When traveling to the snow, one of the most important to pack properly for you trip. It is important to have a checklist, especially when it comes from someone who lives the winter resort life.
We will help you pack for comfort, so you will enjoy all aspects of your trip, because there is nothing worst than being cold and miserable on your vacation.
Before we get into the items you can take with you, if you are traveling outside the USA, one piece of advice – BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE! You never know what can happen from emergencies, lost luggage and injuries on your trip. Skiing and boarding are physically demanding sports. In fact, 2 in every 1000 skiers gets hurt. You want to make sure you’re covered and it’s not a huge extra expense.
Here are the recommendations we received on what you should bring for your skiing/snowboarding trip.
1.) Merino Wool Thermal Underwear
Thermal underwear a.k.a long underwear is the essential item you need for your snow trip. You should bring a clean pair for at least every other day you plan to ski or board. Make sure the product you buy is made of Merino wool. This fabric is best for extreme cold conditions. Merino wool thermal underwear are the warmest and best on the market. Made of natural fibers, merino wool will even retain heat when wet. Do not go cheap on your base layer. This is the key item for your warmth. Buy Merino Wool Thermal Underwear at Backcountry.com.
2.) Insulated GORE-TEX Snow Gloves
The key to buying ski or boarding gloves comes down to three factors.
- Do they keep my hands warm?
- Do they keep my hands dry?
- Can I grab a beer in them?
GORE–TEX gloves are waterproof gloves made to withstand any outdoor adventure. The durability and waterproof technology make them the perfect snow gloves. Gloves engineered with GORE-TEX are durably waterproof, windproof and breathable – guaranteed. Even in harsh conditions the whole system of inner lining, membrane and outer material is optimized to keep your hands warmer for longer.
3.) Insulated Ski or Snow Jacket
The perfect ski jacket needs to keep you warm, but it should protect you from the elements too. Ideally, you also want a coat that’s stylish enough to take you from the slopes to après-ski drinks in a snap. Not only do these top-rated jackets, outlined below, have near-perfect ratings, but they also have thousands of glowing customer reviews from multiple websites. Some boast handy features like ski-pass pockets in the sleeves, while others feature added insulation and moisture-wicking capabilities and keep you warm and dry.
These are the best ski jackets for women:
- Best Overall: The North Face Thermoball Triclimate Jacket
- Best Insulated Option: Arc’teryx Proton LT Insulated Hoodie
- Best Down Option: Obermeyer Devon Down Jacket
- Best Heat-Retentive Option: Columbia Alpine Action Omni-Heat Jacket
- Best Weatherproof Option: Wantdo Waterproof Mountain Jacket
- Best Budget Option: Camel Crown Mountain Ski Jacket
These are the best ski jackets for men:
- Best Overall:The North Face Clement Triclimate Jacket
- Best Insulated Option: Columbia Cushman Crest Insulated Jacket
- Best Down Option: Helly Hansen Rivaridge Puffy Jacket
- Best GORE-TEX Jacket: Volcom L Gore-Tex Jacket
- Best Weatherproof Option: Patagonia Snowshot Jacket
- Best Budget Option: Wantdo Men’s Waterproof Ski Jacket
4.) Snow Slippers
Especially if you are a skier. There is no less comfortable pair of walking shoes than ski boots. After a long day on the mountain, I love pulling off my functioning boots and putting on a pair of comfortable snow slippers. Even in the summer I wear my snow slippers. Any of these snow slippers are extremely warm, durable and water-resistant. The main reason why you want specific snow slippers is that they have high-traction soles so you do not slip on the ice.
5.) Snow Goggles
When it snows, the sun reflects off the white powder almost like a mirror. In fact, snow can reflect 85 to 90 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Your eyes are under major assault from the sun’s harmful rays while you’re out on the slopes. The sun’s rays are also stronger due to the reduced amount of atmosphere as well as the intense reflection off the contrasting stark white snow. Snow goggles protect you and your eyes. Outside of headaches caused by the glare, you do not want to ever get snow blindness. Snow blindness is essentially sunburned eyes and can cause you to to lose your vision for a period of time. Not ideal work a ski vacation.
Outside of the UV issue there are a couple other important aspects to consider when choosing the ski & snowboard goggles with the right lenses – lens type, lens color, and other features from fog prevention to glare protection.
I always grad some Anti-Fog Lens Cleaner so yo never lose vision do to that annoying fogging goggles.
Goggles are great for snowy days but you’ll need a pair of sunglasses for sunny snow days. Don’t be the goof and be the only person wearing ski goggles on a hot day. Get yourself a pair of the best snow sunglasses and cruise the mountain in style.
One word of caution: do NOT buy a super expensive pair of sunglasses and bang them up your first trip to the mountain. Unless you’re super pro and hardly ever fall, it’s a good idea to get a cheap or middle priced pair and not go rocking the $300 Ray Bans. Certainly, look for impact resistant sunglasses such as the ones here.
- Best Overall for Men: Julbo Montebianco Spectron 4 Sunglasses
- Best Overall Women: Sunski Gondola Polarized Sunglasses
- Snow Sunglasses for the Money: TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses with 3 Interchangeable Lenses
- Best Budget Option: RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses Driving Glasses Shades for Men Women TR90 Unbreakable Frame
7.) Ski & Snowboard Helmet
There are numerous reasons to wear a helmet while in the snow. While keeping your head warm on the slopes, wearing a helmet has reduced head injuries such as fractured skulls, facial lacerations, and head lacerations by as much as 50% while skiing, according to a report in The New York Times. When you wear a helmet and strike your head, the helmet will spread out and absorb the shock wave of the impact. Yes, you can still be injured, but the severity of the head injury is likely to be much less.
