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  1. #1
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    fall/winter jackets

    I need to buy a new jacket, mostly for late Fall and Winter use. My North Face shell just isn't cutting it - apparently doesn't breath well because even in single digit temps I'm sweating. One caveat, I really like having a hood. I don't care if it's cycling specific (actually not is better since they're usually cheaper) Suggestions? Thanks,

    Aaron
    I'm slow, go around

  2. #2
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    Look at running/ cross country ski stuff. Great for highly active/ sweaty stuff. I like the new balance gear.

  3. #3
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what shell you have, but if it is a typical waterproof/"breathable" hard shell, I don't doubt you will get condensation building up particularly in colder weather. If you have a softshell jacket, those with windproof membranes typically can also have condensation problems. There is a fine line that you have to walk between wind protection and breathability. What do you have now that isn't working for you?

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    You should feel slightly cold when you start riding not ok nor warm nor hot and not too cold neither. If you doesn't feel the cold outside when you start riding is that you wear too much layers.
    A good wind resistant (usually not waterproof) jacket is essential. Some people seems to like the MEC supermicroft jacket as a cheap wind resistant jacket but it lacks some waterproofness and you would have to add insulation layers under it.
    My guess is that your North face shell could be ok but for colder temperatures

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Not an athletic fast rider , I went with a parka , of Neon Lime with lots of reflective stripes..

    Out door workers safety wear , Carhartt.

    otherwise .. the Showers Pass Portland jacket looks sort-of normal,
    but for the reflective strips on the back hem.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-24-13 at 12:30 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubcap View Post
    I'm not sure what shell you have, but if it is a typical waterproof/"breathable" hard shell, I don't doubt you will get condensation building up particularly in colder weather. If you have a softshell jacket, those with windproof membranes typically can also have condensation problems. There is a fine line that you have to walk between wind protection and breathability. What do you have now that isn't working for you?
    It's a North Face shell, couple years old so the closest I could find is this http://www.thenorthface.com/webapp/w...atalogId=10201. I wear it without the liner jacket. It has "Hy Vent," North Face's version of waterproof, windproof, breathable, but I'm a little dubious of the breathability. This is the first year I've commuted in the cold so just started using this thing a few months ago. But yesterday morning it was 6F when I left the house, I wore poly base layer with merino jersey and both were drenched with sweat after an hour. I'm not a prolific sweat-er... by the way
    I'm slow, go around

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    As far as i know waterproof and breathable is not compatible, water repellent and breathable neither most of the time due to the coating used to make a garment water repellent but water resistant can be breathable. So when i see a waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket i wonder.
    For winter use my solution is to mix things up by going for the best of both world with a louis garneau cycling specific jacket with a wind resistant and water repellent front panel and a breathable back but it is not the cheapest solution from start even though it is overall as it avoids the need to buy other gears as it can handle all weather rain, wind, cold, snow and breath well with the right layers under
    Merino jersey tend to gather sweat easily stays quite warm when wet but it doesn't wick moisture as mush as a polartec power dry jersey for instance.
    Last edited by erig007; 01-03-13 at 03:10 PM.

  8. #8
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
    It's a North Face shell, couple years old so the closest I could find is this http://www.thenorthface.com/webapp/w...atalogId=10201. I wear it without the liner jacket. It has "Hy Vent," North Face's version of waterproof, windproof, breathable, but I'm a little dubious of the breathability. This is the first year I've commuted in the cold so just started using this thing a few months ago. But yesterday morning it was 6F when I left the house, I wore poly base layer with merino jersey and both were drenched with sweat after an hour. I'm not a prolific sweat-er... by the way
    I have a hard shell I only use when riding in really bad conditions (i.e. almost blizzard conditions). It has huge pit zips that help tremendously with venting. If your shell doesn't have pit zips, it is going to turn into a sauna in there. Without pit zips or other active venting measures, you are relying on your body heat to try and drive the moisture through the waterproof/breathable fabric. That doesn't work so well when it is real cold and the moisture starts condensing all the more readily on the inside of the cold shell.

