Fresh Threads for Chilly Rides

Looking for some new riding clothes to keep you from going into hibernation mode? Keeping cozy in cold conditions doesn’t require the latest and greatest, of course, but here are several new pieces that have impressed us this shoulder season… and will keep us warm out on the trail this winter and early spring.

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When the weather outside is frightful, proper layering and well made clothing always helps to keep us out in it. And as mountain biking apparel continues to evolve, it makes it all the more tolerable. If you are on the hunt for some performance cold weather layers for the winter, or the shoulder seasons to follow, here are a few new pieces that have impressed:

Search and State (SAS) Merino Jersey

There’s no denying the magic of merino wool. Natural fibers that don’t add to the plawsticity of the world, providing warmth and breathability — even when damp — and above all else, stank-stopping anti-microbial properties. Search and State’s ‘Surplus Green’ long sleeve merino jersey is one of my favorite new layers for all these reasons rolled into a well-designed, functional jersey. In addition to a nice cut, the jersey has great triple rear pocket with elastic tops and one zipped panel that’s perfect for a wallet or phone. The jersey also features a warm, well fitting collar and a sticky rubber strip sewn into the angled hem, preventing it from riding up while out pedaling.

Search and State Long Sleeve Merino Jersey

  • Search and State Long Sleeve Merino Jersey
  • Search and State Long Sleeve Merino Jersey
  • Search and State Long Sleeve Merino Jersey
  • Search and State Long Sleeve Merino Jersey
  • Search and State Long Sleeve Merino Jersey

The SAS Long Sleeve Merino jersey is available in both men’s and women’s cuts, and like SAS’ other products, they are cut and sewn in NYC’s garment district. One thing to note is that it runs quite small. My brother, the model showing the jersey off in these photos, is 6′ tall and weighs about 160 pounds wet. This is the XL jersey which almost fits him. It fits me perfectly (at 175 lbs). If you’re my size or larger, and don’t like tight fitting clothes, the SAS Long Sleeve Jersey isn’t going to work for you. However, it’s still a great jersey and we hope to see SAS adjust the sizing in the future to offer a few larger options…

  • Sizes Available S, M, L, XL
  • Colors 2 (M’s) / 3 (W’s)
  • Weight (Men’s XL) 351 grams (12.38 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture NYC, USA
  • Price $180
  • Manufacturer’s Details Women’s / Men’s

45NRTH Nøkken Gloves

45NRTH offers a range of cold weather gloves. On the extreme end, the Sturmfist 4 provides protection in temps under 15°F (-9°C). And for temps from 15°F to 35°F (2°C), there’s the Sturmfist 5, which we’ll be reviewing in full soon. The newest in their lineup, the ‘transition season’ Nøkken is set for temps from 25°F (-3°C) – 45°F (7°C). Like the Sturmfist, the Nøkken is wind and water resistant and uses merino wool in the lining (just the palm for the Nøkken) to insulate and for its anti-microbial properties.

45NRTH Nøkken Gloves

  • 45NRTH Nøkken Gloves
  • 45NRTH Nøkken Gloves
  • 45NRTH Nøkken Gloves
  • 45NRTH Nøkken Gloves
  • 45NRTH Nøkken Gloves

I have gotten ten or so rides in with these gloves. No complaints to speak of in temps down to about 35°F (1.7°C). However, my hands tend to be a bit cold natured and when it hovered above and below freezing, these weren’t quite enough. That said, as an early spring and late fall glove, the Nokken is a great option with a comfortable fit. In addition, they have quite a solid grip provided by rubberized strips and an Axsuede palm area (a synthetic leatherlike material). The long adjustable neoprene cuffs are also quite nice. The Nokken could even be paired with a Goretex mitt or pogies to extend their temperature range. I’ll be sure to update this with a later report on long-term wear.

