Layering 101: How To Layer For Skiing and Snowboarding

Ridge Merino: The Best Skiing Layers
When it comes to ski layering, it’s all about the right combination of clothing that keeps you toasty without causing overheating. Here’s a quick breakdown of the ultimate layering system for sliding on snow.
1. Base Layer: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer. Look for breathable Merino wool base layers that are all-natural and keep sweat away from your skin. This is essential to keep you dry, warm and comfortable all day long. Base layers should fit snugly but not be too tight.
2. Insulation Layer: This middle layer adds warmth without bulk. For the best skiing mid layer, opt for a thermal shirt, hoodie or down jacket depending on the temperature. The thickness of this layer can be adjusted according to how cold it is. Again, a Merino wool mid layer is an excellent choice as the material retains the right amount of heat while allowing for flexibility and freedom of movement.
3. Outer Layer: Your outer layer is your shield against the elements. It should be waterproof and windproof to keep snow and moisture out. A high-quality ski jacket and pants are essential here.
4. Accessories: Small additions like a warm hat, gloves, and a neck gaiter or balaclava make a big difference in blocking the cold and keeping you warm. No surprise, Merino wool is consistently listed as the best choice for cold weather accessories
the best merino wool accessories
A Merino wool beanie and balaclava are an absolute must on chilly days.

How many layers to wear skiing and snowboarding?

The number of layers you need depends on the weather and your personal comfort. On a particularly cold day, you might opt for a heavyweight base layer, an insulating mid layer (or two) and your outer jacket and pants. On milder days, you could skip the insulation layer or even go with a lighter base layer. It’s all about anticipating the weather (as much as possible) and adapting to the conditions.

Merino wool base layers
Layer up or layer down. A great ski layering system means being able to adapt to changing weather conditions. 

How do I choose the right ski clothing layers?

Investing in quality ski clothing is a must. Look for brands known for their durability, warmth and waterproof features. Merino wool is a superior technical fabric in addition to being all natural, so it's typically the first choice of base and mid layers for pro winter athletes who spend long days outside in cold weather. Ski jackets and pants should have features like ventilation options to regulate your body temperature during a steep uphill climb, during challenging runs or that never-ending traverse.

Remember, layering for skiing and snowboarding is all about flexibility. You can always adjust your layers during the day if you get too hot or cold. The key is to stay comfortable so you can enjoying being outside for hours on end.  


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