Author Topic: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?  (Read 1237 times)

FLBiker

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Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« on: August 13, 2019, 12:31:27 PM »
My wife, 4 year old daughter and I will be moving from Tampa, FL to Halifax, NS in the near future.  We don't really have anything in the way of gear for cold / wet weather.

I have a little experience living in cold / wet places (winter in Taiwan on a motorcycle, childhood in St. Louis) but I'd be grateful for any tips.

What layers do you recommend?  Any tips for breathable waterproof gear?  Or is Halifax cool enough that breathability isn't important (and I should just pack my 15 year old 100% vinyl Taiwanese rainsuit)?  I'd like to continue to bike commute up there, so I'm certainly interested in tips / experience related to that as well.  One thing I don't have that I really want is good cold / wet weather cycling gloves.  And in addition to types of gear, I'm also very interested in recommended sources for gear.  We're definitely planning to check out thrift stores in Halifax (Tampa doesn't really have winter gear) but I'm thinking it might be better to purchase some stuff new in the US before we move.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 12:35:51 PM by FLBiker »

HerselftheElf

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 09:02:03 AM »
I'd hazard a guess that breathability should always be considered to assist your body with sweat evaporation (ie, cooling!).  I can't speak to the wet gear or bike gear, but DH and I found that Uniqlo has cheap, cotton "heat gear" that is a dream.  Several versions so you can choose but we use the lightest, thinnest version for travel or tailgating in cold climates and have never been disappointed.  Super soft, comfortable, fits very easily even under snug clothing without bulking up and no issues with causing too much sweating.  Love that stuff...

https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/men/heattech-collection

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 09:25:25 AM »
My kids attend a forest school in Seattle, and they’re outside all day, all year round. The school recommends wool for base layers or wicking materials (no cotton). We’ve purchased 90% of their gear at Goodwill. It’s really easy to find suitable layers there — I just got a brand-new New Balance long-sleeves shirt for my oldest for $1.79.

We buy wool socks new (REI just had Smartwool on sale), as well as outerwear because we need to be confident in the waterproofing. I also gravitate to REI for these purchases because they have great sales, great customer service, and a member rewards program. Be sure to use something like Tech Wash when you need to launder your waterproof items, too. That helps retain/re-coat the surface protectant.

Aegishjalmur

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 09:36:06 AM »
for biking in the rain, I would suggest a pair of Goretex glove shells. These will fit over any biking gloves you already have to allow you too keep wet and dry.

For cold weather gear: I have a couple pairs of fleece lined wrangler cargo pants that I got at Walmart for $20. I consider these money well spent as they cut the wind down to nothing any keep you toasty in under 32f/0c temps.

Get your clothing loose enough that you can layer. I can fit a pair of long underwear under the fleece lined cargo pants, which is really nice when it starts getting into single digits.

Make sure you have your ears covered. Cold combined with wet and wind and your ears will ache.


former player

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 10:33:25 AM »
If you are checking out second hand stuff, I have had great success recently reviving an old gortex jacket with a wash-in waterproofer.  Wash the garment first with a non-detergent cleaner (detergent can repel the waterproofing stuff), and then put through a rinse cycle with the waterproofing stuff in place of fabric conditioner.  It's worked a treat so far.

Otherwise I find that keeping the wind out is as important as keeping the rain out - something that fits snuggly around the face and neck makes a big difference - but thoroughly waterproof boots are the thing to spend the most money on.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 12:59:33 PM by former player »

FLBiker

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 10:39:09 AM »
Thanks so much!  I forgot to mention -- I'm allergic to wool (although I can probably get away with it in socks).

I'll definitely check out the glove shells, the fleece lined cargo pants and the uniqlo stuff.  And I expect we can get most typically layers easily enough at a thrift store.  Thanks again!

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 10:53:06 AM »
I bought this for myself during a sale last year, and I love it. One of the few non-wool versions that got good reviews.

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/80620?feat=516180-plalander&csp=f

YK-Phil

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 11:03:44 AM »
For cold and humid weather, always chose layers that you can mix and match depending on the weather. Base layer (wool or silk t-shirt, never cotton), middle layer (fleece jacket or sweater), outer layer (Goretex, waterproof breathable). Same for top and bottom although if you are active, you can omit the middle layer for the pants. A sturdy pair of hikers works for me in all kinds of weather. I have a pair of Scarpa Kailash insulated boots that I use year-round for walking, hiking, dog-sledding, biking, etc. Very comfortable out of the box, solid and sturdy. In the Arctic where I spent most of my adult life, I added an extra layer (soft shell) under the outer layer depending on the type of activity. When walking or snowmobiling in extremely cold weather, the best option is a Canada Goose parka and pants, winter mitts, Sorel boots, but that would be overkill for Halifax.

honeybbq

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 12:58:19 PM »
For biking in the cold and rain, get yourself some bar mitts.

https://www.amazon.com/Bar-Mitts-Handlebar-Shifters-Externally/dp/B00380H7PK

Malcat

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2019, 02:05:30 PM »
Layers, layers, layers.

