a square meter of fabric over 24 hours. For instance, a rating of 10,000 grams per square meter translates into ten kg of water moving through that square meter of fabric in 24 hours—that’s roughly 22 pounds of water.

Most foul-weather gear also features a Durable Waterproof Repellant (DWR) treatment to the outer layer. The waterproof/breathable layer, be it Gore Tex®, eVent®, etc, will keep water from penetrating the fabric, but if the outer layer gets saturated with water, it will get heavy, sag, and tend to cling to your skin. Which sucks. Hence the use of DWR coatings on most of the gear in this feature.
Gore Bike Wear

Endura logo



DAKINE

Dakine is located in Hood River, Oregon, the place both Nikki Hollatz and I call home, and it’s a mecca for mountain biking in the Pacific Northwest. More importantly, the designers are riders—it’s not uncommon to spot Dakine employees testing apparel and gear in Post Canyon or up on the Syncline on any given day. Consequently, the fit of their pieces is generally right on the money, and the functionality is typically well thought out.

Tyler Horton static clothing shots
Tyler Horton showing off Dakine's Caliber Jacket, Ridge Shorts and White Knuckle gloves.


Caliber Jacket $180

The Caliber Jacket is a fully seam sealed jacket utilizing a four-way stretch fabric with a waterproof/breathable laminate rated for 20k mm/20k g/m2, waterproof zippers, and pit zips. It has a media pocket on the left breast, and both hood and waist cinch tabs. There are also two side pockets. Colors: black (featured). Sizes: small, medium, large, and X-large.

Dakine nailed the fit on this one: the torso length and sleeve length are spot on, the shoulders are roomy without being baggy, and one could easily accommodate an additional layer under the Caliber for sub-freezing days. The hood fits over a helmet effortlessly and without blocking too much peripheral view; nor does the hood bind up when wearing a hydration pack. And there’s ample drop in the seat to prevent mud from creeping into your shorts.

The Caliber Jacket is a workman-like jacket: it gets the job done, and done well, without being pretentious. The waterproof/breathable laminate works as expected and the pit zips allowed adequate venting for hard efforts without letting in the elements. All hood and waist adjustments are easily performed while wearing gloves. Additionally, the Caliber can also be pulled on or off over gloves. It’s not super lightweight, but then again, it’s nowhere near as bulky as some of the other jackets that were tested. This is an item that will easily stuff into a mid-sized hydration pack “just in case” on an iffy day while still leaving room for a nice flask of winter warmer.


Ridge Short $65

The Dakine Ridge Short is a basic trail short manufactured from twill like artificial fabric. The concept is a short for shop employees (or anyone else who spends most of the day working in shorts) who may want to hit the trails after work or the trail rider who wants to hit the local pub after a ride. Consequently, it’s as stylish as it is functional. It features side pockets and a single rear pocket. Waist closure is via twin snaps.There are interior side waist adjusters as well as belt loops on the outside of the waist if you prefer to “keep it real.” As I measured it, the Ridge Shorts feature a 12.5-inch (32 cm) inseam. Colors: jean and black pirate (featured). Sizes: 30-inch, 32-inch, 34-inch, 36-inch, 38-inch.

I found the fit to be perfect: they’re just long enough to prevent gaper gap between any knee guards and the thigh, but short enough to be right at home anywhere one would wear a casual pair of short away from the bike. They are both lightweight and very breathable. But, while this was a great looking and great fitting short, and it functioned well in the dry, it is not water resistant in the slightest. If you plan on riding in sloppy conditions, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for; but if you plan on a dry condition, shoulder-season ride after work, with maybe a stop for a pint afterward, look no further.

Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.
Tyler Horton getting sideways on some Post Canyon brown ice.


White Knuckle Gloves $38

We didn't plan on testing gloves, but Dakine sent us a couple pair of their cold weather model, so we threw them into the mix. White Knuckle gloves are made with a windproof stretch nylon back and with neoprene over the knuckles. The gloves have a thin, one-piece palm for direct bar feel. There is Thinsulate insulation in the glove with a mid-weight fleece lining on the back of the hand for a soft feel. Adjusting the fit is handled via a hook-and-loop wrist closure and the digits are touch screen compatible. The back of the thumb is covered in terry cloth, making it an excellent nose wipe. There’s also a small pad on the base of the palm for “Oh shit” moments. Colors: black (featured). Sizes: small, medium, large, and X-large.

Dakine White Knuckle gloves
Dakine White Knuckle gloves.

Generally, with winter gloves I need to go up a size, as the insulation tends to plump up the inside of the glove a bit. Not so with the White Knuckle gloves. These were even a touch roomy. They are touted for temperatures down to freezing (32F/0C) and while I didn’t wear them in temps that cold, they did just fine at 38F/3C. They kept my hands warm and were touch screen compatible as advertised. It wasn’t particularly wet when I tested them, so I’ve no idea of how well they perform in the rain. However, given their construction materials, I’m going to guess that there are better gloves out there for pure chaos conditions; but these excelled as a shoulder season riding glove.


Nikki’s Take: White Knuckle gloves

As the only company that sent winter gloves, I tested the Dakine White Knuckle gloves for most of my test rides. I swapped them out for the Giro Candela gloves for comparison.

The men’s size small was a good fit on my hand – I typically wear a women’s size medium glove. In comparison to my other winter riding gloves, I was impressed with the dexterity I retained wearing these – I could almost text coherent words with them on! There was minimal bulk and I was confident with the grip. When the temperature dropped into the twenties my fingertips were tingly and cold, regardless of what gloves I was wearing, so consider investing in a pair of very stylish bar mitts if you find yourself out in subzero temperatures more often than not. Overall, this is a solid winter riding glove that is functional and affordable.

Nikki Hollatz Pinkbike static clothing shots
Nikki with the women's Caliber Jacket, the Mode Shorts, and the White Knuckle Glove.


Women’s Caliber Jacket $180

The Dakine Women’s Caliber jacket is nearly identical to the men’s version in design and style - a technical waterproof shell designed for riding in the Pacific Northwest rain – but with a cut for the female form.

Dakine sent us a women’s size small Caliber jacket. Overall the jacket fit perfectly, not restricting my upper body movements; the arm and torso lengths were spot on. I usually wear a women's medium, so with that in mind, sizing must run large on their jackets, so consider ordering a size down. Colors: black. Size: small, medium, large, and X-large.

The jacket is a fashionable solid black with a teal zipper and small teal accents, worthy of being worn to the pub after a long ride. It is fully seam sealed and has underarm zippers for ventilation. The hood fit over my helmet and I was able to easily pull the sleeves off over my gloves. Unlike the Mode Shorts below, the Caliber Jacket is designed to be waterproof and I stayed nice and dry during all of my test rides. As the weather dropped down into the mid-twenties, I did sport a puffy coat under the jacket on the descents to keep me warm (I always carry a down jacket of some type in my pack this time of year just in case), but otherwise it was adequate insulation for all my test rides.

Nikki Hollatz testing Fall Winter Riding clothing for Pinkbike in Bend OR in 2015
Nikki testing the Dakine goods in Bend, Oregon.


Women’s Mode Short $80

The Dakine Women’s Mode shorts are a stylish, yet tough and durable short constructed of lightweight polyester canvas and woven twill nylon that features a four-way stretch and DWR coating. They have an internal waist adjustment, zippered pockets, twin waist snap closure and inner leg vents. Additionally, the Mode shorts have an inseam length of 14.5 inches (37cm) providing increased coverage and are designed to fit over knee pads. Colors: black, harbor, and buckskin (featured). Sizes: 24-inch, 26-inch, 28-inch, 30-inch.

As a Hood River resident, I have ample access to Dakine biking apparel and have spent a lot of time racing and riding in the Mode shorts. Designed for aggressive downhill riding, the Mode shorts stay true to the description and are a relaxed fit baggy short that is resistant to most crashes. The shorts tend to ride low on the hips and have a slightly oversized waist. Despite the thick material, the shorts were not restrictive and the inner leg vents worked well to keep me cool when needed.

For the winter testing, I ultimately discovered that the shorts are not 100% waterproof. The DWR coating is designed to shed water, but under heavy weather conditions, the shorts were noticeably saturated after a couple hours of pounding rain. While they are a staple in my daily riding apparel and the heavy material does a good job of keeping my legs warm in cooler temperatures, I would avoid wearing these in overly wet conditions. Muddy goodness, yes; torrential downpour, not so much.




RACE FACE

Race Face is proud to call North Vancouver home, and with riders like Wade Simmons, Bernard Kerr, Remy Metallier, and Lorraine Blancher testing for them, and you know the gear is getting used and abused all over the globe, as well as tweaked and refined constantly.

Tyler Horton static clothing shots
The Race Face Team Chute Jacket, Winter Agent Shorts, and Sub Zero Charge leg guards.


Team Chute Jacket $189.99

The Race Face Team Chute Jacket is constructed of Storm Lite fabric, a 3 ply 10,000mm; 10,000g/m2 laminate fabric with a DWR coating and backed by a lightweight mesh. It’s fully seam-sealed and it has an attached hood with three points of adjustment. There are drawstring adjusters on the waist, hand warmer pockets, and a media player pocket on the chest. A touch of softer fabric around the collar prevents chaffing when the jacket is fully zipped up. Colors: blaze orange (featured) and black. Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large, and XX-large.

The fit was a bit tight in the shoulders on this piece, however, this wasn’t noticeable when riding. It had a perfect sleeve length and good torso length. The hood fit over my helmet without obstructing my peripheral vision at all. It wasn’t possible to use the hood with the main zipper all the way up, and the collar was too tight. The drop seat on the jacket kept the amount of water and mud spraying my shorts to a minimum.

