Here is a list of the Best Cold Weather Gear for Women:
Cold Weather Gear for Women
When temperatures start to drop below zero or even subzero, our safety becomes one of the most important issues to take into consideration when it comes to choose the best cold weather gear. When experiencing extremely cold weather, you risk encountering frostbites and hypothermia amongst other health risks. Winter activities including mountaineering, snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling and many others involve extremely cold weather conditions. Choosing the right winter gear for women is essential and specifically designed for the female form and weight distribution.Knowing how to properly dress for extreme cold weather will help you venture outside without any hassle of freezing your toes off.
Consider dressing in layers with the onion principle. Layers provide protection, versatility and function. When it suddenly becomes too warm, you can easily shed off a layer or two. If the weather drops down a few degrees, simply zip up or throw another layer on top. The system of layering is to ensure the most comfortable protection for both cold and wet condition. Though keep in mind, an average person has 2 to 4 million sweat glands and regardless of the temperature, as long as you’re moving you will be most likely sweating.
Choose the Best Cold - Weather Fabrics
Choosing the best cold weather fabrics is vital when it comes to extremities. Wind-proofing materials can cut out the wind and reduce the feeling of coldness. When searching for artic clothing, high-quality fabrics like GORE-TEX or Merino Wool is key. Merino Wool is lightweight and insulation with a natural, quick-drying material. What’s great about the wool is how breathable it is and has antimicrobial properties. This means you can wear your long underwear for days without scaring off your cabin mates. Though these premium fabrics are sold at a higher price, the materials it definitely worth it for your safety and comfort as these high-quality garments will last you for years on end.
Choose the right base layer or thermal underwear as it is the most important layer in order to keep warm and stay comfortable in cold weather conditions. The best base layer is soft and insulating as it is breathable, wicks moisture away from the body, and dries quickly. For women, the top and bottom base layers are specifically designed to fit the female form and reduce air pockets. A popular choice in fabric materials would include merino wool and high-performance synthetic fabrics.
For the best cold weather base layer, we recommend the Smart Wool Midweight Pattern Crew Top for women.
Smart Wool Midweight Pattern Crew Top
The Smart Wool Midweight Pattern women's crew top provides a light feel comfort with great moisture control in a fashionable design. The crew top is made of merino wool to help stay comfortable during extreme climate changes. Merino wool has a UPF 50+ rating and provides great protection against extreme ultraviolet rays. The shoulder panels eliminate shoulder seams and reduce risk of chafing and give ultimate comfort under pack straps.
The Smart Wool’s rear body seams wrap around the front to enhance the fit and comfort with sculpted side panels. Another great feature is the flat lock stitching which eliminates abrasion and increases comfort while reducing bulky, uncomfortable seams. Users recommend this top as it does not itch and will now shrink. This is a very versatile piece that can be used as a base layer and an outside layer as it works well in both situations.
For extreme cold weather, we recommend the Under Armour Base 3.0 Crew for women.
Underarmour Base 3.0 Crew Top
The Underarmour Base 3.0 Crew long sleeve provides a next-to-skin fit without feeling squeezed. WE recommend this for extreme cold weather as the thermal grid fabric provides advanced warmth and traps heat in tiny pockets for long-lasting protection. With a quick-dry construction, the fabric easily wicks moisture to keep you dry, feeling lighter and comfortable. The material is very lightweight with a 4-wa stretch to improve mobility and maintain its structured shape.
With anti-microbial technology, the UB Base 3.0 crew fights odours to keep your gear fresh. The raglan sleeves and flat lock seams eliminate chafing and help unlock mobility with thumbholes to keep sleeves secure and seal in body heat.
The middle layer is the insulating layer that provides extra insulation. These are usually composed of several lightweight layers you can easily open or remove to control the body’s temperate. With multiple layers, your body traps in air and keeps warm air from cooling too quickly. Insulation layers include shirts, light sweaters, and light jackets that are usually made of wool, micro fleece and other fabric materials designed to wick moisture, breathe, insulate, and dry quickly.
For the insulation layer in between, we recommend the Patagonia R2 Jacket for women.
Patagonia R2 Jacket
The Patagonia R2 Jacket is a top pick amongst many reviewers. The material is super breathable and compressible. The weight of the jacket is lightweight and cosy for a technical fleece. For those light cold days, this jacket can easily be worn on its own. Perhaps the only down side to it is that there is no hood or wind protection, but if you are planning on layers, this is nothing to worry about at the outer layer should provide. The style of the design is tailored, long sleeves. What makes this jacket high-quality is the Hi-loft polartec thermal pro and polartec power dry fabric. Some of the unique features include the easy stretch panels on the side, used to reduce volume and the thump loops to control insulation.
