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Can we have a thread on winter riding clothes?

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  • Can we have a thread on winter riding clothes?

    What are the layers you use for winter riding? Silks, underarmor, tights, etc?

    Sox and boots?

    I say every year I am going to ride all winter and this year I mean it.
    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

  • #2
    On cold days (30-35 degrees) I arrive at the barn wearing fleece breeches, a cotton turtleneck, wool (breathable) or fleece sweater, a fleece vest and a flannel-lined windbreaker. I'll likely remove the windbreaker once I start riding if I'm in an indoor. I use wool socks and ariat frostbiter boots. They're clunky but the only things that keep my feet warm. If it's closer to 35, I'll get away with wool or very thick synthetic socks and regular ariats. On truly cold days (20-30 degrees), I add either a silk undershirt (closer to 20 degrees) or a thin cotton tank-top (closer to 30 degrees). I wear a very thick cable-knit wool sweater, sometimes with a thin fleece vest between it and the turtleneck. DEFINITELY the Ariat frostbiters and wool socks. Fleece or thinsulate gloves. I found that in an indoor, if the weather is below 18-20 degrees, I won't ride. Neither me nor my horse can breathe comfortably. I might just walk around over cavaletti or keyholes or something, but that's about it.

    I'm a total cold wimp. My clothing reflects that! I like cotton and silk because it breathes. If I wear fleece or synthetics next to my skin I sweat and then I freeze. Not fun!

    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


    • #3
      Best long underwear: Duofold. It's a merino wool blend and it is WARM. Underarmor cold gear for under breeches.

      Also like the EMS techwick tops. Midweight for over another layer like a cotton T or a duofold crewneck, heavyweight to be worn as a baselayer by themselves.

      Silk is nowhere near warm enough for me.

      I'll wear either the Irideon windpro breeches or regular breeches with underarmor underneath, then throw on a sweatshirt, and a windproof jacket. Dubarry boots on the feet with fleece or smartwool socks, and I'm good to go.

      This is for a location where temps are regularly single digits and occasionally below zero.

      I've been told the irideon supplex long underwear is something I should try so I've ordered some for this winter.

      Many, many years of doing chores in subzero weather has taught me that the key to staying warm is keeping your LEGS warm. Good fleece breeches (windpro, with a smooth outer so they don't pick up everything in sight) and close fitting long underwear make a huge difference in your overall perception of the outside temperature.
      Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
      you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.


      • #4
        I get cold easily. It's a very cold day indeed I wear more than a long sleeve tee, fleece turtleneck, and a down LLBean vest. I've got both Kerrits and ToughRider fleece breeches, and didn't see much difference between them.

        I do like the little handwarmers to keep in my pockets or even in my boots/gloves in the winter. I also find that putting my hair up properly keeps my ears warm in the winter
        A Year In the Saddle


        • #5
          I am not at all a cold weather person--I'm happiest at about 90--and Patagonia R1 fleece keeps me going. When it's just cold, I'll wear the R1 as a base layer with breeches, smart wool socks and a wool sweater or a sweatshirt and coat. When it's really damned cold, I wear silk long underwear as a base layer, then the R1 and then wool and winter breeches.

          The R1 is a "technical fleece" or something that is THIN and LIGHT and really, really WARM. It wicks sweat so you don't get cold after you work hard. It's expensive to buy new, but you can find it for less on ebay. I have a few tops and a few bottoms and wear it ALL winter. Great stuff.


          • #6
            Polartec fabric. Smooth on the outside, fleece on the inside. Blocks wind. Stain resistant. Wear as a single layer into the low 40s and you'll be warm. Wear a layer under it and you'll SWEAT.

            Marker, North Face, and REI make shirts out of the stuff. Here's REI's...



            I have two of these shirts; one by Marker, one by REI. The REI was pricier, but snazzier. The only down side is that you will occasionally need to make sure to wash them with some sort of deoderizer - the fabric can retain smells.

            The other bad thing: this is not the best time of year to buy. You need to wait until ski stuff goes on sale (maybe Feb but more likely March)...

            My other favorite thing is SmartWool socks. Lovely warm thin and non-itchy wool socks.


            • #7
              There are lots of good options out there, and many of them can be found at Wal-Mart.

              Generic under armor, puffy vests, fleece tops, even fleece-lined jeans at walmart.com. Site to store shipping (you pick up at your local store) is often free if you can't find exactly what you want there. They also carry Walls jackets and coveralls. I'm not always a big fan of the conglomerate that doesn't have the best history of taking care of its employees, but the budget is very tight and you have to save where you can, and I have to give them credit for the selection that they have.

              1/4-zip fleece tops are $10. Not even an Old Navy mega-sale can beat that. Puffy vests can be had for anywhere from $8 to $18 for a faux-ful lined hooded one that resembles a Kyra K. The fleece lined jeans may not be as nice as the coveted Lands End model, but at under $20 are you really going to be disappointed? Under Armor is very overpriced...the generic walmart stuff is identical. Also, if you are an average-sized gal like me, you can buy things like turtlenecks, long-sleeved tee's etc from the boys section in an XL or XXL and save lots. A womens medium or large turtleneck might run $12 while the boys are 7. Hoodies are also cheaper in the kids section. Just swing through and try them on to see if they'll work for you. I also found thermal leggings in the juniors section that fit me. (Junior plus size). I wouldn't be caught dead in them in public as they're intended but under some sweats or windpants they'll be perfect.

