This page lists our picks for 7 of the best cycling balaclavas to keep your head warm when cycling in winter. All of these balaclavas will help to keep you warm during your cold-weather bike rides.
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Chart Comparing Our Picks for the Best Cycling Balaclavas
Variable size eye hole depending on configuration
10% Windshield Windproof Fleece
Hinged construction allows for multi function features, wear as balaclava or neck tube
Can be worn alone but also works very well under a helmet
Laser cut breathing panel with mesh for superior air exchange
Lycra binding around the face to seal out the elements
Flat lock seams and 3D panel construction
Breathe through windproof face mask, or pull down the hinged mask
Small hole but mouthpiece can be pulled down as material is stretchy (no hinge)
Barrier panel over the forehead and ears insulates from windchill, and works in conjunction with P.R.O. Thermal to wick moisture and keep your head dry.
with reflective elements.
P.R.O. Transfer fabric provides optimal stretch, recovery, compression, and moisture transfer.
11% Spandex Knit.
Thermodynamic fabric; durable nylon face and looped polyester interior. Smooth, stretchy polypropylene fabric offers light insulation and excellent moisture management.
(85% Nylon,15% Elastane,
Meshed thermo-stretch panel over mouth; small hole under nostrils
Our Top Pick: Rockbros Cold Weather Balaclava Ski Mask
This balaclava offers warm and cozy thermal fleece protection for your entire head and neck. It fits comfortably under any kind of helmet, making it useful for a variety of outdoor sports. The Rockbros balaclava can be arranged in multiple configurations to suit the weather conditions; for example, you can wear it as a full balaclava, or wear it as a neck gaiter.
The soft thermal fleece against your skin makes it warm and comfortable. We especially like that they have not skimped on neck and upper chest coverage, so that there is no way the cold is creeping in.
The premium design and construction, combined with an unbeatable price, make this balaclava our top choice for cyclists this winter.
Video Showing Features of the Rockbros Balaclava
This video shows the Rockbros balaclava in more detail.
No. 2: Chaos CTR Tempest Multi-Tasker MicroFlex Fleece Balaclava with Windproof Face Mask
Until the launch of the Rockbros balaclava, this was our top choice for many years. It remainds a great product for a very competitive price (buy it here from Amazon). Made from a blend of polyester and spandex, this winter balaclava is part of CTR’s Tempest range, which are products made from MicroFlex fleece with Windshield Ultra and a 4-way stretch. MicroFlex fleece is a lightweight stretch fleece that is designed for lasting warmth and comfort. It also features wicking properties to help draw moisture away from your face. The microfleece makes for a soft and toasty feeling on your face and neck.
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Perhaps most importantly, this balaclava offers very good cold protection and ample chest and neck coverage. There is a windproof face cover for complete protection, so only your eyes are exposed. In case you need more air, the mask is hinged so that you can easily pull it downwards.
Also, you have the option to pull it down and just use it to keep your neck warm, once you warm up. This balaclava also mists your glasses less than similar products. Definitely worth considering if you are cycling in very cold conditions.
As its name indicates, this winter balaclava is suitable for cycling, hiking, motorcycling, skiing, and pretty much anything else you might enjoy doing outside when it’s cold!
Video Showing the Chaos CTR Tempest Tactical Balaclava
Here is a video showing this balaclava.
No. 3: Friendly Swede Face Mask Sports Balaclava
This is an interesting option. It’s very cheap but is extremely highly rated by many reviewers. It features a narrow slit for the eyes, and can be easily pulled downwards for air. The Friendly Swede Balaclava has an extra-long neck. It’s intended for fall and spring, rather than super cold winter days.
For the price, you might want to get these as your fall and spring option, and have a thicker balaclava for winter.
No. 4: Chaos CTR Chinook Micro Fleece Balaclava with Windproof Face Mask
A great product for the price (buy it here from Amazon). It offers very good cold protection and ample neck coverage. There is a windproof face cover for complete protection, so only your eyes are exposed. In case you need more air, the mask is hinged so that you can easily pull it downwards. The microfleece makes it soft and toasty on your face.
No. 5: Pearl Izumi Barrier Balaclava
Pearl Izumi Transfer Balaclava
This is a Polyester balaclava with reflective elements. The P.R.O. Transfer fabric provides optimal stretch, recovery, compression, and moisture transfer.
No. 6: Outdoor Research Option Balaclava
This is a relatively simple balaclava made out of a single piece of very stretchy thermodynamic fabric. It comes in various colors, which is refreshing, so you don’t necessarily have to go with the gangster look. It has a huge hole for the face, making it impossible to cover the nose and mouth, so I would not recommend it for below freezing conditions. However, it has made many cyclists happy for a relatively low price, so if you don’t mind the giant hole, it could be worth the relatively low investment.
No. 7: Gore Bike Wear Balaclava Mask
This one has been a favorite with many cyclists for a long time. Like other more advanced products, it uses a combination of fabrics: 100% polyester with windstopper membrane for the forehead and ears, and a combination of nylon and elastane for the rest.
This balaclava has a meshed thermo-stretch panel over the mouth and nose. Most find this just fine for breathing, but I have heard of some cyclists who have increased the breathability by the simple method of sticking a ballpoint pen through the holes! It is lightweight, yet offers excellent cold protection. It can be pulled down below your mouth, once you heat up a bit on your ride.
Buy it here from Amazon – its competitive price and great quality makes it an excellent pick.
Here’s to Your Warm Head!
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