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early_season

The Best Gear For Early Season

Early season in the mountains can mean anything and that’s exactly why you should be prepared as possible. Variable temperatures, changing snow conditions, and fluctuating weather are all par for the course. Despite the knowledge of what early season entails, many riders go out expecting similar conditions to deep winter while also expecting their gear to pick up the slack where necessary. Well, we’re here to help you navigate early season and nail down the best gear for the job!

Soft Shell

The temperatures can go from cold, to colder, to even warm when you start working up a sweat. To save yourself from sweating excessively, opt for a soft shell. Soft shell jackets provide water resistance with good temperature regulation, making them prime for early season conditions.

GEAR MUST HAVE: Oakley Silver Fox Soft Shell

Gor-Tex

In addition to temperature changes, early season skiers and snowboarders might also contend with wet snow. To make sure you stay dry while on the hill, it’s best to wear outerwear made of Gor-Tex. Not only has GORETEX product technologies been the waterproof gold standard, they are also known for being wind proof, breathable, and light weight.

Layers

You might encounter epic winter conditions at the top of the mountain, and warm late fall conditions at the bottom. To help you regulate your temperature and stay dry, layer up! This means having a good quality base, mid, and outer layer as well as back pack to take off or put on clothing as necessary.

GEAR MUST HAVE: Rip Curl Fall Hooded Anti Series Jacket

Merino Wool

Merino Wool is one of the best materials out there for base layers. It is finer than regular wool, which means it won’t itch and will stay comfortable against your skin all day long. It can also absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water before it starts to feel wet, making it crucial for changing conditions.

GEAR MUST HAVE: Mons Royale Base Layers

Leather

Another wonder fabric is leather. It is one of the few materials used to make gloves. Leather can be waterproofed, break in nicely, provide a good level of dexterity, even in a thick, severe cold weather style glove. Leather also lasts the test of time.

We’ve been waiting for the start of the winter season since it closed for summer but that doesn’t mean we’re going to get ahead of ourselves. Being prepared for early season conditions will just lead to more enjoyment in the long run. If you want some help gearing up for early season, just come by McCoo’s.

 

Skisocks

Everything You Need To Know About Ski Socks

It’s common knowledge to invest in a visit to the boot fitter to make sure that your ski boots fit perfectly. What’s not given much attention in terms of ski apparel, is socks. Wearing appropriate socks can be the difference between cold feet and toasty toes that can last the day and keep you on the slope. So what do you need to keep in mind when purchasing the layer between you and your boots? Here’s everything you need to know about ski socks.

Material

Ski socks are made from special materials that can aid in wicking away moisture while holding heat in. It’s also important that they are anti-microbial which helps to reduce bacteria that can lead to smelly feet. Materials commonly used include polyester, nylon, lycra, acrylics, or double-spun merino wool.

Fit

There’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to ski socks. Socks that are too big can bunch, cause blisters, and have reduced warmness. Socks that are too tight can cause a decrease in circulation which can in turn, can result in cold feet. You want your ski socks to fit snuggly, have no extra material, and allow for free movement of your toes. Some socks on the market are designed with fabric that causes the sock to stay snug and move with the foot.

Breathability

This could be one of the most important aspects of choosing sock. The key to warm and happy feet is keeping them dry. Most performance socks keep this in mind and are made with fabrics that promote breathability while not sacrificing warmth. The fabric works by pulling moisture away from the foot to the exterior of the sock so that it is not trapped between your skin and the inside of the sock. This allows sweat to easily evaporate.

Durability

Your socks are logging the same vertical as you are and with just as much force. Ensuring that your socks will last the season or more is also part of the selection process.

Technology

Length, cushioning, reinforcements, padding, and flat seams and are just a few of the modifications out there that can help with warmness, comfort and of course, performance. A thicker sock doesn’t always mean warmer. Advancements in fabric technology have improved the thickness-to-warmth ratio, enabling skiers and snowboarders alike to get thinner socks.

Have more questions on what ski sock will work the best for you? Stop by McCoo’s. We can help outfit you from head to toe.

