Best Extreme Cold Weather Gear – 2021 List
Braving the elements is a cinch when you are equipped with extreme cold-weather gear! There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing - so we wanted to make sure you fitted with the best of the best. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for gear to keep you warm.
You want to make sure that it is composed of water-resistant materials such as Gore-Tex and Merino wool. We wanted to ensure that we also selected products that were lightweight so it won’t weigh you down or hinder your full range of motion.
In this guide, we have selected some of the very best extreme cold weather gear to keep you nice and toasty from head to foot all winter long.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Somewhat larger size
Keeps you warm down to -40 degrees
- Marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag
- Marmot Montreal Down Puffer Coat
- Sorel 1964 Premium T Snow Boot
- Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823 Balaclava
- Swiss Safe Mylar Blankets
- Kamik Greenbay Boot
- Carhartt Arctic Quilt Lined Yukon Coverall
- Ozero Winter Gloves
- Primaloft GI Gen III Pants
- Wigwam Socks
- Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Bottoms
- Terramar Thermasilk Liners
- Carhartt Base Force Top
- DG Hill Insulated Socks
- PROSmart Heated Vest
Top 15 Picks
1. Marmot Sawtooth Sleeping Bag
Somewhat larger size
Keeps you warm down to -40 degrees
Sooner or later, you’re going to have to sleep in the great outdoors during the colder months. Whenever that happens, having a high-quality sleeping bag that can help protect you against the frigid temperatures is a good thing. After searching through quite a few choices, we found that the Marmot Membrain Down sleeping bag is a great overall choice.Read more
This sleeping bag is fairly large, and can easily fit an average adult or possibly two younger children with ease. It measures 84 inches by 46 inches and weighs just about 4 pounds. Considering how warm and large this bag is, it packs down really well. It won't drag you down like some other equally warm sleeping bags. It comes with its own stuff and storage sack to help compress the down and help with packing inside your pack.
The goose down fill gives this sleeping bag a soft feel that is durable enough to prevent the down from poking the inside of the bag. Depending on the terrain that you will be sleeping upon, you may want a pad to soften the ground. Other than that, this sleeping bag will keep you warm and comfortable throughout the night.
Based on the materials used, this sleeping bag can easily keep you warm and dry down to a temperature of -40 degrees. Not only does it feature an easy to use side zipper that helps to keep out the cold, but also a mummy-style hood to help you keep your ears, face and neck protected.
The outer portion of this sleeping bag is created using 30D rip-stop nylon material and coated with Pertex Shield 2L laminate which is a membrane that is breathable and waterproof. The interior portion is 800+ rated goose down fill and made from 30D ripcord nylon treated with Pertex Microlight.
The rip-stop outer shell and double seams make for a fairly durable sleeping bag that can withstand almost everything that you may encounter on a winter camping trip. While we wouldn’t suggest using it for protection from sharp objects, this sleeping bag shouldn’t rip or tear under most normal circumstances.
This sleeping bag from Marmot offers a great way for the average-sized person to keep themselves warm and comfortable in even the most extreme temperatures while camping. It is true that it can be on the expensive side, but if you're looking to keep warm in this type of conditions you won't want to be stingy.
2. Marmot Montreal Down Puffer Coat
Easily protects from cold weather
Not ideal for curvy or busty women
Do you ever have on a warm and cozy winter coat and then end up sitting down on an icy cold bench and feel the chill in your bones? This won't happen with the Montreal coat from Marmot. The length of the coat goes from your chin down to your mid-thighs. It looks great and feels great with its 700 fill power and thoughtful features.Read more
This winter jacket has a regular fit. The zipper goes all up to the chin and down to middle-thigh. The length of this coat is great for bundling up on a winter day and keeping your posterior warm as well. Almost every reviewer agrees that the Montreal runs small and suggests going up one size. For curvy or busty women, it may be difficult to settle on a size that fits well. The jacket is available in sizes Extra Small to XXL.
You’ll never want to take this jacket off. The fleece-lined torso sits comfortably around your chest, providing great comfort and warmth. The two-way zipper allows you to sit and jump puddles without the zipper pulling or restricting you. There are two zippered exterior pockets and two internal pockets. One of the internal pockets is zippered and the other is a deep slip pocket.
