In particular, the transitional seasons and winter 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 - regardless of whether it's sun, whipping wind, snowfall or rain. On any terrain.
With the right layering (“layers of clothing”) this is not a problem. Depending on our individual temperature sensitivity, we can put together our outfit in such a way that it protects against unrelenting temperatures and adverse conditions, but at the same time does not restrict our movements and feels comfortable.
In recent years we have been able to extensively test how our products and materials work under a wide variety of conditions, whether they can withstand them and whether they offer sufficient protection. In this guide we would like to help you to find the right combination of clothing layers for you in all external conditions.
Guide to the shift system
When running and cycling, it's easy to wear too much rather than too little. With careful and suitable selection, however, two to three layers should always be sufficient - depending on the conditions - to be able to enjoy the run or the ride. All you have 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 take you through the principles and functionality of each layer and show you options for each layer, so you'll be able to create your own custom layering for the right conditions.
The base layer: wicks 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 from 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 its good insulation properties, is skin-friendly and odorless.
Merino wool is also a common material for the first layer: it is skin-friendly, thermally insulating and absorbs moisture extremely well. Merino functional shirts are also very suitable as base layers.
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 base layer serves to block wind and trap body heat that would otherwise escape. Products with a roughened 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 materials chosen should be quick-drying.
Merino wool can also be used for the mid-layer. Merino wool is used in combination with synthetic yarns in our Element Merino Athletic Longsleeve Tee and the Ritual Thermal Midlayer . The latter consists of 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 resistance. The hard-wearing polyester exterior optimally wicks moisture away 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 the pleasant wearing comfort and the unbeatable warmth-to-weight ratio. Merino wool's structure has a natural bulk that efficiently traps body heat between the fibers, making it warmer than any fabric of synthetic origin of comparable weight.
Merino wool also works beautifully 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 - Running in cold conditions or as a top layer in mild conditions
Scope Athletic Hooded Sweater - Running in cold conditions or 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 against wind and/or rain
As soon as the first two layers are optimally chosen, 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 robust. Ideally, this layer is also as breathable as possible and allows moisture to escape while keeping wind and/or water out.
We offer different solutions for this layer that suit 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 at the end: 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 start out wearing all of them. If it is too warm, layers can always be easily removed. If you are cold but do not have enough clothing with you, it can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous. So our tip: better be prepared for the unexpected.
We wish you a lot of fun with your units out there, no matter what the weather. If you have any questions about layering, we will be happy to help you. Simply use our contact form .