GearTools & Tech

Necessary Survival Gear for the Freezing Modern Office

Rated for arctic conditions, here’s how it holds up in frigid work environs

We went around the office and collected gear advice from the cold-blooded pencil pushers among us on how to use outdoor gear to survive the long, dark days indoors. (Photo: Emily Reed)
Outside staffer

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Shoulder season is here, when offices nationwide suffer from out-of-whack HVAC systems, battles over the thermostat heat up, and business-casual layering gets serious. Here at Outside, things are desperate: we shiver under blankets and scavenge for jackets with thumb loops so we can type without our fingers going numb. You, too? Read on for advice from our cold-blooded pencil pushers on how to use outdoor gear to survive those long, chilly workdays.


Outside staffer
(Photo: Emily Reed)

Associate editor Ariella Gintzler keeps the modular North Face One bag ($289) close by. The outdoor quiver killer is suited for overnights from sticky midsummer to frosty November. In the office, it offers similar versatility: “Sometimes I use the top piece like a blanket,” she says. “On really cold days, I just sit in the sleeping bag.”


Outside staffer
(Photo: Emily Reed)

Editorial fellow Taylor Gee hunkers down in a corner wearing an Outerknown Blanket shirt ($145). He’s excited for the cold: it means he has a chance to wear his favorite piece. “It’s one of the heaviest shirts I own,” he says. “It feels like I’m being hugged by a fuzzy animal.” Outside the office, he says, it’s extremely Instagrammable, especially when paired with a campfire on a fall night.


Outside staffer
(Photo: Emily Reed)

Assistant editor Maren Larsen answers e-mail while ensconced in the hood of the Cotopaxi Nina parka ($300). “It’s got a great range of movement for typing,” she says, not to mention a stylish cut for après at the end of a long day of backcountry shredding. Not available for purchase, but equally valuable, she added, are a pair of fingerless gloves hand-knitted by her mother.


Outside staffer
(Photo: Emily Reed)

Editorial production fellow Wufei Yu wears two jackets at his desk. But more important, he says, is his Sfee 17-ounce Insulated water bottle ($10), which he keeps full of hot water for tea on demand. It stays warm for five or six hours, and he goes through two of them in a workday. The slim, tall profile of the bottle also makes it easy to slip in a backpack for hiking. “I take it with me everywhere in the fall,” he says.


Will Taylor and his vest
(Photo: Emily Reed)

Gear director Will Taylor keeps a Duckworth Woolcloud “dad vest” ($250)—our words, congrats Will—on the back of his chair at all times. “I think the vest is the best layering piece for office coldness,” he says. The woolly interior keeps his chest warm, but it’s light enough to be worn throughout air-conditioning fluctuations. Outside the office, we picture him wearing it while pushing his all-season stroller through a pile of crisp leaves. 

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