Hat, mittens and socks best Cold Weather Gear You Need to Have - cold weather gear

The best cold weather gear will perform exceptionally well in even the harshest conditions without sacrificing your comfort and warmth in the process. Innovative materials, comprehensive designs, and ample features can not only keep you warm but can also maximize the activities open to you at any time.

When you live in a cold weather climate or plan to visit one, you'll need the best gear to stay warm and comfortable for any length of time. Cold weather is known for being brutal, and the best clothing can stand up to rigorous conditions.

Durability and quality of construction are also key qualities to consider when looking at cold weather gear. Our list of highly recommended products features some of the best materials. Specifically available combined with tried and true designs that make the best performing product out in the field.

 How We Chose Our Ratings

To find the best cold weather gear items we scoured the web for the best expert recommendations and user feedback on a variety of items.

Since cold weather gear can be somewhat subjective, we opted to include the highest performing products. More importantly with the best features for the most trying of conditions.

We then reviewed this data and compiled a list of essential items that one would need in the coldest of temperatures, while user feedback and expert advice played a key role.

We also considered the reputation of each brand and the quality of their customer service, which is factored into each of our ratings.

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Our Rating

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Canada Goose Arctic Tech Shearling Pilot Hat

Canada Goose Arctic Tech Shearling Pilot Hat

United by Blue Ultimate American Socks

cold weather gear

Columbia Powder Keg Ski Pants

cold weather gear

Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823

cold weather gear

Black Diamond Absolute Mitts

cold weather gear

Baffin Impact Boots

cold weather gear

Marmot Membrain Down Sleeping Bag

cold weather gear

Swiss Safe Mylar Blankets

cold weather gear

Fjällräven Expedition Down Parka No. 1

cold weather gear

Kovea Giga Sun Heater

cold weather gear

 Top 10 Best Cold Weather Gear Items

Cold weather gear can be essential if you live in an area with a particularly brutal winter season. More importantly, it's also a good idea to be prepared for emergency situations where cold may be a factor. Our list of cold weather gear is handpicked to ensure the highest performance, so you're ready for any level of bitter cold, and inclement weather.

cold weather gear

This classically designed hat by Canada Goose is an excellent choice for extreme weather conditions where wind and bitter cold are a daily constant. The adjustable chin straps can serve to keep the hat securely on your head on blustery days or can be used to raise the ear flaps during more mild conditions.

The shearling interior provides snuggly warmth for your head with dyed sheep wool from Australia. The leather outer helps to keep out wind and moisture while providing extra durability. The hat also has the traditional Canada Goose logo and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

Cons

  • Clearly made of outstanding quality. With such a nice hat the chin strap was cheap and difficult to use
  • Extremely small sizing

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cold weather gear

The United by Blue Ultimate American Socks is an excellent piece of cold weather gear made from a bison’s undercoat. Bison undercoat provides greater warmth than wool and has a softer texture than cashmere. The material helps to wick moisture away from your feet and shed dirt to prevent odors.

Blended with the bison undercoat is merino wool and nylon which help to improve the durability of this sock and ensure that it will still keep you warm if the socks get wet. The design offers light cushioning and a reinforced toe and heel with flat seams to maximize comfort.

The addition of spandex to the fabric blend makes these socks snug enough to layer with other clothing items if needed and helps them keep you comfortable for several uses between washings. The rib knit fabric also provides comfortable stretch to fit multiple foot shapes.

Pros

  • Keeps Feet Warm
  • check
    Can wear as slippers

Cons

  • They're too thick for some shoes. 

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cold weather gear

The Columbia Powder Keg Ski pants are fully sealed along the seams and waterproof while still allowing your legs to breathe in colder conditions. Leg vents help you to maintain the perfect temperature during a variety of activities, and the adjustable waist keeps the pants securely in place.

These ski pants also come with a connector that keeps your jacket and pants sealed during falls or other strenuous activity. This feature has gained a lot of traction lately in the outdoor community as it helps to keep warmth in by preventing exposed skin during falls and other movements.

These pants have multiple pockets and are perfect for being outdoors in cold weather, skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and a variety of other activities. They come in various colors and feature a two-snap waist closure for a comfortable fit over different cold weather layers.

Pros

  • Waterproof, breathable, and fully seam-sealed
  • Exterior adjustable waist

Cons

  • No negative comment listed

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cold weather gear

The Ergodyne N-Ferno is another excellent example of cold weather gear that is perfect for the coldest of weather. This balaclava-style face covering uses a series of fabric panels that are wind resistant and lightweight to create the most comfortable fit.

Thicker fleece materials around the head accompany fitted panels around the mouth, nose, and neck. The overall fit of this balaclava is equally suited to both men and women and can stretch to fit most head sizes.

Users report that this balaclava is very comfortable primarily due to the warmth and fit of the individual panels. A little practice wearing this balaclava will also ensure you have no issues with glasses fogging up. The only drawback is that this balaclava could be more durable if it had reinforced seams.

Pros

  • Fits all ages and sizes
  • Good construction

Cons

  •  Breath fogs up eye glasses

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cold weather gear

StarBlack Diamond products are a staple when it comes to cold weather gear, and these 100% waterproof mitts are a perfect example. With a nylon shell, goatskin palm, and polyester based lining, these mitts will keep you warm even at temps hovering around -40 degrees.

The Absolute mitts also feature 540 grams of insulation, called PrimaLoft Kodenshi. The design is both lightweight and packable which makes them perfect for frigid conditions and expeditions. The shell is made from woven nylon and features a 4-way stretch design that is also abrasion- resistant.

