We thought we knew how to dress for winter weather. Heck, we’ve been doing it since we were kids. It goes base layer, then insulating layers, then shell. Right?
Turns out our lifelong layering system is more or less completely bogus. Or so we heard from Sierra Designs Vice President Mike Glavin, who shared these tips on staying dry, keeping warm, and not looking like a poser in the winter backcountry.
Leave the shell off
No matter what the marketing people say, hard shells are rain jackets. And putting one over your layer system is sort of like wrapping your cat in Saran wrap: It’s not a good idea.
Layers should get more breathable as they go away from your body, says Glavin, so that moisture generated by activity can wick away. Putting a shell over the system traps that moisture, leaving inner layers to soak it up. And when those layers get wet, you get cold.