Overall, the Race Face Team Chute Jacket is about as weatherproof as it gets. It shrugged off more than a few test laps in fairly horrific conditions (38F /3C out and spitting bullets). And, while it was a perfect ward against the elements, it still breathed reasonably well. The pit zips are just long enough to vent well without completely opening one up to the elements. It was reasonably easy to put on and remove the jacket, as well as operate the zipper pulls with gloves on. The only negative, other than not being able to fully zip up with the hood deployed, is that this was a relatively bulky jacket and it would be difficult to stuff into a pack when the rain goes away. The hood issue likely is related to the shoulder fit, and both issues would likely be resolved by going up a size, although according to Race Face’s fit guide, size medium is what I should be wearing.


Agent Winter Shorts $119.99

Like the Team Chute jacket, the Agent Winter shorts are a fully seam sealed, three layer waterproof short. The outer layer is a polyester fabric with just enough spandex in it to stretch a bit (10%) that is then laminated to a water proof/breathability membrane with a rating of 10,000mm/10,000g/m2. Again, there’s a bit of a mesh to allow the short to glide easily on under layers. The shorts also feature an internal gaiter system for the really miserable days, as well as a high back. Rear vents keep things temperate below and there are Velcro tabs to adjust the waist. There are waterproof zippers for the two pockets. Twin snaps backed up with a Velcro patch for waist closure rounds out the design. Colors black (featured) and flame. Sizes: small, medium, large, and X-large.

The fit was pretty bang on. And while the shorts sound like they have a LOT going on with the internal gaiter, I didn’t notice them when pedaling, nor did they hamper my use of knee guards. I’d have to say that these are the shorts I’ve been dreaming of ever since I first discovered that winter didn’t mean that mountain biking was over. They sneered at rain, sleet, and snow. Even when I banged out a couple test laps on what amounted to be a shallow creek, I stayed dry and comfortable despite my fear that the rear vents would let in water from my bike tire. Basically, these were a put ‘em on and forget about ‘em item that’s tough enough to be worn as a daily driver.

Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.
Tyler pushing it on a medium sloppy "Dirt Surfer" kind of day.


Charge Sub Zero Leg Guard $44.99

These are just like the standard Charge Leg Guards from Race Face - a knee warmer type item with a stretchy Kevlar abrasion resistant patch that covers your patella and your upper shin. It’s an abrasion resistant knee guard only as it’s not impact rated at all. The only difference between the two is that the Sub Zeros have brushed polyester inside to help keep you warm. There’s gripper silicon at either end to keep them in place on your leg. Color: black. Sizes: small, medium. large, and X-large.


Raceface Sub Zero Charge Leg guards
The Race Face Sub Zero Charge Leg Guards; note the minor fleece lining for cold conditions warmth.


Why wear something like this? Simple: there’s very little to insulate the tendons and ligaments in the knees when it’s cold. Adding a knee warmer or leg warmer when it’s cold out is common sense. If that’s not your style, one can wear actual knee guards to keep your knees warm; but when you’re headed out for a wet two-hour pedal, something that burly can chafe you raw in a hurry. And when it’s really cold, even something lightweight like the G-form or Race Face’s own Indy knee guards can be uncomfortably stiff.

Keep in mind that these are really only for technical XC rides as they have absolutely zero impact resistance. But they are perfect for helping to prevent shredded knees if you have a tendency to kiss the dirt every now and again when it’s sloppy out.

Nikki Hollatz Pinkbike static clothing shots
Nikki with the Team Chute Jacket, the Women's Khyber Shorts, and the Sub Zero Charge Leg Guards


Men’s Team Chute Jacket $189.99

I tested the Race Face Men’s Team Chute jacket in a Blaze Orange size small as Race Face doesn’t offer a women’s riding jacket. I would say the jacket fit me decently, but it was noticeably loose in the shoulders and chest and tight around my hips when pulled down. If you look at the Race Face fit chart online, you can see that the men’s size small, while close to the women’s size medium, is larger in the chest and smaller in the hip measurement as compared to women’s medium. With a hydration pack on this became a non-issue, so overall, I think it was the correct size for me, given that Race Face doesn’t currently make a women’s jacket, but I believe that adding a women’s specific jacket to their clothing line would likely be well received.

During testing, right away I was impressed with how warm this jacket kept me, even when the temperature dipped below 30F (-1C). The extra weight of the jacket along with the well-designed hood effectively blocked the frigid Columbia River Gorge winds (during the winters here in the Gorge, wind chill is a constant presence and directly impacts our winter riding). The down side to the heavy weight of the jacket was I did warm up quickly on climbs. However, it was easy to vent and I never had to remove it. Overall, the burly design of the Chute appeared to be impenetrable to winter forces and the Blaze Orange adds a nice, blinding touch for those who tend to get lost in the woods.


Women’s Khyber Short $89.99

The Race Face Women’s Khyber short is a heavy-duty short, with a 14” inseam, zippered front fly with dual snap closure and Velcro reinforcement, double reinforced seams, hand pockets, zippered thigh vents, DWR-coated fabric and a waterproof membrane. Race Face states: “Certainly the burliest women’s short in the Race Face collection, the Khyber Short is recommended for aggressive riding when extra abrasion resistance and durability is preferred.” Colors: orange, black, lime, and blue (featured). Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large, and X-large

Nikki Hollatz testing Fall Winter Riding clothing for Pinkbike in Bend OR in 2015
Nikki testing on "Funner" outside of Bend, Oregon.


Like the Dakine shorts, I have spent a good deal of time riding and racing in the Khyber shorts in a wide range of weather conditions. The shorts are comfortable and stylish and Race Face has a nice selection of colours available. The size medium runs a bit large, but is designed to be a relaxed, loose fit. Given the robust material, the short has very little stretch, so choose sizing carefully. The longer inseam and wide hem allowed for the short to fit easily over my knee guards. Ventilation provided by the zippered thigh vents worked effectively and I have personally never noticed a breathability issue on these shorts, even during an eight-hour day of pedalling under the summer sun.

I do recommend wearing knee guards of some type with these, as the inner lining tends to irritate the top of my knee when I am on long rides without knee protection. The DWR-coating ensured that the water beaded on the surface of the short and maintained its waterproof capacity during testing. Personally, I found these to be a comfortable and stylish short as well as extremely functional for winter riding conditions.




ENDURA

Endura calls Scotland home. And anyone who thinks Scottish weather is all lollypops and gumdrops needs to wake the f-k up. Scottish weather is served up fresh off the North Sea and it’s the kind of stuff that will make strong men (and women) cry. Even in summer, the weather can take a turn to the biblical like few places on earth. Endura will assert that they place function over style, but they’ve started to add a bit more flair in their line, while continuing to adhere to their practical Scottish roots.

Tyler Horton static clothing shots
Tyler with the cleverly named MT500 Waterproof Jacket II and MT500 Waterproof Pant II.


MT500 Waterproof Jacket II $299.99

Like the Race Face Team Chute Jacket, Endura's MT500 Waterproof Jacket II features a fully seam sealed construction, utilizing a three-layer laminate fabric called Exoshell60 which has a waterproof/breathability rating of 18,000mm/64000g/m2 making it by far the most waterproof/breathable fabric used in any of the clothing in this feature. The jacket also featured both pit zips and hand warmer pockets that double as vents, as well as a Napoleon pocket (with an integrated goggle wipe) for media or other items that don’t like the wet. There are also cordura patches on the shoulders to guard against wear from pack straps. The sleeves feature an internal cuff with thumb loops as well as an adjustable cuff on the outside of the sleeve itself. The hood is 3D adjustable and can be easily rolled up out of the way. The waist is also adjustable to keep the elements at bay. In short, there’s a LOT going on with the MT500 Jacket! Colors: black, yellow (featured). Sizes: small, medium, large, and X-large.

The size medium jacket fit me perfectly; it was roomy enough to allow another layer underneath, but not so roomy that I felt adrift in the jacket. The hood fit over the helmet with the zipper all the way up and there was no binding with the hood/helmet combo, even with a hydration pack on, although the hood blocked some of my peripheral vision.

I wore this in some fairly nasty weather, and it’s safe to say that this is the kind of jacket one could almost comfortably venture out into a hurricane with. The breathability was unbelievable. On extended climbs, both the pocket vents and the pit zips allowed for core cooling without sacrificing too much defense against whatever Mother Nature was throwing at me. The inner cuff with the thumb loops also helped keep the elements away from me, and all the zippers could easily be used with gloves on. Additionally, the jacket (despite the inner cuffs) could be put on or taken off relatively easily with gloves on. The safety yellow color made sure I wasn’t going to sneak up on anyone, but it is available in black is the new black, too. This was a relatively heavy jacket (you can’t pack this many features into a jacket and keep it featherweight), but if you ever plan on riding in a hurricane, this is your ticket.


MT500 Waterproof Pant II $199.99

Like the jacket, Endura's MT500 Waterproof Pant II is a fully seam sealed pant constructed from Exoshell60 three ply fabric. It’s light, breathes insanely well, and has Cordura panels on the high wear areas. It also has reflective logos for those midnight runs to the cold beer store. There are no vents anywhere on the pants, and they are “Click fast” compatible to Endura’s own liner shorts. Colors: black. Sizes: small, medium, large, and X-large.

The fit on the MT500 Waterproof Pant II was just as perfect as their MT500 Jacket. The waist only has elastic to hold it in place (no waist tabs or belt loops), but they stayed put just fine. There are mid-calf side zips on the lower leg to allow pulling the pants on or off over riding shoes. Otherwise, with lightweight knee guards (G-form), they were non-binding and felt, well, as if I were a bit naked, really.

Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.
Tyler dropping into "Hidden" with the Enduro ensemble.


