What to Wear? Russian Winter
Updated: Jul 30, 2018
Our Winter destination was Far East of Russia - SAKHALIN ISLAND.
It's Yulia's homeland, beautiful underappreciated Russian nature reserve.
I'll start with a shoker: -26°C was the lowest temperature we experienced during the trip.
We live in Auckland, New Zealand and the lowest ever possible temperature here at winter time was -4°C and it's very VERY cold, as there are no buildings with central heating at all
You can't say the same about Russia. Thats why the clothes in winter needs to be smart, because even though outside is very cold - inside of any building there will be super warm, so the good idea will be something you can take off easily in order not to get overheated and over sweating.
We love being prepared before hand so we do all necessary shopping home in New Zealand.
We could've waited and buy something in Russia (You can imagine the choice of designs and quality there, from cheap to very expensive from sintepon to real rare fur coats), but we had to stop over in Korea and we had to make a good choice and search NZ market for warmth and quality.
IMPORTANT! We are not active sport people, we just enjoy nature and light activities in snow.
1. THE Jackets we found were the ones from #Kathmandu Brand XT driFILL Goose Down Waterproof Jackets (red for female and orange for male)
The best advice we can give about the jacket - don't go cheap! Think about the overall experience of your trip and your health! Remember Russia in winter is considered as extreme weather conditions country.
These jackets are waterproof, 90% Goosedown and suitable for active and non-active situations.
Times we were wearing them were ALL the TIME! Basically anywhere we went they were appropriate and SUPER warm. Walking along the beach, ski walking, fishing on the frozen lake, wondering around the city.
2. Pants. We chose ski pants which were waterproof and with warming under layer.
Please please don't always listen to people in stores who woul'd tell you that you are going to be fine if pants are not too warm. YOU WILL NOT!
As a person who grew up in Russia in super cold winter I was a bit disappointed with few of the sales people, who tried to convince us no to buy super warm clothes - they never been to winter!!! So I was so happy when we ended up not listening to any of them and bought warm ski pants! (If you are outside in Russia and think that padded ski pants are too warm, then you better wear your jeans and you going to be just fine :)
For Yulia we chose (she loved) #RIPCURL Slinky Gum Fancy Mountainwear Snow Pant, and for Arash -RIPCURL Revive Search 2L Mountainwear Snow Pant
3. Hats. As you realised from this post - everything needs to be warm. We cant tell you the brands of hats (as they were more of a souvenirs), but both of them were double-layered with fleece under layer.
Merino Balaclava (by #MonsRoyale) will be super handy as well, if you are like Arash prefer to have shaved head!
4. Merino or any other Base Layers! VERY IMPORTANT. We both were wearing base layers tops and bottoms, sometimes two each, yes, it was that cold!
5. SOCKS of coarse. Warm, fleecy, merino, thick winter socks! Have a few extra pairs so you can easily switch them if your feet somehow will get wet!
6. Scarves and gloves. Scarves - thick, wool, fleece, whatever you would only wear when its cold!
Gloves - double fleece, ski waterproof ones. Especially if you are going into very snowy area.
Yulia had double fleece gloves from long time ago, for Arash we bought black Alpine gloves from Kathmandu.
He never regretted this choice!
7. SHOES. Obviously very well insulated Waterproof, if possible with wool inside. Non-slippery! Its very very slippery in winter! So what we found without overpaying and reliable for our winter trip:
And we couldn't be more happy!
BE WARM! WEAR LOTS OF LAYERS. NOT TOO MANY, SO YOU CAN MOVE AROUND AND HAVE FUN IN RUSSIA!!!
All the best!
Arash & Yulia