Jacket for 32-40F with some water protection- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    since 4/10/2009
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    Jacket for 32-40F with some water protection

    Mornings here lately have been ranging from low 30's to around 40 or so on and off. I have a selection of a couple different jackets, and none of them do quite enough for me in this range.

    I have a thin EMS Windstopper N2S jacket that works well in the upper end of the range, but it's not even remotely water resistant. It's technically a "wicking" garment which is great when I'm building up a little sweat, as it prevents that moisture from building up and chilling me. It's not so good when I need something with more weather protection.

    The other jacket I've been commuting in is an Eddie Bauer softshell. It's a non-technical softshell, so the seams are sewn rather than welded. It does offer more weather protection than the Windstopper N2S jacket and it works well at the lower end of the temp range where I'm less likely to deal with liquid precipitation. But it is a little warmer and has me cooking alive and sweating a lot by the end of my commute if I wear it on a 40deg morning.

    If I need a full-on waterproof jacket, I can layer my Marmot Precip jacket. The sort of thing I'd like is a somewhat breathable outer layer with wind protection and some water resistance for the drizzly, misty mornings.

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
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    My Mountain Hardware softshell is a bit to much for upper 30's also... I unzip everything and it's OK, but the arms especially don't vent too well, even though the core does. Awesome for temps lower than that though.

    check out the first item in this little review and the comments about it... it had me thinking pretty seriously about picking one up. No personal experience though:
    Clothesline review: Winter weather wonder wears
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
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    I use a "regular" (not waterproof or softshell) lightweight bike jacket at those temps, over a real thin wool longsleeve, maybe an undershirt too. It doesn't keep me dry but it keeps me dry enough to stay warm. I'd rather be a little wet than dry (from rain), hot, sweating, and wet on the inside.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, it seems like that temp range is hard to handle with clothing. I find I end up sweating a lot in that temp range. I've been using a shell with welded seams and a t-shirt underneath. The bare arms under the shell still sweat but stay cool when the material touches your skin and then when at work, it's easy to wipe them off with a paper towel. That way, your sleeves don't get soaked. Try that for free.

  5. #5
    Still want a fat bike....
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    My problem in that temp range is the wind. If I wear my mountain hardwear soft shell, I am too hot even with only a t-shirt under it, yet if I go long sleeve base with long sleeve med weight (where I am comfortable at 35 if I am not working hard), the wind just freezes my arms. I have a wind proof vest that works well, but the arms are frozen. I am good once I get down in the low 30s with the long sleeve light base, windproof vest and softshell, but much above 35, I am a bit too hot.

    I wonder if some sort of light windbreaker with a long sleeve base might cover that temp range and keep the wind and rain off of you. Something like a golf pullover maybe.

  6. #6
    Wierdo
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    I am partial to Showers Pass gear. The Double Century jacket is very lightweight, waterproof and breathable. You can layer up underneath it - it's light enough that I can wear mine up till around 50F by just changing my base layer.

    The downside - expensive. But, very well made and will last a long time.

    Cycling Jacket - Lightweight Rain Jacket - Waterproof Bike Wear | Showers Pass

  7. #7
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    I'd use almost any vented waterproof shell with a thermal base layer and then add a microfleece in for the colder range.

    I use some sort of cheaper Columbia shell with a dirt cheap thermal base later (Duro maybe) and then an old microfleece (Di ck's Sporting Goods name brand).

  8. #8
    One Colorful Rider
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    First Impression.
    Norm's Product Review of the` Bontrager RL Thermal Softshell Jacket.

    Three Rides this December with the Bontrager RL Thermal Softshell Jacket.

    Temperatures have been all over the place so far this December. Actually it has been quite pleasurable so far considering the last 5 winters. I've been contemplating purchasing another Thermal jersey this year.

    As I was leaving work the other day the temperature was 21 and dropping. Temps were in the upper 30's that morning. So I grabbed the Bontrager RL Thermal Softshell. Not realizing the Trek considers this a Jacket. I put this in between my midweight jersey and my Fox Storm Shell. Needless to say I was Quite Warm on the way home.

    The next morning it was 12 degrees when leaving the house. I then Layered appropriately with a base layer, lightweight wool, then midweight jerseys then the RL Thermal Softshell. As I was first staring out I was a little chilled. That is normal. You should not be comfortable at the beginning of your ride when starting out in cold weather. If you are your dressed to warm. Unless you ride is short. I noticed the windproof properties right away. I was comfortable with in 15-20 minutes.The Jacket does breath. Most older hard shell if you would don't breath that well that's why you need pit zips. There is a side zip that is either for getting into a rear jersey pocket or venting.

