A day on the hill can come in many different weather patterns: from cold and windy January days, to sunny warm days in March. Having the appropriate outerwear for these conditions is a must. If you were to wear just a sweater when it’s 20 below, there is not much you can do to stay warm. Alternatively if you were to wear a down jacket with many layers underneath in the spring, there would be nothing you could do to prevent overheating. The main thing outerwear does is keep the elements outside, while still allowing perspiration to breath through the fabric to prevent excess moisture. To do so you need a good waterproof/breathable membrane. It’s easy to make something waterproof; the difficult thing to do is to make the same fabric breath. As a generalization the more waterproof/breathable the fabric is, the more it costs. Now just wearing a shell when its very cold out will not suffice. Layering or wearing an insulated jacket is crucial. Layering allows you to adjust to the changing weather patterns, but can be heavy and bulky, whereas an insulated outerwear is not as versatile. We do live in Canada, so having both a shell for the warmer temperature and an insulated piece for when it’s colder is not an obscure notion. Dressing appropriately, allows you to enjoy longer days on the slopes in more comfort, and that is always a good idea.