Riding in the cold can be bone-chilling or fairly comfortable, depending on your gear. One of the best pieces of advice when dressing for a cold-weather ride is the old adage, “Dry is warm.” This simple concept really can help keep you more comfortable. The best tops will keep a rider warm without feeling bulky, protecting from the cold without constantly reminding him he is wering additional gear. Pockets to protect your nutrition, wallet, and phone from the elements, while still allowing adequate access, are a huge plus. We tested some key winter riding tops in weather from sun to snow to find the best tops for this early season.
2XU Sub Zero Cycle Vest, $180 2xu.com
Best for: cool mornings when a full-sleeve jacket is too much
Key feature: angled pockets for easy access to nutrition with gloved hands
While this vest boasts plenty of innovative features, it was such a compelling piece to testers because of its ability to do a basic yet difficult task: keep a cyclist warm without sweating in moderate conditions. The proprietary 10:10 XSTRETCH material boasts a nearly perfect mix of insulation, water resistance and breathability. The two outer pockets are cleverly cut at an angle, allowing for ample storage and easy access, even while riding with winter gloves. An optional collar adds coziness on chilly days and can easily be folded down when temperatures rise. A zippered front chest pocket provides secure storage of valuables, and a small opening in the right chest, dubbed the eyewear dock, allows athletes an easy place to securely hold their sunglasses. Reflective lettering and piping found in many places on the vest will be welcome on short winter days.
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