Venturing out for a day of ski touring in the backcountry is an exciting adventure that requires not only your basic backcountry knowledge but a careful selection of clothing too. You want to ensure that the garments you choose are made from materials that are designed for aerobic activities such as fleeces and softshells and keep you feeling dry while your body temperature is regulated.
Starting with the base layers and finishing with the outer shell and accessories, the proper layering system is essential for outdoor activities. Arc’teryx is no stranger to the outdoor industry and knows all too well what it takes to create the perfect layering system thanks to their love and knowledge of outdoor activities. It is a brand devoted to keeping their adventurers feeling comfortable so they can explore for longer even in the harshest conditions.
Before gearing up and heading out for a day of ski touring in the backcountry, check with the outfits below to ensure you are properly prepared and dressed for your outdoor pursuit.
Arc’teryx Base Layers
First things first, you want to start with your base layers. This is the first layer you put on and will be the insulation next to your skin for the duration of your ski touring journey. Opt for materials that are breathable and have exceptional moisture wicking properties to ensure your body will remain warm and dry.
Whether you choose synthetic or a wool blend, Arc’teryx has a variety of choices to choose from for both men and women.
Base Layers for Her
Phase SL Bra
Phase SL Boxer
Satoro AR Zip Neck
Satoro AR Bottom
Base Layers for Him
Phase SL Boxer
Phase AR Bottom
Choosing the appropriate mid-layer is essential for comfort and an overall enjoyable experience in the backcountry. Because ski-touring is a highly aerobic activity, you want to choose a mid-layer that is breathable and provides exceptional moisture management like a fleece or a softshell.
On a more frigid day, pairing your base layer with a mid-layer fleece and topping it off with a softshell is an ideal choice. If you’re venturing out in milder conditions, pairing a base layer with a softshell may be enough for the hike up because you are working hard enough to keep your body warm.
Although some may think otherwise, the waterproof shell is best kept for your descent or weather protection at the top of the summit rather than for hiking up in because they are less breathable compared to a softshell.
Mid-Layers for Her
Gamma MX Hoody
Gamma LT Hoody
Delta LT Zip
Rho AR Zip Neck
Midy-Layers for Him
Gamma MX Jacket
Gamma LT Hoody
Delta LT Zip
Rho AR Zip Neck
Arc’teryx Outer Layers
Your outer layer is like your weather protection layer. Choosing something made with a GORE-TEX® membrane is the most beneficial and will provide the best results. Although you may experience precipitation on the hike up, the waterproof shell is best saved for your descent or during the transition once you’ve reached the summit. Although these shells are most often equipped with armpit zips, they do not provide as much breathability as other layers and are not the most ideal top layer while hiking. Keep your waterproof shell handy near the top of your bag so it can be easily put on once you’ve stopped and need to keep your body heat in and add a layer of protection from the elements.
Your outer layer pants will be on for the climb and well as the descent because hiking up in your base layers may be overwhelmingly chilly. Look for a pair of waterproof pants that have vents or zips so that if it is a milder day, you can unzip or open a vent to enhance airflow and regulate your body temperature.
Whether you choose bib pants or regular pants, you’ll want to choose a pair of waterproof shell pants. These will be the most lightweight and keep your legs from getting unbearably sweaty on the hike up. Paired with a breathable and moisture-wicking base layer bottom, you’re sure to remain comfortable for the entire ascent and descent.
Outer Layers for Her
Outer Layer for Him
To top off any ski kit whether you are ski touring or simply enjoying a day on the groomers, you need accessories. Keep your body heat in and the cold air out by layering up and keep your extremities warm too. Shop for a breathable toque and some mittens or gloves that will keep your hands warm so when you need to work with a buckle or zipper you are capable to use your fingers.
Accessories for Her & Him
Phase AR Beanie
Rho LTW Neck Gaitor
Phase AR Balaclava
Arc’teryx Insulation Layers for Her & Him
While down and synthetic layers are great for insualtion layers, like the waterproof shell, they are better saved for once you’ve reached the summit, stop for lunch and layerin gup for your descent. Because ski touring is such an aerobic activity, you produce a lot of body heat and an additional down or synthetic layer may make you overheat or produce excessive sweat which may lead you to feel damp and cold.
For thsoe ski touring in harsher conditions, bringing along a down or synthetic layer to throw on when you are standing or sittin gstill will preserve the body heat you have created while hiking and keep you feeling warm and comfortable.
Atom AR Hoody
Cerium LT Hoody
Thorium AR Hoody
Atom AR Jacket
Above are the top choice garments to complete your layering system for a day of ski touring in the backcountry. The more prepared you are, the more enjoyable your adventure will so take all the necessary precautions and always pack a few extra layers in your backpack to be safe. Along with the appropriate apparel, there is the appropriate gear as well that you must bring in order to explore safely in the backcountry.
It is crucial that you research beforehand what gear is necessary for the particular location you are destined for and that you have all the necessary knowledge to explore safely. The mountains are a beautiful place, but require the utmost respect from those who wish to explore them.