Cycling arm warmers can extend the time of the year when you can wear your favourite jersey, or add extra insulation under a jacket if your arms feel the chill.
That’s especially useful on autumn and spring days that start cold – you have them on, and then when it unexpectedly warms up, peel it off and effortlessly stuff them in your bag or pockets and continue on! This versatility to your cycling wardrobe is of course priceless. You definitely should make this product a staple among your other gears.
Best Cycling Arm Warmers Reviewed
We have compiled a list of the best cycling arm warmers ( sleeves ) for a guaranteed warmth & compression reviewed by a team of experts :
1.Pearl Izumi Elite
As with other Izumi products, these have had a lot of research and technology gone into its design and construction. Ticking the right boxes, your only difficulty with these is choosing between the two colours – black for easy matching with your other cycling get-up, or the aptly named screaming yellow for high visibility and attention-seeking qualities.
The fabric that is used for Pearl Izumi Elite is fleece, which has been enhanced with a lifetime lasting water-repelling layer, aimed to keep you dry. You can imagine that these will keep you reasonably warm, and protect you against the wind. The feel of these has been described as a cross between Lycra and neoprene, stretchy in the right places. More so as it incorporates the anatomy of each hand for a good fit. The top of it has a wide band of silicone to latch onto your skin/jersey and hold it up.
It folds small, taking up very little room in your bag. It is also thin enough to be used a base layer should you want to extend its wear into really cold winters. At the end don’t forget that Pearl Izumi also known for producing high quality cycling gloves
With the addition of fleece and water-repellent coating, this is a premium quality product that will boost your enjoyment during rides, as it keeps your hand warm and free from wind-chill. Its lightweight factor is alluringly useful – it deserves a permanent place among your gear, as preparation to face any type of weather.
|Has layer to resist water|
|Anatomical design – left and right hand|
|Attention to sizing needed|
|Silicone grip can hurt for some – too tight|
|May slide down your arms|
As apparent in its name, the main appeal of this Gore Bike product is its claim to shield your arms from wind and wetness. Made of soft-shell, elastic material, it comes in black on black or white on black for easy coordination with the rest of your outfit.
With long rides, comfort is optimised with the Gore Bike warmers, as it is designed with abrasion-proof seams. The elbow area has been pre-shaped, and to maximise the material’s hold and prevent it from sliding down, there are silicone grips placed on the top rim of the arms, as well as cuffs that hugs your wrists snugly. It is possible for you also peel them down from the top should the weather suddenly warms up.
Feedback on breathability has been widely positive, with pores to ensure that moisture passes through. Its fabric make-up provides excellent insulation, without the heft. This makes it great should you want to layer up when its get colder. These are also easy to clean – just pop them into the washing machine.
For those in-between weather conditions – not too cold, but not warm enough, these are perfect! It functions as promised and satisfaction is guaranteed in terms of providing warmth and blocking wind, while at the same time porous enough to allow just the right amount of air to pass through.If you are seeking warmth more than compression we suggest to read our guide about the best arm warmers .
|Warm – insulated|
|Good design to fit left and right side|
|Breathable & machine washable|
|Does not slide down|
|Not very flexible|
|Seams can unravel if pulled too hard|
Standing at just 69 grams weight for a pair(!), these roll small enough to fit your pocket and you probably will forget that it is even there! It is made from Castelli’s own special fabric – the Nanoflex, on which light rain and moisture slides off while maintaining warmth.
The highlight of this cycling arm warmer is its breathable but water repellent fabric it is constructed from. It is however also noteworthy to mention that its most loved feature it the great fit, spot-on sizing and elasticity which allows your arm the freedom of movement and dexterity for hours on end. This flexibility of the Nanoflex reduces the hassle in taking it off and having it on. It also stays in place, is not prone to slipping due to the double sided silicon bits on the upper areas. Your ride will be trouble free and more enjoyable.
Its quality is further ensured with a manufacturer’s warranty of one year from the date of purchase.
Spot on sizing, with extra attention paid to ensure good and enhanced rider satisfaction makes the Castellli Nanoflex a worthy buy. It is easy to take with you at all times due its lightness, plus you will be well-prepared for any eventual inclement weather – drizzles as well as wind chills will not deter you from potentially the best ride of your life.
|Lightweight and small when folded|
|Easy on/off folded|
|Stays up & warm|
|Tight at first|
|Moisture wicking, not waterproof|
|Lack of colour choice – just black|
Ginger, white or black, pair these up with your jersey and you will not only be stylish, but also remain snug and cosy.
These are made with the manufacturers own HeatMaxx fabric, which consists of a smooth fleece-brushed internal layer meant to flick off water and contain heat internally at the same time. Equipped with silicone material on the bicep area – these stay on until you take them off. Adding to the rider’s content is its flat lock seam, as this feature aims to prevent friction between your skin and the fabric, thus allowing you to stay on your bike much longer.
Safety is enhanced not only when you select among its highly visible colours, but also through reflective elements strategically placed to catch light especially for road-riders. Its lightweight and soft fabric allows air to flow, and just fold these into your bag or pocket when it is no longer needed.
