Author Topic: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear  (Read 11858 times)

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Offline kpier883

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Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« on: January 23, 2010, 08:22:39 pm »
I have been dissatisfied with my normal cold weather wear when riding.  Typically cotton underwear and t shirt followed by cotton long johns followed by cotton shirts and draggin jeans (kevlar lined heavy jeans) followed by leather jacket.  Of course there are gloves, boots, and sometimes a scarf or something. 

The real problem is that by the time I get everything on and get the motorcycle ready to go, I have usually started to sweat and then once under way, I freeze.  Well, I have found that silk long johns are better than cotton.  The sweat is wicked away better maybe. 

So, I have been reading up on some of the hiking forums about what the hikers wear.  It seems that the consensus is to wear wool undergarments due to their superior sweat wicking properties as well as the fact that wool is a good insulator even when wet.  Apparently cotton loses most of its ability to insulate once it is wet.  This seems to be true because I tested some old army green wool gloves in the December snow versus some cotton gloves.  Hands stayed warm while making snowballs in the wool but froze in the cotton. 

So a few weeks ago I went by a thrift store and picked up some used wool and silk sweaters of various sorts.  Most of them were three bucks or less.  I brought them home and got them clean and have been testing them out.  The cream of the crop is a merino wool sweater that feels good (not scratchy) against your skin.  Today I rode with that on first, followed by a cotton t shirt, then a 100% wool sweater over that, then my leather jacket.  Works pretty good, I just need to stop some air from getting in past the zipper of the jacket. 

Anyone else have ideas for long john or other clothing that works and isn't too bulky?
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Offline kpier883

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2010, 08:29:03 pm »
One other thing I have been thinking of checking out is old wool dress suits.  I am wondering if the cloth from which they are made is of a tight enough weave that they would block out air.  Wool sweaters typically don't have a real tight weave.  If you hold them up to the light you will notice the gaps in the fabric.  

Obviously wearing a suit as outside gear is not appealing.  But I am wondering if I could alter the pants to make them useful as a mid layer - over the long johns but under the jeans.

Another idea is to take some old sweaters and cut them up using the sleeves as long john bottoms and modify the rest of the garment to make the long john bottom upper section.  Strangely enough, a larger sweater's sleeves actually do fit over my legs, and reach almost mid thigh.

Maybe there is another fabric that would work well for blocking the wind and could be worn over wool.  Yes I am cheap!

Post your ideas.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 08:31:00 pm by kpier883 »
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Offline kpier883

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2010, 10:51:16 am »
Held up a wool suit to the light and found that there is no way that material would help.  Also stopped by a fabric store and didn't find anything that looked useful. 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 10:52:52 am by kpier883 »
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Offline Frankenkit

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2010, 11:18:56 am »
smartwool long johns are fantastic.  They're kinda pricey, but I'd say they're worth the investment.  

What you might want to try is getting the cheap $10 rain gear from Walmart (the fishing sorta stuff) and wearing your nice, wicking long johns under it. The rain gear will at least block the wind for you.

One step up would be the waterproof, breathable bicycling pants at REI for $30-ish. They'd keep you dry and cut the worst of the wind, too.  Shouldn't trap too much moisture next to your skin, either.

For up top, check out a hunting store for a dickie that'll cover your chest and come up to cover your neck, too, and cut the drafts coming in through your leather jacket.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 11:21:42 am by Kit »
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Offline BLUE71TURBO

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 03:11:31 pm »
 Here's something you should check out.  And they are not expensive either !!

       http://www.polypropylenethermals.com/?gclid=CM6-3ZOSvp8CFSgtawodeQUg0A
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Offline kpier883

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 03:22:59 pm »
A dickie.  I had to look that one up, but it looks like a great idea - especially since the neck and upper part of the zipper is where I notice the draft most of the time. 

And the polypropylene thermals aren't that expensive either. 