Technical_Underwear

Why Technical Underwear Is A Must Have

Most of us give underwear a mere second of our time. It seems way less important than outerwear, after all, it’s not braving the elements. And it’s definitely less important than protective gear. That stuff saves lives. However, we’d like to bring to the table that moment three-quarters of the way through a mountain bike ride, when things are rather sweaty. Yes, that moment when you’d like to peel off all of your clothes, yes, all of them, and let the breeze do some cooling. We’ve all been there and that moment is precisely why your underwear deserves more attention and why technical underwear is a must have. In case you need more convincing, read on!

Material

Breathability is all the rage these days and there is a reason why. Most of our beloved activities involve sweating and consequently, having a soggy bottom just goes with the territory. With technological advances, fabrics can now assist in moisture management. Nylon, wool, and synthetic hybrids are replacing Mom’s good ol’ cotton. So let your tushy bask in super soft, warm, breathable and odour resistant knickers while staying dry.

Fit

We’ve all got our preferences-boxers, briefs, bikini cut, etc. Whilst style is personal, fit is universal. You want your underwear to fit tight enough that they’ll stay put and not sag or rub, but not so tight that they’re pinching or discouraging breathability. Also, watch for coverage. Bunching or opportunities for fabrics to ride up into unnecessary places can result from improper coverage.

Abrasion

Speaking of bunching, abrasion is something we weekend warriors and athletes alike are concientious of. No one wants to deal with chafing while trying to perform. Look for technical underwear that has minimal stitching, a waist band that stays put and fabric that moves with you, not against.

Underwear deserves more thought and hopefully after reading this, you’ll be onboard with technical underwear. With so many brands to choose from, fabrics, and fits, there’s no excuse. For all your technical unerwear needs, come by McCoo’s. We’re happy to chat about what works for you down under!

 

 

cycling_socks

Do I Need Cycling Socks?

There’s a number of pieces of gear that are obvious when it comes to mountain biking: Knee pads, elbow pads, helmet, and goggles. In addition to these, us mountain bikers usually gravitate towards clothes that allow us to move. But what about what we’re putting on our feet? Many of us don’t think that we need cycling specific socks, and if you don’t, you’re right. However, cycling specific socks have a number of details that can make your foot all that more comfortable when you’re riding. Here’s what you might be missing out on.

Wick Away Sweat

It’s no secret that mountain biking is a sweaty sport. You’re pushing yourself hard, especially during the spring, summer, and fall months when temperatures are high. As a result, your feet, among other body parts, are going to sweat. Wearing socks that are made of a moisture wicking fabric can help keep your feet dry. As an added benefit, these fabrics are often anti-microbial, meaning they are less prone to being smelly!

Tight Fit

There’s no room for loose garments in cycling. Loose clothing can be a hazard. It can get caught on bars, your seat or even worse, your chain. Tight socks are not only safer, they are healthier for your feet. The tight fit can support your arch and act as a compression sleeve.

Sock Height

The height of your cycling socks is a matter of preference. That being said, most mountain bikers opt for a sock that is higher than ankle height. This feature can act as a barrier between you and possible hazards. These hazards include your pedals, bugs, rocks, and plants that could be a skin irritant.

Breathability

The fabric that cycling and performance socks are made of boosts breathability and comfort. Breathability is important as it can prevent chaffing which in turn can lead to blisters. The fabrics commonly used are synthetic materials like nylon or polyester or natural fibers such as merino wool. Additionally, this feature helps keep your feet cool, dry, and not to mention, less smelly.

McCoo’s has a wide selection of cycling specific socks. If you’re still not sold on why socks should be part of your mountain biking kit, come on into the store to see the variety of socks we have in stock. Once you add this into what you’re wearing when you ride your bike, you won’t go back. We can put our foot on it!

Gearing Up For Opening Weekend

We’ve been waiting long and hard for the start of the season. Counting down the days in fact. Our gear has been sitting beside the door ready to go. Has yours? Gearing up last minute can lead to missing key pieces and ultimately put a kink in enjoying the first few days fo the season. Ride with ease and eliminate any unnecessary stress by gearing up with our handy Opening Weekend Checklist.

Goggles

You don’t want to leave this item behind. Sunny, windy, you name it. You’re going to need to see through every type of conditions, making goggles extremely important.

