Clothing for skiing and snowboarding (jacket and pants) protects the athlete from negative environmental influences (frost, moisture, snow, wind), and also softens the blows when falling. In addition, clothing removes the sweat that the athlete’s body releases during intense movement.
Layers of clothing
Professional skiers and snowboarders use three-layer clothing.
First layer (internal) — removes moisture, protects the athlete from hypothermia. The first layer is thermal underwear, which absorbs and evaporates sweat that is released during skiing and snowboarding. The standard set of thermal underwear consists of pants and a T-shirt.
You should choose sports thermal underwear made from synthetic materials, merino wool or a combination of natural fibers and synthetics.
Second layer (insulation) — provides thermal insulation, while removing excess heat. The second layer is usually in the form of a vest, sweater, jacket or sweatshirt (snowboarding), as well as insulation inside the pants or jacket.
Third layer (outer, membrane) — protects from wind, snow, rain and other external influences and at the same time passes excess heat coming from the body. This is the most important and expensive layer in an athlete’s clothing. The function of the third layer is performed by a suit — a jacket and trousers or overalls.
Clothing for skiing and snowboarding has more similarities than differences. The same requirements are imposed on it — good thermal insulation, waterproofness, windproofness, breathability, low weight.
Despite this, skiing and snowboarding — two different sports with specific projectiles and driving technique. If speed and aerodynamics come to the fore for a skier, then for a snowboarder the main thing is freedom of movement, without which it is impossible to perform tricks.
Mostly mature people (30+) are fond of skiing, while most snowboarding enthusiasts are young people.
Therefore, there are important nuances by which you can distinguish snowboard clothing from ski clothing.
Snowboarder clothing is characterized by more loose fit (in particular, the jacket is longer and the pants are wider) and is made of coarse fabric, while the skier’s clothing has an anatomical cut (tightly fits the body), is more pleasant to the touch, “breathes” better and is more expensive.
A snowboard jacket has a large hood to make it easier to put on over a helmet, a ski jacket has a much smaller piece of clothing.
Snowboard pants have amplification (dense or corrugated fabric) on the knees and buttocks, softening the impact when falling, sometimes there is a sewn-in foam rubber protection, while ski trousers are equipped with plastic overlays to protect the bottom of the leg from damage to the edges of the skis. In addition, due to the specifics of the sport, snowboarding pants have insulation for the buttocks.
Different location of ventilation openings: underarm area, knee area and other moving parts of the body (snowboard clothes), arms and armpit areas (ski clothes).
Snowboarding clothing is characterized by a brighter design, multi-colored patterns, while ski clothing is characterized by soothing colors and solid colors. Snowboard clothing has more details — Velcro, pockets, puffs.
Jacket and trousers
The structure of the jacket and pants is multi-layered and resembles a sandwich. The jacket can consist of 3-6 layers (often there are four-layer models: outer layer, membrane layer, insulation, lining layer). Pants consist of 3 layers: outer layer (membrane), insulation, lining.
As a heater, such materials.
Pooh — perfectly retains heat, but is not suitable for skiing and snowboarding, because when wet it almost does not retain heat and does not remove moisture. In addition, down is an expensive material.
Sintepon — characterized by poor breathability and after the first wash loses 30% of its thermal qualities. It will cost less than fluff. There are clothes with a synthetic winterizer of a new generation — such a heater does not deform and lasts for a long time.
Fleece — keeps heat well, removes moisture that is released from thermal underwear, does not restrict movement (excellent insulation).
Thinsulate (Thinsulate) — artificial swan down, in terms of heat-saving qualities, it approaches ordinary down. Durable material, does not absorb moisture. After 15 washes, artificial down loses no more than 10% of its thermal qualities. Thinsulate is very thin, which is important for athletes. To date, it is the best option, which affects the price.
Polartec (Polartec) — a kind of polyester, feels like wool to the touch. Polartec provides dry heat due to good ventilation and low moisture absorption.
If a heater is provided in the jacket and pants, then it fully or partially performs the function of the second layer of clothing. Experts advise not to buy a suit with insulation, since such clothes do not “breathe” well and do not allow you to adapt to specific weather. If options with insulation are effective for severe frosts, then in warmer weather the athlete will simply get wet from sweat.
The optimal solution would be a three-layer construction: thermal underwear + jacket, sweatshirt + jacket and pants. Thanks to this structure, clothing fully fulfills its purpose: retaining heat while removing its excess, as well as protection from external factors.
Also, the jacket can have a lining layer, which is useful for skiers skiing at low speed. But for high-speed riders, it is better to stay on an unlined jacket — this option protects against wind and moisture, while thermoregulation itself in this case is carried out by other layers of clothing.
Important: it is advisable to choose a jacket with a lining that is made of synthetic or combined materials for good drying.
Poreless (hydrophilic) — elastic, long-lasting, unpretentious in care. Not suitable for high humidity and low temperatures. The optimal solution for medium temperatures.
Pore — a good option in frost, but short-lived. In warm and rainy weather, it is better not to use clothes with such a membrane.
Combined — combines the advantages and disadvantages of previous membranes. Such clothing is wear-resistant, waterproof and vapor-permeable. These pluses turn into a high price and inefficiency at low temperature and high humidity. The most popular clothing for skiers.
Membrane fabric is most often made of two materials
Nylon — an outdated version, although it is still found. Nylon does not tolerate UV rays well, and when wet it stretches a lot.
Polyester — more reliable and more popular than nylon. Often polyester fabric is processed using the rip-stop method, which creates cells in the form of small squares or diamonds. This allows you to localize tissue damage in one place and prevent its further destruction.
