Layering for Warmth

Layering for Warmth

Different types of layers and which layers you shouldn't wear are an important part of enjoying your day at the snow.  Here is some key information on types of thermal and other layers that will keep you nice and toasty even on the coldest days in Alaska or Japan.... Your skiing base layer wicks perspiration away from your body to keep you dry, warm, and comfortable during a full day of skiing. Skiing base layer clothing should be lightweight and tight fitting to keep your body heat in and sweat out.

First we will have to take some layers off.

NO COTTON! Under no circumstances should you wear cotton in the snow, even if you get hot.  Cotton has no thermal qualities once it gets wet. So wether you’re shoving snow down your mate’s back or just working up a sweat, cotton will act like a refrigerator once it gets wet, and takes a long time to dry.  ski vestThat snowball fight you started no longer seems like such a good idea. It doesn’t have to be like this.

The first layer you will need to wear is your long underwear (thermal top & bottoms). Old "long-johns" made out of cotton,or flannel will not keep you dry and comfortable on the slopes. Instead, breathable under-layers that wick perspiration away from your body (e.g Merino wool or Polypropylene) and eliminate that cold, clammy feeling are excellent. Base layer attire is available in men's and women's styles:check out our thermals page.

The next layer is your mid-layer, an insulating layer. For this layer, you can wear anything from a fleece jumper a turtleneck, or an insulating shirt designed to keep you warm or comfortable without adding extra weight. Some skiers choose to wear vests, and some skiers choose polarfleece tops as an insulating layer. Whatever you choose, make sure that what you wear will keep you warm, as this layer is essential to keep you comfortable.

Some skiers/boarders choose to wear a fleece layer under their ski jacket. This layer doesn't have to be fleece although this is great for wicking moisture away. In fact, a soft-shell jacket can keep you incredibly warm on days that are especially cold. This layer isn't necessary, as you might find yourself a little too warm during moderate winter temperatures. However, a fleece jacket or a soft shell layer will keep you warm on days that are especially cold or windy.

The  outer layer ski jacket and ski pants are your most expensive layer, but they are alOuter layerso your most important layer. A ski jacket will protect you from the elements, and you have many jacket styles to choose from. The two main jacket styles are insulated jackets and shell jackets. Insulated jackets will not only shield you from wind, snow, and rain, but they are will keep you warm and comfortable. Shell jackets will shield you from harsh elements, but they are not insulated so they will require more midlayers to keep you warm but are very versitile for different temperatures. Ski pants are also available in insulated or shell styles, and are essential for keeping you completely warm and comfortable.

Last but not least, are ski accessories. Ski Goggles will keep the sun and snow out of your eyes. You will need ski accessories to protect your whole body. Your hands will need mittens or gloves, and your head will need a hat or a helmet. A warm hat or helmet is essential, because the most heat is lost through your head. Appropriate footwear or Apres, will keep your feet warm and dry without fear of falling over. With layers and ski accessories, you will stay warm and comfortable during your entire day on the slopes.

Dressing in layers is essential on any cold ski day. On the top of the mountain, it may be windy and cold, and you need to be prepared for this. You can always remove a layer if the sun comes out and warms up the mountain, but if not, layers are sure to keep you warm. Dressing in layers is key to staying warm on any day of skiing.