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Old Apr 26, 08, 8:29 pm   #1
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Best light weight cold weather clothing?

I'm open to suggestions. I have to go into very cold and wet country and need to keep the weight of all my baggage to less than 35 pounds.

I need everything from the skin out and price is not an object of concern.

I am a woman, but I can wear men's clothing.

Thank you.
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Old Apr 26, 08, 10:00 pm   #2
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Consider some of the three in one jackets from places like LL bean or Eddie Bauer. Separate fleece lining, waterproof outer jacket. You can wear the fleece, you can wear the jacket if you don't need the warmth, or you can wear both if it's cold and rainy. To keep the weight down, you can wear the fleece and not pack it.

I have one, and I love it. I'd give up something else in the suitcase to carry it.

The lightest for the warmth is down. and you can compact it very tight. Again. LL Bean type stores offers some great choices. If you have an outlet for any of them near you, some of the savings on the winter stuff right now is incredible, you may find some great deals on their down, and they may be the only places you can find cold weather clothing this time of year.

I stocked up on gloves and mittens last week, priced at $69, they were $5 a pair. They said the entire lot of them sells out in less then an hour every time they get them in.
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Old Apr 26, 08, 10:11 pm   #3
 
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Under Armour might be just what you're looking for.
Check out their Cold Gear line

http://www.underarmour.com/shop/wome...ntain-training
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Old Apr 26, 08, 10:29 pm   #4
 
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Land's End rates their cold weather gear by temperature. Their parkas and snow pants are really well made and effective. www.landsend.com The warmest is rated for -15 to -40 F. And you can search on the rating.

REI has some good long underwear. I like their silk ones, for the very light weight and comfort. www.rei.com

I'm thinking maybe whatever you wear on the plane doesn't have to count in your 35 pounds?

Pay particular attention to your feet. Sorrel boots are very popular in MN. Also UGG. Combined with wool socks.

Mitts of course, rather than gloves, since your fingers will share warmth with each other.

Something that covers your face - those ski hats that roll down and just have holes for eyes, nose and mouth.

And your head, since heat rises. If it is not properly covered, it is the greatest source of heat loss.

Romelle
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Old Apr 26, 08, 11:10 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barn View Post
Under Armour might be just what you're looking for.
Check out their Cold Gear line

http://www.underarmour.com/shop/wome...ntain-training
Second the suggestion for under armour.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 1:13 am   #6
 
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I would recommend Patagonia performance baselayers. Lightweight, enviro friendly, and you can choose synthetic (what they call Capilene) or natural merino wool. Patagonia quality is unmatched by any other brand (definitely avoid Eddie Bauer if quality is a concern; LL Bean is still ok). Plus, Patagonia makes women's apparel to fit from the ground up instead of just sizing down men's.

www.patagonia.com

You might want to layer with a midweight fleece and an outer shell. For cold and wet, you'll also want waterproof shoes. All of Romelle's points are great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Romelle View Post
Land's End rates their cold weather gear by temperature. Their parkas and snow pants are really well made and effective. www.landsend.com The warmest is rated for -15 to -40 F. And you can search on the rating.

REI has some good long underwear. I like their silk ones, for the very light weight and comfort. www.rei.com

I'm thinking maybe whatever you wear on the plane doesn't have to count in your 35 pounds?

Pay particular attention to your feet. Sorrel boots are very popular in MN. Also UGG. Combined with wool socks.

Mitts of course, rather than gloves, since your fingers will share warmth with each other.

Something that covers your face - those ski hats that roll down and just have holes for eyes, nose and mouth.

And your head, since heat rises. If it is not properly covered, it is the greatest source of heat loss.

Romelle
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Old Apr 27, 08, 8:19 am   #7
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Thanks! Keep the ideas coming. What I wear on the planes doesn't count, but I do need to be able to manage all that I take along without help.

A lot of my gear is old and has seen a great deal of use. Shabby is a word that comes to mind. Out-of-date also. Old technology! My Sorrel boots weigh a ton and the liners are very old and worn. My best all weather coat (a 3 layer) is also shabby and very heavy. Ugly, shabby and heavy. A real winner!

No outlet stores anywhere near to me that have winter gear. I'm not worried about prices at this point.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 10:15 am   #8
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Layers and high-tech fabrics are definitely the key. I often travel RTW with carry-on baggage (so less than 35 lbs) and temps from 100F to -20F on the same trip (!!). Additionally need formal clothes, but that is outside of this topic. I use Duofold for thermal layering, polar fleece jacket (real polar fleece, to support the factory http://www.polartec.com/polarfleece/ ), and goretex outer jacket (mine is Eddie Bauer EBTEK which is rated rainproof for 1 hour under a firehose). Cost is surprisingly modest (USD 300 would get you several changes of clothing). I also have goretex shoes (good for stomping through puddles) and goretex socks (rarely needed). The other advantage is most of these clothes are drip dry, making laundry on the road much easier when there isn't time for overnight laundering.