McCoo’s Recommendation: The Spy Ace Snow Goggle with the Happy Lens.

Action Cam

You’ll want to catch every first. First bails, first face shots, first après! Make sure your action cam is on your helmet or on a handheld gimble and ready to capture all the moments.

McCoo’s Recommendation: GoPro Hero 7.

Gloves

It’s no secret that ski gloves might be one of the most essential pieces of equipment in your pack. If you leave yours at home, you might as well not even go up the gondola. Well-fitted gloves provide greater dexterity, warmth, and comfort allowing you to ride all day long.

McCoo’s Recommendation: Hestra Army Leather Patrol Mittens.

Base Layer

The real secret to staying warm is having the right base layer. Forget wearing yesterdays sweatpants or even just your unmentionables. Believe it or not, you need fabric that can wick away sweat and breathe. That’s where Merino Wool comes in.

McCoo’s Recommendation: Mons Royale Merino Wool Yotei Tech LS Jersey

Outer Wear

It’s tough to leave these key pieces of your gear at home but never say never. If you did, you might just have left the house without pants. Stay warm and dry with the right outer wear. It’s also a bonus if you look good and can go right from the hill to après.

McCoo’s Recommendation: RipCurl Rebound Fancy Jacket and Pants. 

Battery Pack

Losing your riding buddy right before après is the worst! Don’t miss a beat because your phone is dead. Make sure your battery pack is charged and ready to keep you connected.

McCoo’s Recommendation: Outdoor Technology Kodak Ultra Battery Pack.

We’ve been ready for this weekend since closing day last year. You’ll be ready too with our handy Opening Weekend Checklist. If you left gear on the kitchen table, pop by the shop. We’ve got what you need to gear up for any Opening Day adventure.

How Long Should Gear Last

Being comfortable in your gear could be the difference between the best day ever and the worst. And sometimes, it takes time to work that beloved jacket or pants into the point of fitting you in all the right places. Now, those favorite ski boots or even long underwear may be nearing the end of its life and it could be sooner than you think. Just how long should gear last?

Ski Socks-Approximately 1 year depending on the brand

According to Smartwool, their socks should last a year if the washing directions and fit are properly executed.

Tips to prolong life:

  • Avoid wearing on the carpet.
  • Do not use fabric softener.

Helmet- 1 Impact

This is debatable but generally speaking, if you have taken an impact on your helmet, experts suggest it’s time for a new one. This is because most helmets are designed to only withstand a certain amount of force in order to perform optimally

Tips to prolong life:

  • Don’t crash on your head. Duh.
  • Store away from factors that can alter the effectiveness of the materials. This includes heat and extreme cold.

Outerwear- Anywhere from a season to a lifetime

How long your outerwear lasts depends on how often it is being used, how well you take care of it and the material that it is made out of. Current technologies can see Gortex jackets lasting years and years, even lifetimes in some cases.

Tips to prolong life:

  • Wash them. Really it’s okay. The sweat and beer will degrade the waterproofing faster than an occasion spin cycle.

Goggles- A really long time

Goggles can last a really long time but that really depends on the quality purchased and the level of care given to maintain them.

  • When you get snow in your goggles, don’t brush it off with a jacket sleeve or glove. Snow is made with abrasive ice crystals that can actually scratch the lenses. Use a special cloth.

Ski Gloves- A season

Your gloves take quite the beating and it can be hard to maintain the durability as well as the waterproofness of the fabric.

  • Hang dry them out after each use.

Most ski gear can last more than a season but the key is to take really good care of it. With these helpful tips, you should be able to prolong the life of some of your most beloved items. If you’re finding that some of your gear needs an upgrade, come to McCoo’s. We can help sort you out so you won’t have to live through another ‘breaking in’ period and can go right to into wearing the most comfortable gear ever!

 

Fall Adventure Gear Guide

Fall in Whistler is considered a transitional season, meaning that we are sad summer is gone and can’t wait for winter get here. It may seem like a season that is forever spent anticipating what’s next but it is actually a great time to be outdoors. Hiking, biking, and adventuring are still possible but do require a bit more preparation with the variable conditions that accompanies the change in seasons. With autumn comes cooler days, rain and variable weather conditions that are sure to test your gear’s performance. We gathered up the best fall adventure gear so you can get out, have fun and get your mind off of waiting for snow!

