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Expensive thermals?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Determined not to lose piste time this year through being effing freezing so am in hot persuit of fantastic thermals - can anyone tell me which ones REALLY keep you warm? Also, any hints for warm jackets? Bought really expensive o'neill one last year but it's now not waterproof. I read on the North Face site about 'Waterproof Jackets' but then in the description, they're described as 'water resistant'. Any top tips please?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
lots of decent thermals, Helly Hansen lifa are good, as are the North Face ones I have. Icebreaker are rated, although I don't know anyone that has them and they are expensive.

As for warm jackets, your outer jacket doesn't need to be warm, just wind and waterproof. You should have a wicking, technical layer next to the skin to take away sweat, then a warm layer or layers over that i.e. fleece. If this can also be breathable then ideal. Then outermost layer is your water/wind proof layer that keeps you dry. North Face ski jackets will be as waterproof as you are likely to get. I use a Mountain Equipement Co-op and more recently an Arc'Teryx jacket. These are both 'mountain jackets' rather than ski specific, since the are designed for high mountain activites, including skiing. The Arc'teryx is superb, but very pricey. I would always plump for mountain brands rather than ski brands, not that ski brands are poor, but they aren't always technically great. They focus on some of the peripherals.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 17-10-05 11:01; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Better to add individual layers rather than just one thick jacket. If it's exceptionally cold I'll have up to four layers underneath my ski jacket (makes me look like the Michelin Man, but at least it keeps me on the hill). Base layer will have 'wicking' properties (helps draw sweat away from your body), then a rollneck insulation layer, then a vest/waistcoat to help keep your core body warm, then a thin fleece to help with overall insulation, then my ski jacket. If the weather isn't that cold I can omit some of these layers so I don't overheat - much more flexible than buying one jacket with loads of insulation.

Making sure that you have a decent hat and keeping the 'gaps' covered (ie, neck and wrists) will also make a big difference.

If you want specific recommendations I have some Spyder skiwear which has kept me very warm in very cold conditions, although it's not cheap.
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Family FTS all swear by a Turtle fur. If you get hot they can be removed, they are nice and soft around the sensative neck area, can be pulled up to the eyes on a lift, over the back of the head if you forget your hat. A great way to close the gap between layers and face.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Icebreaker merino wool thermals are the best I've ever had. Warm, lovely to wear, wash and dry overnight, and look good too. I'm going to buy some more this winter.
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Freestyle, For a (really) waterproof jacket - try Paramo. Ditto everyone on layering. M&S thermals work just as well as the others. Make sure you have a good hat...much more important than a good jacket
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Freestyle wrote:
Determined not to lose piste time this year through being effing freezing so am in hot persuit of fantastic thermals - can anyone tell me which ones REALLY keep you warm? Also, any hints for warm jackets? Bought really expensive o'neill one last year but it's now not waterproof. I read on the North Face site about 'Waterproof Jackets' but then in the description, they're described as 'water resistant'. Any top tips please?


Freestyle layer the clothing is the best option, we've found for walking or skiing.

Helly Hansen are good, we've normally got 2-4 layers depending on weather, but the top layer should be wind proof (we've got a couple couple of Mountain hardware coats / jackets that do the job really well.)

Without a windproof you'll freeze on the chair lifts or when standing arount.
then have a fleece underneath and a few layers under that.

I carry a small solumn hydration day pack / camel bag type thing where i keep spare clothes, googles and a neck scarf alonf with plenty of water, saves filling your pockets.
hope this helps
Rob
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks for all this advice - just so I understand the wicking thing:

Base layer = wicking thermals (those icebreaker wool ones sound great cos all my o'neill ones got smelly and stayed smelly no matter how much I washed em)

Next layer = long sleeve roll neck of some kind (does this need to be wicking too?) - mine currently isn't

Next layer = michelin man down giglet from GAP

Jacket = currenty been reproofed cos trying to save up to get married so can't afford new one.

Neck warmer and wool hat.

