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Winter Commuting Jacket Suggestion

Old 12-29-15, 03:42 PM
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acvdk
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Winter Commuting Jacket Suggestion

I'm in the market for a winter commuting jacket. I need something that will keep me warm enough on a 30 (or ideally 20) degree day without getting sweaty on the 100' vertical climb over the Manhattan Bridge on a 45-50 degree day. It also needs to be loose fitting enough that it does not cause my dress shirt to get wrinkled and have at least one front pocket where I can put my phone and keys.

I don't ride if it is raining or bitterly cold, so those things aren't an issue. Price is also not an issue.

This looks promising to me but it looks like it may not be warm enough on very cold days:
https://www.showerspass.com/products/transit-jacket
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Old 12-29-15, 03:52 PM
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It's a high quality, breathable rain coat; it's not designed to keep you warm. You'll need an insulating layer (you probably already own one) underneath.

Alternatively you can get a soft-shell with a windproof layer. You'll still need an insulating layer.
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Old 12-29-15, 04:00 PM
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Any suggestions for something insulating that is very well vented? I have a mid weight jacket that I wear all the time when it is 25-40 degrees outside, but if I try to bike in it, even if it is unzipped, my arms get super sweaty on the climb over the bridge. It is totally fine for riding around on flat streets though.
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Old 12-29-15, 04:19 PM
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In cold weather what you want your jacket to do is block the wind and that's it. It can be a thin shell. That's all mine is. Under that I wear a fleece pullover (the warmth layer) and my base layer is just a good quality long underwear top. Those 3 layers are good down to 0 F and up to the 30's. On colder days I'll wear an extra warmth layer. Synthetics or wool are fine for base and warmth layers. Avoid cotton.

I picked my jacket up at a thrift store but here's a current model:



It's a running jacket and has zips under the arms for ventilation but I rarely feel the need to unzip them. Before that I used the top layer of one of those columbia 3 in 1 jackets. It worked fine too until I lost it.

Windproof and water resistant, those are the two qualities that a winter jacket should have unless you live some place where winter means lots of rain.

Last edited by tjspiel; 12-29-15 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-29-15, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by acvdk View Post
I'm in the market for a winter commuting jacket. I need something that will keep me warm enough on a 30 (or ideally 20) degree day without getting sweaty on the 100' vertical climb over the Manhattan Bridge on a 45-50 degree day. It also needs to be loose fitting enough that it does not cause my dress shirt to get wrinkled and have at least one front pocket where I can put my phone and keys.

I don't ride if it is raining or bitterly cold, so those things aren't an issue. Price is also not an issue.

This looks promising to me but it looks like it may not be warm enough on very cold days:
https://www.showerspass.com/products/transit-jacket

I have a showers pass jacket. It's nice, but it's really more of a rain jacket. The more waterproof, generally the less it breathes. Don't get me wrong, they are great jackets but if you're worried about getting sweaty, then this is going to do more to encourage that than breathe.

I just discovered Foxwear and am blown away by the quality, the pricing and the fact that it's custom. Call Lou (owner) up and tell him what you want, and he'll make it. You'll have it in about a week. I think either his neoshell rain jacket would do it or the e-vap lite jacket. Either way, he's a very smart guy and a cyclist. He'll get it right for you.

I'm going to have him make me an e-vap lite for winter riding and then the neoshell rain jacket in the lightest neoshell possible for road bike riding in the cool fall/spring. I believe it will roll up and fit in a jersey pocket too.

You could probably get BOTH the eval-lite and the neoshell shell for about what one of the top Showers Pass jackets cost.

J.

Last edited by JohnJ80; 12-29-15 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 12-29-15, 05:02 PM
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I use a Parka .. room for layers underneath Made for working outside by the roadside

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Old 12-29-15, 05:15 PM
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Rather than think of a magical hi tech formula, think layers and think abc (anything but cotton).

You will also have a hard time finding something that keeps you warm at 20 degrees and doesn't cause you to sweat at 50 degrees. Again this is where thin layers are your friend.

I'd look at soft shell jackets; that's basically what they're designed for.
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Old 12-29-15, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I have a showers pass jacket. It's nice, but it's really more of a rain jacket. The more waterproof, generally the less it breathes. Don't get me wrong, they are great jackets but if you're worried about getting sweaty, then this is going to do more to encourage that than breathe.

I just discovered Foxwear and am blown away by the quality, the pricing and the fact that it's custom. Call Lou (owner) up and tell him what you want, and he'll make it. You'll have it in about a week. I think either his neoshell rain jacket would do it or the e-vap lite jacket. Either way, he's a very smart guy and a cyclist. He'll get it right for you.

I'm going to have him make me an e-vap lite for winter riding and then the neoshell rain jacket in the lightest neoshell possible for road bike riding in the cool fall/spring. I believe it will roll up and fit in a jersey pocket too.

You could probably get BOTH the eval-lite and the neoshell shell for about what one of the top Showers Pass jackets cost.

