Heated Clothing

The cold. Most of our winter gear is designed to combat its effects. Gortex, layers, breathability. These terms might sound familiar and don’t get us wrong, they do work. Despite the technologies improving drastically, there still stands a chance of the sub-arctic temps winning and leaving you out in the cold…no pun intended. Presently, there are a number of brands that have lead the way in creating clothing that keeps you warm no matter what conditions are on the outside. They rely on generating heat from an external source, most of them powered. We’ve got the low down on some of the current heated clothing technologies now available at McCoo’s.

Flexwarm Jackets

Flexwarm has spent over the last five years researching and developing patented new technologies that have enabled them to create a completely unique, flexible heating element that is so thin (0.5mm) it can be printed directly onto fabric. Because Flexwarm can be printed, it can then be layered directly onto fabric which enables 8K Heated Apparel to be ultra-lightweight, durable and washable (without the need for adding additional heavy and bulky insulation materials). You can expect upwards of 13 hours of heat from your jacket and when it’s out, just recharge the battery. To adjust the temperature, connect your phone to your jacket via Bluetooth and input your desired level of toastiness! And finally, topping it all off, these jackets are splash resistant, so you don’t have to worry if mother nature decides to change her mind from snow to rain.

Therm-ic Socks

Therm-ic have designed high-end socks that can offer up to 29 hours of heat. The heat is generated from an easily rechargeable battery that sits at top of the sock. The technology allows for even distribution of heat, easy attachment of batteries to the sock, and optimized integration of the heating elements for a guaranteed long life. What’s more, Therm-ic products connect to your smartphone! With the batteries’ Bluetooth function and the Thermic mobile app, you can adjust the heat setting for your sock at the touch of a screen. Now, that’s going to come in handy for turning it up a notch while on the chair lift.

Staying warm while on the hill no longer has to be a battle. With heated clothing technologies advancing, it can be easy to set a temperature and stay there, no matter what the weather is doing. If you have any questions regarding the heated gear currently on the market, come stop by McCoo’s– guarenteed a few of our staff members are probably wearing them right then and there!

Buying The Right Ski Or Snowboard Helmet

Skiing and snowboarding can be full of hazards. You have your airtime, trees, cliffs, and of course, other mountain revelers. While many of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how to protect ourselves from these risks, it should be more than food for thought. Head and facial injuries are just some of the consequences of not wearing the proper equipment when on the hill. Even if you consider yourself a conservative rider, all skiers and riders can enjoy the benefits and warmth that a helmet provides. But where to start? Here are some tips for buying the right helmet.

Ski And Snowboard Helmet Components

Inner liner: This is typically made from EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam, the material that looks like Styrofoam®. It’s designed to absorb impact. A helmet is considered no good after a direct blow to it.

Shell: The shell, or outer layer of the helmet, is a rigid surface (typically high-impact plastic) that can help protect the head against sharp objects, knocks, and abrasions. It also helps spread impact energy over a larger portion of the helmet during a fall.

Certification: There’s a new buzzword in the helmet world, MIPS.  MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and it is the current gold standard for helmets.

Ski / Snowboard Helmet Sizing and Fit

Measuring for your size: You can find your correct size by measuring your using a tape measure or come on down to the store and have one of our staff help you. To do it yourself, position the tape measure just above the ears and about 1″ above your eyebrows. Measure around the largest part of your head to determine the circumference of your head. The measurement will help you select from extra small, small, medium and large helmets.

Checking the fit: A good helmet should feel snug but not tight. If the helmet can rock back and forth, the fit is too loose. Shake your head from side-to-side. If the helmet shifts, try a smaller size, adjust the sizing mechanism or use thicker sizing pads. Push up the front and back edges. If they move, tighten the straps.

The helmet should be positioned low enough in the front to protect your forehead. It should sit level with its front edge no more than 1″ above the eyebrows. Finally, check to make sure there are no gaps between your head and the helmet lining. If there ae gaps, pads can be used to decrease them.

