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Jackets & layering: choked by fabric and zips building up around neck?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just wondering - is it just me?
I'm almost choked by the build up of layers of fabric and zips around the neck whenever I start "layering up" outdoor/ski jackets and tops.

Even a thin buff around then neck can make zipping up a ski jacket a wee bit uncomfortable.

And I feel like I am being strangled if I add a jumper or midlayer with a polo neck (say, a Mountain Hardware fleece, or an Icebreaker Jumper ) under the ski jacket.

Anyone got a similar experience, and found any solutions?
All I can do for now is leave the upper quarter of the jacket unzipped... ..which is not ideal when its blowing a hooley!

I can't believe its just me that suffers from this. My neck is a bit chunky, but not massive ( e.g. 17" instead of 16" compared to the "standard" neck size on a shirt for my chest size ).

Or do outdoor gear manufacturers only design for whippets?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I avoid high neck layers or just have one that must be zipped and use a thin snowheads buff to keep my neck warm. like you, I have a 17" neck which is a pain when buying shirts as shirt manufacturers think that if you have a 17" neck, you must be a fat Jabba, trousers are the same problem, they think someone with a 34" waist should have matchsticks for legs.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I don't like wearing loads of layers either. I'd rather just have a warm base layer and a warm jacket on cold days and a thin base layer and vented jacket on warmer days. There's no way I'd carry around extra clothes, I just want to wear what's right for the day without being uncomfortable and bulky. It all seems like unnecessary faff to me.
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This is a dirty secret that unpicks the layering authodoxy! Very Happy

I used to wear lots of layers for piste skiing but I've now gone back to a base layer and an insulated shell 90% of the time. The main reason for me is the ability to dump heat when I want to. When skiing you spend a lot of time inactive (lifts and cruising) with bursts of high energy (moguls, short turns in steeps, really fast carving). It is really helpful to be able to pull your zip down and easily dump the hot humid air that your burst of energy created (at least if you run hot like I do). If you have many layers then the damp air - even with breathable layers - stays trapped longer.

Where layers come into their own is when you need to adjust to lengthy periods of high output and low output or huge swings in temperature/sun exposure. Classic example is skinning up/walking in then sitting on a belay for an hour in the shade. Not so relevant for piste skiiing where your exercise is only very brief.

Of course if you don't want to spend the money on dedicated kit, a layering system is more flexible for a wide range of activities.
But if you have a dedicated piste skiing jacket then an insulated shell makes a lot of sense IMO.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
i'm similar, in that I have a 17.5 inch neck and it can be a pain getting a jacket with enough room for it. I've found Patagonia and Marmot work well for me (at least in the jackets I have) and they have a nice roomy neck and I can zip them up if necessary (although a bit tight). If its cold I wear a mid layer and the jacket, so nothing to get in the way of the neck really. Buffs are good as are a few other windproof neck covers I have.
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I have a 17.5 inch neck and my kit (Norrona Lofoten jacket, merino thermals and heavy fleece mid-layer) works for me. Avoid mid layers with hoods as they add more material around your neck. My heavy fleece mid-layer has quite a high collar which can be a little uncomfortable on its own so I never zip it all the way up. I often zip my jacket all the way up and have enough room to dip my chin and mouth under the jacket collar to avoid the wind (if I'm not wearing a buff). If I wear the hood over my helmet I can use the shock cords to tighten everything down so all that is showing are my goggles and nose. I used to ride with an insulated jacket and I found it was too bulky and uncomfortable if the temperature ventured above 1 or 2 degrees.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I have nowhere near a 17" neck but I do like wearing a lot of layers and the collars of base layers and fleeces do indeed cause jacket neck closure problems. But I get cold at the neck so like to have a lot around it.

Solution 1 - get a jacket with adjustable neck drawstring things (though not always big enough still);
Solution 2 (I will duck and run at this point, obviously) - wear a wooly scarf or shemagh-type square thing around your neck, tucked in or out as appropriate, with a buff and face/chin covering thing underneath as you like. It might get snowed on and wet, but the right one will not let cold or wet through to underneath and it stuffs up the jacket top/chest area and keeps the neck warm and can be loosened or tightened to vent or not. Old-fashioned solution, doubtless deeply frowned upon these days. Still works in Scottish hoolies Smile
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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!
@Tomahawk Tone, Like you I hate feeling choked. I cannot even stand wearing a tie. I simply wear a base layer, either a jumper without a collar or a thin fleece with a long throat zip and a jacket. I would never wear a mid layer with a hood and even have the hood from my coat stuffed in a pocket.

Like @jedster, I ajust the heat by zipping the fleece and jacket upto the neck on lifts and very high altitude and open them various degrees when skiing. I find taking off my hat is another way to prevent overheating. Once again it goes into the pocket.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@johnE,
I do like a good hood as it happens. My insulated shell has a big hood which will go over my helmet and zips up right under my nose at the front (with the hood up or down). It basically means I can go from fully venting the base layer to zipped up to a hole around my goggles with the flick of the hood and a tug on one zip pull.
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