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Topic: SmartWool balaclava  (Read 1220 times)

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sagerat
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« on: January 05, 2012, 10:38:13 PM »

GF surprised me with a stocking stuffer of a SmartWool balaclava as my old polypro balaclava, which has lived in several tank bags, has been slowly giving up the ghost.  I've been riding with the new SmartWool in temps ranging from mid-20s (gotta love the intrepid Ural) to the upper 40s.  This sucker is awesome.  

Amazingly thin, but warmer.  The face opening seems bigger than my old polypro balaclava.  The skirt at the base is definitely longer (this is just a standard balacalva, not one of those that has a chest bib, too) which makes it stay tucked into shirt and/or jacket collars.  The polypro would work itself out, opening your neck to a relentless cold draft.  As it's wool it should stay warm if it gets wet.

Of course, still have the issue of static electricity so when I take it off my hair stands straight up in the air like Alfalfa from the ancient "Spanky and Our Gang" series.  I also refrain from going to the bank in either balaclava...

She got it at REI.  
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 11:45:11 PM »

Smartwool is the magic garment, and REI is the source.   Bigok   XLR8 was the one who smartened me up, advising the magic socks.   Thumbsup   Been wearing them ever since in cold weather.
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 10:28:57 AM »

Smart is IS magic, no doubt -- great for almost any temperature . . . .thanks for the baclava tip!
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 02:17:37 PM »

I can't stand a balaclava on my face. Tried a couple different ones, event the real thin Schampa silk one.

Plus I think they make fogging problems worse. I'll take the cold air on my face, not a problem.
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 06:29:21 PM »

For anti-fogging, the best solution I've found is one of those neoprene masks that cover your nose and mouth used in tandem with a Fog City insert for the visor.

I admit I've yet to find something to put on my glasses to keep them from fogging.  Also discovered holding my breath all the way to/from work doesn't work, either.   Lol

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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 08:08:00 PM »


For anti-fogging, the best solution I've found is one of those neoprene masks that cover your nose and mouth used in tandem with a Fog City insert for the visor.

I admit I've yet to find something to put on my glasses to keep them from fogging.  Also discovered holding my breath all the way to/from work doesn't work, either.   Lol




http://www.aerostich.com/respro-foggy-breathguard.html

This stuff works well too - best I have tried so far, and doesn't leave a smeared mess like the others.

http://www.filmtools.com/clarity-defog-it-liquid-concentrate.html

You just need to apply it every day you ride in the really cold weather.
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 08:12:33 PM »

I love my smarty balaclava.  The opening fits perfectly around my goggles  Thumbsup
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 08:44:20 PM »


For anti-fogging, the best solution I've found is one of those neoprene masks that cover your nose and mouth used in tandem with a Fog City insert for the visor.

I admit I've yet to find something to put on my glasses to keep them from fogging.  Also discovered holding my breath all the way to/from work doesn't work, either.   Lol




Clarity De-Fog It seems to work very well, at least for me.
Web Bike World raved about it a few years ago, so I picked up some.  Reduces fogging by an order of magnitude vs not putting anything on my glasses;  Sometimes I'll get a little fogging around the edges when stopped, but like I said loads better than having nothing on my glasses.

As for the smartwool balaclava I have had the medium weight version for about 2 years.  Doesn't see much use on the bike though, as it does nothing against the wind, while all of my various Rev'it balaclavas (Rainstar H2O and windstopper versions) plus the windstopper collar I have from them all block the wind, and add warmth.  I do use it while snowshoeing or using the snowblower (luckily haven't had to use that yet...) because it does a good job of regulating one's temp while doing strenuous activity, probably because it isn't wind proof.

I have a few Smartwool socks, but I've found that Lorpen's wool socks seem to hold up better over time, and are at least as effective at keeping warm/regulating temp/protecting against blisters/etc.  Just my 2 Krugerrand, mind you.
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 01:07:52 PM »

I've never used a balaclava before but the one's I sell from Schampa seem to be very popular.

http://www.marksmotogear.com/Rider_Wear_s/1832.htm
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