Toasty Warm and Cool as a Cucumber...
Looking good and being protected from the elements aren't always two things that go together. Especially when it comes to winter sports. All too often the clothes that we want to be wearing will be impractical to the point of having to wring them out by lunchtime, and the stuff that really keeps you warm is made in black, or colours that only clowns can pull off.
Thankfully, there is a happy medium, with many of our favourite brands, such as Burton and Airblaster, introducing performance clothing lines for women who like to shred just as hard as their male counterparts. And thanks to the popularity of brands such as Mons Royale, the technical mid-layer is back in style, keeping us warm and dry from first lifts ‘till last orders.
Technical fabrics such as Gore-Tex and merino wool can be a bit more expensive to start off with, but your fingers and toes will be thanking you at the end of the day, especially if you buy something you like that you’ll wear again and again.
So here’s our pick of the best outerwear, base layers and accessories to keep you warm, dry and looking sweet this winter.
1. Zimtstern Freida Jacket
Despite having the highest levels of waterproofing and breathability, this jacket doesn’t break the bank compared to its technical counterparts, and it looks so good you can take it straight from the hill to the bar. Most Gore-Tex and other tech jackets are soft shells but this comes with lightweight Thermore insulation to keep you extra warm, and it’s got a jacket to pants connection system to keep the snow away from your skin. It’s also made with Bluesign approved materials, which means no harmful chemicals have been used to make it and that the textiles are of the best quality and durability. Check out the rest of their stuff at www.zimtstern.com
2. Ride Fairmount Pants
These slim-fit pants are super cool and super tech, especially if you’re a snowboarder because they’ve got a Boa cut-out in the boot gaiters so you can tighten your Boa boots without having to mess around too much. They’re also rated 20k/20k for waterproofing and breathability so you won’t be getting a wet bum if you sit down. Like most brands nowadays, they’ve got a jacket to pants attachment system and they also come with an Active Core Temperature System to balance out your body temperature. We often tend to underestimate the importance of a good pair of pants because we mainly focus on keeping our cores warm, but your legs spend the most time in contact with the snow, so it’s best to go for a highly waterproofed pair like these. For more colours and designs, visit www.ridesnowboards.com
3. Burton Lightweight Tech Tank Top
Layering up correctly is really important, so for those who are guilty of wearing cotton vests under thermals, this is the base layer for you. Cotton is one of the worst things you can wear for a cold day on the mountain because it can’t ‘wick’ sweat or water away from your skin like other thermal materials do. This means you get colder quicker and will struggle to get warm again. This vest is made from DRYRIDE Ultrawick fabric so it dries really fast and gets that moisture away from your skin. This also makes it great for pretty much any other sport or outdoor activity - complete value for money! To make it doubly effective try a thermal sports bra, too. To view the other designs, go to www.burton.com
4. Airblaster Ninja Suit
Not only the perfect option for freezing cold weather, the Airblaster Ninja Suit also doubles as a great movie day item. The waist zips make toilet stops super easy while on the mountain, and it provides you with even more protection from snow getting in your pants on a powder day. So Whether you go for the Poly Lycra or slightly more expensive merino version, you can be sure this baby will keep you warm and dry all day. Find other fun-themed products at www.myairblaster.com
5. Mons Royale Boyfriend LS
Kiwi thermal company, Mons Royale, catapulted merino thermals to popularity in 2009 following a super sexy ad campaign and haven’t looked back since. They took thermals from being a boring necessity that spent most of the year shoved at the back of a drawer to something that keeps you really warm and looks great. Now they have a huge range of merino products, from socks to sweat pants, that look awesome on and off the mountain. This boyfriend long sleeve thermal is our favourite, though! Pick your favourite Mons outfit at www.monsroyale.com
Armada Parker Hood
Every girl needs a good hoodie in her riding collection and while this one is a blend of the dreaded cotton it’s perfect for spring park days. It’s made from aquaphobic fleece which means that the top layer is water repellent, stopping it from absorbing moisture and making you cold. It’s also nice and long to keep the snow out of your pants and is super cool to boot. Check out the other designs at www.armadaskis.com
7. Celtek Hello Operator Mittens
If you’re prone to getting cold hands (which us ladies frequently are) then mittens are the perfect choice as they allow your fingers to be closer together to retain their collective heat. However, they can be a bit of a pain when it comes to performing simple, everyday actions like answering your phone, or unzipping your jacket. These trigger mitts from Celtek are the best of both worlds leaving you with a free finger and thumb for a bit of extra dexterity. They have a Celtek warmth rating of 9/10 and are 15k/15k so they are guaranteed to keep your digits warm and toasty. Check out more awesome gloves at www.celtek.com
8. Pow Poly Pro TT Glove Liners
Glove liners are a really great piece of kit; they’re relatively cheap and will make your expensive outer gloves last even longer by absorbing sweat and smells, nice. They’re great for wearing under gloves for a bit of extra warmth or can be worn on their own as a park glove when your hands get too hot, although be careful because they don’t have the same reinforcements for handling your gear as pipe gloves do! These Pow ones are great because they are touch screen compatible for using your phone in cold weather, and they have rubber grips on the palms and fingers. We all know there’s nothing more embarrassing than having your skis or snowboard slide out of your hands because your gloves are too slippery! To see more, go to www.powgloves.com
9. SmartWool PHD Merino Socks and Scene Socks
Merino socks are a necessity for any girl who likes to ride hard and stay warm. These SmartWool socks are a merino blend which is great for keeping your toes toasty, and it’s also super durable so you won't need to replace them any time soon. Merino also has antibacterial and anti-odour properties, so it will stop your feet from stinking out your boots and means you won’t need to wash them as often, so you won’t need to buy as many pairs. Perfect! For a slightly cheaper alternative, Scene Socks are made from a blend of thermal fabrics and are cushioned in the sole and shin for extra comfort after those big landings. They’ll make your feet feel super special, too. To find more awesome socks, visit www.smartwool.com or www.scenesocks.com
10. Buff Wool Buff and Airblaster Terryclava
No one wants to be that old lady with the leathery face, and wearing a face mask is the best way to protect your skin from the heat of the sun, the wind, and the freezing cold. This merino neck tube from Buff is fast drying, stretchy, and super long for full on coverage. It will keep the wind out of your neck and keep you smiling all day, even if it is covered up! To go that one step further try the Airblaster Terryclava, which has no chance of slipping down your face. It’s super soft and woolly and can also be rolled up into a sweet hat so you won’t have to get your helmet hair out in the apres bar. Check out your other facewear options at www.buffwear.com and www.myairblaster.com