I’ve never been a fan of pants for riding. Most of the time it makes me feel as if I’m riding in pajamas. And, cold weather pants usually breathe about as well as your average garbage bag, but these completely changed my mind. They were light, breathed insanely well despite the lack of vents, and repelled the slop on the trail the way garlic repels vampires. And by breathed insanely well, I mean I did nearly an hour-long climb in conditions that alternated between sleet and rain and back again and they kept me warm without stewing me in my own sweat. I am now officially a fan.

Nikki Hollatz Pinkbike static clothing shots
Nikki with the Endura Singletrack Jacket and MT500 Spray Baggy Short.


Women’s Singletrack Jacket $169.99

The Endura Women’s Singletrack jacket is a fully seam-sealed 2.5-layer waterproof /breathable material jacket that is designed with pit zip vents, a roll away hood, adjustable cuffs and hems, and reflective trim on the back. The jacket has two “hand warmer” pockets and a front chest pocket into which my iPhone (or flask) fit easily. Colors: purple, red (featured). Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large.

The size medium jacket had an overall roomy but comfortable fit. In short order, I could tell that this jacket was perfectly designed for riding in fall and winter conditions. It was one of the heavier jackets in the bunch and included a 100% seam-sealed waterproof rating. With that in mind, I put it through the gamut of winter riding conditions, including an, “I want to snow but think I will hail” storm, followed by intense, pouring rain.

On the colder test rides, I wore a base layer, riding jersey and flannel top under the jacket without any issues. The sleeve and torso lengths were a good fit and the hood pulled up easily over my helmet. The adjustable waistband kept the jacket snug and a slight drop seat prevented water or mud from finding its way down the shorts via gaper gap. Breathability was decent, and when I overheated on the climbs, simply opening the pit zips effectively cooled me off. Overall, I was impressed with the ability of the jacket to withstand foul weather while retaining a stylish appearance and functional design.


Women’s MT500 Spray Baggy Short $129.99

The Endura Women’s MT500 Spray Baggy Shorts are designed for riding on Scottish trails... need I say more? Aside from the lightweight, seam-sealed panels, the shorts have a stretch waistband with integral belt, zipped front pockets and thigh vents, and hem adjusters. Colors: black. Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large.

Much like the Singletrack Jacket, the MT500 Spray Baggy shorts were tested in horrid conditions. The shorts are solid black in color with a faint hexagon design on the hip panel. With the stretch waistband and integral belt, I would say the shorts run slightly large with the medium size being “baggy” on me. Looking at the sizing guide, I would be inclined to order a small without question. The MT500s have a 13-inch inseam that provided ample coverage for my legs and fit well over the top of my knee guards.

Nikki Rohan testing Fall Winter Riding clothing for Pinkbike in Bend OR in 2015
Nikki on Tyler's Traverse.


I spent a large amount of time climbing in these shorts while testing and I never utilized the thigh vents. Breathable? That’s left to be determined once the warmer temperatures arrive, but no complaints during fall/winter testing. As part of the testing, the Endura jacket and shorts and I took a trip to the local car wash for some pressure washing. I can honestly say that I walked away from a good 4-5 minutes of intermittent jet washing with only wet legs and socks. After that, the jacket and shorts were officially added to my list of “monsoon-proof” items.




GORE APPAREL

Gore Apparel is reputed to make the broadest range of clothing for cycling in inclement weather. They claim to focus on performance for each piece, as well as utilizing the most appropriate fabric possible for each item’s designed usage, and they pretty much wrote the book on waterproof and windproof breathable fabrics.

Tyler Horton static clothing shots
Tyler with the Power Trail Gore-Tex Active Jacket and Power Trail WS 2-in-1 Pant.


Power Trail Gore-Tex Active Jacket $299.99

The Power Trail Gore-Tex® Active Jacket utilizes Gore’s Active Membrane technology. Not sure what exactly that means in terms of waterproof and breathability numbers, as that information is not on their site, but it’s easy to surmise that it’s designed for high-output exercise. Unlike most other jackets tested, there is no venting other than opening the zipper. There is a small stash pocket near the cuff of the left sleeve, as well as a semi-concealed Napoleon style front zip pocket on the left breast for media and smaller items. There are two cinch cords for the hood and for the waist, but no roll-up feature for the hood. Colors: red, blizzard blue (featured), black. Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

The Power Trail Gore-Tex® Active Jacket was the only jacket sent to me in a size large. The fit was good, but still fairly form-fitting - think XC cut vs. a trail riding cut - so if you are inclined to normally go for a size medium jacket, I might recommend stepping up a size. Sleeve and torso length were bang on otherwise. The cuffs, though, were fairly tight—I was unable to remove the jacket without first removing my gloves. The hood was non-binding when deployed over my helmet, even with a pack on. There’s a drop in the seat to help keep trail debris off your bum.

Despite my misgivings about the lack of pit zips for venting during high-output riding, I was impressed by the overall breathability of the Power Trail Jacket. As for water repellency - it’s Gore-Tex® - of course it’s waterproof! The lack of a 3D hood adjustment, combined with no way to roll the hood up, was a bit disappointing, as it flapped somewhat at higher speeds while descending. But, the adjusters for both were easy to operate with gloves on. This jacket is easily lightweight enough to be stuffed into one’s pack “just in case” year ‘round, not just for fall and winter riding.


Power Trail Wind Stopper Soft Shell 2-in-1 Pants $229.99

The Power Trail Wind Stopper® Soft shell 2-in-1 Pant are constructed primarily of Gore Wind Stopper® fabric with wear resistant patches on the butt and inner thighs. It has a partially elastic waistband with grippy rubber on the inside of the waistband but no waist tabs or drawstring to fine-tune the fit. There is a cargo pocket on the outside of the right thigh. It’s touted as baggy short upper meets with a wind proof tights lower. Colors: brilliant blue/black, and black (featured). Sizes: small, medium, large (featured), and X-large.

The fit on these was as advertised - it’s basically a tight's lower and a baggy short's upper combined into a single garment. As such the fit was snug on my lower thighs (not constricting, but noticeably snug) while the waist was disconcertingly loose, particularly with no waist tabs, drawstring, or belt loops to help secure them in place. These, too, were a size large whereas all the other clothing tested was size medium; if you are considering this or any of the other Gore items, it might be wise to go up a size vs. what you normally wear.

Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.
Tyler on "Sexy Beast" up in Post Canyon.


For a cold, windy day with minimal rain and no mud, these pants would be ideal. But in the Pacific Northwest, it’s infrequent that the weather is cool enough to require pants like these without the rain coming in sideways, or mud like peanut butter coating the trails. Additionally, without any way to fasten the pants in place on my waist, when standing out of the saddle for hard climbing or descending, they began to work their way off my hips, making it entirely too easy to hook the saddle. Consequently, my lower legs and my butt got soaked from water coming off my wheels during testing. This got noticeably worse as the seat of the pants got more and more saturated with water and splattered with mud, forcing me to stop occasionally in order to hike the pants up. And, since the Power Trail Wind Stopper® soft shell 2-in-1 Pant's lower leg is basically a tight, shoes must be removed to either pull the pants on or to remove them.

While I can’t fault the warmth or the wind protection offered by the Gore Power Trail WS soft shell 2- in-1 pant, the lack of any kind of waist retention and the lack of any kind of water resistance killed them for me. Something else from the Gore line or from this test series would likely be more appropriate for riding in the wet slop we typically find here, but if you ride in snow or just cold and dry conditions, these might work for you.

Tyler Horton static clothing shots
The Gore Power Trail Active Jacket and Active Short.


Power Trail Gore-Tex Active shorts $159.99

The Power Trail Gore-Tex® Active Short is a no frills over-short, sewn from Gore’s Active membrane for use when the rain and snow are doing their worst. There’s a small key pocket on the inside of the left waistband, but otherwise, it’s just a simple short that can be secured with a drawstring. It has a 14” inseam and a reflective logo on the side. There is no fly or exterior pockets. Color: black. Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large.

Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.


Think of this as a poncho for your legs. That’s about how it fits. It’s basically something to pull out of your pack when the shit’s hitting the fan, weather-wise - but for a ride all day item, it’s not ideal. It’s plenty roomy and sheds rain and mud quite well, though, and breathes adequately, but I’d hesitate to purchase this as a daily driver short. However, it is the perfect item to keep on hand if your ride might take a turn for the backside of Mother Nature.

Nikki Hollatz Pinkbike static clothing shots
Nikki with the Gore Element Active Lady Jacket and Pants.


Element Gore-Tex Active Lady Jacket $219.99

The Gore Bike Wear Element Gore-Tex® Active Lady Jacket, similar to the pants, is a “versatile and lightweight Gore-Tex® Active Shell cycling jacket for the female recreational cyclist. The women's jacket provides comfortable fit and reliable rain and wind protection.” The jacket has two side pockets, wrist Velcro adjustments and a Velcro fastening for a separate hood that was not included in the review. Colors: neon yellow/white, ruby red/lumi orange, waterfall/ice blue, fresh green/neon yellow, black, jazzy pink/blaze orange, jazzy pink/magenta, blizzard blue/brilliant blue (featured). Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

This jacket was one of two I tested that was form fitting (i.e. an XC cut) and it lacked much in the way of a drop seat to protect me from water and debris coming off the rear tire. The size medium cut fit me perfectly in sleeve and torso length, and I was able to take the jacket on and off easily over my riding gloves. This jacket was one of the lightest weight ones tested, and like the Pearl Izumi, while it lacked a built in hood, it still repelled the rain and cold effectively. But, that should be expected from a company with “Gore” in its name.

While the jacket lacks built in venting, I think the lighter construction as well as the breathability of the fabric made it such that I didn’t have any noticeable issues with overheating during my test rides. Overall, I would say the jacket is well designed and ready to withstand most winter riding conditions, although with the minimal drop seat, I’d avoid extended outings in creek beds and mud bogs.