Anyone tried those?
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Offline Frankenkit

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 03:25:40 pm »
I have a friend who was studying marine biology postgrad on the Oregon Coast for a couple years and she swore by polypropylene.  Even wet, she said, it'd keep you warmer than most stuff...

the downside is that it can acquire a 'smell' if you sweat in it or wear it too many times between washes.  The wool doesn't so much, but it's way more $$.
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Offline wannabridin

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 05:55:28 am »
Under Armor Cold Gear.  this is the best stuff for the money, IMO.  i've used it as my base layer when i used to ride in the dead of winter in CO, i'm talking 5-10 below (that's F).  i've also used it for skiing at steamboat in a freak cold front where it was 40 below!  that was SO cold, but there was some damn good powder back in christmas tree bowl!  woo, good trip! 

they also make a head piece that covers your ears, chin and nose.  it get's a little moisture-laden around the mouth during physical activity, so it's not too bad riding.  it helps keep your neck and ears nice and warm!  i used to work at a ski shop, so i got the stuff for really cheap, but it works SO WELL!!!

then you can just get a cool scarf and let it ride the wind behind you!  haha
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Offline andy750

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 06:10:59 am »
Under Armor Cold Gear.  this is the best stuff for the money, IMO. 

Ooooh these look good! I may have to try...thanks for the tip.

I was going to suggest Hely Hansen thermals which is what I have been using for years for both hiking (last year was hiking in just the thermal top at -20F and as long as you were moving it was more than enough) and biking (I wear thermal Hely Hansen long johns under RevIt Factory trousers (with removable liner) and there are more than warm enough - so far down to 0F with no issues. On top I wear a regular t-shirt, regular sweater and a Hein Gericke Gore-tex winter jacket with thermal liner. This is enough with the RevIt trousers...




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Offline tbpmusic

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 01:21:10 pm »
Snowmobile suits work pretty good.
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Offline wannabridin

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 02:13:08 pm »
Helly Hansen, DAMN good quality stuff!!  plenty of artic sea fisherman swear by their stuff, they started out as fishing gear for there i believe!  oh man i love HH, wish i had that outlet store next to me like i did in Denver...
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Offline mgbgt89

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2010, 04:51:49 am »
Before i got my tourmaster pants, I wore a set of plastic rain pants over my jeans and long johns. 2 pairs of long johns and 2 pairs of jeans kept me warm enough down below freezing, once it got below 20 i could still feel cold air seeping through. The rain suit pants kept the wind out and i was warm at 8 degrees.

Offline Magpie

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 07:52:49 am »
Spend a little and get an electric vest or jacket. It will make up for all the other clothes you're looking at in the long run. Both my wife and have and one and wouldn't be without them for the cool/cold days. There's even a sale on at HDL http://www.directlineparts.com/product.asp?pid=7411&str=4
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Offline mgbgt89

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 07:09:24 pm »
Spend a little and get an electric vest or jacket. It will make up for all the other clothes you're looking at in the long run. Both my wife and have and one and wouldn't be without them for the cool/cold days. There's even a sale on at HDL http://www.directlineparts.com/product.asp?pid=7411&str=4
Cliff.

How much power do those draw? I've thought about getting some but the 350F is my winter bike and wasn't sure if it could handle the load.

Offline kpier883

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2010, 07:33:16 pm »
Good advice.  Keep em coming and keep em cheap!

Check this out - a way to make long johns from old sweaters.  Cheap:
http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2010/01/any-size_long_johns_refashion.html

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Offline mystic_1

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2010, 09:47:29 pm »
Don't forget about surplus military gear.
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Offline Magpie

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2010, 10:32:42 pm »
I don't know what the vest draws, it has a 10 amp in line fuse on it though. I'll see if I can find out.
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Offline Magpie

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2010, 10:39:23 pm »
According to Gerbring's web site about 4.5 amps,  http://www.gerbing.com/Products/Liners/heatedVestLiner.html
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Offline the technological J

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 08:52:04 pm »
i perfer to wear a sheep.. you have to go to newzealand to get one tho
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Offline kpier883

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 07:03:17 pm »
I have "new" cold weather riding gear.   :)  Here are 3 merino wool sweaters that I picked at a thrift store.

