January 22, 2013

Annual Mid-Winter Reynauds Update and Product Reviews

In honor of it being 3 degrees above Fahrenheit this morning, it's time for my annual mid-winter Reynauds and cold weather gear update.  I know several of my readers also have Reynaud's - it's really common in women over the age of 20 - so please chime in in the comments if you have any additional suggestions!  I am happy to report that I have not had a single Reynauds-related fainting episode this winter, thanks mostly to the fact that I've finally nailed down the perfect winter outfit - at least, for those of us on a budget.  I'm sure there are better options out there, but I can't afford them.  Here's my current arsenal:

Head: Columbia knit hat
Torso: Horze Winter Riding jacket, over my Irideon fleece vest, over an Underarmor ColdGear shirt
Horze Winter Rider Jacket

Hands: SSG 10 Below gloves, over Back on Track ceramic glove liners

Legs: TuffRider Winter breeches over (if it's sort of cold) microweight SmartWool  (which I also highly recommend under dress pants at the office) or (if it's actually cold) Underarmor ColdGear pants
Smartwool Microweight bottoms.  I know they look like Underarmour, but they fit more loosely and the feel is totally different.
Left knee: Back on Track ceramic knee brace

Feet: TuffRider Winter tall boots, over Wigwam ski socks, with HotHands foot insole warmers in the bottom of the boot

Some notes on the new stuff:
Back on Track ceramic glove liners: These are nothing short of a miracle, and you all need to go order them right this second.  They WORK.  Usually, halfway through my lessons I have to tell my trainer to stop while I revive my frozen fingers on a handwarmer.  Since I started wearing these under my SSG 10 Below's, I don't have to do that anymore.  They work best if your hands are warm to begin with, so I like to run my hands under warm water or stick my fingers in my mouth for a few seconds before putting them on.

Horze Winter Riding Jacket: All the warmth, almost zero weight.  It's so light, and the details show that someone really thought about equestrians when they designed it.  I like that there are four pockets with snaps on the front, plus there are side pockets lined with warm fleece behind the two lower front pockets, which make a good place for my hands when cold.  The neck is lined with the same material, and made it to where I don't have to wear a scarf anymore.  Highly recommended.

Wigwam ski socks:  The best advice I've ever gotten off the CoTH forums is to look outside the equestrian discipline for serious cold weather gear.  These socks are lightweight, not bulky, and yet are some of the warmest things I've worn.  They are the perfect companions to my lined winter boots.

HotHands Disposable Foot Insole Warmers: Not the toe ones, the whole-foot shaped ones.  It's an expensive solution to the problem of cold toes, but I haven't had a single Reynauds episode since I started wearing them.  My feet are so small, they cover almost my entire foot.


  1. The only thing I have tried on your list are the hothands foot insole warmers - love these way more than just the toe ones.

    I have done much better with my Reynauld's this year - I chalk it all up to your red wine recommendation!

  2. Oh good, that was my favorite Reynauds solution! Glad I can contribute to someone else's red wine drinking for once!

  3. I really like the idea of the HotHands foot insole warmers, as by the end of riding I generally stop being able to feel my toes.

  4. Dang girl you have lot of layers and what a great combo! :)

  5. Amber - they are lifesavers! I buy them in bulk on Amazon.com.

    Karley - Yes I do. :) Gotta do what you gotta do when it gets this cold, though I have to say, nothing feels better than getting Underarmour off when I get home, I hate wearing it but love how warm it keeps me. Thanks!

  6. Sounds like you have a great winter wear arsenal. As I said in my post I am very intrigued by the BoT products...

  7. Love love Horze stuff. I got a cheapy fleece jacket from them and another pair of schooling breeches, and for the price their stuff can't be beat!