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MID-LAYER BUYING GUIDE


Layering is the best way to stay warm on the slopes - but only if you do it right. Your mid-layer is the one which actually provides the warmth, so the one you choose can make or break your day in the mountains. Remember, each layering system is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another, so we've created this guide to help you choose the right mid-layer for you.

Fleece

Soft, lightweight and insulating, fleece is one of the top choices for skiers and boarders everywhere. It's hydrophobic, which means it holds less than 1% of its weight in water, and doesn't lose its insulating effectiveness when wet. That also means it's highly breathable, so helps sweat to escape and stops you from becoming uncomfortable, and it's machine washabe too.

 

However, fleece is prone to pilling (fibres clumping together), which makes it less insulating and doesn't look great, either.

 

Read more about fleeces in our buying guide

Merino

Not just for base layers, merino wool makes great mid-layers, too. It's a natural fibre which means it's more sustainable, as well as being breathable and anti-microbial, which means odours are a thing of the past.

Softshell

A softshell is a woven jacket, usually made from polyester or nylon, which is designed to bridge the gap between a waterproof hardshell and a fleece. Softshell jackets are designed for intense activity in unpredictable weather, as they're more protective than a fleece and more durable and comfortable, although less wind- and water-resistant, than a hardshell.

 

When incorporated into your layering system, a softshell will keep the moisture left inside the hardshell away from the body, and be comfortable to wear thanks to its soft fleecy lining.

Insulated Jackets

An insulated jacket is the perfect mid-layer for extremely cold days on the slopes. They work by trapping and retaining warm air in the space between down filaments or polyester strands. Insulated jackets are the warmest mid-layer and offer the best warmth-to-weight ratio. They're also the easiest to pack away when not needed thanks to their compressibe fill.

Whether you choose a down or synthetic insulated jacket will depend on the conditions you'll be skiing in. Check out our guide to down and synthetic jackets here.

Layering is the best way to keep warm on the slopes because it traps air between each layer, so having the right layers is much more effective than one thick jacket. A basic layering system consists of a base layer, mid-layer and outer layer, and they're all as important to get right as each other.

 

Check out our base layer buying guide and our ski jacket buying guide.