Element Gore-Tex Active Lady Pants $199.99

Gore Bike Wear describes the Element Gore-Tex® Active Lady pants as a “lightweight and multifunctional Gore-Tex® Active over pants for the female recreational cyclist.” The pants are made of a soft material which is comfortable and offers reliable protection from rain and wind. The pants have a drawstring waist in the front and elastic back. The inseam on the pants (regardless of the sizing) is a consistent 31.5” – a tad bit long for my legs, but they worked fine with the Velcro ankle adjustments. The pants have one small mesh zipper pocket on the backside and a small reflective logo below the knees.Colors: black (featured) and black/yellow. Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

Testing the “lady” pants coincided with my first time wearing pants mountain biking (I’m more of a shorts and leg warmer type). I was pleasantly surprised at how effective they were at blocking the wind and cold, and the Gore-Tex® material did its job keeping me dry. The Active lady Pants fit loosely and comfortably, and slid on and off over my riding shoes easily.

Nikki Hollatz testing Fall Winter Riding clothing for Pinkbike in Bend OR in 2015
Nikki puts Gore-Tex Active lady pants and Jacket to task near Bend, Oregon.


During testing, the pants had a tendency to slide down lower on my hips, catching on my seat on occasion. I tried pulling the drawstring tighter, but there’s no cinch and without knotting it tightly (potentially difficult to undo with gloves on), they continued to loosen whenever I was climbing or descending out of my saddle. Given that the companies sent the sizes we requested for these reviews, I am inclined to think a size small would have fit my frame better, but a simple cinch cord tab on the waist would have also helped. Overall, I was impressed with the lightweight functionality of the pants and will consider adding pants to my mountain biking wardrobe once my leg warmers have been trashed beyond repair.




PEARL IZUMI

Pearl Izumi is based in Boulder, Colorado, but has its roots going back over fifty years to Japan. The Boulder-based enterprise has been the nexus of Pearl Izumi design since 1989 and seeing as how the weather coming off the Flatiron Mountains a stone’s throw away from HQ can translate into snow in May, it’s safe to say that Pearl Izumi knows a thing or two about making clothing that performs in foul weather.

Tyler Horton static clothing shots
The Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Jacket and MTB WxB Short.


Men’s MTB WRX Jacket $175

Pearl Izumi Men’s MTB WRX Jacket is their go-to trail riding jacket for wet and rainy conditions. It features venting slits under the arms as well as a vent on the back of the hood, neither of which can be seal closed, but they are shielded from direct exposure to rain or snow. The MTB Barrier fabric is touted as wind and water protective with a waterproof/breathability rating of 10k/30k. There are no cinch cords for the hood or the waist - rather, the jacket is designed with a clingy, stretchy material around the edge of the hood and a snug fit at the waist. As a bonus, the arms are roomy enough to easily allow the use of elbow guards if needed, and the sleeves feature abrasion-resistant patches right where you would need them. Colors: black, citronella (featured). Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

This is another great fitting jacket. The arms are just long enough, the torso length is perfect, and there’s enough room for an extra layer if need be. It’s more of an XC style of fit, particularly as it tapers at the waist, but it’s not restrictive. The hood fits easily over a helmet with the zipper all the way up, and it stayed in place without restricting movement (even when wearing a hydration pack).There’s a decent drop seat on these, so the possibility of debris finding its way inside the shorts is minimized.

I found the MTB WRX Jacket to be an extremely well thought out piece - there’s everything you need and nothing extra, and what was missing, like the hood and waist cinches, wasn’t missed when worn. The lack of hood adjusters for use with the hood/helmet interface was actually kind of nice; the fit of the hood wasn't as tailored as jackets that had 3D adjusters, but then again there was no fumbling around for the tabs or pulls when the hood was deployed, either. The breathability of the WRX jacket, with its fixed venting slits was ok, I never put in any really hard efforts that overwhelmed the pit and hood vents. It was also lightweight enough that it would easily go into a pack for year 'round adventure riding instead of being just a fall/winter piece.


Men’s MTB WxB Short $100

The Men’s MTB WxB Short features a 2.5 layer waterproof/breathable laminate with a woven polyester face. The waist is elastic, with hook and loop adjusters to fine-tune the fit, while the generous leg openings are designed to fit over knee guards. There are no pockets and there is no fly. The waterproof/breathability factor on these is a reasonable, 5k/5k. Colors: black. Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large.

Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.
Tyler riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver, Oregon.


The fit was pretty much right on; I had to do very little fiddling with the waist tabs to get the fit perfect. The fit was great, and for the duration of this test, the shorts worked exceptionally well at repelling mud, sleet, and assorted other trail debris. This is a shell short that is meant to be worn over a liner short, knickers, or tights. It will work ok as a stand-alone short for foul weather rides, but it just doesn’t have the heft or reinforced fabric to be a stand-alone short for day in, day out long rides in nasty conditions. Think of this as more of a go to piece for the days when you want to get out on the trails and it could get nasty vs. something you’d wear when it’s raining sideways and you’re shuttling Fromme with your buddies until someone gets hurt.

Nikki Hollatz Pinkbike static clothing shots
Nikki with the Pearl Izumi Women's Barrier Jacket and the Elevate Shorts.


Women’s MTB Barrier Jacket $80

The Pearl Izumi Women’s MTB Barrier Jacket is a lightweight full-length centered zip jacket with a trail-specific fit. The Elite Barrier fabric provides superior wind protection and water resistance and the jacket is designed with abrasion resistant panels on the outside of the arms for durability. This is more of a wind shell than a full on rain jacket, and the construction echoes that: the body is 100% polyester without a waterproof/breathable laminate and there is no DWR treatment. Color: deep lake (featured). Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

This was the lightest weight jacket I tested and along the same lines as the Gore Bike Wear jacket - and similarly, it had an above the waist cut with drop seat and no hood.

Based on the product description, I chose to test the jacket on cold, mildly damp days and avoided the kind of weather that calls for a mask and snorkel. Overall, the jacket had a nice, true-to-size fit that did not restrict my upper body movements and offered good breathability during prolonged climbing. The extra abrasion resistant panels found on the outside of the jacket arms are a nice added feature. I will be packing this jacket for those cool evening rides on the central California coast when the fog rolls in and the temperatures drop.


Women’s Elevate Shorts $90

Pearl Izumi Women’s Elevate shorts are constructed from durable four-way stretch fabric and designed for aggressive trail riding. They have a relaxed fit, with a snap front closure and zip fly, two side pockets, one pocket on the rear waistband, and a 13” inseam (landing just below the top of my knee). The shorts have a water resistant DWR treatment and are light and breathable. Colors: dark purple, belgian block (featured). Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

The Elevate shorts were true to size and fit. Even with a slightly tapered hem, the shorts fit over various knee guards that I wore during the test rides without any gap between short and guards. The light and dark color blocking design was a nice variation from the solid color shorts I typically sport. The cut and design of the shorts make it an attractive and flattering clothing item. Given the timeline on testing these products, and an effort on my part to not crash on the frozen dirt, I didn’t get a chance to see how the lighter material holds up post “crash and burn,” but I imagine that the four-way stretch fabric would hold up well.

Nikki Hollatz testing Fall Winter Riding clothing for Pinkbike in Bend OR in 2015
Nikki on Tyler's Traverse.


Overall, I was impressed with these shorts and while I would not choose to wear them on the monsoon days when only an idiot or a product tester would be out on the trails, I would recommend them for anyone looking for a solid riding short that is designed to handle aggressive riding and inclement weather.




ROYAL RACING

Royal Racing was founded by riders - Steve Peat among them - who were tired of modified moto cross clothing that just didn’t work right for the needs of the gravity oriented mountain biker. And, they’ve been evolving their product line ever since, with input from world class riders like Peaty and Garett Buehler.

Tyler Horton static clothing shots
Tyler with the Royal Racing Matrix Jacket and Storm Short.


Matrix Jacket $139.95

The Royal Matrix Jacket features a typical three-ply 10k mm/10k m/g2 laminate fabric throughout the body of the jacket with two venting pockets (the website says three, but that must be a typo) as well as waterproof zippers, a 3D adjustable hood and an adjustable waist. This is a fixed hood with no roll up stowage feature. There is mesh throughout the inside of the jacket that allows smooth flow of the shell over inside layers. Colors: black, lime (featured). Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

This was a surprisingly roomy jacket, but then again, this shell is supposed to have a free-ride fit, so a looser fit overall vs. a clinging, XC fit. The hood easily fits over a trail helmet with the main zipper all the way up. There is reasonable drop to the back of the coat, so the possibility of trail debris getting down the back of the shorts is minimal.

For the most part, this was a great piece. This was a warm jacket that was absolutely bombproof in heavy precipitation. The fit on the hood was fantastic; it could easily be deployed even with the front zipper all the way up, and while a bit of the hood was visible in my peripheral vision, it wasn’t distracting. The pockets were located right where I needed them, and the fit was roomy enough for easy movement without being too loose - even though this was easily the roomiest jacket I tested. Adjusting the hood or the waist with gloves on was a snap.

My only two complaints are that the jacket breathed poorly despite the breathability rating. On my 30 minute pedal-up while testing, I quickly overheated, even with the venting pockets and the main zip wide open. Additionally, the cuffs on the sleeves were tight enough that I couldn’t remove the jacket without removing my gloves first. I’d say that for shuttle riding, the Matrix would be the cat’s meow, but for long, hard pedals, it might not work as well as other pieces I tested. It was also the heaviest piece I tested - not the jacket to stuff into your pack as a “just in case” item on an iffy day.


