For a comfortable body feeling when skiing and snowboarding, the right clothing is very important – and how you layer it. We explain what is important.
Planegg – In order not to shiver on the ski slopes, the best recommendation is: the onion principle. But there is an important basic rule for layering the clothes. Andreas König from the German Ski Association explains how it works.
The onion consists of three layers. There is a layer on the skin that transports moisture away. “Because when you feel wet, you often feel cold too,” says König. The first layer is therefore best functional underwear.
The cheapest option here are synthetic fibers. They are hydrophobic, so they transport water well away from the body. “But they don’t really make you warm.” That’s why many winter sports enthusiasts rely on ski underwear made of merino wool. The natural animal fibers have the advantage that they are comfortable to wear and warm a little, but at the same time wick moisture away from the body. Merino wool products cost a little more than synthetic fiber products.
Layers for warmth and resistance to the elements
A second layer of clothing is placed directly over the underwear, which warms, stores moisture and ideally also lets it out. These can be textiles made of cotton or synthetic felt (fleece), often they are mixtures of natural and synthetic fibers.
The third layer is the weather resistant component. Classic jackets for skis and snowboards are mostly hard shells. They keep moisture out. Conversely, they ideally let moisture out from the inside. “That’s why the jackets often have sewn-in areas with more permeable material, for example under the armpits,” says König.
In part, the integrated membrane should also be able to keep moisture out and let moisture pass through from the inside to the outside. According to König, however, the technology has its limits. “There is no product that is 100 percent airtight and at the same time 100 percent breathes.”
Thicken the onion – or skin it
Of course, every person is different in their sensitivity to cold. And the weather on the mountain can also be very different. Starting from the three layers, however, one can easily adapt, as four examples show:
Case 1: Someone who sweats profusely.
Shivering is less of a problem. You often feel cold and uncomfortable when your body gets too wet. It is advisable to have a change of clothes in your backpack. In particular, you can replace the second (moisture-retaining) layer if necessary, for example during the lunch break at the hut.
Case 2: Someone who gets cold easily.
The onion can be expanded starting from the three-layer basic rule. The following applies: The functional underwear and the warming layer are layers one and two on the body. Based on this, you can pull other warming textiles over it – just as you feel comfortable. Finally, there is the weather-resistant layer.
Case 3: It’s dry and cold.
Then you don’t necessarily need a hard shell as the third layer. Andreas König says that jackets with a higher proportion of natural materials such as down have proven themselves in such cases. They are light and comfortable to wear, and they also allow more freedom of movement.
Case 4: It is comparatively warm.
In this case, the onion peels depending on how you feel and how you ride. For example, do you fall a lot in wet slush snow? Then the hard shell stays on. Otherwise, the third or second layer can be left out. It is best to have a backpack with you to be flexible. dpa