What Ski Clothing and Equipment Do I Need For My Ski Trip?

Posted in Ski Tips by Steve Barron on 07/08/2019

Ski Equipment

A ski holiday is going to take more planning than your average holiday because you don’t just need to consider basic packing but all the specialist gear and equipment you may need to bring along.

So if you are planning on travelling light and making the most of that low air fare, you could end up paying more in hire costs when you get to your destination. So really to save both money and time it is worth striking the right balance between what you need to bring along and what you don’t need if it’s your first ski holiday.

To make life easier it is worth categorising what you need as clothing and equipment. In the case of the latter, you may find it is cheaper to rent most of your equipment so your main concern will be what clothing you want to bring along.

Ski Clothing

The best advice is to bring all your own specialist ski clothing as at least you have it for any future holidays although you can rent with us once in resort if you prefer.  There will of course be plenty of shops around the resort if you wish to look for clothes to buy there but normally prices can be more expensive than you will find in your home country especially in the UK and Ireland in stores such as Trespass or TK Maxx.

So with this in mind here are the main types of clothing to bring along:

Base Layer

This is important because it is the layer next to your body. Simply putting on a general t-shirt will leave you sweating and struggling to keep warm. A good base layer will be breathable and draw sweat away from your body which in turn will help retain body heat. Your base layer should include thermal leggings

Mid layer

A mid layer helps retain heat between the base and outer layer of your ski clothing and is usually made of a fleece type material. The thickness you opt for will depend on the conditions you are likely to encounter. At low levels you can get away with just a lightweight layer as you will be generating plenty of heat while exercising on the slopes.

Outer layer

This is your ski jacket and these can vary in quality. You tend to get what you pay for and the best ones can cost you from 500€ to 1,000€. You can get a perfectly good jacket and trousers for a lot less than this however and as a beginner you are unlikely to be encountering extreme cold and outer layers that insulate against minus -70 Fahrenheit so you don’t need to spend silly money to start off with.


A good pair of ski socks are a must for skiing to keep your feet warm.  These are the parts of the body that move least in ski boots and the most likely to feel the effect of the cold conditions. Just wearing one pair of a good quality ski socks is sufficient.


Nobody skis without gloves. A good pair of ski gloves should definitely be on your shopping list and you will be glad you made the investment. Also warm hands are happy hands

Snow boots

You’ll need a pair of these to walk to the ski slopes and to move around generally. It isn’t necessary to spend a fortune on them and a cheap basic pair should be fine.

Ski Equipment

As we mentioned earlier the equipment you bring along with you is largely optional. People sometimes prefer to bring their own rather than hire it at the resort.


You can buy your skis and bring them along, but you can also hire them at your destinations which will work out a lot cheaper unless you are skiing several times a year or you are at an advanced level. Hire them as part of a ski pack and you may get them cheaper still.

Ski boots

Ski boots can be very expensive and very heavy to carry so again there is no need to spend a fortune and have the hassle of transporting them to the resort when you can simply rent once there.

Ski poles

You may not even need ski poles if you are a beginner. They can often get in the way when you are starting out and it is often easier to keep your balance without them on beginner slopes and work on your ski technique instead. This depends on your instructor although you should automatically get these when renting ski & boots in the rental shops

Ski helmet

A helmet is an absolute and is compulsory for children under 14 years of age. Some high profile celebrity skiing accidents in recent years should alert you to the potential danger of head injuries and you can hire a helmet cheaply or purchase one to bring along. They tend to be lightweight so are not going to add too much to your luggage.