A while back we received some new cold weather performance apparel from noted motorcycle accessory distributor Cycle Gear called Freeze-Out. Instead of big, bulky jackets and gloves, however, what we found in the box were somewhat thin, lightweight accessories that are meant to be worn underneath regular riding gear. Utilizing a three-layer construction featuring a waterproof and breathable microporous membrane laminated between two fabric layers, Freeze-Out clothing accessories are aimed at keeping the rider dry by allowing perspiration vapor to pass through while completely blocking wind drafts that penetrate other fabrics and rob precious body heat.
The exterior layer of Freeze-Out fabric is a smooth yet lightly textured “poly-tech” textile that is claimed to provide exceptional water and abrasion resistance while allowing garments worn above the fabric to slide over easily for effective layering of clothing. The interior layer consists of brushed polyester fleece that is not only soft and comfortable against the skin, but also facilitates quick moisture-wicking properties. This results in a singular, high-tech fabric that allows for a moderate amount of elasticity to permit a close fit for optimal moisture transfer and warmth retention, yet still offers non-binding freedom of movement under layered clothing. All seams are flat-lock stitched to minimize seam bulge as well to help in this regard.
We were sent numerous Freeze-Out accessories by Cycle Gear, but the ones we tried were the long-sleeved top, long john underpants, neck guard, balaclava, and inner gloves. All were worn underneath average clothing, with an additional sweater layer over the torso; the outermost garment was a one-piece Aerostich Roadcrafter suit. The coldest conditions encountered were 48 degree Fahrenheit ambient temps at 80 mph, which admittedly isn’t the worst, but certainly a good test of the Freeze-Out fabric’s capabilities.
All of the Freeze-Out garments are easy to put on, and the moderate stretch of the fabric allows a comfortable fit underneath other clothing layers without bunching, aided by the outer layer’s smooth surface that permits it to slide easily beneath clothing above it. Overall tailoring was good for the most part, although we found the collar of the long-sleeved top to be a little too spacious, permitting a lot of wind leakage in that area; adding either the balaclava or neck guard negated that gripe for the most part.
In fact, one of the reasons we layer clothing in cold conditions is to seal out wind drafts that can steal crucial body heat, and in this area, the Freeze-Out garments work superbly. Even the tiniest air leaks can become a nuisance after a while at speed, with spots such as zippers or Velcro-sealed flaps often letting drafts seep in; we encountered no such problems with the Freeze-Out apparel on, and this helped to retain body heat and keep us warm.
Other than the long-sleeved top’s collar, the only other complaint we had was with the inner gloves. If your gloves are a tight fit, even the Freeze-Out’s relatively thin fabric might make things even tighter, restricting a bit of movement. And without sufficient air space to provide some insulative properties, we found that our fingers still got mighty cold after only 10 minutes in 48 degree weather at speed.
Another bonus is that the Freeze-Out apparel isn’t overly expensive. The top retails for $49.99, the long johns for $39.99, the neck guard for $19.99, balaclava for $24.99, and the inner gloves for $19.99. Definitely worth a look in our opinion.