Jacket

The consistency of summer has been left behind and in its place, fall with its unpredictable weather patterns has moved in. Don’t get caught in a rain storm or unseasonable cold winds- an Orage, Rip Curl or Oakley jacket will protect you from the elements and ensure that your adventure continues despite the weather!

Toque

Did you know most of the heat is lost through your head? Who are we kidding, we can’t confirm that fact but what we do know, is that it’s better and not wetter when your head is warm and dry! McCoo’s has got all the toques, in all the styles that are an easy transition from one season to the next. Did we mention toque season is the best season?

Socks

Wet feet can be the difference between a good time and a bad time. Stance socks not only look great but they are built for performance as well. Hook yourself up with a pair designed for snow and have warm tootsies until next year when your feet emerge from hibernation and are back in sandals again.

Action Cam

Summer is a bit more predictable- nice weather, bikinis, lake days, etc. But fall, who knows what fall is going to throw at you. Monsoons, wild winds, early snow… Okay, maybe we are exaggerating its wildness but whatever is going to happen, you’re going to want to catch it on camera. Get an action cam- either a GoPro, Contour or Ion camera and make everyone jealous of what a rad fall your having!

Tools

Always be prepared for the unexpected. Throw in an RC or a Bakoda tool in your backpack for leveling up on being prepared.

Base Layer

We haven’t decided if we love it or hate it yet, but it’s gotten cold. This may just be the ultimate limiting factor when getting outside and getting among all the autumn adventures. The best solution is to dress for the weather and a proper base later from Smart Wool or Kombi will help regulate your temperature.

Don’t make autumn a waiting game. With McCoo’s fall gear advice, there should be nothing stopping you from getting outside and enjoying all the adventures that you can before the snow arrives. If you pick your gear right, you’ll be getting ready for winter without even knowing it!

5 Tips for Staying Dry on the Mountain

We’re firm believers that there’s no such thing as bad weather, as long as you’re properly outfitted. We’ll admit, we’d choose a powder day over a day skiing in the rain, but when the only other option is to not ski at all, we’ll make the most of what we’ve got.

Here’s what you need to know to stay as dry as possible on the mountain, even when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Start Dry

It’s a no-brainer, but if you start your day off with wet gear, you’ll forego that warm and dry feeling right from the get go. If you’re skiing back to back days, make sure to lay out all your gear the night before to give it a chance to dry off. If you’ve got boot dryers, you’re well ahead of the game. If not, pull the liners out to give them a chance to dry off. You can also stick scrunched up newspaper into your boots to absorb moisture. If any of your clothing isn’t dry the morning of, toss it in the dryer.

Your Outer Layer is Everything

Your outer layer – the jacket and pants you wear on the outside of your gear – is your key to staying dry on the mountain. Your best bet is to choose pieces made of GoreTex – this is as waterproof as it gets. To keep your GoreTex gear in good shape, you’ll need to wash it every so often to keep the little pores clean. Take care of your gear, and it will take care of you.

Don’t Forget Accessories

Soaking wet gloves can ruin your day in a shockingly short amount of time. The good news is that they make GoreTex gloves, too. You might also want to squeeze an extra pair of mitts into your coat pocket: after lunch, you can simply swap out your gloves for the dry pair.

The other accessory you’ll want to make use of: a hood. When you’re picking out a jacket, look for one with a big, roomy hood large enough to accommodate your helmeted noggin. You’ll want to throw that hood up in lift lines and on chair lifts.

Stay Dry

Once you’re geared up with your waterproof stuff, don’t take it off! As soon as you take off your gloves or unzip your jacket, you’re exposing yourself to moisture. If you must, try to adjust your GoPro or text your friends somewhere sheltered to avoid getting soaked.

To Garbage Bag or Not to Garbage Bag

On a particularly soppy day, you might have seen people skiing by you wearing a very fashion-forward garbage bag poncho. If you don’t have good, waterproof gear, by all means – sport the garbage bag. However, it’s not very aerodynamic, it makes obnoxious flapping sounds, and it certainly is not breathable – and though studies are inconclusive, we’re not sure it does much for your style cred.