Smiling person wearing mitts and a toque

Gift ideas for your friend who’s always cold

We all know this person. They’re the one wearing a blanket indoors. They hang out in fuzzy onesies and sleep in a mountain of pillows. Even though they like going outside, they pile on several puffy layers before they even think about stepping out the door. Sound familiar?

To help you find just the right thing for the chilly one in your life, we chatted with MEC staffers who are experts in staying warm, even when temps dip into the double-negatives.

Here are great gift ideas for the person who’s always cold:

1. A powerful hand warmer

A Zippo Hand Warmer is excellent gift for your friend with icy hands. Throw in a bottle of lighter fluid so they can fire it up ASAP and dole out warm handshakes and high fives. This gadget can produce more than 10 times the heat of disposable warmers.

2. Handmade felted-wool slippers

You can’t go wrong with these cozy breathable felted-wool slippers by Glerups; they have a soft leather sole perfect for puttering around the house. They’re also available in a version with a rubber sole in case your always-cold friend likes to go for a stroll around the block.

“For the golden trifecta of warm and cozy, you need to cover: 1. Feet (I suggest thick wool socks). 2. A hot beverage to warm cold fingers and to warm up from the inside out. 3. A fleece sweater to keep the heat in.” – Tip from MEC staffer Aimee

3. A blanket they can wear

The Honcho Poncho is like wearing a soft, warm sleeping bag. It has other bonuses too: it packs up into a pouch, comes with a hood, and has a pocket for snacks. “Have walked many a dog, hiked up to the grocery and felt bundled happy all throughout. Seriously, never regretted getting these,” one reviewer on mec.ca said.

Person wearing a Honcho Poncho

“I just recently discovered the concept of a quilt for camping – it’s great. You can use it a solo layer in summer or use it in the winter to double up.” – Tip from MEC staffer Wade

4. Hut booties

MEC Get Down Booties are made with good stuff: Certified Responsible Down, and bluesign-approved materials (which have a reduced environmental footprint).

Hut booties are an MEC staffer favourite and we’ve heard them referred to as “warm clouds for your feet.” The cushioned footbeds are made to keep your friend warm as they scurry across the cold cabin (or cold living room) floor.

5. Touchscreen-compatible gloves

Touchscreen-compatible merino gloves (available in blue, grey, and red)

You can wear these merino wool gloves solo or use them as a great +1 for layering. The tips of the index finger and thumb are touchscreen-compatible, so the lucky wearer can text or take a photo without their hands getting chilly.

6. Super warm toque

The name says it all. The MEC Super Warm Toque is made of thick wool yarn to keep the chill away, and has a comfy fleece lining that feels soft against foreheads and ears.

7. Drinking chocolate

Different flavours to suit different drinking chocolate tastes: coconut, sea salt, mocha or spiced.

Just the right treat for snowshoe afternoons. Treehouse drinking chocolate is sourced from an organic farmer-owned cooperative in Peru, and is super easy to bring along on outdoor adventures (or stuff in someone’s stocking).

8. Heated socks

If regular socks don’t do the trick, splurge for the heated socks variety. Yes, we’re talking about heated socks that they can control using a smartphone app. These are the perfect socks for those who have poor circulation, so they can hit the slopes pain- and chill-free.

9. Serious winter boots

Baffin Flare boots and Baffin Zone boots

Prevent cold feet with toasty boots. The Baffin Flare Boots are rated down to -50°C and the Baffin Zone Boots are waterproof-breathable for stomping through snow and slush.

10. The warmest base layers

The “T” in T3 base layers stands for thermal… and these are the warmest in our MEC base layer line-up. Thermals work great as pyjamas, base layers for hiking or skiing, or as an extra layer under day-to-day clothes. Responsibly sourced wool, recycled polyester and bluesign-approved material means they’re designed with sustainability in mind.

“When it comes to warmth, I do merino everything. Socks with a base layer top and bottom. Sometimes I’ll take it to the next level and layer merino sweaters over merino base layers. Not itchy, breathable and super snuggly.” – Tip from MEC staffer Andrew

11. Zipper thermometer

How cold is it really? They can use this handy portable thermometer to find out.

12. Patagonia fleece

A classic. The Patagonia Retro Pile Hoody wraps you up in soft shearling fleece and – unlike a lot of fleece jackets – it has a deep hood to keep your ears warm.

13. Piping hot drinks

A few sips of hot tea (or any other beverage) always makes things feel cozier. The Yeti Rambler 20 Tumbler gets fantastic reviews from MEC members and is wildly popular with staffers in head office too. It’s easy to clean, too.

“My favourite thing about the Rambler 20 is the amount of hot tea I can fit in it. If you’re a tea drinker, you know that quantity matters too! Plus it fits into my cup holder. Double win.” – Tip from MEC staffer Diana, who owns three of them (home, work, spare)

14. Gloves for cold ski days

For those who get cold fingers while skiing, the MEC Icefields Gloves have a tough waterproof, windproof shell and soft fleece lining inside. Thicker insulation on the backs of the hands keep skiers warm where it counts, and there’s a special sleeve that can hold a handwarmer for serious weather. Of course, if they get really cold, battery-powered heated mitts are the answer.

Person wearing heated mitts and a retro Patagonia fleece

15. Fleece socks

The softest socks they’ll ever receive. Polar Feet Fleece Socks come in lots of colours and patterns, they get fantastic reviews, and they’re equally cozy inside snow boots or as slippers at home.

“I gifted my entire extended family fleece socks one year, and they were a massive hit. I picked a different pattern for everyone so they didn’t get mixed up in the wash.” – Tip from MEC staffer Karen

A big, toasty thank you to MEC staffer Eugene for wrapping up in the Honcho Poncho and heated mitts for our photoshoot.

Gift of five more minutes outside, guaranteed

Everything you buy from MEC is covered by our Rocksolid Guarantee (it’s kind of legendary). And if you see a better deal anywhere in Canada – we’ll price match it.

Jumping people on a dock
MEC Staffer

A Canada-wide crew over 2000 strong. Includes adventurers, thinkers, doers, writers, photographers and people who get out often.