Under Armour® says when it’s cold outside, you need ColdGear®. Find out whether Cold Gear lives up to its promise.
Product Line Reviewed: Under Armour ColdGear®
Specific Products Reviewed:
- Under Armour ColdGear Legging ($54.99)
- Under Armour ColdGear Long Sleeve Compression Hoodie (59.99)
- Under Armour ColdGear Loose Inferno Jacket ($69.99)
- Under Armour ColdGear Loose Inferno Pant ($59.99)
Manufacturer: Under Armour
- Durable and well constructed
- Excellent moisture wicking
- Good thermal transfer and keeps you from overheating, while still keeping you warm
- Smooth seams to cut down on pinching and abrasions
- Looks cool
- May be perceived as a bit expensive to some people; but very competitively priced compared to similar products from specialty outfitters like The North Face, Patagonia and Cabelas
Ratings (1-4 Scale: 1 = poor, 2= fair, 3= good, 4= excellent)
Product Options: 4
Does It Do What It Claims? Yes
Would You Buy It Again? Yes
Overall Rating: 3.8
Under Armour ColdGear Review
In most parts of the country, October means football, falling leaves … and dropping temperatures.
But for fitness buffs, runners, hikers and winter sports fanatics, a drop in the mercury and a little bit of snow and ice is no excuse for staying indoors and succumbing to cabin fever.
Of course, staying fit and active during the winter months means staying warm and dry, even in the face of rain, sleet and snow. And anyone who has ever spent a few hours hiking the Boundary Waters in December or running the streets of New York in January knows that the clothing you choose can be the difference between ecstasy and agony. When it’s hot outside, you can always strip off layers. When it’s cold and damp, on the other hand, what you’re wearing on your back is pretty much what you’ll be wearing until you get back in the warmth of your home, apartment or cabin.
So you better choose wisely.
Under Armour: More Than Just Gear For Athletes
Most people will know Under Armour as the company that started its business creating clothing for athletes to wear under their uniforms or athletic equipment. It was a niche that had gone unfulfilled for years, and Under Armour quickly moved into the space and become the de facto leader in high-performance sporting apparel.
Over the past few years, however, Under Armour has branched out into the general fitness and sports apparel markets, and has introduced a number of popular clothing lines that have broader appeal to sports and fitness enthusiasts. These products now include everything from hoodies, to running shorts, to t-shirts, and most recently, performance athletic shoes and men and women’s underwear.
But Under Armour is probably most well-known for their line of climate/temperature specific athletic and fitness clothing: UA Heat Gear and UA Cold Gear.
Back By Popular Demand: Free Under Armour Shipping!
Answer Fitness readers get complimentary free shipping on any order of $75 or greater from the Under Armour online outlet. To get this exclusive free shipping offer, click here, shop and make sure to use this discount code when you check out: UAFALL01. This is a limited time offer good through October 31, so take advantage of it while you can.
What Is Under Armour Cold Gear?
UA Cold gear is a line of athletic and fitness apparel for … surprise … when it’s cold outside.
The Cold Gear product line is actually very diverse, and offers not only clothing intended to be worn under your outerwear, but also outerwear itself — things like jackets, gloves and hats.
What’s particularly interesting about the Cold Gear line is that it appeals to a broader group than Under Armour’s traditional customer base – people like hunters, cross-country or downhill skiers, or cold weather hikers and campers. This has attracted a growing following for Under Armour Cold Gear among not just athletes and fitness junkies, but also outdoor enthusiasts, giving some of the traditional outfitters like Patagonia and North Face a run for their money.
Cold Gear’s claim to fame is that it uses a double-sides fabric that manages to wick moisture away from the body, while still providing insulation. Moisture wicking materials aren’t new — they’ve been widely used among hikers and runners for some time now — but Under Armour has taken this wicking and insulating fabric and fashioned it into a series of specialized clothing for customers who have specific cold weather needs. They’ve also been sensitive to people’s desire to not only stay warm, but look good — so in typical Under Armour fashion, they’ve added some nice styling to their clothing.