These are the product for you, if you do not want to wear a vest but need a boost in warmth. It delivers both, while drawing the much needed attention with the bright colours while you are on your bike for added safety, while also being small enough to carry around in your back pocket for when it is needed.
|Lined for warmth|
|Light and small enough to fit pocket|
|Allows air flow|
|Reflective elements to enhance safety|
|May not be long enough for some|
|Not fully windproof|
|Slides down arms|
Made of soft, good quality Merino, if comfort is what you look for, then this is the right product for you. While the words toasty and winter rides may not be uttered often in a sentence, this is exactly what you will get in the case of the DeFeet cycling arm warmers!
Proudly made in the United States, DeFeet cycling arm warmers offers a straightforward product, sold sans the jumble of jargons of others on the market and hits the mark for being spot on. Winter wear has always incorporated wool, and for good reason. These gets plus points for the soft, fuzzy feel it offers on a cold day or night, beating more modern cycling arm warmers in this department. Wool is also breathable and offers incomparable durability.
Rest assured that your pair would withstand a ride in the washing machine, coming out of it retaining its original shape, with hardly any shrinkage.
If basic warmth is what you need, the DeFeet delivers. Made in the United States from good quality Merino wool, this will hug your arms and keep them snug throughout, while allowing them to breathe at the same time.
|Allows skin to breathe|
|Soft and feels good|
|Made in the USA|
|Machine washable and no shrinkage after|
|Only dark colour – low visibility|
|Arm area slides down|
|Narrow design – care on size selection needed|
|Hard to pull up|
|Slightly scratchy material & bulky|
Sleek and light as it is aptly named, this Endura product aims to satisfy hard-core cyclists who seek to ride in rain or shine, cold or humid. Comes in black with increased visibility through reflective strips, this will go very well with any coloured jersey.
Made with fabric technologically enhanced with Teflon to wick off beads of rain as well as designed with insulating properties, the Endura makes for an enjoyable ride, protecting the wearer from the worst of the elements. It stays up your arms due to the silicon grip, so rest assured that these does not slide down easily. The fit of these are remarkable, it gives the wearer a good balance between not cutting your blood circulation off though designed to be form fitting. The dexterity of your limbs is still maintained, without the feeling of being restricted in any sort of movement.
These are meant to be easy take on/take off products and it works well in this regard. Squeeze them inside your jersey or tights pocket when the weather heats up, as it is not hefty at all.
For the ever-ready cyclist, these should have a permanent spot in your bag or pockets. It weighs close to nothing – good enough to carry around, small enough to fit anywhere, and provides protection against moisture, light drizzles and also chilly winds.
|Protects against light rain & good arm grip|
|Small enough for pockets|
|Easy to put on/take off|
|Insulated – warm|
|Only in black|
|Feels tight in first few uses|
The Giordana has made use of the Super Roubaix material in its construction and for good reason. For those unfamiliar with this fabric – it is fleece-backed Lycra, aimed to add and retain body heat while preventing the cold from getting in. This will no doubt enhance the Giordana’s appeal to those looking to stay heated up outdoors when the mercury drops.
With two colours to choose from – basic black or bright white, these make a good addition to your cycling apparel. The best feature is of course the cosiness it offers, having been made with Super Roubaix, but not to forget that Lycra also adds to this product in terms of ensuring perfect, form-fitting comfort. The elasticity means that you can move your hands and elbows without restrain and therefore will be able to enjoy your ride much more.
There are reflective elements in the form of the Giordana logo added on these, thus making sure that you are highly visible to others. These are minute when folded up, and this increase its allure to the light packer.
No frills in this cycling arm warmers – it promises warmth and it delivers warmth. Other added bonuses of course include its slim-fit and almost featherweight quality, making it an essential part to every ride.
|Super Roubaix & extra warm|
|Small when packed|
|Elastic and form fitting|
|Allows full movement|
|Imperfect seams – may cause discomfort|
|Slides down easily – no silicon grip|
These individually sold arm sleeves are intended to improve your blood circulation and support your limbs from early onset of fatigue while you are engaged in activity. Its attractive and bold pattern and striking colours sets you apart from others and increases your visibility even from afar.
With its tight-fitting design, the compression it provides is noteworthy. It is also elastic enough to ease in wearing and taking them off – a plus point for when you are in a hurry to get going. It is also durable, sewn together with flat lock stitches, which has been known to hold fabric together extremely well. The brightness of the colour and design remains vibrant even after more than a few washes.
Being ultra-thin, its breathability is incomparable, while at the same time preventing droplets of sweat or water to settle in and soak through. You will no doubt be comfortable in these. It is ambidextrous in design – it can easily fit on either arm.
For those needing extra boost in terms of blood-circulation and fatigue-reduction, these must be among the products to be considered. Coupled with its unmistakably alluring print you can go about with the confidence that you are highly visible and probably be the centre of attention!
|Fits either arm – ambidextrous|
|Elastic and easy to wear|
|Reduces fatigue in the arms|
|Does not provide enough warmth|
|Slips down easily|
With current concerns on cancer risks from sun exposure – these come with added UPF50 sun protection and are attractively designed to boot. If you love being in the sun, you can be confident being outdoors in these, knowing that you have additional safeguards against ultraviolet rays – still, do not forget your sunblock!
