Whether you stick to the resort groomers in the resort or you’re out shredding the back-country lines, your ski wear needs to be reliable. Stay warm out on the hill when downhill skiing this winter with this ski apparel guide.

A Day in the Mountains

Dressing for a day of downhill skiing is all about staying warm & getting the most of your day in the mountains. If you’re running to the lodge after every run to warm up, with cold feet, cold fingers or just being cold all over, it spoils the fun—and can be dangerous if you ignore it.

Winter temperatures fluctuate throughout the day and can change drastically within minutes. You may be dressed appropriately for the morning’s weather but after lunch it can take a solid dive for the worse. A few extra layers for the variable weather will save the day. Having a dry pair of mitts or gloves to throw on will make your vacation!

Breathe in a Base Layer

This layer is your first, worn close to your skin and should be a form-fitting, snugger fit. The best are made from merino wool or a moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabric. No cotton—when wet, it doesn’t dry fast and will leave you feeling cold.

Insulate with the Mid-Layer

We need insulation, especially when playing outside. This is the mid-layer. Nowadays, the most common mid-layer is a down-filled or synthetic-insulated jacket.

The North Face,  PatagoniaArc’teryx and Norrona are popular choices here. Their products are ultralight, warm and hold up in damp weather thanks to their Durable Water Repellent coatings.

These products are also very packable and lightweight as well as bringing the heat. Ideal for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing in the resort and especially for back-country skiing, these garments are a great piece to add to your winter and fall wardrobe. 

Protection with an Outer Layer

Your third layer is your outer layer or your climate shield. This layer fights rain, snow, sleet, and whatever other weather Mother Nature throws your way. It should be durable, waterproof and breathable.

The outer layer includes your ski pants and your ski jacket. Both come in a variety of styles to cater to your particular look. For ski jackets, you have short, fitted jackets, long down-to-your-knees jackets and of course, the standard-fitting jacket. For more tips on finding your perfect winter coat, read our guide to choosing the right winter jacket.

For ski pants, you have tight form-fitting pants for more of the snow bunny look, relaxed fitting cargo pants, overalls which are ideal for back-country terrain or deep pow days, and skinny leg with a boot flare. Whatever style you wear, there’s something for you.

Outer Layer Technical Features

When it comes to technical features, we all have our priorities. Internal media pockets for phones and larger hip pockets on pants are useful. Ski pass pockets are also something to consider for downhill skiing.

Other important features are a removable hood and powder skirt. Having a removable powder skirt allows you to wear the jacket for other things than just skiing without the bulk.

Toggles on a hood allow you to tighten it should the wind picks up. This is great on a breezy day to keep body heat inside and cold breezes off your neck. It’s also beneficial to have a helmet-compatible hood on your ski jacket.

The number and placement of pockets are essential as well. Whether they zip closed and have a storm flap or a velcro closure, these small details are critical.

Accessories & Safety Gear

Basic ski accessories include personal preferences too. Do you get mitts or gloves? The toque with a pom-pom or none? The helmet with the visor or with the earmuffs? It’s all about comfort and comes down to the look you’re going for as well.

Helmets

Anon and Salomon are just a few of the brands we carry that sell ski helmets. There are many different styles and patterns to choose from so you can let your personality shine on the hill.

goggles

Picking ski goggles? There are different styles, different brands, different sizes and all sorts of different lenses for different activities like downhill skiing—it can be a challenge.

The most important thing while picking ski goggles is getting the proper lens tint and size. Mirrored lenses look flashy, but if you’re skiing in a region where you experience more overcast days than bluebird days, you aren’t going to see much on the slopes.

If the goggle is too small on your face, you’ll have a very limited field of vision and probably a cold forehead because of a gap between your goggles and your helmet.

see you on the hill!

Once you’ve got all your gear, you’re ready to hit the hill! Always remember to lather on some sunscreen and stick some lip balm in your downhill skiing jacket. Enjoy a fun day shredding the slopes!