Wondering what to pack for a ski trip? Check out my ultimate ski trip packing list to make sure you have everything you need from first tracks to apres-ski. Don’t leave home without these ski trip packing list essentials that are guaranteed to keep you warm and comfortable both on and off the slopes.
What to Wear on the Slopes
Ski gear is expensive and only worth investing in if you’re ready to commit. If it’s your first few times on the slopes, I recommend renting your skis/snowboard, boots, and poles until you have a better idea of what you need.
No matter what level you are, you will want to invest in some good layers to keep you warm for a long day on the mountain. Quality really counts, so invest now and these pieces will keep you warmer and last longer.
- Waterproof Ski Jacket: I often get asked if my Arc’teryx jacket was worth the high price tag. My answer is always an enthusiastic yes. Go with a neutral color so it will last through trends for years to come.
- Goggles: Get ones with interchangeable lenses for different light conditions.
- Gaiter: There are some days when you’ll want to be covered from head to toe. Gaiters are great for blocking the wind from your face.
- Helmet: Don’t be stupid. No matter how much of an expert you are, always ski with a helmet. Besides, it keeps you warm and looks cooler than ever.
- Non-Cotton Base Layer: Make sure your first layer is made out of a non-cotton material, so it can dry fast from snow and sweat.
- Hand Warmers: I suffered for so long with frozen fingers before a friend finally introduced this easy trick to me. Pop them into your gloves to stay toasty all day.
- Airpods: Pop in some sweet tunes to feel like you’re the star of your own ski movie.
- Non-Cotton Mid Layer: In the mountains, weather can change at a moment’s notice. Be prepared for unexpected sunshine or snowstorm with a second layer, like this packable puffer vest.
- Glove liners: Make sure to get ones with e-tip liners so you can access your phone without fear of dropping it from a ski lift.
- Mittens: Warm, waterpoof mittens are the most important thing you can invest in. I skied with gloves for years before finally switching to mittens and found them to be twice as warm. But at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.
- Waterproof Ski Pants: I love white, but beware it will show dirt and stains more than other colors. A local ski bum’s mom recommended this product for laundering without ruining the waterproof Goretex technology.
- Water Bottle: Hydration is so important when skiing. Not only are you exercising hard, but you’re also likely adjusting to the elevation.
- Go-Pro Camera: You’ll never have to convince your friends about how much air you caught again! Mount this to your helmet and have fun.
- Wool Socks: Trust me, you’re going to want these. Ski boots are no fun without them.
- Thermal Leggings: Don’t freeze your ass off. Quality, thermal leggings will keep you warm without constricting your movement. Bonus points for a fun print that you can take right from the slopes to apres-ski.
What to Wear Off the Slopes
At the end of a long day skiing, it’s time to relax at the lodge, soak sore muscles in the hot tub, and toast with drinks by the fire. Here are some essentials so you can apres-ski in style.
- Nordic Sweater: Alpine climates create the ultimate sweater weather. Throw on this Fairisle Sweater for an outfit that’s instantly chic.
- Blanket Scarf: The most versatile accessory, this Tartan Scarf can be used as a scarf or an extra throw in front of the fire.
- Extra Mittens: You’ll want an extra pair of mittens when the ones you wore skiing are soaking wet. These Snowflake Mittens will keep you warm through impromptu snowball fights.
- Beanie: A cool, knit beanie is essential not just for staying warm, but also for covering up helmet hair after a day on the slopes!
- Puffer Vest: This one gets bonus points because it’s reversible.
- Books: OK, not technically something to wear, but a good book is just as essential to apres ski. This one about Warren Miller’s life and career will inspire you to shred harder.
- Swim Suit: Perfect for soaking sore muscles in the hot tub.
- Robe: To throw on over your swim suit after the hot tub.
- Leggings: These faux leather ones from Spanx are a triple threat: comfy, flattering and stylish.
- Waterproof Boots: After wearing ski boots all day, the first thing you’ll want to do is slip your feet into something warm and cozy. These waterproof and insulated Sorel boots will keep your toes warm and dry.
- Cozy socks: Cozy boots call for warm socks in fun prints!
- Apple Watch: Track your stats on the slopes and then keep (or lose!) track of time afterwards.
What to Pack it In
Traveling with bulky ski equipment can be hard. Here’s how to pack for maximum efficiency:
- Boot Backpack: This roomy bag has a dedicated pocket for all of your gear.
- Ski Bag: With extra pouches for boots or extra clothes, this bag fits everything without being too bulky.
- Ski Backpack: You’ll want something small, but with enough space to stash energy bars, water, and an emergency kit. The water bladder in this one is great so you can hydrate on the go.
- Suitcase: If you’re flying to the mountains, you’ll likely need extra space for your apres-ski essentials. This suitcase is expandable and easy to roll through the airport while carrying other gear.
- Packing Cubes: You’ve got a lot of gear to keep track of. Stay organized with this set of packing cubes with a laundry bag.
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