February might be the shortest month but if you’re in New England, the barrage of snowstorms and sub-arctic temperatures always make it seem like the longest month of the year. If you’re anything like the rest of us, you too are probably shivering in your car, avoiding patchy black-ice while dreaming of tropical Costa Rica or at least the warm coastal waters of Rhode Island in July. While we can’t provide you with a travel voucher or a time machine, the helpful associates at Helly Hansen Newport can share with you our best tips for staying warm while we all get through this last leg of winter.
First and foremost, layer-up on clothing. We recommend a three-layer system; baselayer, midlayer, and protective outer shell. The principle foundation of layering is to ensure you have a warm, dry baselayer closest to your skin. It might be 20 degrees but if you are out skiing your favorite black diamond or digging out the driveway (again) you are still going to sweat and your baselayer needs to perform with you to make sure you are staying dry with all that activity.
A long sleeve cotton tee is not going to cut it because any and all moisture is going to get trapped in your first layer, creating a humid and chilly layer between your clothes and your skin. Helly Hansen’s Lifa Baselayer is designed to move moisture through the fabric to evaporate into your next layer of clothing, so as to avoid creating a cold, damp disaster sure to ruin your outdoor activities. HH Baselayer comes in several varieties such as our HH Warm, HH Dry, and HH Active. Our warmest baselayer is the HH Warm, a blend of polypropylene and ultra-soft merino wool, http://bigweathergear.com/catalogsearch/result/?cat=&q=hh+warm+baselayer. Designed to mimic polar bear fur, this style is best for the “always cold” type or for those days when you just have to get out of the house though the temperature gauge has dipped well-below freezing. The HH Dry style is a lighter-weight material, made of 100% polypropylene and best suited for highly aerobic activities. HH baselayer comes in many different styles including shirts, pants, socks, gloves, and beanies.
Once you have secured your baselayer, options for mid layers continue. We carry a wide assortment of midlayers including softshells, 700+ fill packable down jackets, lightweight and heavyweight fleeces or you can even double up on your baselayer. Our helpful and attentive associates are here to determine your fit needs and ensure you are outfitted with the best combination of gear to keep you warm and comfortable during your winter activities. The third component in the three-layer system is your protective outer layer. This is the water-proof, wind-proof jacket that is going to keep the elements from penetrating the warm, dry climate we’ve created in between your body and the harsh winter happening outside your gear. Virtually all Helly Hansen jackets are water-proof and wind-proof and, best of all, features a 25-year guarantee, so if your jacket stops performing with you, we can fix it or replace it.
So now you’re outfitted in all the warmest clothing but you still have cold hands and feet. We are here to help you find your accessories solution as well. At Helly Hansen Newport, we carry this year’s latest insulated winter boot styles including brands such as Sorel, Sperry, and HH. Your boots might be warm, but if you’re not wearing the proper socks you might end up with cold, wet feet. Natural fiber socks such as Smartwool and DarnTough brands feature merino wool. Merino wool socks are your best bet for staying warm as the material moves moisture away from your body while providing superior insulation. If your feet are still chilly in your warmest winter boot and the thickest merino wool socks, why not try a pair of Grabber Foot Warmers, these ingenuous heat packs warm to 135 degrees when exposed to air and last for 7+ hours. They are designed to contour to the insole of your shoes and provide all-day warmth when you need the extra kick. Grabber Hand Warmers also provide the same cold-weather relief for your fingers. Many of our gloves are specially designed with a compartment to hold the hand warmers, radiating extra warmth throughout your gloves or mittens. If you are looking for a more permanent solution, we also carry Seirus Heat Touch gloves and mittens. These are fully rechargeable battery-operated gloves or mittens that warm on three heat-settings and provide up to 8 hours of insulated warmth. And don’t forget, hands need layering too. If you find your gloves alone aren’t providing you with the level of warmth you desire, try pairing them with glove liners such as our HH Warm or Seirus Silk liners,
Last but certainly not least is your head. A warm winter hat, earband, balaclava, and neck gaiter is going to keep all that warmth we’ve cultivated from escaping your body. If you find you are starting to overheat because it’s now equatorially hot in between your layers, you can pull off your head and neck covering and dump some of your excess heat quickly. And don’t forget to use your head either, if you are losing feeling in any of your extremities, take a break and get back to the ski-lodge for a cup of hot cocoa by the fire. There’s only five more weeks of winter before the Spring Equinox, we will be trading in all of this powder for hot sand soon enough.