Skip to page content
Home » Expert Advice » What to Wear: Skiing

Delivery Country and Currency Selector

Please select your delivery country from the drop down below.

Please select your currency from the drop down below.

Update site with selected country and currency

We now ship to United Kingdom from £0.00

If you are not visiting from United Kingdom please select
your country from the drop down below.





Continue To GO Outdoors
Welcome!

Expert Advice

Guide Search

What To Wear: Skiing

Also see http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advice/skiing for all our skiing guides. 

 

Ski Checklist

  • Baselayer Top
  • Underwear (Thermal)
  • Fleece 
  • Hoody (for apres ski)
  • Jacket (Ski specificl)
  • Gilet for apres ski
  • Snow Boots
  • Hat/Neck Gaiter
  • Gloves 
  • Thick ski socks
  • Goggles/Sunglasses
  • Ski helmet
  • Ski trousers/Salopettes


When your skiing you need a next to the skin layer that can soak up sweat and keep you warm, whilst not heating you up too much as you stand in the glare of the sun. 

For après ski use you can choose a less technical layer, such as a long sleeved t-shirt, insulating shirt, combined with a hoodie or a fleece. Après ski wear is generally about being comfortable by wearing insulating yet breathable fabrics. 


Ski Trousers and Salopettes

See Our Full Range Of Ski Salopettes here


 Many skiers wear insulated trousers or fleece trousers combined with a long sleeved baselayer t-shirts, and a thick fleece top or hoody with plenty of insulation for use during après ski. 

This system of layering clothes allows you to remove and add layers as required. 

Ski Trousers- What To Look for: 

  • Waterproof - repels water and snow
  • Breathable - the fabric can vent out sweat
  • Articulated knees- kneel, bend and ski with ease
  • Adjustable waist tabs - Move the waist to fit over thermals
  • Handwarmer zip pockets - keep your hands warm as you wait for the lift
  • Flap cargo pockets - deep pockets for a hat or gloves
  • Zip inner thigh vents - vent without rolling the ankles
  • Back pockets - great for loose change
  • StretchVent gaiters - Stretchy gaiters that allow complete lower leg protection
  • Gripper elastic- Keeps the legs firm against your skin
  • Buddy lift clip - A clip for your pass
  • Seam sealed (full) - No water can enter the stitching holes
  • Integral snow gaiters- keep spray from meeting your skin
  • Lining - means they can be worn either over a baselayer, or alone, and the warming lining material ensures these don't rub you the wrong way. 
  • Detachable braces-keep them in place when they need to be, and off when you need them off


Skiing Baselayers

See our full range of Ski Baselayers here


The baselayer is designed to sit directly in contact with your skin in order to release sweat and moisture created during activity.Baselayers differ from t-shirts as although they are the first layer on your skin, they are designed to move moisture away from your skin. 

A next to the skin layer made from a non synthetic fabric will simply soak up moisture, keeping it on the garment where bacteria can form, causing odours an stains, whilst the moisture quickly becomes cold, leaving you chilled.

A baselayer should fit closely like a 'second skin', an should be made from an appropriate wicking material which not only allows you to move freely, not chaffing your skin as you do so, but also allows you to transport moisture away from the skin. 

Baselayers do not prevent you sweating. Sweat is a natural response that is created during activity, it is released in order to keep you cool. Baselayers work by releasing this excess sweat into the fibres of your baselayer. The baselayer, if it is wicking, then draws this moisture away from your skin, where it is evaporated. This process ensures you maintain an optimum body temperature and stay cool and dry.

For this process to happen, the baselayer must be next to the skin, and must be made from a technical fabric, capable of releasing moisture, known as a ‘breathable’ or ‘wicking fabric’. 

Sweat, or perspiration is your body cooling you down.  By releasing excess heat and bodily salts the body attempts to cool you as your core temperature rises.

With 2 and a half million sweat glands on average on our bodies, these are all 'venting' areas on our bodies for dampness and moisture. 

