Every winter I see random posts asking what to wear in cold weather. I’m a skinny (ish) guy, don’t like the cold much, wife won’t let me move to FL I guess cuz there’s too many fish there…. Dang, got off track hahaha!
So here’s what I wear to keep warm — arrived at through years of fishing/hunting and a TON of trial/erroring gear in cold weather, including the pouring rain.
Few things I shoot for:
> Even though I’m incredibly muscular (LOL), I like the lightest gear I can find that still keeps me warm.
> Along those lines, I always layer up. Don’t like big bulky jackets and pants. Rather have 3 less-bulky layers than 1 fat, warm, blubberous layer (is that a word Mercer?).
> Handwarmers (also for feet) can be key BUT I don’t like to use ’em unless I have to. When I do, they’re on the back of my hands, not the palms.
> Merino wool is the shizzle. Hands down the best. Keeps you warm but not too warm, and — bonus — cuts down on B-O. Try that, polyester!
> You get what you pay for so don’t skimp mang!
> Gotta look good to feel good! I try not to look like a dang nerd…but sometimes can’t help it lol.
Here we go:
> Baselayers (undies) — Merino wool layers by Icebreaker. No one else I’ve found makes a merino baselayer that doesn’t shrink in the dryer (you can’t dry it on high tho), doesn’t pill badly and doesn’t fall apart. #winner
> Socks — Farm to Feet — Andy Montgomery, who’s a big dude, tackled me so hard in a pickup hoops game one time (yep, tackled) that he felt sorry for me and gave me some…socks. I was like, oooooooooo-kay? Turned out they were those Farm to Feet socks and they rocks mang! Seriously — merino, warm and comfy. Can’t do synthetics on the feet cuz they make my feet sweat…. Who knew I’d have favorite socks one day.
> Layers — Some or all of these:
– Icebreaker merino vest
– Simms Axis Hoodie — The BEST hoodie I’ve ever owned…and it better be for $200!
– BassBlaster black hoodie — Wearing it right now and wear it so much that it bothers my wife and kids, which I love. $40 all day long.
– High-quality synthetic (because it doesn’t lose loft when wet) insulation vest or jacket — Used to wear Patagonia cuz it’s really good but then it became a fashion deal so I ditched it. North Face Thermoball is really good, you can find other stuff.
> Outerwear — Simms all the way. Not saying others ain’t good, but so far for me their stuff is the lightest and best. Outerwear in cool/cold boats or even from the bank is gonna be their rainwear. It’s expensive, so gotta save up for it. Pick your fave depending on what you like, but if I can get away with it I’m using the Vapor Elite jacket over a bunch of layers.
> Neck and head — You can lose a lot of body heat here, so this is super-important. Been testing out the new BUFF cold-weather stuff and I’m sold on:
Sometimes I also rock the UA Storm ColdGear Infrared Beanie.
> Gloves — Man these are tough. Everyone’s hands are different shapes and sometimes, in my experience, I need to switch out gloves over the course of a day. Couple faves are:
– Any half-finger wool gloves — here’s some made by Simms.
– Simms Skeena Waterproof Gloves — These feel like rubber or neoprene, not sure what they are. I like ’em because they fit tight so they almost feel like fingers and are weirdly warm unless it’s insanely cold…in which case there’s a TV and chix wings.
I do wear pants (heehee) but didn’t bother mentioning ’em cuz you wear what you like. Same with shoes or boots. If it’s wet, mine are Gore-Tex.