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Snowshoeing Collection

Snowshoeing is a great way to get out and get active through the snowy winter months. As with all blood pumping winter activities, proper layers and gear are going to be vitally important in helping you have fun while keeping you safe. We've gathered a collection of items that will deliver warmth and comfort, while effectively venting built-up heat, all to provide you with the best experience possible.

The level of activity when snowshoeing can range from moderate to intense. As with any highly aerobic activity, managing the heat and moisture that the body produces is going to be paramount to enjoying your time outside. The next-to-skin layer is what helps manage moisture. We make our baselayers using two different materials, each with their own pros and cons.

Another thing to consider is the weight of the baselayer. Look at the photo to the left. See how this individual has his sleeves rolled up? Your goal should be not breaking a sweat. In order to do so, you should remove layers as necessary to maintain "warmth." Try to avoid "hot." Lightweight (LW) and middle weight (MW) baselayers are better suited for an activity like snowshoeing.

Your initial thought may be "Wouldn't expedition weight be better for cold temperatures?" Expedition weight baselayers are better suited for extreme cold or situations when you're more stationary (think bird watching or ice fishing). Since your body will be producing quite a bit of heat and moisture on its own, expedition baselayers in milder conditions can retain too much heat and quickly get you uncomfortably hot. Lightweight and middle weight baselayers don't retain as much heat and are better at keeping you comfortably warm when you're on the move. Don't get us wrong, there are certainly temperatures and conditions where expedition weight baselayers would be appropriate for snowshoeing. But lightweight and middle weight baselayers are a little more versatile since they can be used in wider range of temperatures.

*Pro tip: for additional help with regulating heat, look for shirts that have a zipper. Getting too hot? Simply unzip to let the excess heat vent out.

Synthetic



Synthetic baselayers do an excellent job of keep you dry by wicking moisture away from your skin and quickly drying. Our Zeo-Line baselayers are made with polyester treated with a special wicking agent to pair with polyester's natural quick-drying properties. Through capillary action, the fibers quickly disperse the moisture over a wider surface area so it can quickly evaporate.

Wool



Wool baselayers tend to have better thermal performance and are great at helping manage moisture, though they do take a little longer to dry. How does it all work? The surface of individual wool fibers have a protective scale structure. The scaly outer layer repels water, while the core is highly absorbent. Under normal conditions, the hydrophobic scales shut moisture out but, as humidity levels rise due to body heat and perspiration, the scales open slightly exposing the moisture-absorbing core. This is how wool naturally manages the heat and moisture our bodies produce.

The mid layer is a breathable layer that retains warmth while we are active. Also important is this layer needs to be able to retain heat even if it is wet. Synthetic insulation, soft shells and fleeces are some items that you can pick for this layer. Stretchy garments that don't affect mobility are a plus.

We're also including some down products in this section. Rather than use down while actively snowshoeing, the correct usage for down would be wearing it during breaks or when stopped for lunch. During breaks when you aren't moving, your body is no longer producing the same amount of heat and you can start to cool down rapidly. A good down jacket helps retain your body heat while shielding your from the cold in the outside environment.

Soft Shells



The Snow Banshee is an extremely versatile layer for snowshoeing. The outer fabric has a durable water repellent treatment to help shed snow, a wind resistant membrane protects you from the wind, a fleece lining helps retain heat and pit zips allow you to regulate your temperature. Great for cold weather.

Our Trail Shell Jacket and Light Shell Parkas are a great option for days when the weather is milder. The Trail Shell has a grid fleece liner making it great for cold days and the Light Shell Parks have a mesh fleece lining for warmer days on the snow. Both models feature great wind resistance.

Though not technically soft shells, these pants are a little thicker to provide a measure of heat retention. What really sets these pants apart from our other options is their stretch which doesn't impact your mobility.

Fleeces



Fleece is a great option for active insulation. It is highly breathable which is important for releasing excess heat. When layered over a hard shell in inclement weather, fleece also helps remove excess moisture since the material absorbs very little water, helping keep you dry.


Insulation Synthetic



Synthetic insulation can be used as a lightweight equivalent to fleece. Wear it will active since the polyester fill won't absorb moisture and still retains heat when wet. The U.L. Thermawrap is great for when you are really active due to their breathability. The Thermawrap Pros have more insulation and less breathability, making them suited as a middle layer on very cold days.


Insulation Down



As mentioned above, these down jackets are great when taking breaks. We wouldn't recommend using these while actively snowshoeing.

The outer layer is what protects you from the elements. Also called "hard shells," these garments are made with a waterproof breathable membrane to keep you dry from outside moisture. Although outer layers are breathable, it takes time for the heat and moisture inside the garment to move out. With an activity like snowshoeing, it doesn't take too long before the heat and moisture your body is producing to overwhelm the membrane. To vent excess heat and moisture, most outer layers have pit zips or side vents. For the most part, your outer layer will spend most of its time in your backpack, but you'll be glad you brought it along when inclement weather presents itself.

Shells



These hard shells don't feature any insulation. They allow you to layer more versatility and use in a wider range of conditions. Also, they are generally lighter and more compact, which means they take up less pack space.

Insulated Shells



These shells feature synthetic insulation. These are better for when conditions are colder but make layering a little more difficult. Pit zips and side vents on the pants do help with releasing excess heat.

Make your trips out into the snowy wilderness a little more fun and comfortable with these gear ideas.

Even with a hard shell, sitting on snow can still be cold and uncomfortable. Bring a compact folding chair to stay off the snow or bring a foam cushion as a barrier between you and the snow.

Hot cocoa on a break or soup for lunch is a great way to boost morale while snowshoeing. Hydration is equally important in cold weather because it is harder to tell if you are becoming dehydrated (cold and dry weather makes it harder to know you are perspiring). Keep your water hydration bladder insulated to prevent it from freezing. *Pro tip: blow air into the hose after drinking to force the water back into the main reservoir so your drinking tube doesn't freeze.

Planning to make some coffee? A burner sheet helps keep your gas cartridge off the snow and provides an area to set things down and keep them dry. Our Climaprene cartridge tube also helps keep your stove burning in cold temps. The long-time fan favorite O.D. Compact Dripper needs no explanation.