Women's Top Cold Weather Gear

Mar 7, 2011
Outside Magazine

Savor the last cold blast of winter and gear up for spring with these tried and tested cold weather favorites. Over the past three months, I've looked for the most versatile, best-in-class clothing to keep warm in a wide range of frosty situations--on the mountain, out on the ocean and deep in the trails. With record snow falls, and fresh powder for days, there's plenty of opportunity left to play. So when the thermometer dips, take advantage of the chill and reach for these:

Icebreaker GT Baselayer L/S Pace Zip Pacelayer

Snug and sleek, the L/S Pace Zip is perfect as a baselayer on the mountain or worn solo on a frosty morning run. Made from the finest New Zealand Merino wool, the Pace Zip kept me toasty without ever getting stuffy when I took it out for a ski test in Tahoe on a warmer weekend. Add to that an athletic fit with feminine raglan sleeves and red cross stitching worthy of Catherine Zeta Jone à la Entrapment, and you'll rarely want to wear anything else.  $100; Icebreaker.com

Helly Hansen Carlina Jacket

There's something about owning "a nice jacket". You know the kind I'm talking about--a jacket so superior in construction, material and bells and whistles you seek out occasions just to put it on. Ladies, meet the Carlina. Constructed from uber-soft Helly Tech waterproof breathable thinsulate material, the Carlina is not only shockingly lightweight, but I found it to be right at home shredding down the mountain, or in biting  20 knot winds. With comfy thumb holes, subtle tailoring and cheeky cross-colored zippers, the Carlina is a playful and modern take on an old classic. Heads up: you get what you pay for, and the Carlina doesn't come cheap. But if quality is what you're looking for, this is the jacket. $375; Hellyhansen.com


Endurance_tight_017 Moving Comfort Endurance Tight

Get ready to hit the ground running. The Endurance Tights were put to the test on the gnarliest trails in northern England, where they came out 100% "winning".  Fitting under that old adage--if ya got it, flaunt it, these drilayer compression tights will hug your curves like a fine-tuned sportscar. Boasting the perfect balance of cozy temperature regulation and fit-like a-glove lines, the Endurance Tight held up just as well as an underlayer skiing on the mountain.  Featuring a flat waistband and a sharp reflective design these tights kept me feeling good and safely bright at night. An extra bonus? The internal pocket for keys. $58; Movingcomfort.com


Columbia Back it Up Pant

Out there on the slopes, ever feel like the Stay Puft marshallow man in Ghostbusters? Never again. Billed by Columbia as "the sexiest ski pant ever", I'm going to have to wholeheartedly agree. Presenting the waterproof breathable, thermal insulated Back it Up Pant. Out on the slopes,  I found these to be warm, stretchy, and super flattering. For the first time I felt like I was skiing in real pants, rather than a bunchy wingsuit. I especially dug the mechanical vents up each leg  which kept me cool on sunny snow days, the zip-out fleece waistband in the back to keep out out snow sogginess and the comfy leg gaiters to keep me dry and my mind on more important things--like catching air.  $150; Columbia.com






--Shauna Sweeney




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