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Latest Gear
Cold Weather Gear

Come prepared for your winter holiday!

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Andy Malton | Latest Gear Reviewer | Published: 7 Mar 2018


Latest Gear: Cold Weather Gear

At this time of year I usually start to think about gear for spring. However, with the whole of Europe gripped by a spell of unusually cold weather it just doesn’t seem right.

So, with this month’s gear article I’ll embrace deep winter and take a look at some cold weather gear. Here’s a collection of lifestyle and technical kit that is aimed squarely at fending off the cold, whether on the mountain or in the city.

Sorel Men’s & Women’s Caribou Boots

Val d'Isere

The definitive winter footwear, Sorel Caribou Boots are perfect for keeping feet warm and dry in frigid temperatures. The Caribous have a waterproof full grain leather and suede upper with a fully seam sealed construction, along with a removable 9mm ThermoPlus inner boot. The midsole is insulated with felt and the rubber outsole is waterproof. It also has a snow specific grip. Rated all the way down to -40ºC, the Sorel Caribou Boots are the real deal when it comes to winter footwear. They look good enough for everyday wear and are a great choice for anyone who works outside in winter. The Caribou is available in both men’s and women’s specific fit.

RRP - £130

Smartwool Mountaineering Socks

Val d'Isere

It’s no use having warm footwear if your socks aren’t up to the job. In my experience, it’s difficult to beat merino wool if the main aim is to stay warm. Smartwool have been making socks for years and their Mountaineering Socks are the warmest I’ve ever worn. Made with a blend of 74% merino, 25% nylon and 1% elastane, these socks feature extra heavy cushioning for warmth and comfort. They also resist odours so can be worn several days in a row without becoming too smelly.

RRP - £20

Mountain Equipment Expedition Jacket

Val d'Isere

Probably one of the warmest commercially available jackets in the world, the Expedition Jacket fuses all of Mountain Equipment’s down expertise into one garment. ME have been making down jackets longer than anyone and their choice of fabrics and the construction methods they use are second to none. The Expedition Jacket is filled with a whopping 440g of 800+ fill power down. The down is placed in carefully designed baffles to maximise warmth where it’s needed most. The Drilite Loft shell is very water resistant yet light and flexible which allows the down to loft to its maximum potential. This is a jacket for the very coldest temperatures.

RRP - £450

Black Diamond Super Light Mitts

Val d'Isere

Black Diamond are well known for their gloves and mitts and for good reason. They have a huge range of technical handwear from lightweight liner gloves all the way expedition mitts. The Super Light Mitts are designed to be both extremely warm but also light and packable too. They achieve this by combining 280g Primaloft insulation with a Gore-Tex insert and very light Pertex Quantum shell. This makes them warm enough for very cold conditions but also packable enough to carry unnoticed in a pocket or rucksack when not needed.

RRP - £160.00 

Outdoor Research Yukon Cap

Val d'Isere

A super warm pile fleece lining and wool blend outer make the Yukon Cap a toasty option for the mountain or everyday wear in winter. Fold down flaps keep the ears warm and the brim has an easy fold feature which allows is to be stored neatly in a pocket. The Yukon Cap comes in many colours and styles, from vintage herringbone to backwoods plaid.

RRP - £30

Jargon Buster

Primaloft is a soft and compressible synthetic fibre commonly used to insulate clothing and accessories. Although not quite as warm for its weight as down insulation, Primaloft maintains its loft when wet so is often more suitable for use in damp or wet conditions.

Fill Power
Down fill power is not used to indicate how warm a product is, but as a measure of how warm a certain weight of actual down is. Basically, the higher the fill power the better quality and more efficient the down. 500 - 600 fill power is pretty good, 600 - 700 is excellent, 700 - 800 is better still and anything above 850 fill power would indicate exceptional quality down.

Pile Fleece 
Pile is a very warm and durable version of synthetic fleece. It’s often one-sided and therefore used as a liner in jacket, hats and gloves. The fibres are long and stand on-end to trap a lot of heat. Pile fleece also tends to wick moisture very well and maintain its warmth when wet.

Read more of Andy's reviews on his website.