Clothing is an extremely important part of skiing. The mountain is a rough environment and wearing the wrong outfit can not only ruin your day but also be dangerous in case of unforeseen events.To choose ski clothes is indeed one of the first things you should put thought into before heading on the slopes
Good skiing gears are expensive and it is, of course, a big investment for people that only occasionally go to the mountain. However, clothes designed for skiing even if they are of a lesser quality are a must have that no “city” clothes can replace.
That’s the reason why you should start thinking in “layers”, starting from the inside out:
The base layer – The first pick when you choose ski clothes
The base layer is extremely important and is also the most affordable. This layer consists of a close-to-skin fabric and is designed to regulate your body temperature by moving sweat away from your skin (if you sweat, you get wet and if you get wet, you will be cold).
You need this moisture to get away as fast as possible. Many types of base layers exist but we personally favor a very tight layer designed both to easily ventilate the skin and encapture some air to serve as a basic protection against cold. The ski underwear is normally not the most fashionable one but important to keep you from getting cold while skiing.
The Mid-layer – Adapting to every season
The role of the mid layer is to encapsulate air in order to serve as insulation and keep you warm. That is the only layer you will change depending on the weather condition. For a very warm spring day, you will even entirely skip it.
For a normal winter day, a pullover or a light polar jacket will perfectly do the trick but a warm microfleece that keeps you warm without restraining your movements would be the ideal mid-layer when the temperatures are notably below 0°C.
The Insulating layer -Protecting from the elements
The last layer is your ski jacket. It’s first and foremost role is to protect your from the elements (namely water and wind) and this should be your most important consideration.
For an occasional skier, I would recommend choosing a 2 layer shell with a breathability and water resistance ratio of at least 10k.
If you tend to be more sensitive to the cold than the average, opt for a thicker model that contains more air but otherwise, you will be fine adjusting the heat by changing your 2nd layer.
There is a lot of choice of ski wear for men and women on the market and it mostly depends on your personal style which kind of ski clothes you will want to choose.
How to choose my ski pants?
Your pants are normally made of the same material than your jacket. You will not have a second layer on your legs which is normally not a problem as your legs feel less the cold than your chest but, if you are sensitive, it might be worth to choose a thicker pant.
If you are a snowboarder, you will spend more time on your knees and sitting in the snow and should, therefore, choose a pant with a higher water resistance.
The ski socks
One problem is often imputed to ski socks: “My feets are cold”. Does this sound familiar? Don’t jump on buying ski socks for cold feet just now, the problem might actually lie somewhere else.
As the feet are far from your heart, they do not beneficiate from a good blood circulation and often become the first part of the body to get cold. However, even if you feel warm everywhere else, the problem might come from insufficient layer set-up. Try wearing a warmer 2nd layer, it might already solve your issue.
If it doesn’t, maybe it is your boots that are not properly fitted as too big or too small boots facilitate the loss of warm. If this is not your case, you can try heat protection socks but keep in mind that they often tend to make your feet sweat, which means that they get wet and therefore actually facilitate the sensation of cold.
We hope that you will keep our tips in mind when you choose ski clothes for yourself in the future.
For more information on skiing do not hesitate to read our other sport coaching articles.