I much prefer being too cold than being too hot.
When you’re cold, you can add layers to warm yourself up. You can move your body. You can blow hot air into your hands. You can have a hot chocolate.
When you’re too hot, once you’re stripped down to your undies you cannot do anything else except install air conditioning. And really, in most situations, being in your undies is not acceptable attire, and air condition is not cheap.
So yeah, summer isn’t my favourite season, temperature wise.
Don’t get me wrong: winter in Calgary is a bit of a slog. Sometimes there is ice on the inside of our windows. Sometimes the kids can’t have recess outside for a week. Sometimes the car won’t start, or the car doors get frozen shut.
But most of the time, I enjoy Calgary’s sunny, dry winters because I have the right tools to keep myself comfortably warm, both indoors and outdoors.
What follows is a list of my favourite made-in-Canada products for winter.
I look forward to using these every year as I transition from my hot
girl mom summer to my hot girl winter.
Polar Piece Onesies
You know a part of me that I have been constantly struggling to keep warm since I first moved from the temperate Lower Mainland of BC to Montreal, Quebec? My middrift.
The early 2000s were a time of low-cut jeans, and as a person of longer-than-average-torso, my shirts weren’t long enough to cover my lower back and my pants were barely covering my butt crack.
Thankfully, tunic-length tops and hoodies started to come in style, and I wore a lot of those. (Still with the low-cut jeans, of course; I remember hating the feeling of a waist band anywhere near my belly button.)
Nowadays, wearing a onesie is my favourite way to keep the drafts off my back, and I wear my Polar Piece onesies most of the time that I am in my house during winter. I will also wear them out of the house if I have a jacket on top, because it just looks like I’m wearing sweatpants! Give me a couple years past 40 and you will surely see me at the grocery store in my onesie.
I discovered Polar Piece a few years back when I first ordered a matching pair for me and my daughter. I specifically wanted onesies that were high quality and made in Canada, and Polar Piece checked those boxes. Their fabrics are made in Quebec and BC and they sew and print in Ontario.
My daughter has long outgrown hers but thankfully I have not. I did opt to go one size up for a slightly looser fit when I bought my second onesie last year. My first one is a size small, and it fits, but I just wanted a slightly baggier fit for my next one, which I got in medium. (I am 5’8” and 150 lb.) I wash and wear my onesies very often, and I can attest to their durability.
Adult Polar Piece onesies are $180, but sale-priced ones go down to $119. Because they’re made in Canada (not just designed), they allow you to keep the house at a slightly cooler temperature and they’ll last you many, many seasons, my girl math says that this is a bargoooon.
Aurora Heat Body Warmers
If you follow me on social media (you should, it’s where I do my best work), you have may have seen me raving about my Aurora Heat beaver fur wrist warmers.
My hands and feet are always icy cold once the temperature drops, but these ethically sourced and crafted wrist warmers help keep them warm even when I am typing or installing car seats. Beavers don’t get cold!
I use my Aurora Heat foot warmers inside my slippers at home to keep my feet toasty.
One of the best endorsements for Aurora Heat’s products that I can give is how many of my followers have purchased them based on my recommendation, then written me or commented to tell me how much they also love them! Parents who spend long hours at the hockey rink love them, as does my mom, who, like me has cold hands. She wears them in bed when she’s reading.
Beyond being so very effective, I love the look and feel of my wrist warmers. Even on the coldest of mornings, I feel warm in my heart when I slip them on.
You can learn more about Aurora Heat in my full blog post.
From November 22-30, take 15% off your Aurora Heat order, no minimums! This is the biggest discount of the year, so don’t miss out!
MacAuslands 100% Virgin Wool Blanket
Like my beaver fur warmers, I expect to be using my MacAuslands wool blanket for decades to come. Quality fur and quality wool products can become family heirlooms because they last, and that’s what true sustainability is about. We plan to give a MacAuslands blanket to each of our kids when they move out.
My husband is the one who told me about MacAuslands. He has been prepping for the collapse of society for the past decade (what will cause this collapse varies, but that we need to be ready does not). He decided we needed wool blankets for the inevitable time when the grid goes down and it’s the middle of winter and we need to stay warm.
When he did his wool blanket shopping, he chose MacAuslands because he wanted to purchase from a family-owned, Canadian company with a tradition of old-fashioned craftsmanship. Since 1932, this PEI-based company has operated the only woolen mill in Atlantic Canada, producing 100% pure virgin wool blankets.
The properties of sheep’s wool, like beaver fur, are well known. Sheep don’t get cold either! I turn the heat down in the house overnight to save on our heating bill, and with my MacAuslands blanket on top of my duvet and my weighted blanket, I am plenty warm all night long.
