The ski wear that I had been using for years, since the 2014 ski trip to Ischgl, was pretty much worn out and it was time to renew it before the forthcoming trip to Val Gardena. I decided not get not only new jacket and pants, but also new underlayer from 100% Merino wool.
I try to ski a lot at the Alps every winter, one week at a time these days, and then some back home in Finland, and occasionally in other Nordic countries Sweden and Norway. At the Alps I will ski in any weather, mostly on-piste, and if lucky, sometimes off-piste in deep powder. The ski wear needs to adapt to many conditions, from -30 C in biting wind, heavy snowfall, slushy rain, or sunshine in +5 C. Sitting on a 15 min chairlift ride in that biting cold wind and heavy snow is the one extreme and the other is sweating on long descents in burning sunshine. The solution I prefer is layered clothing, with an outer shell that is water repellent but breathable, and that can be closed and opened according to weather. And for those powder days the snow needs to stay outside the shell.
Under the outer shell I use an under or base layer and necessary mid-layers according to weather. I always wear a helmet. On longer rounds and off-piste I carry a backpack with extra clothes and survival gear.
Jacket and pants from Montec
My son Daniel bought 2 years ago his new ski wear from Montec web store and it looked pretty good to me. I have been seeing lot of Montec ski and snowboarding clothes lately on Nordic ski areas so it appears to be a new rising brand.
I did some research on the web, and this time did not even bother go visiting sport shops, because so much information can be found from the web these days and some brands actually have very good web sites to explore their offering. For some brands you can actually only get the full selection with all sizes and colours from their web shops, no shop could carry the entire selection.
I surfed in the Montec web store at https://www.montecwear.com/ quite a bit, and “on paper” found a good looking combo of jacket and pants that looked to fulfil my requirements at a reasonable price. A cool feature at the web site was a “create outfit” tool that allows you to try out different models and styles, and then you can just click and order that set. Many languages are supported, even my native language Finnish. There was even an amazing tool to estimate the most likely size that would fit you. So then I ended up ordering from web store the outfit shown in below picture, taken at Messilä ski center.
- Doom jacket Burgundy/Black, 249,90 €
- Fawk bib pants Burgundy/Black, 229,90 €
- Classic Knitted Tube scarf Burgundy, 29,90 €
- Kilo II beanie Burgundy, 29,90 €
- total, 539,60 €
Bib pants are a must for serious skiing in any snowy condition. These also have a proper snow gaiters and even a lace hook to ski boots. The anorak style Doom jacket looked like a very versatile design that could adapt to any condition. There were a lot of colour combinations to choose from so it was hard to choose, but ended then in Burgundy red. I even got color matching scarf and beanie. The order arrived by mail in 4 days and was neatly packaged in recyclable material.
I immediately tried it all out and it was a good fit. On the day that I got them, it was +3 C after some heavy snow falls and now raining slush in hard wind. The nastiest weather imaginable. But the outfit did repel rain and wind and felt comfortable.
Then I tried first time skiing with the new outfit at Messilä ski center. Then it was -6 C and lightly snowing. Worked all nicely. Did have to put a wool sweater under to cope in that weather because at small Finnish ski areas you spend most of your time in lifts and lift queues and do not get that hot from skiing the short runs. It is only at the long runs at the Alps when the real challenges will come – so I will post experiences after my next trip to Val Gardena.
Merino wool base layer from Northoutdoor
I have had plenty of base layers from synthetic or mixed materials, but now I wanted to try 100% Merino wool, and avoid synthetics. Merino wool is warm, breathable, antibacterial and of course all natural fibers.
I found a web shop of Northoutdoor, that is actually a Finnish company founded by two Finnish competition skiers.
From there I ordered the whole base layer, 210 g/m2 shirt and pants, helmet balaclava, all 100% Merino wool, and socks. The wool is mulesing-free.
On top of the base layer I usually have a cotton polo shirt. And in colder weather also something more, like a fleece or a wool sweater.
Lopapeysa wool sweater
My wife Minna knitted me a new Icelandic wool sweater. These are called “lopapeysa” in Icelandic. This was knitted according to “Grein” pattern, originally designed by Jóhanna Hjaltadóttir, but this is a new color variant by Védís Jónsdóttir. The yarn used here is Álafosslopi, which is very thick and of course from Icelandic wool.
This sweater on its own is very warm.