Its essential to dress properly for skiing, “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing!“. Systems and layers are the key, for changing temps. For kids, having spares (mittens, neck-ups, etc) is a lifesaver, so are disposable hand warmers for those whose fingers get frigid fast.
Skiing with the family – you need a mountain of gear, the right skis for everyone and so much more. So You need systems for your ski packing, so no one forgets ski pants, ski pass or goggles. You don’t want to spend the morning in the ski shop $$$ instead of on the fresh snowy slopes.
Here are our tried and true dress for ski success and ski packing tips:
Ski clothing and comfort starts from the inside out. Nothing keeps out the chill and wicks away the unwanted (read: sweat) like base layers with lycra or micro fiber – Hot Chilly base layers are great! Love Kari Tra wool blend for the ladies (this Norwegian Champion freestyle skier knows cold). If the forecast is super frigid, below 10, add a fleece or wool sweater as a mid layer.
SmartWool Ski Sox, the U.S. Ski Team’s official sock – fit well, keep you warm, dry, and on the balls of your feet. SmartWool Ski Sox come in lots of colors and sizes for kids, adults, skiers and snowboarders.
For outer layers, quality jackets and ski pants made of technical water wicking, wind resistant fabrics are a worthy investment (read: don’t ski in jeans and a cotton hoodie sweatshirt). Bright colors are best for ski jackets and pants (we don’t recommend white once its rubbed up against the car or been spilled with hot cocoa, besides you disappear in a whiteout). Ski attire in fun festive colors pop in photos like skittles on snow. Also, bold colors stand out to help others skiers see you and steer clear, or help you find your family members. We are big fans of classic performance ski apparel from Montec Wear, Rossignol, SKEA.
Goggles are so important, we love Smith – the big lenses provide super peripheral and great definition in the snow from flat light to full sun, and they look “cool.” Note to prescription eye wearers, Smith Optics makes pop in corrective lens so you can see while you ski without contacts, see your optician and inquire. Make sure your goggles fit well with your helmet, no big gaps. Also bring a thin hat to wear under your helmet or to cover your helmet head hair après ski.
Turtle Fur neck warmer add a lot of warmth and protection to your face and neck – a security blanket for your ski against frostbite and winter’s dry flaky skin. Turtle Fur is made in Vermont for four decades- they make Balaclavas for full face protection too. Skida is another Vermont company that makes cute hats and neckwear in amusing colors and patterns.
Keeping your digits warm, be sure to have leather mittens, when gloves and separated fingers just won’t do. HotHands disposable hand warmers are worth the buck a day habit. Buy them by the case – we have blasted through boxes of brands- these Hot Hands brand last longest and best.
For Spring Skiing: sunscreen, sunglasses, removable layers, and light weight ski gloves.
Skis. Boots. Poles. See our Gear Guide. We highly recommend $19 Serius Ski Boot Dryer Sticks to dry your boots every night, and they’re toasty warm in the morning.
Pocket contents: chapstick with SPF, Kleenex, snack like granola bar, ID (even for kids) and $$/credit card, and cell phone – in an inside pocked (batteries don’t like cold).
For Ski Boot Bags, we love Kulkea to stay organized, carry-on to keep your boots with you “on the fly”, they even have a heated boot bag!
Ski Bag Checklist:
ski or snowboard boots, ski socks
neck warmer or balaclava
base layer –thermal long undies, and a fleece layer
wind and waterproof ski pants and jacket
season pass or lift ticket coupons
hand/toe warmers, lip balm, sunscreen, energy bar
cell phone ski app that tracks vertical and provides resort data, even includes find your friends
phone charger – cold zaps battery power
après ski clothes and a swimsuit (just in case = hot tub?!)
portable boot dryer
See our Tips on Packing for a Ski Trip and Reviews of The Best Skis