As we leave summer firmly behind, we’re digging out our winter coats and thinking ahead to some snow-capped holidays. But a big freeze is only fun when you’re toasty warm, so here are our favourite winter warmers to wrap up in from head to toe.
Hats: with a significant amount of your body heat lost through the head, donning a warm cap is a worthwhile exercise. For women, we love the North Face Fuzzy Earflap Beanie Hat (£28): the soft knit fabric in a stylish cable knit design is finished off with pom poms and snug ear flaps that keep the icy winds at bay. For men, the Merino Fisherman Beanie (£25) from Cornish firm Finisterre, experts in battling the Atlantic winds.
Buff: there’s no better way of stopping the chill from creeping in around your neck than a buff, whether you are rock climbing, hiking or simply sightseeing. Fantastically versatile, the Wool Buff (£25) can be worn a number of ways – as a balaclava, neckerchief, bandana to name just three. Made from 100% natural Merino wool, its microfibre construction makes it wind-resistant, water repellent, breathable and warm.
Thermals: the secret to comfort and warmth when exploring in the cold outdoors is hanging onto that precious body heat – and good quality thermals, snuggling close to your skin play a crucial role. Hi Gear’s polyester/cotton mix Thermal Base Layers get great reviews, and with the long johns retailing from just £10 they are an affordable means of keeping warm. Or for £50 you can treat yourself to some stylish Merino wool long johns from Finisterre – so comfortable you’ll never want to take them off.
Gloves: our mountaineering colleague is a huge fan of the Sealskinz brand and reckons that nothing he has yet tried beats them for dexterity, durability, grip and comfort. They are unique in that they are knitted in spun steel and incorporate their patented StretchDry technology, which makes them totally waterproof, windproof and breathable. Lined with that magic substance Merino wool, Sealskinz Waterproof Cut Resistant Gloves (£50) will keep your digits safe, functioning and warm.
Socks: If your winter travels involve being active for long periods of time, then you won’t want cold feet ruining your day. Bridgedale are expert in keeping your feet warm, dry and blister-free. Our favourite All Mountain Sock (£17) is, inevitably, a Merino wool creation: combining technical fibres with Merino wool, Bridgedale’s MernioFusion Winter Sport technology provides fantastic insulation while transporting any moisture away swiftly.
So now you have all your extremities shielded from the elements, add layers, put on a good pair of boots – and head out to explore the winter wonderland that awaits you.