    On the way home I did not wear the midweight jersey in between the wool jersey and the RL Jacket. As temps was around 21 degrees. I love it when I nail the correct layering system as it was good all the way home.

    My route is 15 miles each way. I ride City streets to paved bike path to Gravel Wooded Forest Preserve to Rural country Roads.

    SO MY First Impression?
    It's a Great Piece and plan on wearing it more when winter really comes!

    Just Ride
    Norm
    Service Manager and Bicycle Commuter

    Oh It does have a Media Zip Pocket for my Camera :~)

    Bontrager: RL Thermal Softshell Jacket (Model #08579)

    Bontrager RL Thermal Softshell Jacket. $125.00

  9. #9
    since 4/10/2009
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    My commute is 4mi at the longest and only takes me 15-20min in total. It's not really worth wearing cycling-specific base layers for this short amount of time. I have done it and meh. IF I stopped at the gym on campus first to shower, then it might. But I lose my access to the gym at the end of the month unless I want to pay extra for it. And I'm not gonna pay just to use the shower.

    Some interesting thoughts, but I don't need a jacket for colder temps. I have that covered.

    Yesterday was a good example of what I need. It was warmer than my stated temp range (in the 50's actually) but it was drizzly and somewhat windy...just enough to make it feel worse than it was when on open streets. I had my hardshell along in anticipation of downpours (which I conveniently missed) and so I went with the hardshell to block the wind and the drizzle. It did the job, but even with all the vents wide open, it got clammy in there. And when that happened, I got cold.

  10. #10
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    How cold can it get in Nacogdoches, TX ?

  11. #11
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Normbilt View Post
    How cold can it get in Nacogdoches, TX ?
    Easily below freezing. It's been that cold (around 29 or 30) a few mornings this season already.

    It's not uncommon to get a couple weeks with mornings in the low 20's sometime around Jan or Feb.

    It is rare, however, for the daytime highs to be below freezing. Usually the absolute lowest daytime high is in the 40's.

    I moved down here from the Great White North, though. I commuted by bike from time to time in the middle of the winter when I lived in Michigan. So I'm good with cold weather gear.

  12. #12
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    Sounds similar to my Phoenix winter mornings. I recently picked up a new jacket from REI with a gift card I got for my birthday. It's this one Novara Headwind Bike Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com
    When the temps are in the 40's I wear it as is with just a jersey underneath. In the 30's I wear regular cycling arm warmers underneath and that's about perfect. I haven't ridden in much rain with it yet, but what little rain I hit did bead up on it.

  13. #13
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    I wear my Showers Pass Elite 2.0 for any weather, wet or dry below 40F, as my outer shell.
    It is totally waterproof, extremely well made, and has a full back vent. It cuts the wind for cold dry days (I've worn mine to 0F and it was excellent).

    For 30-40 and wet, this up top plus similar down below, with a helmet cover (I use the showers pass helmet cover that has a neck cover built in), and either thin wool gloves with gore tex shell overmitts or wetsuit style gloves that I let get wet.

    Below 34 or so it is snowing, so it is more about wind protection at that point, and the rain gear does the trick wonderfully.

  14. #14
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    Endura Gridlock jacket - waterproof, breathable, armpit vents - for winter or rain.

  15. #15
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    Marmot Driclime. Good for 20 to maybe 45 degrees over a thin base.

  16. #16
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    I've had great luck with the Gore Phantom jacket. It is water resistant, windstopper and is perfect in the conditions you're describing. I was riding in it yesterday.

    Gore Phantom Jacket

    At the bottom end of the temp range you're contemplating, I usually add a shell over the outside. I use the Gore Fusion GT.

    Gore Fusion GT Review.

  17. #17
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    I'm a big fan of Foxwear clothing. All the items are custom made to your needs in Idaho by a man named Lou, and are usually less expensive than comparable store bought items.

    I just received some swatches of a new highly water-resistant fabric he's using, and it looks to be quite nice.

    His website is here: Foxwear , but if you are interested in ordering I'd give him a call to discuss exactly what you need. He'll make it. 877 756-3699

  18. #18
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    The Foxwear is really nice stuff. His pants and rain gear are get great reviews. Next Christmas.