J.
I have one as well. I bought it primarily as a windbreaker for sub 40 degree commutes and of course for protection from the rain and I do layer underneath. It is a great jacket and while it breathes better than others I have had, it still does not breathe quite enough, the trade off for solid wind and rain protection.
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Old 12-29-15, 06:07 PM
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I have a SP Club Pro that I use in the spring and fall. It doesn't breathe well enough to layer under it. But it rolls up small and is perfect for taking along----just in case.

I have a have a Transit for winter and heavy rain use. It has far more ventilation and an ass flap that is very nice when in heavier rains. I can layer two or three levels under the Transit and have never been cold in it....but, I do live in Georgia
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Old 12-29-15, 06:32 PM
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I use a J&G rainjacket for my outer shell and a Sport Hill Symetry jacket for my mid layer. I use those all winter and make adjustments with adding a long sleeve jersey or not. Depending on the temperatures. I like the jacket because it's waterproof, windproof and blocks the cold. I use that combo down to the negative digits. I just add more layers underneath when it's real cold.
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Old 12-31-15, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I just discovered Foxwear and am blown away by the quality, the pricing and the fact that it's custom. Call Lou (owner) up and tell him what you want, and he'll make it. You'll have it in about a week. I think either his neoshell rain jacket would do it or the e-vap lite jacket. Either way, he's a very smart guy and a cyclist. He'll get it right for you.

I'm going to have him make me an e-vap lite for winter riding and then the neoshell rain jacket in the lightest neoshell possible for road bike riding in the cool fall/spring. I believe it will roll up and fit in a jersey pocket too.
I've been very curious about his jackets, but my concern is that they'll look ugly. He has a range of pictures, some of them look fine, some of them look hideous. Looks aren't everything, but - they are something. Would be curious if anyone knows of more pics of what his neoshell rain jacket looks like.
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Old 12-31-15, 05:40 PM
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Belstaff or Barbour waxed cotton motorcycle jacket.

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Old 12-31-15, 05:40 PM
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My suggestion for handling that range of temperate would be a jacket that has a windproof front, and open breathable back. Something that includes the arms so the back of the arms are also made of a more breathable material.

The Endura Windchill II Jacket is one I've been looking at:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._dp_o_pC_S_ttl

I personally always have trouble finding jackets that are long enough, I almost bought a Bontrager RXL Convertible 180 jacket but it was an inch to short for me:
Bontrager RXL Convertible 180 Softshell Jacket | Cycling jackets & vests | Cycling apparel | Apparel

I would be skeptical that the Transit jacket would be breathable enough for you. Their "Elite" jacket is more breathable, but even it was basically only workable to 60 degrees with all the pit zips and such open. Above 60 degrees, with just a jersey underneath, and I'd get swamped out sweating.

I'm not sure anything will work with a dress shirt - below freezing it's usually a windproof outer layer and a warmer breathable wicking base layer (often smartwool). But I think windproof front, breathable back would probably the best bet.
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Old 12-31-15, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I'm not sure anything will work with a dress shirt - below freezing it's usually a windproof outer layer and a warmer breathable wicking base layer (often smartwool). But I think windproof front, breathable back would probably the best bet.
^^^^This sums it up.^^^^
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Old 12-31-15, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I've been very curious about his jackets, but my concern is that they'll look ugly. He has a range of pictures, some of them look fine, some of them look hideous. Looks aren't everything, but - they are something. Would be curious if anyone knows of more pics of what his neoshell rain jacket looks like.

Here's a review of the e-vap lite jacket. I like the idea of a Power Stretch back/Softshell front jacket and especially with real pockets in the back as this one has.

His jackets are pretty plain - not many details. So getting the sleeve lengths right, chest, abdomen, and overall length front and rear is pretty much all that is left. So I don't think there is much so screw up.

I do have two pairs of his pants - one the power stretch tights that are just nothing short of awesome and then the pants that have the power stretch rear and power shield front which are great too.

J.
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Old 12-31-15, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by acvdk View Post
I'm in the market for a winter commuting jacket. I need something that will keep me warm enough on a 30 (or ideally 20) degree day without getting sweaty on the 100' vertical climb over the Manhattan Bridge on a 45-50 degree day. It also needs to be loose fitting enough that it does not cause my dress shirt to get wrinkled and have at least one front pocket where I can put my phone and keys.

I don't ride if it is raining or bitterly cold, so those things aren't an issue. Price is also not an issue.

This looks promising to me but it looks like it may not be warm enough on very cold days:
https://www.showerspass.com/products/transit-jacket
Hard parameters there, but you also don't indicate (1) a riding style or (2) total distance biked. You a hard pusher or are you just letting life take you on its journey? Is this a 2 mile commute or a 6 mile one? Those two things are going to impact how you dress in general and what you'll run into. A headwind with a 2 mile commute can be done with little sweat, but if you have to push into that for 6 miles you're going to be breathing good

I think you just need to buy what works for biking and carry a dress shirt with a cloth to wet & wipe down with and towel to dry off with in a backpack.

