December 6, 2017

We’ve all been in the position when it’s freezing (or feels like it) and you forgot a key piece in your layering.  Or maybe nobody has told you the proper way to layer.  Being headquartered in Southern California most of us will admit that we’re wimps when it comes to the cold, but Winter is sending season.  So we bear the weather and make our way down to Joshua Tree and up to Bishop while the skiers keep heading north to Mammoth and Tahoe.  But one thing we have all learned the hard way is how we layer to prepare ourselves to transition from the comfortable 70-degree weather in Orange County to the seriously cold temps in our favorite outdoor playgrounds.

Base Layers

The very first thing on your list should be a solid pair of base layers.  I pretty much live in my base layers every time I head outdoors so be sure you’re getting a pair of merino wool or something that’s antimicrobial if you plan on wearing the same pair for days at a time.  

Smartwool Merino 250


Mid Layers

Next up is a light mid layer.  I prefer a fleece pullover.  The Mountain Khakis Pop Top Pullover is a great option, particularly because it offers a snap closure which breaks up all of the zippers hanging out around your neckline.  If you like a zipper then the Arc’teryx Delta LT Zip is a fantastic option.

Mountain Khakis Pop Top Pullover




Arc’teryx Delta LT




Third is your puffy.  We all have one that we know and love.  I actually have 3!  Wow, I really just admitted to that?  When purchasing a down jacket there are a few things to consider, what type of activity do you plan on doing in this jacket, how warm do you want this jacket to be?  If you’re looking for something to wear while hiking (or being active) The North Face Aconcagua is a great option.  Another top choice is Mountain Hardwear’s new StretchDown Jacket, this jacket gives a whole new meaning to comfort in the backcountry.  If you’re looking for something to keep you warm in everyday cold then Arc’teryx’s Thorium AR is the perfect option. Pro tip: if you find that you have tons of zippers around your neck, break it up by putting on a neck gaiter in between your fleece and puffy.

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Down



The North Face Aconcagua



Arc’teryx Thorium



Waterproof Shell

Your last layer should always be your waterproof shell.  You always want to be prepared for rain or wet weather in the Winter season and a waterproof shell that is actually waterproof is the ticket to staying dry.  

The North Face Venture 2 Jacket



So there you have it, easy layering tips to keep you warm and cozy while you #thriveoutside.  Show us where you wander this season and how your layers hold up!