I washed them by putting them in hot tap water with a shot of joy dishwashing detergent.  I left them overnight in the water then rinsed each of them several times.  Finally I put them in the washing machine on the spin cycle to get the water out of them and laid them out flat to dry.  I don't think they were harmed from that experience even though they are marked "dry clean only".  Dry cleaning can get a little pricey.  

The red sweater is a fine merino that I modified to make a set of wool long johns.  The brown one is a very fine wool with a turtle neck collar and goes under the green one.  The green one is an old Brooks Brothers merino wool crew that is as soft as cotton but very thick.  

I went for a short ride this afternoon with the temperature hovering about 45 degrees.  I also was wearing a t shirt under the sweaters, a leather Fox River Creek leather jacket that I purchased off Craigslist for less than half what a new one costs, and an old nylon warm up jacket over the leather jacket (the leather jacket leaks some air around the zippers, but the nylon warm up jacket sealed this out - and a pair of jeans.  Also a pair of gloves and some old boots.

With some wind proof pants I think this combo would be good down to 38 to 40 degrees for several hours.  Below that, I would need to add neck/head protection for any long rides.    

Total cost of the three new pieces - 12 bucks.  Add 5 bucks for an elastic waistband from the fabric shop.  The band was sewn in to the waist to keep the long johns in the right place.  Plus the time and thread it took to fashion the red sweater into long johns.  So cash outlay was 17 bucks.   ;D

Pretty cheap and pretty effective.  Here are some pictures.  
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 07:26:31 pm by kpier883 »
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Offline cb750k77

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2010, 08:57:41 pm »
try www.leatherup.com i bought my gear there CHEEP and it was GOOD heavy leather that looks quality feels quality and it keeps me warm! check them out!
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Offline MickeyX

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2010, 10:07:38 pm »
www.sportsmansguide.com

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2010, 06:56:14 pm »
38 to 40 degrees is a nice warm day around here...

Surplus wool blankets, you know the green or grey ones, make excelent lining fabric, especially inside an oversized pair of carhartts. Or there is always "cold storage" pants, which are flannel lined denim.

OR, pick up some blizzard fleece at Jo-anns. It's fairly thin, fairly soft, and will make you sweat your cajones off.

Could just man up though, it's way cheaper...

Offline cb350twin

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2010, 11:52:39 pm »
Quote
Under Armor Cold Gear.  this is the best stuff for the money, IMO.

1+ I wear it for the long trips as a base layer as I know I'm gonna get caught out late in night. During the day you don't get too too hot, but at night it sure dose help out . Even if its just that and a long sleeve t-shirt it holds in your heat in. (granted your wearing a jacket)
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Offline verboten1

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2010, 12:48:25 pm »
I use under armor long john pants, and a fleece under my leather, and silk liners in my cold/wet weather gloves.
if it's really cold, i wear my rainpants (the PVC type)
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Offline birddog1148

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2011, 04:59:02 pm »
www.sportsmansguide.com

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Offline madmtnmotors

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2011, 06:29:32 pm »
I use these pull-overs:

http://www.basspro.com/RedHead-BONEDRY-CWS-Pants-for-Men-Mossy-Oak-BreakUp-Infinity/product/1412221042/

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Offline natron602

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2015, 10:15:43 pm »
Army surplus. In all fairness I live in az but my wool army sweater is all sorts of toasty.

Offline scunny

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2015, 11:11:07 pm »
i perfer to wear a sheep.. you have to go to newzealand to get one tho
damn, is that where all our sheep went. we can only get the ugly ones now. ;D
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Offline Drummer

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2016, 02:29:04 pm »
All that is well and good. It's your fingers that that turn into ice cubes. Staying fairly warm is easy with leathers and cotton long johns. I know my 750 doesn't put out 30 amps. So electric gloves would probably make ya' push it home. LOL

Offline STLrocker

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Re: Ideas for inexpensive cold weather gear
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2018, 03:16:27 pm »
want to keep your hands warm? you need a pair of these. beaver pelt gloves.


or just buy a goldwing and ride all winter in comfort.

i choose both.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 03:18:11 pm by STLrocker »