Depending what blanket size and colour you order, it may take a while to receive: my beautiful tweed Queen-sized blanket in mauve was worth the wait.
Muttonhead Sherpa Sweatpants and Hoodies
I discovered Mutton Head when my brother and my parents won gift cards to their online shop and generously let me pick a few items.
I am obsessed with their sherpa Camping Hoodie.
Full disclosure: I do not camp.
But their Camping Hoodie in sherpa and their sherpa sweatpants are SO SO SO warm. Like, too warm to wear if I am moving at all around the house. If I start vacuuming and I am still in my sherpa pants from being outdoors (or from just being on my computer and not moving much), I start getting leg sweats.
I wear the sherpa sweatpants outside in the snow (without snowpants on top assuming I’m not, say, skiing … which I never am) and I am plenty warm enough. I use the sherpa hoodie under my puffer jacket and I am good to go even in a polar vortex. (For reference, I would be far too hot if I wore it under my thick, insulated winter jacket.)
I am concerned that the sherpa sweatpants may be on their way out, as I see them on clearance and a few colours sold out online.
Because sherpa is a synthetic fabric (alas, I do not have woolen or beaver fur pants…), my first pair of sherpa sweatpants are showing their age around the knees. (Especially considering I started wearing them when the twins were toddlers and I was bending and kneeling for them a lot.) I have had a couple other Muttonhead products whose longevity I have been unimpressed with, including a plaid jacket made of a slightly different sherpa fleece that they have now stopped using. Their customer service did provide me with a coupon code for part of the value of that item.
Muttonhead’s products are ethically manufactured in Toronto.
Whether you’re a camper or just hate being cold, Mutton Head’s sherpa Camping hoodie and sherpa sweatpants are the way to go!
*apparently this link should give you a $15 off referral coupon
Note that Ponyback is Canadian-owned and designed, but not manufactured in Canada.
My signature style is a messy ponytail, bun or claw clip lump. I hate having to pull a toque OVER my pony, and I also don’t want to keep taking it out and putting it back in. I have to head outside often: school drop off and pick-up, recess supervision when I’m subbing, running errands and all the glamorous daily activities in which I must wear a hat so as to not freeze. My Ponyback Beanie Fit solves my problem!
The Ponyback Beanie solves my problems and I look cute in it! Ponyback is a Canadian company (manufacturing overseas), founded by Stacey after struggling to manage long hair and a baseball cap in the summer. (I love my Ponyback baseball caps, I have two!)
The long magnetic opening accommodates even a super high pony or bun, or claw clip pile of hair. Not wearing your hair up? It closes up tight and works like a regular toque.
Wearable Heating Pad
Look, one of these things is not like the other. And that thing is this thing. A plug-in, wearable heating pad that ties around your shoulders and at your waist, and I got it on Amazon.
Well, actually, my brother and sister-in-law got it for me on Amazon after I tried theirs and loved it. (They always get me the best gifts!)
This is, ultimately, not the type of product that you’re going to find being made by a small Canadian company.
I use this heating pad every night at bedtime (it has an auto shut-off, don’t worry), and with my MacAusland’s blanket on top (and perhaps wearing my onesie, if it’s polar vortex-cold), the coziness is a true delight.
Although I have been experiencing less and less back pain (thanks to strengthening my core at pelvic floor therapy), I also use this heating pad during bouts of back and shoulder pain.
I don’t always tie the pad around my shoulders and waist, but I love doing so if I’ve got it plugged in and I’m sitting at my desk. (And I inevitably get up and try to walk away before remembering I am plugged into the wall.)
A word about slippers …
There are two brands of made-in-Canada slippers that I have adored, with the problem being I must have toes like a velociraptor, because despite choosing the correct size, these slippers do not last me more than one season before developing holes.
Padraigs and Glerups are beautiful, comfortable, warm slippers that give me that warm fuzzy feeling like the other Canadian-made products I’ve introduced you to. Padraigs also sends free repair kits, while Glerups sent me one replacement pair.
If you do not have raptor-like big toes, you may very well adore these brands and use their slippers for many seasons! Alas I am still searching for a Canadian brand that can withstand my toes, and this year opted for a faux-suede pair of grandpa slippers I found at a sports store at the end of last season. They’ve been great so far and are on even deeper clearance than they were last spring!
I am actively seeking a brand of Canadian-made slippers that have VERY robust toe boxes! Recommendations are welcomed.
Do you have other Canadian-made* products that give you the warm fuzzies and keep you warm all winter?
*Clearly I will also accept recommendations for products on Amazon