So now it's September. Our friends in the Pacific Northwest have enjoyed their 3 weeks of warm, dry weather, and soon it's going to turn from sunny skies to grey clouds and wind-driven rain. Shortly after, the Midwest is going to freeze into a hard pucker. Canada laughs, as Canadians do. With the weather soon to turn crappy, I thought now might be a good time to discuss how everyone tries to stay toasty...
My solution: Layers of wool, wool, and more wool. I skip the bulky outer layer in favor of several thinner layers.
Shirt: I use RedRam's Merino Thermal. It's wool, so it doesn't chill you to the bone when you start to sweat. It's thin, so moisture will wick to your mid-layer quickly. And it's cut REALLY long, so I can tuck it into my pants and my ass-crack doesn't get cold.
Socks: Can't go wrong with SmartWool. Ever. Buy a bunch of different styles for different conditions.
Tights: I use a cheapo set of Champion running tights from Target. They wear out, so I replace them every year.
Undies: Plain cotton boxer brief whatevers. Gotta keep it classy.
I also carry a pair of arm warmers, and will trade the tights for legwarmers depending on what I'll be doing when I get off the bike. It's no fun sitting in a climate-controlled office when you're dressed for frigid temps.
Sweater: Easy access/removal is the name of the game here. I purchased a Triple Aught Design Praetorian Merino hoodie. It's cut slim, but long, and it has a drop hem (all about crack protection). The collar is also very generous, and will completely cover your neck whether the hood is up or down.
Various long-sleeve tees made of synthetic textiles. I don't worry too much about the rest of my clothing, as it's not doing much besides making me look like an actual human. Denim does well enough to keep the wind out, though I would like to find a set of rain pants that doesn't make me look like a complete dork.
Gloves: I have a pair of Fox full-finger BMX gloves that I bought years ago. They're good for temps down to the 30s. Anything below that and I move on to a thicker pair of winter mitts.
Softshell: I have a Columbia Supah Butta II jacket. It's water-resistant and has a drawstring hem, as well as velcro cuffs to keep the wind out. The fit is generous, so there's plenty of room for all the crap I'm wearing underneath.
Rain Shell: Sierra Trading Post will often carry these rubbery plastic rain jackets that pack down really small and fit in a tiny pouch. I keep it in the bottom of my pack and cover up when it's pissing down rain. They're really inexpensive and super lightweight, so no need to worry about it getting destroyed.
Headgear: My Bern Brentwood has a removable winter liner, which I'm looking forward to using. I also have a nice Merino beanie that I purchased from L.L. Bean last season which fits very well.
What's everyone else doing to stay warm?