Winter Painting Gear

I’ve uploaded a video on my winter gear for plein air painting in snow. I realize it’s a bit late for the season, but now is a good time to buy winter clothes on sale. My apologies for the poor video quality, but it was filmed quickly on my phone after we returned from painting in Vermont last winter.

This is an update from my previous post on painting in extreme cold. The two major improvements I’ve made are switching to yak wool, as it’s warmer than merino, and getting a waterproof down jacket. In the video, I mention my strategy for layering a thin waterproof shell over an insulation layer and I think this strategy is great for a number of reasons, a couple of which I forgot to mention:

  • You can get better quality gear by purchasing the layers separately.
  • You can quickly dry the gear out if it gets wet by separating the layers.
  • You can use the shells in other seasons for painting in rain, and you can use the insulation alone if there is no wind or precipitation.

That said, I think that the jacket is the only place where separating the shell and the insulation is a bad idea as it restricts mobility too much. I was using a Jottnar Fjorm jacket before and when I had to put a shell on it for freezing rain or snow I lost too much dexterity in my arms. I’ve since switched to a waterproof Crux ‘expedition’ jacket and it works much better. I barely feel it when I’m painting, and it’s fantastically warm.

2022 update: Don’t buy Crux. My new one leaks badly in the rain and they don’t reply to emails regarding their warranty.

Here are links to the manufacturers in the video:
Cabelas Trans Alaska boots: (I use the Harkila Inuit. They stopped making them, but you can find them on Ebay).
Khunu: Yak wool socks and sweater.
Kora: Yak wool long underwear.
Arc’teryx: Pants and gloves, both insulated layer and shell. Atom is their line of insulation, for the shell I get whatever is lightest.
Goosefeet Gear: Down Hibbard mitten. You have to write to him, but he can make anything for you.
Mountain Equipment Concordia Fleece (Polartec Thermal Pro is the heavy fleece fabric).
Crux: Waterproof down jackets, I have the Magma.
Rapha: Deep Winter Collar (balaclava).
Millet: Primaloft hat.