There are a good number of irksome issues that come with winter: the wet and the wind, the freeze and the frost, the dark and the dingy. But remember, when there’s a nadir there’s also a peak, and perhaps the best thing about this season is the fact you can go skiing.
Just picture it now: you’re in a land far from your office, you’ve waded your way through the crowd of holidaymakers, you’re hitting some freshly-powdered snow and you have a bottle of vin chaud to look forward to post-schuss.
So, your plans are sorted – but what will you be wearing? Only the finest snow gear, of course. After all, you’ll be bracing some harsh elements while abroad.
If you need some help cutting the wheat from the chaff, we’ve rounded up the finest makers of Alps-appropriate garments right now. You can thank us later.
Originating from the rugged Canadian mountains, Arc’teryx (a name inspired by the reptile that scientists have long believed was first to climb, grow feathers and take flight) produces highly- technical garments that are built for extreme conditions.
The continuously innovative firm is renowned for its worldly protective outerwear, including shell jackets, base layers and packs, all of which are made with progressive fabric technology and ergonomic fits. The fact that each product is tested on the nearby ski runs of Vancouver’s North Shore means that quality comes with every purchase.
In recent years, the label has taken on the notoriously volatile world of fashion with a menswear capsule collection called Veilance.
In 1981, in the attic of his small, terraced house in Sheffield, Rab Carrington made the first sleeping bag to bear his name; and so began a brand that focused on producing honest, rugged kit made for alpine adventures.
37 years since its founding, Carrington’s eponymous company is still committed to its founding principals, and, because of this, it’s a go-to label for those that wish to keep the icy blasts out.
California’s Patagonia hasn’t focused too much on being cool. Rather, for over 40 years it’s been dedicated to supplying adventurers with easygoing, expertly-made performancewear that leaves minimal footprint. Luckily for the brand, this core philosophy – authenticity, thoughtful design and morality – is something that tastemakers want in a clothing line these days.
Blending simple and effortless style with durability, Patagonia’s garments look as great on the slope as they do in the streets, and because each item is built to last for years (not just one ski season), you know you’re making a sound investment.
Founded to supply climbers with high-performance gear, Mammut utilises superb technical know-how to create world-class leading mountain footwear, clothing and equipment. Each piece displays flawless ergonomics in a focused design that synchronises with your body, and not a single gram is unnecessary. Built to be worn on any terroir, the construction of each product ensures the best in style and functionality.
Spyder is the largest speciality ski brand in the world and was founded by David Jacobs in 1978. During that year, while his sons were in the ski race circuit, he noted that there was only one brand of race sweater available; a rumination which lead to him to create the first-ever padded version.
Today, because they’re engineered from fabrics that deliver the perfect balance of technical performance and everyday wearability, Spyder products are ubiquitous across ski resorts the world over, from the Alps to Aspen.
With a plethora of items in neutral shades (think navys, blacks and khakis), Peak Performance proves that your high-performance gear needn’t compromise on timeless style. The brand applies masterful pattern-cutting techniques in order to produce well-crafted outerwear that’s comfortable and designed with tailoring prowess – the down jackets, especially, are ideal to don on the piste, post-schuss and in the city.
Black Crows is the rising French ski label on the lips of every chalet-goer this season; and it’s easy to see why. Whether it’s the supremely-cut ‘daemon’ from its skis range, or the street-style-worthy ‘ventus 3l jacket’ from the clothing collection, this is a company that produces items which incorporate the right balance of construction, shape and market appeal. And, thanks the fact that it’s still tightly aimed – focus is still concentrated on appeasing backcountry skiers rather than the mass market – you know you won’t be disappointed.
Need something to wear après ski? Here’s what you should consider