Like this site? Help us to make it better.


14 of the best arm & leg warmers for 2021

Choose the best arm & leg warmers and make your cycling outfits more versatile — they can even fight the rain

When the weather turns a chilly — or starts to emerge from the frigid depths of winter — arm and leg warmers are a useful weapon in your bad-weather armoury.

  • If it's not quite cold enough for a full jacket, or looks set to warm up later, arm warmers keep your arms, er, warm and can be pocketed when conditions improve

  • Leg warmers can replace tights in many conditions, keeping you warm from the thighs down while your riding effort and shorts take care of the rest

  • Some arm and leg warmers are made form water-resistant fabrics that really help fend off those April showers with almost no downside in breathability or comfort

  • If it's really only your knees that suffer, knee warmers extend your shorts to just below the knees to keep these vital joints toasty

  • It's a good time to buy — lots of our favourites are on special offer at the moment, so you can pick up arm warmers from just five quid

14 of the best arm, leg and knee warmers for 2020

  1. Sportful NoRain Arm Warmers — £27.00
  2. Sportful NoRain Knee Warmers — £34.00
  3. Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Knee Warmers — £35.99
  4. Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmers — £26.99 | £14.99 in yellow
  5. Lusso Max Repel Leg Warmers — £29.99
  6. Polaris RBS arm warmers — £5.00
  7. Castelli Thermoflex arm warmers — £30
  8. Castelli Nanoflex knee warmers — £26
  9. Galibier Ardennes II Roubaix Leg Warmers — £22.88
  10. dhb Regulate Thermal leg warmers — £24.00
  11. DeFeet Kneekers knee warmers — £27.21
  12. Stolen Goat Orkaan Weather Proof Arm Warmers — £30
  13. Craft arm warmers — £22.14 - £23.30
  14. Castelli Nanoflex Leg Warmers — £60.00

Arm warmers can extend the time of the year when you can ear your favourite jersey, or add extra insulation under a jacket if your arms feel the chill.

When the weather’s cool but not frigid, leg warmers can keep warm the bits of your legs that aren’t working hard while your thighs keep themselves plenty warm enough in shorts.

That’s especially useful on autumn and spring days that start cold and warm up. When conditions improve you can peel off arm and leg warmers and stuff them in your bag or pockets.

Bringing that versatility to your outfit makes arm and leg warmers an essential part of your cycling wardrobe.


Arm and leg warmers are usually made of some sort of insulating fabric that’s thicker than the usual Lycra or jersey material. The most common is a fleece-backed Lycra called Roubaix which traps air against your skin to keep you warm. Super Roubaix, as the name suggests, is a thicker, warmer version of the same idea.

Arm and leg warmers are also made from knitted fabrics, usually some sort of polyester or Merino wool for maximum warmth and luxury. These are often thicker and warmer than Roubaix, and if they’re knitted in one piece they don’t have the seams that some people find annoying.

A big step forward in the last few years has been the introduction of water-repellent fabrics that help keep you dry. Rain beads off Sportful’s NoRain line, Castelli’s NanoFlex and dhb’s Rain Defence fabrics. Water gets through them eventually, but they’re a good first line of defence against damp weather.

You can also get thinner arm covers that protect against the summer sun without adding insulation. We think they're a bit pricey, but Castelli's UPF 50+ Light Arm Skins do a good job of stopping your arms getting fried.


Lusso Cooltech Leg warmers - gripper

Most warmers use silicone strips to grab your skin, although some very carefully-designed models manage to stay up without it. Some also have silicone on the outside to grab your shorts legs or jersey sleeves to keep them in place too.


X-BIONIC Leg Warmer - knee

Arm warmers are all supposed to be long enough to reach from your upper arm to your wrists, though some manufacturers do offer different sizes to accommodate longer or shorter arms. But as well as shorts-to-ankle leg warmers, you can also get knee warmers that end mid-calf and turn your shorts into three-quarter length tights. If you find it’s your knees that really take the brunt of cold weather, you may find this surprisingly comfortable.

16 of the best arm, leg and knee warmers

Here are the pick of the arm, leg and knee warmers we've reviewed over the last few years.

Sportful NoRain Arm Warmers — £27.00

Sportful NoRain Armwarmers.jpg

Sportful's NoRain arm warmers are comfortable, with a fleecy inner and a surprisingly water-resistant outer. The styling is subtle and they offer protection that can simply be rolled up and popped in a jersey pocket when not needed. The price is good too.