    Santa brought one of these this year.

    A nice shell to layer under. I test rode it by my video camera with and without the vest in late afternoon heading to dusk The ANSI vest isn't as good as this jacket in the day as the reflective/orange bands don't show as well as the traffic yellow-green.

    Having the arms also traffic yellow-green which are forward and lit by a sun behind the rider is a definite advantage coming or going over a vest Too new to assess its wear. It does breathe well. It has two strips of reflective material on the arms useful for letting drivers see an arm signal. If they understand what an extended arm means. ;(

    BrianMc

  19. #19
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    A few months ago I picked up a Shoreman's Fleece jacket from Duluth Trading. It would not have been an obvious choice for biking, but I have found that it excels at that. The tail and sleeves are long enough. There is plenty of stretch through the shoulders. It is surprisingly warm. (I've found that it is good down to about ten degrees or so with a base layer under it. My area is so dry that 20 degrees here is comparable to 30 degrees or so back east.) I'm not sure how it handles rain, because everything has been frozen since I got the jacket. And it is a steal at $70. I was looking at other jackets that were more than twice that, and found that I really like this one better.
    Men's Fleece Jacket - Shoreman's Fleece - Duluth Trading Company

    I recently got a North Face Apex Bionic vest. They make a jacket version of it. The material is very thin for the amount of warmth that it provides. Assuming the sleeve length was sufficient (can't gauge that with my vest), I think it would be good cycling wear for that 30-40 temperature range. It has a DWR finish, but I think you would still want that Precip jacket for the days when it is pouring. I've found several jackets this season that have really trimmed down on girth while still retaining a decent amount of insulation. I live in Alaska, so I just expect to wear big, bulky clothes much of the year. But now there seem to be some options to avoid it. And the less bulky clothes are much easier to bike in.
    Here is the Apex: The North Face Apex Bionic Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com
    This is another that appeared to be cycle-worthy: Arc'teryx Epsilon AR Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com

    The article of clothing that I still haven't found is some good overpants for cycling in this temperature range. I've got some Mountain Hardwear Compressor pants for the really cold days. And above 40 I'm fine with just pants. (I'm not a tights kind of guy.) But I would love some pants made of soft-shell material that had full-side-zips to go on over my regular pants. They should provide some warmth and a meaningful amount of water-resistance. I almost picked up some Salomon Momentum side-zip pants, but they just didn't feel right. They were too tight all around and seemed like they would be uncomfortable to try to bike in.

  20. #20
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    I am going to tread against the grain here and suggest a high quality cyling specific vest. I have a Voler brand winter vest that works great. I think vests are versatile because you can layer as much as you like below them and they allow you to go with or with out sleeves by using different gear. And a vest has the ultimate arm pit ventilation. Just the other day I completed a 2.5 hour ride with a good friend. The ambient temp was 34F, but wind chill was 27F. Sunny afternoon, so no drizzly rain. I wore two short sleeve merino jerseys, poly arm warmers, and my Voler vest on my upper body. Lower body was the Foxwear "Power Shield Pants" with just a padded liner. I was very comfortable in this set up. And I was able to regulate my body temp very well by using the zippers on my three layers over my core.

    I think one of the challenges that the OP faces here is that he is only commuting 4 miles each way. I have commuted many trips in this range, and getting all "cycling specific" geared up can be a PIA. With that said, I think that it might be worth the effort to experiement with utilizing cycling specific gear for your core (including a vest) and then you can stick to more non-cycling specific gear for your legs and feet.

    Looks like Lou at Foxwear also makes vests.

  21. #21
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    I wore this home tonight. Two base layers and a Mid-weight jersey under
    It was 10 degrees.

    The only thing that got cold was my nose

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1 View Post
    Sounds similar to my Phoenix winter mornings. I recently picked up a new jacket from REI with a gift card I got for my birthday. It's this one Novara Headwind Bike Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com
    When the temps are in the 40's I wear it as is with just a jersey underneath. In the 30's I wear regular cycling arm warmers underneath and that's about perfect. I haven't ridden in much rain with it yet, but what little rain I hit did bead up on it.
    :-) Ditto the Headwind pants. Above 40 the pants over bike shorts are fine. Around 40F and I throw on a pair of leg warmers. I've only ridden in 35-40F mind you. I think 32-35 will be the limit on staying warm with this gear. The pants are a good deal when you can get them for 20% off at the end of the winter season.

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