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Are Puffer Jackets Good for Mountain Biking in the Cold?

A person biking on a winter snow.

When it comes to mountain biking, riding in frosty weather may be a daunting task. However, a good jacket that keeps you warm and does not let heat escape is important to have during the winter. 

With the right jacket, you will be able to cycle in the mountains in the winter and take in the wondrous views and terrain around you. The better the jacket you wear, the less you need to layer up, and the less you need to worry about freezing up during a cycling trip. 

When you think of a puffer jacket, you may think of a large jacket that hinders your mobility for cycling. Despite that ideal, there are puffer jackets made for the exact needs of outdoor winter sports. 

So, if you have a puffer jacket or are thinking of getting one, you may be wondering if it is well suited for your cycling passion. A puffer jacket works well for mountain biking in the winter as long as it is softshell and created specifically for sports activities. 

What Makes a Puffer Jacket Suitable for Mountain Biking?

An old man wearing full mask in a winter day.

When you are looking for a puffer jacket that is ideal for mountain biking in cold weather, you must look for multiple things. Many sports apparel brands, like Patagonia, The North Face, and L.L. Bean have puffer jackets that are thin and made for outdoor activities. 

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Before you go off and buy any puffer jacket you find, it is important to find out what qualities the puffer jacket has. The mountainous air can be quite cold and it is principal to be prepared for the winter terrain. 

Is It Too Heavy or Thick?

A woman biking in cold winter day.

Having a jacket that is too heavy or thick, whether it is a puffer jacket or not, will hinder your ability to cycle in the winter. 

These types of jackets will obstruct your mobility for cycling and can even cause circulation problems in your arms. 

It is best to look for a puffer jacket that is lightweight and thin. These jackets will keep you able to cycle without any problems and allow you to move freely. 

Is It Waterproof?

A cyclist biking in the snow with jackets.

If you are cycling in a more wet environment or snow, it is important to have a waterproof puffer jacket. 

If you brush against a bush, fall in the snow, or are biking in the snow, having a puffer jacket that is not waterproof may weigh you down. Added water to your clothes can make you colder and even become too heavy to wear if there is a great amount of snow or rain around you. 

Rather than absorbing any water, a waterproof puffer jacket will bead off any water that falls on you. 

Does It Trap Warm Air?

A woman biking on snow wearing puffer jacket.

The ideal puffer jacket for mountain biking in the cold will trap warm air and not allow it to escape. It is important to know that some jackets do not have heat-enforced stitching and may allow your warmth to escape. 

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A puffer jacket that has elastic or some type of reinforced fabric around the cuffs, neck, and waistband is key to look for. These types of puffer jackets will keep your warmth close to you so you can stay warm in the cold mountainous air. 

What Should I Wear for Mountain Cycling in Cold Weather?

Before mountain biking in the cold, you may be wondering what layers are ideal. You know you need a jacket, but what else will keep you warm in the cold weather? 

It is important to have the following for your winter mountain biking:

  • Gloves. Warm winter cycling gloves will keep your fingers warm and safe while mountain biking. During any type of sport, having cold hands that become numb makes mobility quite difficult. It is important to have the right gloves that keep your body going and up for the task. 
  • Jacket. A lightweight jacket that keeps warmth close to your body is key for cold weather mountain biking. Whether it is a puffer jacket or any type, it is vital to have a jacket by your side. 
  • Cold weather cycling pants. Lightweight pants made just for cycling will keep your legs from freezing in the cold weather. You must find a pair made specifically for the winter or else you will find your heat escaping during the time you need it most. 
  • A thermal base layer. A long-sleeve undershirt will keep warmth trapped during cold weather mountain biking. This will also aid your jacket’s ability to keep warmth inside, as you have two layers doing an important job rather than just relying on one layer. However, too many layers may hinder your mobility. So just sticking to a base layer and a jacket will do the job, and do it well. 
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What Jacket is Best for Mountain Cycling in Cold Weather?

A man with his mountain bike on the snow.

A jacket that is lightweight and keeps heat inside works best for cold weather mountain biking. It is important that it is made for sports activities so it does not obstruct any circulation or mobility in the mountainous terrain. 

A puffer jacket that is made specifically for your winter outdoor adventure will be able to keep you moving and keep you warm. As long as it is thin and cycles heat for the winter, your puffer jacket will allow you to bike in the mountains and take in wondrous views and the environment.