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Bruno Valeri
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Product Review

Bikers Comfort in Action: WindStopper ST-Wind Plus balaclava
product review

For motorcycle riders, balaclavas are very effective components of a cold weather motorcycle gear riding arsenal. Light packing and ready at a moments notice, a balaclava makes a significant difference in motorcycle riding comfort. In fact, pound for pound (ounce for ounce?), it is probably the most effective piece of cold weather motorcycle gear you can carry.

Though a helmet provides adequate thermal insulation to the head, the gaping lower edge allows copious amounts of heat loss. Cold and damp air blasts the sensitive throat area, swirls up in your face, and infiltrates up the back of your neck. This would be similar to a styrofoam cooler in the summer packed with ice but with the lid off while hot winds blow.

Over the years, I had been using a variety of lightweight balaclavas and neck gaitors from my outdoor gear inventory. Though a definite improvement, they lost some effectiveness at the types of speeds at which we typically travel when sport touring in cold weather. Another consideration was to avoid being too bundled up around the neck area as this limited mobility. So I needed to find something that was effective as a windblock as well as allowing the breathability that was necessary for longer rides. It also had to be as thin as possible. Not an easy combination to find.

I found some options available in outdoor gear specialists. But one day I came across the Bikers Comfort WindStopper ST-Wind Plus balaclava. Made of Gore Tex WindStopper fabric, it promissed both effective windblocking as well as breathability and it was thin to boot!

In use:

The WindStopper ST-Wind Plus balaclava is now part of my standard cold weather motorcycle gear. The Gore Tex WindStopper fabric is very effective for outdoor gear applications. Wearing it in the cold makes an immediate, noticeable difference. As a bonus, it tends to attenuate sounds somewhat, quieting the fury of the cold wind.




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