When it comes to winter riding, there’s more than just the weather to worry about.
There’s also the kit you need to go about your business in relative comfort. And it’s important because staying warm is paramount to your safety.
Not only does the cold affect you physically, but it also saps your concentration levels. You get to the point where the only thing you can think about is how cold you are.
But not everyone is in the position to go out and spend hundreds of pounds on heated gear. And I also know many people who have the money but just dislike the idea of being strapped into heated kit.
So in this post, we thought we’d put together a list of winter warmers to help stave off the chill on those colder ride-outs – bolt-ons, if you will, to accompany your current gear.
And the best bit? They all cost less than £20.
Alpinestars Neck Warmer
Warmers, snoods, buffs, tubes, call them what you will. But you know what we mean – material tubes that slip over your head and can be converted into everything from a neck warmer, to a headscarf, and pretty much anything else you can think of!
If you currently ride without one, I recommend you get yourself one – they make a massive difference during the colder months.
This one from Alpinestars adds a touch of cosiness to your ride. And aside from keeping you warm, it staves off wind and rain from penetrating under your helmet.
For a fit that is snug and comfortable, pull the warmer up to your ears before putting on your helmet. You can also strap your helmet over the warmer to prevent any rubbing or chaffing.
I bought my dad one of these 3 Christmas’s ago, and he wears it to this day.
The fleece liner keeps him warm in the winter months, but the moisture-wicking properties keep him dry and comfortable.
And it’s multipurpose, too. My dad also uses his off the bike – especially when touring and walking to/from our evening meal or camping.
In recent months, it’s even doubled up as a mask in the pandemic. And all for £10.09!
MotoGP Balaclava For Winter Riding
I had this balaclava in my top box for probably 12 months before I got around to using it. But once I did, I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t started using it earlier.
I have a habit of chewing the insides of my cheeks when I get cold. The shivers set in, and as my teeth chatter, I involuntarily chew my own face off.
It sounds funny. But in reality, it’s a genuine concern for me – it hurts, and it’s uncomfortable.
As soon as I put on this balaclava under my helmet, the extra material plugs any gaps in my helmet, and I feel instantly warmer.
The balaclava itself is quite fitted (you might need a size bigger than your usual size) but the fit provides a feeling of comfort and snugness.
Not only this, but you can double up with the above neckwarmer for added insulation. And it also protects your neck from wind and rain.
Weighing next to nothing and costing the princely sum of £8.56, you need one in your top box!
These waterproof overmitts are another item I would never tour without. They scrunch up small, are easy to fit into pockets, and weigh next to nothing.
Rain is a nightmare. If your waterproof gloves leak in a downpour, you’re in trouble. It’s a surefire way of guaranteeing you will be wet, cold, and uncomfortable for the rest of the day.
And you’re in even more trouble if you can’t dry them out because that will mean wearing them again tomorrow whilst still wet.
These waterproof overmitts add an extra layer of protection. If your kit is dry, you’ll be dry, too. So start with protecting your kit!
I also find that my hands stay not only dry when I use them but also warm. So I use them even when it isn’t raining as an extra layer against the cold.
Another winter warmer worthy of their £9.89 price tag.
Spada Chill Factor 2 Inner Gloves For Winter Riding
Okay, so we’ve protected the outside of your gloves with the Spada Overmitts above. Now to an extra layer of warmth with these Chill Factor 2 inner gloves.
These lightweight, fleece-lined inner gloves are lightweight and durable. And the windproof membrane gives extra protection against biting winds.
They are also breathable – which means they wick away sweat and keep your hands warm from the inside out.
Another benefit? They’re great to use in the evenings when off the bike. And even for hiking or day-tripping on days out of the saddle.
For £11.69, you can’t go wrong.
EDZ Merino Boot Socks
I’ll admit it. I’m a fan of the long sock!
I have so many friends who hate them. But personally, I think they’re brilliant not just for warmth, but for comfort, too.
These EDZ boot socks are British made (Cumbria), are Terry cushioned, and reinforced at wear points for added durability.
Not only are they ideal for winter riding, but they also add a layer of comfort – preventing rubbing from boots, zips, or anything otherwise uncomfortable.
For longer tours, the Merino wool wicks away moisture which prevents odours. And this means you could wear them for more than a day if you really needed to.
Again, I use these when off the bike as well – usually under hiking boots.
Winter Riding Bargains: Conclusion
As you can see, motorcycle gear doesn’t have to be expensive.
For less than £20, you can find some basics to add to your kit to make riding safer and all-around more enjoyable.
And with Christmas just around the corner, they make for perfect little stocking fillers!
Want more posts like this one? You’re in luck! Try these:
- We Tested It: HJC RPHA 90s Carbon Review
- 5 Of The Best Textile Jackets For Less Than £300
- Altberg Motorcycle Boots: 30,000 Mile Review
- The Best Winter Gloves For Toasty Hands
- Rain Gear For Touring: Get A Leg Up On The Weather
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Top image via Paul Henri