Specialized Deflect UV Arm/Leg Covers- by Grannygear
At Sea Otter this past Spring, I received a set of the Specialized Deflect UV arm and leg covers in a dazzling white color. I was intrigued. They were stunningly white like something the good guys wear in an old western comedy (think Rex O’Herlihan in Rustler’s Rhapsody). I put them in a drawer and thought “not this guy”. Then it got hot outside. And sunny.
So one early summer day I had a looong MTB ride on the schedule and I knew we would be climbing for hours in the full sun. I remembered the Deflect arm and leg covers and grabbed the arm covers to try. After that day I barely rode without wearing them if the ride was going to creep into mid day conditions, they were that good. And nothing has changed that feeling at all. They keep me cooler, they allow me to slather much less sunscreen on my body, and they are really nice on long, hot rides when your arms are just hanging out there like they are on a BBQ spit. If there is one downside, it is that they are not so white anymore. Not MTB rated, that color, so they have some stains on them. Meh! Part of the deal for me, but I have been road riding in them too and that is, of course, a bit nicer environment for fabric the color of angel’s wings. They do not fall down on the arm neither do they feel restrictive like arm warmers are wont to do. They are only slightly insulative in the cool mornings, so they do a little bit there, but not much. For me, full of win other than the dirt/stain aspect.
I also noticed increased cooling as the sweat wicked into the fabric and then the air moved over them like a tubular swamp cooler. I even doused them with water a couple of times to add to the effect. It was, well, an effective effect.
The leggings I used only recently as I had a hard time seeing them as something I wanted to wear. So recently I had a multi hour gravel road event at altitude that seemed like a good day to try them for the first time. They did the job, although I had to get them securely under my shorts legs or they would creep down on me. There are mesh-type areas behind the knees for even more airflow. I have to say that I do not care for the look though…all that white on the legs like two great, long gym socks. Just a styling thing really, but if I was to be pedaling cross country and was going to be exposed to a ton of sun, I would overlook that and go for them anyway for the protection they offer.
So for me the arm warmers are now a key item in my gear bag. The leggings, not so much but that is more about fashion than function. The arm covers retail for $35.00 and the leg covers for $45.00, well worth the protection and cooling bennies they offer.
Note: Specialized provided the UV Deflect gear for test and review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed, nor paid to do this review. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.