As year-round cyclists – everybody at Coast In Bikes is trying and purchasing new products this winter to keep warm & comfortable during these cold and wet months.
Here are a some of favorite new additions to our gear we carry at the shop.
Revelate Designs Williwaw Pogies
$95 for the pair
Reviewed by Carolyn
I can never keep my hands warm during the winter months despite how many hand warmers and layers of mittens that I wear. Last winter, I bought Bar Mitts to keep riding in those below-zero wind chill days we were having and the Bar Mitts made it possible for my hands to keep up with the commuting during the winter months.
This winter I bought the Revelate Designs Williwaw Pogies and have been using them for over a month now. They are much warmer, stiffer and easy to install. They stay where I want them and despite leaving them on my bike all over the city – haven’t had problem with theft (yet…and I have both fingers crossed!). An added bonus is that I can keep using my lighter fall gloves into the winter without having to switch to bulkier, less dexterous winter lobster gloves.
Would be nice if there was an internal pocket for hand warmers on those really chilly days.
They are made in Alaska and the company Revelate Designs makes a variety of frame, handlebar and seat bags popular with fat bikers and bikepackers, including the Surly and Salsa bags. With a lifetime warranty and solid construction I’m sure these will last many winters keeping my hands comfortable one Arctic vortex after another.
Buff: Wool Buff
Reviewed by Jordan
The Wool Buff is a great alternative to a scarf. You get a similar amount of warmth without the bulkiness or loose ends. With its light weight and lack of bulk there is not a lot of restricted neck and head movement.
There are multiple ways to wear the Buff: around your neck, up over your head, over your mouth and nose, or as a light weight hat. Or my favorite, over my mouth to keep my face warm without fogging up my glasses.
Sometimes while riding with the buff pulled up over my face, it will slide down, and can be a little annoying to pull back up, but it always keeps my neck warm. Using it while off the bike for hiking the buff stays put pretty well.
The best part about the buff is the small size. When not wearing it, it can be easily stored in a jacket pocket without taking up much room.
Bottom line: Worth the money. Because of its compact size, you can keep it with you even if you aren’t quite sure you’ll need it. Much less bulky than a scarf, but almost just as warm.
Swrve Winter Softshell Trousers
Reviewed by Tristan
LOVE THESE PANTS! Classy looking, comfortable, practical and rugged, these pants do it all.
Lets start with the construction. Double and sometimes triple stitched, 8 belt loops instead of 5 (2 reflective) and never a loose thread anywhere. These pants are built to last. SWRVE uses a micro fleece inner lining for warmth, which allows for 4 way stretch in the exterior material. It also makes the combination much lighter weight than your average flannel-lined jeans.
The fit is great, I love that I can order pants by separate length and waist measurements to get exactly what I need for my long thin legs and narrow waist. SWRVE also offers multiple fit styles and an easy to understand fit guide with a diagram that measures multiple places on the leg in inches so we can all understand what we’re getting.
The washing instructions are simple, you can even iron them on low and it won’t damage the fabric even though it stretches.
There is four color options for this pant: Black; Dark Grey; Navy; and Olive so you can match them with whatever professional attire you already have.
SWRVE also offers a US made versions of many of their clothes so you can spend a little extra to support American workers if you want to.
A Few Concerns to Consider:
- Because of the pen slots on the edges of the front pockets it makes the opening a little tight, and I have small hands for a man.
- Because the waist is low in the front and the crotch is high the zippered fly is a bit short. Consequently I find I need to pull the crotch down a bit to do my business at the urinal.
Giro New Road Wind Guard Hoodie
Reviewed by Carolyn
I’ve been wearing the new Giro New Road Wind Guard Hoodie since last spring and loved it enough to buy a second one so I can guiltlessly wear it everyday. Since trying on this new commuter clothing piece at Interbike two years ago I haven’t brought any other hoodies.
Historically I layer using a hoodie. During the fall and spring months as a outer layer and during the winter months a middle layer between a base layer and my wind-proof jacket. I had to purchase a new hoodie every year as I would stretch and eventually tear my cuffs and it would look ragged. Bonus – the Giro New Road Hoodie has thumb holes for me to put over my hands when cold at the office.
The Wind Guard Hoodie is light enough to pack in a bag, I don’t sweat due to have a more breathable layer and it’s a great layer for 40 to 60 degree weather where the wind-resistant panels on the front are perfect for keeping me warm yet allowing enough breathability for air movement needed at those temperatures.
One aspect I don’t like is the back isn’t low enough to block the cold air during the chilly months and could be a bit lower on the bike while riding.
I can wear this at work when I teach as casual clothing and it keeps me warm while working at the bike shop. I look stylish off the bike while having a practical wind-proof layer for riding. I’ve had very little wear despite multiple washings for almost a year. Some stitches have came out but no stretching and it looks like I just brought it. By far- this is one of my favorite commuter clothing pieces to come out of the Giro New Road line, and they make it for men and women so everyone can benefit.
Ibex Woolies 220 Bottoms
Reviewed by Sam
I’m generally a warm-blooded guy but for some reason the winter chill is inescapable. Over the years I’ve tried different pants and layered-pant combinations to try and keep my legs warm but they either failed or were too bulky. Especially when biking the cold wind makes pants frigid against skin – I had to find a solution.
I bought a pair of cotton long underwear to see if they made a difference, and they did! But of course when biking you often sweat, even in winter, and once I started sweating, the cotton leggings became uncomfortable and a hazard.
The decision to splurge on the Ibex Woolie 220 Bottoms was a great idea. Merino wool is a wonder-fabric and perfect for winter commuting. These heavier weight leggings are comfortable, tight enough to not bunch, and offer a warmth barrier that I can wear every day with any pair of pants.
They dry quickly, they don’t smell, they stretch where you need them to, they hold tight over my knee-high socks to keep the wind at bay, and most of all they do an amazing job regulating my temperature. I wear these from 50F days down to as cold as I can stand. The moisture-wicking merino keeps me comfortable if I’ve spent 2 hours struggling through the latest snow storm, or if I’ve been sharing drinks at the neighborhood beer garden.
The price is steep, for sure. The waistband is not that stretchy so be careful putting them on – I think I heard some threads rip when I too-enthusiastically donned my pair for the first time. And because they’re still just wool they offer little to no wind protection, so be sure to layer appropriately.
Overall these Woolies are probably my favorite winter-time clothing item. They offer a tight lycra feel so I feel speedy and sexy while balancing that with the greatness and warmth of merino wool. And because Ibex is an awesome company with high-quality production, I have no doubt that this pair will be with me for years to come.