This ski trip packing list covers all of the must-have essentials to keep you warm, comfortable, safe, and prepared out on the slopes!
Before you head out on your ski trip, properly packing your bag will be one of the most important things on your to-do list. However, while packing for a ski or snowboard trip can be stressful, a little forethought will go a long way. Keep in mind that cold-weather clothing and gear tends to be bulky, and while you’ll want to prioritize comfort, functionality and practicality are essential to keep you safe on the slopes.
First and foremost when packing for a ski trip, consider your destination. Will you be heading to a ski resort where you’ll be surrounded by shops and can easily pick up items you forgot at home? Or will you be heading into the backcountry with limited resources? Preparation is key either way, but packing appropriately and thoroughly, especially in the backcountry, is essential.
Additionally, consider whether you plan on renting gear in your destination or packing your own. Remember that bringing along boots, bindings, skiis, poles, and a snowboard may cost extra depending on what airline you fly with, so be sure to do your research in advance.
Here are my tips for how to pack for a safe, comfortable ski trip!
Ski Trip Packing List (Must-Have Essentials!)
A warm winter jacket that fits you well is absolutely essential for a ski trip and is something worth spending money on for good quality. You’ll want a jacket that is both waterproof and wind resistant, and that keeps you toasty all day long.
I love this jacket from Obermeyer. Not only does it keep me extremely warm, but it’s also fashionable, has zippered pockets, and inner hand warmer cuffs.
Like your jacket, you’ll want to find a pair of quality ski pants that will keep out water and wind. These ones from Arctix are lightweight, adjustable, and have boot gaiters to keep moisture out.
When you’re not skiing, a pair of quality snow boots are necessary to keep your feet toasty warm. Your boots, such as these Sorel’s, should be waterproof and have a tread to keep you from slipping on ice, and a higher boot will help to keep out snow.
Also make sure to bring along a few pairs of thick wool socks.
Gloves & Beanie
My fingers are the first thing to get cold when I’m skiing, and so I always make sure to invest in a quality pair of gloves. These ones from Burton are waterproof and even come with a liner for extra cold protection.
Additionally, you’re going to want to bring along a couple of beanies. I recommend a lighter one with no bulk to fit under your ski helmet (one that preferably covers your forehead too), and another, thicker beanie for non-ski activities.
Read more: How to Pack for a Sailing Trip
Think of your wintertime base layer as an extra layer of skin. You want this layer to fit close to your body, be lightweight, and be moisture wicking. I personally recommend merino wool as a base layer, as I find it to be super warm and not itchy at all. The Icebreaker brand makes excellent long-sleeve tops and bottoms and, while not exactly cheap, are definitely worth every penny.
Depending on the length of your trip, plan to bring along 2-3 base layer sets.
I recommend bringing either a fleece jacket, long-sleeve sweatshirt, or a wool sweater to act as a mid-layer between your base and your jacket. As for pants, a pair of (non-cotton) thermal leggings will do the trick.
A warm sweater is also great for lounging around après ski.
Ski Goggles or Sunglasses
The sun can be intense on the slopes, and there’s nothing like being blinded by the sun’s reflection on the snow when you’re speeding down a hill. While most sunglasses will do the job and keep the sun out of your eyes, for extra protection consider bringing a pair of anti-fog ski goggles.
Not only are scarves bulky and tend to whip around, they can be hazardous on chairlifts. Enter the neck warmer. Not only will a neck warmer be sleeker than a scarf, but it will also stay in place and keep you safe.
For those extra-cold destinations, bring along some adhesive hand warmers. Just stick them in your gloves and you’ll save your hands from going numb.
While not always thought of as a wintertime item, the sun’s UV rays and the reflection off the snow can be intense, and so sunscreen is a must. Always apply sunscreen on your face before you head out (and bring along a pocket-sized tube so you can reapply on the go). I also recommend bringing along a lip balm with an SPF included.
One of the best things after a long day on the slopes is going back to your lodge or resort and taking a dip in the hot tub. Remember to bring your swimsuit and a pair of flip flops for doing just so.
Small enough to stuff into a pocket, bringing along a GoPro will be an awesome way to document your trip. Plus, there are a lot of hands-free options for mounting it such as the helmet mount and the pole mount.