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Convertable Clothing
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Brian Sims
(MtnFiend) - F

Locale: Pasadena, CA
Convertable Clothing on 02/06/2008 22:50:16 MST Print View

I am primarily a cyclist and a backpacker on the side. Unfortunately don't get as much time as I would like to get out and backpack.

Cyclist are familiar with arm and leg warmers. Basically these are lightly insulated sleeves and legs. It is amazing how much warmth these items can add. The beauty is that you don't need an additional full shirt or bottom to add a extra warmth. One can quickly remove the items because you don't have to remove a full item of clothing, which means you can shed insulation without removing a pack, shorts/pants, or boots (if the legs have side zippers). With the arms warmers you can easily pull them down to the wrist when hot and pull them up when cold.

Is there something like this in this market?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Convertable Clothing on 02/06/2008 23:44:57 MST Print View

Hi Brian,

I am also a cyclist (long-distance travel) and have often wondered why people don't use arm and leg warmers in the UL crowd, because they make a lot of sense (the arm warmers!). I also wonder why ULers don't use cycling rain overshoes for protecting their running shoes and cycling rain capes for rainy weather. I also always thought that river fishing shoes would make great shoes for walking in really bad wet conditions. Here in Japan sawanobori (creek walking) walkers have adopted felt-soled fishing shoes for walking on slippery river bottoms.

Three good places to get bicycle clothing:

Performance Bike

Bike Nashbar

MEC (Canada)

Edited by butuki on 02/06/2008 23:47:34 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Convertable Clothing on 02/07/2008 06:24:31 MST Print View

I'm no cyclist, but I adopted the arm warmer technique last year (recomended by someone) when I purchased my MB Half Sleeve.
They weigh a few ounces and eliminate the need for me to bring an additional long sleeve shirt. I'd really like to make my own though - it seems the ones I can get at MEC are more of a spandex/wind/nylon type material. I would like some nice snug fleece ones aswell.
What'ya think?

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Fleece arm warmers... on 02/07/2008 06:48:07 MST Print View

Those are going to weigh in quite a bit more that a couple ounces unfortunately.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Merino Are / Leg Warmers on 02/07/2008 07:23:43 MST Print View

Ibex Cycling

Swobo - Warmers

edit - Oh, I remembered rivendell makes Arm Warmers and Knee Warmers

Also, Miguel, what's the difference between, say, a Cyclist's Rain Cap and the ID Sil Cape?

Edited by jdmitch on 02/07/2008 11:46:24 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Merino Are / Leg Warmers on 02/07/2008 10:51:55 MST Print View

Also, Miguel, what's the difference between, say, a Cyclist's Rain Cap and the ID Sil Cape?

Erm... not much really. I just got the ID Sil Cape yesterday and have been comparing them. One thing about most cycling rain capes is that they are designed to be used in the wind (as much as it is possible to use a sail in the wind). They have wrist or finger straps to hold the front portion of the cape steady in the onrushing wind, and usually a strap inside the cape that you tie around your waste to hold the back of the cape from flapping around. Of course there is also the bicycle handlebar and saddle to help stabilize the cape, which walkers don't have.

The strap in the rear hem on the Sil Cape is great, but doesn't seem to work quite as well when you aren't wearing a small pack. But I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say much about it.

When I walked the Tour du Mont Blanc last summer quite a few ultramarathoners running in the North Face TMB Ultramarathon used bicycle capes to stay dry.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Bicycling Cape on 02/07/2008 11:42:43 MST Print View

So, you're envisioning using the front straps still around your arm / wrists / fingers and the back strap attached to your pack? Basically making it a walking tent? I realize that's not a flattering mental image of the design, but I think it works.

If that's the case, the benefits seem twofold over a traditional poncho:
1) Greater breathability
2) Drier legs / feet, as with a hang flat poncho the water runs right off the poncho and falls... right down your legs onto your shoes...

Interesting idea...

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Bicycling Cape on 02/07/2008 15:02:54 MST Print View

Bicycle capes are easy to make and are very lightweight because they do a lot with little fabric. They don't work very well with a backpack. The cycle capes are too small to go over the pack, so you would need to increase the size considerably.


The easy way to make a cycle-sized cape is to fold a 36" x 72" rectangle of suitable fabric to form a square measuring a yard on each side. Construct a hood and match it to one of the doubled corners. The hood will be 45 degrees to the folded square. Install the hood. Stitch the front up. Hem the edges. Install thumb loops. Basically, that's it. I usually trim the corners - you can see what I mean on a paper model - so they don't drape too far. I find that obnoxious. I also make a pouch over the front seam - on the inside - that inverts so the cape will store inside. But I have sometimes put the pouch on the crown of the hood. That makes the hood more comfortable in the rain. A silnylon cape like this will weigh about 4 ounces and fit easily in a 3X4 pouch.

I have made backpacker's capes 48 x 96" with the front closed with a water resistant zipper and the hood formed from the body of the cape, not separately. It becomes a tarp, but weighs 11 ounces.