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What to Pack on a Ski Holiday?

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There are three main things you should keep in mind when packing for a ski holiday. Stay warm, stay safe, and stay comfortable. Many people hate packing for holidays as they get lost in all the small details that they need to plan for. Undoubtedly you might forget something trivial but after reading this guide you will know all the essentials.

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Staying warm with the essential three-layer system

To ensure you are well protected against the cold you need to put on at least three layers of clothing. Temperatures in the mountains can get extreme so it’s best to dress well or you might get sick and not enjoy your holiday.

Ski Clothes Base Layer – start here

Temperatures can be harsh in the mountains so it’s important to pack a warm and comfortable base layer. Thermals are a necessity if you want to remain cozy and dry. Skiing can work up a sweat but with the right base layers, you can stay dry as a bone. Shop around for thermals that are right for you, opt for wool if the temperature is your concern or nylon for the best moisture control.  

For the best results you’ll need:

  • Thermal top
  • Tights/leggings
  • Thermal Underwear
simply hike ski holiday clothing equipment choices thermals base layer

There are plenty of options out there so as an easy rule, buy the best you can afford. Merino wool is the best, especially if you’re concerned about temperature, it’s also good at wicking away moisture keeping you dry, plus it doesn’t smell even after a couple of days of wear. Cheaper nylon options are also available but you can’t beat nature’s own for controlling moisture and keeping you dry. We recommend legs and top.

Ski Clothes Mid Layers

The more layers you have the better insulated you’ll be. With a dynamic and cosy mid-layer, you can remain warm without being constricted by a huge bulky jumper. Again, options are endless but a dynamic fleece, jumper, or hoodie are all good options. Lightweight options are usually best here to give you flexibility and save you space and weight when trying to abide by the airline’s ever-changing allowances. 

You can choose between:

  • Fleece
  • Hoodie
  • Jumper
simply hike ski holiday clothing equipment choices the north face hoodie fleece

Choose something that is both breathable and flexible. A lightweight option works best – heavier doesn’t always mean warmer. You can wear your mid-layer on its own whilst you’re relaxing or keep it on underneath your jacket during the day’s activities. (You can also wear it in the off-season too!)

Ski Clothes Outer Layer

The outer layer is essential to make sure you stay warm and dry and obviously look good when on the slopes. Make sure you have a ski jacket, ski pants/salopettes, a hat, and warm socks. The right ski jacket and pants should regulate your body temperature even when they’re wet. Opt for bright colours to increase your visibility in the snow. These items shouldn’t inhibit your mobility and the better ones will be waterproof. Don’t forget thick ski socks or you’ll not only be cold, but you’ll be bandaging up your blistered feet! Pack them now and thank us later. When the snow starts falling, you’ll be glad you brought your hat to protect yourself from the elements. 

  • Ski Jacket
  • Ski Pants/Salopettes
  • Ski socks
  • Hat
simply hike ski holiday clothing equipment choices

When buying there are a few things to consider so we recommend reading reviews before purchasing and when it comes to socks make sure you have nice warm thick ski socks to make sure you’re feet stay warm and avoid the dreaded blisters. Socks are an easy one to forget but for us are one of the most important so get them in there. The same goes with a nice warm hat, cold ears are not fun.

Stay Safe on the Slopes with Protective Ski Gear

Safety/Protective gear is very important for all sorts of reasons so whether you bring it with you or rent it when you reach the resort make sure you stay safe. As fun as skiing can be, it can be dangerous if you’ve not packed the right protective gear. Remember to bring the following items to help you and your family have a safe and more enjoyable holiday:

  • Gloves – important when keeping your hands warm but also to protect from ice and sharp edges on your skis or board. Mitts are also warmer than gloves.
  • Sunscreen – pack for the weather you want. Being caught without it can hurt and everyone will thank you when you whip it out and save the day, buy sunscreen that has a lip balm attached and you’ll be seen as a god.
  • Helmet – skiing without one isn’t a good idea no matter how experienced you are. Rent or buy to stay safe.
  • Goggles – essential to protect your eye’s from the wind, snow and sun. Different lenses have different attributes so again read reviews before buying. We definitely recommend buying your own pair with anti-fog and venting to avoid the frustrating misty goggles that can ruin the day.
  • Protective guards – to prevent injury, you may want to pack protection guards. They can be used on your knees, wrists and elbows in case you fall, particularly for snowboarding. If this is your first time or you want to try a more difficult course, these will help you enjoy yourself knowing you’re safe.
Don’t forget the sun cream!

Pack Clothes for Down Time

It can be easy to only focus on what to pack for the snow, but your time won’t only be spent on the slopes. You will also need to bring some clothes for relaxing in your chalet or enjoying that all-important après-ski. What you bring is up to you. You may want something suitable for a fine dining experience or just something to wear whilst you cosy up by the fire. If you want to spend some time in the hot tub, sauna, or local geothermal spa then a swimsuit is a must and should definitely be on your list.

Bring Your Ski equipment and Accessories

Of course, the most important items that should be on your list are your skis! If you have your own equipment, (skis, snowboard, boots) then remember to pack it! If not, don’t worry you can rent all these and helmets at all our Snomads chalets.

We also provide a Retro Rental ski wear option. So you can hire out a bright old-school onesie if you fancy it or need to borrow an extra jacket because you left yours at the apres bar!

Final Thoughts

Packing for a ski holiday can be difficult. There are so many components to a ski holiday wardrobe that it can be easy to forget something. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re well-seasoned on the pistes, we’ve all arrived and realized an essential item is still at home. And once you’ve packed everything you need, you can enjoy your ski holiday at one of the Snomads Chalets. If you’d like to know more about where we like to ski, you can also see our Bansko ultimate skiing guide or our Zakopane Skiing guide.