You feel the nip in the air, don’t you? If you aren’t blessed enough to live on the West coast (where the summer is so perennial, you might suspect some climate control conspiracy), it’s time to bundle up. Hey now, don’t look so sad. For the price of bone-chilling temperatures, we get to experience a genuinely “white Christmas”; we get to experiment with our wardrobe, try on pants, boots, and fashionable overcoats; most of all, we get to experience contrast. The contrast between the warm, arresting fireplace and the inhospitable outdoors. Beds feel cozier during snowstorms, homes, and libraries friendlier. But it’s 2019. Surely there’s a way to take that warm fuzzy feeling outdoors with you! Below, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways to stay warm during the winter. Get your cold-weather gear before you freeze over!
Have you ever wondered how a regular jacket functions? Through a process of insulation, thick materials like down, wool, and fleece trap your body heat. In the coldest of environments, however, sometimes it just doesn’t cut it to rely on your body’s natural heat generation. What you’re looking for is a heated jacket, which contains a heat-generating mechanism to supplement your natural body temperature. Some heated jackets have pouches, in which a heat-generating chemical pouch is inserted. Modern heated jackets, however, are mostly powered by an inconspicuous battery pack. Having worn a heated jacket myself, I can describe its feel as a cross between a hug from an actual bear and wearing fresh laundry. If you’re looking to treat yourself this winter, a heated jacket may be somewhere to start.
When staving off the cold, it is crucial to keep your extremities protected. If you have sweaty palms like me, you are at risk for frostbites for outdoors activities lasting longer than even thirty minutes. Frostbite, as defined by the Oregon State Health Association, is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Symptoms include numbness, whiteness, and at later stages, a greyish-yellow complexion on the affected area. At worst, frostbite could lead to amputation. So, keep yourself safe this winter with a pair of heated gloves! Buying the right gloves is an especially important consideration if you commute outdoors frequently. It is virtually required for bikers, whose hands are exposed to winds for extended periods. But, if you’re also interested in having your hand cradled by angelic warmth, heated gloves may be for you too.
Face it; vests are back in fashion. StyleCaster deemed vests “the 2019 trend you didn’t see coming”. D’Marge reported that vests were “the hottest suiting trend for men.” As a society, we can no longer deny the lasting appeal of vests as the bridge between the outdoors and the comparatively warmer, but still slightly chilly indoors. If you long for the warm cradle of a heated jacket but are turned off by the prospect of sweaty armpits and constricting cuffs, then a heated vest is an obvious pick for your Christmas wish list.
If you grew up in a Chinese household, you might have heard your mother’s wise words on winter preparedness: “the cold rises from the feet.” Feet and hands are extremities, located far away from the central heat plant (that is your heart and major blood vessels). Of course, if you’ve ever trodden through snow, you’ll also understand why feet are especially susceptible to the dangers of winter. Unless you’ve shelled out 300 dollars for a pair of weatherproof Arc'teryx boots, then odds are you’ve at some point in your life dealt with snow-induced damp feet. Water between your toes then causes heat to dissipate even faster from your extremities, putting you in danger of frostbite and hypothermia. It would be best if you never bet on staying warm. A pair of heated socks could save your toes if you’re in a pinch.
Let’s say you already have an entire arsenal of heated clothing, and you love the way they feel wrapped around your shivering self. What if you wanted to feel that same warmth in the comfort of your own home? You could put on your heated socks. But it would be plain silly to suit up in mittens, a vest, and a heated jacket. In this case, a warming relief wrap is a product for which you are looking. A warming wrap goes around your back and shoulder and is great for day to day joint relief (not to mention an even better hug simulator).
Where do I buy my cold-weather gear?
Most heated clothing brands will cost you a significant amount. ActionHeat’s mittens alone come at a steep $174, and Gerbing’s heated jackets will go for $250. Since the heating mechanism for heated attire is somewhat similar from product to product, you are paying mostly premiums for branding and marginally superior build quality. If you are looking for premium heated jackets and vests at an affordable price point, then Northbay’s clothing line is a worthy choice. With jackets and vests in the $70 range, mittens, and socks in the $30 range, it is hard to beat Northbay when it comes to bang for your buck. Supplies are limited, so you should check out their sale on shoppersnett.com. Shop well, and don’t forget to stay warm this winter.