Layering for Backcountry Skiing: Tips for Staying Dry and Warm in Cold Weather

Layering for Backcountry Skiing: Tips for Staying Dry and Warm in Cold Weather

At the top of a snow-covered mountain, it feels like the whole world stretches out below you, beckoning you forward with the promise of wide, open powder fields and breathtaking views. The more you experience nature’s unparalleled beauty and the unique challenges it brings, the further you want to go. After all, it is human nature to veer off the beaten path in search of adventure. 

For the experienced skier who has conquered established slopes and grown past the convenient amenities of ski resorts, backcountry skiing offers a renewed challenge, one that can take you even further in your relationship with nature. However, managing your body temperature while backcountry skiing can be an especially complex task - a challenge that Finetrack has personal experience with. 

In backcountry skiing, along with avalanches and other potential risk factors, the long, arduous, hike to the top of your slope can cause sweat to form and collect on your skin, which can eventually get your base layer soaked. This dampness can result in chills that are further magnified when faced with the cold winds at the top of your climb. In the changing conditions out on the slopes, managing sweat in these rapidly changing temperatures is crucial for a safe and enjoyable backcountry skiing experience.

Staying Dry and Warm in Cold Weather

Whether you are a seasoned expert or just starting out, a proper layering system is fundamental to staying dry, warm and safe in cold weather. When you are far from the usual amenities and emergency services, your layering system can make or break your adventure. The typical 3-layer principle for cold weather clothing - with a moisture-wicking base layer, a middle insulating layer and a waterproof outer shell - has been the standard idea for outdoor enthusiasts for years. However, this system does have some room for improvements such as enhanced temperature regulation, better moisture management and versatility against rapid changes in weather or highly variable terrain. 

In sub-zero temperatures, every bit of improvement in retaining and managing your body heat counts. While supplemental layers can be put on when needed, this presents the added challenge of changing your clothes in harsh temperatures. To solve these problems and create a user-friendly layering solution, Finetrack developed the 5 LAYERING® system - an advanced, tech-enhanced evolution of the standard layering system.

Evolution of the Layering System

Finetrack’s advanced layering system begins with its revolutionary Elemental Layer®. Worn directly on the skin, the water-repellent Elemental Layer® passes sweat through its mesh fabric to the sweat-absorbing, quick-drying base layer, while working as a shield to protect your skin from touching the wet base layer. This new idea of wearing a water-repellent layer under the base layer keeps your body dry while the base layer dries off, helping you avoid back-chills and unnecessary energy loss. 

In Finetrack’s 5 LAYERING® system, their high-performance Base Layer sits over the Elemental Layer®, creating a perfect balance of comfort and functionality. Paired together, these two layers complement each other by drawing perspiration away from the skin and efficiently diffusing it away while shielding your skin from dampness, so you will remain as dry and comfortable as possible for your adventure. 

For its Mid Layer, Finetrack goes beyond insulation alone. During intense activity, your body can overheat and cause moisture to accumulate under the insulating layers, making it difficult for the garments to retain their loft and warmth. This is why Finetrack’s lineup of Mid Layers offers both warmth and superior perspiration management, working together with the Base Layers to convert moisture from sweat into vapor, and expel it.

Lastly comes Finetrack’s DOUBLE SHELL® technology, combining a windproof and water-resistant yet breathable Mid Shell® with the Finetrack Outer Shell. This synergistic Double Shell® effect thoroughly prevents moisture from permeating the interior layers and provides a "double sash effect" that mimics the effect of double-pane windows to significantly minimize condensation forming inside the garment. This also traps air in between the two layers, and the added layer of air provides more insulation and warmth, further improving your safety and comfort on backcountry adventures.

Dry Skin, Dry Clothing, 5 LAYERING®

Each layer of Finetrack's 5 LAYERING® system has been specially designed to provide the best sweat absorption and diffusion capabilities while protecting the wearer from harsh external elements. However, when these different layers come together, the result is a sum greater than its individual parts.

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While no single piece of clothing can do it all, Finetrack's advanced 5 LAYERING® technology works together to keep moisture away from your skin, protect from external elements while allowing sweat to diffuse through all 5 layers and evaporate without lowering your body temperature. This synergy between the layers creates an extremely efficient system that allows adventurers to keep all 5 of their layers on to stay dry and regulate their body temperature while still ensuring flexibility and comfort. 

Take on Nature’s Challenge in Safety and Comfort

The sense of freedom while making turns on untracked slopes is unparalleled, from the initial thrill of the first run to the peace and contentment of the final descent. However, staying dry and warm is not just about personal preference in backcountry skiing; it's a matter of safety. Being properly prepared with the right clothing, gear, and knowledge will enable you to conquer the cold and enjoy the pristine beauty and adventure of the backcountry. By equipping yourself well, you will be ready to embrace the incredible world of backcountry skiing with confidence.

Do it All and More With Finetrack’s Layering Technology