The NoRain element is a hydrophobic silicone that sits within the fabric. It works well to fend off light rain and wheel spray. Sat on the start line of a rainy road race, my arms were at least, dry. On general rides, these are very comfortable to wear, with a close fit that doesn't move or bunch up while riding.

Read our review of the Sportful NoRain Arm Warmers

Sportful NoRain Knee Warmers — £34.00

Sportful Norain Knee Warmers 1.jpg

Knee warmers are a great addition to your outfit in changeable weather conditions, and the temperature range that these Sportfuls work in makes them ideal for spring through to autumn. I found them plenty warm enough from around 8°C through to about 15°C.

They are good wind blockers and the fleece lining on the inside adds warmth while remaining soft against the skin.

Read our review of the Sportful NoRain Knee Warmers

Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Knee Warmers — £35.99

Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Knee Warmers.jpg

The Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Knee Warmers keep your legs toasty, dry quickly after a downpour, and stay up well. What more do you need from knee warmers?

They look identical to the 2016 model, but there is one new addition: the PI Dry technology coating, which makes them water resistant. The Elite Thermal Fleece fabric means they are very warm and kept our legs comfortable down to around 4 degrees.

Read our review of the Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Knee Warmers
​Find a Pearl Izumi dealer

Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmers — £26.99 | £14.99 in yellow

Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmers.jpg

These are the companion arm warmers to Pearl Izumi Elite's Thermal Knee Warmers, above, and they're just as good. In fact, if you run hot you might find that you're perfectly comfortable in them down to actual freezing temperatures.

Comfort is further improved by an anatomical cut that's shaped at the elbow, which means fit is practically perfect whether you ride in the saddle or dance out of it with a dynamic arm movement. They're demarcarted into left and right arms, with Pearl Izumi logos placed on the top (slightly to the outside) to help oncoming or merging traffic pick you up.

Read our review of the Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmers
Find a Pearl Izumi dealer

Lusso Max Repel Leg Warmers — £29.99

Lusso Max Repel Leg Warmers.jpg

The Lusso Max Repel Leg Warmers use fibre treatment to resist water while keeping you warm, and they stay put too. Made in the UK, they're a great option for cool rides.

Manchester-based Lusso has once again come up with a product that's hard to fault – simple in both design and execution, with performance fabrics that work out on the road and look good doing it.

Read our review of the Lusso Max Repel Leg Warmers

Polaris RBS arm warmers — £5.00

Polaris RBS Armwarmers

Polaris's RBS (really bright stuff) arm warmers keep you cosy with their thermal lining and visible with their reflective trim.

The biggest issue our tester had was that they didn't match with anything in his wardrobe, unlike classic “goes with anything” black arm warmers, but they are certainly warm, and provide a decent degree of protection from chilly weather and wind. They are quite tight though, with secure silicone grippers. That’s good if you have skinny arms, not so great if you’ve got guns from another sport.

Read our review of the Polaris RBS arm warmers
Find a Polaris dealer

Castelli Thermoflex arm warmers — £30

Castelli thermoflex arm warmers

The advantages of Castelli's Thermoflex arm warmers are individually small, but they all add up to create one of the most comfortable, best fitting sleeves on the market.

The Thermoflex name comes from the fabric. It's a medium-weight fleece to trap a layer of warm air against the skin which it does well providing plenty of warmth in temperatures ranging from mid-single figures to the low teens.

The best thing about the Thermoflex Arm Warmer, though, is the fit. They are anatomically shaped during construction — a pre bent elbow if you like — and the fabric is super stretchy so it fits closely and moves with your arm. This means there are no creases or rucks in the material, better for comfort and aerodynamics.

A neat addition is the silicone grip on the outside at the top to grip your jersey sleeve.

Read our review of the Castelli Thermoflex arm warmers

Castelli Nanoflex knee warmers — £26

Castelli NanoFlex knee warmer crop.jpg

Castelli Nanoflex kneewarmers combine two handy functions, keeping your knees both warm and dry. The fabric incorporates silicone filaments that keep the rain out, causing it to bead on the surface and be moved away by the wind.

The inner is a fleecy lining Roubaix style that is very soft to the touch and keeps your knees warm even when the rain eventually gets through. The Thermaflex fabric does exactly what the title suggests, flexes and moves with your leg while travelling through the pedalling motion.