    If I were you, I would try something like this:
    http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Men%...efault,pd.html

    I have two different weights of softshell jackets that I use when it is not raining and neither has a windproof membrane. Your selections are going to be limited by requiring a hood. I save the windproof stuff for my neck gaiter and hat. It has got to be seriously cold for me to use the windproof hat though.

  9. #9
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    have you looked at http://foxwear.net/ yet? He makes reasonably priced custom clothing, and may be able to make you something with a hood. I want him to make me something for the same kind of weather, and the idea of getting something with a windblocker in front and breathable sections in the back makes a lot of sense.

  10. #10
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    Windproof front with breathable side and/or rear panels makes sense for a jacket to me. I have REI's headwind pants with windproof front panels and they are great. They make a jacket too, but not one with a hood that I am aware of. It looks like TNF makes something like that with a hood.
    http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/...ml?from=subCat

  11. #11
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    xc ski stuff
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

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    Quote Originally Posted by hubcap View Post
    Windproof front with breathable side and/or rear panels makes sense for a jacket to me. I have REI's headwind pants with windproof front panels and they are great. They make a jacket too, but not one with a hood that I am aware of. It looks like TNF makes something like that with a hood.
    http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/...ml?from=subCat
    When reading your comments I was looking at your picture it makes sense. The S on front is windproof with breathable side... pants with windproof front panels. Is it really necessary? Superman never get cold.

  13. #13
    Senior Member WickedOne513's Avatar
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    I personally use this jacket it's nice on and off the bike. For 30ish degrees I remove the internal liner, and just use a wicking layer and jersy under.

  14. #14
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    This thread has been really helpful. I drove today so swung by REI on my way home (big mistake). There's a guy there that commutes and has given me some good advice in the past. I ended up buying a Novara Stratos 2. It was on closeout, and while it's hardshell, it has pit vents and made of Event. I went to buy Headwind (also on sale) but guy reminded me if I don't like the Stratos I can bring it back. So, tomorrow morning it's supposed to be 15 - good test. And yeah I know, no hood but I can't have everything
    I'm slow, go around

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    The Novara stratos 2 looks nice. Reading the few reviews on REI confirmed my thought that it's a good jacket mainly for rainy areas and you should definitively see some improvements over your current jacket. I think it's a little heavy duty though and that improvements in terms of breathability could be bigger with other solutions especially due to the lack of pit zips on the back but maybe this one will answer your needs that's what matter anyway. I will be interested to know the results of your test tomorrow.
    Last edited by erig007; 01-03-13 at 09:39 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    First report on stratos - this morning was 19F so not as cold as Monday. I wore same base layer but was much less sweaty. I also noticed I was a little colder but not uncomfortably so. The stratos does not block wind as well as the NF jacket, but the tradeoff seems worth it. I did not open the pit vents. I think erig007 is correct that this might be overkill and based on several suggestions from this and other threads I'm going to contact Foxwear today. However, I really like the stratos - it's a really nice jacket and since I got it relatively cheaply I'm going to keep it as a rain shell. The saga continues...
    I'm slow, go around

  17. #17
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    I was leaning towards going to REI and look at their headwind jackets (sound familiar?) after starting to look around on line. My GF has some headwind crosscountry ski pants she liked and I liked the idea of the softshell material in the front and a breathable layer in the back when I remembered Foxwear. He sent me a bunch of fabric samples and helped me figure out what should work best for me, and he's making me a custom sized jacket that should do just what I want for less than the cost of some of the other choices. I can let you know how I like it after the weather and roads get a little better if you'd like.

