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On the piste

Snow sartorial

WHETHER you’re a soldier or a civvy it is crucial to dress appropriately for the ski slopes – regardless of your ability on the piste itself.

Finding an appealing look in snow-based apparel is worth focusing on, but more important still is the search for garments with high technical performance.

On Austria’s Stubai Glacier I put this season’s latest kit to the test from the perspective of an average skier wishing to keep warm, have clear visibility, look sharp and, of course, perform his or her best turns.

With temperatures descending below minusten degrees, I tentatively donned a pair of Bodyfit leggings and an Oasis Crewe base layer – desperately hoping its 100 per cent merino wool would keep me both well-insulated and smelling fresh.

A pair of midnight blue Performance Shell Porter Pants from Sweet Protection set off a striking Duke jacket in scorch red from the same brand.

As someone who is more likely to attract stares by creating a human snowball on a slope than for my masterful poise on a mogul run, the infamous “all the gear no idea” phrase did spring to mind.

However, these items removed the need for numerous layers despite the icy wind.

Feeling smug with easy-access outer pockets and an inside compartment perfect for my MP3 player, I was content.
“Nice Sweet Protection kit, awesome stuff!” an unknown fellow slopesman shouted across to me.

My satisfaction soared. Admittedly, the garish colour had already won me over but it was this clothing’s specifications that seemed to impress those in the know.

The two-layer Gore-Tex shell with 100g of Primaloft insulation kept me dry and warm with unrestricted movement.

And at no point during my stop-start outing, which may have involved a few tumbles onto wet snow, did I feel the cold.

The wide cut of the trousers made for easy fitting over my boots while its powder gaiters ensured I remained dry.

If ski gear performs well then users have a head start on the slopes, enjoying free range of movement and a clear view of what lies ahead.

If it looks good, that is a bonus. This kit achieved all of the above.

For the full findings on Clapson's kit read our January issue...

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