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How to Tell When It's Time to Replace Your Cold Weather Gear

They say all good things come to an end, and unfortunately, that’s true of your favorite cold weather gear too. That coat or pair of coveralls may have seen you through more winters than you can count, but if they can’t keep up with how hard you work anymore, it might be time to trade up. If you’re wondering if your gear is still up to snuff, here are some signs to look for.

1.Your gear has gotten too small or too big.

Maybe you’ve lost a few pounds, or maybe your favorite sweatshirt shrunk in the wash. Whatever the reason, if you’re gear doesn’t fit like it needs to, it might be a bigger deal than you think. Ill-fitting gear can cause to chafing, blisters or even loose clothing getting caught in machinery. Plus, it’s hard to be at your best on the job if you’re constantly having to adjust clothing that’s too large or too small. Shopping for new gear with RefrigiWear is incredibly easy when you use our online sizing chart. From chest to sleeve to inseam, it’s designed just for our clothing, so you can find the perfect fit.

2.The insulation has started to wear out.

If you’ve noticed that your jacket isn’t as warm as it used to be, it may not just be your imagination. Both down and synthetic insulation will eventually wear out and slowly decrease in performance. Synthetic insulation will lose its elasticity from being squashed and stretched out again and again, while down can easily be damaged by careless washing or dry cleaning.

You can often tell your jacket’s insulation is wearing out if it seems to have lost some volume or fluff or if it doesn’t easily rebound when you squeeze it. If it’s no longer up to the job, the best thing to do is replace it with one of our dozens of super-tough cold weather jackets.

3.You’d like to replace a bulky single garment with multiple layers that you can mix and match.

Whether you’re expecting a brisk fall day or a brutal winter storm, layering up is the way to go. Rather than one big jacket or small sweatshirt that may not keep you at the right level of warmth, wearing multiple layers gives you the option to add or take away warmth when you need. The basic principles of layering are pretty easy to understand. Generally, you’ll want three basic layers.

  • A water-resistant outer layer. A polyester outershell is a great choice for this, thanks to its combination of breathability and water resistance.
  • An insulated middle layer. This is usually where you’ll find most of your insulation, whether it’s down or synthetic.
  • A moisture-wicking underlayer. This layer will help keep your skin dry by drawing the moisture upward and away from your skin.
On every one of these layers, RefrigiWear has you covered—from moisture-wicking undershirts to powerful water-repellent outer layers, our gear is designed to keep you at just the right level of comfort.

4.Fasteners such as buttons and zippers are starting to pop off.

This is one of the surest signs that your winter gear needs a more durable replacement. While it’s not impossible to fix zippers or buttons on a piece of outerwear, it might mean your jacket is ready for retirement. When the fabric doesn’t have the strength to hold onto these key parts, it’s a sign that your gear is losing the integrity that protects you on the job, and you want to start looking for a replacement.

5.Garments that should be waterproof or water-resistant aren’t anymore.

If your waterproof gear isn’t giving the rain a complete shut out, you’ve got a major problem that needs to be fixed ASAP. Small tears in a garment’s shell can accumulate over time, letting water seep in. You might not be able to see it, but you can sure feel it when you’ve got cold, clammy clothing clinging to your skin. Waterproof coatings can also wear off—you can tell when water isn’t beading on the surface of your jacket the way it should.

Flaws in waterproofing are especially rough in footwear. A small crack or hole in the sole means you’re walking around with cold, wet feet. In addition to just being plain uncomfortable, this could also be dangerous—hypothermia and trench foot are no joke. Long story short: Make sure your waterproofing is up to snuff on your work boots.

6.You’ve started a new job that needs a different kind of outerwear.

Maybe you just scored a great new job where you have to spend a lot of time in cold storage or one that involves much more physical activity than your old job. Either way, you need to tailor your gear to the demands of what you do day in and day out. For example, there’s the possibility that your new job requires (or encourages) employees to wear high-visibility gear.

This is common in jobs that involve road work, as well as for first responders like EMTs and firefighters. If you need HiVis, you’re in luck—we offer a full line of ANSI-compliant work clothing with the latest safety features. If there are other special features you need, check out RefrigiWear’s coldest weather gear, our high-performance rainwear collection or our lightweight all-season outerwear No matter what you need from your gear, RefrigiWear has the innovative tech to match.

7.Your gear doesn’t have enough flexibility to give you the dexterity you need.

At RefrigiWear, we believe your gear should never hold you back. In fact, one of the first inspirations for our gear was when your founder saw dairy laborers working in big, bulky coats that didn’t give them any room to move. He decided he would design jackets and outerwear that could meet working people’s needs better. A few years later, RefrigiWear was born.

We’ve kept that tradition going well into the 21st century with cold weather gear that makes it easier for you to move and flex in the ways that count the most. Some of our newest and best models, like our PolarForce™ Extreme Cold Weather Jacket, have built-in Performance-Flex technology that gives them extra stretching power in critical areas like the elbows and shoulders. Another example is our Insulated High-Dexterity Gloves, made with stretchable panels to give you ultimate hand flexibility on the job. If your current gear is forcing you to choose between flexibility and protection, it’s definitely time to trade up.

8.You need the latest cold weather accessories.

Getting the job done in a cold environment means taking care of all the details. Some accessories might seem small, but they make a huge difference in helping you perform at your highest level. If your headwear, gloves or any other part of your outfit isn’t doing the trick, it’s time for an upgrade:

  • Having the right headwear can make all the difference in protecting yourself while you’re in the cold. From classic beanies to gaiters and balaclavas, RefrigiWear insulated headwear is the pro’s choice for keeping your head safe and warm.
  • Your hands are one of the most valuable assets you have when you’re doing your job, so keep them protected! Our new Touch-Rite and Key-Rite glove collections even include screw-on nibs that are perfect for operating touch screens and keypads without removing your gloves.
  • Don’t neglect your feet, either—a good pair of insulated work boots is a non-negotiable for any kind of physical labor in the cold. RefrigiWear has all kinds of great boot options, from traditional hiker-style boots to heavy-duty performers like our pac boot line.
  • Finally, don’t forget the little details, like keeping a fresh supply of HotHands hand-warming packets when your hands need extended warmth. In fact, we’ve even got jackets and coveralls, like our Extreme Softshell Jacket, that have built-in pockets made just for your hand warmers!

Why RefrigiWear Should Be Your Choice for Your Next Set of Cold Weather Clothes

When you need to upgrade, RefrigiWear is here to make sure that you get the best cold weather gear you’ve ever had. We’ve been in the business for over 60 years with the mission of helping working people work, no matter the temperature.

  • We build our garments to last using the highest quality materials and the latest tech. We’re always coming up with new innovations like our Extreme Collection to keep our customers warmer and help them stand strong in the toughest conditions. You can be confident that you’re getting the latest and greatest from RefrigiWear.
  • We don’t just have a long track record—we have an incredibly successful one, including building our legendary “Minus 50 Suit” that stunned the writers of Field & Stream in 1965. We even made the clothes that protected the workers who built the Trans Alaska Pipeline in the 1970s, so it’s safe to say that no one does cold protection like RefrigiWear.
  • You shouldn’t ever have to wear cold weather clothes that you’re less than 100 percent happy with. That’s why every RefrigiWear item is backed by our rock solid guarantee and returns policy. We’ll even provide pre-printed return labels with your order when we ship it so you can return it with no hassle if it’s not what you’re looking for.

If your current cold weather gear isn’t what it used to be, RefrigiWear is here to get you something better! For more information on custom orders, choosing the right gear or just about anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out—we love to hear from our customers and help them get the gear they’ll love for years to come.