The sweat you produce varies from each individual, with any amount of 1 to 3 litres being produced during a day of activity. This is why it is so important to stay hydrated. 

 The sweat as a liquid is scentless, but can still stain. The odour comes from bacteria mixing with the sweat and the proteins within in, which produces a smell. 
 This is why many baselayers concentrate on using anti microbial properties on the surface, such as silver ion technology which breaks down the cellular wall of the bacteria to not prevent sweating, but to prevent the smells that can form on a baselayer.

Fabrics vary from baselayer to baselayer, but typically they are made from microfibres such as Nylon, polyester, supplex, or a similar synethic weave. 

Blends of synthetics and natural fabrics, such as cotton or silk can also be used together in order to increase the comfort of your baselayer, but cotton is rarerly used on it's own. (Like wool or denim, similar natural fabrics, cotton absorbs moisture readily and is unable to wick it away. This causes it to feel heavier and uncomfortable, clinging to the body, causing dampness and chaffing of the skin. ) 

Synthetics are also used as they ensure your clothes dry quickly, usually in a manner of hours, so your baselayer can cope with both internal moisture as well as external, environmental dampness. 

Drying times for baselayers can vary on the level of moisture in the environment, but it is a fact that for wicking capabilities and keeping you cool and dry, synthetic materials are the best buy.

Baselayers must have the ability to soak moisture away from the skin’s surface to the top of the baselayer, where it can reach the environment to be evaporated. This keeps the wearer free from sweat and comfortable. 

Also known as "moisture management", a baselayer’s level of breathability shows its capabilities for completing this process of transferring heat and moisture away from the skin. 

Breathability can be aided by the fabrics themselves, which can be coated in a pore based membrane to aid the release of moisture. This is a feature of synthetic coated membranes such as GORE-Tex or e-Vent. These work to vent moisture away from the skin. Another way that baselayers can have increased breathability is by the baselayers construction. 

Mesh areas are usually found under the armpits to add additional ventilation to your baselayer and zips and adjustable cuffs are common, allowing you to create open venting points to speed the cooling and drying process. 


Fleeces

See our full range of Skiing Fleeces here


Fleeces provide the mmidlayer between your baselayer and your outer jacket. 

You can skip a midlayer if you are using a softshell. 

A fleece has the dual benefit that it can be used for apres ski as well, helping you reduce your pack weight. 


Fleeces- Features to look for: 


  • Wind resistance - helps cut through high mountain chills
  • Under arm ventilation- to enhance breathability, typically mesh is used for its large pores 
  • Adjustable hems, cuffs and collars - so you control how it fits
  • Pockets - Choose ones that can be reached with ease – hand warming, zipped, or small for keys Internal security pockets are used in the inner of some fleeces, multimedia pockets are also used. 
  • Flat locked seams - This means that the fleece won't chafe or irritate the skin 
  • Alpine cut /Athletic cut indicates the fleece is designed for freedom of movement as they are cut higher to fit on the hips. 
  •  Low bulk cuffs- these are designed to be easy to pull up or push down for more ventilation/insulation. 
  • Anti microbial treatments may be applied to the fleece that prevents bacteria caused from sweat build up from settling. 
  • Inbuilt UPF or SPF’s (sun protection factor)- these can be found in fleeces to offer a barrier against UV rays. 100% UPF indicates the garment can protect from UVA, UVB and UVC rays. This is great for when you strip off your outer layer at the peak. 

Synthetics dry extremely fast in the atmosphere, but are less efficient at resisting bacteria, unless specifically treated with an anti-microbial coating. 
Synthetic fabrics are cheap to purchase, as well as being easy to maintain, thanks to their wrinkle-free design and non-iron capabilities. Polyester is an example of a synthetic fibre used in many fleeces. 
This is because polyester is excellent at resisting abrasion, and has moisture management capabilities, which means it is able to both wick away moisture and sweat. Polyester is comfortable next to the skin, and is also less expensive than some fleece fabrics such as wool or pile.