This jacket will keep you warm on the coldest of winter days. It features a 700 down fill that is finished with a moisture-resistant Down Defender and DWR treatment. Not only does this mean that the jacket is highly water-resistant, but it also means that the jacket will still be warm even with light rain or snow. The hood is removable and the faux fur is detachable. For extra warmth, the hand-warming pockets and cuffs are lined with microfleece.
The Montreal jacket is made from 100% Polyester. There are small accents such as the microfleece and fleece linings that provide extra warmth and comfort. It can be machine washed and tumble dried on a low setting. If you put it in the dryer, you should also add tennis balls, or something similar, to move around the 700-fill feathers and distribute them evenly.
There are virtually no durability concerns with this jacket. The material is strong and not prone to abrasions. Overall the jacket weighs about two pounds. To top it all off, Marmot offers a lifetime warranty with the purchase of this jacket.
As you can see, this is a great coat and will make the perfect addition to your gear for extremely cold days. It is long enough to keep you warm wherever you go and is available in a few different colors. Our only gripe is the sizing, but other than that, we’re sold!
3. Sorel 1964 Premium T Snow Boot
Insulating rubber sole
A great pair of snow boots need to check a few boxes. They need to hold in heat, they need to be durable, and they need to offer superb traction. Luckily, this design from Sorel checks all of these boxes. No matter how cold or extreme the temperature gets, you will want to have these boots equipped to your feet!Read more
The interior of this option is lined with a thick layer of felt. Felt makes an excellent lining because it is warm and comfortable, and it also allows for air to circulate inside of the boot. When air circulates, it prevents your feet from sweating, which in turn will keep them warm and dry all day long.
These boots are fully waterproof so you can rest assure your feet will stay dry no material the weather conditions outside.
What makes this design stand out from the pack of other inter boots is the rubber frame. Rubber is an excellent insulator because this non-porous material doesn’t let heat escape or water penetrate the surface. This sleek design covers your entire foot in a thick layer of rubber for excellent heat retention.
It is composed of quality materials that hold up quite well over the years and is made to keep your feet nice and warm in extreme temperatures.
If you are gearing up to head out in some pretty chilly weather, this snow boot from Sorel is a great choice.
4. Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823 Balaclava
Great protection from the wind
Universal fit overall
Hinged face mask area allows for greater versatility in wearing options
Not as durable as we would like
Recommended to be used with hats or beanies as well
When it comes to cold weather gear, especially when the temperatures drop significantly, protecting your face from the onslaught of the bitter cold is extremely important. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is through the use of a balaclava.Read more
This balaclava is well suited to be worn by both men and women, and can easily fit just about any size adult head. The fleece material is easily stretched over the head of even larger heads, and easily adds warmth and comfort for those with smaller than average heads as well.
For the most part, people found this balaclava very easy to wear, and comfortable even under hoods, other hats, or goggles. There were some issues with glasses fogging up if both the nose and neck area were covered, but most people found this problem disappeared with practice.
This balaclava easily protects your face from the biting winter wind through a series of wind-protectant fabric panels around the nose, mouth and neck area. In addition, the head covering is fashioned from a thicker fleece material that is also lightweight and easy to wear overall. Some found the top portion that covers the head to be a bit thin, and it is recommended that this balaclava is used in conjunction with other head coverings.
The material used to create this particular balaclava is a combination of fleece and a stiffer fabric used in specific areas to aid in the protection from the wind.
Overall most people found this to be a bit on the less than durable side when it comes to the construction and thickness of the material. There were also cases of some of the balaclava tearing slightly at the seams.
If you’re looking for a great way to protect your head, face and neck from the bitter cold, a balaclava like this one is a surefire necessity. This particular one stands easily out from the west based on its hinged face mask area and windproof paneling that provides both versatility and protection overall.
5. Swiss Safe Mylar Blankets
Easy to use
Slightly smaller than expected
Wears our quickly at the folding creases
When the temperature starts to drop, and you don’t have all your cold-weather gear in tow, having these Mylar blankets can literally save your life. Designed to keep heat close to you where you need it most, these lifesavers can be carried on your person in just about any situation imaginable.Read more
When fully deployed, each of these Mylar emergency blankets measures approximately 52 inches by 82 inches and weighs a mere two ounces. They are a great size for wrapping yourself in the reflective warmth or to create an emergency shelter for you or another person if necessary. Unlike many emergency blankets that are hard to fold and store away, these blankets from Swiss Safe offer an easy to fold version of a relatively large blanket. They fold down into a compact shape that can easily fit into your backpack, hip purse, or even your coat pocket for easy retrieval.
