JAN 30, 2024

Ski Layering Essentials

by Jakob Schmidt

When skiing in Alberta’s harsh weather conditions, you’ve probably come across cold and wet days on the hills. One of the best ways to stay warm and dry is to know how to properly layer your clothing. When it comes to layering clothing for skiing, it's essential to have the right combination of clothing to stay warm, dry, and comfortable in Alberta’s frigid weather conditions. Proper layering typically involves three main layers which are the base layer, an insulating layer, and the outer layer. Here is a breakdown of each layer that you should have on when going on your weekend trips to the mountains.

Base Layer

Firstly, you want to start with your top base layer. When looking for a base layer top you want to find features like moisture-wicking and breathable because this is the main point for a base layer. This can be made up of synthetic materials like polyester or natural fibres. The base layer helps wick sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and warm. The same could go for bottoms. Try and find moister-wicking and insulating base layer pants or long johns to keep your legs warm and dry.

Insulating Layer

Over your base layer, you will want an insulating layer that provides your core warmth. Some options include fleece jackets or insulated jackets. The thickness of this layer can depend on the current weather conditions, and you can adjust by adding or removing layers. Again, same can go for insulated pants. In extreme weather conditions, consider wearing insulated ski pants or bibs as that can be very beneficial for your warmth on those really cold days.

Outer Layer (Shell)

Your outermost layer should be a completely waterproof and breathable ski jacket. Some product features to take note of is to look for features like taped seams, hoods, vents, and adjustable cuffs. Depending on your skiing or snowboarding style, a powder skirt is highly recommended as it can keep snow out of your jacket and can keep you dry on the inside. For outer-layer ski pants, you again want to look for waterproofing and bibs to keep your lower body dry. A beneficial feature to have is to find ski pants that have reinforced cuffs as it's able to prevent any damage towards your pants from your ski edges.

Additional Items to Consider

When creating the essential ski outfit, you want to also consider finding quality gear that can help you stay dry and warm. This gear may include Waterproof gloves, moisture-wicking headgear, insulated socks, Ski goggles with UV protection, Neck Gaiter, and extra layers for your hands and feet. Everything in that list is very beneficial for you being dry and warm on those cold days on the hills. The main item to have from that list is quality gloves. Investing in high-quality gloves will drastically improve protection towards the cold and moisture. Also, consider glove liners for that extra warmth in the extreme cold.

Remember that layering allows you to adjust your clothing to changing weather conditions throughout the day. You may want to consider using more breathable or fewer layers on a warm day. Different for cold and windy days as you would most likely want to add more layers. Always be on top of the weather and check the weather forecast before heading out to the slopes to ensure you adequately prepared for the conditions you will encounter.

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