Down/synthetic "anti-vest"?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Down/synthetic "anti-vest"?

    OK this sounds weird...but does anyone make a synthetic down-like jacket which has arms which are puffy but the rest of the jacket is light and fully breathable (not even wind proof)? So kind of like the inverse of a down vest (although a panel across the tummy would be good).

    I find on "moderately" cold rides (around 10-20 F), I rapidly overheat my sides and back with my lightweight puffy jacket, but when I take the jacket off I often can't keep my arms and belly warm enough (even though my core/sides/back are toasty warm). I typically ride with a "heavy duty" short sleeve jersey plus arm warmers ("heavy duty" just means a thicker jersey from Fox from 10 years ago or so, vaguely wind resistant, maybe double the weight of a lightweight jersey, and it sheds snow fairly well).

    Anyone hear of something like that? Or maybe super warm arm warmers that stay up well?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    OK this sounds weird...but does anyone make a synthetic down-like jacket which has arms which are puffy but the rest of the jacket is light and fully breathable (not even wind proof)? So kind of like the inverse of a down vest (although a panel across the tummy would be good).

    I find on "moderately" cold rides (around 10-20 F), I rapidly overheat my sides and back with my lightweight puffy jacket, but when I take the jacket off I often can't keep my arms and belly warm enough (even though my core/sides/back are toasty warm). I typically ride with a "heavy duty" short sleeve jersey plus arm warmers ("heavy duty" just means a thicker jersey from Fox from 10 years ago or so, vaguely wind resistant, maybe double the weight of a lightweight jersey, and it sheds snow fairly well).

    Anyone hear of something like that? Or maybe super warm arm warmers that stay up well?

    Thanks!
    I have had success with arm warmers from "the Sock Guy" They stay up very well, but I wouldn't say they are "super warm."
    --Peace

  3. #3
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    A couple of cottage manufacturers for ultralight backpacking could probably whip down sleeves up for you- you might contact Borah Gear. Mention my name (Max) and it might help, I've had a few projects done.
    Ultralight bikepacking and gear lists... MaxTheCyclist.com

  4. #4
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    A couple of cottage manufacturers for ultralight backpacking could probably whip down sleeves up for you- you might contact Borah Gear. Mention my name (Max) and it might help, I've had a few projects done.
    Down Sleeves

    That said, based on the OP's description, my advice would be to use a light softshell jacket or windbreaker and a light long sleeve synthetic or wool shirt underneath. Both of which could be had for probably under $15 at a thrift shop if budget is a concern. Save the light puffy for when it's below 10 degrees or so. I don't use a light puffy till it's -10F or colder, and even then, I'm constantly opening it to vent. It sounds like you're starting in the puffy, overheating(sweating), then taking the puffy off and trying to ride in a glorified t-shirt and arm warmers. Get a softshell or windbreaker. At those temps, breathability will be more important than water resistance.

  5. #5
    The Dog.
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    Lookup a wind shirt for nordic skiing. Windproof front of torso and arms, fully breathable back and sides.

  6. #6
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    The standard XC softshell jacket works pretty well for me, plus it has a zipper, which I use a lot.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    I agree with the above. The first thing you should do is not ride in a puffy unless it's very cold AND super windy. The two layers of wind proof fabric cause the breathability to be very poor.

    The piece to try first would be a bike or XC-ski jacket with windproof front and arms combined with breathable sides and back.
    That should do the trick for most people.

    I have long skinny arms, so my arms and hands get cold easily, yet I have never needed down sleeves.

    If you do want some more warmth for your arms specifically, get some soft shell arm warmers.

    The other cheap option is to cut the top of some old wool socks and use them as wrist warmers, in addition to the normal outfit.

  8. #8
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    Puffy for riding? Wouldn't work for me. Too hot. Try a wool base layer, wool sweater, fleece windproof vest, maybe some are warmers too. Take the sleeves off a wool sweater?

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice! I've tried a plain long sleeve jersey in combo with a light wind jacket, same issues but with two layers to try to shove in the pack, but I haven't tried a heavy weight long sleeve jersey. I actually have a really old ugly yellow one buried somewhere, always got too warm in it but that was riding around freezing, and I hadn't thought to try it out. I'll go find it (if I didn't give it to my brother years ago) and try it out!

    Yeah I know the puffy - even though it's a really thin one - is too warm, but it's very nice to have on long descents or for when the temperature suddenly drops mid-ride. I try to take it off the instant I start feeling warm, before any sweating.

  10. #10
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    I agree with others, no puffy needed at those temps. It's all about the layering and a good outside layer for the conditions. A 'light wind jacket' is not going to cut it. You need to get a quality softshell jacket or something similar, made for biking or XC skiing, as mentioned.