Important: pants and jacket are always used in pairs. The key point is the fit of the jacket to the pants. The jacket must be 10 cm longer than the waist of the pants.
Waterproof – water pressure that holds the fabric without the risk of leakage. It is measured in millimeters of water column (mm w. Art.).
Vapor permeability — the amount of steam per square meter that the fabric passes during the day (g / m2 / day).
With an increase in water resistance and vapor permeability, the price of clothing also increases.
- 5000 mm in. Art. / 5000 gr/m2/ day — for amateur skiing;
- 7000 mm in. st / 7000 gr/m2/ day — for aggressive driving;
- 10000 mm in. st / 10000 gr/m2/ day — for freeriding.
When choosing the right option, it is worth considering the individual characteristics of your body, namely, the nature of sweating during movement. In some people it is increased, in others it is less intense.
Signs of a quality jacket and pants:
- seams are taped to increase moisture resistance;
- zippers easily «ride» up and down, and their «tongues» are large enough and non-metallic — for convenience when working with gloves;
- the zipper of the jacket is closed by a valve on the inside and outside — this prevents drafts;
- the lightning is impregnated with a special composition to protect against getting wet;
- a large number of zippered pockets help to comfortably place useful little things (should be on the chest — for a walkie-talkie / phone, on the sleeve — for a ski pass, internal — for documents, gloves and a mask, as well as on the sides);
- cuffs of sleeves are securely closed so that snow does not penetrate under clothes;
- the collar has a sewn-in hood and is also trimmed with fleece, which protects against weathering and serves to remove moisture;
- perforation on the collar and in the armpit for ventilation;
- Reinforced elbows soften the blows when falling;
- the jacket has a special loop for gloves so that they are not lost;
- the presence of special buttons on the lining for fastening pants to the jacket so that snow does not get under clothes;
- «skirt» on the belt (jacket) and at the bottom of the leg (pants) protects against the penetration of snow under clothing and retains heat;
- adjustment of the jacket from the bottom (elastic band, lace) prevents wind blowing;
- pants have an adjustable waistband that allows you to adjust clothes to a specific situation (you can reduce or increase the number of layers);
- suspenders on the pants prevent them from slipping.
Jacket and pants or overalls
The choice of a suitable solution depends on the individual preferences of the athlete.
The classic jumpsuit is called an outdated solution, which has a number of disadvantages compared to a separate set: it restricts movement, is not suitable for everyday use, has a less spectacular design, it is much more difficult to go to the toilet in it.
Advantages of the overalls: outperforms a separate set in practicality — it definitely won’t tug (almost 100% protection from snow), it has no slots for the wind, it will cost less than a separate set. The jumpsuit does not require the selection of jackets and pants separately.
According to athletes, it is more convenient to ride in a separate set than in a jumpsuit. Modern jackets with a «skirt» with an elastic band and the possibility of tightening at the bottom and at the waist protect against wind and snow no worse than overalls.
The main task is to correctly choose the size of the top and bottom. Long trousers with straps are excellent protection against snow, and even a short jacket will suit them, but with low trousers, you should choose a longer jacket.
The weak point of a separate set is the connection zone of two elements of clothing, where moisture and wind can get.
For snowboarding, the overalls are definitely not suitable, since, tightly fitting to the figure, it hinders the movements of the athlete. It is better for a child to choose a separate set: in addition to problems with the toilet and the ability to wear pants and a jacket separately and outside the resort, the baby will quickly grow out of the overalls.
Important: an interesting solution — self-dumping pants, equipped with long zippers on each leg. They allow you to easily take off your trousers, while boots and skis remain on your feet. These pants will appreciate ski mountaineering.
The choice of jacket in appearance depends on the individual preferences of the rider and his riding style.
Professionals and amateurs (especially freeriders) require sports jackets that perfectly wick away moisture and keep you warm. But for people who want to emphasize their status, expensive “glamorous” models, richly trimmed with fur and decorated with stripes, are suitable. Of course, these jackets are no worse than sports jackets protect from wind and snow and remove excess heat.
It is important for young people to stand out among the public — relatively inexpensive models with elements of street style (long jackets, knee-length pants) are relevant for them. True, the quality of the membrane fabric in such models is inferior to products of a sports, freerider and glamorous class.
Recco search engine
Pay attention to the presence of stripes on the jacket and pants «Recco» (search system). This is a reflector for searching with special equipment for skiers and snowboarders who have fallen under an avalanche or in a blockage.
Beacons on clothes make it much easier for rescuers to find lost people. On the jacket, a similar patch is placed in the back, chest or on the sleeve.
- Buy clothes in specialized stores. Give preference to trusted brands.
- Be sure to inspect the suit before purchasing. Make sure it is free of damage and contamination.
- Read labels carefully. It contains a lot of useful information about the manufacturer, materials and rules for caring for things.
You should not buy ski and snowboard clothing if:
- the logo of the product is carelessly made (protruding threads, irregularities);
- absence or poor quality of packaging and/or tags;
- there is no information about the composition and technologies of materials;
- zippers from unknown manufacturers were used (brand items are equipped with zippers from YKK);
- clothing has lost its appearance.
Any of these points indicates the manufacturer’s dishonesty and increases the likelihood of a fake.
Trying on clothes, move around in it — squat and bend over.
Make sure the suit does not restrict movement.
Membrane clothes are washed once a season. At the same time, you can not use a washing machine and standard powders, as well as give it to dry cleaning so as not to spoil the clothes. Clothes are dried naturally, and not on a battery or heater.
It is not recommended to wash an impregnated (non-membrane) jacket at all, as this will lead to the loss of moisture-proof properties.