Whether this will be your first winter on the slopes or you are a seasoned veteran, what you decide to wear while spending time in the mountains will make or break your winter. From down jackets to socks to winter pants, choosing the right gear for your skiing adventures can be a challenging endeavor. Below are eight suggestions on bomber and reliable wearable winter gear for the winter of 2018/19.
Smartwool is known for their comfortable merino base layers, and for active skiing endeavors, this type of clothing is perfect. Merino wool is warm, comfortable, and lightweight enough to be worn during cold days on the skintrack or during in-bounds days doing lift laps.
The Salomon X-Ultra Mid 3 boot is an amazing boot that is incredibly diverse. The X-Ultra is typically used as a hiking boot, and it can be worn on backpacking trips and day hikes alike. The X-Ultra is also a great boot for snowy walks around town and trips to the local ski hill. The X-Ultra is waterproof, meaning that you can walk through in the parking lot while getting ready for a day of powder skiing and start the day off with dry socks. For a hiking boot, The X-Ultra looks sleek and stylish, and it can easily be worn to bars for après ski adventures.
A down layer can be a crucial piece of gear in cold environments. Down is incredibly comfortable and ultra-warm. Down jackets can be worn on the ski hill, trail, and town alike. The L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Jacket is one of the best down layers out there, and it is very warm and very light. The 850 fill down is high quality and has a strong weight to warmth ratio. The sizing of the jacket has regular and tall options, which is great for those who typically run between sizes. A medium tall has the slim fit of a medium but is slightly longer, which is great for those of you who are tall and lanky. This jacket is best for very cold, sunny days. While super comfortable and warm, down needs to be taken care of and should not get wet, so wear this layer only when the weather cooperates.
A good beanie should be a part of any backcountry skier's gear closet. A warm beanie can be used both in town and on the mountain. For cold days or alpine starts, having a warm layer on your head is essential for overall comfort. The Arc’teryx Bird Head Toque is Arc’teryx’s classic beanie, and for good reason. This hat is warm yet breathes reasonably well and is made incredibly well, which is what Arc’teryx is known for.
Black Diamond is a renowned outdoor company known for climbing and skiing gear, but it is generally known that BD’s strongest line of equipment is their gloves/mittens. Black Diamond makes all types of warm hand wear made for all sorts of pursuits, but their warm, insulated mitts take the prize. The Mercury Mitt is an absolutely fantastic mitten meant for cold days on the mountain. The Mercury Mitt has a fully waterproof insert and PrimaLoft insulation as well as a split-finger liner for increased dexterity over a standard mitten. Simply put, this is your go-to mitten for cold, deep days.
Mountain living isn’t all about technical gear. It is important to have warm layers that are best used walking to the bar or to arrive at the ski resort in style. The Kuhl Alpenwurx fleece jacket is perfect for such applications. The Alpenwurx jackets blends functionality with style, as 300 weight double-dyed fleece keeps you warm while the leather-like appearance of the jacket makes it perfect for nights on the town.
Snowpants can be a tricky subject. There are so many different types of pants for so many different applications. For backcountry skiers, look no further than the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Pant. The Dawn Patrol Pant is a go-to for many skiers, and it can be worn by backcountry skiers or resort skiers alike. The Dawn Patrol is a softshell pant with a high amount of ventilation and breathability. This pant is at home on the skintrack. Despite being a relatively thin pant, this pant can be great for in-bounds days when paired with a strong base layer.
Finding the right pair of socks for skiing is incredibly important. Socks can make or break your experience. Thick, heavy socks are currently trending out because they are too warm and make your feet sweat and take up too much space. Thin, tight, activity oriented socks are becoming much more popular for skiing because they have increased comfort and breathability while still maintaining warmth. Sockwell Compression Socks are absolutely perfect for skiing and other high-intensity activities. The high length mid-level compression socks fit just above the top of the boot, are very tight so they stay in place, and are the perfect thickness for long ski tours or hard days in-bounds. Sockwell socks are technically compression socks, which help blood flow in the legs and are medically certified. These are high-tech, reliable socks that should have a place in every skier’s closet.
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