When choosing a fleece jacket to wear under the outer layer, the Patagonia R2 is found to be more streamlined in the fit. This is a great feature because otherwise, the fabric material will tend to bunch up around the waist and lead to feeling uncomfortable when out in the cold. With the new design of the Patagonia R2 jacket, it gives a great warmth-to-weight ratio. The jacket is extremely packable which is great if you want to toss it into your pack for an extra layer on the harsh, cold days.
Like many of the fleeces jackets, the Patagonia R2 does not protect against wind and will not be able to withstand the cold is this alone. However, the short-sheered, high-loft fibbers do a great job of being a bit water proof. The style of the jacket is more on the technical slide and great for winter activities when you really want to move. This will easily fit over or under the rest of your layers and perfect for sports in cold climates.
The outer layer requires a single outer jacket or parka and pants as layers are often waterproof and windproof enough to keep the body dry in freezing conditions. The outer layer should be lined and insulated for ultimate protection. Choosing the right jacket should include a hood to protect your head and neck, insulated pockets, and vents that you can easily open to regulate the body’s temperature. For extreme cold weather, look for Hip-length jackets as they provide extra insulation and protection. For women, the outer layers should be roomy and well-shaped to allow room for the hips and chest. Look for insulation materials that may be naturally down or specialized synthetics.
For dry and cold weather, we recommend the Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket for women.
Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket
For a reliable, durable jacket that works well for a variety of activities, the Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket is a great balance of our needs at a reasonable price. This down jacket can be considered as one of the most water and wind resistant jackets up to date and often used for the warmest layer during extreme weather. Due to recent modifications to the model, the Microlight Alpine Jacket now has an adjustable hood and includes a separate stuff sack.
What makes the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket is the outer fabric. Reviewers found this jacket to have the best protection against both wind and water, which adds up to warmer jacket for the weight. Performance wise, the pertex microlight fabric is strong against wind and water with the added mobility from the smaller baffles to ensure the jacket stays close to the body. The jacket is more on the heavier side of down jackets but deemed to be sturdy and long lasting, which is worth the extra ounces.
The jacket boasts on resisting moisture and dries quickly unlike other down jackets. This could be due to the hydrophobic treatment on the down jacket, which is a technology that is becoming more prevalent in down products. The treatment is used to enhance the down jacket’s ability to resist water and prevent it from losing its loft. The style of the hood was a bit of dissatisfaction as reviewers are not fond of Rab’s signature bendable wire rim visor as it kinks and is unable to cram under a helmet if you want it to.
Overall, this jacket is perfect for cold weather in the mountains and windy days. It is a well-constructed down jacket that provides reliable protection against harsh elements. Though you must beware of lighter colours as they will get extremely dirty when out in the hills. The Microlight Alpine jacket is great for mountain climbing because the fabric is very rugged and versatile.
For wet or windy extreme weather, we recommend the Arcteryx Women’s Beta AR Jacket and the Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pants for women.
Arcteryx Women’s Beta AR Jacket
The Arcteryx Beta AR is the lightest of the Fore-Tex Pro shell jackets and features strong durability, weather protection, and style in versatility. This is one of the best quality all-around mountain jackets and is the short version of the Theta AR. The jacket has great weather protection as the Gore-Tex Pro consists of three-layers and a three-point adjustable hood and wrist. Though it doesn’t offer water protection it was a bomber wind shell that’s does its job by insulating the warmth when the vents are zipped.
With a variety of features, the large chest pockets are big enough to hold food, your phone, wallet, etc. The storm hood has a glove-friendly pull adjustment with laminated brims to keep the water out. The chin guards have a micro suede facing that matches to other comparable jackets. One thing we don’t like is the cut being too short, though this depends on the preference of the buyer. The style of the jacket has ergonomic patterns for enhanced articulation and mobility in the mountain ranges.
Overall, the Beta AR is one of the most mobile in terms of heavy duty jackets and gives tons of room for the arms in torso to comfortably accommodate layers. With Pit zips and large chest pockets, the jacket can be both unzipped to increase more breathability through ventilation and hem enclosures that can be opened to release more air. This jacket performs well in a variety of winter sports as you can use it on day trips ski mountaineering or ice climbing.
Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pants
The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pants provides a feminine fit with incredible versatility and comfort. The Lobo convertible pants have three options to wear with full-length pants, roll-up capris, or shorts – all in a slim fit design that leaves a women’s body flattering. The feminine details on the stitch look great and excel in a variety of weather conditions. This is a great choice for hiking, backpacking, climbing and other adventures.
Constructing of 93% Nylon and 7% Elastane Plaine Weave, the pants have the benefit of synthetic fibbers that have a fast dry time, breathability, and easy to wash material. The pants are also constructed of Blue Sign approved fabric which assures sustainable fibber and fabric material production. They can be easily zipped off into a comfortable, stretchy shorts or pants. The material is breathable to accommodate active sports and lifestyle.
