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  1. #1
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    advice on budget winter wear

    okay i'm not really a cyclist but i would like to be warmer when i'm outside here in Buffalo, ny and it's 30's/40's Fahrenheit outside, and as of right now, the lower 50's inside (since heating is kinda bad this season), but i'd prefer to dress mainly for 30-40 degree weather. I don't really have a need for a wind breaker layer, because it's not worth the cost as i'm not going to be outside for too long or be moving too fast to feel the wind, and i have my winter coat which is good enough. I currently am layed with a t-shirt, than a sweater made out of 100% acrylic, and a hoody of 50% cotton and 50% polyester.

    i'm looking to spend around $40, possibly $50 if it's worthwhile. At first i was considering under armor but it's way too pricey, like $80 for tights and a shirt together. But i heard there were knockoffs at places like walmart (starter brand), but seems a bit too low end in quality. And than i noticed performancebike site and saw they had tights and shirts for half the price of the more expensive UA. So this seems like the performance i want but without breaking the bank too much. But someone also recommended sierratradingpost for cheap winter wear. And they had some good things too. And of course theres a few clothing stores here i'm going to checkout before i even decide to purchase online. So i'm trying to narrow down my options. Also i have read the winter clothing thread on here, and googled around and read other similar type threads, but a lot of the options are more expensive than for what i need it for.

    I'd appreciate any feedback as far as, like if i'm at a clothing store, what are the best fabrics to look for? I've seen so many like fleece, wool, microfiber, polypro, polyester, polypropylene, neoprene, nylon, and acrylic, that after a while it gets kinda confusing. I'm thinking of going with wool or fleece, specifically the wool choices at performancebike.

    Also would like any advice about the selections below for buying online. Or if you have any alternative ones, plz let me know.

    Kmart Thermals - for very basic cold protection
    remington wool hunter pants - heard someone mention this but i doubt i'll follow up with this option as i can't find it online and not sure i want to be sporting hunter pants

    -performancebike
    thermaguard shirt and pants - seems decent but haven't seen any reviews of it, and no idea what it's made of
    terramar wool shirt and pants - it's regular $30 something but on sale so seems like a good buy and wool is well known for keeping you warm
    DeFeet Wool Blaze Sock - best socks for warmth and the price, that i could find (might hold out on getting socks for a bit though)

    -sierratradingpost.com
    Wickers Long Underwear - Expedition Weight, Comfortrel® (although read a review of someone preferring merino wool to these)
    Kenyon Polypropylene Bottoms Expedition Weight Long Underwear
    Terramar Long Underwear


    Both places have terramar wool, but someone said about STP's wool, that it was thin, so i'm thinking of going with performancebike's terramar wool. I'm planning on going to some clothing stores tomorrow, and if i don't find anything than i'll order on friday or saturday maybe.
    Last edited by supremeone77; 10-30-08 at 12:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    IMO.. those expedition weights will keep you too warm. I was at marshalls the other day and they had "performance" long underwear for like $15 for the top and $15 for the bottoms. If you are going to break a sweat during your outdoor activity, stay away from cotton. I have some silk long underwear and it keeps me pretty warm in 30-40 if i use as a base layer. Wool, polyester, or silk.

  3. #3
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    hmm interesting, when i was reading reviews for the wickers long and other expedition weight, someone said they seemed more light weight or something, and as mentioned in previous post, someone preferred their terramar merino wool instead of one of those expedition weights. But idk might just be those particular products.

    ya we have a marshalls around here, going to go there and also to amvets and see if i can find anything. Just kinda more hesitant to get something in the store because not enough information to go on, like you can get when shopping online. I'm sure some people know more about polyester and silk than i do and can find a great buy. But i only know that wool is pretty warm, don't know much about how warm the other fabrics will get.

    but how would you rank those expeditions weights, the artic guard and the terramar merino, like in order from most warmth provided to least? At first i was thinking wicker long/kenyon, than artic guard and than terramar merino. But maybe the expedition weights are better than i'm giving them credit for ;d Just don't know what to look for in making these judgements, especially with the artic guard when theres no information to go on. Only thing is like wool is a good fabric for keeping warm, and how the terramar merino product has same price as artic guard but it's worth more, so makes it better in my eyes ;d

    going to go check out more of the reviews for the expedition weight ones at sierra trading site, and maybe change my opinion about them a bit

  4. #4
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    I have had good luck at TJ Maxx finding light or medium weight poly/wool underlayers.
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  5. #5
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    well tj maxx is kinda out of my way a bit ;\ and i figure marshalls is pretty much the same, even websites look identical ;O I checked targets website and only good shirt i see is c9 by champion, made of 100% polyester.

