With Ski-Season now in full flow we have loved speaking to all our customers and suppliers who are headed out to the slopes for a well-deserved ski break. Here at Nordic Outdoor one of the things we love about ski season is that it highlights the importance of functionality when choosing your outdoor kit. For this reason, we are huge advocates that the best Ski wardrobe begins with the right base layers and luckily for us we work closely with Aclima who are industry leaders in Merino Wool base layers. In this guest blog we spoke with Doug Campbell from the Edinburgh Ski Club and asked him to give us his feedback on the importance of choosing the right base layers and at the bottom of this blog we’ve highlighted some of our favourite choices for this season!

Amundsen Ski Blog

The Importance of Base Layers when Skiing

Members of the Edinburgh Ski Club that learnt to ski from a young age will all have their own memories from their days as a beginner. I’ve heard stories about the days before chairlifts were around in the Scottish ski resorts when skiing for the day involved many a long arduous walk up the Cairngorm mountain before being able to put a pair of skis on to descend ten times quicker than it took to climb up. Stories of learning to ski at Hillend dry ski slope in Edinburgh where you learnt not to fall for fear of catching your fingers in the artificial, bristly surface and suffering “Hillend Thumb”. For me, my early memory was Mum reminding me to “wrap up” before entering the icy cold climate of Glenshee Ski Centre.

Being told to “wrap up” in the context of skiing in Scotland has so many connotations to those that brave the local Ski Centres in the Winter season each year. My parents would encourage the traditional base layer combo of a vest, woollen turtle-neck jumper, jumper and a jacket with gloves attached by string to the sleeves (along with some fetching purple salopettes ). As you can imagine, being able to move your upper body was not high on the agenda when setting out for an adventure on the slopes. Thankfully, when I met up with the other kids in the Ski School it was very obvious that everyone else’s parents had the same priority. The rationale behind it was that you could always remove a layer if you got too warm which in itself is quite a mental dilemma – which of the “base” layers do I remove to better regulate my body temperature?

Aclima of Norway Skiwear

Nowadays the “less is more” approach certainly rings true as skiers search for the base layer that allows them to maintain a steady body temperature throughout the day. With the advancement in technologies and design of ski jackets, simply opening/closing vents on one’s jacket can allow a nice time saver to adjusting your body temperature, providing you have the correct base layer. When I was kindly asked to write this blog I reached out to my fellow ski colleagues in the club for their two cents in what they look for in a base later;

“Merino wool for me every time. Very breathable and avoids nasty niffs. Cotton tends to be less good as you get that cold clammy feeling. Man made base layers I have used in the past can also work well but don’t deal with the niffs. The other thing about base layers for me is making sure the body of the top is good and long to ensure the small of the back stays toasty.”

“80% merino and 20% synthetic for me – keeps its shape better and still very warm”

“Merino wool, I agree”

“I like them to have turtle necks to keep my neck cosy and warm. For the legs I prefer to have no double ends as they can hurt in my ski boots.”

The bottom line is that we all want to stay warm and toasty on the mountain with minimal layers. Now that retailers are offering us separate base layers for the body, legs and neck it gives us more options to choose from depending on the weather and snow conditions. Even more importantly, the design of the base layers (especially the main body base layer) are now quite stylish for those of us that like to end the day with some après ski. We can remove our jacket, enjoy a drink and join the other fashion conscious skiers to sing and dance the remainder of the day away.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew at Nordic Outdoor for inviting me to write this short blog on the importance of base layers. I never realised there was such a debate to be had amongst the members of the Edinburgh Ski Club. If you would to join in on the debate, or would simply like to find out more about our sociable club then why not get in touch with us using the details that can be found on our website at http://www.edinburghskiclub.org.uk/ . There you will find out about all that we offer our members; European holidays, weekends away, pub nights, organised outdoor activities and events at our club rooms on Howe Street, Edinburgh.

Enjoy the Winter ski season ahead everyone…but only with correct base layer!!!

Doug Campbell

Membership Secretary, Edinburgh Ski Club

Amundsen Skiing

 

Nordic Outdoors Top Ski Base Layers

After speaking with Doug and the rest of the team at Edinburgh Ski Club it was clear that the general agreement was that Merino Wool was the best choice when selecting base layers. Merino is one of natures miracle materials – offering warmth, breathability, moisture wicking and odour resistance! Whether you’re looking for base layers for on the slope or just the perfect choice for Apres Ski we are sure you’ll find it at Nordic Outdoor. Below we have picked out some of our favourites from the Norwegian Wool Specialists.

Aclima Warmwool Hooded Sweater Net Aclima Warmwool Hoodies

A firm favourite in the Nordic Outdoor office the Aclima Warmwool Hooded Sweater has been given some design upgrades as part of the new collection. Constructed from 100% Merino Wool the hoodie features a zip opening at the collar, a balaclava hood with net detailing at mouth, zip close pockets and the arms feature a longer cut with thumb holes for added warmth. Added this year is the watch slit in the wrist which allows you to check the time without pulling your whole sleeve back. The Warmwool Hooded Sweater Net is available in both Men’s and Women’s.

Aclima Warmwool Pulse Heaters

When choosing their cold weather wardrobe many people focus on how they can add heat to their body and often overlook the importance of retaining body heat. As the veins in your wrist are so close to the surface this means they can lose the most heat from your body which in turn will reduce circulation in your hands – not ideal for an afternoon on the slopes. The Aclima Warmwool Pulse Heaters are constructed from soft 200g Merino Wool. Featuring a thumb hole the pulse heaters effectively act as a barrier to reduce heat loss through your wrists and help increase circulation meaning these ‘fingerless’ styles can help heat your fingers as well!

Aclima Warmwool Long Pants

In a similar vein to the Hooded Sweater the Long Pants are constructed from the 200g Merino Wool which is Aclima’s most popular range. With all the benefits of Merino Wool the long pants should be worn as a base layer and for this reason have been treated with Total Easy Care (TEC) which should provide a softer handle and also means the garment can be tumble dried. The Warmwool Long Pants are available in both Men's and Women’s.

Aclima Fleecewool Tracksuit

 Aclima Fleecewool Tracksuit

Perfect for Apres Ski the Fleecewool tracksuit is a revolution in Merino Wool technology as it represents the first time a 100% Woollen fleece has been created. The problem with traditional fleece is the inclusion of plastic microparticles which shed in the wash and end up going through our water system and into the sea – the Fleecewool tracksuit contains no microparticles! In recognition of this step forward in sustainable production the Fleecewool Joggers were awarded the 2019 Scandinavian Outdoor for sustainability. The biggest problem with the Fleecewool tracksuit is that once you have it on it becomes incredibly difficult to take it off! Available in both Men’s and Women’s this is our favourite product of 2019.

 You can shop the full selection of Aclima Baselayers Online and Instore at Nordic Outdoor Now. We also have a great selection of Mens Ski Trousers and Mens Ski Jackets along with Womens Ski Trousers and Womens Ski Jackets. Make sure to follow our social channels to keep updated with all the latest arrivals at Nordic Outdoor.