Okay, when I say “winter,” keep in mind I am in Texas. It’s horridly windy and 34F outside as I write this (Thursday evening). I didn’t ride in such conditions, plus precautions for a hard freeze had already been taken at the barn so delivering apples to Eli after work was my primary task. I didn’t even bother changing out of work clothes. Yes, Midwesterners and Canadians, I am a total pussy when it comes to the cold. Whatever, it hurts my bones. And we don’t have many indoor arenas here.
BUT, let’s say it’s a chilly day, or a downright brutally cold day. I bet you all have that one thing you reach for on days like that. Maybe it’s lined gloves, thick socks, fleece tights, or that perfect coat that’s super warm yet not at all bulky … we all ride in the elements and we know what we like. So, for me, the one thing that I immediately think of for cold weather riding is not even something from an equestrian brand, but it is from an activewear brand: the Under Armour Cold Gear Cozy 1/2 Zip.
Whether you ride in 64F or 24F, this top is perfect. By itself or layered, it keeps me as warm as any wool cashmere sweater I’ve ever worn but offers all the benefits of performance fabric. Sweat is not an issue, nor is heat loss. The Under Armour top also wins out in one key category for me where other tops literally fall short — length. Both the body length and arm length of this top make it essential for tall people, or not so tall people with long arms and torsos, like me. (I really have orangutan arms and get stuck putting away everything that goes on any top shelf anywhere, like the kitchen or the work break room.) The arm length is especially helpful to me because the top also features thumbholes. How very 90s? So what, works great on cold days under my riding gloves! I am a product of 90s alternateen angst, and thumbholes work for me.
The Cozy Cold Gear 1/2 Zip supposedly retails around $60, but I don’t think I paid more than $45 for either of the two I have. I’d snap up a 3rd at that price if I find any on sale after Christmas.
Ultimately, this is a sporty and utilitarian top for cool weather riding. I would recommend it in a second, although I am sure y’all have lots of other winter riding favorites from both non-equestrian and equestrian brands. What do you wear to stay warm in the saddle?