Storm Short $99.95

The Royal Storm Short is straight on order from the UK: as such it’s as water tight as a frog’s ass. The three-ply, four-way stretch fabric features the by now typical 10k mm/10k g/m2 waterproof/breathability rating. Waist adjustments are handled by a ratchet tab. Logos are reflective and the pockets feature waterproof zippers. Colors: black. Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large.

The Royal Storm Short was a wee bit more snug than the other shorts tested, but otherwise great. There’s plenty enough room for knee guards too. The back isn’t as high as the Race Face shorts, but I never did get that dreaded spray of cold misery down my backside from a gap between short and jacket.

Tyler Horton riding in Post Canyon outside of Hood RIver OR.
Tyler doing his best to not slip, slide away on the wet leaves in Hidden.


These shorts are a fantastic riding short that will keep the rain, mud, slush, snow and anything else on the trail from saturating your inner short and giving your nether regions a case of the cold and clammies. I tested them in absolutely miserable weather and came away dry as a bone. They breathed as advertised, as well. These are definitely not an over short to break out in case of foul weather, either; but rather a ride all day, rinse, and repeat short similar to the Race Face Winter Agent shorts.



Visit the Winter Gear gallery for full format and additional images


Words: Colin Meagher and Nikki Hollatz
Riders pictured: Tyler Horton and Nikki Hollatz
Images: Colin Meagher

MENTIONS: @dakinenews / @Endura / @raceface / @Royal-Racing

*All pricing is in USD


165 Comments

  • 127 0
 This was a very well put together article. Great layout and good clear photos, well done!!
  • 13 0
 What are the glasses both of them are wearing? And are they enduro or wet weather specific?
  • 2 0
 Smith Pivlock V2 glasses @gonecoastal
  • 1 0
 @nkrohan wanted them to be 100% so bad
  • 89 13
 Am I the only one who would never buy a 200 Dollar riding jacket? I mean since youre riding it in bad conditions it will be facing lots of abuse, crashes, mud and oil. I doubt most jackets will be usable long enough to justfy their price. Im sticking to cheap stuff that I can crash in witout the fear in my mind of destroying an extra 200.
  • 25 6
 Ya but that Oneal jacket looks like a rats ass
  • 13 0
 I ride with a 25 dollar perrorax rain jacket from Costco Big Grin works *good enough*
  • 11 0
 Have a look at Marmots pre cip jacket $110-120 and has worked great for me so far in the wet
  • 5 1
 I took a walmart windbreaker and gave it 2 generous coats of water-proofing with some clear.
It's held up a year so far. Total cost? $35
  • 17 0
 2 words: army surplus. You can get gore tex jackets, trousers, socks etc for next to nothing compared to bike clothing prices. ...and if you don't fancy camo theres also RAF blue.
I just got myself some gore tex trousers to cut down for riding shorts - £18
  • 10 0
 I've had a few shitty rain jackets because of the price, but they all started letting water in within a month or 2. Even an endura jacket would leak.

Once you go gore-tex, you don't go back. I've had a few small crashes as well and hasn't torn (yet).
  • 2 1
 @AlexRob grab ANY small sized apparel you can find there, and make a deal with me Wink
  • 30 0
 I would spend more to be honest, I use my jackets for climbing, riding and skiing, and a cheap jacket doesn't last me a season. I bought a 200+ dollar patagonia jacket on sale 4 years ago and still looks new, and I put it though the wringer. If i do rip it or break it, I'll send it back to patagonia and they will fix it for free.

You don't need to buy an expensive jacket, but if your in the mountians year round it's well worth the investment.
  • 4 0
 I got the berghaus vapour storm on sale for £99, gore text active, easily the best jacket ive had. Never get wet, breathes amazing and the fit is perfect. Anywhere around that price is right for a jacket imo.. rather spend more to keep dry then go cheap and suffer.
  • 2 0
 Marmot precip is my favorite jacket for rain rides. Got mine for 90$ at rei.
  • 2 1
 I have an Endura Laser jacket, cost me £35 (price goes up and down but always under £50) and it's day-glo yellow. More importantly it's breathable enough with some handy vents and it's properly waterproof. Not 'waterproof coating' that wears off in six days but actual waterproof fabric, I've tried more expensive jackets and keep going back to old reliable.
.
I also have an old Sombrio Storm jacket, the one with magnetic closure, it was glorious in it's day but now it's full of holes thanks to wearing it so much, bring it back Sombrio I want another one!
  • 1 0
 Grab bargains in last year clearout sales
I got a ton of bad weather gear to last year's in CRC's Sombrio clear out. Got aboot £400's worth for aboot £150
  • 4 1
 ha ha ... that Oneal jacket looks like the rigout of choice for our local shoplifters this year
  • 1 0
 I understand your dilemma. Big Grin If I decide to ride in winter as long as there isn't too much snow, I use a Gore Tex Windstopper semi-insulated soft shell from Marmot (Marmot ROM). It's quite resistant to scratches especially from crashes. I've crashed it many times. If it decides to rain, I have a cheap old North Face waterproof jacket with their hyvent material.

It's not really the mud and abuse that's a problem. These GoreTex, event and whatever are really built tough. Their not built for tough crashes though. But semi-insulated goretex windstopper soft shells are quite tough. I've tested it myself. I mean I actually crashed several times on my marmot rom jacket. www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBJ4WmZgxzg
Once, I used my GoreTex Pro mountaineering hard shell jacket in winter for mountain biking and I crashed. I made a big tear on my jacket. It was the worst decision ever. I almost cried. Luckily, it was still under warranty and somehow I managed to get it replaced. So my goretex pro jacket is only for skiing and/or mountaineering adventures. Crashes while skiing is a big forgiving since you land on snow (mostly and hopefully).

Most of my gear are interchangeable. I have mostly general outdoor gear since I do just about everything rock climbing, mountaineering, ski touring, and enduro/dh mtb. For cold temperatures, I use the same gloves for ski touring for mountain biking. Heck, I even use my urge enduromatic helmet of skiing. Of course, with a cap to cover my ears. Smile I also use my evoc freerider mtb backpack for skiing and day ski tours(except for mutliday tours).
  • 1 0
 This gear isn't expensive, compared to other outdoor gear. Anyone who Ski's or Snowboards can attest to this. A gore tex jacket for under $300 ? From Gore themselves? I was surprised.
  • 1 0
 Moto pants - $29
  • 7 0
 I'm lucky to have so much back hair, it's almost like wearing a waterproof jacket that's rated to 18,000mm. I'm gonna market it, call it something like Endura-Weave and have it trademarked before Marmot or someone tries to jump in and cut my lunch
  • 1 0
 Excellent choice!
  • 1 0
 @MattyPugh I also have the Vapour Storm, got it for the same price too so maybe even shopped at the same place as you. BUT, this jacket is what originally made me switch to cheaper army surplus stuff because even at that price I can't see it lasting long enough to be worth it (if I keep riding in it).

I've used the Berghaus for maybe 10 rides and crashed 4 times that I can remember. It's ripped twice already. The first time I landed in lovely soft mud and grass so I'm not sure how it ripped a 5cm by 5cm L shaped hole in the sleeve. The second time I did land on rock though so that's fair enough.
Neither of these crashes were high speed, bone breaking slams, just going OTB on slippery descents.

