Layering for Winter

Layering for Winter

Having the right gear for outdoor activities during the winter is just the first step to staying warm and dry all day long. Layering clothing incorrectly can leave kiddos feeling uncomfortable and cold.

Whether you're bundling up for a hike or a fun day of sledding on a neighboorhood hill, Ella's Wool wants to ensure everyone is dressed just right with the tips below. Share this post with your spouse, babysitter, nanny, or neighbors -- you never know who may benefit from these tips!

a layer by layer guide for staying warm and dry


It is not just about the fabrics, it is how they are worn:

  • It's not the fabric itself, but the air trapped in your clothes, that keeps you warm.
  • Keep layers loose. Too tight layers will squash air pockets and push out all the warm air.
  • With the right fabrics, you’ll rarely need more than three layers total, no matter the weather.
  • Keep your layers dry to stay warm. Moisture replaces warm air and saps heat quickly.


Opting for less bulky layers increases comfort and mobility! Sometimes two strong, but light layers is enough. For example, a pair of moisture-wicking merino long johns under a quality, weatherproof shell layer to keep the wind and wetness out.


Keys to staying warm and dry:

  • Base Layer: The layer worn next to the skin should be moisture-wicking, like 100% merino or a wool blend. Avoid cotton.
  • Mid Layer: Should be flexible, and leave room for warm air. Like a loose sweater or rib-knit wool leggings.
  • Outer Layer: Choose a wind-, rain- and snow-proof “shell” to keep the elements out.


Before synthetic fabrics were commonly used for the shell layer, people used very tightly woven fabrics, like wool or cotton, sometimes treated with an oil to be water-resistant.

Have more questions about layering? Comment below and we would be happy to answer them!