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Jacket for cooler days

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Jacket for cooler days

Old 11-07-13, 08:49 AM
  #1  
cbike
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Jacket for cooler days

I'm looking for a jacket recommendation for riding in cooler temperatures (40s and 30s). I'm wearing a mid-weight wool or other non-cotton shirt and a jacket. I need a lightweight jacket to protect me from the wind and add a little extra warmth. But my back gets easily sweaty within 30 minutes of riding. Opening the jacket doesn't work as it cools me down in the front way to much before I feel any effect on my back. Besides of wearing the jacket wrong way are there other things or jacket styles I can try?
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Old 11-07-13, 09:17 AM
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Any number of jackets would work, so I'll concentrate instead on what features are the most useful for me:

Pit zippers.

That's about it; if a jacket has pit zips, between those and tweaking the front zipper, I can usually regulate my core temperature pretty well. My current jacket (Showers Pass Touring) also has a back vent, which may help some, but only when the pit zips are open. (Actually I've never felt any air moving back there, so I can't say if it helps or not.)

Other nice things include adjustable cuffs on the sleeves and two-way zipper on the front. After riding for a while, though, I'd concentrate on a good collar and a nice liner. Nothing's ickier than feeling rubber rubbing on your skin when you're damp.
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Old 11-07-13, 09:34 AM
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It might help if you posted exactly what kind of jacket you have now. Also, what else do you want from the replacement besides temperature and perspiration control? Packability? Water-resistant?

I have never toured with it, but I have a Showers Pass Touring jacket (you can find it on closeout with some vendors as it has been replaced by Showers Pass Transit jacket). Windproof, water-resistant, excellent selection of options for ventilation control with velcro-adjustable cuffs, large armpit zippers, a two-way front zipper and a large back vent. I can let air circulate up the arms (open the cuffs to act as air-intakes). If that's too cold, then I can open the armpit zippers various amounts to let air circulate around my back without getting cold air on my chest.

Sized to wear layers under it, I have been comfortable wearing it over a base layer and jersey in cool weather. I can add a polartec vest under it if the weather is colder. I have worn various combinations well in the mid-30 degree F range and have been comfortable and not sweat-soaked.

The only downside is it does not pack down to a very small size.

I think in your case, your primary need is a large back vent and armpit zippers on your next jacket. Good luck with your search.
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Old 11-07-13, 09:50 AM
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My Showers Pass, Portland is stylish a and a good shell , but I get out a Parka when the heavy weather Hits.

Irish Tour I liked my Anorak for its front hand warmer and Glove storage, kangaroo front pocket.
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Old 11-07-13, 10:19 AM
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Erick L
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I use a super thin (almost see-through) nylon windbreaker with a generous back vent that I bought in a 50% bin 15 years ago. It's not made for cycling but has a longer tail. The cuff are elastic and the sleeves are loose enough to pull up when it's too warm. There are no pit-zip and I can feel the air flow going from front ot back when I pull down the collar slightly. It's not "warm" but it breaks the wind and breathes superbly. If I need more warmth, I layer underneath. It's my go-to jacket in the winter. Just add layers. I'll never buy a wind jacket with an insulating layer. I can't imagine riding with any of Shower's Pass mentionned above, except in the rain. They're too thick and don't breath.
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Old 11-07-13, 10:20 AM
  #6  
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The jacket should prevent wind from penetrating it (and making me cold), provide extra warmth (not to much though) and keep me from sweating. Water resistance is not needed and undesired. I have a rain coat that I would wear over it. Pack ability isn't important either as I'll be wearing it most of the time.

I have a Columbia two layer jacket (rain layer and insulation layer). I mainly use the insulation layer which made of nylon (shell, insulation, lining). Much like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Columbia-Sport...dp/B00AHJL80K/

BTW, it is for riding 7/8 hours/day (with short breaks) and about 60 miles/day.
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Old 11-07-13, 10:38 AM
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You might consider the Gore Bike Wear Windstopper base layer T-shirt. Has a big wind-proof panel on the front while the back is normal base layer material. Great for shoulder-season rides where you want to be a bit warmer but won't need a full winter jacket. Also great for those rides which start in cool morning weather and transition into a warm afternoon. Would likely help when you unzip your jacket: the Windstopper panel in the front will cut the wind chill and your back will still be able to breathe. The base layer wicks well, so even if you do sweat a bit you won't really notice.