  18. #18
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    I was leaning towards going to REI and look at their headwind jackets (sound familiar?) after starting to look around on line. My GF has some headwind crosscountry ski pants she liked and I liked the idea of the softshell material in the front and a breathable layer in the back when I remembered Foxwear. He sent me a bunch of fabric samples and helped me figure out what should work best for me, and he's making me a custom sized jacket that should do just what I want for less than the cost of some of the other choices. I can let you know how I like it after the weather and roads get a little better if you'd like.
    Ha, I just emailed him! Absolutely let us know - I may end up with one of his jackets too
    I'm slow, go around

  19. #19
    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    I like the Nashbar softshell derby jacket. It's breathable, has venting in front of arm pits and exits in the rear. The front is windproof. I have worn this in sub 0F temps with the proper under base wicking layers and was very comfy. I vary the base layers according to the day temps and stay warm and dry. I don't believe it would be waterproof although I haven't used it in a heavy rain. It's been a super perfect jacket for me.
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

  20. #20
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
    Ha, I just emailed him! Absolutely let us know - I may end up with one of his jackets too
    Will do, scroll down to the bottom here to find out who's order got placed just ahead of mine.

  21. #21
    Hrumph! El Duderino X's Avatar
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    My lovely wife bought me a SWRVE Milwaukee Jacket ES and I've been loving it on my chilly and damp Vancouver in January rides. Great jacket.
    http://swrve.myshopify.com/products/milwaukee-jacket
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  22. #22
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    Will do, scroll down to the bottom here to find out who's order got placed just ahead of mine.
    Lol, Isaac gets around. When I told Lou that Isaac from NJ sent me he hung up
    I'm slow, go around

  23. #23
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    My winter jacket for the last 10 years has been Paramo. It is a 2 layer construction with a polyester windproof shell and a light fleece-like liner. In practice is is totally weather-proof under the worst conditions, eg heavy winter rain for hours on end. It dries very rapidly; I once entered a supermarket after 4hrs of rain riding. I left the shelter 20mins later bone dry.
    You never get condensation or wet shoulders, it is fine to wear on dry days as a windproof. It is a bit too warm for riders who run hot and use it in low teens C. My cutoff temp is 16C/61F
    You need to treat with Nikwax stuff about every 3-6months.
    Paramo gear is std issue for mountain rescue, forest rangers and outdoor professionals. They make shorter multi-activity versions cut for cycling with some reflective bits. All jackets now have a permanent hood (for mountain marathon rules) and lots of vents. Mine had a detachable hood.
    Last edited by MichaelW; 01-05-13 at 03:44 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member RGNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droy45 View Post
    I like the Nashbar softshell derby jacket. It's breathable, has venting in front of arm pits and exits in the rear. The front is windproof. I have worn this in sub 0F temps with the proper under base wicking layers and was very comfy. I vary the base layers according to the day temps and stay warm and dry. I don't believe it would be waterproof although I haven't used it in a heavy rain. It's been a super perfect jacket for me.
    another vote for the Nashbar Derby. worn it down to 0F with a merino baselayer. my speed is low, around 5mph, as i take a nature trail to work. the breathable panels feel strange, being able to feel air circulating, but i have yet to sweat. used to wear a Bellwether Coldfront jacket (more water resistant), but that's reserved just for hard/cold rain now as you're guaranteed to be damp when stop.

  25. #25
    Senior Member GFish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGNY View Post
    another vote for the Nashbar Derby. worn it down to 0F with a merino baselayer. my speed is low, around 5mph, as i take a nature trail to work. the breathable panels feel strange, being able to feel air circulating, but i have yet to sweat. used to wear a Bellwether Coldfront jacket (more water resistant), but that's reserved just for hard/cold rain now as you're guaranteed to be damp when stop.
    +2

    Picked up the Nashbar Derby Jacket on sale ($36) just before Christmas. What an unbelievable good deal for a quality jacket that's proven very comfortable on rides in the 30's. On colder days, I would use a heavier base layer and a light polar fleece shell/shirt.

    I'd like to buy one more, except this jacket is currently $70. Still worth it, when you consider other jackets of this quality cost over $120.

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