Top rated arm and leg warmers

Simple tubes of material might not seem like anything special – but considering we live in a country where the weather changes its mind quicker than a hormonal teenager, they’re pretty useful. Arm and leg warmers pack down smaller than a jacket or pair of trousers, so are great for just keeping in your bag incase the weather changes while you are out.

Out on the ride, arm and leg warmers can be rolled down and removed when you’re warm, stuffed into a jersey pocket, and reapplied when you get to a cafe stop or start to feel the chill again. Though leg warmers can’t usually be easily removed mid ride, arm warmers can be rolled down as and when – for example half way up the hill you love to hate. In town, arm warmers are a great extra layer to protect your extremities on those cold morning and evening rides.

Here is an updated guide to some of the best out there.

dhb Aeron Rain Defence – Good for: keeping the rain off

We have a set of the dhb arm and leg warmers and have used the arm warmers for a few rides. They are great at keeping the wind off as well as light rain. The water repellent function would be most useful outside of the winter I think. For those of you who wear t-shirts and shorts regardless of weather, but occasionally want extra precipitation protection then these would be great.

dhb arm warmers

The arm warmers are £18.50 and are comfortable under a jacket for extra warmth, and would be great on their own in all but the warmest of summer showers. The fabric is quite smooth with only the stretch panel having a fleece backing, so they are comfortable even if you do get sweaty or it’s really tipping it down.

dhb leg warmer

The leg warmers, at £22.50, are pretty comfortable, although that will depend partly on leg shape, as with all leg warmers. They are the same smooth material as the arm warmers and have a good amount of flex so they never feel restrictive. They could be great under some Gore-Tex shorts for city riding during the week or mountain biking at the weekend. The main draw back of them is the lack of an ankle zip, meaning you have to put them on before your shoes. However, this does mean that the ankle is very comfortable – I often find the zips on the bottom of leggings, for example, are quite scratchy and irritating.

The elastic on the arm and leg warmers is the same. Both have a 1 inch strip with a tacky area on the inside and outside to provide extra grip to stop them slipping down or your top/shorts riding up. The arm warmers work great, but the leg warmers tended to roll over a little. This might be due to my leg shape of course. It might also be due to the unisex nature of these products not being as good on small women as on regular sized men!

The Gore Set – Good for: Visibility

Another set to get good reviews was the Gore Visibility arm and leg warmers. These got between 4.5 and 5/5 on both sites.

The arm warmers are £27.21 at the moment and have good reviews. They are thermal, so more of a spring, winter and autumn option for morning and evening commutes where a jacket isn’t necessary but some worth and high-vis on the arms is.

Gore visibility arm warmers

An important consideration in arm and leg warmers is the elastic on the top – poor quality versions will slip down, which is incredibly annoying. The elastic on these Gore warmers should be a thick enough band that mean you will be safe with these.

The Gore Visibility leg warmers are £35.97. Similar to the arm warmers, these are bright yellow with reflective highlights, meaning your legs are sure to stand out from a crowd! As with the dhb rain defence, these have no zip on the bottom, so you will need to put them on before your shoes. Not such a problem if you are gearing up for a single journey such as a commute.

One review stated: “I used these leg warmers for a wet and windy 100 mile ride in Suffolk last Sunday and found them excellent. They fitted perfectly and stayed in place. I like the idea of the zips so that you can remove the warmers without taking off the shoes.”

Rapha – good for easy on and off

Rapha of course make some exceptional high end kit. I have had their arm warmers for a while now and they are really very comfortable and at £30, not bank breaking. Mine have little elastic tabs at the top which help with pulling them up. It is a small feature like this that makes them just a little bit more useable than basic fleece warmers.

Rapha leg warmers

The leg warmers have zips at the bottom, so should you be after a pair that you can put on over shoes, these are a good choice. They are a little pricier than the other options at £50, but are certainly more versatile to put on and take off.

They are definitely warmer than some of the other options, and that is pretty much all they offer. They do cut a little wind but not as much as the dhb set.

Svelt arm warmers – the jazzy option

If you just want some arm warmers and you want them to be funky then Svelt is the brand for you. At £20 they are a good price and come in a range of excellent patterns and are unisex, so men and women can be equally snazzy. They are a fleece backed fabric so provide some good warmth, without being too toasty for late spring. We found them to be a little less stretchy than others, so if you are unsure of the size you need, it might be worth sizing up.

