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What to wear on a ski trip

image Thursday, 04, January, 2024

Embarking on your first ski adventure: EcoSki explains what to wear and why.

You've booked your first ski holiday and excitement levels are high. Now it’s time to think about what to pack! The whole clothing conundrum can be a bit baffling so the friendly team at EcoSki are here to help you navigate the slopes in style. 

Whether you're buying, borrowing, or renting your ski gear, knowing what to pack is crucial. Read on for their concise guide of what you'll need plus a handy checklist for a week's skiing at the end.


1. Socks and Underwear

First things first, let's talk comfort. Get yourself some knee-high socks specially made for skiing – trust us, your everyday thick woolly socks will rub, give you blisters and could ruin your holiday.  Also don't skimp on the underwear; opt for stretchy, moisture-wicking fabrics like cotton, silk, or bamboo. Ladies, a supportive sports bra is a must and we also recommend a fitted merino vest if you really feel the cold.

2. Baselayers

These really are like the unsung heroes of skiing attire. Worn next to the skin you need snug fitting, breathable layers that hug you in all the right places. Go for sustainably or regeneratively produced merino wool for that extra touch of warmth, breathability, and are all naturally odour resistance. We recommend icebreaker and Mons Royale. 2 sets for the week should suffice if you wear one/air one on alternate days.

3. Midlayers

Layering really is the secret to staying warm. Whether you go with a down, wool or synthetic midlayer, the choice is very dependent on how much you feel the cold. We recommend the midlayers made by RAB and Norrona. They are lightweight and easy to pack away if not required. They are also moisture wicking.

4. Ski Jacket and Trousers/Salopettes: Shell vs. Insulated Jackets

Now, let's get to the main event – your ski jacket and trousers. If you’re new to the game, insulated jackets and trousers will be the cheaper option. We love the Protest and Planks collection this year – it’s cost effective and fun. Shell jackets and trousers are more commonplace for off-piste and touring trips as they have much better breathability and waterproof ratings – we love Ortovox and Amundsen. Perfecting your layering system with shell outerwear is essential.

5. Gloves

Your hands require a lot of love. Poor quality gloves (like socks and baselayers) really can ruin your holiday. Invest in ski-specific gloves that are waterproof, breathable, and insulated. Our go-to are Hestra and Reusch. If you opt for cheaper quality then consider adding a liner glove too. Remember mittens will be warmer than 5-finger gloves. Reusch’s warmest gloves are aptly called the Volcano for good reason!

6. Hat or Helmet

Safety first, folks! A ski helmet is non-negotiable, especially for newbies, and usually a mandatory part of your skiwear. Feel free to add a beanie or a stylish headband for those lunchtime and après-ski moments. Peak Retreats can pre-book a ski helmet for you and have it waiting for you in resort.

7. Goggles and Sunglasses

Eyes on the prize – protect those peepers. Goggles are your shield against snow blindness, nope this is not just a myth, make sure your eyes are protected even if the sun isn’t out. Goggles are easier to wear with a helmet. Be sure to also pack some robust sunglasses for lunch breaks and après-ski moments.

8. Skis, Boots, and Poles

For the gear novices, renting skis, boots, and poles is the way to go. It's like test-driving before committing to a long-term relationship with your equipment. Pre-book these through Peak Retreats, and you're all set.

9. Other must-haves

30 SPF Sunscreen is an absolute must-have and don't forget that lip balm, choose one that provides sun protection and acts as a barrier cream.

Handwarmers are great for those cold days and work especially well for kids.

A neck gaiter or snood is essential in keeping your neck warm whilst you enjoy the slopes.

Snacks are key, skiing burns calories, so keep some chocolate or homemade trail mix in your pocket for that mid-slope energy boost.

Finally, whilst it may seem daunting to choose the appropriate skiwear for your first ski trip, don't be alarmed. At EcoSki you can rent your ski kit, which means no long-term commitment is required. You can try different layering options to understand what works best for you. You can even buy the items out at the end of your rental if you really don’t want to part with it. We offer a try-on service and are here to help answer all your skiwear questions. Head over to to find out more.

One week's kit checklist for first-time skiers

  • 3 x knee-high ski socks
  • 7 x trousers
  • 2 x sports bras (for women)
  • 2 x baselayer tops
  • 2 x baselayer bottoms
  • 1 x neck gaiter
  • 2 x fleeces/wool jumper
  • 1 x down jacket (if ski jacket is not insulated but also handy to have as your evening resort jacket.
  • 1 x pair of ski gloves/mittens
  • 1 x pair lining gloves (if you get cold and/or have thinner gloves). Also useful for evening resort wear.
  • 1 x ski jacket
  • 1 x ski trousers/salopettes
  • 1 x ski goggles
  • 1 x sunglasses
  • 1 x woolly hat
  • 1 x swimming costume
  • 1 x backpack
  • 1 x water bottle
  • Handwarmers
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
Before you leave… Sorry to see you go. Before you do, would you mind just telling us why?

Also, don’t forget you can give us a call on 023 9283 9310 or email if you couldn’t find what you needed.
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