If you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding before, or if it’s been a while since you’ve hit the slopes, or if you’re traveling from a summer location to a winter one, it’s difficult to know exactly what you need when packing for the snow. And, when packing for a ski trip, it’s easy to over-pack, because winter clothes and ski jackets etc. are bulky – so packing smart is the key. So here’s our guide for what you should take on your next ski trip.
Skboot’s Guide on What to Take Skiing
One set of thermals. You really don’t need more than one set as these days, thermals use an anti-odor technology which keeps your base layer fresher, longer. Besides, if you need to wash them, they should dry overnight. Thermals work by moving moisture away from the body, keeping you dry and warm. I recently purchased a pair of thermals by Under Armour which I really like as they are light to wear, but the feature I really, really love is the half glove sleeves, which prevents your wrists from being exposed to the cold. The top is also extra long, which is good in one way as it keeps your lower back and “derriere” warm. Another brand I love is Hot Chillys and they have some lovely ski tops as well.
Socks, two pairs. If you’re renting boots, I would suggest a slightly thicker sock. But if you have your own boots, a thin wool sock is highly recommended. There are many different sock technologies these days – one being one by Columbia referred to as “omni-heat”. I’m yet to be convinced whether it works in a sock as I have a pair, but my favorite ski socks are by Euro. The Euro Sock “compresses” your foot and calf and doesn’t move inside the boot like some socks I have bought do. They also wick moisture away from the foot! Love them!
Ski Pants. There are many different brands and most of them provide the warmth you will require. And they don’t need to be expensive. I recently bought a pair of “Free Country” from TJ Max which is as warm as my other more expensive brands.
Ski Jacket. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this item either. What you really pay for in the more expensive jackets is the name and features, but I found a great jacket for $50 – again from TJ Max, and it’s super warm, and very stylish. However, from a versatility viewpoint, especially when you’re traveling, I’m a big fan of Columbia because a lot of their jackets have an “inner” jacket which is very warm and insulated and which you can also use when you’re not skiing, and then the waterproof shell goes over the top of the inner jacket when you’re skiing. In fact, I bought my husband a Columbia ski jacket last year, and only just discovered that there’s this lovely black puffy jacket underneath which he can where when he’s not skiing. He was thrilled! 2 jackets in 1!
Ski Tops. Just take two, preferably in different colors so you don’t look like you’re wearing the same top every day. For very cold days, I like a fleecy type top, but my Hot Chillys, I think, is my favorite.
I’m an absolute advocate for the ski helmet. If you don’t have one, do yourself a favor and get one. All ski helmets have to meet the same safety requirements, so it doesn’t matter if you spend $70 or $700, they are well worth the investment. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard of people who have fallen and have been saved by their helmet. They are light to wear and keep your ears warmer than any beanie. Then, of course, if you want added warmth and protection, we highly recommend Skboot’s latest and newest must have ski accessory, The Neoprene Helmet Glove (NHG).
You’ll need a neck warmer – the turtle fur ones are really snugly, a good pair of ski gloves or mittens (some now have zippered compartments on them for hand warmers) and goggles.
I was told a long time ago that if you ski, skis you can rent, but to ski well, you need your own ski boots custom fitted for you. If you have your own boots, you’ll need an awesome bag to pack your ski gear in : the SKBoot bag is an up-scale and very stylish ski boot bag on wheels that fits your boots, helmet and gear – perfect for the skier or snowboarder who travels to ski.
For skiers and snowboarders looking for backpack solutions to stay organized and make going from the parking lot to the lodge and back again a snap, we’ve found a very clever set of bags developed by another small company in MA called Kulkea. Their packs are designed specifically for recreational skiers and families to take the schlep out of skiing through innovative functions and features that make everything easily accessible and as hassle free as possible. Check out the bags available on their website www.kulkea.com.
I have a girlfriend who travels to Park City, Utah with her husband every year, and she is the “expert” when it comes to packing. In fact, Peta is a “stylist” and personal shopper, and this is her recommendation for your next ski holiday.
2-4 sweaters or shirts for the evening. Remember, accessories can make the same outfit look totally different.
Accessories such as a scarf, beanie and gloves.
A pair of skinny jeans. Dark blue or black pants are the best, as they will go with anything.
Peta has a beautiful pair of black patent leather boots which she also wears to travel in that have a nice low heel, but look very dressy. Also take a pair of après ski boots that you can slip on after a long day of skiing. I prefer something I can slip into. I recently spent a lot of time – and money – trying to find a warm and waterproof pair of boots that I could wear while working on the mountain (which I do one day a week), as my feet get so cold. After trying various brands, I found that a boot by Keen (Brixen) has been the best so far. It also serves as a great après ski boot. Another shoe/boot you may consider is by Merrell (men’s and women’s). My husband loves his and they are great for traveling, walking, going out or as an après ski boot.
And that’s pretty much it!
I know I’ve steered the above more towards what women should take skiing, but do men really need any help? I mean, they seem to be able to live in the same pair of jeans, sweater and socks for two months! ☺
If anyone else has any other suggestions, please feel free to add them to our comments as we’d love to get your input.