              I like natural fabrics next to the skin whenever possible (cotton, wool) rather than poly or blends. They wick better. Other than that, it's all about layering. Close-fitting layers are best. I'm a baggy fan but baggy doesn't work as well to keep your body heat close. Not so tight that it constricts, but you need a close fit on everything.

              I used to be a cold sissy, but having my horses at home means I have to feed, water, hay regardless of temp, and it's amazing that I've somehow managed to get over my anti-coldness (out of necessity I guess). I used to run out and throw hay as quick as I could then scrurry back in, and now I find myself stacking hay, sweeping mats or doing little chores even when the temps fall.


              • #8
                SmartWool socks, Underarmour cold gear under my regular breeches, another long sleeve shirt, vest and/or fleece sweatshirt. A fleece headband to cover my ears, Turtle Fur (for my neck/lower face), and wool lined leather gloves.

                I have some really warm wicking fleece pants and sweater that are by "Alpine Design."

                I do have some extremely comfortable down coats that I like to throw on now and then for extra insulation. They were made sometime in the seventies or eighties and still wash up good as new. The brand is Tempco - if you ever see one of those floating around, I highly recommend it.


                • #9
                  On the coldest days in our unheated indoor, a down vest over a fleece top over a long underwear top (Patagonia or the like) and winter breeches. I don't ride much below -10 Celsius.


                  • #10

                    I bit the bullet and bought Ariat Artics or is it glaciers and they really help me. Also a great set of socks.

                    Here's something else if your feet sweat at all. (Sorry disgusting I know.) I wrap my toes in 1 paper towel. Put it over the top of my toes and then the sock. It keeps me amazingly warm. They are a mess at night but sure makes me warmer.
                    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
                    Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


                    • #11
                      I always treat myself to those little lava pack hand warmer things to keep in my pockets. It helps when warming bits and for recovering when you fingers get so cold you can't hold a dandy brush.
                      Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                      • #12
                        Avoid cotton: When considering purchases for cold weather riding think about how much you sweat. Avoid cotton as your first layer because it holds moisture so it will not dry and it will contribute to chill when you are done. There are plenty of studies that show that cotton is a contributer to hypothermia because it does not keep you warm once you begin to perspire and we all perspire even if it is small amounts.

                        Purchase a synthetic like polar fleece, poly pro, and others like them that wicks away moisture and dry as you sweat. These along with wool will keep you warm even when wet due to the construction of individual fibers and their wicking properties.

                        I ride in the 20's in the winter in my regular breeches with Kerrits tights underneath, a polypro turtleneck, sweater, and vest. I use 180's or a buff over my ears under my helmet. I usually lose the vest except in the coldest weather. I use thinsulate lined leather gloves and smartwool socks under my winter paddocks. I use foot warmers in my boots for cold days.

                        Carhart bib coveralls and a big jacket over my riding clothes before and after my ride.

                        Someone mentioned Walmart. You can get plenty there. I also go to Amvets for polarfleece and winter vests.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Equine Obsession View Post
                          SmartWool socks, Underarmour cold gear under my regular breeches, another long sleeve shirt, vest and/or fleece sweatshirt. A fleece headband to cover my ears, Turtle Fur (for my neck/lower face), and wool lined leather gloves.
                          EquineObsession, what brand of wool-lined leather gloves do you have? I have a terrible time keeping my fingers warm during winter riding (those polarfleece-lined ones just don't do the trick, and even my Heritage winter gloves weren't quite enough during the coldest days last year!


                          • #14
                            I second many of the suggestions already made-- any "windpro" breech, smartwool, patigonia, irideon underlayers. I just purchased an Irideon Windpro jacket to replace a North Face one that has seen better days. I assume I will like it as much as the breeches.

                            As for gloves, I have found "magical" gloves at Dick's last year-- I just wished at the time I bought them I knew they were magic. I've tried just about every winter glove out there and did finally found a SSG one that kept my fingers warm, but was too bulky for my taste (I hate riding in gloves, period, so I basically wanted something I couldn't feel). The ones I found at Dick's are Nike brand, thin material that almost reminds me of the old Isotoners, with a rubberized grip on them. Not slippery at all and have kept my hands very warm, despite being so thin. For the life of me, I don't know what style they were. I just hope and prey they have a similar style this winter so I can go stock up!


                            • #15
                              I wear:
                              Heavy tights, wool socks, fleece socks, and in the past I wore Muck boots to the barn and Ariat terrains to ride, but now I have the Middleburg fleece-lined boots...
                              Fleece-lined breeches...
                              Thermasilk long-sleeved shirt, thermal shirt, polar fleece turtleneck, wool sweater, fleece-lined jacket and puffy vest...
                              Wool hat and fleece-lined gloves.

                              I live in Buffalo. (:
                              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                              Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Hazelnut View Post
                                Avoid cotton: Avoid cotton.
                                Thanks for the tip. I've never noticed any problem with cotton as a first layer, but I don't sweat much and it rarely gets below 20 around here. I'll keep that in mind though. When I do sweat, it always seems to be the crease of my bra where the underwires are, and I hate how the material holds it against your skin. YUCK! But that's only in the summer time. I'm not sure I've ever broken a sweat in the winter! :-)

                                One other thing I forgot to add is that I love my ski gloves that have a mouthpiece that allows you to blow your warm breath into them. There's a valve that carries the air through to your fingers. I like them better than the hot packs as they only last so long. With these gloves I can add a warm burst whenever I need to recharge. They were a splurge at $30 but worth it. I can't think of the manufacturer but I'm sure you could google it.