In cold weather, a ski mask or balaclava is one of the most helpful pieces of gear you can bring with you. The mask is a fully head covering mask, from your neck up with holes of varying sizes for your face. The best part of the balaclava is that the mask can be fitted to at least 5 different configurations dependant on how you roll it up. This means that depending on how cold the day is you can be protected in various amounts. If you want a simple hat, the materials used to make these ski masks are stretchy and flexible which allows you to position the mask in several positions. Typically the balaclavas are black, although brightly colored ones have been associated with the youngest generation of snowboarders and skiing enthusiasts.
The ski mask is beneficial because it traps a small amount of air close to the body in the same theoretical advantage as the wet suit. By doing so the rider keeps warm in spite of the chilly weather. The most heat releasing portions of the body are then kept warm, which helps the user to maintain a higher body temperature. The most heat releasing portions of the body are the neck and head because of the close proximity of a large amount of blood flow to the surface of the skin, predominantly in the neck. This kind of ski mask covers that area, and because it is usually relatively small another hat, helmet or hood can easily be placed over it. Layering is one of the best ways to mitigate from the harshest climates, either warm or cold, as so balaclavas play an important role in enduring some of the coldest conditions that produce the fresh powder that snow sports thrive on.