Best Winter Gear for Homesteaders

Living in Northern Minnesota it is essential to have the warmest winter clothes available. Here are my favorites for staying warm when the weather hits -35.

What sort of temperatures will these clothes handle?

I have lived in Minnesota almost my entire life. The coldest I have ever seen was -45 F actual air temperature with a windchill of -62 F. I wasn’t on my own farm at that time but that shows just how good a Northerner’s gear has to be.

So far this winter the coldest we had was -35 F with the wind, though our coldest months are ahead.

All the gear I share in the list below kept me warm and comfortable at -35.

Best Winter Coat for the Homestead

For YEARS I was a Carhartt loyalist. I wore my original Carhartt farm jacket until the cuffs were practically worn away. I even have a nicer Carhartt that I keep as a “going to town” jacket.

While I may keep my “fancy Carhartt”, I probably won’t buy one again to use as a farm chore coat. That’s because I discovered this Rugged Wear coat, thanks to my Dad.

This winter jacket is almost TOO warm. I honestly won’t wear it for chores if the temperature is in the high 20s or above.

brown winter coat with rugged wear logo

It has ample pockets inside and out. It is also incredibly durable. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve snagged on a random nail head but never has it ripped.

Aside from how amazingly warm it is, the best part about this coat is the price tag. A Carhartt will run you $100-$150 bucks. This coat? A breezy $50.00. That’s right. FIFTY BUCKS.

Where to Buy

This Rugged Wear line is produced by Menards. You can buy in-store or online.

Warm Winter Work Bibs

I’ll give this one to Carhartt, but in this instance it is only the men’s bibs that I like.

I will say, I checked out their website and it looks like the style of women’s bib that I have and complain about at length (see the YouTube video below) is not a style they make anymore. Maybe I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like them.

Still, the men’s bibs go one full cold temperature rating higher than the women’s do. And why is that??? I find that to be unbelievably frustrating. Before I go way off trail just see below for a short rant on Men’s vs. Women’s gear.

black carhartt work bibs

ANYWAY. These bibs are durable, very warm, easy to put on, they have zippers and snaps, and many pockets. Though by the time the temperature reaches a point where I’m suiting up in these bibs, I’m not about to unzip my coat to get at a tool anyway.

Where to Buy

Pretty much any Fleet supply store in cold weather carries Carhartt bibs. You can also buy direct from their website.

Best Warm Winter Work Gloves that Stay Dry!

The award here goes to Wells Lamont Hydrahyde gloves.

They are super warm with 3M’s Thinsulate technology, not too cumbersome, and best of all… WATER RESISTANT.

We have to bucket water all winter here which makes for wet gloves. My winter Carhartt gloves always got wet and were either damp inside by the time chores were done OR were damp by the time I needed them the next day.

Not so with the Wells Lamont gloves. I have had my pair for four years and they work as well as the day I bought them.

wells lamont gloves

Cold Weather Chore Boots

The boots I have used the last four years are the Muck Boot women’s tall chore boot. They even have a warmer model in their “arctic” line but these standard ones, coupled with a good pair of warm socks, keep my feet warm just fine.

The only negative thing I have to say about these boots is the material that the uppers is made out of. From barbed wire to nails, I have had snag issues. A minor poke doesn’t seem to affect the water proof ability of the material, but a deeper one certainly does.

I think these boots work fine. Honestly though I am definitely open to a more durable option for winter boots.

Hats & Neck Protection

For this category I honestly don’t have a standard. I toss on whatever stocking cap doesn’t smell like my husband’s sweat and head out the door.

I do not like stocking caps with too much material on the top. They get that weird elf blob on top that eventually keeps creeping the hat off your head if you have to bend over to cut twine or something.

For neck protection, a good wool or wool blend cowl is what I’d recommend. I use a wool scarf myself but the ends always come loose and I have to reposition the darn thing.


I’m a big fan of Darn Tough socks. My sister turned me on to them last year. They are made of merino wool blends, manufactured in Vermont, and are in fact, Darn Tough.

The pricetag is a little high (around $26 per pair) BUT they guarantee their socks for LIFE. If you wear out a pair you can send them back and they will replace it for free.

Additionally, this is one item where the women’s socks are made just as well and as warm as the men’s. Hell yes, Darn Tough!

Where to Buy

You can pick these up on Amazon or for more style (cut, color, etc) visit their website. Certain retailers also carry the socks.

Men’s vs. Women’s Winter Gear

I’m going to get on a soapbox here for a moment.

When it comes to clothing I have found that the men’s line is always stronger, warmer, and better designed than the women’s. Like those Carhartt bibs for example. Why wouldn’t a woman need bibs that are just as warm as a man’s??? Are we not out there doing chores in the same weather as them?!

I know there are some companies out there that focus on creating products designed BY women FOR women which is awesome. However, I have noticed the price tags on these things tend to be quite a bit more expensive. Not that the items aren’t worth it, but it can be cost-prohibitive.

Whenever it comes to winter wear and a lot of other farm gear, I tend to buy the men’s instead of the women’s. The fit probably won’t be flattering or quite right (especially in the ol’ crotch region) but it’s worth the slight discomfort to have a product that overall works better.

Last thing I’ll say on that topic. When I go to Fleet Farm there are THREE AISLES of men’s work boots, western boots, etc. You know how many women get? HALF of one aisle. We share the aisle with kids’ boots. That’s all the more I’m going to say on the topic.

farm work rough and tumble farmhouse
Me fencing in the middle of winter and TOTALLY DESERVING THE WARMEST BIBS POSSIBLE.

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