I first saw GloGlovs being used by
Washington State Ferry workers. A nice lady named Lynette Waneke Gray
makes GloGlovs down in Oregon and you can go to her website at:
to find out more.
For my base layer I tend to favor thin wool jerseys or wool t-shirts.
Some folks prefer various wicking synthetics, although some synthetic
fabrics like polypro have a nasty tendency to retain odors. For years
climbers have sworn by Patagonia's Capilene and the Patagonia folks
worked hard to make Capilene into a "stinkless" synthetic. The one
fabric that I really try to avoid for cycling wear is cotton. A cotton
t-shirt is fine for warm summer days but in the winter it just gets wet
and clammy and sucks all the heat away from you.
For pants I wear lycra cycling shorts under Suplex nylon shorts or
pants. I also use lycra arm and leg warmers depending on how warm or
cold things are. In the spring and fall, it's often cool enough in the
morning for long sleeves but much warmer by the time the evening
commute rolls around. Arm and leg warmers take up much less space in a
pack than full tights and a long sleeve jersey.
Shells and Pants
When it's wet or cold I wear a shell layer, either a jacket or a vest.
My rain jacket is yellow. My vest is yellow. I'm not particularly fond
of yellow but it is a very noticeable color. Bright orange or lime
green are good as well but I always advise people to get rain gear in
bright colors. I see people commuting in dark blue or black jackets and
they just blend in with the rain. If you do have a favorite dark jacket
(and I have a black Marmot windshirt that's just great!) wear it with a
bright vest or a reflective sash.
As for specific jackets, I really like a very cheap, light jacket
called the Rainshield O2. Their $35 jacket works surprisingly well and
it's about the lightest rain jacket on the market. I also have their
heavier, pricier jacket and it's also quite good. A company called
Burley just restructured and won't be making rain wear anymore but
their jackets are very good and many commuters swear by them. So if you
want a Burley, get 'em while you can. Showers Pass makes good stuff as
well and so does Jackson & Gibbons. If you get up to Canada, check
out some of the jackets at MEC and locally REI has a pretty good
selection of jackets.
I really haven't found a true rain pant that I like. The problem is,
it's mostly too warm hear and most rain pants get to clammy. Goretex
may be waterproof and breathable if you aren't too active but I find
that for cycling it tends to get overwhelmed trying to vent sweat and
so I get clammy. For jackets I prefer things that are more breathable
(or have big vents and arm-pit zippers) and for my legs I either just
use lycra leg warmers or warmers together with nylon chaps called
I reviewed a few items for the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association,
including the Rainshield O2 and Rainlegs and you can read those reviews
I wish I could tell you the secret to keeping your feet warm and dry on
a wet commute, but I don't have a perfect solution. As I've found with
gloves, I can be fairly happy albeit somewhat damp by using a layer of
wool. I wear wool socks all the time. Depending on conditions I may
over layer the wool with a Sealskins sock or some kind of over-boot but
ultimately water seems to seep. I have friends who swear by the
combination of Shimano sandals, wool socks and a Goretex over
Probably the best advice I can give you is to have a spare pair of
socks. Few things match the luxury of slipping into a pair of dry socks
at the end of a wet commute. And I figure you've already worked out
that it's best to leave your work shoes at work, right?
Finally, reflective ankle bands are another cheap but very noticeable
addition to the cyclists wardrobe. The flash of yellow or orange draws
the eye and the spinning motion helps drivers identify that flashing
thing up ahead as a cyclist.
Remember that everyone's visibility is lowered in the rain. Even if
it's daylight, I tend to turn my lights on in the rain. When it's wet,
slow down. Not all your fellow riders may be as well lit as you and wet
roads can be treacherous. Watch out for man-hole covers, railroad
tracks, metal bridge decks, painted fog lines and leaves. All these
things can be wickedly slippery when wet. Be careful out there.