Chinstrap/buckle: The chinstrap needs to fit comfortably against the throat to reduce the chance it will come off. The strap should fit snugly but loose enough for you to not feel choked. Make sure to always fasten the strap before riding.

Now that you have your helmet picked out, you can add extra features such as audio, camera mounts, and warmer liners. There’s really no excuse for not protecting yo’ head!

Cold Feet? Try These Tips!

Foreigner must have been talking about feet in ski boots when they sang, “Your as cold as ice”. Cold Feet can be a real bummer, expecially when the low temps are creating all-time conditions. To prevent your toes from being the reason you have to call the day, try these tips!

Make sure your boots fit: Cold feet can be caused by poor fitting boots. Something could be cutting off your circulation or they could be too loose allowing for a bit too much air flow. Visit a boot fitter to determine if this is part of your problem.

Wear proper socks: Wear ski socks. Not just any socks will work, you want ones that are made of wool or other materials that will prevent sweating and blisters from rubbing.

Keep your boots dry and warm: If you store your boots in the car overnight, they’re going to be cold when you put them on in the morning. Take the extra time to bring them inside. Also, dry your boots out from one use to the next. Sweat can make the liners damp, and once again, a damp boot is a cold boot. Use either a boot drier or remove the liners to dry after a day on the hill.

Keep your feet dry, too: Keep your feet free of sweat. Again, this goes back to the socks you’re wearing and if you’re properly drying your boots. Dry feet are warmer feet.

Heat your feet:  Disposable foot warmers are easy to stick to your socks or the interior of your boot and can create a toasty environment for your tootsies.

Replace the liners: Some boot liners just aren’t that warm. You can replace yours with a custom moldable liner.

Ski more: Cold? Ski harder! The harder you ski, the warmer your core will be and this means more blood flow to your extremities AKA your hands and feet. So wear those extra layers and that warm jacket then ski until your heart’s content!

If you have more questions about keeping your feet warm while you’re on the slope, ask one of the knowledgeable staff at McCoo’s. They’ll help you gear up for adventure.

 

What’s So Great About Oakley PRIZM Lenses?

Goggles are crucial. You need them to navigate your way around the mountain and with the current technologies, that’s possible in virtually all conditions. You’ve probably seen or heard about the Oakley PRIZM lenses, but do you really know what it’s all about? Oakley has launched their PRIZM lenses with vision fine-tuning technology and they’re the talk of the town. But really, what’s so great about these PRIZM lenses anyway?

What is a PRIZM lense?

PRIZM is a new Oakley lens technology that fine-tunes vision for sport-specific environments. The lenses work to emphasize colors, specifically contrast, where the eye is most sensitive to detail, which in return, helps to enhance performance and safety. What’s more, this now happens through a wide range of light conditions whereas other goggles have specific lenses for certain light conditions. Even then, many of them don’t work as well as we need them to.

KEY BENEFITS OF OAKLEY PRIZM LENSES:

– Sharpens visual perception to help you see more clearly and react faster.
– Enhances color recognition to help you quickly spot what you need to see.
– Optimizes your ability to better see the important moving objects in your periphery.

How Do Oakley PRIZM Lenses Work?

Tons and tons of research but more specifically, the lenses provide unprecedented control of light transmission resulting in colors precisely tuned to maximize contrast and enhance visibility. This happens through the use of specially engineered lens tints. Basically, light that could interfere with vision is filtered out while emphasizing the colors that aid your brain creating a more precise visual understanding of the surrounding area. A simpler way of looking at this is in terms of contrast. Oakley achieved this innovation by utilizing “hyperspectral imaging,” a technique used by spy satellites that helps analyze light in real-world environments with levels of detail and precision that is previously un-heard of. What’s more, their design allows for increased peripheral vision.

Sport-Specific PRIZM Lenses

There are PRIZM lenses for all sports as well as daily wear (sunglasses). And for the eyewear to perform at the highest level, they have been tested until the cows come home. Oakley made sure that each sport specific eyewear had the capability to see the perfect colors in the environment that the sport is performed in. In each environment, the lenses enhance the colors you need to see for maximum sports performance and filter out the rest. The improved color contrasts leads to better vision and ultimately, performance.

