Man wearing an insulated hoodie sweatshirt carries metal for recycling.


They say all good things come to an end. That’s true of your favorite cold weather gear, too.

That well-worn winter coat or pair of insulated 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.

Here’s how to know when it’s time to replace your cold weather workwear:

Your gear has gotten too small or too big.

Maybe you’ve lost a few pounds, or maybe your favorite thermal hoodie shrank 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 chafing and blisters. Loose clothing can get caught in machinery. Plus, it’s hard to be at your best on the job if you’re constantly adjusting clothing that’s doesn’t fit properly.

Shopping for new cold weather 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.

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 natural 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 super-tough cold weather jackets.

You want to replace a bulky garment with multiple thinner layers that you can mix and match.

Whether you're expecting a brisk fall day or a brutal winter storm, layering up is the best way to stay warm. 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 as needed.

Generally, you'll want three basic layers:

  • A moisture-wicking base layer: This layer will help keep you dry by drawing sweat away from your skin.
  • An insulated middle layer: This is where you'll find most of your insulation, whether it's down or synthetic.
  • A water-resistant outer layer: A polyester outershell is a great choice for this, thanks to its combination of breathability and water resistance.

RefrigiWear® has you covered—from moisture-wicking base layers to powerful water-repellent outer layers designed to keep you at just the right level of comfort.

Fasteners 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.

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

If your waterproof cold weather 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.

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 now you’ve got a job that involves much more physical activity. 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 cold weather workwear, 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 our coldest weather gear, our high-performance rainwear collection or our lightweight all-season outerwear.

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

Your cold weather workwear should never hold you back. In fact, one of the first inspirations for our gear was when our 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 for nearly 70 years with cold weather gear that makes it easier for you to move and flex in the ways that count the most. For example, the PolarForce® Jacket and the PolarForce® Parka for men and women have built-in Performance-Flex technology that gives them extra stretching power in critical areas like the elbows.

Another example is our Insulated Impact Protection Glove, made with a stretchable Spandex back 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.

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.

Upgrade Your Cold Weather Workwear with RefrigiWear®

When you need to upgrade, we want to make sure that you get the best cold weather gear you've ever had.

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® product is backed by our rock solid guarantee and returns policy. We'll even provide pre-paid return labels so you can return it with no hassle if it's not what you’re looking for.