Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Outer Layers For Winter

Don’t let the chillier weather keep you stuck indoors. If you love to get your heart rate up and run outside, casually walk with the family around the neighborhood, engage in snow sports—skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing— or simply travel from point A to point B, here are the best outer layers for winter.

The Art of Wool

Merino wool is considered by many to be something of a magic fabric. Not only is it soft, strong, and stretchy, but also, it’s antibacterial, moisture wicking, breathable, packable, and thermo-regulating. New to Ibex, the performance and active wear company that sources wool from Australia and New Zealand, is the Women’s Wool Aire Hoodie. This ultralight puffy, made with merino wool insulation, is easy to travel with and it provides an outer layer of warmth. Plus, the jacket comes in fun colors like aqua blue and bloodstone.

Adventure in the Outdoors Longer

Known for their ski, hiking, and trail running poles, LEKI has a new line of hard-wearing gloves and mitts that are perfect for all of your outdoor winter pursuits. The Xplore Mitt is waterproof, windproof, and comfort fitted. Designed with a heat pocket and made to fit with LEKI poles, these gloves will ensure that you’re able to adventure in the outdoors longer.

Technical Gear Made From Coffee

Depending on where you live, perhaps you only need an extra lightweight, water repellent and breathable layer when heading outside. The full-zip Coalatree Baseline Midlayer is notably made from coffee grounds and recycled plastics. And, as most folks know, microplastics in synthetic fabrics can have a negative impact on the environment due to fibers that wash off and end up in our ecosystems. This garment has a tightly woven honeycomb fabric to eliminate microplastic waste so you can feel good about your purchase. Pair with the warm Evolution Joggers, also made from coffee grounds, and you’re good to go.

Cold Weather Running Gear to Get You Through the Season

From versatile thermal hoodies and tights to long sleeve tops, warm beanies, wind and water resistant hybrid gloves, and warm-yet-lightweight running jackets, Brooks has your back when it comes to cold weather running gear. And, for a road running shoe that gets the job done, no matter the season, look no further than the Glycerin 20, a cloud-like shoe with neutral support that comes in fun colors.

A Puffer to Usurp All Puffers

Nathan Sports has a new line of puffer jackets and vests—the first-ever development into insulated jackets—that will keep you warm all season long. Lightweight, packable, windproof, and water resistant, these jackets provide the outer layer that you need so that you can explore in the outdoors to your heart’s delight. Bonus: the insulation and outer shell are created from recycled materials, highlighting Beyond Down Insulation, an eco-friendly substitute to goose down.

Go Ahead, Play Outside

Outdoor Vitals, the premium outdoor gear company with an ultralight spin, has a versatile full-zip jacket that’s packable, lightweight, soft and made with long-lasting recycled insulation. The Vario Jacket, complete with a protective insulated hood, will quickly become your go-to layer for outdoor recreation and day-to-day living. With an athletic cut, this jacket is designed for the active wearer.

Teddy Bear Comfort with a Twist

Super soft, comfortable, and designed with a kangaroo pouch, the GOAT fleece from Backcountry is warm and stylish. Easy to wear, this half zip pullover hoodie, is loose with a crop fit and can be paired with warm leggings or jeans. Headed to yoga or the gym? This garment will keep you heated and cozy as you travel from point A to point B. Interested in curling up with a book by the fireplace? This fleece is perfect for that too.

Wool From Head to Toe

Guaranteed to be the cutest shoes in your closet, with the most fun brand name— Woolloomooloo, the Belmont features a knitted Australian Merino wool upper with a comfortable wool lined footbed. Choose from a variety of vibrant colors—these breathable and washable kicks will surely be your favorite for every day wear, whether you’re commuting to work or school, or heading to a friend’s house for book club.

For the Insatiable Wanderer

Whether you’re visiting Christmas markets in Europe, flying home to see family for the holidays, or en route to your favorite mountain town for the winter season, you’ll likely want outer layer pieces that are versatile and coordinating. Under Armour has a number of items perfect for the avid traveler, including the UA Base 4.0 Leggings and the UA Storm Armour Down Puffer Parker, both of which are breathable, lightweight, and—of course—warm.

Stylish Outer Layers for Every Day

Sometimes the best outer layers are the ones you can wear with your everyday clothes, whether heading outside to meet up with friends for lunch, commuting to work, or picking the kids up from school. The Cognac Leather Jacket with Removable Hood, from Angel Jackets, is affordable and stylish without sacrificing warmth and versatility. The hoodie components are removable if you need a jacket that is bit more elegant. Either way, it’s a great jacket for travel and one that you can depend on.

Winter Boots for All

With so many options to choose from when it comes to winter boots, there are few touch points that are important. For active pursuits, boots that are 100% waterproof, slip-resistant, lined for warmth and comfort, and hardwearing will rise to the top. Bogs footwear makes styles for everyone in your family—women, men, boys, girls and babies. Purchase wintertime kicks from your favorite site, whether that’s Zappos, REI, DSW, or L.L.Bean —these boots are everywhere! New to the lineup this season, the Arcata Urban Tall Waterproof Leather Boots, for example, are easy to pull on, lined with a plush fabric, and designed with maximum all-terrain traction.

The Holiday Edit

For the athlete in your family who has everything, give them something they can really use this holiday season. The Solstice Tight, from Saucony, easily transitions from outdoor activities like running or visits to the dog park to indoor yoga sessions. Work from home in these cozy tights as well or wear if you have air travel on the horizon. Pair tights with the Boulder Oysterpuff Jacket, which comes in black or crystal colors, and the Boulder Oysterpuff Mitt, which is a lightweight mitt perfect for working out in the outdoors, and the ensemble is complete.

A Hiking Shoe Worth All the Hype

For the cooler months, you’ll want a hiking shoe that is, first and foremost, durable. The Outpulse Mid Gore-Tex from Salomon is ideal for mixed trails and easy paths. The upper material is water repellent and the lining is breathable and comfortable for determined gains. The Gore-Tex membrane keeps your feet dry in diverse terrain. And, of course, the shoes are protective and grippy so you can be outdoors doing what you love as safely as possible.

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