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Best For Keeping Face / Head Warm In Winter

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Best For Keeping Face / Head Warm In Winter

Old 11-02-16, 03:38 AM
  #1  
Witterings
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Best For Keeping Face / Head Warm In Winter

I've been looking through and trying to find out what's best for keeping your head, face, neck and ears warm in winter.

The obvious choice on the surface would seem to be a balaclava although they seem a bit all or nothing (maybe when it's that cold you need the all anyway) and on searching for information there were quite a few posts of people saying they're too much and get very stuffy and your glasses fog up pretty quick.

A snood seems like a pretty good idea which you can then pull higher / lower as required but obviously won't do a lot for the top of your head .... maybe one of these and a skull cap although if your neck, front of face and ears are reasonably is that necessary as well .... I do still have hair

Any recommendations much appreciated!!!!
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Old 11-02-16, 04:23 AM
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Check out a buff. Remarkably warm and versatile for a thin fabric tube.

https://buffusa.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwne...TwSBoCmvfw_wcB
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Old 11-02-16, 04:41 AM
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As someone who had worked outside in Cleveland winters for 33 years as a mail carrier, I think I can speak to this one.

You need three things. You need to stop the wind from penetrating, thermal protection/insulation, and moisture removal. Well, four if you count mobility! The trick is to balance these factors.

Wrapping yourself in cellophane or tin foil will stop wind(and water) penetration, but will do nothing for insulation or moisture (perspiration) removal, plus your own perspiration will build up inside and exacerbate the cold.

Surrounding oneself in fluffy hollowfill or down makes for good insulation and will allow moisture to move away from the body, but is not wet weather proof and the bulk limits one's mobility. Plus you end up looking like Raphie's brother Randy in Christmas Story...



So layers are your friend.

The problem is the face/nose/ears. A scarf works for the neck, even better is a hooded sweatshirt. Face? I am one of those fortunate(?) ones that has thick facial hair, so even a couple of days worth of whiskers helps break the wind of the chin and cheeks dramatically - for many Cleveland winters, I'd grow a full beard starting the day after Thanksgiving, and shave it off on Saint Patrick's Day -- but that may not be an option for many... If I were not so hirsute and worked out in the cold, I'd be wearing a balaclava of some sort under a hooded sweatshirt. Maybe even a Scuba wetsuit hood.

That leaves the nose/lips still exposed... I never did figure out how best to deal with that. But then again, my Hooded sweatshirt had I very long narrow hood, so that kept most of the wind off my face....
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Old 11-02-16, 04:43 AM
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For me a merino wool Buff works for the face but the head requires a winter helmet. I use a POC Fornix and so far haven't seen cold enough weather to even close the vents, so vents open at least down to -15 celsius.
Keeping glasses from fogging is an uphill battle but since the fornix has front vents which direct air down inside the goggles I can pretty much keep my double layered goggle from fogging when I keep moving.
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Old 11-02-16, 04:50 AM
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A construction hardhat liner will fit nicely under a helmet to fulfill the skullcap requirement and is cheap, but for colder weather a thin polypropylene balaclava works for me. Single digits and below I do not ride.
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Old 11-02-16, 05:36 AM
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30 degrees is my cut off point for riding. My jacket has a high collar that covers my neck. I wear a simple bandanna on my head and I pull it over my ears and believe it or not it works fine. Don't need anything thicker and I usually end up pushing it off my ears halfway into a ride. I can't wear anything on my face because I get too hot, you just have to suck it up for the first couple of miles. But I don't know, they way I see others bundling up I think most people are more sensitive to the cold than me. I'd fry like an egg if I dressed like I see everyone else doing in the winter.
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Old 11-02-16, 06:56 AM
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If you don't get any good replies here try reading thru the Winter Cycling forum.
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Old 11-02-16, 07:40 AM
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Downhill skier here - Seirus Neoprene Masque half mask (various thicknesses), ski googles, and ski helmet (or insulated windproof beanie underneath bike helmet).
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Old 11-02-16, 09:27 AM
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I use a buff and a winter cycling cap. If it's cold enough out, ski goggles instead of sunglasses. The top of my head isn't too bad, it's my forehead and ears that really feel the bite. I like the buff because I can pull it down at stops after I am warmed up
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Old 11-02-16, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
I use a buff and a winter cycling cap. If it's cold enough out, ski goggles instead of sunglasses. The top of my head isn't too bad, it's my forehead and ears that really feel the bite. I like the buff because I can pull it down at stops after I am warmed up
This, all of this.

