“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
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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