Coat advice(13 Posts)
We are off to Banff over Christmas and January with family. I think if we ski it will only be one or two days at the most, the rest of the time we want to do the hot springs, some day trips, eat a lot! etc.
I’m completely stuck on what kind of coat to get. I know it’s going to be absolutely freezing but haven’t been somewhere this cold before. Would two coats be better - one ‘stylish’ and one for the snow activities?
It was -40 at Christmas this year. Style will not matter, layers, layers and more layers, possibly 2 coats and a balaclava.
I don’t really know where to start! It seems very mixed advice online. Would woollen thermals, long sleeved shirt and jeans, thick woollen jumper then a proper coat (as well as hat gloves scarf etc) be okay for a day just out and about (not skiing?) Thermal socks and boots too.
I was wearing 5 layers of merino, wool jumper, down jacket and a lined ski jacket and I was OK, but I was skiing. It was also 'only' -30.
To be honest, it may not be THAT cold. It is always colder inland though than by the coast and ranges can be very cold.
I would suggest that the longer you are outside the more you need. The less you are doing 'not skiing' the more you need to wear to stay warm. However this is Canada not a 3rd world country, you can buy stuff if you need to.
Wearing wool tights, thermals leggings and a cheap pair of ski trousers (Aldi are good) might be better than jeans though, but clearly any layers are good.
Tops wise, I'd take at least 3 jumpers and lots of base layers (ideally thermal) and a coat big enough to wear the lot if it's cold. Tshirts can add layers for being outside, which you might not wear if skiing (it get wet with sweat and then makes you cold), but are fine. I tend to wear merino, but I go every year so the expense isn't as concerning. Sports tops are good though.
No one will care what you look like, everyone will be wrapped up warm. I sometimes add a nicer base layer if we are going 'out out', but most places are very informal.
I've been Banff in Jan and it's proper cold. Never felt cold like it even in Finland.
Lots of layers essential and proper weather proof coat not a fashion coat and very good socks and warm boots.
I wore my salapettes to zoo etc during day it was so bloody cold. No one cares about fashion on a ski holiday / area.
I think I wore jeans to walk to restaurants etc but I can't remember 100%. It was so cold at night you could literally feel your flesh freezing.
We didn't walk far
Jeans are terrible when it’s cold. The cold/wind just seems to whip through them. TK Maxx have ski stuff in now and have some nice longer quilted jackets by Spyder.
Thanks so much this is all really helpful!
I think thermal base layers sound like a good investment. Glad to hear no one will care how I’m dressed, I was picturing everyone in bars and restaurants in gorgeous winter outfits and me looking like a clothes rack from sports direct!
Could get some nice thick leggings and nice tunics and wear Salopettes to Resturant and take them off when you get there. Most bars etc have a lobby and coat hanging area as everyone is bundled up
If you ask a Canadian they will always just reply “layers”.
Personally, I wouldn't buy a ski jacket because they tend to be thick and not give you much option for when it warms up and is sunny. Better to go for a waterproof windbreaker (shell in Canadian parlance) and then layer up. That way you get a perfectly functional jacket for the uk too.
I'm a big fan of the neck things instead of scarves. Also, goggles for skiing.
Finally, -30 (“30 below”) is just cold. Your nose freezes, your eyes freeze, your car whines even if it has been plugged in (what's that?) Etc. Fortunately it only happens a few times a season, so you hopefully won't experience it.
Not a coat suggestion - but maybe worth me mentioning. My parents don't ski and have been to Alberta twice with us in January to do other stuff. For keeping warm we gave them each a pair of our old salopettes (past their best, not as waterproof as they were when new and a bit bashed), but wearing them did give an extra layer of protection (and thermals fitted better underneath those then they do under normal trousers.
Yes don't wear jeans when it's -25 unless your coat comes down to your knees, or you have something on underneath. Discovered that my first winter here
Coat wise - you need a hood to keep the wind off. And it needs to cover your bum. Preferably down stuffed. No-one will care what you look like - everyone bundles up properly when it gets cold. Lots of people wear Canada Goose coats or similar.
Mittens are much warmer than gloves. And fleece lined mittens and bobble hat (toque) are good to keep the wind out. A breath of a breeze at -25 is coooold!
I agree with PP that it might not be that cold though. And if it is, chances are it won't be for long.
Banff is choc-a-block with shops. Roots do lovely snuggly clothes.
Make sure to be on Banff avenue at midnight NYE for the fireworks
I've just come back to this post as our holiday gets closer. Thank you for all the advice. Any more tips would be gratefully received!
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