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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
End of summer is here so I'm looking to purchase some cool weather gear.

1. Jacket for 45-60 degrees
2. Jacket for 30-45 degrees

Prefer built in hoods and full front zipper that doesn't require over the head removal.

Price is not an issue, I just want quality that's going to last and do its job.

Any suggestions are truly appreciated since I've never bought cold weather gear.
 

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Breathability is key.

Wind vest and arm warmers for cool weather.

Patagonia Houdini Air for a pack jacket. NeoShell jacket (Fox, Specialized, others) for rain jacket.

Wind block (front only) fleece for sunny, cold days.
 

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So many choices. Breathability is key, as the above poster said. Dress more lightly than you think you need; if you're comfortably warm during the first 10 minutes of your ride then you're overdressed. I don't use any sort of wind breaking fabric (i.e., nylon shell) unless it's raining. Even if they say they're breathable I still get sweaty inside. Even in the 50F's I still wear just a normal shirt thickness. It has to get down into the 40s for me to need extra insulation.

For your warmer temperature range (45F-60F) a thicker long sleeve shirt could be enough. This one has a windblock front: leatt

For your cooler temperature range (30F-45F) a lightweight fleece sweatshirt like the one in the link works pretty well. RANGER TECH FLEECE JACKET [BLU CAM] XS | Fox Racing®
 

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I've been planning to buy the Patagonia Dirt Roamer but they've yet to get it in the size/colour combo I want. It's not marketed as waterproof, but reviews I've read say it'll keep you dry unless your riding in torrential rain?

The new Rapha jacket looks quite nice, especially the integrated strap to attach the stowed jacket to your frame, I'd love to see a comparison between the two.
 

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for me, there are way more factors than just temp that I have to consider. Cloudy vs. sunny? Precipitation? Wind? Time of day?

I have a few different jackets that get pulled into service depending on the conditions. One that almost always lives in my pack as it cools down is a Specialized convertible wind jacket.
 

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End of summer is here so I'm looking to purchase some cool weather gear.

1. Jacket for 45-60 degrees
2. Jacket for 30-45 degrees

Prefer built in hoods and full front zipper that doesn't require over the head removal.

Price is not an issue, I just want quality that's going to last and do its job.

Any suggestions are truly appreciated since I've never bought cold weather gear.
1. Packable jackets, wear a long-sleeve base layer, you can obviously roll up the sleeves on it, but a base layer+ packable jacket is plenty of warmth for #1. Having a couple options is nice, a lightweight non-waterproof one, waterproof one, etc. Maybe even a couple of each. These pack to the size of approximately a male-fist, I can put them in frame bags, revelate feed-bags, hip-packs, camelbacks, etc. Also, at the exertion levels of mtb, you really can't deal with insulation and other stuff. These can definitely be too much still around 60 degrees and sometimes I'll just go with a jersey over a long sleeve base layer in those cases, but bringing the packable jacket is super easy to do and sometimes you manage it by putting the jacket on for the descents. Light rain is also decent, since it keeps you cool and you can wear the lightweight waterproof one, but the waterproof one is usually too much for these warmer temps unless something like that is going on OR you are doing a big descent. Waterproof DOES NOT BREATHE, remember that. They all claim they do, but at mtb exertion levels, they do not. Waterproof is good for wind blocking on descents though. I look for features like pit-zips, hood, zipper pockets, etc.

2. That's getting close to soft-shell temps, but that's probably a whole lot harder to figure out. The problem is we exert so much during mtb and sweat and you do not want to soak yourself. Waterproof stuff other than a shell usually won't breathe, but again, blocks the wind well, so the combo jersey+base layer can help. A very light soft-shell jacket might be called for, but it's probably going to end up too much towards 45 degrees, ok at 30 degrees with a very light base layer. If it starts raining at these temps, you want a waterproof shell you can put on, but you don't want that on all the time for the breathability problem. This is getting towards the temps where I'll do something like this, wear what I think I want to wear most of the time, then bring 1 more layer with me in a pack that is the "next level". So this may mean light windbreaker type over a long-sleeve base layer, or very light soft-shell, and then a waterproof shell in the pack/wherever. It's also a good idea at these temps to pack some dry gloves somewhere if rain is at all a possible issue.

It gets easier to figure out as temps go below 30 degrees, because falling precip won't melt on you and you don't worry about waterproof stuff anymore.
 

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Was on a similar quest a few seasons ago and ended up with the Patagonia Rainshadow jacket. Basically it’s a premium full featured version of the Houdini with a more bike friendly fit. I’m 5’10” and the medium fits well.

+’s
Adjustable wrist cuffs= arm vents
Waterproof zipper
Over the helmet hood
Huge pit vents
Soft shell stretch fabric
And most importantly, packs down to fit in my 2L hip pack.

Don’t ride much if it’s below freezing so if say it’s good for mid 30deg f+.

Have yet to test it in torrential downpour but works great for passing rain storms, cold, and windy days in the high Rocky mts.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'm planning on a long sleeve base layer plus either a sweatshirt or a fleece that I already have. My experience is that I always over think this and end up way too warm so I'm trying not to do that this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies and good input!

Definitely gives me something to think about since it doesn't seem as simple as just plopping down money for a jacket.

I definitely perspire heavily so the multiple light layer approach may be my best bet.
 

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I don't use a bike specific jacket I use one of those ultralight "windshirts". Material similar to Patagonia Houdini. Specifically I have been using the Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell, the full zip sans hood version. They make a 1/4 zip and hooded version as well. It's a wind breaker but probably only blocks 70% of the wind so it's highly breathable and never feels clammy but offers enough wind breaking that is makes a big difference at biking speeds. If it does get warm it back down to the size of small orange.

For my base layer I'll use this hooded long sleeved running shirt. I love it because the hood is nice and stretchy and fits over my XL sized TLD A1 helmet. It's amazing how big of a difference covering the vents in my helmet with a hood can make.

 

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I don't use a bike specific jacket I use one of those ultralight "windshirts". Material similar to Patagonia Houdini.
I love my Houdini for riding.

For the shoulder seasons here in New Hampshire my current system is a long sleeve shirt either a 'tech' fabric or merino wool depending on temp, and I can then pair that with a combination of the Houdini, and the REI CoOp down vest, both of which I can cram into a Wolftooth Components 1L B-RAD bag on my frame.

The REI vest packs down to nothing, my size medium weighs 211g/7.5oz, and you can pick them up for <$60 on sale.
 

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I love my Houdini for riding.
I love my Houdini it's my favorite jacket, but I didn't want a hood for my riding jacket and the no-hood version only had the 4 button neck and no full zip option. The Houdini material feels a hair more durable than the Kor Preshell material but the MH stuff was a great no-hood alternative. But if someone wanted a hood the Houdini is such a great versatile piece.
 
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