Thoughts on cold weather clothing
I am always surprised and even astonished by the wide range of suggestions people here will offer to others on cold weather clothing. The recommendations will range from cotton sweats, (huh?) ski gear, snowmobile gear, army surplus, hunting gear, to the high tech space age synthetic fabrics for runners and cyclists.
As a Michigan outdoor winter enthusiast for 40 years, I have ran, skied and biked in the worst of conditions, but I am wary of offering specific clothing suggestions to anyone. What works for me may not, and probably will not, work for you. The reason we see such a wide variety of solutions offered from our well-meaning forum members is because we have different capabilities to tolerate cold weather, different metabolisms, and most importantly, we ride at different levels of physical exertion.
With that said, my primary cold weather strategy is all about wind proofing. When I consider a winter outer clothing item, I test it for wind proof. Itís the first thing I do, even before I look at the price. I pick it up, put it to my mouth and try to blow through the outer fabric. I do this for jackets, tights, and gloves.
After all these years, my wife is still shocked when she sees what little I wear in January and February; a thin single or second layer under a thin windproof outer shell; all synthetics. Our bodies generate plenty of heat and if my outer layer is wind proof, it contains the heat, and then it becomes a tactic of heat management, i.e., overheating prevention.
Last edited by alfie43; 12-02-08 at 11:00 PM.