In this article, we talk about some of the best products to stay warm in cold weather and snow, and we’ll give you some of our best tips for staying warm outside in winter.
Even though our winters can be cool here (this is one of the reasons we love traveling so much in the winter), when we’re home in Canada, we still like to go out in the snow, whether it’s stargazing. Jasper, Alberta or travel in winter. Being outside in the cold means we must do everything in our power to reduce chilling and uncomfortable, including wearing the right winter outfit.
As Canadians, Charles and I know all about cold winter weather. Charles grew up and lived near Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg is known as the coldest major city in Canada with recorded lows pushing close to -40. It’s so cold it’s the same in Celsius or Fahrenheit!
How cold can it get in Winnipeg? Well, while the thermometer may rarely show below -30, it can easily hit with wind cooling well into the -40s. Watch this video of The New Travel on YouTube throwing boiling water into the air with a -41 wind chill.
I grew up near Calgary, Alberta, right on the edge of both the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian prairies, so it’s safe to say we’re both familiar with snowstorms and icy temperatures.
Today we live in the interior of British Columbia, which has one of Canada’s warmest winter climates, but we can still drop to about -20 or -25 ° C every winter here and there for a few days and we often go home for the Christmas holidays so we also get to deal with their cooler temperatures.
Now just imagine what kind of clothes and equipment you need to stay warm in Canada’s winters, from the icy temperatures you’ll see in the prairies and the Far North, to the milder winter temperatures of Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia.
How to stay warm when it’s cold outside: products we like
Here are some of our favorite products to help you stay warm in the cold.
We just discovered warm jackets this year. Where have they been all our lives?
A heated jacket uses the electricity of a power bank hidden in a pocket that runs along strips of carbon fiber spaced across the jacket, which heats up the fibers. The strips of fiber are flexible enough to allow normal movement.
Last month we had a heated jacket from Attractive. Overall, we are very happy with how warm it keeps us at around 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), but we will have to wait for later in the winter to test our warmed jacket in the colder months of January and February.
We have the Men’s heated jacket 5V with detachable hood, in black in the men’s medium size. It has a nice custom design and is comfortable to wear. It has 3 levels of heat that you engage with a cool, colored LED button on the jacket to easily change temperatures while on the go.
Single use, air-activated hand heaters
Disposable hand warmers are great for putting in your gloves or a bag when you are not moving around much. We keep some of these in our car for emergencies, and keep some with us at our winter equipment at all times.
These hand warmers were great for keeping our fingers and toes nice when sitting in a barely heated ice rink while our kids took skating lessons.
Our top choice: Warm Hands Hand Heaters
Rechargeable hand heaters
If you’ve cut in the last few years, you’ve probably missed that rechargeable hand heaters have become a big hit in northern climates.
Essentially, a rechargeable hand warmer is a battery bank that radiates heat into your hand or into a pocket. They can last up to 15 hours under ideal conditions, and are a relatively affordable alternative that looks more environmentally friendly than disposable hand warmers.
If you like the idea of battery-powered rechargeable hand warmers or a heated jacket, well, then you are in luck, because you can use battery-powered heated touques (or beanies, for you in the US and other non-Canadian), socks get, gloves and probably even heated underwear at this point.
Base coats and long underwear
Gone are the days when base layers meant only heavy thick long underwear that was known for the flap at the bottom.
Today’s base layers can be made from some pretty technical materials, or even quality, natural fibers like merino wool.
Wool is always a good choice as a warm base coat as it dries easily and drains moisture from the body. Since wool is antimicrobial and also resists odors, you can even wear it for several days.
When choosing a good base coat material outside of wool, it is important to make sure that it includes the following:
Breathing: The fabric should allow sweat to escape, which keeps you cool and comfortable and not damp or wet.
Lightweight – Easier to pack and carry and also helps to keep your mobile whether you are walking, working or playing.
High wicking – The fabric should carry moisture away from the skin, keeping you ideally dry and comfortable throughout the day.
Quickly dry – The faster the fabric dries, the faster you can wear it again and the easier it is to wash while on the go.
Isothermal – Having densely packed fibers can help retain heat and heat without adding a lot of extra volume.
Touques, earmuffs and scarves
While the old lady story that said we lose 80% of our heat through our head was thorough deny, it is true that once we are all covered, our head becomes our greatest weakness. The best way to correct head loss in winter is to pick up a touque or a hat, preferably something made of wool or a warm, breathable material.
If you want to be really hot, grab a trapper hat. Every rural Canadian I’ve ever met has owned at least one stair hat.
If you hate messing up your hair but have cold-sensitive ears, then a solid overcoat is a great investment. Unisex, lightweight and easy to pack, they are perfect to take on the road or leave in your car.
Although scarves are not as popular today as they once were, nothing beats the versatility of a warm scarf. From impromptu headgear to face shield to neck and sun protection, the humble scarf can do it all and look good if you do. For winter, go with a heavier material and you will have no complaints.
We have long been fans of SOREL boots for extremely cold weather (-15 Celsius and below). Charles got a pair of SOREL’s older style winter boots over 20 years ago. They held perfectly, and he wears them when it’s very cold outside or he needs grip on icy paths.
However, the only problem with the SOREL boots he has is that they are quite heavy, so they are not ideal for everyday wear. This SOREL Mans Glacier XT is very similar to those boots that Charles bought 20 years ago, and still uses.
SOREL has some amazing new styles that are much more lightweight. I looked this up women’s SOREL Tofino II boots for a while; they get good reviews.
Our daughter loves her very much Kamik Momentum winter boots.
She has been wearing them for a few years now because they are a nice mix of warm and comfortable. She found them to be perfect for our climate here in the interior of BC.
She’s still growing, so she had some white Kamik Momentums for a few years, and switched to a dark gray this year as she grew out of it. They have many other colors, including burgundy, blue and red.
We keep a wool blanket in our car at all times. In summer it is fantastic for impromptu picnics and sitting on the grass, and cool nights to camp and sit around the fire. In the winter, the wool blanket gives us an extra layer of warmth all over our lap in hockey rinks and the kids will often pull it out on cool days in the back seat of our car, and it’s great to have too in case of emergency. .
We kept our wool blanket for so long that we completely forgot where we picked it up. That said, you can pick up a really good wool blanket for less than $ 40. Wool is fantastic because it resists odors and helps to draw moisture away from the body.
Our choice: The Arcturus Military Wool Blanket
Arcturus Military Wool Blanket is a good size at 64 “x 88” and weighs only 4.5 pounds. It comes in olive green, navy blue, charcoal gray and a lighter military gray.
Like this article? See how to stay cool when it’s warm outside for some fun summer tips.