Don’t just buy the first helmet you see because it is on sale or you like the style or color. Make sure you get a helmet that properly fits. You want a helmet that sits on your head evenly, and that does not tilt from side to side when the strap is fastened. Make sure your helmet fits snugly, and that it is not too loose. After you have found the perfect fit, you can then worry about the appearance.
8.) Snow Pants
In the old days people would spray scotch guard on their jeans and ski. Your warmth and dryness would last about one run. On the hill, your legs are the most exposed part of your body, so it’s important to have warm, waterproof, breathable pants that fit your style of skiing or riding.
Snow Pants: Snow pants have a zip fly, or an elastic waist. And they’re easy to vent. But comfort comes at the cost of a bigger risk that you will = get snow down your pants if you take a monster spill.
BIBS: Some skiers and snowboarders prefer bibs, which come up to the chest and have built-in suspenders, because they provide extra warmth to your core, and they prevent snow from getting into your business. They are harder to remove than snow pants when nature calls, but some do come with zippers in the front for the guys.
ONE-PIECE: After dying out in the early ‘90s, one-pieces have made an un-ironic comeback. They’re warm and efficient, because they hold in all of your body heat, but they can make layering and using the bathroom more laborious. And they look really cool.
In all cases make sure you buy pants that provide water protection, breathability and insulation. Pockets with zippers are very helpful as well. But less important as you have pockets in your jacket.
9.) Snow Face Mask or Balaclava
When it’s time for the best wind and weather protection, I reach for a balaclava. Balaclavas are well known for their superior wind and weather protection around the head and neck. There’s an added benefit, as well, that the mesh inside helps remove your breath to avoid fogging or moisture problems!
10.) Thermal Snow Socks
11.) Ski Balm & Lip Balm
Ski Balm Original is a facial balm that helps protect your lips and face from windburn and sun. You will be protected by the harmful UV rays by it’s SPF 40 sun protection. Invented by skiers, The Original Ski Balm is designed to defend against the elements of the slopes that can ruin a perfect day with a week of chapped, dry, windburned skin
A day on the mountain shouldn’t be ruined by windburn and sunburn — that’s where Ski Balm comes in.
For Lip Balm, the key is making sure their is SPF protection.
12.) Hand Warmers
If you need a hand warmer for only a few ski and snow days this year, or if you are going to work with your hands outdoors during winter, the Hand Warmers are for you. They’re cheap, lightweight, and get warm enough to keep your hands comfortable while you are skiing and snowboarding. They reached 118 °F and lasted almost six hours, which is hot enough and long enough for most outdoor activities so you will need to keep an extra pack in your pocket. You’ll have to open a new packet for every use.
If you plan being in the snow for many days, we recommend the Zippo HeatBank 9s Rechargeable Hand Warmer. Keeping your fingers warm on the slopes, the Zippo HeatBank 9s rechargeable hand warmer doubles as a power bank to recharge your USB-compatible device so you can stay connected.
13.) Waterproof Backpack Filled with the Essentials
Instead of getting a locker, I prefer to ski and board with a waterproof backpack. It makes things easier for me to access anything I may need anywhere on the mountain,such as, extra layers, water, snacks, and—if you’re going out of bounds—avalanche equipment. It’s also becoming more common to find deployable airbags built in for use in the event of a slide. There are a number of great ski backpack, including options for day touring and resort skiing bags and those backpack with airbags.
Essentials for in your backpack:
- Water Bottle – There are many areas in the resort you will be able to fill up your water bottle before hitting the slopes. Don’t keep buying water and wasting money!
- Flask – It’s affordable. It’s lightweight. It carries ten whopping ounces of booze.
- Fully Charged Power Bank – I always keep a fully charged power bank in my backpack when I am on the mountain. Even if your phone is fully charged, it might not last very long, especially on a mountain where your phone is constantly looking for a phone signal. For safety reasons, this is important as you may need your phone in an emergency, but it also is unfortunate when you want to take a picture or video and your phone dies.
- Mini Emergency Kit – In your backpack, make sure you have some “just in case” emergency essentials.
14.) Altitude Sickness Medicine
Altitude sickness is a huge bummer on a ski trip. Altitude sickness is caused by lower levels of oxygen on the high altitudes of the mountain. Symptoms tend to come quickly once you hit the higher altitude. The symptoms include headache, nausea, shortness of breath, and inability to exercise. If you take one of these remedies on your trip, it will help lessen your symptoms.
The best travel insurance should never be an afterthought. It offers peace of mind and protection against the unexpected, whether it’s a medical emergency, lost luggage, an unforeseen weather calamity, or worse. Travel insurance is there to cover you when things go wrong on your trips. Believe us, you never know when something might come up. The thing about travel insurance is, shopping around for it can be tricky. There are plenty of travel insurance companies, and each one is slightly different from the next. Depending on your individual needs, you’ll need to pick a company and a plan that offers what you need.
Here’s how you can get the coverage you need by comparing the top 5 best travel insurance companies.