The temperature is dropping, and winter is just around the corner—time for ski season! You’re free to imagine wonderful days on the ski hill, breathing in the fresh mountain air and exploring new terrain with friends and family. But you won’t get far if you’re not prepared. It’s tough to enjoy winter on or off the mountain without the proper apparel. That’s why we’ve prepared this checklist on what to wear skiing and snowboarding.
Head, Feet, and Hands
Skiing preparation can be an overwhelming task, especially at the beginning of the season. One of the most important things to consider is what to wear skiing and snowboarding? Our checklist runs down the types of clothing you’ll need, and more specifically the layers you’ll need—the right layers are key to staying warm, dry, and happy on the mountain during ski season!
Layers For Skiing And Snowboarding
The Base Layers: What To Wear Underneath
The first ski-specific clothing you put on are base layers, so let’s start there. A base layer sits directly against your skin and is your first warming layer. Invest in a good quality base layer that wicks moisture away, keeping you dry, warm and ready for a great ski day.
Women’s Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip
Men’s Merino 250 Base Layer Crew
You want your top to be form-fitting to wick moisture properly, thus keeping you warm and dry during exercise. For women, Icebreaker offers a versatile Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip made from breathable merino wool. For men, Smartwool offers the Merino 250 Base Layer Crew and Arc’teryx has the Men’s Rho LT Zip Neck.
Men’s 250 Base Layer Bottom
Women’s 250 Base Layer Bottom
Your next layer is a pair of long underwear bottoms. These are generally form-fitting stretchy pants that go under your ski pants. Smartwool offers a comfortable Mid 250 Bottom for Men and Women. This thin and comfortable layer will keep your legs warm even on the coldest days.
Merino wool is simply perfect for base layers. It’s famous for trapping warmth, regulating temperature, providing breathability while wicking away moisture and… drum roll please… it’s odour resistant! Practically magic, when buying a next-to-skin base layer, merino is always a good choice.
Layering is key to staying warm on the ski hill, so let’s move on to your mid-layer. This garment is meant to complement your base layer and adds extra warmth.
Men’s Cerium LT Jacket
Manteau Atom LT
An excellent mid-layer option is the women’s Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody. This versatile layer can act as extra protection on cold days or as a light jacket for after skiing. For men, the Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket offers similar perks as a mid-layer or as a jacket off the hill.
A mid-layer can range from another base layer, sweater, vest or light jacket. Check out our ski and snowboard collection to pick the right one for you.
Now it’s time for your outerwear – ski jacket and ski pants. Outerwear is your main defense against the cold, wind, and wet snow conditions, and will determine your comfort when choosing what to wear skiing and snowboarding.
Men’s Macai Jacket
The North Face
Men’s ThermoBall Eco Snow Triclimate Jacket
For men, an exceptional jacket is the Macai Jacket by Arc’teryx. This insulated jacket is equipped with a GORE-TEX shell to repel the cold air, wind, and moisture. Another high-quality option is the Thermoball Eco-Snow Triclimate Jacket from The North Face. This jacket has the added perk of a removable mid-layer that can be worn depending on the weather.
Women’s Andessa Jacket
Women’s GORE-TEX Eyris Jacket
On the women’s side, Burton offers the GORE-TEX Eyris Jacket. This jacket provides technology with a stylish print or block colour option. The ultimate ski jacket might be the Arc’teryx Andessa Jacket, explicitly made for skiing with high-quality insulation and GORE-TEX technology.
A matching pair of ski pants keep you warm and dry all day. Currently, it’s all about bib ski pants. Bib-pants are stylish and provide extra protection from cold air or snow sneaking inside. Have a look at the Men’s Freedom Bibs Ski Pant by The North Face and the Women’s Avalon Bib Pant from Burton.
The North Face
Men’s Freedom Bibs
Women’s Fireball Bib
Gloves, Neck Warmers And Socks
Now that we have the larger layers covered, we need to consider our head, hands, and feet! Countless ski days have been ruined because of cold hands and feet, making this an important area to have the right gear.
Gloves and mittens should be like your outerwear—protecting your hands from the cold air and wet snow. Mittens are generally warmer as they keep your fingers together, but they limit hand mobility. Gloves can be less warm but provide freedom to snap photos or point out amazing scenery.
It comes down to personal preference and how cold your hands usually get. A few great options are the Women’s Heli Ski Mitts from Hestra and the Men’s Free Fall Gloves from Kombi. Both will keep your hands warm and protected from the winter elements.
Men’s The Free Fall Glove
Women’s Heli Ski Mitts
Neck warmers are part of the base layer family and should behave like one. Choosing soft and wicking fabrics are key like the full head coverage in the Smartwool Merino 250 balaclava. This keeps warmth in and protects your face from the refreshing but cold mountain air.
Unisex P3 Duo Clava
Ski socks are specifically designed to keep your feet warm and dry in your ski or snowboard boots. This is such an important layer that we made a whole post on the best socks to wear in cold weather.
Après Ski Attire
After a big day on the hill, whether you want to relax by the fireside or explore the mountain town, you’ll need a cozy sweater. Burton and Patagonia have you covered with the women’s Hearth Fleece Anorak from Burton and the Men’s Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover from Patagonia. Both these sweaters feel like a dream after a big day on the ski hill.
Men’s Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover
Women’s Hearth Fleece Anorak
Finally, don’t forget to bring some winter boots! You can find all the information you need on our winter boot guide, our best winter boots for men and best winter boots for women posts. Now you’re ready to hit the mountain town!
Stay Warm And Have Fun!
Dressing for skiing is all about layers. It’s best to be prepared for any kind of weather and dress warm—you can always remove a layer if you get too hot. You can find everything you need in our collection to answer that what to wear skiing and snowboarding question and have a great time on the mountain this winter season.