The Lobo pants are treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) which enables the water to bead off the pants and keep you dry. The style was designed with simplicity yet has plenty of features for storing your essentials. You can easily convert the pants into shorts for the warm days or scrunch the pants high enough to make capris. With an inseam gusset panel and elastane fibbers, the pants provide easy mobility and comfort.
Overall, the Marmot Lobo’s convertible pants are best for hiking in cold weather. The slim fat and feminine details combined with technical features will keep any woman well ventilated, dry and happy with climbing and hiking in various ranges of climate and environments.
Extreme Cold Conditions
During extremities, micro fleece and wool hats are best to insulate your head as this is where you need the most warmth. When the temperature reaches subzero, your fingers, toes, and ears are susceptible to frostbite. Hats, scarves, ad ski masks protect the neck and face from the harsh cold wind as heavy layered socks made of wool, micro fleece and other synthetics are worn over moisture wicking liners. Combine socks with insulated, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry and wear waterproof gloves or mittens over micro fleece or thin wool glove linings. Cold weather boots are designed for extreme weather is usually crampon-compatible which allows you to attach crampons for extra traction in icy conditions.
For moderate cold weather, we recommend the UGG Adirondack II for women.
UGG Adirondack II
The Adirondack II performs well in water resistance, warmth, and traction. Perfect for shovelling snow or winter hiking, this boot earned great reviews in comfort and cosiness. The sheepskin lining gives a comfortable, supportive foot bed with plush insulation lining to the entire boot, including the easily removable insole. The UGGs are designed with a cuff able suede shaft to roll up or down for extra protection against extremities. The Adirondack II has great features including butterfly full-grain leather and sheepskin.
UGG is known to for comfort with their boots and the Adironback II boot is a great example. The lining of the boot is has amazing quality as the foot bed provides comfort and support. There’s not much ankle support but it provides more than other boots. It’s relatively breathable with its full-grain leather upper and waterproof rubber outsole.
You can easily walk through puddles of water as high as about 5 inches without getting any water in. The boot is fitted with an abrasion-resistant mud guard around the front of the toes as well as at the heel. Another great feature is the vibram sole wraps in front of the toes for added protection, traction and extra grip. The soles of the boots wrap slightly over the tip of the toes which helps add a bit of extra traction to where it’s needed most.
Overall, the boots are stylish and easy to wear during the cold months, but the laces lose a few points as they tend to bunch up which makes them increasingly difficult to pull through the lace holes. The full sheep skin lining makes the interior feel more slick which helps to slip on and off effortlessly with no hassle.
For extreme cold weather, we recommend the Sorel Joan of Arctic for women.
Sorel Joan of Arctic
The Sorel Joan of Artic is one of the few boots to have a removable liner, which helps increase warmth and allows the shoes to dry quickly. If the liner somehow gets wet inside, you can easily remove and clean then place it back in once dry. These are amazing boots for the extremely cold days. The Sorel Joan of Arctic boots measures 13.5 inches from the sole base to the top of the shaft. Faux fur cuff and removable felt liner, these boots will keep your feet warm and cosy.
The model is fitted and includes a removable liner made of six millimetre thick recycled felt. The boots have a wide foot bed that allows increased air flow around the feet to really warm up the boots. Though the boots doesn’t have much to offer in the comfort and cosy category, the removable liner is not as soft compared to over competitors. On the other hand, the Sorel Joan of Arctic boots make up for it when proving its superior protection against snow, slush and all things winter. The sole of this show is made from vulcanized rubber and the upper consists of waterproof suede and full-grain leather.
Overall, the shaft of the boot is tall which is nice because it will give you more warmth. The tall shaft adds extra heat while the faux fur creates a cosy seal around the mid-calf. The boots seem to run about a size bigger than usual. For those with sizes in between like a 6.5, it’s better to go for the 6 unless you plan to add an extra sole in the bottom of the boot. The shoes may feel a bit too big but do not actually make your feet appear enormous – which is a great plus in terms of style.
Goggles and sunglasses help protect the eyes from extreme wind, snow encounters, glare, and ultraviolet rays. While snow enthusiasts love sunglasses, goggles offer more protection from light, wind, and foreign bodies. The Oakley Airbrake is one of the best choices in goggles as this ski goggle features fantastic lens optics and total breathability. Though many may reconsider due to the higher price, it is important to keep in mind that it comes with two lenses rather than just one. With the Oakley Airbrake, you get two pairs or the price of one, which makes it easy to switch out the lens when needed. The Airbrake goggles have a comfortable design and do a fantastic job of protecting eyes from harsh elements.
Nobody enjoys the stinging pain of frostbite, and without proper gear you will risk the sharp, cold feet and toes. Don’t forget to protect your face either, and exposing the nose, cheeks, ears, and chins will easily get frost nipped during harsh weather conditions. The Hestra Heli Mittens for women is super warm as it is loaded with goatskin palm, a three-layer polyamide shell, and a removable liner to accommodate another line inside. This mitt will surely keep your hands happy, healthy, and dry.