My layers
-wicking base layer, I use merino wool, but there are tons of options
-fleece layer
-down layer (mine has seams that don't go all the way through, so blocks wind well)
-waterproof top shell with venting zippers

With all of my layers, I'm pretty set for any weather.

Winter footwear: I like Bogs and winter running shoes.

FLBiker

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 12:21:16 PM »
Awesome, thanks again for the great advice.  I'm very interested in the Scarpa Kailash boots and the bar mitts.  I had something similar to the bar mitts on my scooter in Taiwan and it was great!

Malcat

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 12:34:12 PM »
Awesome, thanks again for the great advice.  I'm very interested in the Scarpa Kailash boots and the bar mitts.  I had something similar to the bar mitts on my scooter in Taiwan and it was great!

DH wears Salomon trail shoes instead of boots for everything all winter except for running, which he has winter runners for, he doesn't like the stiffness of boots, especially when cycling. I wear Keens, Bogs, and Saucony winter running shoes, depending on what I'm doing.

zenyata

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2019, 06:41:59 AM »
Their stuff can be a bit pricey (you can find off-season deals though) but Patagonia's Nano-Puff jackets / sweaters are pretty amazing.   I do a lot of outdoor activities in upstate New York and work as a field geologist and the nano-puffs are really versatile - super lightweight - amazingly insulating with synthetic fill that continues to insulate even when wet.  Couple it with a variety of different weight base layers and a waterproof shell and you'll be set for 95% of anything that's thrown at you, weather-wise.  I've worn it all around the U.S. camping and hiking - mountains & desert, was my go-to set up in Iceland etc.... it's really good.   I also happen to think there's just about nothing better than a wool flannel from Woolrich - for crisp to cold days and even if it's misty & drizzly - they aren't great if they get totally wet... but they too will continue to insulate and are just really great all purpose layers for northern climates.  edit: saw you said you had issues with wool - but I do think there are wool and synthetic blends of different combinations that still might be worth looking at (from Woolrich or others)

lizzzi

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2019, 07:35:10 AM »
I don't have any problems with wool socks--love DarnTough socks from Vermont. But when wool everywhere else next to my skin started to make me itchy after all-day wear (I'm still okay for a few hours), I started wearing mock-tees or long-sleeve crewnecks in other fabrics--then put my wool sweater on over it. No more itching.

Aegishjalmur

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2019, 10:05:47 AM »
I got one of these a couple years ago for well waiting at the bus stop during the winter. It works pretty well and the battery lasts a decent length. What's nice is with this you can keep your hands warm, charge up your cell, and have a bright flashlight for if you are out at night. I like the fact that it is rechargeable vs the disposable hand warmers.


https://www.amazon.com/Alfway-Rechargeable-Flashlight-Activities-Snowfield/dp/B07DLVC5KN/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=rechargeable+hand+warmers&qid=1566057525&s=gateway&sr=8-5

pbkmaine

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2019, 01:27:56 PM »
When I lived in Maine, I wore a pair of tights as a base bottom layer and a long silk turtleneck (long enough to tuck into the tights with room to spare) as a base top layer. Wool socks, jeans and a fleece pullover went on next. Top layer was a Land’s End stadium coat (3/4 length to cover your backside), wool hat and scarf and thinsulate lined leather gloves. Shoes were either LL Bean insulated winter sneakers or Ugg boots. I never got cold.

lizzzi

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2019, 07:06:18 AM »
Uggs are great for comfort and warmth, but remember---you can't get them wet or they just turn into cold, wet mush. Uggs for indoors, definitely. Something waterproof or at least water-resistant is needed for outdoor footwear.

former player

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2019, 07:37:40 AM »
Uggs are great for comfort and warmth, but remember---you can't get them wet or they just turn into cold, wet mush. Uggs for indoors, definitely. Something waterproof or at least water-resistant is needed for outdoor footwear.
Agreed.  You can make just about anything you can wear work in cold weather - humans have been living in Maine conditions and worse for thousands of years without "technical fabrics" or "clothing systems" - but if you are spending any time outside beyond walking from door to car the one thing you can't hack is a good pair of waterproof boots.

pbkmaine

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Re: Cold / Wet Weather Gear Recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2019, 03:02:52 PM »
Agreed. Uggs are for dry cold.