What to wear on the Slopes

First Time Skiing Tips

When planning on for your first ski trip there are many questions that go through your mind about you will need to buy in advance as well as what you can get once in resort.  You are very excited about getting to the slopes but also a bit nervous and unsure of exactly what to expect.  To plan in advance is best and try not to leave everything until a few days before you depart

Anything you forget to buy in advance, don’t worry as you can also buy these once in resort.  Here is our “what to wear on the slopes” guide.

1. Skis, Poles, and Bindings

Most people, even those who have been skiing many times before don’t own their own skis so as it’s your first time don’t buy any skis, you can rent these in one of the ski rental shops once you arrive in resort. Rental shop staff are knowledgeable and will guide you through your rental experience making sure your skis, boots and poles are suitable for beginners. They will also set up the ski bindings to the correct setting based upon your size and ability.

2. Ski Boots

A lot of people who have been skiing before decide to buy their own ski boots. These are great to own and most shops will mould these to your foot so that you have an exact fitting of your ski boot. The vast majority of people though, especially beginners will rent from the ski rental shop in resort. The staff will make sure you have a pair that fit and are comfortable. Once your first ski holiday is over you can think about if you are likely to go skiing again and if you prefer to buy your own ski boots or just again.

3. Ski Helmet

In some ski resorts a helmet is compulsory, especially for children.  Wearing a helmet has in the past been thought of something you only need if your a beginner, however nowadays, probably 90% of people wear a helmet whilst on the slopes. Remember you can be the best skier in the world but it’s always the other person you need to think of. So basically – wear a helmet

With ski helmets it’s best to avoid the cheaper ones. You get for you pay for is the best motto for buying a helmet. You can rent helmets in the ski hire shop at the same time as you collect your ski & boots

4. Ski Jacket and Ski Pants

A good ski jacket is an essential item on your holiday but you don’t need to break the bank for the first time on the slopes.  There are hundreds of jackets to choose from and ask in store about “the level of waterproofing and breathability”. Here is some information from “Trespass” who specialize in the uk & Ireland in ski clothing and at affordable prices – There are cheaper and just as suitable jackets available than below but this gives you an idea of what to look into.

The DLX range of ski jackets offers the maximum waterproof protection of 20000mm and have an increased breathability rating of 10000mvp for those who want to commit to the cause and make a real investment. DLX products offer performance-enhancing technicalities that are designed for life in extremes.

5. Base and Mid Layers

Base layers are what you wear under your jacket and pants and are often are just as important, especially in colder climates. When applying your base layers avoid cotton products, as they are neither waterproof nor breathable. Synthetic material or wool works best.

If it is very cold, then adding a mid layer over the base is a good idea. A fleece, sweater, and other similar clothing will keep you warm on the mountain.

6. Gloves / Mittens

Insulated gloves or mittens are also very important ski items. Since your hands will be in contact with the snow throughout the day, waterproof gloves or mittens are essential. Your gloves or mittens should also offer enough dexterity so you can easily hold on to the ski poles. Having warm hands is very important whilst skiing so make sure at the end of the day you make sure you dry your gloves somewhere if they are wet. You can also buy handwarmers to put inside your gloves if needed. If there re children with you it’s always a good idea to have a couple of pairs of gloves as it’s highly likely a glove will be lost or they will get wet during the day (normally from when they are making snowballs or creating snow angels).

7. Ski Socks

Keeping your feet dry is also essential to enjoying your day on the slopes. You should bring a minimum of two pair of ski socks, as you never know if you will need the second pair. Your socks also should be made out of wool or synthetic materials in order to keep your feet dry. Always wear just one pair of good ski socks whilst skiing (not 2 or 3 pairs as doing so can cause blisters which means you will find it difficult to ski)

8. Goggles

Goggles help increase your vision while battling glare and any snow fall. If you are renting a helmet at the resort, it may also help to rent your goggles as well. Goggles can also help if it’s windy as they offer more protection to stop your eyes from watering.

9. Backpack

To ensure you are prepared for anything, bringing a backpack filled with an assortment of items is wise. For example, you can pack sunscreen, lip protection, scarves, hats and maybe even a sandwich. Depending on the slopes where you are going to be skiing you may be able to get away without a backpack and fit items such as lipbalm and suncream in your pockets.

10. Hats

There are many hats that you can get and these are handy to wear whilst walking around the resort, especially on the evenings. You can lose about 40% of your body heat through your head.

11. Lip Balm

Lips can become dry and chapped very quickly at altitude so a good lip balm is essential. Get one with a high SPF so this will protect your lips against the sun as well.

12. Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses with UV protection will not only protect your eyes, but help you see the slopes. When the sun is shining, it reflects off the snow and can make it very difficult to see. It is recommended to have plastic lenses in case you break them. If it’s snowing at the time, you will find your goggles are more suitable than sunglasses.

13. Neck Warmer

These are great to have as not only will they keep your neck warm, but can also pull up over your face for those times when the wind chill is a bit much.

14. Water

Always make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated. A small plastic bottle of water in your pocket or backpack is a good idea (or you can also buy a hydration backpack if you prefer)


We hope you have found our “what to wear on the slopes” guide helpful but if you have any questions feel free to contact us.