These must-have winter clothing pieces are guaranteed to see you through the chillier months
With the right gear, getting outside to enjoy a winter like no other before can be its own adventure. Sure, things are different this year, but change can be good. It's a great opportunity to stay physically and mentally active in ways that are practical, safe and even stylish.
So take it outdoors this winter and enjoy some of the unique opportunities only this season can offer...
1. The 400 Pullover by Ecologyst, $155
EcologystIf you're going to live in sweats for the rest of the year, make your hoodie count. This unisex pullover from Ecologyst is part of their heavy weight fleece collection, made from 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton. It's slightly oversized with raglan sleeves, and has an overall lean fit so while it'll be perfect on its own in the spring and summer. For now, you can layer over it knowing you look perfectly comfy, but never sloppy. It's made entirely in Canada from milling to production, and comes in inclusive sizes from XS to XXL. (To learn more about Ecologyst and enter for a chance to win a beautiful Merino turtleneck, worth $345, click here.)
2. Water-resistant Daypack by Got Bag, $99
Got BagIt's winter in Vancouver. You're going to get wet. This daypack will keep your belongings dry throughout your adventure. It's compact enough so it won't add too much bulk, but large enough (15 litres) for daily essentials. Plus, this is the world's first backpack made from 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable ocean plastic. It features a padded back, waterproof front pocket, compartment for 13-inch laptop, top handle and luggage belt for slipping over your carry-on handles when travel resumes. (And each daypack is made from 2.5 kilograms of recovered ocean plastic.
3. Heated Vest by Ororo, $220
OroroThis heated vest is a game changer for anyone who's had to run the dog outside after midnight in the rain, or stand in the cold—distanced and shivering—catching up with friends. Wear it as a regular vest, or when things get really chilly, click the little button on the front and you'll soon feel waves a gentle heat ensconce your upper body. You know that feeling, of never wanting to leave your heated car seat once you've settled in? This is like having your heated car seat hug you everywhere you go. There are three levels of heat that can provide up to 10 hours of warmth, making any winter activity so much more civilized. (A single battery charge provides three hours on high, six hours on medium and 10 hours on low heating settings.)
4. Hydrofoil Stretch Rain Pants by MEC-1, $129.95
MECRain pants are an essential piece of gear you never knew you needed. And, because your legs move so much, it's crucial you consider a few details so they not only perform well, but keep you comfortable. These fully seam-taped rain pants are made from a fabric that's incredibly breathable and even stretchable, meaning you won't feel constricted. The fabric is actually soft and supple, not crunchy and crinkly. They also have a two-way 3/4 side-zip, so they're easy to pull on and also allow you to unzip from the top when you need some ventilation so you can better manage heat distribution. There are a dozen of other technical specifications that make this a top performer, but for everyone who's shorter than the average height, the most crucial factor is that these come in petite sizes.
5. Triple-layer X-static Mask by Threads, $44.95 (2 pack)
ThreadsAt the beginning of the pandemic, Canadian hosiery company, Threads, quickly pivoted from making beautiful, durable tights to making comfortable, durable face masks. They started with multi-layered nylon masks and more recently launched their triple-layer face masks, which feature a pocket that contains a polyester, water-repellent, customizable filter. The layer closest to the face contains six percent X-static silver yarn (99.9 percent pure silver), which is antimicrobial, anti-odour, thermoregulating and permanent, so it will never wash out.
6. Pyrenees Hiking Boots by Keen-1, $160
KeenFor an all-leather boot with waterproofing membrane and rubber lug sole, these are delightfully light, allowing you to stay nimble from hiking to snowshoeing to commuting. They have a classic, old school look, but the technology embedded within is state-of-the-art. The proprietary waterproof membrane is actually breathable, so your feet will always stay dry and comfortable. The cushiony, dual-density EVA insole overlays an internal support mechanism that's anatomically engineered to provide arch support and cradle your foot. With a generous toe box that will never crowd your feet even with thick socks on, you'll have happy feet throughout all your winter activities. These do run small, so order half a size up.
7. Long Jacket by Rains, $150
RAINSIf you're already wearing your favourite cozy sweater (or heated vest), this lightweight rain jacket is the perfect topper to pull out when the weather suddenly turns. Rains is a Danish brand that produces contemporary rainwear that's functional yet stylish. The fabric is made from a durable polyester that's ultrasonically bonded with a flexible polyurethane to create a fully waterproof garment. No need to ever worry about re-applying a waterproofing treatment to this. While there's a storm shield on the back that allows for some ventilation, consider sizing up for a looser fit that will provide for great air circulation.