If you ride your bike in the winter and depend on cycling clothing manufacturers to make all of your cold weather gear then you either live in the deep south or you are going to freeze to death. Clothing that was designed for winter cycling in Europe won’t even come close to meeting the needs of winter cyclists in the Upper Midwest of the United States. One of the best pieces of winter gear I purchased last year was the Bonfire Radiant Ski And Snowboard Jacket.
As the name implies, the Bonfire Radiant Jacket is designed for skiers and snowboarders. However, when the temperature drops below zero (Fahrenheit) this jacket will keep cyclists warm even on rides that last all day (or night) long. In fact, this jacket has several great features that most cyclists would love to see on our regular cold-weather cycling clothing. First, this highly breathable jacket is made with waterproof fabric. In case you don’t already know, waterproof fabric doesn’t mean anything if the seams are not sealed—and the seams on this jacket are totally sealed and waterproof. The jacket’s brushed tricot lining means it is very warm, but if you start to overheat you can open the full-length pit zips to let some of the heat out.
The Bonfire Radiant Jacket also has a great powder skirt to keep the snow that is thrown off your tires from getting under the jacket itself. The powder skirt has a small ID holder that is large enough to hold your driver’s license or a few business cards. There are a total of three large zippered pockets in this jacket—two on the side and one on the chest (a goggle pocket). The chest pocket also has a small opening in it so you can run a cord from an iPhone or other electronic device in pocket to your earphones. Other features include a detachable hood, key holder, and a 2-way center front zipper.
Since this jacket was designed for snowboarders it is a several inches longer than a normal cycling jacket—this is actually a good thing since it covers the groin area fairly well (guys, if I have to explain the importance of this to you then you have never been out for a long ride when the temperature was in negative numbers).
I wear the Bonfire Radiant Jacket on rides when the temperature is below zero. With just an Under Armor compression shirt and a thin fleece sweater this jacket keeps me warm and happy for the entire ride. With a thicker fleece liner this jacket should be good down to at least -20 (Fahrenheit).
The Bonfire Radiant Ski And Snowboard Jacket is available in three sizes (M, L, XL) and retails for $200, but both Amazon.com and evo.com have it available for $140. However, I am fortunate enough to live near a Salomon Acr’teryx Outlet Store and was able to pick up it up for only $119. All things considered, this is the best buy on a winter cycling jacket you are likely to ever find. All Bonfire jackets come with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects (keep your receipt).