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Apparel Education - Winter Cycling Head & Neck Gear

Several winter accessories including 45NRTH gloves, two wool beanies, sunglasses, and a scarf lay flat on a wood table.

Cold-weather riding requires smart clothing choices. Our four-part guide to winter ride apparel will help you select the best winter bike clothing for your riding style and climate.

In this edition, we’ll focus on keeping your head and neck warm. If you’ve ever felt the burn of a frozen nose, frigid ears, or wind-chapped lips, this is for you. Follow these guidelines for more comfort on cold rides:

  • A cyclist wears a winter neck gaiter to protect her neck from the cold.
  • A cyclist wears her neck gaiter pulled up over her nose for extra warmth.

Protect your neck

Neck coverings do two things:

  • Keep cold air off your neck
  • Prevent cold air from getting down the front of your shirt

You can use anything from a scarf to a hood with neck coverage, but a wool buff or neck gaiter weighs less and is more versatile — you can pull it up over your mouth and nose for more coverage. When choosing a buff, look for a neck drape that’s long enough to tuck into your base layer or jacket to block drafts.

For most conditions, a buff like our Blowtorch will keep the chill at bay.

  • A feature image of the 45nrth Blowtorch Neck Gaiter in black.
  • A feature image of the 45nrth Lumi Reversible Neck Gaiter in black.
A cyclist wears a 45nrth Stavanger wool blend cycling cap to stay warm on a cold day.


A wool or wool-blend cap with ear coverage is our go-to option for winter headwear. Be sure to opt for a cap with a helmet-friendly design (such as our Greazy, Stove Pipe, or Stavanger) so it fits comfortably and safely.

  • A feature image of the 45nrth Greazy Cycling Cap in black.
  • A feature image of the 45nrth Baklava Balaclava in black.
  • A feature image of the 45nrth Stove Pipe cycling cap in black.

When worn together, a neck gaiter and winter cycling cap can keep you warm in temperatures that dip down to freezing or below.

For more intense cold — or rides with plenty of stops — a balaclava provides extra warmth and protection from the elements. Our Baklava offers wind- and water-resistant panels and adjustable nose and cheek coverage. If needed, you can wear a cap over it for extra warmth.

A word on fabrics

Whatever you wear on your head and neck, aim for products made of wool or wool blends. We use Merino wool in all of our neck and headwear pieces because it’s a natural fiber with many benefits:

  • It wicks moisture
  • It insulates even when wet
  • It helps regulate body temperature
  • It has odor-fighting antimicrobial properties
  • A graphic icon that illustrates moisture wicking
  • A graphic icon that illustrates insulation retaining heat.
  • A graphic icon that illustrates insulation keeping cold out.

A cyclist wears reflective snow goggles to prepare for a winter ride.

Don’t forget the eyes

If you’ve ridden without eyewear on a frosty day, you know that squinting through a ride is no fun. Eye protection makes riding in the cold safer and more comfortable. We recommend wearing sunglasses or goggles to shield your eyes from frigid air, snow, and bits of ice that your tires might kick up.

Ready to gear up for winter? Explore our full collection of caps and headwear. To complete your cold-weather wardrobe, watch our videos on keeping your hands and feet warm and dry from autumn through spring.