On a 45-50 day I suggest a t-shirt & some softshell jacket. At 20 you won't be wearing that softshell at all and probably be focusing on some windproof shell with a few (literally two) layers of wool underneath.

My suggestion is you expand your mind for multiple options. That softshell won't (likely won't) keep you dry if it rains, and a windproof/waterproof shell at 45 will make you sweat, so it'll likely be different clothing depending on conditions, unless you're a fair weather biker.
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Old 12-31-15, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Belstaff or Barbour waxed cotton motorcycle jacket.

I have that jacket for motorcycle riding, no way would I wear it for cycling, way to hot and sweaty. I did pick up an old navy surplus peajacket at the thrift store for $9, and I'll say its the best jacket I've ever worn cycling in cold, dry conditions.
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Old 12-31-15, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by acvdk View Post
I'm in the market for a winter commuting jacket. I need something that will keep me warm enough on a 30 (or ideally 20) degree day without getting sweaty on the 100' vertical climb over the Manhattan Bridge on a 45-50 degree day. It also needs to be loose fitting enough that it does not cause my dress shirt to get wrinkled and have at least one front pocket where I can put my phone and keys.

I don't ride if it is raining or bitterly cold, so those things aren't an issue. Price is also not an issue.

This looks promising to me but it looks like it may not be warm enough on very cold days:
https://www.showerspass.com/products/transit-jacket
I have one of these I bought on sale from Sierra Trading Post several years ago for about $50. Keeps me comfortable in temperatures from -5F to 40F, At the lower temperatures I add a sweatshirt and/or a fleece vest as necessary. I like the snaps in front for ventilation and a sweatshirt/vest keeps out cold air drafts. The hood makes all the difference at lower temperatures. Add a reflective belt if desired for night time riding.
Carhartt Sandstone Hooded Multi-Pocket Jacket (For Men)
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Old 01-01-16, 01:37 AM
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Remove dress shirt, roll it up and carry it. Go to mens room, use diaper wipes to clean up and put dress shirt on. This is probably going to be your best bet for feeling clean and presentable.
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Old 01-01-16, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I have that jacket for motorcycle riding, no way would I wear it for cycling, way to hot and sweaty. I did pick up an old navy surplus peajacket at the thrift store for $9, and I'll say its the best jacket I've ever worn cycling in cold, dry conditions.
When it's freezing out you get hot and sweaty? I don't. It works great when it's cold. I'd never wear cycling it when it's 40F+.
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Old 01-01-16, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Here's a review of the e-vap lite jacket. I like the idea of a Power Stretch back/Softshell front jacket and especially with real pockets in the back as this one has.

His jackets are pretty plain - not many details. So getting the sleeve lengths right, chest, abdomen, and overall length front and rear is pretty much all that is left. So I don't think there is much so screw up.

I do have two pairs of his pants - one the power stretch tights that are just nothing short of awesome and then the pants that have the power stretch rear and power shield front which are great too.

J.
I've had one of he e-vap lite jackets for a few years and it's great. It keeps me warm but not too warm, and the venting works great when I do get warm. The custom fit helps keep my wrists warm, and he added some retroreflective stripping to make me more visible. Lou's a great guy and will help you get what you need.

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Old 01-01-16, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I've had one of he e-vap lite jackets for a few years and it's great. It keeps me warm but not too warm, and the venting works great when I do get warm. The custom fit helps keep my wrists warm, and he added some retroreflective stripping to make me more visible. Lou's a great guy and will help you get what you need.
I'm contemplating one right now. If I can ask, what weight PowerStretch and PowerShield did you pick for the jacket and for what riding conditions?

What I'd like to do is have one made that I could wear up to about 45F. At that temp, I'd likely just have a regular cycling jersey and maybe arm warmers. Could that be made to work?

J
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Old 01-01-16, 05:50 PM
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I use a Showers Pass Elite raincoat as a winter jacket. It is a great wind barrier and extremely well ventilated. I layer clothes underneath it for warmth. In most conditions, a single long-sleeve base layer is enough. On really cold days, I add a jersey.
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Old 01-01-16, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
When it's freezing out you get hot and sweaty? I don't. It works great when it's cold. I'd never wear cycling it when it's 40F+.
When my commute is around freezing give or take a few degrees. I wear my work pants, golf shirt, lightweight vest, and JG jacket with the vents open, and I get hot and sweat a bit, the international would be overkill.

My commute is 8 miles one way, very hilly including 12% to 15% grades, and my bike weighs 70 lbs loaded so perhaps my circumstances are different.
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Old 01-01-16, 06:48 PM
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I use a snowboard jacket. It has pit vents and pretty thin insulation, goes over my hips and allows a full range of motion. I agree about the dress shirts though, it's easier to take some to work and have them waiting for you there.
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