As you go on high altitude, the sun hits you; the wind hits you harder; the cold hits you the hardest.
Along with layering clothes for trekking in winter, you need something that insulates your body from the harsh climate.
The next question that you must be asking yourself is then how should you maintain your body temperature. Jackets for Himalayan trekking are most probably your best friend at that altitude.
But for different topography, weather conditions, geographic locations, do you need extra clothes?
No, as for me, right from my first trek to the most recent ones, I use a single jacket for Himalayan trekking—along with other layers, to keep myself warm. This option has turned out to be economical and the one that does not involve trouble in selection.
And today, I will tell you how most trekkers layer up themselves so that you can stay informed and make this buying decision for yourself.
You do not generally wear many layers during the daytime – just one jacket is sufficient to maintain a constant temperature. These layers are only needed at subzero temperatures.
Which Jackets for trekking in winter are the most suitable?
There are endless options in the market that will claim to warm you enough on your trek, but only some that will be your companions. If you are a “one size fits all” type, go for a Down Jacket that can protect upto -30 degrees centigrade.
Benefits of carrying a down jacket: they are lightweight and can be folded in a cylinder that can easily fit in luggage; they are super warm; they are made up of natural down feathers.
Down Jackets are named as such because they are filled with down feathers of ducks and geese.
The material is an excellent thermal insulator made up of fine feathers found under the tough outer feathers in birds.
The disadvantage of buying a down jacket is that they are expensive and high-maintenance. If you are looking for something affordable, go for a padded jacket instead. It costs from around INR 2000 to INR 6000.
It is filled with synthetic materials such as polyester, which is quite affordable. Padded Jackets dry up quickly in the rain, and they are slightly heavier than a down jacket but is quite handy and easy maintenance.
Padded and Down Jackets insulate you from extreme climate and protect you from mild rain because of their water-resistant capabilities. Additionally, if you feel colder, you can purchase Warmee, a pouch that heats up quickly and keeps your body warm. It heats up in some 10 minutes and can save you warm for 12 to 14 hours. The only downside of using a warmee is that it is single-use.
Tip: At night, even after wearing woollen socks, your feet warm up in the end. Sometimes, this might take hours to happen because of which you might have trouble sleeping.
In such a scenario, I use my jacket and wear it on my feet. Just in half an hour or so, my feet warm-up and I sleep for the whole night.
Final Words: Unless you are not an avid trekker, you must be planning on buying gears that can work in almost all conditions. If your budget allows, go for a down jacket that works well in snow and subzero temperatures.
Otherwise, padded jackets for Himalayan trekking work wonders with other layers.