Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner


594 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DStaley
I just moved to Palmer, Alaska from a mountain town in Colorado and am considering adding a ruff to one my outer layers. I’ve got a fair bit of experience with moderately cold temps (multi-day rides down to -25- -30F) but plan on venturing into the Alaska Range and the Interior for some longer (5-7 day) races and rides this winter. I’ve seen a number of locals and ITI vets with ruffs added to their jackets, but have no direct experience.

My new geography and winter ambitions have me debating the merits of adding a ruff to the multi-day gear stash. Who here has ruff? What kind? Faux or real? What kind of jacket did you attach it to (hard shell, soft shell, insulated)? Does having one enhance fogging of glasses/goggles? In what conditions is a ruff indispensable?

I know there are a handful of Alaska and Canada vets who frequent this forum, so I thought I’d ask here instead of the apparel forum.

Thanks in advance for sharing your insights and experiences.

1 - 5 of 5 Posts
I've got a jacket with a ruff, but I've never biked with it as it's pretty bulky and is good for standing around at -50. Zipping it all the way closed, it creates a nice warm space around your face. I would only attach it to an outer shell and make sure you can zip it off for washing.

Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
I succumbed to the hype in ~2002 or so, and sourced/sewed one on to my winter shell hood.

It seemed good for purported street cred, and for making the jacket a lot bulkier and thus harder to pack. It also had to be left outside when frosty, lest the frost melt and wet the fur, which would then refreeze (and be even less useful) as soon as you went back outside. The only real solution was to stay inside long enough for it to dry completely.

In order to meaningfully block wind it had to be cinched so close/tight to your face that a tunnel was created, which severely limited vision. Also, that tunnel traps a lot of your breath which then condenses/freezes inside the tunnel and around the edges of the ruff.

After one winter I couldn't see how it was any better, but found several drawbacks. I cut it off and gave it to my dog, whom enjoyed tossing it around, gnawing, and napping on it.

No harm in experimenting, but keep expectations low. Unless street cred is what you're really after.
See less See more
I tried to use one, but it didn't work out great, I had too many gaps around the buttons I put on my hood to secure it, eventually just took it off. It seems like it could work ok, but it's a combination of trying to get the right size, not too ruffy, or it's in your face too much, not too open, or your face is getting the wind it's supposed to stop. The one thing that is critical is being able to cover up your head good in the blowing wind, like 20-30mph easy and more, you gotta have some pretty good insulation for your head there, like balaclava with a good winter hat (that covers ears, etc.) and then a puffy hood you can bring over all of it and get cinched down fairly well with no gaps. You are probably going to need a 45nrth sealing type balaclava or one of the walrus type masks to keep air from fogging up glasses or goggles and this is a real ***** in at night without radiation to help burn it off. You gotta be able to go to this level though and cover up all the gaps.
Thanks for the expert insight, all! Sounds like there are much better ways to spend the bike funds.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.