Do you have more questions about what the Oakley PRIZM technology entails and how it can help you on the hill? Be sure to speak to one of our staff members!

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!

 

The Importance Of Sun Protection Year Round

Chances are, you’ve heard about the damage that the sun can do. If you haven’t, you must have been living under a rock and in that case, you need not worry about sun damage! Despite all the warnings we are subjected to on a regular basis, many think that utilizing sun protection is only for those hot and sunny days. This is wrong and can lead to serious skin problems later on. In fact, the sun rays on a winter day and on a cloudy day still possess a threat. Now, we don’t want to sound like Mom and scold anyone for not lathering in sunscreen but we can provide some more information on the importance of sun protection year round.

Fall/Winter

We hate to break it to you, but you’re not just trying to protect yourself from one set of UV rays but two: UVA and UVB. First the good news: You only have to worry about UVA in the winter months and not UVB. You see, UVA is around as long as there is sunlight and is at the same level all year round. When the earth rotates and tilts away from the sun, we experience winter, and the UVB is less intense as some of it barely reaches the surface. UVB is responsible for that golden tan we all love in the summer months and since it’s lacking in the winter, you can’t really get a suntan. Now the bad news: UVA rays have a longer wavelength and are able to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus causing more damage.

Options:

  • SunBum Suncare. These guys know their stuff and create a bunch of products that fit with your lifestyle.
  • Airhole Facemask. What’s covered up doesn’t get touched by the sun!

Spring/Summer

It’s really no surprise that the summer sun can hurt your skin and since the sun is at its closest point to the earth,  both those pesky UVB and UVA rays are hitting home. You may be able to get a nice tan but you’re also subject to more damage. What’s more, the rays of the summer sun, high in the sky, arrive at a steep angle and heat the land (and your skin!) much more than those of the winter sun, which hit at a shallow angle. All the more reason to play it safe.

Options:

  • Use the whole range of SunBum Suncare products. Their lines are formulated to protect against both types of UV rays, not just one.
  • Throw on a hat. The RipCurl sunhats are a great option or a Herschel SnapBack.

Don’t be afraid of the sun, just be wise. When heading out on your next adventure, make sure to pack the appropriate sun protection. Still not sure what gear you can use to minimize the impact of the suns rays? Ask one of our staff at McCoo’s! 

Bike Gear: What You Need To Know

Photo: Brooke Stephensonn

Now that the snow has melted, we can move onto another obsession: bikes. Although each sport comes with it’s own set of inherent dangers, biking can really do some damage. Preventing just that is where having the proper gear comes in. But how do you choose what’s right for you and what will prevent leaving pieces of yourself on the trail? Here are some helpful tips to consider next time your shopping for new bike gear.

Helmet

The helmet technology has advanced a lot in recent years. Not only do they protect better than ever but they also are lighter, have increased ventilation and rear-head coverage. When choosing a helmet, a good fit is key. Most helmets come in small, medium, large or extended sizes. To find your size, wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest portion of your head which is about 20cm from your eyebrows. Once you have a size, most helmets are adjustable to be snug on your head.

Eyewear

The type of eyewear you select largely depends on your intended use. Many use goggles for more aggressive biking due to their ability to remain securely on a helmet, while others use glasses for the mellower all-mountain and cross country style of riding. Eyewear comes with it’s own set of technologies that can make navigating products seem daunting. Look out for these specifications to keep it simple:

Vision quality: Look for high optical clarity through utilising a good quality lens material. Also, make sure that there is not peripheral vision obstruction through the shape of the frame.

Anti-glare: You will love polarization to combat intense light when your trying to hit a jump and the sun is in your eyes.

Fit and comfort: A close fit and moisture wicking capabilities is essential.

Pads

Elbow and knee pads are the basics that many choose to wear when riding. These will protect you from more than just scrapes and bumps. A good pair of pads can absorb enough impact to prevent a fracture. Elbow and knee pads come in all shapes an sizes. To find out what work’s best for you, it is suggested to try on various styles. Take note of how they do up, how much surface area they cover, are they hard or soft pads and finally, how much ventilation they have.

