Downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, hiking, sliding... there is no shortage of winter activities! The best way to enjoy these family moments spent outdoors is with the right clothing and accessories that provide warmth and comfort! Take full advantage of the joys of winter with these essentials for the whole family.
The key to staying warm and dry when you're outdoors is to use the multi-layer system. Of course, this can be adjusted according to the activity and weather conditions. It will be easier and more pleasant to remove or add a layer of clothing than to have to stop because your clothes are too wet or the children's feet are too cold.
The multi-layer clothing system consists of three essential elements: the base layer, the middle layer and the outer layer. Then you can complete your outfit with the right accessories.
For both top and bottom, you need a breathable garment with a snug fit. Note that a seamless model or with flat seams will be preferable. For maximum effectiveness, the base layer should be worn directly on the skin. Its role is to transport moisture outwards to keep you dry. As well, you should avoid cotton. A synthetic material such as polyester or a natural material such as merino wool is the perfect option.
Smartwool women’s base layer shirt, $149.99, sportsexperts.ca
Inovik men’s warm tights, $30, decathlon.ca
This second layer is designed to trap heat. It will therefore be essential for activities on colder weather such as downhill skiing, snowboarding or hiking. In terms of materials, polar fleece is the perfect choice. It is best to select a model that promotes movement. Why not choose a model that's out of the ordinary to show off your style and colours?
Quechua women’s fleece hiking jacket $25, decathlon.ca
The North Face children’s quarter-snap sweater, $59.99, sportsexperts.ca
If you decide to opt for a multi-layer clothing system, you’ll want to complete your outfit with a soft shell coat. This outer layer will be used as a defence against weather elements such as wind, snow and rain. Your outer layer’s material must be breathable to allow moisture from the base and middle layer to escape. Because of their flexibility and resistance, softshell coats are an ideal choice and a favourite of numerous outdoor enthusiasts. Good to know: 3-in-1 models are also available. These coats can offer a more practical and affordable option for children.
Wedze 3-en-1 children’s ski jacket, $150, decathlon.ca
Arc’teryx men’s hooded jacket, $749.99, sportsexperts.ca
Never overlook the choice of a good toque when you want to get geared up for winter sports with your family. What fun it is to spin on the ice rink and race down the slopes when your ears are nice and warm!
Columbia men’s faux fur trapper hat, $49.99, labaie.com
Wedze children’s cable-knit hat, $17, decathlon.ca
Given that snow acts like a mirror for UV rays, sunglasses are a must, even in winter! Not only will they protect you from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but also from the wind and the elements. Depending on your activity, you may prefer sunglasses with polarized lenses, or goggles better suited for skiing or snowboarding.
Oakley adult winter sports goggles, $244.99, sportsexperts.ca
Quechua adult hiking sunglasses, $25, decathlon.ca
It is an essential accessory, especially this winter as face coverings are mandatory in ski resorts. For maximum comfort and optimum protection, you can choose a model that combines polar fleece and jersey.
Bula adult double neck warmer, $22.99, sportsexperts.ca
Wedze adult neck warmer, 9 $, decathlon.ca
That is the big question! Once again, your type of activity will influence your choice. If you’re more susceptible to frozen hands, it's better to choose mittens since fingers generate more heat together than separately. However, gloves may be more practical for activities that require more dexterity. Whichever you choose, the important thing is to choose a model made with breathable and waterproof material. For children, it may be helpful to choose a model with a wrist strap to prevent snow from getting in.
Winterproof girl’s rainbow ski gloves, $32, labaie.com
Auclair women’s alpine ski mitts, $69,99, sportsexperts.ca
Forclaz adult breathable hiking gloves, $15, decathlon.ca
We’re sure you’ll agree: there's nothing more unpleasant than wet socks! In order to promote moisture wicking, you need to invest in socks made of merino wool or synthetic fibres such as polyester. And as it is best to plan ahead, we also recommend that you always have an extra pair on hand to change them if necessary. And for those of you who are more sensitive to the cold, investing in heated insoles can be a winning solution!
Wedze adult ski socks, $13, decathlon.ca
Icebreaker men’s merino socks, $34.99, sportsexperts.ca
In order to truly enjoy family winter outings and activities, it is essential that everyone be equipped with a good pair of boots! Of course, you’ll be looking for warmth, waterproofing and comfort. In addition, you should consider choosing a model that offers good traction on slippery surfaces. Otherwise, we suggest you get a good pair of cleats. For snowshoeing and hiking in the forest, prefer high boots, to prevent snow from entering the boot.
Ugg Adirondack women’s winter boots, $295, brownsshoes.com
Columbia Bugaboot leather winter boots, $160, thebay.com
Sorel junior winter boots, $139.99, sportsexperts.ca
Note that Sports Experts, Décathlon and The Hudson Bay retailers now offer curbside pick-up. This way, it will be easier for you to get everything you need for everyone in your family. Mail Champlain wishes you a wonderful winter!