How To

How to layer clothing for winter cycling

The art of layering for cold days, dry and wet

Dry weather outer layer

Choosing an outer layer for very cold but dry days is an easier matter, with only a single element to see off. Look for a ‘heavy’, insulating fabric and features that include a deep collar and cuffs, and a fleece lining. A windproof chest panel will provide additional protection, and while the seams of such garments are unlikely to be sealed, some defence from the rain might be gained from a Teflon-style coating.

Look for features including a high collar, deep cuff, and windproof chest panel in outer layers for very cold, dry days

Castelli’s Free Jacket is an excellent example of an outer layer for the coldest of cold, dry days, but commands a price to match its assets. It’s fronted with Gore’s excellent Windstopper fabric, and has a Roubaix lining. The high collar has an additional section that flips up to provide coverage from the nape of the neck to the adjustment dial on your helmet. The cuff, while deep, is also tight, providing an effective seal against the wind. A jacket with such impressive insulation, however, provides its own challenge. How to layer without overheating? “In a jacket like this, to temperatures of about zero degrees, I’d probably wear a sleeveless and long-sleeved base layer,” says Ritchie.

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