Author Topic: Clothing List  (Read 522 times)

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Offline davidbonn

Clothing List
« on: January 12, 2024, 10:11:26 am »
This is approximately what I carry on a long tour.  On shorter tours of one or two nights I might carry a bit less.

I don't actually have a lot of cycling-specific clothing (really none except padded shorts and a few pairs of gloves).  Most of these clothes work fine for hiking, trail running, and cross-country skiing as well.  And I use them for such.

This is a "skin out" list including all clothing carried and worn.


Trail runners.  Usually Salomon with the toggle lace system rather than typical shoelaces.

3 pairs of socks, of various types.  I like both Smartwool and Darned Tough socks.  On a short trip I might only bring two pairs (only one spare pair) of socks.

Base Layers:  Top

Two short-sleeved wicking shirts
One long-sleeved wicking shirt

Merino wool or synthetics are fine and both have advantages and disadvantages.  One a shorter trip I might just bring one short-sleeved shirt.  In colder weather I might bring two long-sleeved shirts and one short-sleeved shirt.  It is also a good idea if the long sleeved shirt is cut or sized so you can layer it over a short sleeved shirt.


Two pairs of padded shorts.  I usually want two different brands so they rub in different places.
One pair of regular underwear.  Usually compression shorts.  Can be worn on the bike just fine.
One pair of regular shorts.  To be worn over the above.
One pair of tights or long underwear bottoms.

In colder conditions I probably bring a thicker pair of long underwear bottoms.

Shell Layers

Wind shell
Wind pants
Hi-vis vest

These windproof layers are not raingear.  They are very lightweight insulating layers.  Typically you can find decent wind pants that weight about 2oz and wind shells that weigh 4-5oz.

Other top layers

Insulated Jacket
Rain Parka

In warmer climates I might substitute a light fleece sweater for the insulated jacket.  In colder climates I might bring the sweater along in addition to the above.

Hats and Gloves

Fleece hat

In colder situations I might bring more gloves.  In very wet conditions I might bring three pair of gloves.


Sun Hat
Camp Sandals
Fleece Sweater
Rain Pants (not shown)
Button-front cotton shirt (not shown)

These are things I sometimes but not always bring along.  Usually I find that rain pants perform poorly, are expensive, heavy, bulky, and hard to justify because legs are usually pretty waterproof.  The button-front cotton shirt is nice to wear in camp, on a hot and sunny day, and if you want to hit a decent restaurant or just not look like a bike tourist for a few hours.  The camp sandals shown are Mayfly Imagos and weigh in at about 1.8oz -- they aren't well-suited for hiking but are great for hanging out in camp.

Offline canalligators

Re: Clothing List
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2024, 10:42:49 am »
I hope you’ve made a checklist.

In sunny weather, I wear sun blocking long sleeve shirts (UPF 50). They cool effectively and block sun better than sunscreen.  In cooler weather or on cool mornings, a merino jersey.  On a long trip, I take three of the shirts, trying to stretch washing intervals.

I take nylon convertible pants with zippered pockets.  On a recumbent, those over mens bikini briefs, which prevents chafing.  On a diamond frame, gel liners under the pants, two or three taken along.  But everyone has to see what works for them.

Full height synthetic crew socks, to prevent a ring of sunburn around my ankles.

Offline davidbonn

Re: Clothing List
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2024, 08:05:09 pm »
I hope you’ve made a checklist.

Yes, I have a spreadsheet with the entire gear list.

REI is closing out what appears to be a nice cycling-oriented hi-vis wind shell.  I grabbed one and when it isn't -33C here I'll try it out.

Offline davidbonn

Re: Clothing List
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2024, 11:22:24 am »
A couple of notes about brand preferences and what works for me and what doesn't work.

On base layers, these days I buy most of my tops from either Brooks Running or Sporthill.  Both of them I can highly recommend and they sell good stuff that is frequently discounted.

