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Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Old Dec 7th 2016, 9:16 am
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Default Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Hi everyone,

We are moving to Calgary in a month and the current weather of -20! is scaring the bejesus out of me!

What would you recommend we should buy to keep toasty and warm, and not slip on our a** on the ice! - any recommendations for certain brands etc?

To throw a spanner in the works I will be 7 months pregnant - so I don't want to go out and spend $$$'s on coats etc I will only be wearing for 2 months!
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Old Dec 7th 2016, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Originally Posted by hydrographer2004
Hi everyone,

We are moving to Calgary in a month and the current weather of -20! is scaring the bejesus out of me!

What would you recommend we should buy to keep toasty and warm, and not slip on our a** on the ice! - any recommendations for certain brands etc?

To throw a spanner in the works I will be 7 months pregnant - so I don't want to go out and spend $$$'s on coats etc I will only be wearing for 2 months!

Useful thread here regarding winter boots - especially related to grip on ice:


http://britishexpats.com/forum/maple...-boots-888208/
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Old Dec 7th 2016, 9:58 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

when I lived in Calgary I never wore anything I didn't wear in the UK..Yes it can get cold..but its a dry cold and its never cold for too long..much prefer -20c and sunny to +5c and rain..unless you are going to spending prolonged periods outdoors I wouldn't worry about it too much..honestly I wouldn't.
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Old Dec 7th 2016, 10:03 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Well people in Winnipeg or Regina would be recommending a t shirt and light jacket for minus 20 temperatures.

Are you planning on buying in Canada?
If so there are numerous retailers who sell winter clothing and depending on your budget and vanity you can pay anything from $100 to $1000 just for a jacket.

WalMart, Marks Work Wearhouse,Sportchek, Sears, The Bay and a whole list of others.
Popular brands are Columbia, The North Face, Canada Goose, Eddie Bauer.
Lots of Canadians layer up as opposed to wearing just one item and with the new fibre technologies you can wear several items and not sweat your ass off.

Shop around and look for deals as there are sales on almost every week on something. See if there are any outlet malls or online deals.
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Old Dec 7th 2016, 10:06 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Dry cold and sunny does make it sound do-able - I think the coldest I have ever experienced is about -14 on a skiing holiday!

Given that I dont want to go out and buy a new coat I was thinking about thermals and layers with a decent pair of boots and gloves.
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Old Dec 7th 2016, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

I never bought any winter clothes whilst I lived in Canada..what I had brought from the UK did just as well...if you want some cheap winter clothing though I would go to Walmart or Army & Navy store that's where I used to get my kids stuff..does the job nicely and is inexpensive
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Old Dec 7th 2016, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Originally Posted by hydrographer2004
...I think the coldest I have ever experienced is about -14 on a skiing holiday!...
So you probably had a nice ski jacket and were dressed for it. That's the key...if you're dressed for it then it doesn't seem so cold.

But then there are the days when the wind chill makes a huge difference.

Originally Posted by cheeky_monkey
I never bought any winter clothes whilst I lived in Canada..what I had brought from the UK did just as well...
I visited Montreal the first week of December and took a thick fleecy jacket that was more than good enough in the UK. Winter had barely begun but I found it as useful as a string vest

I borrowed the three-in-one jacket that used to belong to my wife's ex and I still use it.
if you want some cheap winter clothing though I would go to Walmart or Army & Navy store that's where I used to get my kids stuff..does the job nicely and is inexpensive
For the temporary need, if you don't mind second hand, a Salvation Army Store or maybe a Value Village would be a good place. They might have some tat in those places but the clothing is usually good quality. You can probably buy something oversize that will do the job for under $30.
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Old Dec 7th 2016, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Thanks for the help - was thinking a bout checking out cheap outlets/charity shops to grab some bits - hard when you dont know the names of places..
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Old Dec 8th 2016, 2:25 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Originally Posted by hydrographer2004
Thanks for the help - was thinking a bout checking out cheap outlets/charity shops to grab some bits - hard when you dont know the names of places..
I work in and around Calgary on a daily basis whilst most of the work I do is inside some of the work I do is outside work during the winter so good warm gear is required.
You could check out Costco as they do carry some winter gear plus as other have mentioned Marks is also and Walmart are options.
Your requirements will likely differ from mine but a few ideas of places for you to check out.
All the best

Last edited by joinerboy; Dec 8th 2016 at 2:32 am.
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Old Dec 8th 2016, 3:32 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Some people prefer to spend $1,000 on a Canada Goose down jacket wearing just a t-shirt underneath. I prefer to layer.

t-shirt, jumper, and a warm jacket is all you need. If you plan to go anywhere where there is wet falling snow, you will need a thin waterproof shell to slip over your jacket.