Svelt arm warmers

There are tons more options out there, but these are the ones we have enjoyed using in the past and have features of particular use to a person riding a bike in London. They are the kind of item that you might be sceptical about at first, but after a few uses in odd weather, you wonder how you ever lived without them!

Have you found a fail-safe arm, leg or knee warmer you recommend?

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14 Responses to Top rated arm and leg warmers

  1. Mackenzie 06/11/2013 at 10:39 am #

    Interesting article, it is certainly that time of year where the arm warmers become a daily necessity for cold morning rides.

    I’d put forward the awesome Sportful No-Rain range of arm/leg warmers as a fantastic option as well, similar in purpose to the Castelli Nanoflex range with the aim of keeping you warm and dry.

    I’ve owned both the Castelli and Sportful offerings and I find the No-Rain products a better (tighter) fit on my arms, which is important if you want to keep the arm warms up and not constantly rolling down.

  2. Dave Buckney 07/11/2013 at 7:45 am #

    I’ve recently bought a pair of leg warmers from Aldi for £6:99. I’ve only worn them a couple of times but so far so good. Nice and warm and stayed in place. I also got a pair of their gloves for the same sort of price, they were too warm last Sunday. Only problem is that stock runs out very quickly and they don’t get more in.

  3. Fr3d 08/11/2013 at 1:57 pm #

    I recently bought a pair of the Castelli NanoFlex arm-warmers, and (like all the other Castelli stuff I’ve bought), I love them.
    Of course, you’re never going to find any breathable clothing that is also 100% waterproof, so eventually – after a good couple of hours of heavy rain – some water will permeate them, but when it does, they’ll still keep you toasty warm. Just make sure you get ones that fit you properly – they should be a little difficult to put on.

  4. Alan Southern 08/11/2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Never tried them but I know of someone who has. His fitting of his leg warmers left a gap between their tops and his cycling shorts. If they are fitted properly I can see no problem but if fitted badly they can be unsightly (he was not bothered).

    The advice by the others above will be useful if I decide to buy any. But I’ll need to buy some longer shorts than the ones I already have.

  5. Mark 08/11/2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Who on earth is digging out arm and leg warmers when it’s 15 degrees out?

    • Dermot 10/11/2013 at 6:01 pm #

      I’m not sure what part of the country/world you live in, but today in London it was 5c so I dug out my leg warmers today! (The DHB ones shown above)

  6. liz 08/11/2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Ana Nichoola arm warmers are great. Had mine now for 2 years. Very comfortable with good grips. Wash up well.

  7. Colin Best 09/11/2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Great information and great kit, I managed with old vintage cycle socks up to knee and my colleges used them and +4 this is going back to 1967 so some of you might not of know long cycle socks cycling specific and vintage cycle shoes all leather.Cape or anorak well the last item is myself of course anorak !!So why does every thing your said to need is so expensive yes they are great.Regardless of high vise it is so important to make your self be seen and avoid undertaking any vehicle which you might think would take you out,
    great info.

  8. Colin Best 09/11/2013 at 9:06 pm #

    My daughter was home from leave she went out cycling several times and twice she was nearly taken out by someone with to little thought for the cyclist once she was doing 30 mph and this driver insisted on overtaking in narrow entry way in our local Village Wembury Devon She was so upset she took the number down. People very rarely look on the inside mirror to check if the inside is clear for turning left or even when driving to close to kerb I allways say be vigilant and allways try and be supper carefull when in traffic.

  9. Fabien 04/12/2013 at 4:50 am #

    I recently found yellow brooks armwarmers on sale by chance. Great for cycling only with short sleeves and good gilet, also for running – only cons: need to be cold washed, and get easily dirty. Perfectly fit and warm for me

  10. Lizzy 17/02/2016 at 11:38 am #

    In the states, arm coolers are more on my list. Temperatures are at record highs.

    • John H 19/02/2016 at 11:56 am #

      Lizzy, you are bucking the trend there, I thought” youall” had a constitutional right to bear arms in the states !!!!!

  11. Declan 19/02/2016 at 12:34 pm #

    I wear long John’s there great might not look the part but do a great job

  12. Ed Ballantine 04/04/2016 at 11:30 am #

    PEdAL ED’s Kaido Arm Warmers offer something a little different, quite nice styling:

    http://www.alwaysriding.co.uk/for-the-rider/bodywear/arm-warmers/pedal-ed-kaido-arm-warmers.html

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