Why You Should Wear Alpaca Wool Clothes for Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Published January  21, 2021

Icy temperatures and lots of snow due to the polar wind currently moving south allow you to go on incredible ski and splitboard tours in Europe and North America. With Covid-19 still being around, remote tours away from the slopes and crowds at the lift are ideal, provided you have the right avalanche know-how and are safe on the mountain as well as respectful towards nature.

Why Is The Right Clothing Important For Ski And Splitboard Tours?

Ski and splitboard tours require cold temperatures and snow. Unlike skiing or snowboarding on the slopes, there is no lift and you have to climb the altitude meters with your own physical strength. This means that you will sweat a lot during the ascent, despite the low temperatures, and you will be confronted with cold wind during the descent. Ideal would be clothing that keeps you warm without overheating, is breathable (ie water vapor / sweat can get from the inside of the textile to the outside), lightweight and protective against the elements. If this is not the case, then you arrive at your destination with wet clothes and will be cold as soon as you get ready for the descent. Wearing wet or damp clothing for too long in the cold can cause hypothermia (when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it and the body temperature drops below 36 °C) in winter and therefore it is extremely important to choose the right clothing for any winter sports. Keep on reading and find out how to dress for skitours and spiltboard tours and why alpaca is the best material you could choose.

Why Is Alpaca Clothing Suitable For Ski Touring And Splitboard Touring?

Alpaca is one of the most functional and sustainable fibers in the world. It has similar properties to merino wool, but we have found alpaca wool to be even better. You can read more about the difference between alpaca and merino here.
Since alpaca is an animal that has lived in the Andes for centuries, it has adapted to freezing nights, hot days and large amounts of rainfall in the rainy season and has specialized its fiber to be adaptable to these extreme temperature differences and amounts of rainfall. Which is why alpaca underwear, alpaca baselayers and/or alpaca midlayers are an excellent choice for any winter sports as well as very suitable for ski touring and splitboard touring.

mountain and person going down the slope on skis

6 Characteristics Of Alpaca Wool and AoA Baselayer & Midlayer Especially Made For Backcountry 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). This semi-hollow core retains heat better than other fibers and therefore 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

Although alpaca wool is warmer than other materials, its breathability and sweat-wicking properties help regulate temperature so you can stay warm in the cold and cool in the heat!

4. Lightweight

Due to the semi-hollow fibers of alpaca, they feel light and retain their thermal advantages. So you can speed up the mountain with less weight on your body and without having to make a compromise on functionality.

5. Freedom of Movement

Alpaca wool clothing is lightweight and not bulky. Because alpaca fibers insulate so well, the lighter fabrics keep you just as warm as thicker fabrics made from other materials, so you can move freely.

6. Extra Coverage

The design of Arms of Andes alpaca wool hoodies includes a longer cut at the back, thumb loops, and close-fitting hoods which also fit comfortably under your helmet. 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 a high waist to protect you from wind and snow.

Man with ski on back hiking up
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