Beforewinter blends into spring and then into summer, we had the chance to ride some snow-track-equipped quads in the cold Pacific Northwest. One of the most important parts of being comfortable on that trip was staying warm. Along with gear from Cold Wave, our testers were outfitted with a product called GatorSkins. GatorSkins are a new undergarment product similar to old-fashion cotton thermal underwear. What makes GatorSkins unique is that their Dupont-developed fiber of polyethylene, nylon and Lycra construction provides waterproofing while still remaining breathable. It is actually made of more than 50 percent plastic.
GatorSkins cost about three times as much as a cotton thermal, but are right in line with popular undergarments from companies like Under Armor and EVS. GatorSkins sell for $60 for tops and $45 for bottoms. Glove liners ($30), socks ($20), a head sock ($27) and neck collars ($23) are also available.
COLD TEST RIDE
We were able to put in some serious seat time wearing the GatorSkins, spending two full days on the trail in sub-freezing temperatures. We rode in snow, wet rain and through a freezing ice storm. Our riders were more than happy with the performance of the GatorSkins. They are comfortable, very lightweight and are so thin you don’t have to wear a larger jacket or pants to accommodate them.
About halfway through our final day of testing, one of our testers removed the GatorSkins to see if he could feel the difference—he could. Most notably, his hands and lower body could feel the difference. His hands were noticeably colder without the liners when riding at high speeds. On the lower end, his legs felt a chill as rain seeped through his outer shell and allowed moisture to Water- and windproofing By the staff of Dirt Wheels reach his skin.
While the GatorSkins are too thin to wear in place of a jacket, they are a perfect complement to light or heavy riding jackets. If you are a fan of riding in blue jeans instead of riding pants, the GatorSkins will help keep you legs dry and warm too. The neck collar was actually a fan favorite of both of our testers. While it’s only a small piece of material, it protected skin that was always being subjected to the elements. The collar has a soft fleece on the inside and is not restrictive. Other than staying warm, you don’t know you are wearing it. Same goes for the rest of the gear.
After two washings, our GatorSkins gear held up well. There was no fading or mutilation of the fabric whatsoever. GatorSkins claims that even if the fabric is torn, it will not fray or continue to unravel like many other fabrics do over time. The GatorSkins worked as advertised and added enjoyment to a cold winter ride. If you have one more winter ride on your calendar or want to prepare for next season, order up a set of GatorSkins by calling (717) 755-7105 or visit www.gator-skins.com