Is there a place for the down jacket in your everyday cycling kit?
As temperatures begin to flirt with frost and the mercury flutters above zero, many riders turn to some toasty warm insulation to keep frostbitten mornings at bay - but a down jacket? Now, there is a bit of debate over whether the insulated jacket or vest is too hot for cycling. Yes, if you pull one on for some winter interval training you will probably get a bit warm, but just picture this...
A long winter ride or weekend tour awaits and those back lanes and gravel paths have become risky for the hardiest of winter tyres. Last week Randonneur Ralph, chief map reader and flapjack maker extraordinaire crossed swords with a sharp piece of flint and paid the price - a rather fiddly puncture. At times like this, as Ralph splutters and swears his way through multiple tube changes, being able to pull something out of a rack or saddle bag can be invaluable.
Carrying that insulated layer can be handy in many a situation, think evening city drink or cold yet sunny cafe stop. Packable but very comforting, this warming layer can be really beneficial, one that is worth putting on the hotly contested shortlist for the contents of jersey pockets, panniers or saddle packs.
NB: Updated 2017