windbreaker too hot- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    windbreaker too hot

    I have thin Pearl Izumi Elite jacket that I am having a hard time using at all. I left at 9:45 this morning for a 10-11 mile commute on city roads with a temperature of about 35 degrees and a stiff headwind. I had on a tshirt, a thin wool long-sleeve, and this jacket. within five minutes, I was boiling alive inside this jacket and I had to take it off and just deal with the wind cutting through my wool base layer. This has happened a few times before. It seems that there is no temperature that is too low that makes this jacket useful. I just get steamed like a broccoli stalk within a short period. I have tried it without a long-sleeve and it's even worse- I sweat inside it and the sweat feels like ice on my skin.

    is it me or the jacket? should I ditch this jacket and try something else? or will any "wind resistant" jacket going to do the same thing?

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Depending on the size of that jacket, if you dump it, let me know.
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  3. #3
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    If it's like the current model stuff I wouldn't even get that jacket out of the closet until it gets down to the teens F.

    Wool underneath would for sure boil you alive at 35F
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  4. #4
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    What kind of material is it made from? If it is a sil-nylon like material then yes it's just not very breathable and it's meant more for wet and cold conditions. I have a thin nylon (non-sil) soft shell from the North Face that I've been using the last few days and it has been perfect with just a long sleeve t-shirt on underneath at about 40 degrees (and in 20mph winds).

    It all depends on the material from which the jacket is made. Soft shells are made with different weaves that achieve different levels of wind resistance and "breathability".

    YMMV
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  5. #5
    I need skills
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    If it is a softshell, those are warm jackets. I wear regular thin nylon jackets down to 12F. Single digits I wear a goretex type jacket, soft shells to me don't breath well.

  6. #6
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    I think I might have the same jacket as I sort of feel the same way whenever I wear it, but on my ride home tonight I found the solution.

    Unexpected freezing rain. Nothing has cured my heat problems so quickly or efficiently. Apparently the jacket is fine, the weather just needs to be miserable.

  7. #7
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    @cjohnson

    "Soft Shell" is a pretty generic term for any out layer that is only wind/water resistant and not fully proof against water. The North Face jacket that I use is similar to your thin nylon jacket, but it is still a "soft shell". There is a huge variety of them.

    @formula4speed

    It defintely sounds like you have a sil-nylon shell if it took freezing rain to make it comfortable. Those are the most common cycling soft-shells that I have seen unless they are made from WL Gore materials.
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  8. #8
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    Re: windbreaker too hot

    If you have the jacket I think you do, you might be better served with the convertible version, and saving the sleeves for the nasty cold rain. The vest is dynamite with a jersey/shirt and maybe a baselayer around the 35-45 range.

    My experience with any of those jackets with a hard nylon face is that, as you noted, they suck unless it's really cold or wet, and are awfully uncomfortable without long sleeves beneath. 'Softshells' (really just fleeces with knitted faces) are otherwise my go to in cold weather, since they breathe and aren't terrible against bare skin.

  9. #9
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    I have become a fan of cross country ski jackets in the cold when it isn't wet. Mostly windproof front, and a stretchy, totally breathable back...the back fabric is similar to some mid layers I have.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    My experience with any of those jackets with a hard nylon face is that, as you noted, they suck unless it's really cold or wet, and are awfully uncomfortable without long sleeves beneath. 'Softshells' (really just fleeces with knitted faces) are otherwise my go to in cold weather, since they breathe and aren't terrible against bare skin.
    I have an older Patagonia softshell that works really well, and has an impressive temperature range. The only problem is that it does not have a good cycling fit. I've been looking at the Rapha classic softshell, but it's a bit pricey. Do you have any recommendations for a more fitted softshell?

  11. #11
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    this jacket- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004N628OS/...ter_B004N628TI

    I have tried riding it with the sleeves removed and it's still too hot even in the 30s. it's like being shrink-wrapped in plastic. there is no ventilation to speak of. it does not get much colder than that here in Texas so I don't know when I will have occasion to use it. I have worn it no more than 5 times when the temp is close to freezing and I always have to stop and take it off. I might have to stick to long-sleeved shirts and leave the jackets for days when it's cold and I am just walking places.

  12. #12
    CB of the East
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    I bought one of those and returned it. I talked about superior water resistance which was about 5 minutes in the rain. It did seem to retain sweat better than most. I replaced it with a Showers Pass rain jacket that has the same sweaty problem but is actually waterproof. For a windbreaker I have a nylon one with pit vents and a ventilated back that works great to temps into the 30s with a light wool baselayer. For colder temps I have a fleece lined softshell.

    I think you would do best with a nylon wind breaker with vents.

  13. #13
    since 4/10/2009
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    some softshells actually ARE waterproof and are intended as rain shells. You have to look at what the garment it designed to do. A non-waterproof softshell (water-resistant ones) do really well for high intensity sports in cold weather. A thin one can be acceptable for just over freezing temps.

    If you take a rain shell and force it to do duty in high intensity activities, you've decided to wear a vapor barrier layer. Your sweat will not evaporate, and I don't mess with anything like this unless it's well below freezing.

  14. #14
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    I had a pair of pants that were like that - just completely unbearable, and it felt like riding inside of a rubber glove.

    For windbreakers, I'm all about the armpit zippers.

  15. #15
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    if you're interested in a nice PI jacket, see the trade thread.

  16. #16
    Bedwards Of The West
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    On the fit issue... I have a nice Mountain Hardware softshell jacket designed for ice climbing.... super long arms and amazing fit for cycling. It's not a drop tail, but when you stick your arms above your head, the rest of the jacket doesn't move at all. The arms are articulated and a bit long. It also has nice little cuffs in the neck and sleeves to keep ice chips out when your swinging your axe above your head..those work nicely to keep the wind out on a bike. Works great for me. It also has massive pit zips that ventilate it quickly when it starts to cook in there.
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