What ski clothes do I need?
So, you’re going skiing. You’ve got your suitcase, now you just need the gear.
Unlike a summer holiday where you can just throw in some swimwear and a pair of flip flops, you’re going to need some dedicated kit. With that comes all sorts of questions around what you need to take and what you need to wear on the slopes.
If you’re not sure where to start, let us give you a hand with some top tips on what to wear when skiing.
With base and mid-layers, you’ll only need a shell jacket on top to keep out any wind and water. The price depends on the material, with waterproofing and breathability being the big variables. If you’re not planning to do anything too strenuous, look for a waterproofing of around 10,000mm and breathability of around 10,000g. Elastic powder skirts (inside the bottom of the jacket) are great for keeping out snow, while pockets in the arms are handy for storing your lift pass. And with a range of colours and fits, you’re sure to find something stylish for the mountain.
Need tips on what to look for? Check out Our Handy Guide To Buying A Ski Jacket.
Salopettes, or ski pants, should be waterproof and breathable too. Make sure they have an elastic cuff at the bottom of each leg – these seal around your boot to stop snow from getting inside and vents for temperature regulation. Loose fits are popular with boarders as they have a greater range of movement and flexibility.
Don’t forget to check out our handy guide to buying salopettes.
A warm pair of waterproof gloves or mittens are essential. Some styles even come with a detachable inner layer, making it easier to hold your après drink. Make sure they’re snug, with enough room to pinch your fingers, and that your palm is completely inside the cuff.
Knee-high merino-wool ski socks provide the best padding and support, and wick away moisture to keep your toes toasty. Aim to pack two or three pairs per week and don’t wear more than one pair at a time as this restricts blood flow.
These are usually a long-sleeved top and legging-style-bottom combination we recommend you pack about two of each. Avoid cotton. Instead, go for thin, lightweight and close-fitting synthetic options they’re perfect for all weathers and are quick drying, leaving you feeling fresh and warm all day.
For sub-zero temperatures, mid-layers are essential. Fleeces tend to be made using highly breathable man-made synthetic or the more sustainable merino wool, and come in different weights. A lightweight fleece is the best option for intense activities, but if you’re a beginner, its worth going for a heavier mid-layer to keep warm.
Goggles protect your eyes from the sun as well as the snow. Most now have 100% UV protection, with a selection of lenses offering different brightness and visibility levels as well as varying ranges of vision. Also pack a pair of sunglasses to wear at lunch on the mountain.
Protect your face and neck from icy windburn with a tubular neck warmer. They’re usually made from polyester microfiber which is wind-resistant, breathable and wicks moisture – simply wear it around your neck, as a balaclava or even as a bandana.
For your own safety, we highly recommend you wear a helmet (that fits properly) while you’re skiing or boarding. You can usually hire one of these in resort and for a good price, too – so don’t feel like you have to buy one in advance.
Off the slopes
You’ll need something with good grip for walking around the resort. Opt for a pair of thick, durable walking boots with deep-tread rubber soles – avoid the wellies. Taller boots add style, support and extra warmth, too.
If you’re staying somewhere with a pool or spa, remember to pack your cozzie – you’ll thank us after a leg-burning day on the slopes.
Throw in some jeans, jumpers, scarves and hats for when you head out to your resorts bars and restaurants. Forget tight dresses and formal shirts – you won’t need them here.
Staying in a chalet or apartment? Stuff in some loungewear and a pair of slippers to keep you snug while you’re cosied up on the sofa.
There you have it – that’s everything you need to keep you comfortable, warm and protected while you’re on the mountain. If it’s your first time, then feel free to borrow some of these bits off friends. But once you’ve caught the ski holiday bug, its worth investing in some good-quality gear to last a long time.
All set for the mountain? Check out our deals page for our best-priced ski holidays this winter.
Words by Mia Jones.