A utilities worker on the job wearing blue bib overalls, a gray hoodie, green hard hat and insulated work gloves kneels in the snow.


Staying warm when working in the cold is no easy task. There’s a lot of gear out there and it’s hard to know what you need to protect yourself without bulk that makes it harder to get the job done. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, here’s a guide to choosing the right cold weather gear from head to toe.

Cold Weather Gear to Keep Your Head in the Game

Hats are important for keeping your body warm because they reduce the amount of heat that escapes from your head. This is especially true if you’re working in the cold all day. If rain or snow are in the forecast, a knit cap made with synthetic materials will handle the wet better than wool.

If the wind is trying to get the best of you or you’re facing subzero temps for hours at a time, try facemasks or balaclavas. They’ll give you incredible warmth and protection in the bitterest conditions. No matter what weather and temps you are facing, with the right headwear, you’ll be ready to face the cold head-on.

Protect Your Core from the Cold

Your core contains your vital organs – so it is the most important area to keep warm in the cold. A warm core means better blood flow (and warmth!) for your extremities.

This is where a jacket with several layers of insulation comes in. Cold weather jackets like the Extreme, Iron-Tuff®, PolarForce®, Frostline® and other collections keep you toasty when the weather dips way below zero. Plus, with features like Performance-Flex and softshell material, they don’t restrict the freedom of movement you need to get the job done.

And if you still need your arms completely free, try an insulated work vest. They give you even more mobility while still giving you the full core protection you need to keep warm. Pair with an industrial strength sweatshirt for added warmth.

Don’t Forget Insulated Pants, Bibs or Coveralls for Your Legs!

Don’t skip leg protection! Your legs are gonna be out there in the cold with the rest of you and you need to have ‘em covered.

Insulated pants and bib overalls are the cold weather clothing of choice for thousands of people across the nation who work in deep freezers, refrigerated warehouses and outdoors in the worst Mother Nature can muster. It’s important to get the right fit, so there are also bibs and insulated pants for women.

If you’re looking for full body protection from the cold, coveralls might be the way to go. Sizing coveralls can be tricky with these since they usually have an industrial fit that’s looser than what you might expect. Make sure you measure carefully to get the best fit.

Choose the Right Insulated Work Gloves for Your Hands

It’s important to choose quality work gloves that protect your hands but don’t sacrifice performance to do it. Performance work gloves have the best of both worlds: they keep your hands warm and protected from the weather, but they also give you tons of killer features to help you dominate the workday.

Extra gripping power, Performance-Flex, and impact protection are just a few of the features to look for. Plus, built-in insulation protects you not just from the cold, but also from the cold transfer you experience working with other objects.

If your work gloves need a heat boost, add a pair of glove liners to increase the warmth and comfort of any gloves. Sometimes that extra layer is just what you need to make it through the day with full feeling in your fingers!

Don’t Stop at Your Feet—Insulated Cold Weather Boots are a Must!

No one wants to sit down on the job because your feet hurt and not being able to feel your feet would be even worse! Tough, warm work boots are a must for working long days in freezing temps.

You’ll need to choose the right level of insulation to keep your feet warm but not so much your feet sweat. That kind of moisture is uncomfortable and can actually make your feet colder. Keep your activity level in mind when choosing the level of insulation in work boots and look for insoles with wicking properties that pull moisture away from your feet.

Working in cold temperatures isn’t easy, but with the right cold weather gear, you’ll show Old Man Winter who’s boss.