These are pricey if you pay full retail! I typically buy mine at the end of the season for around $40. There used to be a short-sleeved version of the shirt, which is the one that I use, but they seem to be in short supply at the moment. Looks like Nashbar has a few... at full price
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Old 11-07-13, 10:43 AM
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I would hazard to say that you will find that there is no such thing as a perfect jacket. I ride into December if there isnt snow, and basically wear the same layered system as cross country skiing. Non waterproof shell (an old one of this:
http://www.mec.ca/product/5017-604/m...g-jacket-mens/

which I layer underneath depending on the temps. As noted, having a soft fleece or something around your neck for a given temp certainly feels better on the neck, and I unzip, or layer more, or put on an old fleece vest to keep my back from getting cold....basically whatever works for a given temp, what clothes I already own for outdoor stuff.
Oh and dont forget, everyone is diff for what "feels cold" so it really does come to individual experimentation.

I tend to use a balaclava when it gets closer to freezing, but then I also use fleece "neckups" along with a thin under helmet toque at times instead of the balaclava--comes back to the improvisational aspect and what works making you comfortable.

I ride with at least one pannier always, so throwing in another layer or two, some warmer gloves or whatever is no weight penalty really (I also have an old pair of goretex mitt overmitts, no insulation, and they are great to put over exisiting gloves if its really windy and or has gottan a lot colder)

I also use rain booties as a wind block for my feet, and anywhere around 3c I start to put some fleece on top of my shoes as added insulation. Use thicker wool socks too as temps change.

for riding that much 7-8 hrs a day, its just like cross country skiing, you really want to be able to regulate your sweating so it isnt too much, yet be able to quickly cover up so you dont cool down too quickly either and get chilled. With skiing out in the woods, you cant just pop into a store to warm up, so depending on where you are biking, its completely worth trying out all kinds of layering options and getting a feel for what works for you for a given temp and exertion amount.
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Old 11-07-13, 10:46 AM
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I have a "layer" that is not a jacket. It's for running I think and is quilted somewhat. I can use as-is or w a variety of base layers. what makes it good it that it vents and is not a complete wind/stop type windbreaker which I prefer to avoid altogether. using it though requires accurate weather forecasting to decide what, if any, base layer to use. I will occasionally bring any variety of other small items I can whip on if I get cold, such as a cycling vest or sleeveless tank top. I should be able to get the label tonight for you. it's a very useful item.
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Old 11-07-13, 11:27 AM
  #10  
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The Marmot Ether jacket and Driclime windshirt are not cycling specific, but they are great at keeping you warm in chilly weather and they have good pit ventilation.

http://marmot.com/search/driclime/men/jackets--vests
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Old 11-07-13, 11:53 AM
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I ride year round here in New Hampshire and I have the same problem as the OP. I pretty much wear nothing but summer clothes most of the year. I do go long sleeve during the fall/winter months but otherwise most of the winter I just have summer gear on with wind protection. It works fantastic for me and I don't think a thing about riding 50-100+ miles on a nice mid winter day when the temps start out well below freezing and may not even get above freezing all day long.

With that said I have to admit even during the dead of winter there are only five spots where I get any sweat forming. The wrists, the ankles, the waist(where top and bottom clothing come together, the forehead, and between the shoulder blades. The biggest area is between the shoulder blades.

I've been thinking about simply taking a cheapo nylon jacket and cutting the back out of it. I would still leave the sleeves intact and attached to the front. I would then take thin Velcro straps and wrap them around the back to keep the jacket in place and to also help make the jacket fit my body and not necessarily everyone elses that way I could get rid of all wind flutter. This way the entire back would ventilate while the front is protected from the wind. I know I can get elchapo nylon jackets, bought two new ones in the past couple of weeks for $10 a piece just a stones throw from where I'm sitting online right now. Heck, I even have some spare nylon that might be big enough laying around at home that I could easily sew up to make the jacket the way I want it.

You need the back and the head to ventilate if you want to stay dry and at the same time stay warm. Sweat is called evaporative cooling for a reason. I don't put anything on the head other than ear protection until it gets down around zero Fahrenheit. I want the heat to escape instead of build up and make me sweat.
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Old 11-07-13, 12:38 PM
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I use an older Canari wind breaker type jacket that has a zip off panel in the center of the back with mesh underneath. It works much better than any other venting type jackets I've tried including pit zips. I can easily stuff the piece in a pocket and if needed zip it back on. The other benefit of the mesh is a hi viz jersey layered under the jacket shows up nicely.