If you are 7 months preggers I would suggest buying some ice spikes, they are dirt cheap from CDN tire and look like this
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Old Dec 8th 2016, 8:19 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Originally Posted by BristolUK
So you probably had a nice ski jacket and were dressed for it. That's the key...if you're dressed for it then it doesn't seem so cold.

But then there are the days when the wind chill makes a huge difference.


I visited Montreal the first week of December and took a thick fleecy jacket that was more than good enough in the UK. Winter had barely begun but I found it as useful as a string vest

I borrowed the three-in-one jacket that used to belong to my wife's ex and I still use it.


For the temporary need, if you don't mind second hand, a Salvation Army Store or maybe a Value Village would be a good place. They might have some tat in those places but the clothing is usually good quality. You can probably buy something oversize that will do the job for under $30.
+1 - no point in paying major money for something to get you through those 2-3 months! I've bought coats (and other items) at Value Village and whilst they are not as cheap as they used to be, you can still find items of good value. Every so often they have a 50% off or a 2 for 1 (BoGo) day, but they are very popular! They usually have a fairly good range of warm, waterproof coats available - I recommend getting one with a detachable hood if you can (stops that wet snow going down your neck!).

Make sure to get a warm scarf, decent thermal gloves and a hat of some kind (you lose more heat through your head than you might think); you can pick those up fairly cheaply at Walmart or similar.

Layers is definitely the answer. If you see any long sleeve t.shirts they are ideal to layer up under a thin sweater and/or fleece - likewise long johns if you think you might be walking a lot (but they aren't necessary 90% of the time). I'd definitely invest in some decent warm wool socks from the UK, if you see them on sale.

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Old Dec 8th 2016, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Originally Posted by Siouxie
Layers is definitely the answer. If you see any long sleeve t.shirts they are ideal to layer up under a thin sweater and/or fleece - likewise long johns if you think you might be walking a lot (but they aren't necessary 90% of the time). I'd definitely invest in some decent warm wool socks from the UK, if you see them on sale.

I recently posted on another forum a similar type question for Toronto and all the answers, layers is the way to deal with it. Maybe a good time to hit M&S thermal clothing section, I thought it was good last time back in the UK and very cheap. I even found a good pair of thermal gloves at my local co-op for 6 pounds. Merino is also a good alternative to wool, and much thinner. If you have a TK Maxx around, might also be worth checking them out.

I am currently in Australia and have never owned so much thermal clothing and I am originally from Scotland!

Last edited by evets; Dec 8th 2016 at 8:48 am. Reason: More info.
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Old Dec 8th 2016, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Just wanted to say to the OP that with your forum name you do know that you are moving about as far away from the ocean as possible in Canada?!

Echo the suggestions of Marks, Walmart et al. No need for the Canada Goose $1000 coat unless you want to join the Yummy-Mummy set. (In this part of the world which doesn't get nearly as cold but is a lot damper, the YM's pair the Canada Goose parka with a pair of Sealskin boots. It's the $2k look that one sees everywhere.

I have three coats for a range of wet to cold conditions. One is a Roots down parka bought in a summer sale for $99. (Roots is a Canadian clothing brand). The other two are a Barbour & a Quilted jacket from Next - both bought in the UK. So you could likely find something that'll do in the UK - although the pregnancy means that you probably don't want to invest too much. In that instance the charity shop idea is a good one.
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Old Dec 8th 2016, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

Originally Posted by evets
...layers is the way to deal with it...
But not too extreme.

If you have two many layers you can still be very hot when you go inside - say to a store - and then you have to come back out again.

If you've got thermal underwear on, a shirt, a thick jumper and then your coat or jacket, you've still got three layers on when you remove your coat. If you take your jumper off that means you're now carrying two things around with you in a store.

This is why I favour the three-in-one jacket where the inner part on it's own is good for autumn, the outer part is a good rain jacket and zipped together it's good for keeping warm and dry when it's cold, snowy and wet.

It's great over a T-Shirt and when you take it off it's just one jacket to carry/put over the supermarket cart handle.
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Old Dec 8th 2016, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Calgary in January - what cold weather gear do we need?

I have a jacket something like this:

MEN'S BERBER FULL ZIP JACKETS

from the TSC. Mine is less high tech, having poppers instead of a zip. It was half the price shown. Since having one I have noticed that such coats are the garment of choice among the impoverished shit shovellers one finds at horse barns. Cheap, to the point of being disposable, ugly and plaid so one will fit in with the locals, available in sizes to accommodate dressing for two. What more could one ask of a temporary warm garment?
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