  • Sizes Available XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Colors 1
  • Weight (pair men’s large) 95 grams (3.35 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $65
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link

7mesh Outflow Jacket

While we haven’t put too much time this jacket yet, the 7mesh Outflow impressed me enough on first use to make this list. The first thing that stood out was the cut. It truly is one of the nicest fitting jackets I’ve worn to date. It’s a little slim… but comfortably slim. That said, I almost always wear a men’s medium and I am a little ‘fluffy’ from an extended injury/relapse that’s kept me relatively inactive recently…

  • 7Mesh Outflow Jacket
  • 7Mesh Outflow Jacket
  • 7Mesh Outflow Jacket
  • 7Mesh Outflow Jacket
  • 7Mesh Outflow Jacket

Aside from the performance cut, the trick to the Outflow which makes it a MTB specific jacket is it’s breathability, a testament to 7mesh’s choice of materials and insulation placement (or lack thereof under the armpits). The jacket is constructed with Primaloft Gold 60g synthetic insulation and a combined 15d/20d double weave ripstop shell. It also has two zippered hand warmer pockets and an elasticized hem and cuffs. Even so, the 7mesh Outflow is super lightweight (261 grams) and compresses down to the size of a standard water bottle. It also features a soft-brushed collar and chin guard. While I haven’t pushed it too much, the Outflow has definitely impressed so far… stay tuned for more.

  • Sizes Available XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Colors 2
  • Weight (Men’s Medium) 261 grams (9.21 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $250
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link

Club Ride Fat Jack Pants

Billed as a technical and robust riding pant that’s “… designed for epic fat-bike rides on miles of winter single track,” the Fat Jack is not the pant that its name might imply. Instead, it’s a comfortably slim riding pant thats just as fitting for off-the-bike camp time as it is for long rides though biting cold air. They are indeed warm pants, but seem to breathe fairly well too. I’ve actually had this pair for well over a year now and ridden them comfortably in temps ranging from freezing to 10°F (-12°C). That said, they’ve only been worn in the snow twice, but they have plenty of saddle-time on the dirt during cold outings. They’ve also sat around a few campfires and made a few appearances on barstools.

Club Ride Fat Jack Pants

  • Club Ride Fat Jack Pants
  • Club Ride Fat Jack Pants
  • Club Ride Fat Jack Pants
  • Club Ride Fat Jack Pants
  • Club Ride Fat Jack Pants

The Fat Jack is made from a midweight polyester-blend double woven stretch fabric that feels comfortable and moves with you as your pedaling. Like other garments in this round up, the Fat Jack has a few well done features, but not too many. these include a full set of belt loops, two hand warmer pockets, two zippered side leg pockets that double as vents (one with a media port), and one rear zippered pocket. In addition it has reinforced panels at the front thighs and inner/lower leg where they might brush the crankset. Overall I have zero complaints about the Fat Jack and have been quite impressed with it as a winter riding pant.

  • Sizes Available S, M, L, XL
  • Colors 1
  • Weight 461 grams (16.26 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $120
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link

GooseFeet Gear Down Socks

While some claim that if you keep your core warm, the rest of your body will follow. But if you are at all like me when sleeping in cold weather, your feet freeze despite everything else. With that said, I am equally as excited about these new GooseFeet Down Socks as I am all the products in this list. They’ve only been in my possession for a couple days now, so I’ve yet to take them out camping. However, I have worn them sitting around our cold house while it’s freezing outside… and my feet have never been toastier. To the point I had to take them off. And these are just the standard fill model. Georgia based GooseFeet Gear also offers them with four additional ‘over fill’ percentages.

GooseFeet Down Socks

  • GooseFeet Down Socks
  • GooseFeet Down Socks
  • GooseFeet Down Socks
  • GooseFeet Down Socks
  • GooseFeet Down Socks

Each pair of GooseFeet Down Socks is constructed with a 10d or 20d Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coated nylon shell and has a gentle elastic band sewn in at the top to keep them on your feet. They are filled with 850+ “power premium” goose down treated with DownTek for additional water-resistance. All that said, the beauty of these things is their size and weight. They come with a little stuff sack and can further compress down to the size of an apple.

All GooseFeet products are made in the USA and the Down Socks ship within 2 weeks of the order date.

