What gear/clothing would you deem essential for a cold winter?

Exactly what the thread title says. Thanks guys.

I use Under Armour “cold gear” thermals. Makes a big difference from those old fashioned ones. A fleece vest with a high collar/neck area to reach up above my chin, and Carhart with fleece liner jacket on top. I halso have a Carhart one piece suit depending on the temp. Get the jacket with the extra flap that covers yer ass. Believe me when I tell you it makes a difference. When its really freezing I have a gator type thing that goes around my neck and I can bring it up over my ears and face and nose. Sorry no brand on that.

One more thing. My favorite winter weather item. From the website. Columbia Fast Trek Fleece Hat
Its soft tricot lining features Omni-Heat thermal reflective technology, which reflects and retains your body heat without sacrificing breathability. The exterior is armed with Omni-Shield advanced repellency to keep wet weather at bay, and a double-layer ear band provides bonus warmth where it’s needed most. Plus, it’s stretchy and soft, and it fits snugly on your head.
This hat is like having a heater on your head. I’ll never wear another.

Yeah, this crap costs more, but when your outside all day freezing???

float coat with lots of synthetic-not cotton- layers underneath and one of those mad bomber hats on top-the kind that straps under your chin. Stormy seas makes or made a nice version of the hat. insulated carhartt bibs on your lowers. filson tin bibs look salty but they’re colder, cost twice as much but don’t last twice as long. insulated xtra tuffs on the feet with the bama socks inserts

…and a plane ticket to somewhere warm

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I try to mke sure all my gear has more than one usefull attribute.

Float coat(get the “parka” version if you can, it is a little long, but doesnt ride up as you move) warm, Its a PFD, and its really stops the wind.

Xtratuff boot they have steel toe versions, mine arent, but they are the warmest boots Ive ever owned, plus they are like a pair of Reeboks on the inside

3mil Nitrile gloves, the blue kind. Use them as glove liners, they keep your hands dry, and still give you good dexterity and sensitivity. Plus they are throwaways.(box of 100, $8)

Headgear… I use a 3 mil Dive hoodie. I also carry a 3 holed burgular ski mask, but they itch me to pieces.

On carhartt bibs, while i do have a pair, my only issue is they are heavy as hell when wet. They are pretty rugged though, Ive got 7-8 years on mine, with more to come, not bad for $100 investmet.

Depends on where u r gonna work. And in what capacity. A deckhand going out for intermittent periods is different than a Tankerman outside for six hours straight. What type climate? Which coast? What type vessek?

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[QUOTE=cappy208;58887]Depends on where u r gonna work. And in what capacity. A deckhand going out for intermittent periods is different than a Tankerman outside for six hours straight. What type climate? Which coast? What type vessek?[/QUOTE]

I will be an AB in NY Harbor on a Tug. Im looking for good gear that I can keep warm and dry with and be able to move in. Most importantly im really looking for some work gloves that would be great in handling wet lines.

Don’t waste your money on an expensive float-coat…they are great in the winter, but no good for the rest of the year. The name of the game is LAYERING. Long-Johns, then long sleeve shirt and fleece or flannel lined pants, then sweatshirt, then vest, then rain/snow shell on top with horseshoe PFD. That way you can easily peel off layers as the wx dictates, and use various parts of your gear almost all year. My hands and feet always get the coldest, especially when standing on the freezing deck of a barge for six hours or more, so don’t go cheap on the shoes and gloves. Insulated Xtratuff’s with extra socks are great, and I own a few pairs of the steel-toe ones, but for the worst cold I recommend the Sorel boots, nothing better in the wicked cold. I personally find the freezer gloves too bulky to get any work done, and hate pulling them off all the time, so instead I layer the gloves just like the rest of my gear: a wool or synthetic liner, with heavy-er waterproof glove on top. That way when you pull the top glove off, you have a liner to keep your hands from freezing while you are doing tasks that require more dexterity. Everyone likes Carhartt, and for good reason, but for my money nothing beats the stuff from Duluth Trading Co, worth a look. Finally, I would recommend a good vacuum thermos. You can fill it up with hot coffee or even soup, and it will stay hot for hours. This is a critical part of my cold wether gear. I fill it up with hot coffee before I go out on the barge. Better than the burned-up s#it in the pot back on the tug, or in the tankerman shack. Nothing beats it. Stay warm out there.

You can get a float coat for $100.

And float coat season is late november to early april, 5 solid months. Depending on your employer, they might even let you make payments on it, McAllister does.

