Ski Clothing 101 - The Essential Clothing Needed for Slopes

Posted by Katja on November 25, 2014

ski clothing essentials (ski-clothing-essentials)

You will need to stay comfortable, warm and dry on the mountain, and you can do it effectively by layering. 


Let’s start with the base layer.

The base layer is the layer of clothing worn directly next to your skin and helps to draw moisture away from your skin. Avoid cotton for this layer as cotton will not dry and only absorb the moisture leaving you wet underneath your outer protective layers. Look to moisture wicking materials such as wool or polyester athletic shirts and pants to keep your body warm but wick away the moisture from your skin to keep you dry as well.

Next: mid-layer.

Mid-layer is preferably fleece or technical material. 

Top it with: outer-layer.

Your ski jacket and pants will protect you from the wind, snow, moisture and winter weather elements you will encounter on the mountain. Look for technical features and fabrics to assist in regulating your body temperature such as zippered openings to allow fresh air to circulate and help evaporate moisture. 


Socks. Warm and dry, say it with me, warm and dry. Having cold wet feet stuck in your ski boots can ruin your day at the resort fast, trust me. Avoid the cotton as it will retain the moisture from that stray snow that finds its way down your boot on those deep Utah powder runs. Again, look to wool or a wicking material.

To keep those little digits warm look for gloves that are waterproof and fit properly. A proper fit will keep the glove tight against the skin making it more difficult for the white stuff to find its way down your glove and next to those fingers.

Remember to throw in a warm well fitted hat. Did you know that up to 85% of your bodies heat is released though you noggin?  It’s true. It’s also a good layer, which you can shed easily should you start to get to warm on the ride down. I like a thin hat that I can fit easily underneath my helmet to keep my ears toasty!

On those bluebird days, with the sun shining, don’t forget to protect your eyes from the suns reflection off the white Utah snow with a pair of well fitted goggles. These will also help to protect your eyes and face from wind and snow on the slopes. And don't forget the sunscreen!

I usually have a backpack to keep snacks, a few extra clothes, sunscreen, water, car keys, iPhone and all those small items that seem to find their way into my purse or pockets that you will inevitably need at some point out on the mountain. You’ll be glad you had one with you!

 I always find that it’s better to have a little too much in the cold than not enough. You can always take a layer off when you get warm and put it right back on when you start to cool down, and stuff in it that backpack that you brought with you.



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Comment posted by Tom on November 30, 2009 11:23 AM MST

A neck gaitor or balaclava is a great extra pice that always seems to add more warmth than you'd think because of its size.

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