Columbia has done well in making sure that these state of the art sleeves function as intended. It comes with the patented “Omni-Freeze Zero” feature, where as you sweat and a light breeze hits, you will be enveloped with a pleasant cool sensation. This feature adds to making sure you are comfortable yet your limbs are protected. No longer will you feel the baking sensation when you have these on.
The special fabric also shifts sweat away from your arms, and due to its super thin and light texture, you will often forget you have anything on at all. It is elastic, and therefore easy to put on. You will not have trouble taking these off even if you are still sweaty.
Take advantage of the technology offered by Columbia and get these if you are constantly outdoors or are just someone who enjoys being cool when the temperature is high up. The UPF 50 deserves a second mention as this means that you are getting more than just barrier protection from the material but reflecting away harmful rays from touching your skin.
|UPF 50 protection|
|Special cooling feature|
|Attractive design & gets sweat off your skin|
|Can be taken off easily|
|Thin and light|
|Has the tendency to slide down|
|Loosens up after extended use|
|Weird fit in the beginning|
Classy in outlook, with two colours – heather black and heather grey to choose from, these are easily matched with any sort of gear. The singularly sold Phiten sleeves are made for those looking to protect against harmful ultraviolet rays while being outdoors, and is the choice of anyone with concern over premature muscle tiredness or aiming for enhanced sports performance.
If you have scoured high and low for sleeves that are long enough to cover the length of your limbs up to almost the armpit area – look no further. These have been made extra long and fits better than most products in the same category. It has been given great feedback when it is worn for the purpose of reducing tiredness in the arm area as well as when recovering from certain muscle injuries. The thickness of the material provides support to the elbows and special fabric, namely nylon/polyurethane makes this soft on the inside.
It is sewn and put together to endure a lot of use and its manufacturer is proud with its “Aqua-Titanium” feature. It keeps sweat away from your skin, which also makes it more pleasant when in high temperatures.
Rather versatile for use – be it for sports, for injury protection and recovery or simply for walking about in the sun – this fits the bill. Definitely worth the money, you can just pack these with you and you have all you need!
|Multiple uses – for muscle protection, recovery|
|Good fit & extra long|
|Keeps sweat away from skin|
|Reduce muscle tiredness|
|Thick -may be stuffy inside|
|Does not remain on your arm – need to pull up constantly|
Cycling Arm Warmers Buyer’s Guide
For your love of cycling, you probably often wonder how you could possibly extend your season outdoors. Or you have been caught starting out on a bright sunny day which turned chilly and wintry within hours, and thought of wanting to be prepared these conditions.
Consider arm warmers as part of the answer – it can revamp your summer garb to brisk-ready ensemble in no time, without having to bulk up. With the various lingoes surrounding this specific product – from specialised fabrics, protective UV ray features, it can nevertheless be confusing.
Which to choose?
As selecting the right accompaniment during rides makes or breaks your enjoyment, stay with us as we take a closer look at the attributes of this product and guide you to a getting it right.
Terms you need to understand includes – Lycra and jersey material, which you may be familiar of, and Roubaix, which you may not. Roubaix is Lycra that has fleece sewn onto the back of it. This construction bags air up against your skin, effecting in warmth for you. There is also Super Roubaix – with added extra thickness for the same purpose.
There is also knitted fabric, which can be made from plush wool, sometimes of luxurious Merino or the basic polyester. With knitted fabric, the advantage would be the lack of seams (if it is knitted as whole piece) in the arm warmer design. Seamless designs reduce the chance of material rubbing against your skin, a small but pertinent detail to enhance your ride.
With recent technological developments, fabrics have also been enhanced with special features. These include water-repellent qualities. Bear in mind that eventually it seeps through, just that it’ll take longer to do so.
With the recent sunny temperatures witnessed this last summer (and also predicted for upcoming years) you could also consider UV protective arm covers.
Grip Type and Placement
The second thing to consider when shopping cycling arm warmers should be how it will grip and stay in place on your arms. If you buy a pair, you surely do not want something that will ruch up or down and distract you while cycling.
In this instance, consider the use of silicone on the edges of the arm warmers, either on the inside to latch onto your skin or on the outside to grab hold of your jersey or clothing.
As for length, it is supposed to start from the wrist and touch your biceps. Pay attention to measurements of the manufacturer for accuracy.
With the array of products out there – this guide has covered the basic features to look for. These are the fabric, design, grip and additional features that may be important to you such as UV protection, water repellent qualities.
With your limbs protected and comfortable, we hope that your rides are more enjoyable, that you and your bike ride further and that you stay out longer, be it in the rain or shine, in chilly or sunny temperatures.
Now It’s Your Turn
Let us know what you think about cycling arm warmers – we would love to hear from you! Leave your comment, thoughts and opinions in the section below: