The Problem With Online Advice

Not everyone knows what they are talking about, take what you hear with a grain of salt and make sure you are thinking on your own and not just blindly following random internet statements about gear:

The warmth of a snowboard jacket is crucial if you want to enjoy yourself and have a great time whilesnowboarding. When you’re cold, you are miserable, period. Make sure you pick a jacket that will keep you warm no matter what the conditions. It is much better to have a jacket that is too warm than one that is not warm enough.

I completely disagree, I run with a shell jacket and it has basically no warmth to it at all, it is breathable (gore tex) and it is rugged but it has no insulating materials whatsoever (barring the obvious elements protection a shell gives you). The reason this is so contradictory is that the primary reason you want a snow jacket to be breathable is so the water vapor that is produced when you sweat needs to escape. The last thing you want is the sweat condensing inside the jacket, being trapped in with you and you being all hot then wet and or cold during the day once that all accumulates.

Opening a jacket up during the day is a really bad thing to have to deal with, it flaps at speed, if you eat it you get snow all over you, it can get caught in things and just generally becomes a pain. The reason shell outer layers are so popular is you can stack up and down layers underneath to control your temperature and instead of being sweaty hot or freezing cold, you can managed your clothing year round and day round by adding and removing as you need to.

The shell practice usually falls into three categories:

Base Layer: This is your skin contact layer, this can be as simple as underwear or as full covering as skin tight thermals. You will see terms such as “moisture wicking” which is all about getting that moisture away from your skin and up near your breathable jacket, it turns into vapor and it will pass out your jacket and pants if they have the ability to let it.

Middle Layer: When people open their jacket and you see a jumper underneath, this is the layer we are talking about. In the warmer periods this may be as simple as a tshirt or long sleeve shirt and can be expanded all the way up to fleece and polar fleece gear. The beauty being that you can stack layers together to increase insulation and to give you more flexibility during different temperatures of the day, different types of snow events(downhill, park, back country) and differing seasons. You can shed and add layers easily to keep your temperature comfortable without pushing you into too hot or too cold territory.

Outer Layer (shell):  This is where those lightweight clothes with no liner come into their own, they are thin and breathable so they allow you to dress up and down underneath them however you want to achieve perfect temperature management. I never have to worry about a warm jacket making me stink up and sweat through spring sessions or to worry that I didn’t get a thick enough jacket during blizzard days.

If you disagree with anything I have said then good, you have a mind of your own and you are thinking for yourself. A lot of advice is helping you to prevent making mistakes on your own, but the worst mistake you can make is to follow bad advice. Think for yourself and do what works for you.


Posted on October 5, 2011, in Articles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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