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By Ian Wilson 23 March 2015 No comments

A few simple guidelines can minimise bulk and maximise comfort.

There are no hard and fast rules about layering, but there is a little science involved. Don't worry – you don't need to understand a single one of the laws of physics, or indeed human anatomy. You just need to trust us and the people who made the kit we're recommending here.

Start with a base layer. Summer base layers are there essentially to wick away sweat, thereby keeping you more comfortable. Winter base layers do the same but also need to have some thermal properties to keep you warm. A mid layer is not critical, but is generally a good idea. It's mostly there to provide some extra thermal control by drawing moisture from the body in hot weather, and trapping pockets of warm air in cold weather. It will also help the outer layer fend off incoming cold and wet.

Sometimes that mid layer will be electrically heated. Not everyone's cup of tea, but an idea championed by many yearround and long-distance riders. Modern bike electrics are generally well able to cope with the strain. A simpler option is heated grips for your bike, or a heated vest that carries its own battery.

Your top layer is what you'd normally think of merely as your bike jacket and trousers. It keeps the wind and water off. And don't be shy about carrying a simple waterproof over jacket for those times when it's about to tip down. Even the best jackets can soak up a lot of rain and then take a long while to dry out.

Follow a variation of this plan and the end result should be that you're cooler on hot days, warmer on cold days, comfortable all year round, not weighed down by unnecessarily bulky kit.

The Thor softshell jacket is available in sizes L-XXXL and The Freya softshell jacket (for Ladies) is available in sizes L-XXL.

Article courtesy of: RIDE Magazine - APRIL 2015, GEAR GUIDE 2015