    At those temps I usually ride in a thin wool short sleeve shirt base layer, a thin or medium thickness second layer, also usually wool, and then a softshell jacket. You should be a little old when you start the ride, you will quickly warm up. If you start getting too warm, use the zipper on the jacket, that will cool your torso without cooling your arms too much. Adjust as you go.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    At those temps I usually ride in a thin wool short sleeve shirt base layer, a thin or medium thickness second layer, also usually wool, and then a softshell jacket. You should be a little old when you start the ride, you will quickly warm up. If you start getting too warm, use the zipper on the jacket, that will cool your torso without cooling your arms too much. Adjust as you go.
    That's pretty close to my layering strategy at those temps, also. You remind me, I probably ought to start shopping for a new softshell. The one I've been using is pretty old and starting to show it. Hopefully I can make it through this winter with it, and catch an end-of-season sale for a replacement.

    Coldest I've ridden is about 0F, and still don't wear a puffy for riding. I have one that would work well for colder temps if I ever rode in them. It's sorta intended for ice climbing, and has more breathable stretch fleece panels at the armpits for venting, and it's a Primaloft insulation, so would handle sweat a touch better. But damn, it'd have to be cold for me to want to ride in it.

  12. #12
    junea memba!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    That's pretty close to my layering strategy at those temps, also. You remind me, I probably ought to start shopping for a new softshell. The one I've been using is pretty old and starting to show it. Hopefully I can make it through this winter with it, and catch an end-of-season sale for a replacement.

    Coldest I've ridden is about 0F, and still don't wear a puffy for riding. I have one that would work well for colder temps if I ever rode in them. It's sorta intended for ice climbing, and has more breathable stretch fleece panels at the armpits for venting, and it's a Primaloft insulation, so would handle sweat a touch better. But damn, it'd have to be cold for me to want to ride in it.
    A quick plug for the showers pass refuge jacket...I just bought one and yesterday used it to snowshoe pack one of our fat bike routes. It was very cold (below zero anyway) and I was working hard, but the moisture management was great! I wore the jacket and a fleece layer (and a long sleeve base layer), didn't get too hot, and didn't come near sweating out. Enough features to make the nerdiest tech head happy, too.

    On sale for a killer price. (oh, sorry, no they are not. Just checked. Still a good price for a coat that will double as a ski coat).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by luker View Post
    A quick plug for the showers pass refuge jacket...I just bought one and yesterday used it to snowshoe pack one of our fat bike routes. It was very cold (below zero anyway) and I was working hard, but the moisture management was great! I wore the jacket and a fleece layer (and a long sleeve base layer), didn't get too hot, and didn't come near sweating out. Enough features to make the nerdiest tech head happy, too.

    On sale for a killer price. (oh, sorry, no they are not. Just checked. Still a good price for a coat that will double as a ski coat).
    did you miss that I'd be looking for a softshell jacket? The one I'm looking to replace is WAY lighter than that, and far more breathable than is possible for a waterproof 3-layer jacket.

    This is the jacket in question:


    2013 Brown County Breakdown by Nate, on Flickr

    This thing hasn't been made for probably 15 years. It sold for about $125 new, and I got it for maybe $10 (still new, but an odd set of circumstances I'll never replicate). I run very warm, so generally don't need to wear very warm layers during the winter conditions I'm likely to see. I mostly just need to block wind and manage moisture from my own body.

  14. #14
    junea memba!
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    Well, I seem to have upset you...sorry. My point in writing this is that the jacket was transporting water vapor yesterday as well as any softshell that I own (and I have a few). Don't know anything about your existing jacket, or where you are from, or what conditions you ride in. The coat worked as well for me as anything else I own, and I live in really cold conditions here...this morning bottomed out at -20F.

  15. #15
    sluice box
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    This is the thread you are looking for.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/foa...ng-892582.html
    Last edited by Co-opski; 12-08-2016 at 01:53 PM.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  16. #16
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by luker View Post
    this morning bottomed out at -20F.
    My first post made it pretty clear that I don't ride in anything approaching that, and that the OP's temp range of 10-20F is usually the coldest I deal with in any given winter. I haven't had a sub-freezing ride yet this season. This weekend I will likely have my first.

    I was exasperated that your recommendation wasn't even close to being relevant for my stated conditions. While a WxB hardshell might be fine for moisture management with high exertion activities at -20F (I wouldn't know because I don't deal with those conditions), it's a totally different story in the 10-20F range. In those temps, a hardshell feels more like wearing a trash bag, as perspiration rates quickly exceed the shell's capacity to breathe. Even unvented waterproof softshells can be too watertight. The one in my pic makes no claims of being even water resistant. But it does make claims of being wind-blocking and of being a wicking layer. Those properties in a softshell jacket are going to be difficult to find now, as most softshells now aim to be at least water resistant.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    This is the tread you are looking for.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/foa...ng-892582.html
    LOL. What a grade A fail that was.

  18. #18

  19. #19
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    I would also throw out the suggestion to use bar mitts. Like most above, I ride with a softshell. I rarely need more core warmth, but I use my bar mitts to regulate hand and arm warmth. Open them up for warmer conditions, and close them when the wind picks up and the temperatures drop.

