Why Alpaca Wool Clothes Are Essential for Skiing & Snowboarding

Published September 20, 2019  |  Updated January  07, 2021

Winter is here again and along with it, the season for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Of course, this year, it’s a little different with the Covid-19 pandemic still in full swing, but many ski resorts are open and of course, getting out and about in nature and doing things we love, really help with our mental and physical health!

Why Does Clothing Choice Matter for Snow Sports?

Snow sports have to take place in cold conditions, otherwise the snow will melt! But skiing, snowboarding and even snow-shoeing, are physically demanding sports, so even if it’s cold out, you will likely get very warm and perhaps sweat at times. On the flip side, you will probably end up on lengthy ski-lift rides between runs, which inevitably lead to you cooling down and feeling the real temperature. So, you need clothing that is warm (without causing you to overheat), breathable (so it don’t get and stay wet when you sweat), lightweight/non-bulky, and protects you from the elements.

Clothes for Skiing and Snowboarding

The best approach to dressing for skiing and snowboarding is to employ a system of layered clothing. You can read more about layering here, but basically, it’s about wearing several thinner layers of clothing underneath weather protective layers, to improve insulation and also give you flexibility for changing weather and activity levels. The main components of any clothing layering system are:

  • BASE LAYER – the next to skin layer
    Its principle function is to keep you dry, so base layers should be highly breathable and sweat wicking.
  • MID LAYER – the insulating layer
    Warmth is the key here, so you need to choose a mid-layer or two that keep you warm enough during your chosen sport and level of activity, without causing you to sweat too much, or restricting your movements.
  •  OUTER SHELL – weather protection
    Keeping out the wind and external moisture, like snow or rain, is essential to help you maintain warmth and comfort. These are the main goals of ski/snowboard jackets and pants. 
view of the piste from the chairlift

Five Reasons to Use Alpaca Wool for Skiing and Snowboarding

1. Exceptional Warmth

Along with the crimp (waviness) of alpaca wool, its fibers have the special characteristic of partial medullation (semi-hollow cores). These features mean that alpaca wool jackets and hoodies make the perfect insulating mid layers.

2. Breathable and Moisture-Wicking

Alpaca wool fabrics are highly breathable and efficient at moving moisture away from your skin, meaning that your clothes stay dry, even when you sweat. These features mean that our alpaca wool base layers, leggings and shirts are the best next-to skin layers, keeping you warm, comfortable and dry.

3. Temperature Regulation

Even though alpaca wool is warmer than other fabrics, its breathability and sweat wicking capabilities means that it helps you regulate your temperature, so you can stay warm in the cold but cool in the heat!

4. Freedom of Movement

Alpaca wool clothing is lightweight and non-bulky. Because alpaca fibers are such great insulators, lighter-weight fabrics keep you just as warm as thicker fabrics made from other materials, so you can move freely.

5. Extra Coverage

The design of Arms of Andes alpaca wool hoodies includes dropped hems at the back, thumb loops and snug fitting hoods. This means that you can reach up, sit down, squat or bend over, without exposing any skin. Our alpaca wool leggings can be worn comfortably under your ski / snowboard pants and have high waists, to keep you covered. 

man walking with snowboard, wearing alpaca wool base layer and ski jacket

As well as base layers and mid layers, Arms of Andes has designed alpaca wool beanies, which fit under helmets and hoods. Our alpaca wool neck gaiters are super versatile accessories that can be used as scarves, headbands, ear warmers, or to cover your nose and mouth in cold and windy conditions. Our beanies and neck gaiters give you extra coverage when you most need it.

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