As a general waterproof jacket it is great though. It kept me dry and warm in the terrible weather at Fort William this year and it's the only jacket I've ever had that hasn't boiled me alive while riding. I'd fully recommend it for stuff like hiking or fell running where there's less chance of sudden contact with the ground.
  • 1 0
 Really depends on where your riding. Ireland or the UK in winter good weatherproof gear is a necessity.
  • 11 0
 Dang, quite the quantity of items. Was referred here by a friend because of the quality multitool reviews during winter. Guess my buddy Chester might have been mistaken.
  • 3 0
 @Deadskittles lol so true! but you forgot chester doesnt need a multitool... he uses his fingernails as a tire iron and bleeds his brakes in the same way you suck venom from a snake bite.
  • 8 0
 Bought the Endura MT500 pants several weeks ago to replace my aging Campmor waterproof pants. They look and fit great, but I have no idea whether they're really waterproof or not because we haven't had a decent rain storm here since I bought them! Maybe they're waterproof...or maybe they just keep rain from falling in the first place. $200 for a pair of rain pants seemed a bit excessive, but if they're really "weather controlling pants" maybe it's not such a bad deal. Carrying a pump in my pack seems to virtually guarantee that I don't have flats. Maybe carrying these in my pack will prevent rain...
  • 3 0
 I personally rode these pants in mixed rain and sleet on a 50 minute fire road climb during testing (so no trees to shelter under) and on the descent, a half mile section of the trail had 1-2 inches of water running on it. They shrugged that off with no worries. They are amazingly water proof.
  • 1 0
 That's comforting to hear. They sure LOOK like they're good stuff. Love the inseam length. I'm a little gangly and inseams are often too short for me, but these are perfect. Now if you could just make it rain, or better yet SNOW here...?Smile
  • 7 0
 This article is exactly what pink bike needs more of. I'd love to see group test of bikes, components. Bring 3 forks and go down the same trail, let us know the setup, the time difference and what you guys preferred.
  • 8 0
 Love to see a comparison table ala Consumer Reports to bring all these piece together—nice to see such detailed reporting.
  • 6 1
 i can vouch for the endure t500 awesome at keeping you dry and tough as f...! ! took a heavy crash on the steeps of the fort william world cup track sliding over sharp rocks and gravel not a mark on the cordura fabric. very pleased to have invested what i thought was a lot of money in just a jacket! money well spent!
  • 6 0
 got myself an Endura MT500 last year, riding in Germany so winter is pretty damp here too. coupled with a Goretex mountain schell pants and sealskinz socks. believe me when i say that I HOPED to come across some rainfall while riding Big Grin
  • 5 0
 some great looking kit there! I found mountain bike jackets didnt offer the tech or quality of older established sports clothing like climbing jackets. Arceteryx jackets for climbing are a great example! gore tex, light weight, helmet sized hoods, stretch panels etc. They are expensive, but a great alternative or comparison to specific bike brands.
  • 1 0
 Only downside to Arcteryx is they don't make anything in a cycling cut - most of their super technical stuff is for ice climbing.
  • 1 0
 I just bought and OR jacket for riding and the cut is great. Goretex paclite, pit zips, adjustable hood.. I'm happy!
  • 3 0
 I have the Alpha FL and although its a climbing jacket its light, Gore Pro, long in the arm, tight in the body, dipped back, big hood. Would say cimbing jackets are perfect for MTB'ing in my opinion. Still expensive though to be fair
  • 1 0
 You are all correct there are some nice options outside of companies that make gear and support MTB. We choose to feature those with cycling line ups though.
  • 2 0
 @Mbarnes designed and sometimes even made in Vancouver BC as well. It helps to be located in severe weather areas to learn how to make severe weather gear, Scotland seems to be no exception and the Endura gear I have is really good. The west coast gets progressively sh*ttier quickly from NorCal on up, weather wise. Yesterday the rain in Seattle looked like that first picture of getting blasted by the power washer! I will check out that Alpha jacket.
  • 1 0
 Agreed arcteryx gear is super for riding. There's only xc I'd be doing in mine and the ride to work. It's been awesome in the winters. 8years old and still going strong. No way I'd be smashing a trail wearing it though. Just a cheap one for that or just get wet
  • 4 0
 Even though I already see people bickering about stuff being too expensive I gotta say: THANK YOU for not putting any of those ridiculous luxury brands in there (you know, like 7mesh a.k.a. "today's-bargain-the-500$-rainjacket" or kitsbow a.k.a. the brand which sells a 200$ flannel shirt). Reading about those always makes me angry thinking about all the over-paid executive folks who ride once a year only to brag about their "crazy hobby" among the other office drones and who practice mountain biking mainly by throwing money at gadgets and expensive stuff...rant over, sorry for that Smile
  • 3 0
 I bought a Mavic Stratos H2O Jacket second hand off ebay. It was pretty much brand new -obvious as its white! The hood is crap but other than that it is thee most breathable waterproof I have ever used and I have used a lot of jackets for walking and mountaineering.
Its not white any more Smile
  • 5 0
 Winter is a relative term. In my world exposed skin isn't an option. The test conditions don't look that cold. I need gear to take me comfortably past the -10c point.
  • 5 0
 The conditions when we shot the imagery bholton were above freezing--not much; about 35F/+2-3C. But not cold enough for snow to be falling.

However, testing was done separately from the shooting--I had to test as well as shoot this piece; hard to do both at the same time. But we did two days of riding in conditions with temps down to -6C and other than adding an extra layer under the jackets, we were fine.
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude - thanks for the response and a great article/ review. That's the perspective I was looking for and I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. Time to shop winter gear!
  • 6 0
 I'm just gonna stay in with pizza and a fridge full of cold ones
  • 2 0
 Very informative article. The shorts look a bit "short", though, for long legged 6'+ riders, the dreaded pad gap, a perennial issue! Mavic's Stratos H2O 3/4s work great for tall riders and breathe amazingly, they are super light so could be a little fragile perhaps. Good with pads too. Length is similar to my old raceFace 3/4 dH shorts.
"The lightest MTB ¾ rain pant to stay dry on the wettest, muddiest trails.
Scuff Guard increases abrasion resistance in strategic areas - Dura Rain SL provides lightweight and increased abrasion protection (featherlight with only 150g). Dura Rain SL and Dura Rain ST are highly robust, waterproof, and extremely breathable. Specific MTB fit and stretch construction on the back for unrestricted movement."
All true IMO
I can vouch for the Gore "active' shell fabric, it totally repels the rain and breathes great with no need for pit zips in my Sweet Protection jacket. It's a touch "stiff" for a fabric targeted for "active sports", but that's not at all noticeable when on the bike.
  • 3 1
 Thanks for testing Winter gear in what everywhere outside of the PNW would consider spring/fall conditions. Go dress for -15C and hump yourself up and down climbs for an hour and report back how warm you are when drenched in sweat coasting down a descent face-first into 25kmh headwinds. That's winter riding!

Also, a summer waterproof shell with good breathability and a few extra layers is more than sufficient. Downside of lined jackets is that you have less control over your layers as conditions and body temp changes.
  • 6 1
 None of these jackets were lined other than with mesh to keep the fabric off the skin. And that was only in the Raceface, Royal Racing, and Endura items. Not too many people are out riding in -15C; typically that's XC ski or ride the trainer conditions.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, and if your are riding -15C, you just add base and mid layers to your outer waterproof shell and you're golden. I've been skiing, snoeshoeing, biking, etc. in the winter using an uninsulated hardshell for years now, and I wouldn't go back. I'm using a Flylow right now and couldn't be happier.
  • 1 0
 Disagreed. Tons of people ride in lower temperatures, especially city dwellers. Coming from Toronto, I would have loved to hear how these deal with actual winter.
  • 1 0
 same. 42 degrees is me riding in shorts and a jersey. But now that were getting powder here it's time for me to go ski some nice big mountain lines.
  • 1 0
 sherbet and dropoffsticks: biking85 has it right. Both testers did do some riding in below freezing temps and that's what we did and had no worries. In those kinds of conditions--well below freezing--it's actually fairly dry; any precip is snow and brushes off the clothing easily vs rain or sleet that sticks to the clothing. The main worry in those kind of temps is breathability; if you have too much on, you'll sweat more than the clothing can breathe out, and your under layers will get saturated and then cold the second you stop.

But for testing water proofness and breathability, the testing we did at 35F/2.5C in mixed rain and sleet was pretty rigorous. I genuinely did NOT want to be out testing that day--it was f-g miserable. I put in nearly two hours of climbing in that crap, and tested 3 kits before I called it quits. Had it merely been cold--say 25F/-4/5C, I'd have happily put in another lap. And no--I was not wearing the white knuckle gloves that day as I was not testing the Dakine gear. Rather, I was wearing an old pair of Fox Polar Paw gloves that are no longer manufactured, which is a pity because those things are amazing. They lasted two laps. I wore a pair of Giro Pivots I have for my final lap that day.
  • 1 0
 ahh thanks for clearing that up.
  • 2 0
 I would like to see more companies developing riding jackets and jerseys for tall riders.
It it a real b*tch trying to find a decent length riding top that doesn't feel like I am wearing a moo-moo!

I eventually found a jacket at: www.aerotechdesigns.com/tall-man-cycling-apparel.html

I purchased ATD TALL Men's Thermal Softshell Jacket, the jacket fits perfectly and I did not have to buy a XXXL!
The color combinations and selection do leave something to be desired.
  • 3 1
 $300 for a jacket im gonna rip the first time i lay the bike down? $100+ for shorts i can only wear in one season?

this is why people complain about the bike industry.

i wear my summer stuff with extra layers off of brand outerwear and have zero issues...
  • 2 0
 I had the Gore ALP-X 2.0, also with Gore-Tex Active, and I found that it really didn't breathe well. Waterproofing doesn't matter much if you're drenched in your own sweat inside the jacket. I found the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic jacket and it's far superior. The length is a tiny bit short for riding, but the sleeve length is totally fine. And it breathes incredibly well. Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q Active is way better than Gore-Tex Active.
  • 2 0
 I'm a fan of pit zips for venting. I didn't have too many issues with breathability on the Gore piece during testing, and I rode fairly hard, but the breathability of the Endura piece was by far the best.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I must sweat a lot because pit zips don't fully cut it for me. Might try the Endura if I fall out of love with my MHW jacket.
  • 2 0
 I think it's great that we have so many options. It's surprising though that these shorts are still so short. Wouldn't we want a little extra coverage when it's wet and cold out? Why don't winter shorts gain a couple of inches in length to seal up that gap between the hem and your pads? We don't need the capris of old, just a little bit more length.
  • 4 0
 Gore Tex socks are a must, such a game changer to have dry feet on a wet ride
  • 4 0
 When the weather turns, as long as it's not too far below zero, then waterproof socks and gloves, a decent base layer and lightweight jersey covered in a packable waterproof jacket is plenty. I always need to take the jacket off after the first climb too, unless it's drowning grade rain...
  • 1 0
 I've made the switch to sealskin socks (neoprene) when you sweat out your socks these still keep your feet warm. After making the switch last winter I had very little issues with my feet being cold ever down to 5 degree temps.
  • 1 0
 It's expensive if not on sale but the Gore stuff is pretty solid as long as the fit is right. I got mine off at half of msrp from amazon which it made it pretty reasonable. Arcteryx is awesome as well but usually stupid expensive...
  • 3 0
 My RF Chute jacket is awesome. Warm, very weatherproof, good fit. Took it skiing in whistler on Sunday at -3 and it was great.
  • 1 0
 I'll admit I own an Arc'teryx Beta SV rain jacket but I would never wear it for mountain biking. Like many here I too am concerned with crashes at high speeds on less than forgiving ground.

