Many fat bikers own and have installed those funny looking things that go over your handlebars, and if you do, you have likely received a comment like, “I love you bar mittens” or something of the sort. Whether they are being sarcastic or not doesn’t really matter because the owner knows how awesome they are. They keep your hands warm in the coldest of conditions even with a small liner glove. The cycling pogie market has grown quite drastically in the past few years. But one company in particular has been around for quite some time sewing pogies for mushers and cyclists alike. Joan runs Dogwood Designs up in Fairbanks, Alaska. This small company has stayed true to a simplicity similar to their lifestyle. You won’t find Dogwood Design in any distribution catalog, or even all over discounted web stores. They are small and intend to keep it that way. IMG_1818 The Dogwood Pogies come in two versions, the Winter Pogies and the Winter Plus Pogies. I have had the pleasure of owning the Winter Pogies for a year now. With many brands, a year would mean a new product, a redesign, or even a different pogie all together. The old phrase ‘you can’t fix what isn’t broken,’ holds true to the Dogwood Design Winter Pogies. The pogies are very simple, they are made of a tough nylon exterior, a thin layer of polyester insulation, and a durable nylon taffeta lining. They come with an adjustable gasket opening around the forearm with an elastic cord and cord lock. They also come with this same system on the interior part of the pogies that go over the bar and cinch down over your brake and shifter levers. Sewn inside is a small elastic band that connects to the bar to complete the installation.
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While the Winter Plus Pogies are said to function in -50 degree temperatures, the Winter Pogies are rated at -15. However, these ratings are really hard to justify. Last year during the Arrowhead Ultra I used these pogies. Temperatures were in the -20 range with wind chill values as low as -40. Along with a mid weight glove, the pogies were extremely comfortable and warm. On my everyday rides, I will typically use my Giro DND mountain bike gloves. Not only do I use my standard glove because I like the feel, but the warmth that the Dogwood Pogie creates is exceptional, and a thin glove is usually all I need. Most pogies come with a gasket or gator mechanism that cinches down around your forearm, same with the Dogwood pogies. When it’s warm, I tend to loosen up the gasket to let the air come in. When cold, I cinch it down to keep in the warmth which in turn keeps my hands warm – pretty simple stuff. I have noticed when it gets above freezing my hands tend to get extremely warm, sometimes warranting my thin MTB glove to come off or even rest my hands outside and on top of the pogies. Dogwood Design Winter Pogies These pogies do not have the stiff structure like some others on the market, but I also don’t think they were designed to. When I first got the Dogwood pogies they had an upright shape, but have slumped over time – however they do sit more upright on my Jones Bars. More importantly, they have ample clearance around the hand and brake, and have plenty of space to thaw out your snacks. While these are designed to be tight when cinched down, I have had little problems withdrawing my hand – which is nice when you have that Oh-shit moment. Because the pogies slouch over rather than being rigid, you can’t just enter your hand right in, but rather must lift it up to enter your hand. This is barely a negative, but worth noting. What I really enjoy about the pogies is the simplicity of installation, all you need to do is pull the handlebar cuff over the brake levers and shifters and cinch down the elastic cord for a snug fit around the inner bar, then just attach the elastic loop that is sewn into the pogie around the bar end. If you need to move them to your next bike, the simple loosening of the handlebar chord and detachment of the bar end loop will have your pogies off in seconds. Dogwood Design Winter Pogies Maybe a more technical feature worth noting is the actual stitching of the pogies. It’s important to keep the insulation a-loft to ensure the insulation is active rather than a waste. The interior taffeta layer is stitched into the polyester insulation. But what is important to note is that it is not fully stitched through the tough outer nylon layer. If it were it would take away from its waterproof capabilities and create an access point for air to penetrate. The design was well thought out. As far as durability is concerned, the pogies have held up extremely well in some pretty harsh conditions. These are the only pogies I use, typically from November to April and they usually living outside in the sun and elements. The interior and exterior stitching is holding up with no signs of failure. The nylon exterior is a little faded and there are a few scuff marks from rubbing on trees or laying in snow, but nothing more than your standard wear and tear.
Dogwood Design Winter Pogies
There are 4 of these pieces on a pair of pogies, this is the only one that has blown out.
One piece that is starting to fall apart is the the metal ring attached to the gasket where the elastic cord goes through. After tugging on it so many times it has started to rip away from the nylon. Luckily a backup cord was installed to prevent further ripping. I will leave it be for now, but may need to tend to it in the future. For over a years of use, this is very minor wear. Overall Dogwood Design pogies have performed extremely well for me, and I believe they have stood the test of time and the elements. They have seen some wear and have a few marks to show for it, but in general they have kept the same shape, and the same function…keeping my hands warm. These pogies are extremely lightweight(12.15oz), which will help keep even a loaded rig’s weight down. A staple in my winter bikepacking kit as well as every day rides, I would recommend this Alaskan made product to anyone. Dogwood Design Winter Pogies Dogwood Design Winter Pogies are available in a variety of colors and combinations. You can get them at fatbikes.com or be sure to check in with your local bike shop who can inquire about bulk orders. The Dogwood Winter Pogies cost $120, and the Winter Plus Pogies cost $170.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Pogies - Bikepackers Magazine

  2. Will these work with Brake-Shifters on a Drop Bar with Internal Cables? If so do they come in orange or at least Red?

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko

      Hey Don,

      We have not tried these on drop bars, and would suggest that you reach out to the manufactures regarding the compatibility.

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