Gaerne ST Dry Boot
Italians might have sunny dispositions, but they ride year-round, rain or shine. For them--and you--Gaerne (say "Gar-NAY") makes the ST Dry touring boot for wet-weather riding. Construction is leather, lined with Gaerne's own Dry Tech membrane, which the maker claims is both waterproof and breathable. While the styling is traditionally low-key, important areas are strengthened with plastic armor. Available in black only. Sizes 6-13. $179.99. (800) 426-0213, www.gaerneusa.com
Kanetsu Electric Vest
To keep hypothermia at bay, you need to keep your torso warm. That's where electrically heated vests come into play. The Aerostich Kanetsu Electric Vest has an outer layer of soft fleece, and a lightweight liner. Between those layers there's a 3.3-amp heating unit that pumps out 45 watts of warmth. It rolls up into one of its own pockets for compact storage. The kit includes a fused, lighted coil cord hookup and a power switch. S-XXXL. $137. (800) 222-1994, www.riderwearhouse.com
We're big fans of the lowly cotton bandana. For years we've tied 'em around our necks and pulled them over our chins to ward off the cool ocean air and noxious airborne detritus encountered whilst riding around L.A.
Now there's a more high-tech alternative called the Buff, a seamless, tubular garment constructed of microfiber fabric that does everything the bandana does and more. The Buff can work as a neck gaitor, balaclava, helmet liner, face mask, headband or bandana, and thanks to its sweat-wicking and breathable high-tech fabric, it keeps you cooler in warm weather and warmer on cold rides than a basic bandana can. And because it's stretchy, it's a lot easier to don, even while wearing a leather jacket or Aerostich suit. Two thicker versions--Polar Buff ($25) and Thermal Pro Buff ($27)--offer even more protection than the basic Original Buff we found so useful. Best yet, the Original Buff is cheap--just $18.50.
Rating: * * * *
Verdict: Versatile wind/weather protection for less than a 20-spot