Gear Up and Stay in the Game During Winter
As the age-old Scandanavian saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. More and more outdoor enthusiasts are realizing that it’s not necessary to seek refuge inside the local gym to stay fit until the mercury scales upward. A frigid forecast can be overcome with the proper equipment to push your season longer or keep the fun rolling year-round.
As the sun begins to sweep lower across the sky, layers of fabric technology are waiting to be adorned or stashed into packs to protect your core temp from anything old man winter can brew up. There is a wonderful world of innovation to be found. Whether clicking across sites online or getting the low-down from a knowledgeable shop, the perfect under and outer armor is available to blow up any fair-weather excuse you can stick to.
Aerobic Sport Layering For Winter
Layers are the name of the game for cardio activities outdoors in winter. Managing body heat and moisture are key once the engine is running but those first few minutes can be a cold start. A synthetic, moisture-wicking base layer works to transport perspiration away from your skin. Worn under a stretchy fleece or a waterproof, wind-blocking shell, the varying thickness of base layers can be utilized to perfect your inner climate control.
Consider outer shells that have a front-zip or ventilation in the underarm. Blowing off some of that heat will keep you comfortable for the long haul. For the legs, it’s a bit simpler. Depending on just how cold it is, leggings and tights worn under shorts or fleece pants are usually sufficient.
Base Layer Top Picks
Check out the REI Co-op Lightweight for early winter running, biking, rowing, skiing and snowshoe outings. The polyester blend dries fast and with a sun-protecting 50+ UPF, you can rock it in the summer too. When looking for max warmth, the Helly Hansen Pro Lifa Seamless Half Zip features thermal mapping technology with a Merino wool exterior. A perfect mid-weight base layer or worn by itself in chilly conditions. 2XU Heat Compression Tights deliver leg warmth with brushed bamboo charcoal fabric and increase blood flow for better recovery.
Wind-Blocking Shell Top Picks
The Brooks Canopy Jacket is an inexpensive, breathable shell that blocks wind and rain. The packable Canopy Jacket is designed to stuff into its own chest zip pocket with a wearable elastic band. GORE-TEX technology will keep you protected from the rain and snow in the ARC’TERYX Women’s Norvan SL. The super-light, insulated Norvan is a great choice for the most challenging conditions.
Winter Protection for Sports in Extreme Elements
For surfers in northern latitudes, most of the best waves of the year arrive during winter. So, with ocean temps hovering in the 30’s and air temps often much colder, it takes serious gear to last in the lineup. Getting barrelled in a blizzard requires hardcore technology like Patagonia's R2 Hooded Full Suit. Featuring recycled materials and Yulex® natural rubber that is tapped from hevea trees, the R2 mirrors the brand's sustainability mission and is considered the warmest and most durable wetsuit available.
The dangerous conditions that mushers face in Alaska’s Iditarod race can be a matter of life or death. With temperatures -40f or below, these guys are not pulling jackets off the rack of a clearance outlet. Apocalypse Design in Fairbanks has been outfitting Alaskans since 1983 with gear that is made to be used in the planet’s toughest conditions. Their Alpine Parka was developed for a group of scientists doing work in Greenland and dog mushing the Iditarod. So safe to say, it has you covered on your next windy trip up the ski lift.
Outdoor sports are heating up the winter season. And now more than ever, the innovative gear to keep you out there is easily found. So zip-up, suit-up and hit the hills, trails, water, and frozen tundra. Because winter doesn’t last forever you know!