© La Folie Douce Méribel Courchevel
Latest Gear: Best Après-Skiwear
Many of us will either be heading out for our regular ski or snowboard holiday in the next few weeks, or perhaps be spending the season in a resort. It’s always a bit of a conundrum how much stuff to take along on a trip for the evenings.
Too much extra clothing and gear can feel like overkill, but wandering around with freezing cold wet feet all week isn’t too appealing either. Here are a few suggestions for items of clothing and footwear that work great for après-ski, along with general everyday winter living too.
Sorel Winter Carnival Women's Boots
Sorel’s reputation is built on making great footwear for cold environments. The Women’s Winter Carnival boots are designed to perform when the temperature drops. They look great too, so are perfect for wearing around resort in the evening. They feature a removable felt liner, sherpa pile fleece cuff, and a fully waterproof construction. Sorel rate the Winter Carnival down to a chilly -25C, which should be plenty warm enough for even the coldest nights.
The North Face Thermoball Traction Booties
One for padding around the chalet rather than the streets, the Thermoball Traction Booties from The North Face are basically very posh, warm slippers. They are great for taking on ski trips, or just wearing around the house or mountain hut in cold weather. They have a lightweight nylon shell that repels moisture and breathes well, and a lightly treaded outsole for grip. The insulation is Thermoball, an advanced synthetic insulation developed by Primaloft exclusively for The North Face. Tiny balls of synthetic fibres loft and trap warm air in a similar way to down. It makes the Thermoball Traction Booties warm comfortable and compressible.
Arc’teryx Patera Parka
The super luxurious Patera Parka from Arc’teryx is both incredibly warm and completely waterproof. 750 fill power down and Coreloft synthetic insulation provide warmth for the coldest conditions, and the supple two-layer Gore-Tex shell fabric keeps nasty weather at bay. The long length ensures there are no exposed spots, and helps to keep the thighs dry too. The sleek and elegant design hides some important features. Two outer pockets and an internal pocket help keep hands warm and store essentials. The large, insulated hood is adjustable to work with or without a hat, and the fit is designed to offer bulk free comfort and freedom of movement.
Patagonia Retro Plie Hoody
Fleece has made a real comeback in recent years. It remains perhaps the most versatile and useful of all outdoor clothing fabrics. It’s warm, light, quick drying, breathable and generally very durable. The Patagonia Women’s Retro Pile Hoody is a throwback to the fleeces of old, but with a modern look and fit. The deep pile fabric is incredibly warm for its weight, so great for wearing after a day’s skiing or snowboarding. The fit is close and flattering, and the cosy hood adds an extra element of warmth.
Sorel Caribou Wool Men's Boots
The Caribou are the definitive winter boots and a great choice for anyone who spends time in cold, snowy environments. They have a completely waterproof seam sealed construction with a waterproof leather upper, and a high vulcanised rubber rand for extra protection and durability. The 9mm felted wool inner boot lining provides a huge amount of warmth, and the sherpa fleece cuff gives a nice seal to keep snow out. The Sorel AeroTrac outsole is designed to stop snow from clogging up the treads and therefore improve traction.
The North Face Back-To-Berkeley Redux Men's Leather Boots
The Back-To-Berkeley Redux Leather Boots are a great choice for anyone looking for apres ski and resort footwear that has a more casual look. Perfect for seasonaires or those lucky enough to live in the mountains, they would also be a good choice for winter footwear in any urban environment. They are insulated with Primaloft synthetic insulation, which provides bulk free warmth and comfort in cold temps. The leather uppers are backed up by a Hydroseal waterproof breathable membrane that keeps water and slush out. The outsole has deep lugs for superior traction in snow. The Back-To-Berkeley Redux Leather Boots may be the perfect apres ski footwear.
Patagonia Fjord Flannel Shirt
The best shirt I’ve ever owned, the Patagonia Fjord Flannel is beautifully designed and built with real care and attention to detail. Made from 100% organic cotton, it’s durable enough to last for years, even when worn on a daily basis. The Fjord Flannel features two chest pockets and has a regular fit that works over a t-shirt or as a trim overshirt. The french seams sit flat and are amazingly strong. A multitude of different colourways both plaid and plain, mean there’s a Fjord Flannel Shirt to suit all tastes.
Primaloft is a synthetic insulation that is soft, warm and compressible. It traps air very well and retains much of its warmth even when wet.
Another synthetic insulation that consists of tiny balls of fibres that trap air in a similar way to down. Unlike down, Thermoball doesn’t sag and loose its loft when wet. This makes it great for use in products that may come into contact with moisture.
The traditional way of sewing a shirt, french seams are durable and look great. Instead of sewing one layer of fabric to another, french seams are instead made up of three layers of fabric that are then sewn down to create a flat finish.
France, La Plagne