10 ESSENTIAL PIECES OF COLD WEATHER GEAR FOR FARMERS
Farmers don’t get to take snow days. Chores won’t wait just because the weather’s crappy. Stay warm and protect yourself from frigid winter weather with these 10 essential pieces of cold weather gear for farmers and ranchers.
Waterproof Leather Work Boots
Because farmers spend most of their working days on their feet, it makes sense to invest in high-quality footwear. In addition to protecting your feet from the elements, a rugged waterproof work boot with safety toes can offer protection against smashed toes caused by heavy equipment or livestock.
Beyond protecting your feet from accidents, RefrigiWear® work boots offer extra cushioning and moisture-management with our exclusive VitaComfort® system. Strong anti-slip outer soles on our work boots were built to move from wet to dry and cold to warm conditions without cracking under pressure. These tough, durable work boots can make every step of your long workday safer and more comfortable.
While we're on the subject of footwear, let's talk about the importance of moisture-wicking socks. Although your boots can repel moisture from getting in, they can't do much for the moisture caused by your sweat. When you're sweating inside your boots, the last thing you want is a cotton sock that soaks up all your sweat and keeps it there.
To avoid damp, uncomfortable feet, it's essential that you wear moisture-wicking socks. Moisture-wicking socks are made from special materials that allow them to wick away moisture from your feet toward the outside of the material so that it can evaporate, leaving feet dry and warm. As a farmer, not only will you want moisture-wicking socks but you'll also want socks with some padding that provides additional comfort for the heel and ball of your foot.
Insulated Bib Overalls
From rain and snow to blisteringly cold windchill, a quality pair of insulated bib overalls can protect farmers and ranchers from the most extreme cold weather conditions. However, not all insulated bib overalls are created equal. The best bibs for winter work on the farm will offer flexibility, insulation and resistance against minor tears and scrapes.
Make sure that your insulated overalls are wind-tight and water-repellent and provide enough protection to keep you warm in cold temperatures. Additional features such as hand-warmer pockets and scuff-resistant knee patches will come in handy when you’re fixing fences or equipment in the cold.
Knowing how to layer your outdoor winter workwear means that you can stay warm and comfortable as conditions change throughout the day. You don’t want to be so warm that you sweat inside your insulated workwear, but you don’t want to have so little protection that the cold distracts you from getting your work done.
The purpose of a base layer is to trap heat and wick away sweat. For farmers, a good base layer is usually thermal underwear with moisture-wicking properties. Mid layers provide additional insulation and draw heat to the next layer for greater warmth. Mid layers are usually fleece-lined undershirts or hooded sweatshirts.
An insulated vest offers greater core protection and can be worn over any shirt or sweatshirt. What do we mean by "core"? It's essentially your torso, where you have your vital organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.). If you keep your core warm, your heart can pump more blood to your limbs and extremities (like fingers and toes), and that keeps your whole body warmer.
Vests are also very versatile. Since they’re sleeveless, vests give you more freedom of movement for your arms and shoulders. Plus, you can easily take off a vest if you start to work up a sweat.
Insulated Work Coat
You'll always be thankful for a well-insulated jacket when temperatures drop. If you’re working outside in sub-freezing temps, you’ll need a jacket with enough insulation to keep you warm and a tough enough outershell to keep the wind from cutting through.
RefrigiWear makes it easy for you to compare the amount of insulation in each of our jackets, plus our Comfort Ratings give you a better understanding of the temperatures each jacket was built to withstand, so you can make an informed choice based on the usual winter temps in your area.
Lightweight Rain Jacket
Not all cold weather requires thick insulation and puffy jackets. For days that are above freezing, a light rain jacket may be best for some farm duties and chores. The point of an outer layer is to protect you from the elements – it doesn't always need to provide additional insulation.
For cold fall mornings or light rain in early spring, consider wearing a warm hoodie underneath a cold weather rain jacket. A lightweight rain jacket from RefrigiWear is perfect for dealing with the wind and rain while you work the fields.
Insulated Neck Gaiter
The neck area is extremely sensitive to the cold, especially the wind. It won't matter how insulated your torso and legs are if the wind is biting at your neck. A wool neck gaiter will block out windchill and provide warmth without being scratchy or irritating.
Insulated Work Gloves
Whether you’re wrangling livestock or running fences, you need the best hand protection for both the cold temps and the hazards of the job. A pair of insulated work gloves from RefrigiWear® are essential cold weather gear for anyone working with their hands and nothing is as durable as leather gloves for standing up to abrasions, rough materials or even barbed wire.
Insulated Knit Cap
The old wives' tale that you lose all your body heat through your head isn't 100% true - but it is true that if you cover the rest of your body and leave your head exposed to the elements, you won't be able to get warm.
With a knit cap, you'll have protection against cold temps and windchill. We recommend our Watch Cap made with a blend of wool and acrylic knit. It also features a moisture-wicking lining to make sure sweat evaporates, instead of getting trapped against your head and making you colder.
Need Help Selecting Cold Weather Workwear?
Working days may be shorter in the off-season, but farmers still need cold weather gear to brave freezing temperatures in safety and comfort. It doesn't take long for frostbite or hypothermia to occur, especially with high windchill. With these essential pieces of cold weather gear, you can maximize your productivity and make the most of short, winter days.
When choosing cold weather gear, many items can seem like overkill. Do you really need a neck gaiter or bib overalls with heavy insulation? The answer is yes, and here's why: It's not just the cooler temperatures that can be dangerous, it's also the amount of time spent in the cold. The better prepared you are with your winter work clothes, the more time you can stay outdoors and the more work you can get done.