Ski trips are about so much more than just skiing. When gearing up for the mountains, it is important that you choose the right pieces of ski wear and accessories that will keep you protected, comfortable and warm. And while being stylish when adventuring up on the slopes may be important to some people, the more important thing is to nail down the essential pieces of clothing in the right size and fit.
The base layer is intended to provide you with extra insulation and help regulate your body’s temperature by wicking away sweat. These pieces can be found in different weights, from lightweight to heavyweight. They are also made from different materials and if there is one material to avoid buying as a base layer, it’s cotton. Base layers made from wool are very popular. Aside from being soft, wool is excellent in managing moisture, stays relatively odour-free and has a long lifespan. There are also base layers made from synthetic materials, like polyester or polypropylene. These are lighter and cheaper than wool but they don’t offer the same benefits. For a base layer, you will want thin pants, a long-sleeved top and a good pair of socks. Thin and long socks made from wool are the best option for skiing. Ski boots are designed to keep your feet warm and well insulated, so chunky socks aren’t really necessary.
In order to stay dry while skiing, you will need a tough outer layer. When shopping for ski wear and accessories from your favourite online store, your best bet is choosing outerwear meant for the weather conditions you will be skiing in. The most important thing is to get an outer layer that’s waterproof. Look for Gortex or something similar that will stay dry when it’s snowing. Another important factor to consider is the outerwear’s breathability. While technology is constantly improving, generally the more waterproof the outerwear is, the less breathable it will be. Jackets and pants with pit zips are a fast and easy way to let some air in if you are getting toasty in your apparel.
When choosing a ski jacket, you will also need to decide whether you want something insulated or a simple shell. You should know that a shell alone will not keep you warm and will require extra layers underneath. However, shells are more versatile as they allow you to adjust your temperature by throwing on or shedding a base layer. So, if you plan on skiing in a relatively warm winter climate or you will be using your jacket for backcountry skiing, a shell may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you plan on skiing mostly in colder climates, a jacket with heavier insulation will be more appropriate. Make sure your ski jacket does not restrict your movement in any way. Also, make sure it’s long enough on your torso. Most ski jackets go well below the waist to keep cold air and snow from getting to your midsection.
As for the ski pants, they should also be waterproof, insulated and long enough to be pulled down over your ski boots. They should have a contoured and comfortable fit. Ideally, your pants should be loose enough to allow your hips and knees to bend, but you shouldn’t have to be pulling your pants up after every run. Also, make sure the material you choose for them is durable enough to endure wear and tear.
You might be asking yourself why wear ski goggles when you can simply wear your sunglasses? Well, the bright snow reflects the sunlight, and the sun’s UV rays are stronger on higher altitudes. A good pair of ski goggles will protect your eyes and increase your visibility. Consider getting a pair of goggles that come with different lenses and that are designed in a way that you can easily swap the lens depending on the weather. I suggest you get one lens for bright days, like the green mirror, and others for low-light/cloudy days. For low-light days, most skiers prefer wearing anti-fogging lens to keep their goggles clean.
Choose a helmet that is lightweight and easy to put on and take off. This way you won’t even know you are wearing it. You may also want to get a helmet with removable ear flaps and internal lining so that you can decide if you want to wear it with or without a beanie. Air vents help prevent your goggles from fogging. Before you buy a ski helmet, measure your head circumference and double-check the ski accessories online store’s size chart to ensure a snug and proper fit.
The old saying “You get what you pay for” is also true for ski gloves. A cheap pair of gloves from the local department store won’t be able to keep your hands warm when up on the slopes, especially if your hands are very sensitive. Instead, look for a pair of quality gloves designed for skiing. While ski gloves offer the most dexterity, ski mittens are the warmest choice. But if you prefer gloves, wearing glove liners can add an extra layer of warmth.