With winter fast approaching and a definite chill in the air, now’s the time to start thinking about your winter riding kit, to ensure you stay snug all season. Here, we speak to Rachel Plant from Hot Togs about what to look for when you buy thermal base layers and what good thermal base layers can help with (it’s more than just keeping you warm!).
In the colder months, riders can suffer with a range of issues caused by the cold such as chilblains and numb feet. The problem is that some ‘thermals’ add lots of bulk, which can make it difficult to move and ride when wearing them. Many thicker products won’t fit under breeches and jodhpurs…so what do you do? The answer is to choose carefully. If you’re choosing a base layer, look for the following:
- A close fit that’ll also trap warm air next to the skin and avoid air pockets. The closeness of the fit can also support the joints.
- Lycra, spandex or elastane in the fabric mix. This will allow you to move more freely and will also provide compression, which will aid circulation. The better your blood is circulating, the warmer you’ll feel.
- Wicking properties. It’s a fact that even in the cold weather, hardworking riders sweat. Sweat is absorbed by the surrounding material and if this doesn’t wick, it sits next to the skin and makes you feel cold and uncomfortable. Wicking materials move moisture away from the skin to the outer surface. Most man-made technical materials do this.
- Seams. Badly placed seams can cause friction and pain…neither of which you want when you’re riding. As a rule, the less seams, the better…and any that are there need to be flat locked as these sit better against the skin. Base layers should really be side seam free, especially for riding, as the placement of side seams when in the saddle would be very uncomfortable.
- Lightweight material. Thickness doesn’t mean warmth…and lightweight materials that work with your clothing are really important if you are participating in any outdoor active sport.
How we apply this to our base layers…
Base Layers: Hot Togs Leggings
When it comes to trying to find the best way to keep warm when riding/competing in cold weather, a close fit with ease of movement is key. Our Ultra Thermal Leggings (available in black and nude) contain 24% spandex so they fit very close to the skin and stay in place, the high comfort fit waistband helps to keep your back warm and protect the kidney area from cool breezes when in the seated position. The ankle cuffs at the bottom of the leggings hold the leggings in place around your ankle and the spandex throughout the leggings means they fit like a second skin and move with you. The compression from the close fit also aids circulation which in turn helps with your body temperature.
The material next to the skin is lightly brushed to provide a fleece lining, this fleece helps to trap more of the warm air and enhances the thermal properties.
The material also has wicking properties and offers breathability as moisture is the enemy when trying to keep warm. Any moisture against the skin will quickly feel cold.
Key features of Hot Togs Base layers/leggings
- Made from carefully selected yarn that is brushed on the inside producing a fleece inside means that this fleece traps the warm air that our bodies naturally produce and holds it against our skin. The leggings have to be a very close fit to avoid bagginess where the warm air would escape from. However, the material also has to be breathable as moisture is the enemy when trying to keep warm. Leggings/base layers also dry quickly as they wick any moisture away to the outside of the leggings.
- Our leggings are side seam free for men and women, the seams up around the top are all flat locked.
- Our leggings have an ankle grip at the bottom to help further with keeping them in place and to make it easy to pull other garments on over the top.
- Our leggings fit like a second skin, they contain 24% spandex which means they don’t lose their shape, they fit very close to the skin avoiding any cold patches and providing ease of movement whilst keeping the all important fleece lining right next to your skin
- High rise waist line to provide warmth for the back and kidney area
- Comfort waistband that keeps the leggings in place
To find out more about thermal clothing for the winter or Hot Togs, see www.hottogs.co.uk or call 01782 372662.