Elastane/Lycra/Spandex are all stretchy fabrics that increase the flexibility and freedom of motion within your fleece.

Wool can also be used in fleeces, most typically merino wool made from merino sheep. 
This is wool created from ultra light fibres so it can be both warming, as well as breathable. Wool is an ideal choice for anyone with sensitive skin, as it is a natural fibre, and less likely to irritate than a synthetic. 

As opposed to synthetics which wick moisture away by pushing vapour to the outer surface, wool absorbs moisture, which is then evaporated. Wool does get heavier, due to this absorption, but will evaporate moisture in much the same way as a synthetic garment. 
Wool is a naturally antibacterial fabric, which means it can keep bacteria away from the garment, allowing it to resist odour. Wool is however a more expensive alternative to synthetic fleece fabrics.




Single lenses:
Less commonly found, these are lighter than double lenses by a small amount and cheaper. Single lenses fog up quicker than double lenses, so need to be coated with a fog resistant layer.


Double lenses:
More expensive than single layered lenses these are sealed during construction to put a barrier on internal fogging.

 
Flat Lenses:
The surface of the lens is flat. Lower priced, these are better for budget buys. Flat lenses offer the peripheral vision.

 
Spherical Lenses:
The surface of the lens has a vertical curve. These cost more than flat lenses. They give better peripheral vision Spherical lenses tilt away the sun’s glare for less distortion.


Ski Hats

See Our Full Range Of Ski Hats Here

Heat Rising: 

In cold weather, a hat can keep you warm more than any other garment. Although you wouldn't venture into any snowy conditions without a jacket, a winter hat can ensure that produced body heat isn't wasted, and is circulated. 

Because heat rises, the right hat traps in essential heat lost through your head, helping to regulate your whole body temperature. 

With the right choice of hat you can also keep other exposed areas protected from chills and frostbite. Warming fabrics are used to make winter suitable hats, so typically wool, fleece, pile or knitted acrylic are used. 
On the slopes beanies are commonly used.

  • High visibility areas, such as reflective piping, or a luminous fluorescent colouring should be considered for increased safety 
  • Your hat sits on your highest point (your head!) which is excellent for safety as it shows your height even from long distances. ck Gaiters
Neck gaiters are also used skiing as they are multi-functional, working to cool and wick sweat, and to insulate and protect your skin from wind chills. 

Neck gaiters are lightweight strips of fabric that can protect your neck from the wind and cold.

The benefits can be that your lips can be protected by your neck gaiter when it is pulled up, or your neck when pulled down; as well as being able to be worn as both a hat and a headband. Gaiters such as the Buff, and variations on that design, can be used in many ways other than the straightforward neck covering.Your neck gaiter is usually breathable so sweat doesn't build up on the inside of the fabric and can also keep hair, sweat and any other debris away from the eyes.

Balaclavas are made predominantly for use in extreme cold weather conditions. 

Suited to serious snowy conditions with extreme cold and plenty of spray, balaclavas work when wind or snow is in the air, and they can keep your whole face protected from the cold.



Ski Gloves:

See Our Full Range Of Ski Gloves Here


The right ski gloves should keep your hands warm all day but still allow you maximum flexibility for holding ski poles. 


Ski Gloves -What To Look For: 


  • Because you will be using your hands contstantly, you need gloves with a waterproof and windproof outer fabric. 
  • Primaloft, Windstopper, Polartec and other weather resistant fabrics are commonly used, all in conjucntion with leathers for durability and warmth.
  • An abrasion resistant outer fabric such as Nylon or polyesterwill help prevent the outer body of your ski gloves tearing as you fall or knock your hands.
  • An insulated liner (like pile, microfleece or merino wool) will help loft heat, and trap warmth that would otherwise be lost.
  • Beacuse skiing is an aerobic activity, look for ski gloves with a breathable liner to wick away sweat and moisture from your plams.
  • Grip closures to keep snow outare commonly used in ski gloves, and again, these work to insulate as well as working as a barrier against sno
  • A safety leash to secure the gloves as you skiis always a beneficial feature as it keeps your gloves safe, Losing them in minus degree temperatures could be fatal.
  • Small inbuilt pockets can be useful for storing a key or a fob.
  • Nose wiping areas are typically included on teh thumb or wrist and allow you to dry your nose in cold conditions without fumbling for a tissue.
  • Precurved fingers to hold ski poles are very common as they make skiing easier. They are still flexible, but can help your grip.
  • Reflective areas are often used in ski gloves, and are good for increasing your visibility. 

