How to layer clothes on a rainy Winter’s day

How to layer clothes on a rainy Winter’s day


Going hillwalking during the colder months can be a challenge. The air is cold and the weather is wet - a bit of a shock if you’re used to hiking in the sun.

However, the greater the challenge, the more satisfying the reward. Walks in Winter can result in some gorgeous views, and put your skills to the test.

But if you’re setting out when it’s rainy and cold, you need to be prepared. And a big part of preparation is knowing how to layer your clothes.

What is layering?

Layering your clothes is all about finding the most optimal way to dress to beat the elements.

Typically, there’s three layers you need to consider.

There’s your base layer, which can move sweat away from your skin.

Then there’s your middle layer, to insulate you from the cold.

Finally, you need an outer layer, which will protect you directly from wind and rain.

Sounds simple. But depending on the weather, you’ll need to think carefully about how you layer your clothes.

Insufficient layering can sap your energy, making walks considerably harder, and in extreme cases could result in hypothermia.

Equally, too much layering can overheat you and make you feel claustrophobic. With a physical activity like hillwalking, low breathability and flexibility can be just as much of a hindrance as letting the cold in.

Base layer on rainy Winter days

It’s important to make sure that sweat doesn’t stick to your skin, and as well as offering an initial layer of warmth, the primary purpose of a base layer is to move perspiration away from the skin. This is called wicking.

Wicking is extremely important; when sweat sticks to your skin in cold weather, it can lower your body temperature even if you have a good outer layer.

During a rainy Winter day, you’re having to combat two different elements: the cold and the wet. So for your base layer top, you’ll want something long-sleeved which also protects your neck so you can stay warm across your entire body.

And for your bottom, a pair of lightweight leggings will do the trick. You don’t want a base layer which is too heavy - especially as you’ll be putting something on your legs for the middle and outer layer, too.

Sprayway’s recommendations for men: Dornie Half-Zip for top, Dornie Leggings for bottom.

Sprayway’s recommendations for women: Effra Half-Zip for top, Effra Leggings for bottom.

Middle layer on rainy Winter days

Insulation is the main purpose of your middle layer. This helps you retain your body heat and keep the cold out.

For your torso, you’re going to need something which can easily fit a larger outer layer jacket on top of it. However, it still needs to be thick enough that it provides warmth and insulation - and made from a comfortable material which lets you move around with ease.

For trousers, you’ve got a few more options. Comfort is essential, as well as flexibility - so make sure you find something which you can move around easily in, and won’t be too tight and claustrophobic.

Sprayway’s recommendations for men: Santiago Fleece Jacket for top, Compass Pro Pants for bottom.

Sprayway’s recommendations for women: Conival Jacket for top, Escape Slim Pants for bottom.

Outer layer on rainy Winter days

The outer layer of your outfit can make or break your adventure. This is especially true under specific weather conditions such as rain and wind.

So when you’re going on a Winter hike, you need to be prepared for both the cold and the rain.

That’s why we recommend a reliable waterproof shell jacket for your top. It’ll provide you with plenty of warmth, whilst also keeping out water, snow, and protecting your body from biting winds.

Whether you decide to go for an outer layer for your bottoms is your choice, but if you’re a regular hillwalker, it might be worth investing in. For this, we’d recommend something light and waterproof or resistant which can cover your trousers.

Sprayway’s recommendations for men: Torridon Men’s Jacket for top, Santiago Rainpant for bottoms.

Sprayway’s recommendations for women: Torridon Women’s Jacket for top, Kelo Rainpants for bottom.

Planning your next Winter hillwalk? We hope our recommendations have helped.

And if you find yourself out on the trail in Sprayway gear, let us know. Send us a picture of you on your adventure on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #Sprayway for a chance to feature on our social media.