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5 Tips For Dressing To Stay Warm And Dry in The Snow

Sep 2, 2008
You're heading for the slopes this season. Maybe it's your first time skiing, or snowboarding, and you've decided to find out what everyone sees in skiing. But you know it's going to be cold, and maybe wet as well, and you need to dress so that you will stay dry and warm and enjoy your trip to the slopes.

Here's 5 tips for dressing for skiing or snowboarding to maximise the chances of staying dry and warm on the snow. Follow each tip and you should stay comfy and toasty, and you'll find yourself back on the snow next year for some more skiing.

1. Dress in layers. It's important to understand that dressing for the snow is a process. It's not just a matter of buying a pair of ski pants and a ski jacket, and you're good to go. You need to consider the under layers that you use as much as the outer layers. Get good quality thermal underlayers and a great synthetic fleece to go under that ski jacket and pants, and you'll be set to be out on the snow on the coldest of days. Ignore the underlayers and you may not.

2. Avoid natural fibers, especially next to your skin. There are some wonderful fibers like cotton and wool, and they have been in use in cold and wet climates for many years. This is because they were the best available years ago. But now there are much better synthetic fabrics available, which do a better job of keeping you both warm and dry.

Cotton and wool attract damp. Cotton next to your skin will absorb your sweat and so leave you feeling chilled and damp. A high quality synthetic fabric is designed to wick moisture away from your skin and encourage the moisture to travel to the next layer. This is what is known as "breathing". The fabric allows the moisture generated by sweat and exercise to pass through the fabric, and the fabric doesn't trap the moisture and become damp. A natural fabric such as cotton doesn't do this satisfactorily, and will get damp over time. Whilst cotton and wool will retain heat well in some circumstances, such as when you are continuing moving, they make you cold and damp very quickly when you stop and your body cools, and so should be avoided.

3. Use high quality synthetic fabrics. There are some excellent high quality synthetic fabrics available, Polarfleece and Gore Tex are 2 that you have probably heard about already, primarily because they are very good. High quality fabrics are of course more expensive. However if you factor in the cost of the higher quality ski wear over the life of the ski clothing you'll find that the extra cost is not so much.

That's because the high quality fabrics will usually last much longer than lower quality copies, so although you are paying more initially you are buying skiwear that will outlive the cheaper ski clothing, and will pay for itself in the long run. There are many fabrics that are copies of the high quality fabrics, but don't perform as well or last as long. A good quality ski jacket, for example, should have you skiing and comfortable when you may well be back in the apartment if you were wearing a poor quality jacket.

4. Buy a known brand name. There are some very well known brand names in the ski clothing industry. Names that are well known amongst skiers for the quality of their ski gear, and with a solid reputation to protect. Names such as North Face and Patagonia. And there is a stack of ski clothing with brand names that you would never have heard of, usually cheaper. It can be a false economy to buy a cheap unknown brand. Stick to those that are known to produce high quality long lasting ski clothing.

5. Don't forget the accessories. It wouldn't be the first time that someone had all the best ski clothing, but cheap gloves, and ended up back in the apartment because their hands were frozen. Or bought poor goggles, and couldn't ski because they fogged up all the time. Don't spend all your money on your ski clothing and skimp on the accessories. Good quality gloves and goggles are important.

Stick to those 5 tips and you'll be learning to ski like the best of them when others are back inside cold and damp. It may be a little more expensive following some of those tips, but over time the expense will pay for itself, and of course there are always places online where you can buy high quality ski clothing at a discount. But if you go cheap and poor quality you will regret it one day. I promise.
About the Author
Peter runs a website where you can buy discount North Face jackets called, appropriately, Discount North Face Jackets where you can find out about womens North Face jackets and more, including womens jackets discounted
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