As the weather begins to cool (everywhere but California and the Southwest), staying warm while riding becomes a priority. But temperatures this time of year can fluctuate broadly from the high 50s to the mid-70s or even 80s during a long day ride. So the last thing you want to do is wear a big bulky jacket since you’ll want to be shedding a layer or two at some point. One option is a windshirt.
Not to be confused with a windbreaker, the typical windshirt is a pullover with either a high collar or no collar and no hood. They’re made to keep the wind out and the heat in. Better ones are also waterproof. Worn under an armored hoody or heavier vented three season jacket, a windshirt can keep you pretty damned comfortable until it gets warm enough to lose its appeal.
We’ve worn them under a GoGo Gear Hoodie on mid-50 degree mornings with nothing more than a long sleeved t-shirt as a base layer and were just fine. By the time the temps hit the 70s, we were stuffing it in a side bag. If you don’t have those, they’re plenty light enough to fold up and put in a backpack.
Prices range from sub $20 (you get what you pay for) to $50 and over for better made and more waterproof. Check out companies like Nike, Marmot, and Adidas for what they offer — and don’t let the possible “golf windshirt” word combo keep you from trying it out!