The Cold Gear Lineup
The Cold Gear line is broken into several niches:
Cold Gear Compression:
This is the signature Under Armour compression line in Cold Gear fabric. The compression gear line is tight-fitting and makes a great base layer against the skin. The advantages of the compression gear is that it fits almost like a second skin, and does a fantastic job of pulling moisture away. It also is ideal for preventing chaffing during activity. Depending on the temperature, the Cold Gear compression gear can also be worn without a top layer. While this line tends to appeal most directly to athletes and runners, it’s also an excellent first layer under heavier cold weather gear.
Cold Gear Loose:
The Under Armour Cold Gear loose line is a more generously cut, looser line of cold weather gear that can be worn alone, layered on top of compression Cold Gear, or in the case of the Canton or Deep Thaw jackets and coats, worn as outerwear.
Cold Gear Outwear:
This actually encompasses several of Under Armour’s Cold Gear products, and includes a line of jackets, coats and pullovers of varying degrees of insulation. The heaviest of these is the Cold Gear Haw Jacket and the lighter are a series of fleece pullovers. Under Armour also makes a series of Cold Gear camo jackets and coats geared toward hunters.
Cold Gear Base:
This a group of fitted pieces that are intended to serve as a base-layer that can be worn all day. The base line includes crews and leggings.
Basically, by combining several different pieces together, you can build an extremely versatile, layered Cold Gear outfit that’s customized to your activity and the temperature and climate.
Under Armour Cold Gear
Free Shipping, No Minimum Order
Cold Gear Technology and Construction
One the hallmarks of all of Under Armour’s apparel (not just Cold Gear) is their attention to ergonomics. All of their apparel is carefully-designed to position seams at key movement points and they put extra attention on smoothing these seams on the inside of the clothing, which reduces bunching, pinching and other restrictions on mobility. This also reduces chaffing at repetitive motion points, like the groin and arm-pits.
The Cold Gear material itself is typically a combination of Poly ArmourTM (Under Armour’s patented fabric), NylourTM and Elastane, which gives it plenty of flexibility. On some Cold Gear pieces, Under Armor also uses it’s own version of a fleece, which utilizes a brushed-interior for insulation, while drawing moisture out to the outer layer where it evaporates.
My Experience with Under Armour Cold Gear
I’ve been using select Cold Gear pieces as first layers under heavier cold weather gear for about a year now. My experiences primarily have been limited to using Cold Gear as underlayment for cold weather camping, as well as some outdoor activities like pond hockey and … sigh … shoveling snow.
Over the years, I’ve tried a number of different materials as a first layer under heavier snow and cold weather gear, including the traditional cotton long-johns, some lighter-weight poly-fiber leggings, and silk leggings and under-shirts. Of the three, the silk under gear is probably what I would consider to be the “gold standard” when it comes to a good, light-weight first layer. It’s soft, breathable and does a nice job of wicking moisture — especially compared to the cotton.
However, after starting to experiment around with the Under Armour Cold Gear last year, and found that I preferred it to the silk. I’m a big fan of the Cold Gear compression gear, because its snug fit adds insulation and wicking action without adding bulk under outerwear. The Flatlock seams on the pieces are also a huge plus when it comes to comfort. There is nothing worse than having a raised seam causing discomfort or abrasions when it’s buried under three layers of outwear in 10 degree weather. That’s one itch or scratch you don’t want to have.
Another trick I found was to substitute Under Armour’s Heat Gear line as a first layer. I have tons of Compression Heat Gear laying around, and despite being designed for hot environments, it can also double as a lighter-weight layer against the skin, under heavier out-layers. This is especially useful when you are in-between temperature zones — for example in the fall or spring.
In late August, I packed a couple of pieces of the seamless Compression Heat Gear on a fishing trip to Michigan’s Upper Penisula — where overnight temps can dip into the 30s and 40s on a clear night — and I was surprised to find how nicely it worked as an underlayer beneath a heavier cotton turtle neck. Under Armour does offer an all-season line of gear, but if you already own some Heat Gear, you might experiment around with it during slightly more temperate conditions.
Putting UA Cold Gear to The Test During Cool Weather Running
Since most of my experience with Cold Gear so far has been as a primary layer during extreme cold weather “outdoorsy” activities, and not as outerwear during exercise in cooler temperatures, I decided to spring for a couple of new pieces of Cold Gear to see how they held up during my cooler-weather fall trail running.
This will probably be the type of activity that most people would use Cold Gear for, so I tried to pick a couple of pieces that I thought would represent what most people would wear during cold weather training:
Cold Gear Underlayer
- Men’s Cold Gear Legging ($69.99)
- Mens Cold Gear Long Sleeve Compression Hoodie (59.99)
Cold Gear Outerlayer
- Mens Cold Gear Loose Inferno Jacket ($69.99)
- Mens Cold Gear Loose Inferno Pant ($59.99)
Total Cost: $244.99
This would be typical layering approach for cool temperature training, and would probably let you train comfortably down into the upper 30s without having to add additional outer layers.
A similar woman’s Cold Gear outfit would be:
Cold Gear Underlayer
- Women’s ColdGear Frosty Tight ($69.99)
- Woman’s ColdGear Tornado II Mock (59.99)
Cold Gear Outerlayer
- Woman’s ColdGear Frigid Jacket ($69.99)
- Woman’s ColdGear Frigid Pant ($59.99)
Total Cost: $244.99
During my three cool weather training sessions (average run time 30-40 minutes at a moderate pace) I recorded the following outdoor temperatures: 56 degrees, 50 degrees and 48 degrees. During two training sessions, it was clear and sunny. The third day was overcast, and felt cooler.
Here are my observations regarding each piece of clothing taken from my combined notes from the three sessions:
Cold Gear Legging:
The Cold Gear Legging is basically the cold-weather version of the UA Heat Gear compression short that I wear under my shorts during weight training and summer time running. The Heat Gear short version of this product is one of the most comfortable under-layer shorts that I’ve worn, primarily because of the flat seams and snugness, which completely does away with any pinching, chafing or bunching. The Cold Gear version of this accomplishes the same thing but in a legging. I found these to be equally as comfortable, and could see how they would make a strong first layer even under snow-pants or waders.
Cold Gear Loose Inferno Pants:
Nice, light-weight running pant that also was surprisingly warm for it’s thickness. I could actually get use to just wearing these around the house in the winter time. I like the back pocket, which is an issue with some of the Under Armour shorts (there are some that have small pockets to carry a drivers license in, however, which is nice.) I also think these would make a good outer pant for skating (either indoors or outdoors), and especially for pond hockey. The Heat Gear Inferno Pants would probably be slightly too warm to wear to the gym for indoor training, so I’d opt instead for Heat Gear long pant.
Cold Gear Long Sleave Compression Hoodie:
Okay, the idea of having a built in hood is really what attracted me to this particular Under Armour top. Depending on the temperature, you could get away without a hat by using the hoodie, or you could layer a hot on top of it during colder weather. I actually tried this just to see how it worked out, and the hat/hoodie combination did a nice job of protecting the entire head, including the back of the neck, which you wouldn’t get with the hat alone. I could see how this would provide some additional protection and warmth on windy days. Again, the compression gear is great become it’s very form fitting. It almost feels like you have nothing on underneath the jacket, yet it keeps you warm and dry.
Cold Gear Loose Inferno Jacket:
The Cold Gear Loose Inferno Jacket was just about right for a run at about 50 degrees. When the sun was shining, I was afraid that it might be too much — especially after I started warming up on the run. However, I was surprised at how well the Cold Gear breathed and I never really felt overheated despite the double layers. Fit was very good, and the full zipper was nice because I could pull it down a bit for additional ventilation, or on the overcast, cooler day, keep it zipped up all of the way.
General Notes and Observations
Insulation and Heat Transfer: As I pointed out earlier, the most surprising thing was that even with two layers of insulation on, the Heat Gear transfers excess heat off your body extremely efficiently. The thermal exchange was pretty impressive. So as you start to heat up from activity, the Cold Gear literally lets the excess body heat out, while keeping the cold from penetrating. I expected at some point to have to pull the jacket off as the intensity on my run increased, but that never happened. I stayed at a very comfortable temperature during all three training sessions.
Wicking and Perspiration Control: Like all of Under Armour’s clothing, the wicking action is amazing. I used to work out in cotton, but by the time my run or training was done, my cotton t-shirt would be soaked with sweat. This also tended to cause me to overheat and sweat even more. When I switched to Heat Gear, this problem completely disappeared. I was curious to see how it worked with the more insulated Cold Gear, and I was pleased to see similar performance from even the thicker Cold Gear fabric. Also, Under Armour is less prone to developing stinky locker room odors because of it’s breath-ability, so even when you do sweat, you don’t end up smelling like a gym bag.
Durability: Since I’ve had the Cold Gear for about two weeks, I’ve only laundered the Compression Hoodie and leggings twice so far, and haven’t washed the jacket or Inferno pants. So I can’t yet say how well it holds up after multiple washings. However, the Heat Gear that I own has held up extremely well. The Compression gear does a remarkable job of holding it’s original shape, and I haven’t had any color fading, ripping, snagging or tearing at the seams. This is surprising considering the physical beating the clothing gets each week. I have several Heat Gear compression shirts that are approaching 4 years old and with the exception of the logo cracking a bit, they still look pretty close to brand new.
Price: Under Armour isn’t cheap, and this is probably one of people’s biggest criticism of UA. I’ve heard a few people say that it’s over-priced, over-hyped and that you’re paying for the brand cache as much as the clothing itself. I’m not sure that this is entirely fair. Under Armour is extremely well-made, so in many respects, your getting what you pay for. If the stuff faded, ripped or was falling apart within a few months, than I’d say the criticism were fair. But the Under Armour that I’ve owned holds up extremely well, especially compared to some of the less expensive knock-off stuff out there, or even Nike’s performance athletic gear (which is comparably priced in most cases.)
Keep in mind that in the case of Cold Gear, you’ll likely only need one set of the stuff. The Cold Gear outerwear won’t need to be washed as frequently as summer training clothing, which tends to be directly on your your skin most of the time. You may want to spring for an extra underlayer shirt and leggings, but for about $250 bucks, you can put together a solid cold weather training outfit that you’ll get several years of use out of. Best of all, you’ll stay warm and dry, which if you’ve ever gotten damp in cold weather, you’ll know is worth more than $250 dollars.
Finally, if you’re considering Cold Gear for outdoor activities like cold weather camping, hunting, hiking or skiing, Under Armour is competitively priced compared to base-layer apparel from specialty outfitters like The North Face, Cabelas or Patagonia. For example, The North Face’s Expedition Tight (which is roughly equivilent to the Cold Gear Legging) retails for $55 — a difference of about $1. For comparisons sake, some of Cabela’s base layers can retail for more than $100 a piece.
What’s Next: Testing Cold Gear At Lower Temperatures
Under Armour recommends Cold Gear for temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the next month or so, temperatures here in Michigan will begin to drop down lower and we’ll start having more days and evenings that go below freezing. I’m going to continue to test this current Cold Gear configuration to see how it works at lower temperature, specifically in the 30s and 40s. Check back for more notes in the coming weeks.
Where To Buy Under Armour Cold Gear and How To Get Free Shipping
You can purchase Men and Women’s Under Armour Cold Gear at most sporting goods stores, as well as online at the Under Armour Online Outlet.
Get Free Shipping on any Under Armour order of $75 or greater through the Under Armour Outlet. To get this exclusive free shipping offer for readers of Answer Fitness, click here, shop and make sure to use this discount code when you check out: UAFALL01. This is a limited time offer good through October 31st.
What Do You Think? Looking For Female Fitness Apparel Reviewers
Since I can’t really test and review women’s fitness apparel first hand, I’d love to feature some guest reviews from women. If you are a female and have experience with women’s fitness and athletic apparel, please contact me. If you’re a female fitness blogger, it would be a great way to build visibility and additional traffic for your website, as well. So don’t be shy … I know there are a lot of you out there.
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Sites That Link to this Post
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