Gloves

Some people choose to forgo gloves but all it takes is one crash to regret that decision. Along with protecting your hands from trees, rocks and maybe a wild bear or two, gloves enforce your point of contact with the bike by absorbing sweat. Select gloves that fit closely to the skin. This translates to a better grip.

Choosing the right gear can make or break a ride. If you are having trouble determining what bike gear works best for you, our knowledgeable staff at McCoo’s can help you answer any questions you may have to get you back on the trail as safely and as comfortably as possible!

Why You Need A Power Bank

We’ve all been there before, your waiting on a text from someone important, your favourite song is about to drop or your relying heavily on google maps and then the unbelievable happens: Your phone dies. Only a few short years ago this would mean running into every establishment asking if they had a certain phone cord and if you could hang out at the bar while it charges. Not anymore, portable power banks are here. Before we get into why you need a power bank, let’s chat about what they even are.

The Technology

We’re not going to get all Bill Nye on you and lecture about how batteries work in case you’re interested, here is a summarized version: Power banks are comprised of a special battery in a special case with a special circuit to control power flow. They allow you to store electrical energy (deposit it in the bank) and then later use it to charge up a mobile device (withdraw it from the bank).

Types On The Market

  1. Universal Power Bank: These come in many sizes and varieties which can be tailored to your device requirements and to your budget.
  2. Blue Tooth Enabled Power Bank: Looking to run speakers and connect your music? This style of power bank is for you.
  3. Solar Charged Power Bank: These power banks have panels that can trickle-charge the internal battery when placed in sunlight. It’s known to not be as fast but hey, it’s eco-friendly and we like that.

How Many Charges Does A Power Bank Hold

This is a loaded question. You see, power banks come in all sizes and power bank capacities (this is the nerd term for “how much charge”). The power bank capacity should be stated on the packaging of your power bank but the power requirements of the device requiring the charge are not. So how many times a device (phone, tablet, computer, etc) can be charged cannot be accurately determined. This all being said, you should be able to get a few full phone charges of out of one power bank before it needs to be re-charged itself.

And finally…

Why You Need A Power Bank

There are a number of life moments that really can’t be missed as a result of your phone being flat. We’ve gathered a few to showcase when a power bank would really come in handy…

  1. Matched with Tinder dream girl/guy
  2. Sent a message to the wrong person.
  3. Need to check your bank balance to see if one more beer is possible.
  4. Phone flashlight required for navigating stairs.
  5. Going to be late for work.
  6. Lost all your homies while shredding the mountain.
  7. Being chased by a bear and require assistance.
  8. Your friend has lost their phone at Garfinkels and would like you to call it.
  9. The music at the party sucks and you know your playlist is way better.
  10. Directions to that little corner of Emerald that you never even knew existed.

If you’ve decided that a portable power bank is something you need in your life, just come on by McCoo’s, we’ll sort you out.

Tips For Choosing The Right Swimsuit

Ladies, this post is for you.

Swimsuit season brings on a mixture of emotions: Excitement of the warmer weather and adventures in the sun as well as the age old dread brought on by everywhere you look blasting the same “PREPARE FOR BIKINI SEASON” message. Ignore that message- there are swimsuits for everyone and every body. Swimsuits that cover up and allow for movement and swimsuits that minimize tan lines if you know what we mean. With our selection, it’s all about functionality and confidence in and out of the water. So don’t prepare for the hotter months like a zombie apocalypse is coming, chill an enjoy the shopping process with our tips for choosing the right swimsuit for you.

Do you like retro?

If you do, go with high waisted bottoms. These bottoms are not only flattering for most body types, they are very functional too. This makes them a great choice for those looking to make a statement while not sacrificing that opportunity to jump off a rope swing.

Are you playing hard on the water?

