For some people this time of the year is far from a winter wonderland. While others are going on strolls to enjoy the crisp air or playing in the snow, these folks just don’t seem to be built to withstand low temperatures. Just like bears, they seem to spend the last months of the year hibernating in the warmth of their homes, dreading the very thought of setting a single foot outside.
You can convince them to leave their home, though, by giving them the proper gear to keep them warm and cozy.
A versatile hoodie
Chrome Merino Cobra Hoodie ($200)
Everyone needs another black hoodie. Chrome
Hoodies and sweaters may be one of the first things that come to mind when you think of warmth and comfort. A hoodie made out of wool is better. And a hoodie made of Merino wool is the best. The prized material is breathable, odor-resistant, totally biodegradable, and oh, so soft. Chrome’s Merino Cobra Hoodie features all the properties of this natural fiber in an all-black, classic design that will match any outfit. Your ever-frozen friend can wear it as a cozy garment indoors, or as an extra layer to insulate from the biting frost outside.
The ultimate onesie
Smartwool Merino 250 Baselayer ($230)
One garment to rule them all. Amazon
Inner layers are the most important part of a cold-resistant outfit. If you choose them well, you may find that whatever you wear on top has little impact on how warm you feel. Smartwool’s Merino 250 Baselayer onesie is the end-all solution to winning the first layer game. The fiber is soft enough to wear directly on the skin—and it’s thin, so it doesn’t feel bulky under a pair of skinny jeans. And if you’re thinking about just how impractical a onesie is, Smartwool added an easy-access back door secured with buttons and zippers that makes doing your business a breeze, whether it’s in the depths of the backcountry or a fancy hotel restroom.
Socks to keep your friend’s feet happy
Smartwool socks ($24.95)
Your feet will be toasty regardless of your decisions. Amazon
As anybody who’s chronically cold will tell you, being comfortable when it’s below 50 degrees Fahrenheit requires keeping your feet warm. Yes, good waterproof boots will work—especially if you want to save all your toes—but keeping those appendages both dry and toasty will make you happy. Smartwool’s socks are a right step in this direction. They insulate heat and have extra padding on the heels and the tips to make the hardest hiking shoes feel like sturdy slippers. The socks are available with different cushion levels and in low-cut or crew versions.
A beanie that’s not scratchy
Madewell wool cuffed beanie ($35)
Non-itchy wool is the holy grail of winter. Madewell
While it isn’t quite true that you lose half your body temperature through your head, covering your noggin is still pretty important in cold weather. A thick, knitted cap like Madewell’s wool cuffed beanie will prevent your ears from falling off when that chilly northern wind hits you. Plus, it’s made of Merino wool (again!) that’s soft enough to keep anyone from scratching their forehead off their skull.
Almost dangerously warm mittens
Ekshärad Grå 100% Merino Wool Mittens by Öjbro ($84.95)
These are the last mittens you’ll ever want. Ojbro from Sweden
You can find gloves and mittens in any of its multiple formats (fingerless, convertible, etc.) for a myriad prices, but investing in a high-end pair is absolutely worth it. Öjbro Vantfabrik has a wide range of knitted products, but their four-layer Merino wool gloves and mittens are really something. They’re designed in Sweden with Nordic winters in mind, which means they can keep your hands warm in the coldest climes. Their mittens are even called Varning Varma Vantar, which translates to “warning, warm mittens.” If your friend isn’t a fan of having their hands reduced to tongs, you can always give them a pair of four-layer gloves with mobile-friendly material lining on the index finger and thumbs.
A coat that CYOA
The North Face Arctic Insulated Parka ($298.95)
Perfect to keep ’em cheeks rosy. Amazon
There are different coats for different occasions and activities, but we should all have one for when we just don’t want to be cold. Period. To accomplish that, brands have experimented with several materials, but there’s something you should be looking for in a winter coat even before looking at the tag: the fact that it covers your butt. The longer the coat, the warmer it is—but make it too long, and you’ll barely be able to move your legs. Coats that go over your rear and down to your mid-thigh, like The North Face’s Arctic Insulated Parka, cover enough body without making you shorten your stride. The outer shell has water-repellent technology in case of rain or snow, and the faux-fur on the hood lining blocks wind in addition to looking adorable.
A mug to keep drinks hot longer
Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug 2 ($179.95)
That chai tea can be a drinkable cup of warmth. Amazon
Getting a hot beverage is a great excuse to go outside in the chill. But when temperatures drop, your tea, coffee, or apple cider doesn’t have much of a chance of staying hot for very long. Travel mugs are a great solution as they help delay the cooling process, but electric tumblers like Ember’s Temperature Control Travel Mug 2 can keep liquids at a steady temperature for up to three hours on a single charge. Your friend can even program in the amount of heat they want directly from a smartphone app.
Some soothing protection
Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($13.74)
Winter kisses can still be good. Amazon
Let’s face it, there are parts of your body you just can’t put Merino wool on. And since frosty air really does a number on your skin, it’s important to bring out the big guns when it comes to dry hands and chapped lips. Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment is a great low-budget solution both to prevent and treat the whiplash from wintry winds. Its versatile ingredients allow you to use it on most of your body. It also acts as a protective layer to help a healthy dermis stay healthy, while healing already damaged skin..
The softest of blankets
Brooklinen Cashmere and Lambswool Throw Blanket ($199.20)
It’s cashmere. That’s it—that’s the pitch. Brooklinen
If you couldn’t coax your friend outdoors with four layers of mittens, it’s okay. You can still treat them to the perfect gift to stay inside: a throw blanket. For the most luxurious of choices, go for the Brooklinen’s Cashmere and Lambswool Throw Blanket. This irresistible wool and cashmere combo is as soft as butter melting on a steamy piece of oven-warmed bread. If your friend is planning to hibernate on the couch and watch their favorite shows, this will keep them company while you’re outside making snow angels.
Ostrichpillow heatbag ($59.99)
It won’t purr, but it also won’t pee in your closet. Ostrichpillow
If your friend constantly talks about getting a dog that will double as a warm cushion in the winter months, but their landlord doesn’t allow pets, gift them the next best thing. Ostrichpillow’s heatbag is literally a squishy, energy-radiating pillow your friend can put their arms around. It won’t bark or wag its tail when they come home, but its clay interior can be reheated an unlimited number of times. Plus, it’s soft to the touch, and its memory foam shell will help conform to every weird sleeping position they adopt. The bag can also be used for physical therapy—heat it in the microwave and place it on sore muscles or strained joints for slow relief.