Sponsored by Polartec

Investing a lot of time and money in choosing the right colour and look for your new skiwear? Have you thought to first look at the label and note the fabric used?

Skiwear manufacturers are as concerned about the technical performance of their clothing as they are about the style. The best brands know that dressing you in the right fabrics for your ski holiday could mean the difference between a wet and windy wipe out and a comfortable glide down the slopes.


Polartec is the world’s leading fabric innovator. Their award-winning fabrics are worn by the military, Olympic athletes, and extreme adventurers. We asked them to pick their top five fabrics to look out for this season when buying new skiwear:


Power Dry for your base layers

The weather on the slopes may be chilly but as soon as you start skiing you’ll still build up a sweat. The most important thing in cold temperatures is to ensure that that sweat doesn’t stick to your skin. If it does you’ll either become an uncomfortable hot, clammy mess or, as soon as you stop skiing, you’ll experience a flash cool that’ll make you shiver and could be harmful. Base layers should work by wicking that sweat away from your skin and dispersing it as quickly as possible.


Polartec Power Dry is designed with a patented bi-component knit construction that uses different fabrics on either side of the material. Creating two different surfaces. One to move moisture from the skin using “touch points” to wick it away and the other to spread the moisture out to many times its original surface area enabling it to dry at least twice as fast as cotton.

Alpha for your mid-layer

This is Polartec’s answer for those looking for on-the-go warmth and offers a rare combination of lightweight warmth and true breathability. And that’s why it’s so perfect for skiers who work hard on the slopes. Known as “active insulation” it regulates core body temperature during stop start activities. So you’ll stay sweat free and warm whether you’re pulling yourself up the mountain or stopping at the top to take in the view. That also means you don’t have to faff about with putting on or taking off layers depending on how active you’re being.

NeoShell for your Jacket and Pants

Neo Shell is the first fabric to combine the superior breathability, ventilation and stretch of a softshell with the waterproof performance of a hard shell. The unique construction allows 2-way air exchange while remaining completely waterproof. It does all this at a fraction of the weight of current membrane technologies. It's the ultimate in personal climate control. Looking for NeoShell in your ski jacket and pants will ensure a comfortable season on the slopes, particularly if you plan to ski harder, higher and faster this year.

Windbloc for your gloves

Polartec’s Windbloc fabric makes a grand claim – to block 100 per cent of wind. No ifs, no buts. Everything. But it works. Windbloc gives skiers maximum protection as they’re flying down a windy slope. It works by combining the warmth of Polartec’s thermal fabrics with a windproof functional layer that allows the sweat from your hands to transmit through the gloves. Not only windproof, it’s also water resistant. And that’s what makes it perfect for skiing particularly in bad weather. 

Fleece for…your fleece!

Did you know Polartec actually invented fleece? The company began as the family-owned Malden Mills of Massachusetts in 1906; producing wool knit bathing suits, workmen’s sweaters, and uniforms to keep American soldiers warm through two World Wars.


Then, in 1981, came the idea for a fabric that would revolutionise our outdoor wardrobes forever – PolarFleece; a synthetic wool alternative that could wick away moisture from the skin whilst keeping the wearer toasty warm. Polartec invented fleece and we were hooked. Even Time Magazine described it as one of the 20th Century’s greatest inventions, setting the premium standard for lightweight warmth and comfort.


PolarFleece continues to innovate and since 1993 has been recycling plastic bottles and using the waste to produce its premium polyester yarn. Diverting millions of bottles from landfill. Look for Micro or 100 Series for light warmth, 200 Series for mid-weight warmth and 300 Series for mid-winter heavy weight warmth. They’ll keep you warm when you come down from the slopes whether heading out for an après ski or chilling out on the sofa.