Guides, Top Of Blog, Venture Out, Winter

What to Wear in the Mountains During the Winter

Looking for a summer packing checklist? Check it out here!

If you’re new to the mountains, or cold weather in general, there’s one thing you should know, it’s all about the layers. Below is a guide to help you plan and decide what to wear on your mountain getaway.

The layers necessary for a comfortable day skiing or snowboarding.
Base Layer

The base layer is an important part to a warm outfit. Base layers wick away moisture, meaning they move moisture away from your skin to the top layer of the fabric, keeping your warmer for those chair lift rides! Base layers come in a variety of materials including:

  • Synthetics: Can include polyester, nylon or polypropylene, synthetics are exceptionally dry and durable.
    • Pros: Wick sweat more efficiently than wool
    • Cons: Can become smelly quickly
  • Merino Wool: This ultra-soft natural material has excellent wicking properties and is moderately durable. Check out Smartwool for great merino base layer options.
    • Pros: softer, odor-fighting, high warmth-to-weight ration
    • Cons: harder to clean, degrades faster, more expensive

Pro tip: avoid cotton garments as the material has minimal insulation and doesn’t dry easily! The North Face Poly Crew is at the top for base layers in the industry.

Mid Layer

This layer gives you that extra bit of warmth on those chilly days to keep you going. It’s the cozy layer that retains body heat. Stop by the Burton store or West Portal Outfitters for a variety of apparel options and get the best gear to venture out!

Pro tip: When choosing a mid-layer, select an option that you can remove if you get too warm.

Outer Shell

Your outer layer is your defense against the elements. This layer should be a water and/or windproof shell jacket. Outerwear waterproofing is rated on a scale of 0-20,000. If you want to stay dry in wet conditions, aim to wear a shell rated 10,000 and higher.

Pro Tip: Check out The North Face FUTURELIGHT if you’re looking for a high-performance shell!

Hands, Feet, and Head

Your hands, feet, and head are typically the first things to get cold while experiencing the harsh environment.

For your hands, the best practice is to wear glove liners, with a pair of waterproof gloves or mittens over them. Glove liners provide insulations just like the base layer on your body.

Warm socks made from wool or an insulated synthetic will protect your piggy’s. Make sure the socks you choose are thin enough to comfortably fit inside your ski or snowboard boots if you plan on shredding! Smartwool makes excellent socks for winter weather so stop by West Portal Outfitters and pick up a pair or two to keep those toes toasty.

For your face, Phunkshun Wear makes incredible and sustainable face masks with anti-phreeze technology, making the mask less likely to freeze due to water saturation, keeping your cheeks warm all day long.

Finally, for the top of the noggin, wear a beanie or other warm hat for additional insulation. If skiing or snowboarding, it’s always smart to wear a helmet for extra protection and additional warmth. Helmets are provided with all rentals. If you want to buy your own, we recommend the Maze or Liberty from Smith.

Pro tip: Keep an extra pair of gloves and an extra beanie or face cover handy on snowy days. You’ll be happy to change into warm, dry gear.

Staying warm, dry, and comfortable are essential to making your mountain trip a success. Whatever activity you choose to do, make sure to use the above guide to properly layer up. Winter Park base is your hub for all the gear you’ll need to dress for the mountains and have a memorable stay in the Rockies.

If you decide to grab all your gear before your trip, there’s no need to worry about transporting it! Use TripHero for your convenient shipping for all your winter luggage!  They’ll pick it up from your doorstep and have it waiting at your slopeside rental when you arrive.

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