The transitional seasons and winter in particular bring with them a wide variety of temperatures and weather conditions. But we athletes want to follow our passion at any time of the day or year - whether it's sunny, windy, snowy or rainy. On any terrain.
With the right layering ("clothing layers") this is no problem. Depending on our individual temperature sensitivity, we can put together our outfit in such a way that it protects us from relentless temperatures and adverse conditions, but at the same time does not restrict our movements and feels comfortable.
Over the past few years, we've been able to extensively test how our products and materials perform in a wide range of conditions, whether they can withstand them and provide sufficient protection. In this guide we want to help you find the right combination of clothing layers for you for all external conditions.
Shift system guide
When running and cycling, one quickly tends to wear too much rather than too little. However, with careful and appropriate selection - depending on the conditions - two to three layers should always be enough to enjoy the run or ride. All you need to do is understand the basic principles of layering and the functionality of the material technologies used in the different layers.
The system can basically be divided into three layers: Base Layer, Mid/Middle Layer and Outer/Shell Layer.
In this guide, we'll walk you through the principles and functions of each layer and give you options for each layer so you'll then be able to create your very own layering for the conditions.
The base layer: transports sweat away from the skin
The base layer top or functional shirt acts as a "second skin" that absorbs sweat and transfers it to the outside for evaporation. This is the only way to create a comfortable, warm feeling on the skin despite exertion and sweating. The base layer can be a short-sleeved functional shirt or a long-sleeved functional shirt, depending on your own temperature sensitivity and external conditions.
Our Ritual baselayers are made of a multi-dimensional stretch fabric with gentle compression, knitted from polypropylene fibers. Polypropylene is the lightest synthetic fiber on the market. It is 34 percent lighter than polyester and 20 percent lighter than nylon. Polypropylene is hydrophobic, keeps warmer than wool due to good insulating properties, is kind to the skin and odorless.
Merino wool is also a common material for the first layer: it is kind to the skin, thermally insulating and absorbs moisture extremely well. Thus, merino functional shirts also lend themselves very well as a baselayer.
Our baselayer products
Ritual Undershirt Light - running and cycling
Ritual Undershirt Longsleeve Light - Running and Cycling
Ritual Merino Longsleeve Baselayer - Running and Cycling
Ritual Bike Merino Undershorts Men - Cycling
The mid/middle layer: insulates and warms
The second layer over the baselayer serves to keep out wind and trap body heat that would otherwise escape. Products with a brushed back are particularly suitable as a middle layer for running or cycling, as they optimally wick sweat further away from the skin and thus prevent moisture build-up. A fleece-like structure on the back creates an air space between the second and first layer, which traps body heat. In addition, the selected materials should be quick-drying.
The use of merino wool also lends itself to the midlayer. In our Element Merino Athletic Longsleeve Tee and the Ritual Thermal Midlayer, merino wool is processed in combination with synthetic yarns. The latter is made from an innovative two-component knit construction that combines the best of natural and synthetic fibers. With merino wool on the inside, this product offers natural comfort, thermoregulation and odor neutrality. The durable polyester exterior optimally wicks moisture to the outside without allowing body heat to escape. The Ritual Thermal Midlayer can also serve as a warmer base layer option.
The great benefit of using merino wool is its comfortable feel and unbeatable warmth-to-weight ratio. Merino wool has a natural bulge due to its structure, which efficiently traps body heat between the fibers, making it warmer than any fabric of synthetic origin of comparable weight.
Merino wool also works wonderfully in the heat, as it naturally regulates body temperature.
Our midlayer products
Ritual Thermal Midlayer - Running and cycling in cold conditions
Element Merino Athletic Longsleeve Tee - Running in Mild Conditions
Scope Athletic Hooded Jacket - run in cold conditions or use as a top layer in mild conditions.
Scope Athletic Hooded Sweater - Run in cold conditions or use as a top layer in mild conditions.
Signature Thermal Longsleeve Bike Jersey - cycling in mild to cold conditions (depending on outer layer) or as a top layer in mild conditions.
Generator MerinoShell Jersey - cycling in cold conditions or as a top layer in mild conditions.
Outer/Shell Layer: Protects from wind and/or rain
Once the first two layers are chosen optimally, the third should normally be the last and outermost layer (except in extreme conditions). These are usually jackets or vests. The outer layer should keep out rain and/or wind and be durable. Ideally, this layer is also as breathable as possible and allows moisture to pass through to the outside while keeping wind and/or water out.
We offer various solutions for this layer, suitable for different weather and temperature conditions.
Our Shell Layer products
Windproof and water repellent for mild conditions
Windproof and water repellent for cold conditions
Wind and waterproof
Prepared for longer runs or rides
One final note: For longer runs or rides in extreme and changeable conditions, it's beneficial to have an option for all layers, even if you don't wear all of them at the beginning. If it's too warm, layers can always be easily removed. If you freeze but don't have enough clothing with you, it can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. So our tip: better be prepared for the unexpected.
We hope you enjoy your sessions out there, no matter what the weather. If you have any questions about layering, we will be happy to help you. Just use our contact form.