Staying fresh on the mountain top
ATBShops Guide to Snow Clothing
So if you remember the basics behind snow clothing you might just come out of this dry and toasty! Don’t think too over the top in regards to keeping warm, your gonna be flying and moving around a lot which will generate a lot of body heat, not to mention if your on the light side of the mountain! Generally in snow sports you tend to use a layering system which consists of three layers; Base Layer, Secondary Layer and your Third (shell) Layer which we will go more in to after.
The reason we do not simply wear thicker clothing is you never quite know the level of exercise your going to be doing and how much body heat you are going to generate. Thicker clothing generally means less breathability which then means if you begin sweating from overheating, you are going to drench yourself from the inside out and freeze without having the ability to simply remove a layer to cool down.
A few notes before we move on:
Understanding waterproofing and breathability
If you get drenched you WILL freeze and more impotently not enjoy yourself, so understandably waterproofing and breathability is a vital element when choosing snowboard gear. The way to understand the waterproofing that clothing gets treated with pretty much results in the higher the numbers the more water proof the garment. Waterproofing is usually measured in millimetres: beginning around 5,000 and ending close to 30,000 for a normal rating, however brands such as Burton and their AK range featuring Gore-Tex technology, usually do not have a waterproofing measurement as they are shown to be 100% waterproof and breathable.
Breathability ratings measure how much moisture can pass through the jacket from the inside, “venting” any build up of sweat. This is measured using grams, centimetres and GM to which is more commonly used throughout the industry alongside the waterproofing measurement, e.g. 10,000/ 10,000MG. Breathability can range anywhere from 5,000GM to 25,000GM and again, the higher the number the more breathability the fabric is.
Things to look out for when purchasing snow clothing
RECCO is a small reflector that some brands stitch in to their clothing/ equipment as a form of locating you in the case of an avalanche.
Ventilation Zips/ Pit Zips/ Test-i-cool are used to vent out any built up hot air for a quick and effective cool down.
Powder Skirts/ Gaiters are designed to keep out any unwanted snow from running up your back or leg using elasticated skirting that wraps around your waist and boots.
Taped Seams/ Waterproof Zips are an awesome feature to keep out any unwanted water leaks seeping through the stitching of the garments.
Moisture Wicking Liner is an affordable luxury that is well worth the money. These materials assist in keeping you dry by wicking any moisture created via sweat, from your skin and pushing it outwards through your layers.
Pant- Jacket Interface is ideal for preventing your jacket running up your back after a crash. These usually consist of small velcro straps on your jacket that hook into small looks on you snow pants.
Utility Pockets are an advantage but don’t rely too heavily on the thought of taking loads of stuff out with you on the mountain as you want to be as lightweight as possible. A pocket for your phone, keys, lift pass and maybe a GoPro will be the most you’ll need.
A quick note on the waterproofing of your garments, it does not last forever! If you have purchased your kit second hand it may be worth re-waterproofing all your kit ready for the season! You don’t want to get caught out in the cold! Here is instructions on how to go about doing so!
So now you know the in’s and outs of snow clothing and hopefully are fully capable of choosing your setup in confidence. Just remember the three vital elements of snow clothing and you can rest assured knowing your ready for the mountain! Waterproofing, layering and breathability! Follows is a list of snow clothing from head to toe available online or come check it all out in store!