Does this sound right? Also, does not having breathable stuff explain why my stuff is staying smelly no mater how much it's washed?

Is it true that nothing should be cotton?

Thanks for your help - I see my Christmas wish list filling up rapidly!

Freestyle Little Angel
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where are you planning on going?

the other advantage of layers is you can add / remove them if needed.
breathable is as it sounds it allows your clothes to breath and it means you shouldn't end up soaked with perspiration
Made this mistake going up Ben Nevis once now own Gore-Tex coats
Rob

PS don't forget gloves and maybe inners to them too. snowHead
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Correct - say no to cotton. My usual kit is:

Wicking base layer
Two thin (I mean really thin) fleece "shirts"
Waterproof breathable shell jacket

When it is really really cold and I think I might be standing around a bit, I have a light down jacket which goes in the pack. I put that on over everything else.

Looking at what you wear, I'd query the roll neck - if that's cotton it'll get damp and sweaty. I'd replace that with a thin fleece. I'm also not sure how worthwhile the gilet is. I reckon Gap ones are likely to be bulkier and less warm than one made by a proper ski/mountain manufacturer. It'll probably also act as a block for the transfer of moisture out of the system
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Going to Samoens at New Year, Feb and then Easter. There are some 'death by wind chill chair lifts there' so gotta get good stuff.

Speaking of gloves, I have long dreamed of the perfect pair of mitts that have mitt liners (most are finger glove liners) and I cannot find a pair of 100% waterproof mitts. Last pair were £90 and were drenched.

Has anyone tried boarding a a steamer wetsuit???? Laughing


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 17-10-05 12:31; edited 1 time in total
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Freestyle, I usually keep pretty warm anyway, but the layering system is the way to go. All layers have to be whicking with a breathable shell layer at the end. If you don't do that, then you're wasting your time as one layer will get wet and then you get cold.

For me, on a cold day, I'd start out,

1. Base layer; sports boxers and long sleeved vest.

2. Mid layer, thin fleece.

3.Top layer, thicker fleece. Probably the one that zips into the shell.

4. Shell, decent waterproof/breathable jacket.

5. One pair socks, glove inners, gloves, balaclava, hat and probably a spare base layer and thermal leggings in my daysack.

All the above would be man made fibres (no cotton or wool).

Toasty snowHead
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Freestyle, Are you sure you aren't getting TOO hot ? 'Wet and smelly' ? You may need to wear more going up the hill than coming down ? IMHO (and I ride a motorbike through the UK winter so I know), you cannot get 100% waterproof gloves - but why are they getting so wet - snow contact, or sweat ? Puzzled
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Freestyle, Icebreaker thermals are the best I've come across. They are made of merino wool and are good at wicking moisture away from the body and regulating your temperature. They are however expensive, being about £50 each for a long sleeve top or leggings, so not cheap, but are also supposed to be particularly good at resisting odour - apparently they put Stig of the Dump in the same pair for a month and at the end of the test he came out smelling like a floral bouquet (something along those lines anyway) Razz .

An alternative and much cheaper option already mentioned by Ski are M&S thermals. Last season they did a range for extreme cold that were a mixture of merino wool (around 30% I think) and man made fibre. These were only about £17 a pair as I remember, seemed pretty toasty and wicked moisture ok.
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ski wrote:
Freestyle, Are you sure you aren't getting TOO hot ? 'Wet and smelly' ? You may need to wear more going up the hill than coming down ? IMHO (and I ride a motorbike through the UK winter so I know), you cannot get 100% waterproof gloves - but why are they getting so wet - snow contact, or sweat ? Puzzled


Ok - I'm getting it now. Everything needs to be 'wicking'. Am on a shoppng mission now.

Ski - the thermals are the smelling bit but weirdly they are not wet. The gloves are the wet bit due to snow contact. What are the best gloves in your opinion?

I got low BP so am prone to falling body temperature so I gotta get this right otherwise my time on the hill is really curtailed.