    Sent on my phone. Pardon the autocorrect.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    I would also throw out the suggestion to use bar mitts. Like most above, I ride with a softshell. I rarely need more core warmth, but I use my bar mitts to regulate hand and arm warmth. Open them up for warmer conditions, and close them when the wind picks up and the temperatures drop.

    Sent on my phone. Pardon the autocorrect.
    I've had the opposite experience. For temps in the 10-20 degree range, which is also my typical winter temps, my hands are fine with a pair of Pearl Izumi softshell gloves. Unless it's really windy, them I need more. I have a much harder time keeping my feet warm than my hands!

  21. #21
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    Fair enough. Everyone is different. I personally have a hard time keeping my hands and arms warm if riding fast (commuting) or in windswept locations (frozen lake). But some don't warm up as fast in their core. Agreed on keeping feet warm. But the thing about fat biking is that there is often ample walking "opportunity."

    Sent on my phone. Pardon the autocorrect.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    I've had the opposite experience. For temps in the 10-20 degree range, which is also my typical winter temps, my hands are fine with a pair of Pearl Izumi softshell gloves. Unless it's really windy, them I need more. I have a much harder time keeping my feet warm than my hands!
    A large part of pogies is about control and adjusting temp. Since you only need a thin glove underneath, you get far better bike control. Trying to ride with insulated gloves significantly decreases my bike control. And then when I get warm, I can roll up the pogies and go "open", lets me control moisture buildup better than any insulated glove I've ever tried.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post

    I was exasperated that your recommendation wasn't even close to being relevant for my stated conditions.
    Man, the FREE HELP on this forum really ain't what it used to be! The nerve on some people!

    /s
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  24. #24
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    While this thread seems to have been settled for the op, in case anyone in the future ends up here looking for what the op requested, there are occasionally options that pop up. They're usually from alpine adventure(climbing, bc skiing) companies. They usually either feature down/synthetic front torso and fleece/softshell back and sleeves, or like this one, down front torso and sleeves with fleece sides and back:

    Kody Down Hybrid Jacket - CIRQ

    Or this one, with down front and sides and fleece back:

    Hybrid Down Sweater

  25. #25
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    Men's PrimaLoft Packaway Jacket | Free Shipping at L.L.Bean

    Here's a thin puffy jacket but I agree with everyone else. I just add another layer as it gets colder.
    I start with an Under Armour base layer and then a long sleeve bike jersey and then a wind proof cycling jacket down to about 35 degrees. probably for every 8-10 degree drop I add another wicking mid layer. When it starts getting down to around 15 degrees, depending on the wind, I have a heavier mid layer that replaces two lighter layers.
    I like turtles

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    While this thread seems to have been settled for the op, in case anyone in the future ends up here looking for what the op requested, there are occasionally options that pop up. They're usually from alpine adventure(climbing, bc skiing) companies. They usually either feature down/synthetic front torso and fleece/softshell back and sleeves, or like this one, down front torso and sleeves with fleece sides and back:

    Kody Down Hybrid Jacket - CIRQ

    Or this one, with down front and sides and fleece back:

    Hybrid Down Sweater
    I wouldn't say it's "settled", just that I have some ideas to try. I think I'm going to overheat on the back even with just a standard thick jersey, but the weather's been too warm lately to check that out (and tomorrow it'll be too cold, negative single digits). Thanks for those links, my first impression is that I'd like something with less coverage (and definitely synthetic not down), and I'm also guessing that the back panels would be too warm for me (but I can't tell how thick they are).

    Anyway my current system - short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, and a thin synthetic puffy - has some advantages, particularly since I ride where I need the puffy regardless due to big swings in temperature and winds. But it'd be nice to avoid the really cold arms and lower front which happen when avoiding sweating by taking the puffy off early.

    Anyway I'm hoping that a thicker jersey works out, if not I'll be back looking for more options, so thanks again for those links, and please post more options if you find them!

  27. #27
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    Out on a ride today at colder than normal (for around here) temps (3 degrees at the start and end of a 3 hour ride), and at one point I was breaking trail up a hill when a light (but very cold) breeze started in my face, and I got really cold quick.

    I finally unfroze my brain for a second and broke out the light puffy and just put it on backwards. Used the bike pack straps to make sure it didn't slide off, and it worked like a charm. I could pull the neck down a bit to vent once I got warmer. Got a bit too warm once the trees blocked the wind, and I just pulled off the arms, wrapped them back into the opposite pack strap, and presto, a front panel only cover.

    Can't believe it took me this long to figure that out...DUH!

    Not sure how well it would work if your puffy is a tight fit, mine's pretty loose. And obviously any puffy with a hood would get annoying if the hood started flapping in your face!

  28. #28
    is buachail foighneach me
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    You really need to stop this nonsense and just get a softshell. A very wind resistant one. It will block wind way better than a 'thick jersey' and you wont have to wear your clothes backwards.

    Down/synthetic "anti-vest"?-kris2.jpg

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