Photo courtesy of Aether; design by Emily Blevins
Photos courtesy of Smith/Aether/Smartwool/Hanwag/Kent Goldman; design by Emily Blevins
Gearing up for winter never looked so good.
Fumbly fingers? Foggy goggles? Bulky jackets? Not with these gorgeous gear picks.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” It’s an oft-repeated phrase in Norway, where winters bring the kind of cold, wind, and snow that sends many of us fleeing to a cozy fireside armchair. But by following Norse wisdom and equipping yourself with winter-worthy gear, you can comfortably hike, glide, and play outside in the some of the year’s most stunning landscapes. Savor the snowy season with these cold-weather must-haves, which solve common winter problems from icy toes to foggy goggles.
Problem solved: Dorky styling for men
Most resort jackets look too clownlike for city sidewalks, but the men’s Nordic jacket ($650) from Aether successfully transitions from piste to Paris. Waterproof construction and 800-fill goose down insulation make it practical for skiing and snowboarding (there’s even a goggle pocket), while sleek colorblocking looks good for everything après. Available soon.
Problem solved: Frozen toes
Women’s extremities run colder than men’s, so Tecnica’s newest ladies’ ski boot ($700) features a built-in heater. Different settings let you choose between all-day heating or an emergency burst of warmth, and the rechargeable battery lasts up to 12 hours. Intermediate and advanced skiers will love the just-right support: not too stiff, not too squishy. Plus, they’re comfy right out of the box.
Problem solved: Bulky, clammy winter jackets
Filled with breathable Merino wool rather than the goose down or synthetic insulation that most puffies use, this slim hoodie (men’s $220, women’s $200) feels “just right” in a surprisingly wide range of temperatures. (This writer found it comfortable from 20 degree weather up to 50 degree weather.) Plus, it’s made from recycled materials: Smartwool turns the scraps it collects from the production of its Merino base layers into Smartloft wool batting.
Problem solved: Slips and falls
Walking in winter can be treacherous—but the men’s Anvik ($260) and women’s Aotea ($220) boots from Hanwag borrow rubber technology from Michelin’s best snow tires to create a sole with treads that grip icy trails and sidewalks. The Gore-Tex lining keeps feet dry, and a roomy toebox encourages blood circulation to your extremities.
Problem solved: Dorky styling for women
It may look like an urban parka, but the somber-hued women’s Corpus jacket ($650) actually has plenty of ski-hill cred. Three-layer Gore-Tex construction makes it tough enough for daily shredding, pit zips dump sweat during powder runs, and an adjustable hood fits with or without a helmet.
Problem solved: Numb, clumsy fingers
PrimaLoft invented its Aerogel insulation for NASA astronauts, who needed a thin and supple barrier against galactic cold. Now, Outdoor Research is using this innovative material in its BitterBlaze Gloves ($135), which are thin enough to allow your fingers excellent dexterity, yet warm enough for hours-long wear in cold, wet temperatures. A layer of Gore-Tex seals out snow.
Problem solved: Foggy goggles
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Smith’s newest interchangeable-lens goggles ($240) use 16 powerful, weatherproof magnets to make swapping lenses in different light conditions superfast—and the inside of each lens features advanced anti-fog technology that keeps moisture from condensing (and clouding your view). The three-layer face foam helps reduce fog-causing moisture by absorbing 50 percent more sweat than most. And because helmet ventilation plays a key role in battling moisture buildup, the I/O MAG was designed to integrate with the Quantum helmet ($300, pictured at top), which uses 22 vents to keep heads cool.
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