Pros

  • Excellent warm gloves for -18F or lower
  • Warmest mitts
  •  Best gloves I ever had. Keep my hands warm and comfortable

Cons

  • If you need good dexterity, you can temporarily take off the mitten

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cold weather gear

For extreme weather boots, you really can't go wrong with the Baffin Impact Boots which feature a lining that is both removable and made from 8 different layers. The attention to detail in this design also ensures that the insulating layers are moisture wicking and made from innovative materials like a double layer aluminum membrane.

Baffin's design is inspired by the Inuit footwear traditionally made from sealskin, and their design reflects the best of those boots combined with the best in new fabrics. As a result, this boot is rated to keep you warm down to -148 degrees.

The rubber sole features a traction pattern suitable for cold and icy conditions, and the ankle area of the boot is made from leather. This boot also has a Gelflex midsole which helps to provide extra cushion and serves as another layer to trap in heat.

Pros

  • The nylon snow collar that pulls tight against my leg to keep deep snow from falling inside of the boots is well made
  • Deep traction rubber outsole

Cons

  • After about 20 minutes I felt like they had indeed loosened up a bit
  • First time with these boots - sizing is challenging - i ended up returning both pairs i tried out

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cold weather gear

The Membrain sleeping bag by Marmot is a great roomy bag that will keep you warm at temps as low as -40 degrees. It weighs in at around 4 pounds and features a mummy shaped design that includes a hood for keeping your head and neck warm.

The outside is constructed from rip-stop nylon which has been coated with a laminate called Pertex Shield 2L. This membrane makes the bag waterproof but also allows it to be breathable for keeping you comfortable at night.

The Membrain is stuffed with 800+ goose down, and the inner layers are 30D ripcord nylon which is coated with Pertex Microlight. This interior coating helps increase the durability of the fabric but also prevents the down from being able to poke through the inner part of the bag.

Pros

  • Highly recommend a good inflatable sleeping pad to provide the insulation
  • As good as any bag, at any price.

Cons

  • No negative comment listed

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cold weather gear

Mylar blankets are a smart addition to your cold weather gear as they are incredibly lightweight and can help add another layer of warmth to whatever you are wearing. Mylar can also block out the wind, and moisture completely.

These mylar blankets from Swiss Safe are a great example of quality mylar blankets that are suitable for more than one use, and durable even in the worst cold weather conditions. They can be used as a footprint for a tent, as a backpack cover during wet weather, and also as a rain poncho.

At 52 inches by 82 inches, these mylar blankets are large enough to wrap around yourself and can be used to create an emergency shelter if needed. Each blanket weighs in at only 2 ounces so you can keep a few on hand in your purse, coat pocket, or backpack.

Pros

  • Just a MUST have for any individual or household
  • Great quality and value
  • Piled hay on top and happily everything weathered the storm safely

Cons

  • These types of blankets will not last forever in harsh weather 

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cold weather gear

Fjällräven is known for creating gear that performs well in polar conditions, and the Expedition Down Parka is no exception. With 800-fill down and a recycled poly-cotton outer layer, this parka is both wind and water resistant.

The design features a hood suitable for storms with a faux fur edge that helps to seal around your face and head to keep out the brutal wind. It also has several large pockets which allow you to stash extra supplies and warm weather gear such as gloves and hats.

The new Synthetic G-loft supreme insulation is also unique because unlike other low- quality synthetic insulation, this one works to keep you warm even when it gets wet. The parka weighs in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces, and comes with adjustable cuffs, and a tie at the waist for a custom fit.

Pros

  • Insulated baffles in the collar, cuffs and hem
  • Two chest pockets and two hand pockets

Cons

  • No negative comments listed

Quality

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cold weather gear

This little heater may not look like much, but it runs on propane gas and can pump out 23000 BTU's. The heat leaves the unit in a 360-degree radius which makes it an excellent option for heating a smaller space or accommodating a crowd.

The automatic ignition and sturdy design make the Kovea Giga Sun Heater an ideal addition to your cold weather gear. At 18x18x25.2 centimeters and 13.2 pounds, this unit has three different levels of heat and features collapsible legs.

It also has a carrying handle, and the safety mesh around the exterior is replaceable should it begin to wear with repeated use. The auto-shutoff makes it a safe choice for heating sleeping areas, as it detects and shuts down if carbon monoxide levels get too high or the unit tips over or becomes too warm.

Pros

  • Mesh based heating system which releases heat in a 360-degree radius

Cons

  • It was much larger than expected and thusly needed to return it

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Buyer’s Guide

When looking at cold weather gear, there are some important things to consider aside from the conditions. Materials, design, and durability are all critical components for cold weather gear but added features could make you more comfortable in the long run and help you better enjoy the outdoors.

Materials

When considering outdoor gear, it never hurts to compare the materials used in different products. Some will be proprietary materials specific to one brand, while others will use materials found in many different yet similar products.

Regardless of what products you choose, consider the weight, warmth, and durability of those materials and compare them to user reviews. Some materials often sound like a great idea in product descriptions but may not deliver everything promised in real-world situations.

Design

The best gear designs will have several design elements that work to make them better at their job. Moisture-wicking, waterproofing, windproofing, vents, and stretchy fabric are all great examples of things to look out for when comparing different items of clothing.

Some items of clothing will demand more of their design, while others such as socks will be less complex. Regardless of the item, it is worth comparing the designs of different brands. Especially trying out each one to find the best one for you.

Features

Some brands are well known for creating products that have a wealth of features. Particularly, that make them suitable for a variety of different activities. If you are looking for ultra-light style products, more features may add an undesirable amount of weight you can do without, but for regular use. These features can add welcome comfort and functionality.

Compare the features among different brands and read user reviews before you buy. It's also not a bad idea to try out the products to test the new features with your current gear. More importantly to make sure they are compatible. Layering is an essential part of cold weather clothing, so don’t hesitate to try different brands until you find the best fit.