Most people who purchase these blankets keep them as an emergency blanket. For those who have used them, they say that they are comfortable to use and extremely warm. One of the nice things about this particular entry on our list of the best extreme cold-weather gear is the sheer number of different ways that it can be used. In addition to providing emergency protection from the cold, it can also be easily used as a tent footprint, as a rain poncho, or even as backpack cover during inclement weather.
In addition to providing a verified way to conserve body heat, these Mylar emergency blankets are also wind and waterproof, making them an ideal choice when you need to protect you, or your belongings from the elements.
These blankets are made from a type of polyester material called mylar. While some found these emergency blankets thinner and slightly smaller than expected, most found them to be quite useful and durable in most extreme weather situations.
The only substantial complaint that we found was that the Mylar material sometimes weakened along the fold lines due to excessive bending and creasing.
If there is one item that you truly should have in your arsenal of cold-weather gear, a quality emergency blanket is it. While we certainly would have liked to see more durability and a slightly larger size in the case of this example, it’s still a great Mylar blanket for the cost.
6. Kamik Greenbay Boot
Rated for extreme temperatures
True to fit most of the time
Easy to put on or take off
Could use a bit more padding
When it comes to trudging through the snow and ice, having the right pair of cold weather boots is essential. One of our favorites is the Kamik Greenbay 4 boot. Designed to perform in frigid temperatures, these boots are known for keeping the cold snow and ice at bay when you need it the most.Read more
About three-quarters of the people who bought these boots found them to be true to size and comfortable. It should be noted that just under a quarter found them to slightly larger or smaller than expected. Additionally, quite a few women bought these boots and found them to be more comfortable than female extreme weather snow boots.
Overall, most people found these boots to be comfortable to wear, but a few did complain that there wasn’t quite enough padding in the calf area, and the boots needed to have better adjustability to account for layering during colder weather.
One of the best reasons to get these extreme cold weather boots is their superior protection from the bitter temperatures of extremely cold weather. In addition to keeping both your feet, ankles and lower calves relatively warm, this boot also features great protection from water, ice, and snow. The tough synthetic soul also protects your toes and feet from scrapes punctures and abrasions.
These boots are made from 600 denier nylon with a synthetic rubber sole. They are rated for temperatures reaching down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, and for most people, they can easily keep their feet warm and toasty. It also features a removal thermal insert, so if you decide that your feet are a little too warm, you can make adjustments.
These are sturdy and well made. While they aren’t the toughest winter boots we’ve ever seen, with proper care and maintenance, they should last for at least five years before replacement or repair may be needed.
If you’re looking for a great wintertime boot that is fairly comfortable and great for sloshing around in the snow, the Kamik Green Bay 4 is one to consider. While we would have preferred slightly more padding, overall this is a great way to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
7. Carhartt Arctic Quilt Lined Yukon Coverall
A good pair of coveralls ensures that your precious body heat has no means of escaping. It may come in at a steep price point, but it’s a perfect option for those that want to stay active and warm this winter.Read more
Classic winter gear often has the reputation of being big and bulky, which severely hinders your full range of motion. If you need to stay limber and active while engaging in outdoor activities this winter, a good coverall is a great option.
We also like that the quilted polyester lining of this design helps hold in body heat to keep you warm all day long. It also boasts a myriad of pockets to store extra gear, and interior pockets as well to keep your phone warm and dry in extreme temperatures.
What makes these coveralls stand out from the back is found in the construction of the exterior shell. To stay warm, you need to stay dry. The exterior shell is composed of 1,000-denier Cordura nylon and is treated with a water-repellent substance to keep you high and dry.
What we love most about these coveralls from Carhartt is that they are incredibly comfortable and boast a lining that holds heat inside without weighing you down.
This design from Carhartt is a little more expensive than some of the others out there, but we feel that it is worth every penny.
8. Ozero Winter Gloves
Keeps hands warm
Stretch to comfort fit
While there are lots of great choices for winter gloves out there, one of the best we’ve found is Ozero Winter Gloves.Read more
Most people found these gloves to be well-fitting, if slightly large for smaller hands. If you are someone who has smaller than normal hands, you’ll probably want to order a size smaller than you usually do. One of the great features of these gloves is the ability to easily move the fingers independently while still keeping them quite warm indeed. There were very few complaints about being able to grasp small items, fasten or unfasten buttons or snaps, or even use handheld electronic items. It should be noted, however, that these gloves are not designed for touch-screen use.
