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Buying Guide for Mid Layers



Anyone can tell you that the best way to dress for snowboarding is to dress in layers.  Layers allow you to stay warm when you need it, and also give you the opportunity to take off a layer to cool down when necessary.  So what should you look for when picking a mid layer to go over your long underwear and under your jacket?  Here is some information regarding what mid layers are, how to fit them and which one is right for you.



What Are Mid Layers?


As you might have already guessed, mid layers are quite literally the middle layers, who knew?  This is going to be the layer between your base layer or long underwear and your outer layer or ski jacket.  Some mid layers are fleeces, merino wool sweaters, vests, technical tees, turtle necks or lightweight polyester sweatshirts.



Why Wear Mid Layers?


One of the best upsides of mid layers are that they greatly increase warmth while being surprisingly light weight. But if you start to work up a sweat or the weather takes a turn and warms up, you can easily remove your mid layer or even shed your jacket and just ride in your mid layer.  And vice-versa, if it gets colder again, you can simply put your mid layer or jacket right back on to warm up.



Different Mid Layer Weights?


Depending on the amount of warmth you need, mid layers come in different weights. A heavy weight mid layer is going to offer more warmth than a lightweight mid layer and a medium weight mid layer is going to be in between.


There are a few things you will want to consider before choosing the weight you want: weather, snow conditions and personal preference.  When shredding in lower temperatures you are going to want to pick a mid layer with a heavier weight than when riding in warmer conditions or spring riding.  If you tend to get cold faster, that is also something you want to consider before selecting your mid layer.


Common Skiing Mid Layers

  • Fleeces
  • Merino Wool Sweaters
  • Vests
  • Technical Tees
  • Turtle Necks
  • Polyester Sweatshirts 



Finding the Proper Fit in a Skiing Mid Layer


As with most clothing in your snowboard set up, it is better to have a snugger fitting mid layer, even though it may not be as trendy.  Mid layers are made to fit snug to maintain body heat and to fit under outerwear yet leave enough room to comfortably wear a base layer beneath.  If you choose a mid layer that is too long it will collect snow and get damp at the bottom from riding and sitting down.  Be sure to choose one that won't inhibit your range of motion or feel too heavy or bulky while shredding.



What Mid Layers NOT to Wear


To put it simply, COTTON.   A cotton mid layer can easily ruin your entire day while out on the slopes. Cotton tends to not be as warm as its counterparts and it does not wick away moisture from either snow or sweat. Instead, it will absorb moisture, making you even colder and takes quite some time to dry out.





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