UAF's Physics Graduate Student Association

Click here to edit subtitle

Winter Clothing

This page is still a work in progress.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

You should own clothing that will allow you to get around Fairbanks when it is -40F (or colder!) outside.

If you don't currently own a parka, you may want to wait until you get here to buy one. The winter gear you find in Alaska/Canada is more likely to have the specifications to keep you warm enough to walk around town.

Some Useful Stores in Town

Fred Meyers



Big Ray's

Prospector Outfitters

Winter Clothing Opinions from Someone Raised in Georgia

I moved to Fairbanks at the beginning of January 2011. When I arrived, it was -30F.
This was a huge shock for me beacuse I grew up in Georgia and went to school in Florida. It was +80F when I left Florida in December (sigh, large liquid bodies of water are missed). If you are coming from a similar background, read on below.

I had a warm parka, ski gloves, snow boots, scarves, and a wool hat. I also had ski pants but they're awkard for one to walk around in - almost no one you'll see wears ski pants unless skiing. Everyone had jeans on - so I tried that too. Wish I had known that everyone had long underwear on underneath the jeans [I spent a month walking around with freezing legs, ick].

A note about winter hats:

Make sure you have one that covers your ears. Here, you can buy hats that are lined with a fleece material - these are way warmer than a plain wool hat.


Gloves for temperatures below 0F: 

Note that thinsulate leather gloves or the inexpensive gloves such as those pictured don't offer much warmth at night (or when spending time outdoors). 

Ski gloves are nice and warm.

Tennis shoes and leather loafers are great for the indoors but may lead to slips and falls when walking outside on ice. They also lead to cold feet. 

For winter, you can keep house shoes in your office to change into while at work.

Unedited thoughts (may repeat stuff listed above). Is response to someone who wanted to invest in name brand winter clothes.

Columbia with omni heat is really warm stuff - I have boots with omni heat which are amazingly warm (my feet have never been cold wearing them so I assume the jackets are the same). Fairbanks snow never looks as bad as what I drove through in North Dakota - we're really dry - but the cold.....mmmm -54F is the coldest I've felt.

I have a Muskota winter jacket and an unbranded goose down jacket from Hong Kong that I use when it is colder than +10F. Any warmer and I just use a regular hoodie or Sears wool peacoat. Longer jackets will keep your legs warmer.

I do admit that even with thin jackets or a hoodie, I usually wear my ski gloves (not super fashionable...but eh). That's the only way to keep my fingers warm.

Snow pants! I usually only wear them when it's colder than -40F but even the cheap brands are warm enough. If you hate the cold, I'd don them at -10F

My Carhartt super thick socks are *so* warm I usually leave them at home (they're about half a centimeter thick); if you get cold feet though, I recommend those.

If you're looking for investment level brands: Carhartt, Columbia, North Face.

Don't forget the long underwear or a base layer (I usually just buy the bottoms). I'd never heard of them in Georgia...and no one told me about them in AK....hence I was the only one freezing my butt off in -30F with just jeans.

Hat (or anything you want to be incredibly warm) - get something lined in fleece on the inside. Fleece pajama pants are great under jeans. Flannel [lined] anything is similar I think.