Freestyle
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Freestyle, I think you need a solution allowing you to keep warm on the lift, but not get too hot whilst skiing ? E.g a hat that stays in your pocket whilst skiing, but then goes on when going up the hill ? Remember to take off before you ski .

Mrs Ski uses Hestra mits and loves them. They're warm, and (quite) durable. I have Black Diamond gloves which have lasted 12 weeks (a record for me). No gloves (especially leather ones) will last forever if they get put in the snow a lot - they will need to be dried SLOWLY each night, and then re-waxed or oiled frequently.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ski - what product do you use to rewax/oil? I've got patagonia ones at the mo.
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Freestyle, "Jacket = currenty been reproofed cos trying to save up to get married so can't afford new one".

You need to get your priorities right!! Toofy Grin
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I know what everone says about layering up ( its what i do) but last year my brother did a season and most days he used a helly type base layer with his spyder jacket over the top . he said he was never to cold or to hot, and if it was very cold would add a micro fleece. I'm looking for a new jacket myself this ear and cant decide between a lined one or a shell??

Freestyle, for gloves Nixwax do some good products and try to keep your hands out of the snow,put them in your pockets - ski casual Little Angel
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mistermouse wrote:
I know what everone says about layering up ( its what i do) but last year my brother did a season and most days he used a helly type base layer with his spyder jacket over the top . he said he was never to cold or to hot, and if it was very cold would add a micro fleece.


surely this is layering up? You only have the middle layer if it's cold enough? I rarely use a middle layer, but I don't 'feel the cold' that much
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Freestyle, Nikwax products, but I'm not sure there's much difference between them and any of the others - how often do you fall ?
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even if you fall a lot, your gloves shouldn't really be getting wet, unless you are in particularly wet conditions. The snow is frozen after all and shouldn't wet your gloves unless it is sticking to them and melting.
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flicksta, i used to have a mate who would ride his motorbike all winter in only his T shirt and leather, whereas i would have thermals the lot. what i meant was that with a shell jacket you would still need a couple of layers underneath but with a lined jacket maybe only a base layer
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I don't agree. It's the layers that keep you warm, not the material. Some materials are better than others but I wear a shell jacket and a base layer and that's fine. A lined jacket isn't much warmer, and won't be breathable, which makes you sweat inside, which makes you cold.
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flicksta wrote:
A lined jacket isn't much warmer, and won't be breathable,


Why not?
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Alot of lined jacket manufacturers (like killy or spyder) quote quite good level of breathability and waterproofness.
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I use a microfleece as a base, polartec200 mid layer and a XCR shell and I'm toast. If I think it will be very cold I will take another layer, probably a very light merino wool base.
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ooops


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Mon 17-10-05 20:29; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
For a different variation Wink ...I use a Polartec100 base layer and a windproof fleece. In January that's normally a fairly thick Wynnster (cheap - ~£40) windproof fleece, but Feb/March I just use the mid-thin Mountain Equipment Guide Jacket. This is all I need unless it's blizzarding, or I stop for lunch etc, when I add the Goretex outer (ME Karakoram 2). If you have poor circulation you may need another thin layer though, as Arno recommends. The really important thing though is for at least one of the fleeces to be windproof. I'm considering next time getting another thin fleece (as even the Guide Jacket is too hot when the sun's really bright) and a very thin shell, which should give me more flexibility with the extra layer. As I've got a tour coming up in April, I'll certainly be in the thinner fleece+base only by then.

I thoroughly recommend the base-layer I have - long-sleeved Polartec100 with zip-up neck by LG (I got it from Field and Trek). It's snug but not tight, really thin, wicks superbly, but is amazingly warm when needed. And the best thing is that it's anti-bacterial (silver threads woven in) so doesn't get smelly. Best £34 I ever spent. I wore it for 4 full days on a tour last year and it was still fresh as a daisy. I only changed to my merino one then for form's sake, but that wasn't nearly as good. (Caveat: there were no independent smell-testers involved in this experiment Wink )
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SMALLZOOKEEPER wrote:
You guys follow my waffle? Twisted Evil



Yes, embarassingly enough.