Read our review of the Castelli Nanoflex knee warmers

Galibier Ardennes II Roubaix Leg Warmers — £22.88

Galibier Ardennes Roubaix Leg Warmer - riding.jpg

The Galibier Ardennes Roubaix Leg Warmers work well, keeping out the wind effectively and keeping in warmth nicely. The fit is also a strong point thanks to the left and right-specific fits.

They are made from two different fleece-backed Roubaix fabrics, which Galibier claims are matched to the motion of the pedalling leg. Inside they also have a good fleecy material to help keep warmth in.

Read our review of the Galibier Ardennes Roubaix Leg Warmers

dhb Regulate Thermal leg warmers — £24.00


We haven’t tested this exact incarnation of dhb’s well-priced Roubaix leg warmers, but we liked the very similar Pace Roubaix model.

Those were excellent, with five separate panels to give an 'anatomical' shape - ie, they've got a bend half way down, to match the bend in your leg, and silicone grippers round the inside of the ankle cuff, and around the inside and outside of the thigh cuff so they don't slip down from under your shorts to reveal that annoying and very unstylish inch of bare skin.

With an identical feature set, we’d expect these to be just as good, and the price is very reasonable.

Read our review of the dhb Regulate leg warmers

DeFeet Kneekers knee warmers — £27.21

DeFeet Kneekers Knee Warmers

DeFeet Kneekers are seamless knee warmers. High in comfort and stretch, they're are ideal for autumn cycling.

They’re made from a single seamless tube of Coolmax/Lycra material. They're longer than most knee warmers and that means they can cover the legs well above and below the knee, providing extra insulation on cold autumn rides.

They provide good protection from the cold and rain without any hint of overheating. There’s Aireator mesh in the back panel, which improves heat regulation and also contributes to the comfort, but allowing extra flexibility.

If you want a bit more warmth, there's a Merino wool version too.

Read our review of the DeFeet Kneekers knee warmers
Find a DeFeet dealer

Stolen Goat Orkaan Weather Proof Arm Warmers — £30

stolen goat Orkaan Weather Proof Arm Warmers

These arm warmers are from Stolen Goat's Orkaan winter range are made from the same material as their bib tights, so you get a comfortable brushed inner surface and a degree of protection against the cold and wet. They have a section of reflective Pixel material which is a great idea, giving some much needed side visibility for night-time riding.

They always stayed safely tucked inside the jersey sleeves, helped by elasticated cuffs at each end with a silicone Bioracer pattern on the inside.

Read our review of the Stolen Goat Orkaan Weather Proof Arm Warmers

Craft arm warmers — £22.14 - £23.30

Craft Arm Warmers - worn

As arm warmers go, Craft's are at the upper end of the scale, both in the design and technology that has gone in to them and in price. They are nevertheless amazingly good value in terms of versatility, usefulness and all-round ride comfort.

They kept our tester’s arms pleasingly warm on even the coldest days. You really don't notice you are wearing them. The silicone grippers at the top of the arms do the job effectively but unobtrusively, the material is soft to the touch and there is nothing to itch or scratch.

Read our review of the Craft arm warmers
Find a Craft dealer

Castelli Nanoflex Leg Warmers — £60.00

Castelli Nanoflex Leg Warmer

Castelli's Nanoflex Leg Warmers are well designed and comfortable with the added bonus of being water repellent, thanks to the Nanoflex fabric. It keeps road spray and showers out but harder rain does work through, especially through the bit at the front of your knee that you stretch repeatedly as you pedal. But the point is, these feel like any other leg warmers in terms of feel and breathability – like most, they're made from nylon and Lycra – so there's no down side to that extra water repellency.

Nanoflex aside, these are good leg warmers in their own right, coming with just one flatlock stitched seam up the back, which I haven't found at all irritating. The elasticated gripper has silicone on the inside to hold it against your leg, and on the outside to keep it in place against your shorts. I've never had any trouble there. A YKK zip at the back makes getting them on and off easy, even over your shoes.

Read our review of the Castelli Nanoflex Leg Warmers

Explore the complete archive of arm, leg and knee warmer reviews on

About Buyer's Guides

The aim of buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.

As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

Here's some more information on how makes money.

You can also find further guides on our sister sites and ebiketips. buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

Latest Comments