Dainese Total WS EVO Balaclava
Would Buy Again Without Hesitation
After having put in a significant amount of time on the bike with the Dianese Total WS Evo Balaclava in temperatures below freezing freezing (<32F), I can assure any prospective buyer that the neck protection is excellent. This is my first ever balaclava and going ahead with the purchase I was highly skeptical of the kind of protection such a thin layer of material could provide against freezing temperatures coupled with winds as strong as 20 mph (I live in Missouri). I can honestly say this piece of equipment has been a godsend and enabler.
The balaclava construction consists of a thin breathable layer around and on top of the scalp with the insulative and wind resistant layering taking over just below the ears, giving your entire neck maximal coverage all around. As the image shows, the balaclava extends down and over your chest, coming to an end just a little ways past your nipples. In the back it goes down until the midpoint between your shoulder blades. Again, the wind resistance and insulation begins just underneath the ears with the only exception being in the back of the head just above the spine where it starts at the midway point of the head. To me that is maximum coverage.
As mentioned previously, I'm a first time balaclava owner so aside from the novelty of the feel there is nothing about this product that merits even soft criticism. It does give head rotation a little resistance (and doing so stretches the balaclava where it covers my nose, therefore pressing down on it, which annoys me), but I've learned to counteract that with a very simple adjustment prior to riding off: simply grad onto the fabric covering your nose, pull up on it until the material is seemingly hovering over your nose and mouth, and you'll be free to spin your head whichever way you please without the material pressuring your nose. At the same time, though, I suspect there are riders out there who would prefer that tighter feel. Either way, this product is the bomb and would recommend it to anyone braving cold and/or windy conditions.
Two final notes: First, I have not had the chance to test it in rainy conditions so I cannot vouch for water resistance. Second, I rated air flow as "excellent", assuming that excellence for this product meant NO air flow. Furthermore, which makes it three points, I gave protection and durability a "good" because though protection is excellent, I have not had it long enough to assess durability.
Safe and happy riding to all!
January 18, 2015
Great for the cold
I got this because I couldn't take the cold wind on the highway at night. Fits me a little loose around my face area but I mainly got it to stop the wind from hitting my neck and going into my helmet from below. Great product overall.
January 15, 2015
Makes the low 30s tolerable
I like to ride and I hate it when the weather makes doing so unpleasant, or impossible. I have some really warm winter gear - A Revit Everest Jacket and pants, heavy winter gloves, Revit socks and Sidi AdventureTouring Boots. I wear long underwear under street pants and a heavy flannel shirt.
Voila! This works. Unless it's raining hard, or all day, or the roads have ice, I'll venture out. However, my neck and cheeks were cold. I resisted a Balaclava because they feel confining, but finally went for this rather expensive Dianese version.
The only problem is it fogs up my glasses while gearing up. (You have to put it on early in the dressing process - at least that's how I've been doing it.) However, if I can get moving without running into anything the glasses clear quickly, and the Balaclava diminishes the cold enough to make riding in the low 30s, if not comfortable, tolerable. Haven't tried the 20s, yet. I think it would probably be OK for a couple of hours if it was in the 20s at the start of the trip, as long as it warmed up as the morning progressed.
I wear a size large helmet and bought the Medium Balaclava. It's slightly small, which is probably better than too large, but I wish they made a middle size between the Medium and Large.
The material is heavy and it performs as advertised. Good product, as expected from Dianese.
January 7, 2015
Blocks wind great, which spells additional warmth. Small and compact
For the dollar goes a long way and keeps that wind off your neck along with extra warmth for face and head. Very compact so easy to store also
December 29, 2014
Only comes in two sizes and it wasn't small enough. Lets a little bit of air in. My neck and chin are cold.
My biggest problem with this balaclava is the size. It only came in two sizes and it is just slightly too big for me so it lets a small amount of air in. I also have to wear a scarf to keep my neck and chin warm. I guess I was expecting the moon and got stars. Either way, it still adds to the warmth of cold weather riding without layering on the material, like I was doing before getting this. This is my first so I have no reference point.
December 27, 2014
Glad I chose this item rather than a cheaper Balaclava...I believe you usually get what you pay for and this item doesn't disappoint
December 22, 2014
A very good thing to have in cold weather!
I have been struggling in the low forties temperatures here in November and December. I don't ride much in the 30's because I have a car for that. However, turtlenecks and such were just not getting the job done below 50. I bought this just to see if it would work better. When I got it (with some thermolite glove liners) I was a bit skeptical when I opened the box. It is lightweight, so I was not sure how much protection I would be afforded.
I was lucky enough to have a forty degree night the night that I got it. All I can say is this: The Dainese Total WS EVO Balaclava greatly exceeded my expectations. It stretches over your shoulders, neck and upper chest and back very nicely. When I zip and close the velcro top to my leather jacket, I am sealed up. I rode for about an hour and a half just because I didn't get the least bit cold. My hands with gloves and liners got a bit chilly, but my head and neck were toasty warm. I know this is an expensive product, but it is comfy, light, really blocks the wind, and does exactly what it is supposed to do. I rated it "excellent" for air flow because it blocks it, which is exactly what the product is supposed to do!
Additionally, I decided to purchase some delray super clean for my chain about an hour after I made this order, so I called Revzilla's customer service to add it to my order. Amazingly, my order had already shipped! The Revzilla guys took care of my shipping costs and thanked me for my business. I received my order for both items THE NEXT DAY! Way to go, RevZilla!
Outstanding customer service.
December 19, 2014
Great for winter commuting
Got this to protect my neck and face while I commute to work. I ridden in low 30's /upper 20's and it works great.
I had a little problem with fogging even though I have a pin lock visor, but I was able to position it differently and that helped.
December 15, 2014