Just when you thought that layering for the cold is enough, how much more when you’re going for a ski trip. Wrapping yourself up to protect you from these conditions is crucial especially for skiers. It’s highly important to stay dry and warm to be able to perform optimally. So with that said, here are some layer tips for skiers and non-skiers alike.
Base Layers? How Do They Even Work?
- The base layer is a layer that’s in contact with the skin. It’s actually the first layer of clothing that you should wear. Base layers provide warmth while wicking away sweat at the same time. Wearing comfortable base layers is important to aid you through different climates, conditions, and environments.
- But one should know that there are different types of base layers. And it’s important to choose the right one for you since each one of them is designed depending on the person. Let’s break each of them down below.
- Thermal Base Layers – Thermal base layers are designed to be tight-fit to your body. This allows the material to retain heat under other removable layers. Wear a base layer on top of your “normal” layer clothes.
- Synthetic Base Layers – If you’re on a budget, then synthetic base layers is your best bet. They can dry quickly and has high wicking abilities that can help you stay comfy and dry during intense sports activities such as snowboarding, skiing, and the like. Not only that, but synthetic base layers are also lightweight and flexible to provide you comfort and ease.
- Merino Wool Base Layers – Layers made out of Merino Wool has the ability to regulate body temperature to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable during colder climates. For people that are allergic to synthetic materials, then Merino wool is your best bet since it is suited for sensitive skin. However, it can be a bit pricey, but the quality is definitely worth the price.
- From the word “mid”, it is the layer between the base and outer layers. Mid layers are made to provide optimal warmth to the body. Fleeces are perfect for these and you can choose one that fits your style. Be it a pullover, a full zip fleece, there are so many options in the market for you to choose from. There are also expensive ones that are made with an Airtrap fabric technology that locks in heat for extra warmth.
- Fleece’s knitted layers are designed to keep you warm in extremely chilly conditions, which is important for skiers since they are always exposed outside in the cold. Not only that, but they are also lightweight and flexible, which enables you to move freely while doing stunts and tricks as you slide down the slopes.
- When it comes to outer layers, ski jackets and trousers come into mind. However, shopping for the “right” outer layer is essential to provide optimal comfort to your body. Make sure to opt for one that is waterproof and windproof, since this is the comfortability an outer layer has to provide in the first place.
- Windproof ski jackets are essential so that wind won’t penetrate inside the material. Also, don’t forget to look for taped seams if you opt for a waterproof jacket.
- Ventilation zips along with a breathable shell fabric are two of the most important things when looking for a ski jacket too. These two work together along with your other layers to allow moisture to escape for keeping your body dry.
- Waterproof trousers is also an option that you need to consider. Look for one that is lightweight so that you can move freely for intensive activities like skiing.
Tips on Layering Clothes for Winter Skiing
- Plan on skiing during peak season? Then the layers mentioned above should all be worn to protect yourself from the cold. Follow this layering set-up for optimal warmth and comfortability:
- Base Layer (probably a close fitting and high wicking one)
- Mid Layer (a microfleece or something thicker in case the weather gets colder)
- Outer Layer (a shell or insulated one if temperatures will suddenly drop drastically)
- Now that you’re done putting these layers on your top, it’s time to layer ski socks and gloves to protect your hands and feet too. Below is a breakdown of each one of them.
- Layering ski socks – Layering socks is just as important as layering your upper body. If you have normal socks, then double them as much as you can before you put your snowshoes on. However, they cannot provide optimal warmth, especially for extreme cold conditions. If that is the case, then buying a pair of ski socks will do the trick. A single pair of ski socks will be enough, and you don’t need to wear another layer of them too as they already provide warmth and comfort with just a single pair.
- Layering ski gloves – There are two types of ski gloves that you can choose from: The classic “each one for finger” and the mitten style that looks actually the one that you can find in your kitchen, only with a different build and material. Mittens are getting more popular for snowboarders and skiers since they provide more superior warmth and comfort that traditional gloves don’t have. Throughout the years, these mitten gloves are re-designed to provide better grip to help skiers hold on to their ski poles with minimal effort.
Tips on Layering Clothes for Spring Skiing
- Layering for springtime is just the same as layering for cold weather. The only difference about it is that it isn’t necessary to wear them since spring is a time where the sun is always out. If you do, opt for a thinner fleece or base layer.
- All layers from top to bottom are still essential though. Not to mention, the gloves and socks too which is equally important. You can skip wearing a mid-layer, but outer layers should still be worn.
Tips on Layering Clothes for Off-Piste Backcountry Skiing
- For backcountry skiing, taking full precaution and wearing the most protective clothing as possible is a must. This is because you will be more vulnerable to your surroundings, and days will be longer with little to no breaks in between.
- You’ll surely spend more time hiking in the backcountry. The next thing you’ll notice is yourself overheating due to climbing through deep snow. Removing and adding layers is something that you should do often in this kind of situation since you will be sweating more than ever.
- Backcountry skiing also means you will be skiing on some uneven terrain, so danger is just around the corner. Avalanches are also present too so opting for a jacket that has a built-in RECCO avalanche recovery system should be taken into consideration.