I hate trying to fit a horse collar over my carhartt coat…hell, ya cant move as it is unless its broke in good.

With who??

Cotton kills in the cold! Layering works. Make sure you dry your gear promptly, especially your boots. If you don’t have access to a boot dryer (Peets, etc) stuff some loosely crumpled newspaper in your boots as it will pull a lot of moisture out. Put on dry wool or smartwool socks on dry feet just before you head outside. Sweaty cotton socks will cost you! If you buy packs (Sorel, White, Schnee) get two sets of liners and get the thinsulite (sp?) not the felt as they dry faster and hold less moisture than the old school felt liners. Stay dry! Better to start chilly and warm up with exertion than to sweat then freeze.
Hope this helps! I’m off to ski for a few hours!

My vote is for either the cashmere or stylish denim on deck in the winter. Both are excellent at breaking the wind and perform superbly in wet weather. :roll_eyes:

Guy Cotten Astron boots with the foam cold weather liner are great cold weather boots for going to sea. Float coat may save your life one day and they are very warm. The longer parka version is better for truly cold weather. Carhartt insulated coveralls for the truly bad days out there. Seals out all the cold. Orange insulated Atlas crabber gloves, but I also like the natural rubber colored Insulated Nitty Gritty gloves. Beanie cap of your choice but the windproof types are the best. And finally the big Stanley vacuum thermos with hot soup or coffee to keep you going through the day. Truly horrendous days I like a fluffy neck gaiter.

Yessir. I can speak from experience of falling in the water my float coat was crucial in my self extraction from the water.

I have a hard time wearing anything except cotton socks but in Alaska I wore Bama socks over them. My cotton socks would be bone dry, the Bama socks wicked all the sweat away. It was amazing!

Grundens foul weather gear, xtratuf boots, atlas vinylove gloves, a forced air boot and glove dryer.
I had that kit for a planned hitch in San Francisco, but wound up in Cook Inlet in January with NE winds at Gale and temps of -35. I did fine.

Muck or Boggs boots are good for most temps.

For real cold temps Ranger boots with thinsulate liners (they are cheap but good)

Keen or Merrill leather hiking style boots with composite toes (better, warmer, and lighter than steel)

Slip on shoes to wear inside.

HEAT brand merino wool socks $20 a pair, but worth it.

3 sets of Grundren marino wool long underwear tops and bottoms. $80 a set but worth it. Sleep in them. If you have to abandon ship in a survival suit good long underwear significantly increase you chances for survival.

Sweet pants and hoodies.

Good float coat.

Flannel lined blue jeans or insulated car-hart pants or bibs.

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I am a Boatswain on board the USCGC HEALY, primarily working in the high Arctic. We conduct oceanic research in both the Chuckchi and Beaufort sea’s, and as far north as the pole. Since July, we have been working as far north as 83* North along the western Canadian archipelago.Temperatures have been ranging from 26 degrees to (-57) degrees, with winds gusting up to 60 knots some days when the low sweeps in. I work out on deck on a given work day for 12 hours, with breaks of 30 min here and there.
Here is what I wear, and I am quite comfortable;
UnderArmor cold gear thermals- Layer 1
Polartech long Jon- Layer 2
Carhartt insulated bib
Mustang float coat
Work gloves are another matter, no has invented gloves that can endure the bitter cold as long.
Disposable hand warmers work fine.
I wear the Xtratuffs with insulators. However, I have to also wear three layers of socks, because the steel toes and the cold exchange from a steel deck freeze the feet after 3hours on deck, but again…stuffing hand warmers in the boots works too.


I’m freezing my butt off in Newfoundland right now. I’ve been begging for winter gear for the last 8 weeks, but… whatever, life’s too short to be bitter. not bitter. There’s an outport on our route. Everyone here are fishermen, generations of them. When I first signed on, we were moving a lot of sand for a roadbuilding project in the outport. I didn’t have any gloves except my thin leather work gloves, as soon as they got wet… better off without them. I asked advice from a passenger: a woman who fishes here, what kind of gloves to ask for? She showed me in the catalog, then when we tied up, 5 min later she came back. She gave me a pair of the gloves that she uses when she’s working. Just gave them to me! Said they were a welcome gift. So much kindness! I was so touched. They are awesome, too. This is her system: Inside, just the cheap, knitted, buy-them-anywhere stretchy kind. Over that: Showa Atlas 620. Best kind!