4 December 2016

FEATURE: Winter Warmers

By 'eck, it's chilly!

With this winter forecast to be one of the coldest in recent years, we decided to completely abuse our product testing powers to get some warm clothes in. Test Pit Towers is a draughty old place, so we know a thing or two about being cold. Fortunately several awesome brands answered our call (issued through chattering teeth). So lo and behold some great kit to don this season.

EDZ Yeti Fleece Jacket

If they actually exist, Yetis are probably the best creatures on the planet for keeping warm. EDZ have realised that and produced a fleece jacket with insulating properties like no other we've seen before. The Yeti Fleece Jacket is... well... furry, innit? It is the softest, fluffiest fleece there is and a real snug treat to wear. It is double sided, so the fleece lines the inside as well, making it not only warm but also very comfortable as well. Although it feels light – and certainly not heavy – it provided far better insulation that we were expecting.


Scruffs Expedition Thermo Softshell Jacket

Scruffs is a new one on us, but a name you might recognise from providing tough workwear to the likes of buildings and farmers. However, the company also does some great everyday stuff, ideal for spending prolonged time outside in the winter – even if it is just for the Christmas shopping. The Expedition Thermo Softshell Jacket provides all-round insulation, but with plenty of freedom of movement – just in case you actually do want to do some building in it. It features breathable underarm panels, zip pockets throughout, and even Velcro adjustable cuffs. It's light, yet surprisingly warm.


Karrimor Xlite Reflect Running Jacket

Just because the weather is freezing, doesn't mean you have to cut back on the old work outs. If you're venturing out on your regular jogging route, you might notice how damn dark it is at this time of year. To that end, get yourself a reflective running jacket, and this one from Karrimor is perfect. The Xlite Reflect Running Jacket is thin yet insulating, and boasts a foldaway hood, pockets front and back, and also the all-important reflective details throughout – especially a large panel just above your bum. If you wear this just as a winter coat you'll be cold, but as a bit of kit for running in the dark, it's ideal. And hey, why not pair it with this head torch from Karrimor, too?


Snow Finel Thermal Jumper

Snow Finel make ski wear, which is basically standing on sticks and sliding down the side of a mountain. That standing can easily (and less frighteningly) be translated to the everyday world, so their range of thermal jumpers are perfect as an under-coat layer. Crafted from luxury merino wool, the jumpers feature a ¼ zip at the neck, and a snugger fit all over. Obviously the merino makes it super soft and comfortable, while also locking in your body heat on even the coldest of days. It looks pretty swish, and carries a pretty swish price tag too.


Scruffs Classic Gilet

Ah, the gilet – the go-to outer layer on days when it isn't quite Arctic, but certainly not tropical either. The Scruffs Classic Gilet is a fine vest indeed, with extra thick padding on the front and back, a heavy zip up front with draught-defender over the top, and also a removable hood with removable faux-fur trim. There are zip hand pockets on the front, and a pocket on the inside for your phone. Despite all that snug padding, it is actually pretty light on, and looks awesome. So awesome in fact, that on the day we needed to film a drone review on a biting winter morning on Scarborough beach, it was the first thing we reached for.


EDZ Merino Touchscreen Gloves

And onto your mitts. Gloves are pretty essential at this time of year, but so is live tweeting your delayed train journey into work. Conventional gloves are no use at all, as they block the electrical flow from your finger to the touchscreen of your phone, Fortunately EDZ's answer to the problem are not only effective, but comfortable to wear too – and they keep out the chill. The merino wool gloves feature conduction elements sewn into the thumb and forefinger tips, as well as rubberised dots on the palm to help with grip. This means that they can also be pretty handy if you're a winter cyclist, when grip on your handlebars is even more important.


Karrimor Thermal Gloves

For a touch more warmth for your hands, while also being able to work you phone, try these from Karrimor. These gloves use a stretchy elastic material, so they hug your hands a little tighter, but won't bunch up or slip off easily. The thumb and forefinger can manipulate a touchscreen, while the palms and rest of the digits are covered in a mesh-like grippy substance for great hold on whatever you're doing. Tweeting, we assume.


Gelert Heat Wear Socks

And we've saved the most important for last. If you think the best way to keep warm is to wrap up your torso in cold-blocking jackets, think again loser. You need socks that Jack Frost can't penetrate, and you'll enjoy your winter's day if you do. These Heat Wear sockies from tent-maker Gelert are the thickest, toastiest, loveliest socks we've ever worn. Not only will they keep you tootsies warm all day, they are also soft and luxurious and replicate exactly what it's like to walk on a cloud.


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