Best gear for ski trips

Snow Sports

Despite most essential items such as skis, poles and helmets being readily available to rent at resorts, you will have to purchase other necessities beforehand.

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Which gear for ski trips is best?

When planning for a ski trip there are lots of things to keep in mind before you hit the slopes. If you haven’t had the opportunity to go before, the new experience can be both exciting and nerve wracking if you’re not sure what to expect on your first outing. But luckily, whether or not you intend on tackling the bunny slopes or more challenging terrain, if you properly plan ahead of time and select the right equipment, your trip will be a blast regardless of experience level. Once you’ve browsed the complete list below, you will be confident that you’ve packed everything you need for a fun and exciting ski trip with friends or family.

Skiing essentials you should consider before your trip

When participating in any outdoor winter sport, there are always three very important things to remember when looking for the right gear to bring along with you. The material of your clothing should always be able to withstand harsh weather and be waterproof to make sure that you are well protected against the elements when participating in different activities. Insulation is also very important so that you can stay warm at all times, however you will want to ensure that whichever ski outfit you decide to wear is lightweight so that your movement won’t be restricted.

Skis

The type of skis you will use will ultimately depend on your experience level and which terrain you plan on skiing on. For example, if you plan on skiing on groomed terrain then track skis are best, while if you are skiing on backcountry trails, then freeride skis are a better fit. If you don’t own any skis, poles or bindings personally, the resort you’re staying at will have knowledgeable staff that is able to help you determine which type of equipment you will need based on your size and ability.

Goggles

Having a great pair of goggles will help increase your vision while preventing glare from precipitation when you come down the mountain. Overall, there are four types of lenses that you can use that correspond individually with different weather conditions. Orange-tinted goggles are known as a fog lens, while yellow is used in low lighting. Polarized lenses which look silver, blue and orange help with visibility on sunny or white-out days, while black goggle lenses work in any type of natural lighting.

Boots

Most ski boots will be designed with a hard outer shell and soft inner layer, although some will have a moldable interior that allows you to adjust the boots for a more custom fit. The “flex index” will ultimately determine your boots range of flexibility, which will also correlate with the amount of experience you have on the slopes. Beginners will have a soft flex; it intermediates a medium flex which can be used on steeper terrain. The stiffest flex will be a good fit for anyone with advanced or expert skill levels.

Helmets

Regardless of your skill level, you will need a good helmet that helps protect you from sharp objects and nasty spills or falls while on the slopes. Its ability to keep your head warm while playing in the snow is also an important quality to keep in mind. Experts recommend trying on a variety of helmet sizes and fits so that you can determine which one best closes the gap between your goggles and the actual helmet. Each one will either meet the standards for U.S. certification at ASTM F2040 or the European certification at CE EN1077.

Ski ensemble

A wind and water-resistant jacket and pants will help keep you comfortable and warm and should help you easily adjust to fluctuating temperatures you may encounter on mountains which can range from cold and wet without notice. The base layers you wear underneath your jacket and pants should keep you dry and warm regardless of outside elements. It’s best to look for layers made of wool and other synthetic materials due to them being more breathable and waterproof; avoid cotton since it will have the opposite effect.

Miscellaneous clothing

Outside of the obvious ski clothing items you will need, a pair of quality gloves or mittens, masks and socks is just as equally important to pack as well. Since you will be outside in the snow often during your trip, gloves/mittens need to be waterproof and well insulated, but also offer enough grip so that you can hold onto your ski poles with ease. The best ski socks will be made of either wool or synthetic material and will keep your feet dry; always bring two or more pairs with you.

The best gear for ski trips

Best poles

Zipline Ski Store Ski Poles Graphite Carbon Composite

Zipline Ski Store Ski Poles Graphite Carbon Composite

Designed for skiers of all skill sets, Zipline’s ski poles are available in different models that coincide with your experience level and abilities.  Lightweight and easy to hold onto, each set is available in a variety of colors and can be used on either park, pipe or freeskier courses. The graphite-carbon design reduces vibrations from pole planting and is durable enough to withstand different swing weights. The brand’s zip touch allows for improved grip that contours to your unique hand shape and helps prevent gloves from slipping off.

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Best socks

High Performance Wool Ski Socks

High Performance Wool Ski Socks

Available in a variety of sets, sizes and colors, each pair is reliably warm and padded in the shins and ankles for additional comfort and warmth. The blend of merino wool and polypropylene is great at wicking away sweat and helps maintain your natural body temperature instead of keeping you too warm. This set also features an elastic arch support that aids in reducing foot fatigue while skiing for long periods of time and a grip that prevents each pair from sliding down throughout the day. They may shrink after several washes.

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Best ski mask

Ergodyne N Ferno 6823 Balaclava Ski Mask

Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823 Balaclava Ski Mask

The balaclava mask is one of the most popular options for skiers thanks to its all-around cover of the head, face and neck. When you’re out in the cold and dealing with wind chill, this mask is perfect at blocking the weather and keeping your face well insulated. It works well in subzero temperatures and freezing winds. The mask fits snugly and can be lowered underneath your chin or pulled back into the hood if you need to cool off for a bit. 

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Best ski bag

Thule RoundTrip Ski and Snowboard Backpack

Thule RoundTrip Ski and Snowboard Backpack

This backpack has the capacity to store and organize all of your ski gear and other essentials and is available in two different large sizes. It features two different entry points from the top of the bag and the bottom which allows for quicker access to gear and allows for better packing efficiency. The back panel also doubles as a standing mat that you can use to change your ski boots in any location. The two side pockets are spacious enough to fit additional items like gloves, sunglasses and other accessories.

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Best jacket

Columbia Alpine Insulated Jacket

Columbia Alpine Insulated Jacket

Thanks to the adjustable lined hood and heat reflective lining, this jacket is perfect for anyone hitting the ski slopes soon. The waterproof exterior helps keep snow and rain at bay and allows you to stay warm and dry in different weather conditions. The featured built-in pocket has the capacity to hold your ski passes or goggles if necessary.

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Best midlayers

Thermajohn Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear Long Johns Set

Thermajohn Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear Long Johns Set

This lightweight thermal set comes with a long sleeve top and bottom that is made with a poly-spandex material which helps keep you dry all day. The premium fabric also uses smart odor control that helps prevent the spread of foul smells by absorbing odor causing enzymes caused by bacteria. Designed with flexibility in mind, each pair offers full mobility and won’t restrict any of your movements when in use and features reinforced seams that won’t rip or tear easily.

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Best goggles

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles

This user-friendly, high-tech pair of goggles is made by a well-known and trusted band that is renowned for its high-quality outdoor eyewear. Choose from around 20 different designs that feature a wide lens and frameless exterior for the ultimate fit without gaps. The lens’ prism technology provides sharp visibility in several weather conditions.

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Best helmet

OutdoorMaster Kelvin Ski Helmet

OutdoorMaster Kelvin Ski Helmet

You can ski for hours without any signs of discomfort when you wear this cozy helmet that features a size adjustment dial for a custom fit and fourteen individual vents for extra breathability. The reinforced ABS shell and shock absorbent EPS core provides additional safety when wearing. The removable ear pads and inner fleece liner can easily be cleaned in between skiing sessions when not out on the slopes. It is available in 14 different colors with a matte finish.

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Ashton Hughes writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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