Keeping Warm in Winter
High-Tech products are now available to
help keep the whole body warm; this story focuses on the Merino
layering system and foot and hand warming technology.
When was the last time you were cold? For some of us it may have
been last night and for others it may have been on our last ski
The best way of handling varying temperatures is to have the correct
layers on to combat the weather. Starting with a fine base layer to
keep your skin warm and dry, to a mid-layer that provides warmth and
breathability and an outer-layer to protect from the cold and wet.
However, where do you start? There are so many garments on the
market claiming to be the best.
Blues have a favourite, the benefits (and joy) of Merino wool from
Regular wool is prickly, scratchy, heavy, and you wash it by hand.
Here is something new and unique that feels and performs differently
from anything else in the world. The most profound difference
between the best Merino and other wools is the fineness of fibre.
That is why Merino feels fantastic against your skin. Two principles
of preservation inherent in Merino fibres are insulation and
breathability. The very high warmth to weight ratio of the fibre
explains why Merino sheep survive extreme winter and summer weather
conditions. The animals roam freely at 6000 feet and snow
temperatures can drop to –20 C. In summer, there can be scorching
Merino is also one of the most hydrophilic of all the natural
fibres, and can absorb as much as one third of it’s own weight
without feeling wet to the touch. Even when wet the Merino fibres
still keep you warm. Regular sheep in icebreaker country just would
The upshot is that in
Icebreaker we have found a layering system that works, not well but superbly
well. From fine base layers that have no itch, no odour, and a
moisture management system that both warms and cools your body
depending on the activity you are involved in, to a mid-layer that
provides superb insulation and breathability.
When you layer Merino with more Merino, you increase the wind
resistance and thermal potential of the system, the whole system
breathes and moves as if it were one garment. Merino is a
protein-based fibre made up of Keratin (the principle matter of our
nails and hair, and the same constituent as our skin). It has
natural fire resistance, and does not hold charge. No static and no
cigarette burns! What more could you ask for in a layering system.
In cold weather conditions, the temperature of your hands and feet
decrease greatly in a very short time, usually your feet do not
adequately adjust to the cold temperature differences. Once your
feet and hands are cold, it is very difficult to warm them up again
without external energy. Comfort and performance levels also decline
considerably. Tests have proven that with a muscle temperature of
98.6 F you have an energy level of 100%. With each degree your body
temperature falls, your muscles lose up to 8% of their energy.
Thermo imaging tests have shown clear differences between men and
women. It is a fact that the circulation in the hands and feet of
women is not as good as men.
The different ratio of surface / mass and fat / muscle in men and
women is responsible for the fact that more women suffer from cold
Therm-ic is an Austrian company that specialises in making foot
warming and drying systems. They have over 25 years of experience in
developing their products and have the scientific research to back
up their results. Boot heaters and hand warmers are fantastic and
the difference they can make when the weather is very cold is quite
amazing. We have tested all these systems and can thoroughly
Why don't you visit our shops and
find out more?