    But what is better for keeping warm, polyester or wool? I don't really care much about the moisture being wicked away or anything, since i won't be running outside, just walking, or if i'm inside, sitting down, so probably won't build up much of a sweat. And if wool is better for this, okay maybe i find something in a store that's wool and i like it, but what if i don't. Than what about the choices i mentioned in my 1st post? I still like wool as the best choice even among those, but i keep thinking that the other ones could be better (especially thermaguard, has a more relevant name) but i have no way of really knowing ;\ So those are my 2 dilemnas with shopping at a store or online. Can't afford Under Armor and want to get the closest substitute i can get for $40ish instead of $80.

    P.S. - btw on another note, long time ago i remember really wanted this polartec fabric, said it was microfiber or something. Seemed like it was a really tight interwoven fabric, that would keep a lot of the heat inside. Wish i could find something like that for cheap heh.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supremeone77 View Post
    P.S. - btw on another note, long time ago i remember really wanted this polartec fabric, said it was microfiber or something. Seemed like it was a really tight interwoven fabric, that would keep a lot of the heat inside. Wish i could find something like that for cheap heh.
    You can find it, right here. The Butterfleece zip neck is cheap, warm, and lighter than a baselayer t-shirt. With a simple wind blocking jacket or jersey over it, you're good to 30 degrees - maybe lower.

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    If you are not going to be exercising or sweating you can get by with about anything on the upper layer. I like to wear a short sleeve shirt under a long sleeve fleece jacket and a coat on top of that if it is really cold. Then you are covered for all indoor and outdoor temperatures. If it's hot inside wear the short sleeve shirt. If it's cool inside or out, wear the fleece jacket over the shirt. When it's really cold the coat and fleece jacket combined are really quite warm. Especially if the coat is a high loft high wind breaking kind of coat like a down parka or high loft synthetic type of coat.

    For legs if you are going to be going inside and outside a lot in the same clothes I think it's best to buy the really lightweight wicking synthetic long johns. Check the ski department. That are only 15-20 bucks. For pants in winter the polyester microfiber slacks work better than denim even though they are of a thinner material. They breath pretty well so when you go inside with the long johns on underneath them you are less likely to get overheated. And because the weave is pretty tight they break the wind reasonably well. And they don't hold onto moisture like cotton jeans. If your going out for a long time in the cold use the heavier weight long johns under the slacks and a wind shell pant over the top.

    The most important thing for keeping warm is staying dry. This means fabrics that don't soak up moisture and dry quickly.
    Last edited by Hezz; 10-30-08 at 07:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    From experience ... expedition weight polypro from Sierra Trading Post will keep you nice and toasty in temps -10C and lower.

    Temps above freezing just require your normal cycling attire, plus leg warmers and perhaps a long-sleeved light polypro or wool jersey for overtop your short-sleeved ones. And a wind-breaking jacket, of course.

  9. #9
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    okay, polypro stands for polyprolypene right? Don't see too many shirts from sierra trading post made out of those, but i've seen a couple. Also not sure if it's a review i read but i think someone said that heavyweight is actually more weight than expedition weight. Was wondering if that's true because i came across this other fabric, Kenyon Polarskins Long Underwear Shirt - Heavyweight, Long Sleeve. Seemed good but i don't think it's polypro.

    Btw this one website i found was pretty cool, showed me the top reviewed fabrics for base layers, although most of them were from sierra trading post. http://www.buzzillions.com/429496605...r_tops_reviews

    Pretty cool site, has like tags and stuff for the clothes, like extreme cold weather or just cold weather etc

  10. #10
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    ok so went to marshalls and got a few things. I got

    under armor coldgear socks - $5
    under armor turfgear shirt - $20
    duofold protherm polypropylene - $8
    duofold sportsman expedition weight grid fleece - $17

    So i guess i got more stuff from there, than i intended ;d. But what sucks is the turfgear shirt is for keeping you cool. I was at the store and thinking that it was probably a bad buy for keeping warm, but since it was under armor and not heatgear, and i did read some review of someone saying that it would keep you warm. And I also tried it on in the dressing room and in there it seemed warm (warmest out of all the other shirts i tried for the $20ish range). But when i got home it felt like it was making me feel cool.

    I was also hesitant about getting the polypropylene tights since they seemed real thin but got it anyways, figured i could wear both and feels pretty warm with both of them on. But they also did have performance expedition weight fleece. But sportsman seemed more thicker so went with those. Now i'm thinking of returning the under armor turf gear and getting sportsman top. Hopefully i can get expedition weight for that too ;o. Btw sportsman keeps me warmer than the protherm one. At first i was thinking that protherm would work better since it's polypro, but guess it was too lightweight. Sportsman was like 2 or 2.5x thicker, but i'm sure if the polypro was just as thick it would match it or be better.

  11. #11
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    It's best to have two or three different weights of long john bottoms. One long john top for those really cold days is good enough since most of the time you can adjust the outer layers for what you need. If your riding a bike it might be different. But for casual wear you have more flexibility.

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