Sporthill also sells some actual cycling clothing which is also quite good if you are into actual cycling clothes.  Brooks has more Hi-Vis clothing choices which is of course important as well.

For bottoms, I'll usually bring some long underwear bottoms and wear them over the padded bike shorts possibly with a pair of shorts over them.  Or I'll bring some tights.  Sporthill and a few other brands have some "relaxed fit" tights that are excellent for fast forward sports like cycling or cross-country skiing.

I cross-country ski as well so a lot of clothing that will cross over is welcome.  In particular Swix sells nice pants focused for cross-country skiing that also work pretty well on the bike.

On wind shells, I've found that there is a pretty delicate balance between windproofness and breathability.  The Patagonia Houdini products hit that balance the best for me, with Montbell's wind shells a close second.  Both Montbell and Patagonia make "stretchy" versions that are usually a little better for a cyclist than the non-stretchy versions, which can flap annoyingly on a fast downhill.  Wind shells have an enormous warmth-to-weight ratio, usually the highest warmth-to-weight ratio you'll see in any of your clothing.  Which makes them pretty valuable.  When you dress in layers usually you'll find you do most of the temperature control by taking off or putting on one layer -- for me that layer is a wind shell 99 percent of the time.

Every now and then Patagonia makes a somewhat heavier wind shell with a "fast forward" design where the back and shoulders are made with a less windproof and stretchy fabric.  These are great if you can find one.  When I say "somewhat heavier" typically they weigh in at about half a pound.

Sporthill makes wind shells but usually they are lined with a wicking base layer.  Their shells are inexpensive but somewhat heavier and I find they don't breathe as well as the other options.

Montbell's stuff is great but, being a Japanese company, you should keep in mind that their sizing is also "Japanese" so bulky Americans should choose one size up.  Montbell's wind pants are really the best choice if you can get them and want to spend the money.  The only thing about Montbell is that their fabrics are a little less breathable than Patagonia's.  Usually I solve this by washing the garment three or four times to remove the DWR coating (that you don't need or want).

For less money and more weight Nike and others sell less expensive wind pants on Amazon.

On padded shorts, I usually like to ride with triathlon shorts, which I can find from various no-name companies on Amazon.  Triathlon shorts on the average have less padding but have better ventilation and dry out quickly.

Shower's Pass makes nice waterproof gloves that are excellent for those cold and soggy days.  Their waterproof socks work but I don't often carry them unless I know the trip is going to be very wet.

Montbell makes a nice oversized bandana.  An oversized bandana can be worn on your head under your helmet, can be also used as a hot pad and towel in camp.  Which makes it a good multi-use item.

For insulated jackets, there are a lot of good choices out there at varying price points.  I prefer synthetics because you are a lot more likely to get the jacket a bit wet than a sleeping bag (where down is usually the best choice).  I also prefer pullover-style jackets, my reasoning being that you are likely at some point to wear the jacket to bed and it is easier and more comfortable sleeping without a zipper going all the way down the front.

You should have a fleece or wool hat.  Get one big enough that you can pull it down over your forehead and eyes when sleeping.

Raingear is a tough one.  Bluntly none of the materials or whiz-bang technologies in use at any price point work particularly well.  If you are in a hard continuous rainstorm and working hard you are going to get wet.  Having said that there are a number of observations:  (1) waterproof/breathable fabrics stop breathing well at higher temperatures, for me usually above about fifty degrees the breathability goes way down; (2) waterproof/breathable fabrics stop breathing when the shell fabric "wets out"; and (3) when water droplets bead on the outside of the jacket, that's great but your jacket won't be able to breathe through those water droplets.

For the money, you can get the best performance from Frogg Toggs.  Now Frogg Toggs are ugly, shapeless, and not very durable.  But they cost around $30 at Wal-Mart and perform as well (from a waterproofness and breathability standpoint) as garments costing eight times as much.  So something to think about.