Top rated arm and leg warmers

Arm and leg warmers are possibly one of the most useful inventions known to cyclists. Perhaps that is an exaggeration – the bike might take precedence, but they are in the top 10. I mentioned these lovely little pieces of gear recently in a piece about kit for autumn rides – but these deserve a post all of their own.

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 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.

For such a simple invention – there is a lot of choice out there. In fact, I found 77 pairs of leg and arm warmers on Evans Cycles and 69 on Wiggle – ranging from £8.49 (Pearl Izumi Thermo Arm Warmers) to £73.99 (Assos Leg Warmer S7). So which ones are the best?

The Castelli Set – Good for: keeping the rain off

On both sites, I found independent customer reviews gave the Castelli Nanoflex Arm Warmers 4.5/5. On Wiggle this was based on 178 reviews, so these have been pretty vigorously tested.

Castelli Nanoflex Arm Warmers

Castelli Nanoflex Arm Warmers

Castelli designed these with ‘Nanoflex’ material. They claim this keeps you warm in dry conditions in the same way their ‘Thermoflex’ technology does, but it is also water resistant. Light yet warm and with great gripping, it’s easy to see why there are so many positive reviews.

The accompanying Nanoflex Knee Warmers got 4.5/5 on both sites too. At £34.99 (or £35 at Wiggle – and £50 for the longer leg warmers) these are starting to become a more considered, expensive purchase. However, Castelli themselves claim these to be: “The most effective thing Castelli have ever made for keeping you comfortable in all conditions.”

Castelli NanoFlex Leg warmers

Castelli Nanoflex Leg warmers

The Gore Set – Good for: Visibility and easily removable

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

The arm warmers are £26.99 (save 10%) on Wiggle at the moment and 14 reviews average at  4.7/5. Wiggle reviewers pointed out the brightness as a key benefit. In white, black, and yellow – the latter option is great for ensuring you are visible. They also offer UV protection, which might be worth bearing in mind in warmer temperatures.

Gore Bike Wear Ozon Arm  Warmers

Gore Bike Wear Ozon Arm Warmers

Reviewers had great things to say: “I chose the Hi-Vis yellow / green option and it has reduced the amount of close vehicles a bit, being great!!” and “I forgot I was wearing them until I got home. I guess that’s just about the best review this type of product can get” were two positive remarks.

An important consideration in arm and leg warmers is the elastic on the top – poor quality versions will slip down, which is incredibly annoying. Reviews stated this wasn’t the case with the Gore option, and the thick band evident in the image implies you would be safe with these.

The Gore Ozon leg warmers are £35.99 on Wiggle, with 20 reviews giving 4.5/5. Similar to the arm warmers, these have UV properties but are only available in black. A handy zip on the bottom means you can slip them over shoes if you need to.

Gore Ozon Leg Warmers

Gore Ozon Leg Warmers

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.”

The DHB Vaeon Set – Good for: Value for money

For a less expensive option, Wiggle’s own brand DHB arm and leg warmers both got 4/5, based on over 100 reviews each. These come in red, blue and black. The arm warmers are only £11.24, but it’s worth noting many positive comments were around value, and a few made statements along the lines of: “They are great for early/late summer where temps in the morning are around 10 to 15. Anything cooler than that and I would want warmer more wind proof arm warmers.”

DHB Vaeon Set

DHB Vaeon Set

The leg warmers, at £14.39 – again value came up frequently in comments, and a glance at the first few statements revealed: “Warmers are OK but stitching has come undone on one seam after first wash” and “lightweight but it keeps on slipping”. So it looks like these are good for a cheaper option, but might need replacing soon.

DHB Vaeon Leg Warmers

DHB Vaeon Leg Warmers

These are just a few of the options out there. Have you found a fail-safe arm, leg or knee warmer you recommend?

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10 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

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