Apres Ski Wear


Après ski wear that sits next to the skin should still be technical to cope with the low temperatures when you relax after a day of exertion. Manmade synthetics such as Nylon or Polyester are ideal, as are natural fibres such as Merino wool. These are all quick drying and ideal for wicking away moisture and sweat whilst also securing in body heat as you relax after a day of excercise. 

You may also be interested in compression tights, which help aid recovery from exercise. You can wear these under your trousers. 

 With extra venting capabilities, a gilet is ideally worn over a base layer top for use during après ski. A gilet provides coverage to your core organs and mid layer, without adding bulk. It helps to keep you protected from wind and low temperatures. 
The sleeveless style that allows total freedom for movement which is popular for use during après ski activities. 

To reduce your pack weight, consider buying a more technical fleece that can be used as a midlayer as you ski, and washed and dried afterwards in time for use during apres ski. 

Snow Boots

See Our Full Range Of Snow Boots Here

Snow Boots are also key to apres ski wear. Usually warming and sometimes water repelling, these can get you across the snow to the chalet or a restaurant without your feet freezing or getting soaked. 

Thick and rugged soles are the most important part of your snow boots in order to give you excellent traction on uneven surfaces and to provide a controlled grip on snow. Typically Snow Boot soles are made from rubber, either sticky rubber, or carbon rubber Soles in snow boots should feel more flexible than a hiking boot, and should offer enough flexibility in the fit so your feet can circulate warmth without restriction.

The more expensive the snow boot, the more technical and supportive the midsole tends to be. Compression molded EVA is typically used to provide excellent support for all day wearing, absorbing shocks. EVA is also a lightweight fabric.

Inner linings of snow boots are usually ski with fleece or specific insulation, such as:

  •  Primaloft.
  •  Polartec 
  • Thinsulate 
  • Synthetic fur
Synthetics are typically used as linings in a higher percentage than fur because synthetic insulators are also capable of being breathable, allowing moisture to move away from your foot, which can cause chaffing and overheating. Multiple layers of insulation are offered in some boots, and usually a faux fur or wool trimmings add the final layer added to an inner lining to provide comfort, as opposed to technical insulation. Inner linings usually incorporate an anti microbial lining so bacteria is prevented from settling on the lining, and removable linings that can be washed by hand are common.

Snow boots can be made of a variety of fabrics, many of which aim to be water repellent. Typically these include soft leathers, such as suede or nubuck, or a harder rugged leather such as a full grain leather or reversed grain leather. Leather can be easily treated to offer water repellency and is usually rigid enough for use in compacted snow. 

Snow boots should fit to the ankle or come with a higher fit to the calf or higher for maximum insulation and maximum levels of warmth. For après ski activities, you will probably have to walk through powder snow, so your feet require protection and warmth. 

Snow boots are closed at the cuff with wither laces, toggles or Velcro. 

Velcro is easier to fit with speed, whilst laces offer more support to the foot. Similarly some après ski snow boots are designed to be pulled on and use no external fastenings. These are ideal for putting on with speed, but offer less support.

Inbuilt cuffs or toggles at the entrance to the boot also allow you to both secure heat, and provide a barrier to moisture and snow.


Snow boots are also necessary as many ski resorts require you to walk through the snowy grounds in order to reach après ski activities. 
Snow boots are also necessary as many ski resorts require you to walk through the snowy grounds in order to reach après ski activities.