The combination of leather and polar fleece material makes for a very comfortable and flexible glove overall. While the sizing may be uncomfortable for some, most find that in time the stretch of the leather and the softness of the fleece is a good combination.
While these gloves are not waterproof, they certainly do provide great protection against the cold temperatures and wind. They are rated to offer protection down to -40 degrees, but most people found that they were good down to the - 20-degree range, which is more than adequate for most situations.
These gloves are fashioned out of a combination of deerskin leather, polar fleece, and cotton lining. They are very flexible, warm, and provide great protection from wind and colder temperatures.
If worn casually and gently, you can expect great durability from these gloves. However, as mentioned, they are not waterproof which may be a deal-breaker for some.
While we would have liked to see these gloves as being truly waterproof, no one can deny that they are a great pair of gloves if you need to keep your hands and fingers warm while using them. If you’re looking for a great glove that offers great dexterity and warmth, these are a great choice overall.
9. Primaloft GI Gen III Pants
Oversized to fit over clothing
Designed for easy removal
High loft insulation keeps you warm in the coldest of conditions
Elastic waist and leg cuffs for a custom fit
May feel a bit bulky
These pants from Primaloft are one of the best we’ve found for keeping your legs warm.Read more
The majority of people found these pants to fit very well, and be true to the expected size range. About 20% found it to be too small for their preferences. These are designed to wear over clothes, so it’s best to keep that in mind when ordering.
They feature an elastic waistband and leg cuffs that allow for the use of undergarments or extra room as needed for people with slightly more heft to their build. They also feature a full-length side zipper to make taking them off relatively easy. Some found the pants a bit bulky and uncomfortable to wear over long periods, but most found it to be exactly what they needed.
This cold-weather clothing is designed to be layered on top of normal clothing, so it really acts as your first defense against the frigid cold. The water-resistant material combined with the heavyweight insulation offers great protection against the winter cold, wind and snow, helping to keep your legs warm and dry.
These pants are made of a synthetic material outer shell that is designed to repel moisture and an inner core of Primaloft Sport Thermal high-loft insulation.
Not unexpectedly, they are extremely durable and feature a water-resistant finish on the outside that is designed to keep you warm and dry.
If you’re planning on working or playing in extremely cold weather, you’ll want to protect your legs the best way you can. These pants from Primaloft may be a bit bulky, but they offer the best protection that money can buy in our opinion.
10. Wigwam Socks
Won’t lose shape
Too tight for some
A good pair of winter boots is only half of the equation to keep your feet warm and dry in snowy and cold conditions.Read more
This basic design comes in a few different sizes that range from ankle socks to knee socks.
This sock design from Wigwam is made from premium materials that stay in place, even when stuffed inside snow boots. Plus, it provides extra cushioning and support where you need it most.
The blend of wool and stretchy materials is what makes this design perfect for cold climates. It is composed of 42 percent wool, which works to wick away moisture as well as retain heat to keep your feet warm and dry. It is also composed of 24 percent stretch nylon, 21 percent polypropylene, 7 percent polyester, as well as a few other stretchy materials for a secure fit all day long.
They are constructed from tough materials that are able to be tossed into the washing machine for easy cleaning, and really hold their shape after years of continued use.
If you are in the market for a great pair of winter socks to pair with your boots, this design from Wigwam is built to take on some extremely cold temperatures. We love that they come in at an affordable price point that won’t break the bank and offer a lifelong guarantee.
11. Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Bottoms
Made from 100 percent Merino wool
Heavier than expected
To hold in the heat on cold days, a good base layer is ideal to stay nice and warm.Read more
This design comes in a wide variety of bright color options in addition to basic black. It is also offered in five different sizing options to ensure that you get the right fit for your body type. According to previous users, this design fits just as expected when using the provided sizing chart.
What we love most about these pants from Smartwool is that they fit tightly, which makes them incredibly effective as well as easy to layer under coveralls or snow pants. They may cost a bit more than other designs out there, but we feel that they are well worth it.
What makes this base layer unique is that it is composed of 100 percent Merino wool. Merino wool is perfect for cold climates because it has all of the heat-retaining properties of classic wool without the itch and extra weight.
The Merino wool material used in the construction of this garment is incredibly warm and durable, and can even be tossed into the washing machine.
