This is a review of an ingenious new cycling balaclava that recently launched successfully on KickStarter, the made-in-the-USA Weatherneck System Balaclava. Inventor Brian Davis has produced a superbly practical and comfortable cycling balaclava. The Weatherneck System Balaclava is intended as a tactical breakaway balaclava for active outdoor enthusiasts, and in my opinion is perfect for cyclists. It’s light and thin enough to put in your pannier and forget – and also to fit under your helmet and feel completely comfortable. Here’s inventor Brian Davis wearing the balaclava.
And here is a video all about the Weatherneck System Balaclava.
In my tests, the Weatherneck System Balaclava was comfy and kept me warm. I tried it out on a hike in snowy, below freezing conditions, and was snug as a bug in a rug. I also was able to breathe through the mesh without fogging up my sunglasses, which is obviously crucial. It took a few minutes to get the angle just right, and then it was perfect.
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Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist (aka Maggie) took an immediate liking to the Weatherneck System Balaclava, as she thought it felt soft and silky against her skin. Most importantly, she thought it felt cozy yet breathable, thanks to the mesh on the face mask.
The Weatherneck System Balaclava is a two-piece garment, comprising a Mullet Hat and a Weatherneck face mask. The two pieces magnetize together to function as the Weatherneck System. Notice that the hat part has this mullet shape, so that it protects the back of your neck. There is a hidden pocket in the mullet part, in case you want to take along an emergency credit card!
You put the face mask around your lower face, and then use the magnet to clip it securely at the back of your head. The metal pieces and magnet are securely sewn into the face mask, so you don’t really notice them until you need them. There are three metal pieces to allow for different size heads.
Basically it’s a modular balaclava, and is designed to fit into the whole principle of dressing in layers for cycling, in that you can adjust it as you cycle. I liked the versatility of being able to use just the hat, or the full Weather System, or pushing the face mask down so that it functions only as a neck warmer. The whole thing with cycling is that the longer you cycle, the warmer you get, so being able to quickly remove the bottom half of this balaclava system is really handy. This video made by Brian Davis shows how it works:
Bottom line on the Weatherneck System Balaclava
This is a very highly recommended cycling balaclava. It keeps you warm, while feeling comfortable and letting you breathe as much as you want. Best of all, it is super flexible so you can adjust on the saddle as you warm up. I recommend it for cyclists, but it would also be ideal for hikers and for all kinds of snow sports.
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