What to Wear
Not sure what to wear to your first day on the slopes? We can help!
There's so much gear out there that it can be difficult to decide what to buy - and it's also tempting to layer on as much as possible to protect against the cold! Here are some of the most common items you'll need to have a great day on the slopes. Remember: comfort and utility are key - make sure you can easily move your arms and legs, and that you're prepared for the forecast (e.g. wearing a waterproof shell if the forecast calls for rain or snow).
These are the first layers that touch your skin. They're responsible for keeping your body at a comfortable temperature. We recommend wearing synthetic fabrics because they are better at wicking away sweat and keeping in heat. Overall, these should feel good, and fit relativelyclose to the body.
These layers can be added or removed depending on how warm or cold it is outside. These should fit comfortably between your base layer and outer layer, and shouldn't restrict your movement. If you feel like Ralphie's younger brother in A Christmas Story, your mid layers are too bulky.
Your outerwear is key to keeping you warm and dry on the slopes! We recommend a waterproof or water resistant jacket and pants. They can be insulated or just a shell - it's all up to your personal preference.
If it's your first time on the slopes, it might seem like overkill to load up on all of these accessories. But don't worry - many ski areas have these items for rent! You can also borrow these from friends or family, or check your local sporting goods shop for deals.
Protecting your eyes is a must in the mountains! Bright sun reflects off the snow and other surfaces, and you don't want to risk damage to your eyes. Wear a pair of sunglasses or goggles that filter out harmful UV rays. If you're just starting out, we recommend finding a pair of goggles with mid-light lenses. That way, you can see in both sunny and cloudy conditions.
You've probably seen a lot of skiers rocking "goggle tans." Those are cool, but protecting your skin is even cooler. Always wear sunscreen on the slopes. Many ski areas will have sunscreen available in their ticket offices and in their retail shops, either free of charge or for a small fee.
Gloves and Mittens
Warm, weather-proof gloves are key to having a great day on the slopes. The best materials are insulated water-resistant leather or a synthetic alternative; cotton or wool gloves won't protect against the wind and snow. Gloves are better for dexterity (if you need to adjust your ski boots or snowboard bindings), but mittens will keep your hands warmer. If you want the best of both worlds, you can layer glove liners under your mittens so your hands don't get too cold when you need to take off the mitten to use your hands.
Only wear one pair! Today's synthetic insulated socks work (and fit) best in ski and snowboard boots if you only wear one pair. And, believe it or not, the thin ones function just as well as the really thick kind. Regardless of which you choose, only wear one pair and make sure they feel comfortable in your boots and don't bunch up.