Please Note: These recommendations are based on the experience and opinions of our caregivers and staff. They work outside year-round in all temperatures, no matter the weather. We have not been paid to recommend any particular product or store. When choosing outerwear, please remember that it is most important to find something that suits your body and needs. 

As the weather outside begins to turn colder, we know it’s time to stock up on all our cold weather gear! Keeping both our animals and caregivers dry and warm is a top priority at Hockhockson. . We look to Jill Tedeschi, our Director of Shelter and Rescue, to recommend the warmest, most durable outerwear to stay comfortable, even when working in the coldest of climates. Here is what she had to say:

Boots:

  • Muck or Bog brands tend to work for most people. Muck’s Arctic Sport or Ice (either mid or high rise) have been reliable choices over the years in frigid weather.
  • This year, Caregiver Kat is testing out the Muck Apex Zip, adjustable-ankle waterproof “hunting” boot rated to -60 degrees. They’re a new style for this year, so reviews aren’t in yet.
  • The Vegetarian Shoes Ice Patrol MK2 is best for agility, higher activity, and slippery conditions. I love them because they have ice spikes integrated into the sole of the boot that you can quickly flip open and use for traction and flip down when you go indoors — so handy and safe! 
  •  Women’s Vegan WVSport Waterproof Country Boots is a more casual muck-style boot that is completely waterproof and best for chores, slush, and shorter distances.

Coveralls:

Things to consider: Are you most concerned about staying dry or layers and warmth?

Staying Dry:

  • If they fit your inseam, I do recommend the Patagonia Hose-Down Slicker Bibs. The inseam is 31” however, so may not work for everyone. They’re very lightweight, rip-stop, and I know that I’m staying dry when prepping waters, etc. They are NOT breathable or insulated. Sizes range from Men’s S-XXL.
  • These Cryder Bibs from Carhartt also look really intriguing. They’re insulated and water repellent, but not waterproof. They have a dual-zip seat so it’s easy to use the restroom. Caregivers Kat and Nicole will be using these this winter, so we will have more information in the coming months. In the past, our caregivers purchased winter jackets from the Cryder line. If the Cryder Bibs utilize the same fabric, I imagine they’re just as warm and waterproof as the jackets we have and enjoy. Sizes range from women’s XS to XXL with short, regular, and tall inseams.

Warmth:

  • For less bulk without losing warmth, these fleece-lined overalls from Dovetail may work well. They were previously out of stock but their website says they’ll be available soon. Dovetail is a women-owned, ethical, and sustainable company, so I like supporting them when it makes sense. There is no elastic at the waist, so the fit may be less desirable if your waist is in significantly smaller proportion than your hips/thighs. Women’s 00-18, but look at the size chart for measurements.
  • See Cryder Bibs above in Staying Dry.
  • These are classic insulated bibs from Carhartt. I have a few pairs of them and love the elastic waistband on the Women’s cut. All women’s sizes (XS-XXL) and almost all lengths are available at a great discount at Sierra Trading Post (factory seconds, like Marshalls but for activewear). I like buying from Sierra for sustainability (and frugality!) reasons. I’ve never had a noticeable defect.
  • Caregiver Kat and I have a full jumpsuit version of the Carhartt bibs too, seen here. We usually only wear them when it’s extremely cold, as the top portion can get steamy. Sizes range from women’s XS to XXL in short, regular, and tall lengths.

Splurge-Worthy:

  • Insulated full-suit coveralls: Handyma’am Goods Heavyweight Coverall, Women’s cut XS-XXL, $325. Women-owned, good ethos, sustainable/ethical manufacturing.
    • I love Handyma’am because they just do a couple of things, and they do them really well. I had my eye on the Drapron for years before finally purchasing, and the quality and functionality are worth every penny.

Jackets:

  • We got these Cryder Full-Swing jackets two years ago, and they’re holding up very well. I love mine and even wear it in non-work situations. They’re very easy to move in versus a heavier duck canvas jacket. They are insulated and water repellent, but definitely not completely wind- or waterproof. Sizes range from women’s XS to XXL.
  • If I had to buy a new jacket, I’d choose this hemp canvas insulated bomber from Patagonia. It’s not water-resistant, but hardworking and insulated while still being pliable. Looks like it’s the love child of a classic duck canvas barn coat and the full-swing Cryder jacket above. Sizes range from women’s XS to XL.
  • If you want a more classic insulated barn coat (no water-resistance or hood), I’d likely buy this iron-forge hemp canvas one from Patagonia (women’s XS-XL) or any of the Carhartt ones that appealed to me on either their website or through Sierra Trading Post’s website (sizes XS-XXL).

Layering Goodies:

  •  Gamine Workwear. Women-owned, ethical, sustainable, small business. The founder was a gardener & nursery woman with no fashion background who was inspired to start the collection after seeing a photo of herself, working, in NYT Style. The photo was a classic street-style snap by Bill Cunningham. Gamine Workwear’s designs incorporate a lot of history: within the inspiration for the garment, the pattern itself, the fabric it’s made from, etc. For example, the nano-factory where the jeans are sewn is the same one that made old Levi and Carhartts and still uses those same WWII-era sewing machines! So cool. They also offer a recycling program and repair service. Some highlights are:
    • Sargent & Slim Slouch Dungarees, for a total of 4 different fits in Women’s 0-18, inseams 28-35. I have not been able to try these out myself yet, but I’ve found that people really love them.
    • Layering pieces: fisherman-inspired smocks, thermals (full and half sleeve), heavy work shirts, coveralls & bib overalls.

Heavy Duty Work Pants:

  •  Original Work Pants by Red Ants Pants, two cuts (curvy & straight), Women’s 0-22, inseams 29-35. $139.
    • These pants come in both straight and curvy cuts (for more hourglass and pear-shaped people). They’ll Skype with you to get your size and cut correct, and they offer short, medium, long, and extra-long inseams. Red Ants Pants is a women-owned company with ethical labor practices, and the pants will last forever and mold to your body. I love mine so much that I sent them out for mending — shoutout to Addie Best Studio!

Hats and Gloves:

  • The Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat and Knit Hat are durable, warm, and come in a variety of colors.

Some people work best with the convertible mittens-to-fingerless gloves, others like layering thin fabric gloves over rubber gloves, others like the classic nitrile-dipped work gloves. I use all three pending weather conditions. 

I’d say the most valuable asset is having hand warmers (either reusable or disposable) so that your hands can get toasty walking around in-between tasks.

Some gloves we’re looking to try this winter:

We hope these recommendations help you stay dry and warm when you venture outside this winter! 

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