If its really cold I have a balaclava for that. Otherwise I have an Under Armour cold gear skull cap with ear coverage that is so warm I had to get something that didn't cover the top of my head because I got too warm. Just needed to keep my ears covered. And a buff is great for the reasons stated above. You can pull that sucker down any time you are warmed up, my wife loves hers.
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Old 11-02-16, 10:15 AM
  #11  
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Balaclava for me. It is flexible as to what you can cover.
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Old 11-02-16, 10:21 AM
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I have two different cycling skullcaps, a lighter weight one and a heavier one that almost covers my ears.

Years ago, I got a cheap fleece "neck gaiter" from Target or Dick's. It's a tube of fleece. I can pull it up over my nose and ears and breathe through it, or down to my chin if it's not quite that cold. I'll scrunch it down around my neck on the warm uphills. I use it when it's below 45F.
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Old 11-02-16, 10:35 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
I've been looking through and trying to find out what's best for keeping your head, face, neck and ears warm in winter.

The obvious choice on the surface would seem to be a balaclava although they seem a bit all or nothing (maybe when it's that cold you need the all anyway) and on searching for information there were quite a few posts of people saying they're too much and get very stuffy and your glasses fog up pretty quick

Any recommendations much appreciated!!!!
I wear a woolen skullcap, balaclava, and when below about 25
F, an additional face mask. I also wear prescription eyeglasses and have posted frequently about the problem of fogging.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I perennially post about mywinter eyewear for my 14 mile year-round commute, from about 35 down to as lowas 0. I must wear my prescription eyeglasses, and fogging is one of the worst dangers of winter riding. I am entirely satisfied with my system:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…for eye protection is a pair of simple, wide,plastic industrial goggles that I suspend from my cycling cap using Velcro around the nosepiece. The goggles sit very comfortably on my face securely in place even though my ears are covered. The earpieces then provide a secure mount for my eyeglass-mounted Take-a-Look mirror.

The goggles allow sufficient room for my prescription eyeglasses, and are widely ventilated to carry away the exhaled moisture preventing fogging.
I realize now that my goggles and face mask are actually an integrated system of heating and ventilation that keeps my face warm and my vision unencumbered by fogging. The windscreen of the goggles is so effective in keeping my eyes warm that my eyelids actually perspired because my central core body was so warm, and my eyes never got cold, even on those fast windswept downhill runs…


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Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-02-16 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 11-02-16, 11:14 AM
  #14  
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Anybody tried fur or faux fur? It's great at breaking up the wind and insulating, not so much at moisture management but I think I'm going to try some fur strips around the face since I'm facially folically challenged and have glasses which leads to fogging issues as mentioned above.
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Old 11-02-16, 11:23 AM
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Last fall I picked up a Giro Nine helmet and Smith ski goggles, worn with a balaclava, oh what a difference it made.
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Old 11-02-16, 11:28 AM
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Balaclava with skull cap underneath and scarf when really cold plus helmet. I rarely cover my nose and mouth as that makes glasses fog up. Amazingly, the skin on your face is pretty conditioned to cold. For me, fingers and toes are what I struggle with to keep warm. Everything else is good.
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Old 11-02-16, 11:47 AM
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I don't know what a snood (hairnet) would do for cold weather. Probably nothing. I usually use a winter cap sort of like this:

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/gi...w&gclsrc=aw.ds

but I think mine is an old Louis Garneau. I like them to cover most of my ears if possible. On colder temps below 30F, I'll add a balaclava in addition to the winter cap. Those two usually get me through most winter days here in the NYC area.