If you are spending more time running, jumping, swimming or even canon balling than lounging, a full piece swimsuit is for you. Don’t expect a dowdy one that your grandma would be seen in, the one piece’s on the market nowadays are as sexy as they are functional. So go be rad and don’t worry about anything slipping out in the process.

Is your tan the most important summer accomplishment?

We get it, there is nothing like going into the winter season with golden skin that acts as reminder of all things summer. Try a triangle bikini or a bandeau to maximize skin exposure and minimize those tacky tan lines.

Did your 100 days on the mountain give you enviable glutes?

Girl, you’re a rock star. Show that toned tushy off by opting for barley there coverage. Bottoms that are called cheeky, tiny or string are sure to show off your assets.

Do you hate swimsuits, no-if-ands-or-buts?

No need to explain, sometimes finding a swimsuit that you feel comfortable in just isn’t worth the hassle. There happens to be an alternative. For all you ladies who hate swimsuits, just wear a beachy cover-up. Crochet, light fabrics and sheer dresses can all be worn in place!

Is decison making not your forte?

With so many adorable swimsuits out there, we understand how hard it is to just pick one. Luckily, current trends embrace mixing and matching tops and bottoms. So don’t settle, just buy two or three separate suits and interchange for what seems like a full wardrobe of water wear!

We at McCoo’s want to do a way with the perfect bikini body and instead help swimsuits fit bodies that are spending hours jumping off docks, swimming in lakes, paddle boarding down rivers and camping out with friends. So let’s have the best summer yet filled with adventure and zero thoughts about what your swimsuit is doing.

Buying The Perfect Hat

We can almost see summer from where we stand and it’s looking HOT! Many if the experts suggest covering up to reduce sun exposure and we have to agree but for a different reason. Not only are hats pretty much one of the greatest ways to protect against the weather, but they make one hell of an accessory too. You may be reading this and shaking your head,”Hats? Not my jam.” If you have designated yourself as “not a hat person” then you aren’t aware of how to buy the perfect hat. That’s where McCoo’s comes in.

Buy A Shape That Fits Your Face

Everyone’s facial structure is different but for the purpose of haircuts, make-up, and hats, four facial types have been created. There are a ton of resources out there to help you determine your face shape but a quick way is to draw the following shapes on a picture and see how the angles of your bone structure line up.

DIAMOND FACE SHAPE: A moderate to wide brim is best for you!

OBLONG FACE SHAPE: Try hats with a brim like a baseball hat, or a cap like newsboys hat.

ROUND FACE: You can rock angular hat and asymmetrical shapes.

SQUARE FACE: Look for softer designs.

Buy A Hat That’s The Right Size

For the best results, grab a tape measure and have someone else measure your head. The tape measure should be placed around the widest part of the head, just above the eyebrows and the ears. It should wrap around the widest part of the back of the head and all the way back to the front And BAM, you have your hat size, use it wisely!

Head Size (cm)

Hat Size

53

XS

54-55

S

56-57

M

58-59

L

60-61

XL

62-63

XXL

Buy A Hat That Suits Your Coloring

Neon yellow may look sweet but chances are, it won’t bring out your eyes unless you’re a cat, werewolf or vampire. There are specific colors that will though:

BEST HAT COLOUR FOR YOUR COMPLEXION:

Ruddy: Brown, Blue, Gray

Dark: Brown

Darker Olive: Brown or Green

Pale: Dark Blue, Gray

BEST HAT COLOR FOR YOUR HAIR COLOR:

Auburn, Red: Brown, Green, Blue

Blonde: Brown, Green, Gray

Brown: Gray, Green

Gray Hair: Green, Gray

Buy A Hat That Fits Your Needs

Your life could change with the right hat. Well maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement but a new hat could make your life a bit easier and more enjoyable. You see, when outdoor activities are a big part of your day to day, a hat can ward off the sun, cover up helmet hair, and act as a mosquito swatter, all in one go.

With these great tips for buying the perfect hat, you will be able to find one that changes your life or adds to it (depending on how you want to look at it). You really can’t go wrong by making a hat part of your everyday apparel. And for all your other Whistler apparel needs, visit McCoo’s!