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This season might just be the time to splash out on some new kit. Whether you just like to be comfy, warm and dry when you're skiing, or you're into top-notch performance gear, it doesn't really matter.

Search for technical gear here


Technical Ski Wear [Photo: Salomon Aero-x jacket using Premium SOFTSHELL technology]

More and more ski and snowboard brands such as Peak Performance and Burton are using a hi-tech fabric called Outlast® for base and middle layering. It's been used by NASA's astronauts and is described as a 'temperature control' fabric. It keeps you warm but, unlike other insulation fabrics, it won't let you get too hot.

When you go to pick your 'outer layer' jacket and pants, look for stretchable, breathable fabric that's water and windproof, durable and comfy. We're not joking; you can get all of that in one go. And look for fabrics that have the 'four way stretch' – this will help you stomp those 360s with style…

Lots of clothing brands are now using the new Gore-Tex® XCR™ fabric. It's the world's most breathable water and windproof membrane system and is 25% more breathable than traditional Gore-Tex®..

Another development in outerwear is the increased use of sustainable fabrics. Brands such as Volcom, Protest, Rip Curl and Thirty two are all using PET (recycled plastic bottles) in their apparel this season.

Technical ski wear

The layering system
We've all heard about it, but just in case you're not sure, here's a quick explanation of what is what and why you need to use it. The Base Layer sits next to the skin. It draws moisture (sweat) away, keeping the skin dry and warm. The best fabrics to choose are synthetic polyester yarns. Forget cotton right now; it stays wet and heavy and you'll smell by the end of the day.

The middle layer is the insulating layer. It's the filling in the wicking system sandwich and allows moisture to escape, but keeps the heat in. Try and keep it lightweight – Microfleece is a good fabric to choose. Bear in mind during the spring that this layer can sometimes be the top layer too – so maybe think windproof…

The outer layer is the breathable but weatherproof one. The ideal fabric for your jacket and pants should have a system of microscopic holes in it that are small enough that rain and wind can't penetrate, but big enough to let the moisture out. If it claims to be waterproof, make sure the seams are taped – needles make holes.

Some final advice on layering: natural fibres aren't good for skiing. Especially not those cotton polar-necks everyone used to pose about in. And don't forget about your hands, feet and head – keep them warm, too.