Why buy: Three-gauge acrylic, nylon, and wool blend fabric keeps you warm, and cable-knit pattern secures the knit in place so there’s no slip when you ride.
Cool feature: Available in feminine heather hues, including dark gray, coast blue, and plum.
More info: (800) 833-3118; carhartt.com.
Model: Winter helmet liner.
Why buy: Fleece liner keeps your head toasty without the bulk of fitting a hat beneath your riding helmet.
Cool feature: The winter liner attaches and detaches easily; pull out your existing headliner and replace.
More info: (800) 288-4280; troxelhelmets.com.
Model: Button knit hat.
Why buy: The two-layer knit retains heat without the bulk of a heavy cap, and a micro-fleece inner liner helps absorb sweat.
Cool features: The side button and low-profile brim adds feminine flair to your winter hat, and multiple color options ensure that you’ll find a shade to suit you.
More info: (800) 274-7946; kerrits.com.
Model: Original cap.
Maker: Stormy Kromer.
Why buy: Both the wool-nylon blend and wool versions maximize warmth, and the fold-down earflaps allow you to adjust your coverage as temperatures change.
Cool feature: The original is the men’s classic; it’s available in several colors and plaids, so he can find one he’ll wear. (And, you can find your favorite in the similar ladies line.)
More info: (888) 745-7017; stormykromer.com.
HOW TO BUNDLE
You’ve got the will to ride, but it’s just so cold! Beat the bluster with these tips for winter riding wear.
Head. In cold weather, you lose the most heat when your head is unprotected. Polyester and acrylic are most effective at wicking moisture. Wool is another option that’s breathable, but with a little extra warmth. Fleece is your warmest option, as long as you don’t sweat. It doesn’t wick as well as other fabrics.
Shoulders. A snug-fitting base layer made of polyester, wool, silk, or blends will wick moisture. Use a long-sleeve shirt or vest as a mid layer. Either will keep your core temperature high and seal in body heat. The outer, insulating layer protects against the elements. In windy, cutting-cold climates, opt for a fleece or down shell that’ll add an extra layer of heat. For wet and rainy climates, choose a lighter, waterproof jacket or parka.
Knees. Though denim might be your typical garb, it’s not the best for warmth. Consider riding leggings or breeches for winter riding, or layer with a pair of long johns or cold-weather poly-blend tights beneath your denim. Use your work pair of leather chaps for another layer of protection.
Toes. Keep your toes warm with tall riding socks made of wool or wool-blend fabrics. These materials will retain heat while also allowing sweat evaporation.
The rest. Scarves, face warmers (masks or balaclavas), and gloves are additional must-haves. Invest in a pair of gloves with warm lining that isn’t bulky, such as fleece.