The great thing about a base layer is that it can be layered under snow pants when the temperatures really plunge, or you can wear them alone in the warmer months.
12. Terramar Thermasilk Liners
Comfortable to wear
Helps to retain heat
Fits under most gloves easily
Not as durable as we would have hoped
Even if you have wonderful gloves, having the option to put a liner underneath them is a great way to add an extra layer where you need it the most. One of our favorite liner gloves by far is the Terramar Thermasilk Glove.Read more
The majority of people found these gloves to be snug, but comfortable, with only a small fraction, about 15% indicating that the size was either slightly smaller or slightly larger than they desired. The sizes range from extra-small, which would fit an adult hand size six to an extra-large, or a size 10. Overall, these glove liners provide for great manual dexterity, and if worn on their own (which we really wouldn’t suggest during colder temperatures) they offer about as much flexibility and dexterity as you would see without gloves.
Most people found this option to be fairly comfortable. Provided that the correct size is purchased, they do allow for some stretching overall, but not as much as other liner gloves.
These are finished with a ClimaSense treatment to adapt to your body’s temperature and keep you comfortable. While these are not waterproof, they are meant to be worn under another pair of gloves, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
These gloves are fashioned out of 100% silk material which is great at retaining heat and pulling moisture away as needed. While it doesn’t stretch as easily as a pair of gloves with spandex or other synthetic material included, if you get the right size, they are very comfortable to wear.
These gloves are relatively lightweight, and their overall durability does leave a bit to be desired. Quite a number of people found that they were easy to tear on objects such as keys, fishing hooks, and tent spikes to name a few. While they are fine as liner gloves and work very well for that purpose, we wouldn’t suggest using them as your everyday outdoor activity gloves.
If you’re looking for a pair of liner gloves that will help you keep your hands warm and relatively dry, this pair from Terramar will certainly fit the bill. While the durability could be a bit better, overall they serve their purpose well.
13. Carhartt Base Force Top
Provides an additional layer of warmth
Easy to care for
May not be the most comfortable fit at first
May fit a bit small in the shoulder and chest area
One of our personal favorites for staying warm is the Carhartt crewneck top. While it may be a little stiff and uncomfortable right out of the box, over time the cotton knit thermal shirt will become your favorite, without any question.Read more
The majority of the people who bought this shirt found it to be a comfortable, if slightly snug fit. A small minority found that the shirt was a little too restrictive in the shoulder and upper arm area, but overall, there weren’t too many complaints as far as size was concerned.
When this shirt is first worn, many people find it to be unnaturally stiff and unyielding. However, after a few wash and wears, the close-knit cotton fibers begin to become more flexible and giving.
In addition to helping you conserve body heat, this shirt is always quite good at keeping moisture and sweat away from your body using a moisture-wicking cotton knit material. Also, the material has been designed to help repel stains and dirt, which can shorten the life of any shirt, thermal or otherwise.
This shirt is made from a 100% cotton blend material that stretches over time to fit comfortably in nearly every situation.
This shirt is machine washable, and the knit design actually helps to release stains in the wash, so it’s fairly easy to keep clean. You can expect it to last for a decent amount of time.
If you’re looking for a shirt that can help keep you dry and warm even on the worst winter day, this choice from Carhartt is an easy one to make.
14. DG Hill Insulated Socks
Comes in a pack of two
Despite the elastic cuff, they tend to slide down
Some say they run large
These fuzzy and warm insulated socks are a great addition to any winter outfit. They are slightly cushioned on the bottom and provide up to seven times the warmth of traditional cotton socks. They are affordably priced, especially considering they come in a set of two.Read more
These socks come up to about the middle of your calf. They are ribbed on the outside and feature an elastic band on top to help keep them from falling down. Unfortunately, this elastic isn’t always successful. They are available in sizes Small, Medium, and Large to fit children and adults, unisex. There have been reviewers who say the sizing is spot on, while others say the socks run very large. If you are unsure, size down.
Besides the great warmth that these socks provide, they are also padded. The padding on the bottom creates comfort and an extra layer of insulation. It is easy and pleasurable to wear these socks all day long.
It has been said that these socks provide seven times more warmth than traditional cotton. Now, you may be thinking that they may be TOO warm and cause your feet to sweat. Don’t worry, the materials are moisture-wicking and will keep you warm and dry.