  • Sizes Available XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Colors 14
  • Weight (Men’s Large) 70 grams (2.47 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture Georgia, USA
  • Price $65
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link

7Mesh Callaghan Hoody

Another excellent product from 7mesh, the Callaghan Hoody is made from a wool/poly blend. it has a soft Merino inner face which 7mesh claims, “… is comfortable, warm, and odor resistant, while the polyester exterior has fibers extending into the wool to wick moisture to the face for rapid evaporation.” While it’s hard to validate that statement, I will attest to this garments warmth, breathability and comfort. Right now it’s one of my favorite pieces. Like the Outflow jacket mentioned earlier, the Callaghan fits extremely well with a nice cut that feels good both milling about or on the bike. Gin loves hers (as you can probably tell from these photos)…

7Mesh Callaghan Hoody, merino jersey

  • 7Mesh Callaghan Hoody
  • 7Mesh Callaghan Hoody, merino jersey
  • 7Mesh Callaghan Hoody, merino jersey
  • 7Mesh Callaghan Hoody, merino jersey
  • 7Mesh Callaghan Hoody, merino jersey

The Callaghan features two perfectly sized, comfortable front pockets. The righthand pocket also has an internal angled phone security sleeve that tightly fits an iPhone 6. The Hoody also has a nice under-the-helmet compatible hood and elasticized hem and cuffs. At $200 the Callaghan’s not cheap, but it’s clear that the designers at Squamish-based 7mesh have mastered the art of blending form and function.

  • Sizes Available XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Colors 1 (W’s) / 3 (M’s)
  • Weight 386g (13.62oz) Men’s Med / 335g (11.82oz) Women’s Med
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $180 (W’s) / $200 (M’s)
  • Manufacturer’s Details Women’s / Men’s

Mission Workshop Faroe Merino Pullover

Merino base layers are a staple for bikepacking, especially in mountain climates or shoulder season weather. While the Faroe is relatively new to me and I don’t have many trail miles on it, I’ve worn it quite a bit as a base layer while hiking, walking and just shuffling about. I’ve actually been wearing it for about a week and a half straight as of this review. It’s heavier than the typical Icebreaker ultra thin layer I usually pack as cold morning jersey or extra layer, but it seems like it would be great for winter outings.

Mission Workshop Faroe Merino Pullover

  • Mission Workshop Faroe Merino Pullover
  • Mission Workshop Faroe Merino Pullover
  • Mission Workshop Faroe Merino Pullover
  • Mission Workshop Faroe Merino Pullover

There are two versions of the Faroe, a 100% merino option and this one, which is constructed from 18.9 micron 190g/SM Merino wool with added core filament nylon (11%) for strength and durability. The Mission Workshop Faroe also has a couple features to note including a rear left hand zippered pocket, tapered rear hem, and a really nice hood. It’s also super cozy, and while the large is a little baggy on my beanpole brother here, it fits me perfectly (6′ tall, 175 lbs / 1.83 m, 79.4 kg). The Faroe might be a little pricey, but it’s made in California and has MW’s ‘forever warranty’ for materials defects and workmanship.

  • Sizes Available S, M, L, XL
  • Colors 2
  • Weight (Men’s Large) 301 grams (10.62 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture CA, USA
  • Price $189
  • Manufacturer’s Details Link

Freerider EPS High

Tacked on by Cass Gilbert: If you’re fan of Five Ten’s classic Freerider shoe, chances are you’ll like the EPS High versions too. Lined with PrimaLoft, these bike-specific flat pedal shoes have proved perfectly suitable for less extreme winter conditions, while promising toasty warm tootsies during the shoulder seasons.

Five Ten Freerider EPS High

  • Five Ten Freerider EPS High
  • Five Ten Freerider EPS High
  • Five Ten Freerider EPS High
  • Five Ten Freerider EPS High
  • Five Ten Freerider EPS High

Although the EPS Highs aren’t fully waterproof in the way some winter shoes claim to be, in practice they do more than adequate job at shrugging off sleet, snow, muck and mud. They don’t soak up water like a sponge – unlike their summer loving cousins — thanks to a relatively seam-free, high top design and a gusseted tongue. The Stealth S1 rubber outsole is super grippy but doesn’t last especially long when mated to more aggressive pedals.

  • Sizes Available US5-11.5
  • Colors Core Black
  • Weight 525 grams (18.5 oz) per shoe
  • Place of Manufacture China
  • Price $150
  • Manufacturer’s Details Five Ten
For more gear choices and tips for shoulder season and mountain weather, check out this guide. And, you can browse all of our posts related to winter bikepacking here.

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