Hi all! 

My name is Brittany and I’m a new retail gal at Goldsmiths Sports – which means I help customers shop for the right snow apparel and accessories. I grew up in Pennsylvania near Lake Erie, so I’m no stranger to snow, but after I started working here, I learned I was a ROOKIE when it came to keeping warm outdoors, especially when being active.

To me, cold weather = put on more layers = more warmth = more frustration !

Me in December
Source: A Christmas Story

But, from Day 1 at Goldsmiths I learned the proper way of layering to be comfortable in the outdoors, and I’d love to teach you what we consider the basics of layering.  And hey, if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll help you shop in the store!


The proper way to keep warm is starting with a foundation of the 3-layer system, then customizing and adding from there.

LAYER 1 – Next-to-Skin Layer 

This is – you guessed it! – the layer that touches your body most closely.  When Fred + Linda started the store in the 1980s, this layer was almost exclusively long underwear, but boy how times have changed.

As this layer literally touches your body, it needs to be comfortable and breathable, so any sweat can escape. Cotton is soft and warm, but it often TRAPS the heat inside.  A synthetic base layer or blend is best for most outdoor activities, because it moves with your body temperature. It exhausts heat from sweat, and the sweat itself. If your body is cooling itself down by sweating – your clothing should help you accomplish that.

We carry awesome base layers from companies like NILS (which are soft as BUTTER!). Some items such as 686’s Smarty Pants come with a base layer included with snow pants.

Woman wearing a base layer garment

LAYER 2 – Insulation 

You gotta keep it insulated! My personal favorite layer is the insulation layer, because it’s the most versatile.  For maximum warmth you should wear this layer over your base and under your shell, but also works great as a second layer indoors for cozy apres-hangs or a light jacket!

We carry some of the most functional and fashionable insulation layers and styles for all personalities.  Fleece, cotton blends, merino wool, you name it! Many insulation layers include breathability – which is key – and light waterproofing, such as the 32 REPEL jacket, which is popular with snowboarders.

The key feature is that they all keep you WARM and INSULATED but also allow heat to escape.

LAYER 3 – Shell

Remember when George Costanza let us all know about Goretex?

Gore-Tex is still a leader in outdoor warmth and included in many of our products, but with the advancements in layering technology, many ski and snowboarders actually prefer a lighter, shell jacket with waterproof features and venting capabilities. 

Helly Hansen is – in my humble opinion – the best all around extreme weather wear, as it was originally designed for fisherman and Alps skiers in Norway, They use a proprietary technology called Helly Tech which lets sweat out but prevents water from getting IN. Oh, and each jacket and snowpants you purchase comes with a free lift ticket to many resorts across the US!

This HOWL shell jacket has all the features for being on the mountain somewhere like Big Bear, where it’s often sunny and warm, with less insulation but won’t allow the wet and snow to get in.

Descente is preferred by many of our skiers – functional, fashionable, and options for heavy or light built-in insulation. This may be a good fit if you like a lighter insulation level.

Note how thin this shell is, with zippers for venting.


Of course you can add hats / gloves / gators / scarves / gloves etc etc, but the core of layering include your base layer, insulation layer, and outer layer.  

Hope to see you soon!

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