I moved to Southern California to get out of the cold and snow. It seems endless in Eastern Canada. Months of blowing snow, icy roads, sore fingers and toes, canceled events, and bone-chilling cold. I couldn’t stand it anymore. But from afar, it does look pretty and sledding and building snowmen are what winter memories are made of. Athena is just a toddler and she hasn’t developed a disdain for the cold just yet so I feel like it’s important to expose her to all seasons and the pleasures that are associated with each. Living in a constantly warm climate, though, with no snow or freezing temperatures, I don’t have much use for cold weather gear. We planned a weekend of sledding, skating, and building snowmen in Big Bear and I finally needed to break out my Outdoor Research Paramour Pants and Chaos Jacket. If I’d had such quality gear in Canada, I might not have minded it so much. I was warm and toasty even while sitting in the snow or sledding down the mountain.
A Little About the Gear:
Women’s Paramour Pants – Waterproof, windproof, breathable, fully-seam taped, and insulated in key locations, the Paramour Pants meld casual style with high-end performance.
Women’s Chaos Jacket – The Chaos Jacket is the warmest, lightest and most packable synthetic wet-weather alpine and ice belay parka available. Perfect for shielding alpinists from howling wind and cold, damp conditions, the Pertex® Endurance® face fabric shrugs off rain and snow, and the warm, synthetic PrimaLoft® Gold 170g insulation holds in the heat in even the wettest conditions.
What does all that equate to?
On the chair lift with high winds and temperatures hovering around freezing, I actually left my jacket zipped half way up. It was completely windproof and I didn’t feel the chill that usually happens when I’ve been out for extended periods of time.
With tons of pockets, both inside and out, I could carry my camera, phone, gloves, glasses, and keys without the inconvenience of a bag. The inside pocket was a safe place to protect my phone and electronic keys from getting wet and the outside pockets were a quick place to store gloves and glasses. Free hands were important when helping Athena on and off the chair lift as well as the mountain lift for sledding.
Although it wasn’t snowing, the winds were even stronger while sledding down the Alpine Slide. The inside cuffs on my pants blocked the wind from getting in and I could put up my jacket hood when my head and face were cold.
The inside cuffs on the pants were ideal for keeping snow out while tubing as well. This is when I appreciated the waterproof feature the most. We stayed on the slide from 10 am until 4 pm. If I was wet or cold, it would have ruined the entire day. There is nothing worse than being cold, wet, and uncomfortable.
Another unique feature of the pants is the side leg zippers. Rather than taking my pants off when we went to get something to eat, I just unzipped the side zipper to let air in and allow me to stay cool. I wore the pants comfortably all day with just a base layer underneath.
I may not love the cold and snow but I love the expression on Athena’s face when she’s playing in it. Donning my Outdoor Research gear, I’ll brave the winter any day to experience that joy with my family.