It’s only November and we’ve already seen cold and snow. Time to bundle up. There are a ton of different cool and cold weather clothing options out there but there is a common theme – layering. Not only does it make it easier to achieve the right temperature balance for varying conditions, layering also makes it easier to regulate heat as the ride goes on.
When it comes to layering the best place to start is the bottom, naturally. A base layer is an easy way to expand the temperature range of your favorite kit. Not all that long ago it seemed like base layers varied only by sleeve length. Now, companies like Bontrager offer an entire range of undershirts that offer a perfect mate to your favorite jerseys and jackets.
Bontrager has offered their B labeled base layers for awhile now but this year marks the additions of some interesting options including a Windshell and Hooded B2 model.
Performing exactly as it sounds, the B2 Windshell uses Profila windshell material on the chest, shoulders, and sides to provide protection from the winds without the need for an external jacket. We found this to be particularly useful for things like cyclocross racing where bitter winds and cold meant the need for warmer gear but the fact that it’s a baselayer means you can still wear your team kit over top.
The rest of the garment features Profila Dry powered by 37.5 technology and Merino Wool in the back and arms to help control moisture. That 37.5 in case you’re wondering, is the new name for Cocona’s active particle technology which provides exceptional humidity control by converting liquid perspiration to vapor. Like most of the B series baselayers, the B2 Windshell is fitted with a 3″ droptail for excellent coverage on the bike. The B2 Windshell isn’t cheap at $94.99, but it will keep you dry and comfortable thanks to the 37.5 performance.
Want a hood built into your base layer? The B2 hooded long sleeve version has you covered. With the additional thumb loops, 12″ zipper, and 3″ drop tail with silicone grippers, this would probably make a great baselayer for running as well as cycling. Also using Profila Dry with 37.5 technology and Merino wool, the B2 hooded sells for $99.99.
Designed for extra cold days, the B3 1/4 zip baselayer is the most aggressive in the Bontrager line and utilizes Profila Thermal Merino wool fabric. The 5″ zipper allows for a bit of temperature regulation, and the fitted baselayer goes for $109.99.
The Bontrager B1 baselayer is designed for the opposite conditions, instead designed to keep you cool when riding in warm weather. Again the Profila Cool fabric uses 37.5’s humidity and temperature control to not only keep you dry, but use the moisture wicking as a form of evaporative cooling. Available in either the $39.99 short sleeve, or $34.99 sleeveless options.
Cooler weather also means shorter days and the need for increased visibility. If you want to remain seen Bontrager’s Viability series of warmers is a good way to get noticed even in your all-black kit. Available in knee, arm, and leg warmers for $39.99-$49.99, all three use Profila Thermal fabric and offer a fitted, anatomic design (left and right specific).
Visibility Yellow also continues into the Bontrager glove line with options like the Race Windshell Glove. These make a perfect option for the weather when standard full finger gloves aren’t enough, but your winter gloves are too hot providing warm protection from the wind. The Profila Softshell material mates with a synthetic leather palm with medium weight inForm Fusion GelFoam padding for a glove that is equally at home on the road as it is a cyclocross course. Built with reflective accents, a soft nose wipe thumb, and velcro closure, the Race Windshell Gloves sell for $39.99.
Need protection from the wet as well as the cold? Check out the impressively svelte RXL Waterproof Softshell glove. Combining a Profila Softshell wind proof and water proof outer with 100g 3M Thinsulate insulation makes for a glove that should keep your hands warm and dry without losing too much dexterity. The fleece lined gloves use a velcro cuff and will sell for $69.99.