Winter Clothing Checklist
Winter Clothing check list
- waterproof jacket or parka
- under layers (leggings, under-shirts, long johns)
- fleece sweaters
- long and short sleeved t-shirts
- waterproof gloves/mittens
- warm socks (wool works well)
- insulated winter boots
- sleepwear (long pants and top)
- accessories (lip balm, moisturizing cream, hand cream)
- waterproof pants, snow pants, or nylon pants to wear over other pants (optional- depends on outdoor activity level)
Insulation creates space for heat to be stored. Therefore, higher bulk clothing or footwear is generally more
insulating than thin clothing: Wool is better than cotton, nylon, rayon or almost any other clothing fabric.
There are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part bulky = warm. The key when it comes to jackets
with insulation is to make sure they stay dry. This means picking out a jacket that has a waterproof outer layer.
Insulated boots are another way to stay warm in the winter. Please read about the common types of
insulation below (in alphabetical order):
Polartec® was originally invented as a lightweight, synthetic version of wool. It is often used to line winter boots and is hydrophobic, that is, it does not retain water.
Primaloft® was originally developed for the U.S. Army after the army requested insulation that remained effective when wet. Primaloft® is a microfiber, and the most expensive synthetic
insulation to manufacture.
Shearling is perhaps most readily recognizable as the material that made UGG® boots so popular. It is made from a tanned sheep’s hide that has the wool still attached. The While shearling boots can be incredibly comfortable, they are best used as casual winter boots and are not meant for
long walks in the snow.
This synthetic fiber is known for keeping feet warm without taking up a lot of space. Not only is Thinsulate® less bulky than natural insulators such as goose down, it also retains its ability to insulate when wet. Most Thinsulate® boots are graded on the amount of Thinsulate® they contain. For example, a boot with 1,000 gram insulation will keep your feet warmer than a boot with 500 gram
Winter Jackets: Key Features to Look For
- A well designed hood should be adjustable so that you can obtain a good snug fit during cold and windy days.
- A covered zipper is preferable and will help make sure cold air stays out. The zipper should zip all the way to your chin.
- Large Pockets are useful for ensuring that gloves/mitts have plenty of space on cold days.
- Appropriate length should be enough to cover some of your backside. You will notice that many jackets are longer in the back than in the front for this reason.
- Colour is optional but a higher visibility colour such as red, light blue, or white might be useful if you plan to walk at night or in the early morning hours. Alternatively, you can look for darker coloured jackets with reflective accents (e.g. glow in the dark stripes/stitching).
Winter Boots: Key Features to Look For
- Water Resistance: important for making sure your feet stay dry and warm throughout the day as you walk through the snow and sludge.
- Height: Make sure the boot is high enough to keep water and snow from hitting your feet. Ankle high boots will not prevent snow or water from entering.
- Flexibility: Boots should be flexible enough for you to move around in a normal day. You don’t need something that will be stiff and limit your mobility. Find boots that will protect your feet, but will also be comfortable as you move from outdoor to indoor (e.g. while on campus).
- Workmanship: Don’t just assume because you are paying a high price that everything will be as it should be. Check the stitching and make sure it is finished properly with no loose threads. Look at any seams on the boot, do they seem strong or is there extra glue where there shouldn’t be? Be sure to also inspect the inside of the boot for any possible problems, making sure the insoles are properly in place.
- Traction: Having a good grip on the ground is important, especially for those icy days of winter. Look for deep grooves on the bottom of your boot that will prevent you from slipping and falling. Check with the salesperson and ask questions about how the boot performs in all kinds of weather for slip resistance.
- Comfort: Make sure the boot is comfortable and that it fits properly. If possible, wear heavy socks to the store to make sure there is enough room and your feet don’t feel pinched. Some boots offer genuine fleece sock liners for extra warmth and comfort on those bitter cold days and boots that have wool fleece lining can also keep moisture away from your feet.
- Ease of Use: How easy is the boot to get on? Is it easy to remove? If there is a zipper, be sure it zips with ease. If you buy a pair of boots that are not easy to wear, they will most likely sit at the back of your closet