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(The Gear Loop) - Some people sweat buckets when hitting the ski slopes and others find it impossible to stay warm. If you fall into the latter camp, we have rounded up some of the warmest ski kit out there to keep those who feel the cold furnace-warm in the snow.

During the depths of winter ski season - December, January and February -  it’s time to break out the real cold-weather kit. While heated gondolas and chairlifts, hand warmers and hot chocolate can go so far to keep you snug on the slopes, they can’t do everything, especially when you are on the exposed face of a mountain. 

MammutThe warmest winter ski kit: lifestyle photo 2

When you’re out there in the elements (the best place to be), it’s essential to have the right kit - especially for those who seem to feel the cold more than others.

Think about your outfit from top to bottom; how it fits together and what you can take with you in a backpack as extra layers should you need them. Buffs and neoprene face masks, liner gloves and helmet liners are all useful, lightweight additions to the wardrobe that could prove invaluable if a cold snap rushes in on your ski holiday.

The warmest winter ski gear

MammutThe warmest winter ski kit product photo 5

Mammut Stoney HS Thermo jacket

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For

  • You’ll never be cold again
  • Synthetic insulation keeps the moisture out on wet days

Against

  • Punchy price

This jacket has it all - it’s an insulated, weatherproof beast for the coldest of days on the mountain.

Filled with 80 g/m2 synthetic Ajungilak insulation on the body and 6g/m2 on the arms, it keeps the rain, cold and snow out but isn’t constricting and remains breathable. 

There’s also a removeable snow-skirt, three-way-adjustable hood, internal mesh pocket, underarm ventilation and splash-proof side pockets. It also comes in men’s and women’s versions. 

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Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated bib pants

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For

  • Bib ski pants are warmer than waist-high ski pants
  • Insulation makes them extra-toasty 

Against

  • More inconvenient for women than waist-high ski pants
  • Insulation makes them bulkier/heavier

For extra cold days, a pair of bib ski pants - formerly known as salopettes - add great extra warmth.

These are waterproof and breathable, great for cold weather and snowy days when you get hot and then cold and then hot again quickly as you move and sit on chairlifts.

There are vents on the thighs, which you can open to cool off if needed, and while they’re insulated, the fabric has a two-way stretch so it’s far less restrictive than you might think. 

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Jottnar Fenrir down jacket

For

  • Super lightweight
  • Ultra warm
  • Hydrophobic down 

Against

  • Top-end price
  • A little fragile

This hooded down jacket breaks the mould for warmth-to-weight ratio. Stuffed with 850 Fill Power goose down (responsibly sourced) the women’s jacket weighs in at 350g and men’s 390g.

The water-repellent DownTek stays dry 10 times longer than untreated down... and DownTek doesn’t disappear in the wash.

The areas on the jacket prone to moisture - cuffs, hem, collar and underarms - are also filled with synthetic insulation.

It’s not cheap, but you won’t need another midlayer on cold days and it’s the perfect bit of kit for hiking on dry days in the UK, wearing round town in the UK and just bunging in the bag as an extra. Plus, it comes with its own stuff sack. 

Buy direct here.

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Odlo I-THERMIC base layer top

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For

  • Keep yourself warm with a click of a smartphone 

Against

  • The most expensive baselayer you've ever bought

Swiss company Odlo is well-known for its brilliant baselayers (look up the ECO and KINSHIP WARM with built-in hood and facemask).

In 2019, they went one step further by teaming up with I-Thermic (known for its battery-powered gloves) to produce an "intelligent midlayer" that instantly won awards.

The smart shirt analyses and regulates body heat using special sensors that act like a digital thermostat.

Integrated elements positioned in the kidney and abdominal area are controlled by the wearer by an app and provide brilliantly targeted warmth to the vitals.

FalkeThe warmest winter ski kit product photo 1

Falke SK2 Diagonal ski socks

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For

  • Brilliant design
  • Anatomically moulded
  • Merino wool

Against

  • There are cheaper ski socks
  • Relatively low-tech

Falke makes an excellent range of ski and snowboard-specific socks, all of which are anatomically shaped and have a three-layer construction, which helps massively with transporting moisture away from the feet and drying quickly.

These SK2 socks are a good all-rounder in the series, aimed at recreational skiers, with a great design this year in both male and female-specific colours.

The medium thickness means your toes will be padded but not squashed into your ski boots, which can lead to poor circulation.

MammutThe warmest winter ski kit product photo 4

Mammut Arctic Mitts

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For

  • Really warm
  • Compress down when packed

Against

  • Bulky to use
  • Some will prefer the feel of gloves

Mittens are a better option on cold days than gloves, as keeping the fingers together improves circulation, and these super-light mountaineering numbers are bang on for those who suffer with frozen fingers.

Yes, they’re bulkier than other ski gloves but they are made from a Pertex Quantum material, meaning they’re wind and water-repellent.

Insulated with Primaloft Gold Luxe, they also keep hands warm even when wet. On top of this, you'll find they compress down well when packed, and the leather on the palm of the hand makes them robust when holding poles. 

Erol Ahmed/UnsplashThe warmest winter ski kit: lifestyle photo 4

How to dress for cold-weather skiing

Get the fabric right

Once upon a time, we used to use cotton t-shirts as ski baselayers, but these are not only dreadful at keeping you warm, they also stay wet if you have worked up a sweat walking to the lifts or heaving around in the snow. Make sure your baselayers are breathable - merino wool is great at keeping you warm and wicking sweat, or there are lots of man-made solutions for those who, like this writer, are allergic to wool or find it itchy close to their skin.

Down, down, down

Either manmade or natural, down is the obvious choice for warmth, but if you’re out on the slopes it will only be any good if you’ve paired it with a tough windproof outer layer. Down jackets tend to be quite fragile, because they are designed to be featherlight (excuse the pun), and while they might be warm in the UK, once you’re up a mountain they are only really any good as a midlayer. But don’t just stop at jackets: you can get down trousers, down gloves and mittens and even down skirts (to zip over your ski pants on lifts and in cold conditions, and take off for the uphill). Synthetic insulation fares better in wet conditions, but there is now hydrophobic down on the market, too.

Layers for versatility

If you ski more than once a year, and ever like to go off-piste or ski touring, layering is the best way to go (unless you have the money for Odlo’s i-THERMIC baselayers). You have to buy an outer and mid layer, but chances are you’ll be able to use these and interchange both on the slopes and in the UK when hiking. Layering traps air, which heats up, and it’s also easier to take off than one big heavy, bulky item. 

Change your socks

The best way to keep your feet toasty and healthy in your ski boots for a week is to change your socks every day. If you don’t fancy carting six pairs of socks away for a week’s holiday, take two pairs and wash them at night, alternating. It’s what the pro skiers do!

If in doubt, go for battery power

The warmest ski kit is, without doubt, that which comes with a battery. Early on, boot warmers were the only option - and while still a great option, there is more on the market to choose from, including heated gloves, heated ski socks, heated gilets. Granted, they are quite a lot more expensive than a pair of handwarmers, but they last longer and there’s no price on comfort, especially if you feel the cold. The downside of battery-powered heated kit is that you have to remember to take the batteries with you, and remember to charge the batteries at night. 

Writing by Abigail Butcher. Editing by Leon Poultney.