For a man that lives in the North Pole (or Lapland, depending on your story), Santa never seems to feel the cold. When he’s making his rounds on Christmas eve, he’ll be crossing through all manners of weather – so we’ve decided to offer the big man some advice to make the trip a little more comfortable.
When you’re likely to experience a change in the weather (let’s face it, heading from the North Pole to the Australian summer is about as big of a weather change as you’re likely to find), the layering system is something you need to make use of. It’s important to have a breathable baselayer, a comfortable midlayer and a protective outer. The layering system will keep you warm in the coldest temperatures, but lets you remove (and pack away) layers easily when your body starts to heat up.
Not sure about the layering system? Why not watch our instructional video to find out more.
The Rab Infinity Endurance Hydrophobic Down Jacket – This is a key piece for the cold. All down jackets are fantastic for dry, cold weather, but Rab’s hydrophobic down has been treated so that it can handle moisture better than standard down. This treatment will prevent the down from losing its loft when it gets wet, and means Santa keeps warm through those colder climates.
Montane Fast Alpine Stretch Neo Jacket – Even with your hydrophobic down jacket, you’ll need a waterproof layer for downpours. The Fast Alpine Stretch is one of our favourite pieces for 2013. Made with Polartec Neoshell, it’s extremely breathable, and extremely durable. Designed for climbers, it articulates with your body, and if Santa is lumbering his bag of toys around, and climbing up and down chimneys, then this is an ideal piece for keeping him dry. It can be worn over a down jacket in colder climates, or over any midlayer in slightly warmer climates.
Marmot Stretch Light Softshell Top – There are plenty of options to choose at midlayer, ranging from fleeces, to hoodies, to softshell jackets. Softshell jackets are better suited to somebody who will be moving around quite a lot, as they are generally made from a stretch fabric that will move with the body. They’re also windproof and water resistant, ideal to wear over a baselayer top in warmer climates, or to keep the chill out as part of your layering system.
Rab Aeon Baselayer – For your baselayer it’s important to remember that cotton isn’t ideal. Your standard t-shirts will absorb sweat, cool down, and make you feel colder for longer when it’s damp. Baselayers should be made of a fast wicking fabric to actively keep the moisture away from your skin. There are plenty to choose from when it comes to baselayers, most major brands offer a choice so it can really come down to personal preference.
Montane Terra Pants – When taking part in arduous activity, it’s important to make sure your legwear is breathable, comfortable and hard-wearing – the Terra pant is just that. These trousers have articulated knees, so they will move comfortably with your body, rather than bunch up like some others might. Hopping in and out of the sleigh, up and down the chimney, bending down to place presents – it all takes its toll on legwear, and we think the Terra pant would be a great substitute from the sweaty velvet option Santa currently uses.
It would be easy to stick with tradition for Santa’s footwear and offer up some great snow boots which would keep the feet warm and dry, snow boots are great, but we certainly wouldn’t recommend them for the warmer climates that Santa is likely to experience on his travels.
Scarpa Delta GTX Activ Walking Boots – Where a mountain boot may be a little stiff for constant wear, and a wellington won’t offer much needed ankle support, a 3 season walking boot like the Delta Activ offers great waterproof protection and fantastic comfort. These boots could be worn with some waterproof gaiters for snowy conditions, or just as they are for all other conditions. Worn with a pair of breathable socks, these boots should keep your feet dry in wet conditions.
So there we have it, a brief run down of some alternate kit that Santa might feel a little more comfortable in during his multi-climate trip on Christmas eve. While they may not come in traditional Santa colours just now, i’m sure the big man himself could have a word with some of our manufacturers and get some special order kit.
Would Santa be the ultimate gear test? In terms of durable clothing, and comfort in all conditions, we certainly think so.
The layering system isn’t just for Santa, it can help you keep safe and warm this winter, whether you’re out walking or just braving the cold. Managing your body temperature is an extremely important aspect of staying safe. Make sure you keep extra layers in the boot of your car for snowy conditions, and you’ll be ready – whatever the weather.
(Oh and Santa, if you’re reading this – your nearest GO Outdoors store is probably Inverness)