It also has zip of sleeves but I never remove then because it is the core I need to cool and not my arms.
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Old 11-07-13, 01:08 PM
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guess I replied to a similar thread before - found a picture of what I was referring to earlier. the picture is labeled Brooks Equilibrium, which I think is a line of apparel meant for running at night. I may have bought it at Dick's Sporting Goods (a few years ago)

Oh I see now it's their "Podium Half Zip"

found it on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Brooks-Podium-...odium+Half+Zip
Attached Images
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Old 11-08-13, 07:48 AM
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I do not use one jacket for that temperature range, instead I start out with a polartec vest under a windbreaker. When I have warmed up, I remove the vest and keep the windbreaker on. I also use thin arm warmers in that temperature range.

The windbreaker is one that has removable sleeves and can be converted to a vest. I almost never use it as a vest but both sleeve zippers when partially unzipped create a vent on the front of the shoulder that is great for better venting. The jacket is a high visibility one. It is an older Canari that I do not think is made any more, but there may be similar windbreakers out there.

That is a difficult temperature range, hard riding or tailwinds or hill climbing make me warm up much more than easy riding or riding into a headwind or coasting downhill. I might start out with ski gloves but sometimes work down to the fingerless warm weather gloves to promote more heat loss. In that temperature range I also wear a rain cover over my helmet to reduce heat loss on the top of my head or use my winter helmet. Footwear for the cold, lots of options, but we are getting way past your original question.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 11-08-13 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 11-08-13, 10:09 PM
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The diverse replies here are evidenced by the fact that you see no two cyclists dressed the same out there. Everyone is different and finds their own solution for the style of comfort they seek. For riding as you describe I have found that a poly shirt with an Arc'teryx Atom jacket over it suits me well. The jacket is a bit water repellent if you hit some light rain and I use the zipper to adjust ventilation as I go up or down major hills. If it gets a bit cooler I throw a showers pass elite 2.0 over top and that covers me to about 25 degrees or so.

The Atom jacket is pretty pricey but I really love it and it is quite versatile. It fits close to the body but has thin but powerful insulation. Arm holes are cut high for mobility and it is crazy light for the warmth it provides. Side panels are mesh and seem to always provide the right balance of ventilation and warmth. The jacket is quite unique and I have never had anything quite like it. As a mater of fact it is so comfortable and light that I have been wearing mine still around the house for three hours without realizing it until I started typing this. It always seems to keep me comfy at the right temperature in any weather from 25 to 65 degrees. If colder I use it as a mid layer under another insulated layer. I NEVER get clammy in it whether I am sedentary or very active. It really is a great jacket.

I just looked up the Atom jacket on Amazon. It rated 5 stars by 24 / 25 people which is an amazing rating. The other person rated it 4 / 5. This is the highest rating I have ever seen on Amazon.

Last edited by dwmckee; 11-09-13 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:46 PM
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I just picked up a Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Down jacket. Extremely light, pretty warm for what it is and seems to keep cut the wind down fairly well.
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Old 11-13-13, 10:25 PM
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I have last year's version of this jacket (they have a men's version too, I think) http://www.rei.com/product/842439/ca...-jacket-womens

It's super thin, blocks the wind, and I wear various layers under it depending. I sometimes half-unzip the zip-off sleeves to just create a vent, and it also has a large back vent.
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Old 11-13-13, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LaetaPuella View Post
I have last year's version of this jacket (they have a men's version too, I think) http://www.rei.com/product/842439/ca...-jacket-womens

It's super thin, blocks the wind, and I wear various layers under it depending. I sometimes half-unzip the zip-off sleeves to just create a vent, and it also has a large back vent.
the MEC jacket I use is a very similar type of shell. I think they are the ideal sort of jacket for all kinds of temps, because as you say, you can layer with whatever works for a given temp and what works for you, while still having a wind shell that in this case, is pretty versatile with becoming a vest as well.

around here with fall and spring being darker, a bright colour like this is a real plus.

the price is very reasonable as well, close to the MEC jacket like it.

http://www.mec.ca/product/5017-604/m...g-jacket-mens/
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