So I just bought a neo shell light weight wind proof waterproof jacket from Sugoi on sale (black Friday)

It fits great but the front zipper pokes/bends outward near my chest which is SUPER annoying. However overall it does what it's suppose to.
  • 1 0
 What about real cold riding? 0 Degree F and Up. Staying dry seems easy compared to frozen toes and fingers. I battle being too hot or too cold when its really cold out there. 10 degree F is cold. 42 isn't. What foot wear is suitable for the frozen tundra?
  • 1 0
 The Lake MXZ 303's are nice and warm down to 0*F and even a bit below from my experience. Especially when paired up with the 45Nrth Jazztronaught footbed, as I found the stock footbed to pack out and lose its ability to insulate the bottom of your foot from the frozen metal cleat a few mm's away. No clipless MTB winter boot is going to be cheap though, so set your expectations around the $250+ mark if you want to be clipping in when it gets that cold out.
Cheapest and easiest, and arguably the warmest way to keep feet comfortable in the coldest of winter days is to just run flats with a nice warm winter boot and a pair of gaiters. For hands, pogies are going to keep you the warmest, but they obviously are not for everyone and have their own set of drawbacks/disadvantages. The White Knuckle gloves they review here do an impressively great job by themselves and especially when paired with a thin wool liner glove, they can go down to 0*F if your working hard and your body is warmed up. I've been out in -10*F in Answer "Sleestacks" and the same wool liner and been super comfortable. Both of those hit a good price point, and have good "bar feel" as the palms are extremely thin.
www.answerproducts.com/apparel/gloves/sleestak
  • 1 0
 Metacomet is right on, chileconqueso; winter SPD compatible shoes are the way to go. I invested in a pair of the Shimano SH-MW80s about 4 years ago and they are still going strong. NOT cheap shoes, though; the new version, called the MW7 is about $200 but they are gore-tex/thinsulate. Check sizes at a bike shop, though, and make sure you get the fit that will work best for you. Layering feet is tricky, if you have too much stuff on your foot and cram it into a tight fitting shoe, you'll constrict blood flow and actually get colder than if you were wearing a lighter weight sock.
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude
Great point about shoe sizing! The MXZ's run so small and narrow it's ridiculous for a winter shoe. Unless you have feet like Cinderella, you'll probably want to go up a size/size and a half and get the "wide" version. Then they Should be just about right while giving you the option of running a thicker wool sock, and/or layering your socks effectively with a liner and vapor barrier combo, and still have room without being compressed.
Winter shoes tend to be built well, so if you really want to be out there, it is an investment you will forget about and smile back on after your first couple comfortable yet frighteningly cold rides.
  • 1 0
 1- RaceFace is in Burnaby.. not North Van Razz
2- Chute jacket is too warm for any pedally north shore riding about 0 centigrade (32F) unless you are shuttling laps.
3- Endura Mt500 Shorts , kneepads Gore or decent Merino socks are all you need for your lower half here in PNW. your east coast milage may vary.
  • 1 0
 I got the Royal Matrix jacket for the bike park and quickly discovered, like Tyler found testing, how hot this jacket is! the handful of days we get snow in the park its perfect but just a normal summer rainy day its way to much, I would never consider going for a trail ride with this one. If it had under arm zipped vents it would be a lot better but for now its my winter getting to work jacket!
  • 1 0
 I've got an Endura MT500 and had its predecessor too. I'm not impressed by the longevity of the DW coating - I've tried all the usual tricks (tech washes in pre-cleaned washing machine, re-proofing followed by tumble drying) and after a couple of years it just wets out in even light rain. And the zips they use are poor quality too - one chest zip was so stiff it snapped off the first time I used it, and the main zipper is basically dead after 2 years of use. For that kind of cash I expect a bit more life out of it. On the plus side, I found it breathes quite well, the inner cuffs work well and are detachable, the vents are well thought out, it has a forearm pocket perfect for lift passes, and the cut is excellent.
  • 1 0
 With the mention of GORE-TEX Active, I'm surprised (in my scan of the article) to not see a mention of the new GORE-TEX Active with a permanent beading surface. In short, there's a soon to be released series of products that will have the same name, but that promises to be a big evolution of waterproof/breathable shells. Hold on to your dollars for a bit...

news.gorefabrics.com/en_gb/products/garments/revolutionary-gore-tex-active-products-permanent-beading-surface
  • 1 0
 The clothing reviewed was all current and available off the shelf gear vs 2017 release products.
  • 1 0
 For me riding in 22 degree weather I was comfortable wearing Seal skin socks with regular socks underneath paired with my 5.10 shoes. Dakine Descent shorts (legs never get cold) Dakine windstopper GORE gloves, Scott Ski jacket (overkill), Under Armor compression jersey, and Ear muffs.

I pretty much lasted 3 hours riding in 22 degree weather. Felt perfectly fine even when the wind got a little harsh.
  • 1 0
 on the endura trousers, would people wear these with only a shorts liner underneath? Just wondering if they would feel weird.

I know when hiking i would wear walking trousers, and if it were raining i would put waterproof trousers over the top?

Just wondering if the enduras were cosy enough inside to be against the skin?
  • 1 0
 I wore the Enduras at about 35-38F with Giro bib liner shorts and the Raceface Sub Zero guards and was fine. Actually, that's what I wore for every ride, regardless of whether I was wearing shorts or trousers, excepting a couple test sessions where I wore a pair of Raceface Indy knee guards with D3O. But those got really stiff at around freezing temps and were uncomfortable, which is why I recommended the sub zeros.
  • 1 0
 I ended up buying some north face and arc teryx gore tek jackets, it was a bit pricy but well worth the cost and they last and take abuse. Also they have life time warranty, keep you dry as hell. Was using cheap shit before, and so happy i purchased this stuff.
  • 1 0
 In case no one noticed, Marmot PreCip. Our local shop Frugal Backpacker had them in bulk a few year back for $15. They had tons of mens and womens. Best bike riding piece of kit I think I've ever lucked out on.

If I'd known how useful it would have been over the last few years, I'd have paid full pop for it, but you can find it through tons of sites for cheap. The pit zips work awesome, the collar has a fleece lining, the tail drops perfect for riding and the hood, and waist have simple. static style tension pulls to adjust fit. It's lightweight and functional.

Have any of you noticed that a bunch of us are raving about the Marmot PreCip? Have you?
  • 1 0
 Alexsin--there was no gap in any of the shorts with the light weight armor that was worn, or even with the heavier knee guards Tyler was wearing with the Dakine shorts (opening action shot of the men's gear) which had the shortest inseam of the bunch. If you are worried about a gap, then I suggest either the royal shorts or the Raceface shorts with their internal gaiter. That can be cinched down just above knee armor and eliminate that area for allowing water to spray up your legs. Best bet though, were those endura pants. The overlap between the cuff and my shimano winter shoes ensured that no water sprayed onto my socks and then wicked into my shoes.
  • 1 0
 I have said it before and I will say it again, I wish there were really thin warm gloves. I like the extra protection, as well as feeling my fingers, but I just can't stand wearing gloves. the struggle is real
  • 2 0
 Have you tried the White Knuckle gloves they reviewed here? I have put a lot of time in mine over the last two seasons, and they really are great at keeping your hands warm while having absolutely No feeling of bulkiness. They feel like like a minimalist style regular riding glove. No insulation on the palm, and no bulky materials or insulation between the fingers. Its just thin windproof insulation on the back of the hand. And they're very very reasonably priced. Your going to look at them and feel them, and think there is no way they will keep your hands barely any warmer than a regular pair of summer time full fingers, but they will and they will do it well. It depends on the activity level, and when its way below freezing your gonna want another pair of much warmer gloves as a backup, but once your body is warmed up these will maintain your hands at a very comfortable temperature even in some pretty serious cold. They are also roomy enough to fit a very thin wool liner glove, and that boosts their insulation considerably without drastically changing the bar feel or comfort or fit of the glove. I've worn mine comfortably down to about 0*F when the activity is high and my body is warmed up.
  • 4 1
 id rather just get out the jeans and an old hoody and go out, much cheaper!
  • 5 1
 What are pounds and Fahrenheit?
  • 4 0
 Nicely done Colin. It's about time someone did this.
  • 3 0
 As my friend Dave said- "yeah,I've had Dakine gloves.... 'Da cold Kind' and 'da wet kind' "
  • 1 0
 If I'm spending that kind of $$$, it's going into my bike. I just throw on some layers, shoe covers, and a pair of 2.5mm neoprene diving gloves, and I'm toasty warm at tiny fraction of the cost.
  • 1 0
 I have a whole collection of breathable waterproof jackets. Just like all of these i prefer to purchase jackets in the too hundredddead range. Excellent review of many jackets. Thank you.
  • 4 1
 Quick copy/paste into Word reveals EIGHT THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND THIRTY SIX (8836) WORDS.