These socks are made from a blend of 93% Acrylic, 6% Polyester, and 1% Spandex. The fuzzy internal fleece lining feels very soft and cozy against your skin.
The durability varies from person to person, job to job, and shoe to shoe. If you are wearing them around the house with slippers, they will last you for many years. However, if you are wearing them with your tough work boots day in and day out, the materials may rub away quicker.
These socks are priced well, comfortable, and provide great warmth. What makes it even better is that each pack comes with two pairs and are available in multiple colors. If you’re looking for that extra layer of coziness this winter, this is a great choice.
15. PROSmart Heated Vest
Two heat settings
Made from comfortable fleece
Do you get a chill by the mere thought of heading out into the cold? If you find it incredibly hard to stay warm, it may be time to bust out the big guns.Read more
This heated vest has a series of coils running through it that radiate heat to keep you snug and warm while braving the elements.
It has two panels in the upper and lower back, one in the chest, and one that runs along the shallow collar. You can also adjust the heat level to two different intensity settings.
In addition to the heating element, this vest is composed of super soft and heat-retaining fleece. Unlike some of the heated designs out there on the market, this design has four heated coil sections to keep your entire torso warm and happy.
The great part about this vest is that it comes with a recharge battery that is super easy to charge. Before you head out, simply plug it into a USB charging port (provided with purchase) to charge the battery. This design is able to be charged up completely up to 800 times!
Users find that simply turning it on for a short while and turning it off helps to retain heat for hours at a time. Its slim design makes it fit comfortably between a base layer and your winter jacket.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It is important to remember that if the item you’re using isn’t comfortable to wear, chances are you won’t use it.
For this reason, among others, the overall fit and comfort of an item are important as well. Thankfully, with a few minor exceptions, such as being bulky or not fitting well for certain types of individuals, all items on our list feature the ability to be worn or used by a wide range of individuals.
Because this guide features many cold weather gear options, for those products such as a blanket or extremely cold weather boots, we considered this category as the size. Even if the product is only offered in one size, we discussed the dimensions and how well this size would serve you, as well as how small they can be packed up.
You will want to know if reviewers think the material is itchy or abnormally fluffy and soft.
As mentioned above, the comfort of an item is one of the most important factors to pay attention to before purchasing.
Each item on this list is important to keep you warm in the winter months. With some of the clothing items on our list, we found that they felt a bit stiff before being worn in and washed. We also took into consideration that you will be wearing these clothes all day and discussed how comfortable they would be for hours at a time.
As for the blankets and sleeping bags, we discussed the comfort of the products, as well as the temperature ratings that the products are recommended for.
The first thing that you need to worry about when buying gear for cold weather is whether or not it will protect you in such an extreme environment.
Things such as frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, and injury are all acerbated by colder temperatures, and having something that can help protect you in that type of situation isn’t just a good idea; It’s a vital one.
We discussed the insulation of each product and how well they protect against rain and snow. T
Of course, comfort, protection, and weather resistance are often dependent not only on how an item is made but also on the materials used to make it.
There are quite a few materials that are standard in this type of clothing, including insulation, rip-stop nylon material, waterproof or water-resistant fabric, rubber, and natural fibers designed for winter apparel.
While not every item here had every material we would have liked or expected, they all have a good combination of the materials you need to get the job done. Along with the materials that an item is made from comes durability. If the product is stitched well and made from quality fabrics, chances are that it will last longer.
The items on our list are designed to be long-lasting and tough.
Whether it’s through the use of reinforced seams, rip-stop material, layering of panels and fabric, or simply using metal zippers for added strength, everything here is designed to help you get the job done. Considering that many of these items will only be worn for a few months out of the year, it is important to know that they will not deteriorate in storage, or fail you mid-way through the season.
For many of these items, you can learn a lot about the durability of the materials used. Each product is different, but you should always pay close attention to the stitching, weather resistance, and overall strength of the product.
Another great way to learn more about the durability of a product is to see what the reviewers have to say. They have tried and tested the item and aren't afraid of telling the truth.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you are spending a lot of time outdoors in the extreme cold, it is important to have something covering your mouth.
This barrier will protect your lungs. The low temperatures cannot only cause pain to your lungs but sickness as well.
Underneath a great winter coat, layers are the key to staying warm. Look for something that is breathable and comfortable, and will fit under your pants. Merino wool is a popular base layer option. The material is insulating, moisture-wicking, and generally comfortable. The higher quality layers you have, the more likely that your warmth will stay in and the cold will stay out.