In regards to your points on sizing, do you or not believe in vapour channel base and midlayer designs that would distribute gas over a larger area of the outer garment and thereby alleviate spot-saturation?

Your (B) is a little misleading as vapour pressure differential is the critical measurement. That same garment might do quite well at 0 in a refrigerator in Egypt. But, why bother concocting non-ski scenarios?


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Mon 17-10-05 20:13; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
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ooops


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 17-10-05 20:31; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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SMALLZOOKEEPER wrote:
Vapour pressure? can't remember seeing anyone, skiing hard with their jacket looking like an inflated balloon. If so why are there vents on modern jackets, balloon with a hole in no?



Because the saturated vapour pressure of water at 37C (47.07 mmHg) is quite considerably less than atmospheric pressure at 0C and you'd need to boil the perspiration before it would inflate the jacket balloon.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
ooops


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Mon 17-10-05 20:32; edited 1 time in total
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SMALLZOOKEEPER wrote:


B, Require a huge difference in temperature between the interior of the jacket(body heat) and the exterior of the jacket(Outside temperature).
This, then, encourages the instable sweat molecule(gas) inside the jacket to find a more stable environment, outside the jacket.
Why, well this is simple triple point theory which states: A Gas is the least stable of molecullar states, after that liquid and then solid.
So, we sweat(gas), the gas would like to be ice, as it's stable. So when we ski it's most often cold outside, so the breathability of gore-tex is excellent in the snow. However ideally for maximum breathability gore- tex is tested at -8 degrees, so they can quote excellent breathability figures, but and i querey, why create a jacket that is so waterproof that if we glue shut all the hand, head and waist holes we could dive in it, that in order for it to be comfortably breathable it needs to be -8 and therefore, there isn't a great deal of moisture around, ie its all frozen.


Pwewww. thats made my head ache. You guys follow my waffle? Twisted Evil


Congratulations, thats the oddest thermodynamic description I've ever heard, jolly well done Smile

How does sublimation fit in then?
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SMALLZOOKEEPER, ask yourself, how dry is it up there in the valley as opposed to where the tests are done? That same garment might wick pretty well at 5 or 10 or 15C for a fast hiker at 4000m.
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GrahamN,

I've just brought a Synchro softshell which I was going to wear under my hard shell with a merino base layer...or ...??

I don't wear windstopper fleece there anymore, too warm

Actually I'm not sure how I will wear it, is it an inner or an outer..? Hopefully both... Probably be great for golf..!!
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Freestyle, in Jan last year it went from being -20oC one week to torrential rain the following week while I was in Whistler.

I was warm enough wearing 2 t-shirts, a microfleece, a windproof jacket and gore-tex xcr shell coat in the cold and
I was dry enough in the wet with the same jacket (North Face) and trousers. Cool snowHead

I admit the jacket was a bit pricey but no amount of waterproofing my old, previously waterproof non-gore tex jacket was going to stop it acting like a sponge in the rain, hence getting heavier and heavier by the minute. Shocked
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Snowy, are your t-shorts cotton? Cos that would significantly reduce the utility of everything else.

You know what they say in that neck of the woods, "Cotton'll kill ya!". Little Angel
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One contributor to gloves getting wet is holding and carrying skis in and out of lifts. Even if the snow starts out solid, 5 minutes in a lift queue or longer in a cable car means melting will have started.
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I along with my son and brother-in-law I've skied in the Banff area over the last few seasons. Temperature are usually -15 C. Last couple of trips we were unlucky to be there when temps dropped to -40 C!

Of course ski lifts were closed for these very low temperatures but opened again when temp was -25/30 C.

During all this time we only even wore roll neck base layer and ski suit. The only bits of us that felt the cold were hands and feet and this wasn't drastic.

I'm very surprised that people need several layers to keep warm just shows that not everyone is the same I suppose.
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