Sports & Outdoors · Travel

Essential Gear for Your Next Ski Vacation

Are you planning on taking your family on a ski vacation to a fun, snow filled mountain this year? If so, your first priorities might include booking flights, reserving a hotel, paying for ski lift tickets and scheduling ski and snowboarding lessons for your little ones. Your next priority is purchasing ski-related gear. But what exactly do you need to purchase and pack for a family ski trip?

Take a look at the list below. Regardless of your skill and ability you’ll be happy you bought this much-needed gear.

1. Goggles

wall of ski goggles

Before you strap on your skis or snowboard make certain you buy or rent a pair of goggles. Up on that mountain your eyes will need protection from the harsh sun. The suns rays are particularly powerful when reflecting off that bright, white snow and on a snowy day and you’ll need goggles to keep the moisture out of your eyes. Search for a pair that contain anti-fogging technology. You don’t want to be caught on the mountain without the ability to see what’s in front of you.

2. Ski Socks

ski sock with merino wool

A novice skier might consider wearing plain, old, cotton socks on the mountain, but a seasoned rider knows those ordinary socks can’t withstand extreme temperatures. Your feet are the first things to feel cold and uncomfortable out on the slopes and frigid toes and bunched up socks will force you right off the mountain. Look for thin, breathable ski socks made of synthetic fabrics or merino wool. These Smartwool Women’s Ski Socks from Sportsman’s Warehouse won’t bunch, slip or bind. They fit a woman’s narrower heel and will keep your feet warm and dry run after run.

3. Thermal Underwear

When skiing, layers are your best defense against the cold and thermal underwear might just be the most important layer of all. Search for long johns that will whisk away sweat and moisture while simultaneously keeping you warm. Consider a product that is made from synthetic fibers as natural materials, like cotton, typically retain moisture and keep you feeling cold.

4. Gloves

ski gloves from llbeanJust as you need the right pair of ski socks for your feet you will also need the perfect pair of warm gloves for your hands. When shopping make certain to look for gloves targeted specifically for snowboarding and skiing. You want to find an insulating, waterproof pair that will stay dry despite repeated, all-day contact with snow. If your hands tend to get cold rather easily consider purchasing mittens rather than gloves. Mittens provide a little extra warmth as the body heat from your own fingers keep your hands warm. If you can’t decide between mittens and gloves than check out the Kikkan Randall Lobster Mitt XC Gloves available at LL Bean. These gloves feature a lobster-style mitten design, with two fingers in each pocket. It’s the perfect mix between a mitten and a glove!

5. Helmets

wall of ski helmets

Helmets are now a must have for any and all skiers and snowboarders. A few years ago you could get away with wearing hats and headbands, but to keep your head safe and protected you really need to wear a helmet while riding. Collisions can happen at any time on the slopes. You can lose control and hit a tree or you can stand perfectly still and be hit by a fellow skier. You can buy helmets online, but it might be easier to try on various options at a local ski shop. You want to make sure the helmet fits snugly so it doesn’t slide or move while skiing.

Before you board that plane or drive to the mountain make sure you are prepared with cold weather gear that will keep you warm and moving. When it’s time to hit the slopes you’ll be ready!