As snow begins to blanket the Alps it’s time to wrap yourself up in some seriously stylish snow-sports wear for the coming season. Here is the mega round-up of all the new gear.
Arcteryx Moray Jacket
Here’s the perfect combo – a fully waterproof breathable Goretex jacket insulated with Coreloft. Designed for cold winter temps the jacket features a snow skirt, helmet compatible hood, mesh-lined powder guard vents, and a hidden Recco avalanche reflector. The design of the Arcteryx Moray sacrifices neither form nor function. This jacket exudes quality, is fun and flexible to wear and is an excellent choice from the top-end ski jackets on offer.
Buy here at www.arcteryx.com
Odlo Primaloft Intense Jacket
Another high-quality jacket from innovative brand Odlo, this is one of the warmest yet lightest we’ve tried. Soft material provides a very comfortable fit and shoulders are reinforced to handle backpacks and sharp ski edges.
Practical details include a removable powder skirt, a removable adjustable hood, and plenty of functional and waterproof pockets. A seriously good-looking jacket that’s subtle yet sporty, this gets our definite thumbs-up.
Buy here at www.odlo.com
Eider Snowbird II Jacket
At a medium price point the Snowbird II Jacket is a very respectable option. Filled with 80% duck down rather than synthetic alternatives the jacket feels cosily warm in freezing snow. It has a decent waterproof factor, though like most ski/board jackets, it isn’t designed for torrential rain.
Features we love in the Snowbird include wrist gaiters linking the jacket to gloves, a detachable hood, and soft fabric which doesn’t rustle as you move – allowing you to enjoy the pristine quiet of the mountains.
Buy here at www.eider.com
Dare2B Amorous Jacket
A reliable entry-level brand which is improving year on year, Dare2B’s newest offerings include the Amorous Jacket.
A quilted belted jacket with a faux fur hood, this one is clearly aimed at the fashion-conscious female audience.
As well as looking stylish around town it proves its chops on the mountainside with a decent waterproof finish, snow skirt and inner stretch cuffs, and removable hood and fur trim.
Buy here at www.dare2b.com
Trangoworld TRX Trousers
Ski and board trousers tend to follow the same formula, with innovations extending to altering leg width or adding extra vents and pockets. Now a truly different snow sports trouser has been released by Spanish company Trangoworld. The TRX range is designed for outdoor athletes from skiers to mountaineers, climbers and alpinists. What’s important here is the construction and design shape – seams in non-critical places where wear and tear is lower, tough reinforced fabric in areas of higher tear, strategically placed pockets for harness or backpack wear, and an avalanche detection system. Schoeller windstopper materials make the trousers highly breathable, quick drying and completely windproof, and Bielastic fabrics allow for easy stretch and movement. Verdict: a good-looking technical trouser utilising great new innovations.
Buy here at www.trangoworld.com
Dare2B Impulsive Trouser
Fabric is of good quality, with reinforcements around the boot area, and flattering non-bulky insulation.
An adjustable waistband, snow gaiters and an articulated knee design make these trousers a contender for any recreational skier.
Available at www.dare2b.com
The base and mid-layer is where ski insulation really happens. Synthetic insulation means moisture wicks away quickly, whereas wool and especially merino wool fabrics are warmer and cleaner. If you haven’t worn merino wool before and have thoughts of scratchy wool against the skin, think again. Climbers on week-long hikes and Alpine climbs swear by merino wool as it can be worn for days and retain its no-smell factor. Icebreaker have long been known as purveyors of fine merino wool products. Layers like the Icebreaker Pace Zip and Cascade Full Zip with matching leggings are supremely soft and feel like silk on the skin. It’s hard to believe they’re made from the wool of hardy New Zealand sheep. But nature often works best, and these layers will keep you warm, dry and clean through ice, snow and sweat. Environmentally friendly, machine washable, long-lasting and durable, Icebreaker layers fully deserve their high reputation.
Buy here at www.icebreaker.com
Another company using merino wool by preference is Smartwool. You may know them for their colourful socks, and they do a wonderfully padded and insulated PHD Ski Sock, but the company also provides an excellently varied range of base and mid layers suitable for all snow sports. Their best-selling NTS Mid 250 Crew top and leggings now have an improved fit and chafe-free seams, are machine washable at 40 degrees, and available in a range of gorgeous colours. Smartwool espouse a system approach of using wool in the base and the mid layer, making for a less restrictive, less bulky combination which regulates temperature and controls odour. A new design approach with mid-layers can be found in the Smartwool PHD SmartLoft Divide Full Zip, a dual-fabric top which could incidentally be worn as an outer layer in warmer conditions. The SmartLoft insulation provides warmth through the core, while the MerinoMax arms and back offer more breathability and body temperature regulation. This top has the added advantage of a very cool look for après-ski.
Buy here at www.smartwool.com
Odlo Evolution Warm Pants and Crew Top
The Evolution range from Odlo comes in four different qualities (Cool, Light, Warm and X-Warm) to provide the right base and mid layers for all seasons. Evolution Warm is particularly suited for the coldest time of the year due to the Odlo zoning principle; it provides extra heat retention and body climate control where most needed. Features include a comfortable 3D knitted construction, and a zoned function where each zone has a different thickness to aid wicking and seamless construction. The most interesting feature is perhaps the ‘Effect’ fabric which contains real silver which neutralizes smells and body odour.
Odlo’s nifty looking Ninja Shirt also has silver ‘Effect’ fabric and provides excellent warmth insulation and quick moisture transportation to keep the wearer warm and dry. With a brushed inner and a relaxed fit, it is very soft and comfortable against the skin. Best of all the Ninja has an integrated hood and facemask which will keep you stream-lined and warm as you move stealthily around the slopes.
Buy here at www.odlo.com
Marmot Women’s Cirque 3-1 Glove
This glove has an insulated waterproof shell with a removable High Loft fleece liner giving you the option to wear either the liner glove or the shell by themselves, or on cold days both. Thermal R synthetic insulation ensures that the glove is low bulk and dexterous. As a perpetual sufferer from cold hands (even when the body is warm) we found this glove actually worked. The liner is much thicker than the average silk glove liner and did a much better job of keeping the digits warm. Thumbs up for the Cirque 3-1 glove.
Buy here at www.marmot.com