Anyone who has spent time in the snow will know that being cold is no fun. Frozen hands and feet plus uncontrollably chattering teeth are enough to send even the hardiest souls scampering indoors.
So, if you are heading off to snowy climates this winter, be sure to be kitted out in the right gear, because a million-dollar view simply isn't worth it if you can't feel your feet.
The trick to staying warm in sub-zero temperatures is wearing several thin layers rather than one thick one. While pulling on a big coat may feel like the best way forward, the most effective way to ward off chill is to maximise the air trapped between multiple layers of clothing. The air is warmed through body heat and acts as an all-day personal radiator.
As well as being better at keeping in the heat, wearing several thinner layers also means it is easier to cool down when the sun comes out. Peeling off one thin layer is enough to cool you off, while still making sure you stay warm.
The base layer is the one that sits next to the skin, so make sure it is soft and comfortable. For best results, look for long-sleeve tops with a polo neck, and leggings that run from the waist to the ankle. The material must be able to wick away moisture, to stop you getting cold, and should be good at holding in a layer of air.
Don't be temped to wear cotton as a base, as it will absorb the moisture and hold it next to your skin, which will cool you down, rather than keep you warm.
The most efficient material for this is surprisingly silk, which, despite being pricey, is something of a wonder material in the cold. Although a delicate natural fabric, even a thin layer is excellent at trapping air around the body, while remaining extremely lightweight. Grenasasilk sells silk thermal tops and long johns, for both men and women, starting at Dh220.
A cheaper alternative to silk is polyester, while not as cosy to wear, it is good at shifting moisture away from your skin. Marks and Spencer sells thermal items that use a blend of fibres to keep the heat in, in a range of different weights for various levels of warmth. With a wide selection, it has long and short-sleeve tops, shorts and traditional long johns for both men and women, as well as women’s thermal bodies, footless leggings, tights and socks, starting from Dh49.
Decathalon stocks men’s base layer thermal tops, starting at Dh45, while Lorna Jane offers a Thermal Tech long-sleeve top for women, with four-way stretch and thumb hole to keep the hands warm for Dh425.
These are the layers that provide the bulk of insulation from the cold, so think sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, hoodies and even lightweight padded gilets. For best results in the coldest climates, pull on three or four, one over another.
Sun and Sand Sports offers a lightweight Columbia Snow Country hooded jacket, now reduced to just Dh393 for the women's version, while Gant sells a light padded jacket for men now reduced to only Dh559. Adidas stocks an adidas x Parley unisex hoodie, made from organic cotton, for Dh649, while The Giving Movement has an oversized hoodie, printed in both English and Arabic, now reduced from Dh699 to Dh350.
While long sleeves mean more warmth, they can also reduce the range of movement for arms, so check out the Nike Therma-Fit running gilet for Dh419. Filled with synthetic fibres it is warm and extremely lightweight.
At the top end of the scale, there is a thin Gucci silk Supreme zip-front jacket at Ounass for Dh7,600.
If the two inner layers are all about keeping body heat in, the outer layer is there to block the wind, rain and snow. A thick wool coat is OK for a stroll around town, but up on the mountain, it is better to opt for a waterproof windbreaker. Materials like Gore-Tex and Sympatex have been specially developed for this purpose, and are not only better at keeping out a biting wind, but they are fully breathable and much lighter than wool.
Sun and Sand Sports has the Men's Apex Flex Gore-Tex 2L snow jacket, by The North Face, currently reduced to Dh1,434, while Surfdome has men’s snow pants by Rip Curl, for Dh602.50. Boss offers an all-in-one women’s ski suit for Dh5,300, which is waterproof and has a thermal lining and a hood.
At Dior there is a reversible, cropped down jacket, in quilted technical taffeta for Dh22,000. For anyone who wants to seriously look the part on the slopes, try Moncler. Masters of cold weather gear, and with ongoing collaborations with brands such as Valentino and Off-White, this is the gear to be seen in. The Italian brand's Sanbesan short-down jacket costs Dh7,308.
Gloves and goggles
Light bouncing off snow can affect vision, with the dazzling white light capable of causing damage to the eyesight, so it is vital to have good-quality goggles to protect yourself.
Most sunglasses are built to shade light coming from overhead only, so tend not to block light bouncing from below. Lens specialist company Zeiss makes goggles with technical tints to protect the eyes, starting at just Dh547, while Alensa offers a wide range of goggles, including the Magnify 5K Red pair by Head, which cost Dh699 and come with a spare lens. For something a little fancier, try mirrored green Bottega Veneta goggles for Dh3,401 from Revolve.
Good-quality gloves are essential in the snow, as digits get cold very quickly unless properly protected. Go Sport has Oakley ski gloves for Dh260, which come with a useful leash so you don't lose them, and Adventure HQ offers the XTM Everest gloves, costing Dh899, which have Gore-Tex membrane to keep them dry.