Insulating Layer for Skiing

Insulating layer for skiing would give him the data he needs.

Pretty smart bird there. Move him to the front.

The purpose of the insulating layer for skiing is to help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body.  It is worn over the base layer and it must have the ability to not only keep the warmth in, but to also allow perspiration to pass through it. This insulating layer for skiing can range from lightweight fleeces and wool sweaters to full-on puffy down jackets; it just depends on the temperatures you are going to be facing.  Let’s take a look at the different materials available for  this layer.

Insulating Layer for Skiing Materials

There are quite a few materials that you can choose from for your insulating layer – and all of them are good.  It really just comes down to your own preference and the conditions that you’ll be facing.  Many people like natural fibers such as wool and goose down. Merino wool sweaters and shirts offer soft, reliable warmth and keep on insulating even when wet. For very cold and dry conditions, goose down is the absolute best as it has an unbeatable warmth-to-weight ratio.  Other people like polyester fleece insulating layers for skiing as these fabrics come in different weights and they have been treated in such a way that the fibers stand up and trap air, which gives the garment its insulating ability. Lets break these down and compare them – so you can choose which ones would be best for you and your situation.

Polyester Fleece

* Available in a variety of styles and thicknesses.  (Same definitions as base layer here).
* Durable, lightweight and fast-drying.
* Breathable – Transports moisture away from the body well.
* Sometimes comes with wind-stopping liners built in (you may not want this – see below).
* Maintains some insulating ability even when wet.
* Less expensive then wool or down.


* Is a good natural insulator, even when wet.
* Breathable – Transports moisture away from the body well.
* Merino wool has a very fine fiber and feels good next to the skin for most people.
* Bad points are it can take a long time to dry and it can be bulky to wear.
* Typically not as durable as polyester


* Very efficient insulation with high loft and best warmth to weight ratio
* Bad point is it loses its insulating properties when it gets wet.
* Typically more expensive and harder to maintain then polyester or wool.


Those are the most common materials.  Now some other things you’ll want to consider when choosing your insulating layer for skiing.

* When my neck gets cold, I get cold – so I prefer a high zip up collar on my insulating layer, one that goes all the way to my chin. This high collar keeps my neck warm and I can unzip it to let off heat as needed if I get too warm.

* Another thing – you’ll find that two thin layers will be warmer than one thick layer.  Remember, in order to retain heat you need to trap air and you’ll trap more air with two thin layers as compared to one thick layer. It also gives you an option to take off one of the thin layers if you get too warm.

* Fleece purchased with a wind-stopping membrane (which comes under various brand names) may not be something you want if you’re going to be sweating very much.  It has a reputation of not breathing well and can thus leave you wet inside the layer. Some of these membranes are better that others, but just know that none of them breathe as well as fleece without this membrane.

There you have it – your rundown on the insulating layer for skiing.  Put this data to use and get yourself all set up to stay warm on the hill and have a good time.

See you on the slopes.


If you liked this post or you have some other communication about it – write me a comment at the Leave a comment tab below and speak your mind.  Thanks.

One Response to “Insulating Layer for Skiing”

  1. Bro says:

    Hey is the picture in your poem from the Dolomites? Looks like it.

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