PAY THE MAN!
  • 2 0
 great article aggregating a ton of mini reviews into one comprehensive survey. appreciated! i'm a bit surprised these weren't spread out as a series of individual articles
  • 1 0
 Quick tip for the UK,buy army issue genuine sealskins(WVR),exactly the same and only a £10 a pair online,from army surplus store.
  • 1 0
 Wow, that's a lot work!. For clothes, you definitely need to wear each piece for some time before coming up with a good review. For all those above, quite a lot of work...
  • 3 0
 I Agree with you and.... on pictures clothes are so clean.....
  • 1 0
 I agree about the clothes being clean, but MAYBE they have taken the pictures at the begining of the tests to show the attractiveness of the clothes, then they went full mud.
  • 3 0
 It's hard to show detail on clothing when it's covered in mud. And this wasn't a long term test series, but rather a first impressions review, so clothing was shot before it got filthy. And it did get filthy.
  • 1 2
 This is pretty ridiculous... I bought this ( www.amazon.com/Bellwether-Screaming-Meemie-Jacket/dp/B003UWEN80 ) for $40 and always take it with me on wet rides and it has always kept me warm and my upper body 100% dry. I just wear my normal riding gear underneath and my pack on the outside so I lose no storage capability or comfort. Best gear purchase I've made besides helmets that my life. $200 for a jacket is nuts.
  • 9 0
 Not if you live in Scotland or the PNW
  • 1 1
 I ride below in pouring rain multiple times a season..
  • 2 0
 You are here talking about jackets ... and i was just here looking at the PATROL!
  • 1 0
 I know women don't make up a huge segment of the sport, but, for winter riding, the companies supplied the guy with pants and the woman gets shorts. Cool.
  • 2 0
 We tested what the companies sent us. The only companies that sent pants were Gore and Endura, and both companies make women's pants as well as men's pants; and Nikki did test a pair of pants from Gore.
  • 3 0
 I ride with a 99 cents poncho from the dollar store.
  • 2 0
 come on pink bike, all europe go to Decathlon for some good stuffs at low price , like 40$ jacket and not a 200$ jacket
  • 1 0
 You get what you pay for, MisterJones. If a $40 jacket works for you when it's raining hammers and you still need to get a ride on, then that's great. But I've been unsuccessful in finding the performance and durability that I like for $40.
  • 1 0
 just don't want spent 500$ for some clothes
  • 1 0
 Nobody wants to spend $500 for some clothes. But if you need performance apparel for something, or any other special performance gear for that matter, to do the job right, you'll have to pony up. I paid full price for a pair of those Shimano SH-MW80s 5 years ago and I'm just now looking to replace them. In that time I've put in well over 300 days of riding on those shoes. That was money well spent, I'd say. And I have a Gore jacket from that same era that is still going strong, despite a number of crashes in it (although I will be trading that out for something from the test series--it was getting fugly).
  • 1 0
 Arcytex venta sv - that is all you need. It works on a very wide range of temperatures. All the cycling specific jackets are not even close.
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude I can't seem to find anyone in Europe that stocks the White Knuckle gloves in Large, is that a discontinued product?
  • 3 1
 so much nice stuff. Next trend is enduro pants
  • 1 0
 You just picked up some cold gear when you should have been getting enduro pants.
  • 1 0
 You know your exactly right, regret has already set in
  • 1 0
 I still don't understand why don't more companies manufacture pants. Shorts are for summer ffs, why on earth would anyone wear them in December? As soon as the temperature drops below 20 degrees (Celsius, not Fahrenheit) I put on long pants. Plus they protect your shins from branches etc.
  • 2 0
 Yeah your probably right. I do have to admit im a wimp when it comes to cold weather as I live in California. My cold rides are like 40 f and im cold because im spolied with warmth almost year long
  • 2 0
 So there is nothing on a college budget....I'll just ride numb
  • 2 4
 I hear ya. These pictures belong in a fashion catalog. Biking has turned into a rich mans sport with way too many d-bags caring way too much about how they look and what brand is across their chest. Love catching one of these idiots on a hard climb or dropping on a descent.
  • 2 0
 Just had to get another T-shirt for "winter" here... about 5 bucks.
  • 1 0
 Cant believe how many companies they used. great review pink bike! Best ever.
  • 1 0
 ... am I the only bloke who prefers the colour of the women's Endura jacket ?
  • 2 0
 Im too poor to ride in the cold :/
  • 1 0
 very informative article, been using Gore-Tex® for years, very satisfied with its long term durability
  • 2 0
 That's cute that you guys consider that "winter"!
  • 1 0
 I didnt even read the articles because I noticed the prices first. Great photos anyways!
  • 1 0
 Or just wear a few layers of old cloths...those thin wool shirts from Costco and a sweater or hoodie.
  • 2 1
 Are any of these clothes blood proof cause i put a gun to my head reading this crap.
  • 1 0
 Great if you can afford a $300 jacket that has the real potential to get ripped apart if you crash or snag on a branch.
  • 2 0
 K-WAY Jacket.
  • 2 1
 They can eat my shorts before I pay that much for a pair if them ...
  • 2 3
 The raceface jacket is 100% useless for anyone who's considering getting one. Mine doesn't keep any moisture away at all, and doesn't even slightly block the wind.
  • 1 0
 I also have that race face jacket. I first off washed it with tek wash then coated it with Dwr spray, its been keeping me dry and warm for a while now. You can get that wash and spray at most outdoor shops (e.g. MEc)
Very happy with the jacket.
  • 1 0
 Great article,more of the same please. Maybe the reviewers could nominate their favourite pick to help us e-riders choose. I have the raceface chute jacket in black. Very happy with it. I have used it for riding, skiing and going to the pub. It is a quality garment. I wouldn't choose it for very strenuous rides as it is not super breathable, however, using the pit zips and the main zipper it is still a good choice for uppy downy riding. It is also kind of heavy (size L 400 grams)and bulky to pack inside your bag but is made of heavy duty fabric that can take the knocks. Also works well as a ski/snowboard jacket with an insulating layer underneath. I would buy again with no hesitation.
  • 2 0
 I have the RF Chute as well... too warm to climb with and doesn't repel rain very well. Even after treatment. I use it for commuting on dry days.
  • 1 0
 if you read the reviews closely, integralnz, it's clear who the winners are.
  • 1 0
 Right you are Mr Meager, it's such a detailed review that it deserves to be read more than once, thanks again such a banger review. Was skiing to day in my Raceface chute whilst listening to some tunes on my phone and found an issue that might be worth considering by others who ride with music or pull their phone out at every stop. The media pocket in the chute is only internally accessible, that means zipping down the main zip to access the media pocket zip, that can be pretty chilly when its blowing its tits off!
  • 1 0
 Hmm, good point integralnz--I never ride with tunes so I didn't notice that other than the fact that it had a pocket.
  • 1 0
 at these prices i just might start a gofundme campaign to buy one...
  • 3 3
 Every single item of dakine gear I've ever owned has fallen apart. Their quality control is seriously lacking
  • 4 1
 Mine too, ski gear from them dissolves after one back country trip. I do have a hand held edge sharpener that has been reliable!
  • 3 1
 Had a pair of their summer riding gloves come unstitched on the first ride out, and before that, a backpack literally fell apart at the seams.
  • 3 1
 I agree wholeheartedly with @Benji-man on this. I have the reviewed Dakine Scout shorts, some of their summer gloves and a 2L jacket. Let's see....where do we start? The Scout shorts fit great in the waist and feel super nice. The pockets are too deep and wide to the point where you can't have anything other than dollar bills in them. The crotch hangs down too far and catches the seat constantly. There is no waterproofing on the shorts but luckily they wick quickly. NOT winter shorts though. The gloves' stitching fell apart on the second ride. Restitched them as they were $15 gloves. Another area came unstitched. The jacket's zippers broke on the main zipper and left pocket within 3 months. As for breathability it's like wearing a glad bag. I have a $10 Showers Pass closeout that works better but doesn't have a butt flap. The design of the hood to fit a helmet over seems great in theory but sucks because you can ONLY wear this jacket on the bike.
Basically, it's amazing people continue buying their products. They are poorly designed, poorly made and offer nothing to cyclists. I have all my stuff in a box and am going to drop it off for their head designer in HR. They can keep that crap. I've moved on to Endura and never looked back.
  • 1 0
 A hood on a cycling jacket? Why would I need that?
  • 4 0
 I used to ask myself that, Happymtbfr, but pedaling up an hour long climb in rain and sleet changed my tune.
  • 1 0
 ok, thanks! I would need to be extremely slow to manage an hour long climb here in Stockholm, then I understand why i don't feel the need.
  • 1 0
 Most of the stuff out here means a good, stiff climb right out of the gate, Happymtbfr. I wish we had just simple rolling terrain! The bulk of my testing was done on a 50 minute 10km/2000 vertical foot elevation gain climb. The descent was 6.5 km on the trail. Even my local 20km road ride has 1600 feet of climbing on it.
  • 1 0
 What's with only the women shorts being in other colours than just black?
  • 1 0
 The raceface agent winter shorts also come in red. Check the article.
  • 2 0
 Alpinestars was solicited for clothing for this review, as well, but their Outrider WR shorts never arrived. They come in charcoal, blue, and black. I've go a personal pair that so far have worked well and have withstood two, hard crashes. But as far as black goes, we're talking about shorts that are meant to be ridden in pretty horrific conditions. Why use anything else?
  • 1 0
 because many people would rather look good...
  • 1 0
 @meagerdude okay thanks! Last saw a guy wearing brown and grey fox shorts, looked pretty cool. But I agree, in terms of durability black is probably best. But brightening up the landscape is cool too sometimes. Will read the article properly when I get home again instead of scanning at work. Thanks for answering!
  • 1 0
 These are the reviews I'm most interested in. Thanks P.B.
  • 1 0
 My Macpac is still going strong after 4 years of abuse
  • 1 0
 Two thumbs up great article !!!
  • 1 0
 THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION HAS FOUR THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED WORDS.
  • 1 0
 what are the glasses he is wearing?
  • 1 0
 I love my gore jacket
  • 1 0
 ... of them ...
  • 1 0
 That orange though
  • 1 0
 Do this all the time!
  • 1 0
 awesome article!
  • 1 0
 Mudhugger
  • 1 0
 No shoes???
  • 1 0
 First time stepping up to a review like this, mel22b; next year we will also test a few pairs of shoes. For a personal recommendation, though, I'd say try the Shimano SH MW7; I've worn the predecessor to this shoe for years and loved it. I also tried the Specialized shoe (not sure if they are still making one) and liked it but the fit was really narrow. But there are a number of options out there: Lake, Northwave, Sidi, Mavic, etc. Just try before you buy as the sizing can be tricky, and don't get a shoe that's too big anticipating that you'll be wearing super thick or two pair of socks (unless you are riding in -15C or colder weather); rather you want a shoe that you can comfortably wear a pair of mid weight wool socks in and call it good, as the insulation on the shoes is pretty good. Too thick of socks and you'll either be swimming in those shoes or cramming your feet in which will cut circulation and actually work to freeze your feet off in short order.

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