Other Factors to Consider
Many of the items on this list won't be in constant use. Some of them you might toss into a backpack or carry with you. Knowing the weight of each item becomes important when you're schlepping it around.
For example, a coat or sleeping bag will most likely be carried around for a while. Do they weigh you down? Other items, such as boots can also be heavy. An extremely heavy pair or boots may be great for keeping you warm, but are they comfortable enough to walk around in all season?
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do I need specific cold gear depending on the activities I will be participating in this winter?
In short, yes, you may need specialized gear for certain popular winter activities. If you enjoy mountaineering or cross-country skiing, for example, you will probably need crampons or specialized ski boots or shoes to get the most out of your adventure.
However, for the most part, the basic items presented here are good choices.
q: Does the amount of time I spend outdoors make a difference?
In a very real sense, what you wear out into the colder environments doesn’t just depend on the amount of snow on the ground and the temperature around you. Time also plays a factor. Think of it this way, the longer you stay out in the cold, the more time and effort you’re going to be spending just to keep warm and functional.
Therefore, having clothes and equipment that can help you regulate your body temperature more easily over the long term is a good idea. In addition, despite what most people think, you actually may sweat more during the colder temperatures, especially if you’ve done the right thing and dressed in layers.
If that’s the case, having a material that can both wick moisture away and helps to keep you dry from the snow and ice is a good idea as well. That isn’t to say that all these things are a good idea on short trips; they are. But they become even more important the longer you are out in the extreme weather.
q: What features should I look for?
Another thing that needs to be considered when choosing your extreme cold weather gear is what other things you will be taking with you. Outdoor winter activities such as camping, cold weather hiking or backcountry skiing often require more gear and more supplies than doing the same activities in other seasons.
So it’s important to take into consideration the added weight and encumbrance when choosing your standard winter gear. Characteristics such as high manual dexterity, extra pockets, the ability to easily strap something onto your back, or even good capacity can all play a significant role in your cold-weather activities.
q: What is the most important piece of winter gear I need to keep me warm this winter?
All winter gear is important as they all play a vital part in keeping your body warm and allowing you to continue to do your daily tasks or enjoy your outdoor adventures. But if you had to focus on some specific winter gear that you definitely want on hand, that would be any headgear, winter boots, winter jacket, winter gloves, or any piece of clothing that will maintain body heat. Our list outlined some of the most important pieces of gear you want to keep your eye on, and why they play a vital role in keeping you warm and safe this winter.
q: How do base layers work?
It may seem strange that such a thin layer of fabric can effectively work to keep you warm. Materials such as cotton absorb sweat and hold it against your body, which is why it is a terrible garment for a base layer, especially in cold weather.
A good base layer works like a second skin that retains heat and wicks away sweat. They are often made from moisture-wicking materials such as nylon or Merino wool that move sweat away from your body where it evaporates on the surface.
q: What can I do to prepare before heading outside?
A good way to stay warm outside is to get your body prepared for the cold temperature before you even suit up. One way that we like to prepare our body for cold climates is to toggle between hot and cold showers.
A cold shower is a great way to push blood circulation to your skin and organs, which can help to keep you warm before heading outside. When blood moves freely to your muscles and organs, you are less likely to catch an immediate chill when heading outside.
q: How should I layer my clothing?
The effective layering of clothing is the best way to stay nice and toasty all day long. We suggest investing in a good base layer for pants and long-sleeve shirts that fit tight to your body like a second skin. After a base layer, we suggest a good middle layer that is made to retain body heat. Fabrics such as fleece serve as a great middle layer.
A good outer layer is made from moisture-wicking and wind-resistant materials such as Gore-tex or nylon. Coveralls, like that we saw from Carhartt, make a great outer layer that won’t limit your full range of motion.
q: How cold is too cold?
Does there come a point where it is just too cold to head out for a nice hike or camping trip? The short answer is no, as long as you have the right gear!
If you invest in quality gear and coordinate your layers properly, there will never be a time where the temperatures are just too cold to head outside.
- 20 Ways to Stay Warm (and Safe) When It's Ridiculously Cold, NBC news advice ,
- The 4 Layers of Cold Weather Clothing Everyone Should Know, Blog ,
- The Best Winter Coats for Extreme Cold, Travel Guide ,
- Best Men’s Winter Coats For Extreme Cold Weather, Travel Blog ,