Opinion on winter jacket
I am looking at getting a new winter jacket, as my current one gets too hot. I know everyone has different preferences, but I would like to hear from people who may have had experience with the different products. There are a lot of choices out there and they can be confusing.
Currently I have a Columbia 3 in 1 jacket with the outer shell having the omni-tech coating. It does not have pit zips and sometimes gets too hot. I do not use it with the fleece that came with it.
I also have a north face denali which is decent in cool weather, but not good if there is any wind.
Usually I will dress as follows:
40F+=sneakers, shorts, and short sleeve or long sleeve shirt
25-39F=dri-fit tights with shorts over them, dri-fit shirt and the Columbia jacket, if it is windy I will wear wool socks. If it is raining or snowing I wear Columbia Ice Dragon boots and either polartec gloves or gore-tex gloves.
I have not had to ride in anything colder yet. The commute is only 5 miles each way, so it is not too bad. But there is a large hill, so I heat up pretty easily.
I have been reading the forums and getting information, but am still a little confused. I would like to keep the purchase as low as possible, but realize that you pay for quality and I should do it right the first time. This jacket would also be my primary winter jacket and not just for cycling.
So far I have been looking at getting a softshell and a outer shell for when the weather gets really bad:
Lowe Alpine Shelter Polartec® Power Shield® Jacket http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/0...l-For-Men.html
Lowe Alpine Volition Jacket - Schoeller® Soft Shell, Polartec® http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/0...c-For-Men.html
Marmot ATV Jacket - Soft Shell http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/0...l-For-Men.html
Westcomb Mojave Softshell Jacket http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/out...cket-Mens.html
Montane Event Soft Shell Jacket http://www.prolitegear.com/montane_e...ll_jacket.html
Marmot PreCip Jacket http://www.backcountry.com/store/MAR...cket-Mens.html
Montane Event Venture Jacket http://www.outdoorgb.com/p/montane_e...enture_jacket/
Showerpass Elite or Touring http://showerspass.com/cart/product_...357d30329eff1c
Integral Designs eVENT Jacket http://www.prolitegear.com/integral_...nt_jacket.html
FRANK SHORTER MEN'S eVent XTReme JACKET http://www.nationalrunningcenter.com...number=FS25101
Outdoor Research Men's Revel Jacket http://www.altrec.com/outdoor-research/mens-revel-jacket?cm_mmc=keywords-_-google-_-Outdoor+Research-_-(Opt)+Ski+Jackets+-+Revel&gclid=CPHMsbXz5ZYCFQKaFQod6Q-KOA
Montbell Peak Shell http://www.prolitegear.com/montbell_peak_shell.html
I have also read about http://www.foxwear.net/products_jackets.html
Sorry for the long post. Any replies and other recommendations are welcomed.
i have the showers pass elite jacket, it has pit zips which are critical for temperature control and it breaths. I wear it over an ibex wool base and it is good down to 35 degrees with good gloves, hat and winter cycling boots. i also have a mountain hardware windstopper jacket that works as well but it not quite as waterproof.
What I wear in the winter:
- Base layer: polypro ski turtleneck.
- Insulation layer: Polartec 200 jacket.
- Outer layer: (2) Performance Century II jackets.
The Performance Century II is a knockoff of the Pearl Izumi Zephyr. The fabric on both is a tightly-woven, uncoated, breathable polyester that is rain-repellent. I already had a PI Zephyr for rain, but it wasn't big enough to zip up over the Polartec jacket. The PB Century was selling for half the price, so I bought one of those in the next larger size. That worked down to about 40 degrees, then the stiff winter winds were leaking through, so I bought one more to wear over the original. Problem solved.
I ended up buying the Westcomb Mojave soft shell and will report on how it is. I will probably buy the shower pass elite if they get it back in stock. Now it is time for me to buy some studded tires.
Less jacket. More layers.
For a soft shell coat you'll be ahrd pressed to beat the price, service and convenience of Lou at foxwear. Lou will custom make you a coat for far less than what the fancy brands charge. I paid $83 last year for my Evap coat deliverd. Lou is so honest that he charges you exaclty the postage that was on the package. That is a rare bit of honestly you don't get much anymore these days. The nice thing with Lou is that you can discuss you riding conditions and he can help you figure out what combination of materials will work best for you. I use my EVap coat from around the mid 40's down to 2F. When the temps drop well below the 20F I might add an additional wind breaker shell. The soft shells now adays also do an amazing job of repelling snow and light rain.
For additional bad weather protection I looked all over and descided to go with a ANSI calss 3 windbreaker from www.altershirt.com. Here in the Buffalo NY area I've found that I don't use my rain coat very often. During the last 9 months I've only had to put on rain gear a few times. This shell won't breath very well, but my ride is short and when I do need the rain shell it is most likely in the Fall through Spring when the riding conditions are dark. I always wear an Alertshirt ANSI class 2 vest is riding after dark. This coat will have even better visability. There is NO WAY anyone can claim I was hard to see once I wear that windbreaker. Ofcourse have active lighting as required by NY state, but I easily beat the minimum requirements with two descent lights up front and in the back, plus a bunch of reflective tape. I don't want to take any chances riding in the dark, I WANT to be seen.
If you are in a rainy area I've heard nothing but great things about the showerpass coats, but they are expensive. I would otherwise also consider looking at J&G. I have their basic rain pants and they were used daily last Winter as a windbreaker and are holding up quite well. The prices are reasonable and the products are made here in the USA (just like Foxwear). I don't insist that everything I own is made in the USA, but it shure is nice it I can support a domestic supplier rather than have the garment come out of some foreign assembly plant where the workers may or may not be treated in a reasonable manor.
2nd the opinion of Lou at Foxwear. Call him and discuss your needs and he will recomend what you need and will make it. Bought a jacket a couple of weeks ago and put some windproof fleece on the front with breathable fleece on sides and back. Lou made the jacket a little big for layering--perfect. Rode this week to work in the teens with a baselayer and long sleeve jersey with no problems!! Lou will also sew a reflective strip on for visibilty for no extra. The man is honest, does great work, and is easy to talk with.
Cant beat the price for about $80 shipped.
im selling my foxwear i just have way to many jackets. this is a really great jacket and i agree with all of the above. lou really does make a nice jacket. here is a review and pics
you can email if you want more info
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