This is a review of the Kalas RainMem water-resistant arm and leg warmers. Useful for Spring and Autumn – and perhaps Summer – these items turn any summer kit into all-weather kit. Being waterproof and having a brushed lining gives them a longer window of usefulness in the cycling seasons.
I’ve been quite impressed with Kalas clothing and service. From green-lighting the design, the full kit arrived well under Kalas’ estimated 4-6 weeks lead time. Since reading of their contract with TeamGB for the next four years, I’ve noticed their logo on the backsides of most of the cyclists I see in Cambridge.
The construction and finish of the arm and leg warmers is good, with features that you’d expect from something that costs around the same price as the Castelli equivalent. With that sort of quality and utilising their top-of-the-line on-site design and manufacturing to customise kit it’s no wonder Kalas already supplies the Czech and GB national teams as well as Wanty-Gobert and Six Day London.
The water resistance of the arm and leg warmers is quite effective. Whilst generally the water runs straight off the material, over time (or if you run the warmers under a tap in the process of a thorough review) the water does slowly absorb into the top layer of the material. The water is then prevented from reaching your arm or leg by the membrane sandwiched between the top and inner layer. I guess if you were on a long wet ride you might notice a slight difference with the weight of the water that’s soaked in, but I think by that point you’d have more important things to worry about.
Warmth is taken care of partly by that waterproof membrane, which also stops the wind from chilling you to the bone, and partly by the brushed lining. There is a stretch panel at the back of the leg warmers which also acts as a vent. I found as it’s gotten warmer that I was getting slightly damp with sweat, but the material and membrane is breathable enough to alleviate an unpleasant build up. I’ve made sure I’ve been the last to take off my warmers on the social ride, just to make sure I’m testing them thoroughly.
With a silicone band around the top of the arm and leg warmers there’s not much chance of them slipping down. The cuffs of both warmers are stretchy but not restrictive. The material doesn’t have much stretch, or rather it does have stretch, but it’s more like an inner tube than an elastic band. There’s plenty of compression (although on the leg warmers there is a bit more give due to the stretch panel to the rear). I found a few times if I pulled the leg warmers a bit too far up my thigh in a hurry that I was left with an angry looking line where they had been. The anatomic cut helped prevent unsightly bunching and once I’d put the warmers on I didn’t find the need to adjust them on the move.
The Kalas RainMem arm and leg warmers have meant that I could happily put my summer kit on a bit earlier than I normally might. I did compare a rolled up pair of arm warmers with some thinner ‘summer’ arm warmers I have and there’s not much difference in the thickness of the bundle despite the material on the Kalas warmers feeling more substantial. If you wanted to go even further into winter with short sleeves, the RainMem collection includes short-sleeved jersey and bib-shorts in the same material.
Breathable, water and windproof, without feeling like I was stuck in a bin bag. With a nice zip on the leg warmers made of reflective material for visibility, these are a good addition to any cyclists wardrobe. I’m not sure if I’ll be using them in the middle of Summer, but certainly on early morning rides and gloomy, rainy days they’ll be in my jersey pocket. I’ve also put them on my kit list for Revolve24, which I’ll be riding for the third time this September and that time of year the conditions can be quite changeable overnight.
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