Whether it’s cross-country skiing, running or fat-biking, the challenge is wearing enough not to freeze while warming up or on breaks, but not so much that you end up soaked in sweat halfway.
For starters, try Mountain Hardwear’s 32 Degree Insulated Hooded Jacket ($150; mountainhardwear.com). Synthetic insulation covers the shoulders and upper chest while the rest of the jacket is a hard-shell fleece, a combo that insulates while breathing.
On the bottom, the loose fitting Salomon Momentum Tight ($180; salomon.com) uses Gore Windstopper fabric to keep important bits safe from the north breeze, but with mobility to spare for long strides.
Just as important is what you wear underneath. In these activities you’ll sweat no matter what, so base layers should be synthetic for fastest wicking and drying. Saxx Kinetic Tight ($60; saxxunderwear.com) uses flaps of fabric to keep everything in its place (men only), flat seams for minimal chafe and comfortable layering and a light and wicking mesh fabric for keeping skin dry.
For the upper body, the Arc’teryx Phase AR Zip Neck ($100; arcteryx.com) long-sleeve shirt is made from two different polyester yarns: one on the inside that wicks better and another on the face to spread the moisture out for faster drying.