Choosing the Perfect, Comfortable Outfit for Winter Sports

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Ski jackets and pants that match both your type of skiing activity and body type will ensure an enjoyable skiing trip, but what else is involved in choosing the perfect outfit for outdoor sports in the wintertime?

Under-Layers

Skiing requires layers; choosing the appropriate base layers is key to staying warm and cozy on the mountain all day long (source: https://adventuregearinsider.com/how-to-layer-for-skiing/). But with such an array of choices available to us, determining which one best meets our needs may prove challenging.

Ideal base layers should fit close to your skin for maximum effectiveness in terms of moisture wicking and reduced chafing. Too loose of a base layer won’t wick moisture as efficiently, which is why most manufacturers skew their sizes slightly towards smaller sizes to account for this.

Merino wool is often chosen as their base layer due to its warmth, moisture wicking properties and natural antimicrobial qualities. Plus, it degrades within one year compared with decades for synthetic fabrics.

Jacket

An effective ski jacket is important gear. It provides insulation against cold and snowfall while protecting from injury due to crashes – such as head bangs and face stings from collisions. Not all jackets are created equal though; make sure you purchase one that fits well while being made of high-grade material.

Your type of skiing also plays an integral part. For beginners who plan on staying within bounds, an insulated shell with a hood may suffice; but for serious mountain explorers looking to venture off piste or traverse side country terrain, an advanced technical shell with advanced breathability features may be more appropriate – while more costly overall.

Ski jackets should also include air vents and powder skirts to regulate temperatures during breaks and help you manage temperatures better. A powder skirt encases around your waist with buttons at its front in case of falls or accidents to prevent snow from sneaking up your pants and covering them, many ski jackets already include powder skirts but you can purchase them separately as well.

Pants

Ski pants are an integral component of a layering system and should provide all-day mountain use without losing their durability or comfort. The top ski pants provide the ideal blend of functionality, features, and comfort.

Breathability of ski pants is also paramount as active skiing causes your legs to sweat; with insufficient breathability they could trap moisture inside them and prevent moisture evaporating – ideally seeking out pants with at least a 20k breathability rating, which you can learn about here, so as to remain comfortable during vigorous activities.

Some backcountry skiers may prefer wearing bibs as these protect from snow sneaking through cracks in your boot shells and give greater protection when transitioning between your boots. It’s also recommended to layer your socks under your pants as much as is comfortable.

Socks

Depending upon your skis, boots and personal preference, you may select one of several different socks available. Most ski socks range in length from crew to over-the-calf with various degrees of padding, moisture management and arch support features available. Ski socks should fit snugly around your feet while having an uninterrupted toe seam to avoid bunching up which could result in blisters.

Thicker socks will trap sweat against your foot, while thinner ones wick moisture away and help avoid chafing. The most thoughtfully engineered ski socks feature ventilation paneling in sweaty areas, pressure point padding such as your heel or ankle bones and an easily adjustable band at the cuff to stay put; low scoring socks resemble long fabric tubes that lack any thoughtful engineering features.

Ski socks typically combine natural fibers such as wool and bamboo with synthetic materials that offer warmth when wet while drying quickly, or sometimes they use a combination of both materials to take advantage of each type. Merino wool is an excellent choice as it not only offers warmth when wet, but it has antimicrobial properties to manage odors as well.

Hat & Gloves

Hands are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures, but with quality gloves or mittens, they can remain toasty warm while remaining functional on the slopes. Consider gloves with an effective insulation system as well as waterproof, windproof shells to block snow entry while keeping perspiration out.

Although ski gloves and mittens provide warmth, they may reduce dexterity to some degree. Therefore, selecting a pair with removable glove liners may be advantageous; this way, when things heat up (particularly on warm spring days or while skinning uphill) the outer shell can simply be removed and the inner liner can be replace to restore full dexterity.

Skiing requires additional pieces of gear that are essential, including a warm hat that fits comfortably beneath a helmet. Your ideal skiing hat should be thin enough to stay put around your ears but stretchy enough so as to accommodate the shape of your head; Gore-Tex and wool are excellent materials to choose for ski hats; both can keep warmth inside while keeping out cold air and water.

The post Choosing the Perfect, Comfortable Outfit for Winter Sports appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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