Last edited by ptempel; 11-02-16 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 11-02-16, 12:20 PM
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I used to bicycle-commute year around. I used insulated boots as needed, wind pants over whatever level of warmth I needed, from tights to polar fleece pants. Layers on top: underarmor followed by insulation - I liked polarfleece - followed by windbreaker - the front should be windproof and if you can stand it to keep the back porous then moisture can escape better. I used a balaclava on my face in really cold stuff. I could pull it over my chin if needed.

For a helmet, I taped the vents in front so the only ventilation was at the back or under the pads in front. I zip-tied a motorcycle face-shield to the front and cut it down so that it just covered the tip of my nose. Breathe in through the nose, down and out through the mouth to prevent fogging/icing, angle the head down to protect against wind.

I liked lobster gloves, but when it got really cold (below zero F) I wasn't afraid to use mittens.

Winter rides were always shorter. Even a weekend club ride was <25 miles, and often less depending on the weather.

Isn't there a winter biking forum here? They should have lots of good suggestions.
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Old 11-02-16, 12:43 PM
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Here are my styles for cold weather. I try not to ride below 40 degrees, but it happens.
I do like merino wool, but I don't use it on my head (even merino can have a slight itch).

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Old 11-02-16, 02:01 PM
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At 40 I have a long sleeve shirt and non-insulated tights on still. I guess my definition of cold is actual cold. Worst case Ontario, see rule #5.
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Old 11-02-16, 03:30 PM
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a beard!
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Old 11-02-16, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by robert schlatte View Post
Balaclava with skull cap underneath and scarf when really cold plus helmet. I rarely cover my nose and mouth as that makes glasses fog up. Amazingly, the skin on your face is pretty conditioned to cold.
Balaclava over the nose and mouth isn't about keeping face skin warm so much as it is about keeping you from wrecking your lungs by gulping icy air. If you're doing high-intensity stuff in 20-degree weather, this can mess you up.
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Old 11-02-16, 03:57 PM
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Mine too...oh..wait

Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
30 degrees is my cut off point for riding.
I thought to myself 30 is my cutoff too...but then I realized you were talking ABOVE zero.... I wouldn't get much riding in if +30F was my cutoff. Maybe I've seen the last of those warm temps till next March...
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Old 11-02-16, 04:37 PM
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I have a fluorescent orange balaclava. I wear it with the bottom folded up when the weather is cool. When it's cold I'll wear the balaclava such that my nose and mouth are covered. When it gets really cold I wear a plastic sanding dust mask under the balaclava but the mask covers my nose and mouth as does the balaclava. That allows me to bicycle with effort but breathe in nice warm air instead of frigid lung damaging air.

Sanding mask is like this one ffrom a dollar store.

Dust mask by Miele Man, on Flickr

Cheers
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Old 11-02-16, 06:11 PM
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Let me also say that waaaaay back in the 'stone age' ( early 1970s) I rode my Sears 3-speed to high school swim team practice all winter long. Well, winter sports season which runs mid November through early March. In Cleveland winters! I had to be in the water at 6am, so that meant getting up before 5am, getting dressed, hop on the bike, ride the 3 miles to the local YMCA (no sidewalks where I grew up either!), then change and be in the pool and ready to swim by 6am. We had a two hour practice unless the student had a 1st period class, then it was 90 minutes - then change, ride 2 miles to the high school, and then 2 miles home after school. Blow dryers were not common back then, so many times my wet hair would freeze on the ride from the Y to school...

One more thing I learned while delivering mail - do not eat or drink on bitter cold days. If you do, your blood supply (and heat!) will go to your stomach and intestines to digest the food and gather the nutrients -- and away from your extremities. Don't stop for coffee or hot chocolate. You might think it helps, but it is actually worse than drinking/eating nothing at all! One more thing -- if I felt my fingertips getting cold, move faster!!!
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