Edit to add that windproof might be the key consideration in a jacket; look for "wind blocker" designation, or similar. Often seemingly identical jackets which are otherwise ideal will differ between their degree of windproofness. I have a down ski jacket which is rated for -50F or something like that, and it is no warmer than my goretex uninsulated coat when combined with polar fleece layering.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 10:41 am   #9
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How cold is "very cold"? It is overkill here in New York but by wife and I both love the cold weather gear from a company called "Canada Goose". I read about the company in an article in an in-flight magazine (forgot the carrier). They specialize in gear for extreme cold weather. As an example they have been making the parkas for the US National Science Foundations South Pole Station for a great many years. That is a year round station at the South Pole. Also I believe they make the parkas for the Army's 10th Mountain Division and other groups that need to function in extreme temperatures.

They make both mens and womans styles. They are relatively light for the level of protection. They are super tough and made out of high quality materials. They have a number of styles, some are unisex and some are more for men or woman. They also have different levels of warmth. They have the model used at the South Pole, so if very cold means -100 you might want to just stop at that one. If it is less crazy temperatures they make some that are a bit more stylish and lighter weight. My wife describes it as like "wearing a warm cloud". If you saw the movie "National Treasure" (the first one) when they were on the north polar ice cap running around those were Canada Goose parkas of one of the heavier duty styles.

Also the comments above about layering are good, although find at least around here (and I grew up in the upper midwest so I know that we are not that cold here) I dont even bother layering most of the time when Im wearing the Canada Goose parka. By the way, this is the time to buy. My wife and I both got Canada Goose parkas (she got two I think) last year in the spring from mail order places at huge discounts.
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Last edited by GadgetFreak; Apr 27, 08 at 11:14 am.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 10:58 am   #10
 
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Penny,
Do check out Under Armour (link above). It is very light weight.

We wear it when we go skiing here in Colorado. I've found it to be very comfortable and it keeps me warm. The material is thin and you wouldn't think it'd do the job that it does.

Do let us know what you end up deciding on and your thoughts after the trip.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 11:19 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romelle View Post
REI has some good long underwear. I like their silk ones, for the very light weight and comfort. www.rei.com
I'll second(or third) the silk underwear suggestion. It's very light and is really non-restrictive. You'll feel comfortable when you have it on and happen to be inside.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 11:56 am   #12
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Check out www.icebreaker.com - they've got some good merino wool items that'll keep you warm, even when wet. Also, I'd recommend using silk thermals as well - they're great & dry quickly & wick away moisture. Fleece is a great material as it dries quickly as well.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 12:02 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
Check out www.icebreaker.com - they've got some good merino wool items that'll keep you warm, even when wet. Also, I'd recommend using silk thermals as well - they're great & dry quickly & wick away moisture. Fleece is a great material as it dries quickly as well.
Silk and fleece are great, but sorry, I just dont think wool can cut it compared to something like Gore-tex or other synthetics. Wool is really heavy for the warmth it provides and doesnt block wind and water like synthetic outer layers with down of primaloft filling.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 12:34 pm   #14
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Wool has the advantage of fire resistance and longevity. Otherwise it is outperformed by synthetics, now that we understand what made wool fiber so good. But most of the synthetics are not fire resistant (this can be important when traveling, or huddling around a campfire) and gore-tex has a limited life even where properly laundered (and can fail within weeks if not properly laundered). So no choice is perfect, and every choice has some advantage even though it is often downplayed.
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Old Apr 27, 08, 1:12 pm   #15
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Great ideas! Mostly I'll be in situations on boats where wet and cold will come at the same time. I've heard great things about Icebreaker products and do love the real Polartek items.

I can't do my shopping in North Texas, but do have a the internet. I have some old, old Goretex that no longer is good for much. It is all staying home.

My bag is from RedOxx. I know it will work perfectly. www.redoxx.com They are a joy to work with.

Areas of personal weakness are feet and hands. I know about keeping my head warm. Fortunately I am a knitter and knit and crochet when flying.

I know I've very off season for this. Thank you for bringing up memories of winter.

Last edited by oldpenny16; Apr 27, 08 at 1:23 pm.
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