What gear do I need for skiing?(26 Posts)
What do I have to buy, and what can I hire? About to take the plunge (hopefully not literally) at Easter; any help gratefully received
Hat, goggles, facemask (depending on where you're going), wicking base layers (shirt and leggings), coat, gloves, liner gloves (again, depending on how cold it will be), ski socks, pants (not too baggy, but not too tight. If it's your first time, you'll probably want some with plenty of "give", but not so loose that you'll end up with snow down your arse).
Sorry, so I would buy: hat, goggles, facemask, wicking base layers, gloves, and a couple of pairs of socks.
You can probably get away with renting a coat and pants.
Thanks Reginald, that's very helpful; are there any particular shops you'd recommend? We're probably going to Zurs over the Easter holiays.
Decathlon and TK Maxx do ski stuff, probably not yet though, and if you're going at Easter I would wait until well into the season and see if you can get some at sale prices.
I don't know Zurs, but you would have to be at a very high altitude to need double layers of everything at Easter - it's surprisingly warm when you are exerting yourself. I have skied in early March without base layers on my legs, just salopettes, and with just a long sleeved wicking top layer and a hooded sweatshirt (but only once I was only rarely falling over in the snow!) So perhaps think about a jacket that has a detachable warm inner layer, because as a beginner you'll want to be waterproof top and bottom.
I would also recommend a helmet instead of a wooly hat - I think about 50% of people wear them now and you may even find it is mentioned in your insurance as a basic precaution they expect you to take. You can usually hire them with your skis in the shop for very little cost. You need proper snow-grade sunglasses that wrap around the sides (snow blind tunnel vision is Not Fun). And don't skimp on socks - you need them right up your shins and well padded. In the old days of stiff boots we used to wear two pairs of socks, but not now.
other random points: don't carry your life around with you in a backpack - it pulls your centre of gravity out. Just carry a small bottle of water, a stick of sunblock, money and room key (inner zip pocket), and your EHIC (same pocket as your lift pass).
Layers for underneath
Boots for walking in the snow
Isabella do you have friends who ski that might be willing to lend you some of their gear? Would save a lot of money in case it turns out to be a one-off holiday.
I agree with Rake that at Easter you're unlikely to need leggings underneath your ski trousers.
Thanks for all the suggestions; really helpful, as we have no idea as to what to expect really.
Will definitely get a helmet, and will try to beg or borrow other stuff, as it could absolutely be a one-off, with a high possibility that I might spend the week eating cheese rather than skiing...
Hi, I have a ton of hardly used ski clothes (Columbia jacket with removable fleece, Eider jacket, probably some ski pants too, helmet) at home if you´re still in need. Have been meaning to take it to the local hospice shop/charity but not got around to it and would be more than happy to send some to you if any of it would fit?
That's very kind of you, YoniOneLeft, but I have a couple of friends who should be able to help us out here. But thank you very much for thinking of me
Helmet is a complete must. They are the seatbelts of our age - we will look back in 20 years time in wonderment that people could have been so reckless as to not use them. Make sure it fits properly. Everything else is secondary.
Don't buy those awful sweat-inducing nylon ski socks. A thin pair of silk ones, or even cotton ones will be fine unless you are prone to poor circulation. They do need to be high, though, to stop the chafing around your shins.
Salopettes with braces are a no-no - too difficult to go to the loo. Regular pants fine.
So... soft-shell pants, soft shell top, and maybe a long-sleeved tee shirt underneath it. Vest if it's below minus 5 or so (unlikely this Easter, with it being late).
My advice would be: keep gear to a minimum. If there is anything likely to put you off skiing for life, it's the feeling that you have to remember about a million and one bits of kit before setting off.
Goggles are IME not necessary unless you are skiing in powder. I never get why people wear these. Shatter-proof sunnies on a retainer are fine. If you're wearing a helmet the glasses over-ear bits will be inside your helmet in any case.
If you have hiking boots, these will be fine for walking around in the snow. Streets may well be clear in April anyway.
You don't need anything special for apres ski - just whatever you fancy wearing.
Mines a brand called Nevica I got it all from Sports Direct last year for half the retail price.
Thermal top and bottoms
Ski socks (a few pairs)
Sallopets (not sure how to spell it haha)
Micro fleece (or a thick jumper)
Ski gloves (it's worth buying a good pair as cold hand while skiing is not fun)
Neck warmer that you can pull up over your mouth if you're cold
RENT - helmet (keeps your head warm as well as safe), ski boots and skis
I agree with rakeabed in that it's better to buy a jacket with a few safe pockets for money, phone and keys as skiing with a backpack is a real pain in the arse. I also recommend going to val thoren in the three valleys, went in feb half term last year and there was about 2 metres of snow! -15 degrees though :/
future did you have a woolly hat or helmet? I have found the helmet has stopped any problems with steaming up. I started wearing a helmet about 7 years ago having had a break from skiing when DCs were too small & love it so much. My head is always cosy. I got knocked over by an out of control old man & was so pleased I was wearing it, I think I'd have been concussed if not.
Instead of ridiculously expensive base layers buy stretchy long sleeve tops and leggings from primark. Xx
Don't buy a helmet, it isn't worth it until you know that you are going regularly, you can hire them cheaply with the rest of the gear. I would never ski without one now.
Someone earlier mentioned that shops might not be doing ski gear yet but they are all in peak season, including the shops mentioned. Snow is good now in some parts of the Alps. However, since you are going at Easter, the other advice was good, wait for the sales later on.
It can be hot at Easter so you won't want so many layers, although having said that I have been at Easter when freezing!
On thermals, I love Icebreaker leggings & long sleeved tops. They're wool, but don't itch at all. Downside is that they are expensive. Upside, you can wear them all week and they don't get smelly as they wick and breathe.
A recent fab find is Uniqlo's Heat Tech fleeces. They're high necked, thin and really warm and comfy. Layer beautifully under jacket compared to ordinary fleeces will collars, zips etc. And only £10.
Yes, yes to fleece neckwarmer - you can pull it up over chin & face if you need.
And equally no to backpack. Not only will it affect your balance as others have said, if its above a certain size you will have to remove it every time you get on a chair lift - faff.
oh and a lip balm with spf in it.
Aldi have theirs next week. Their cycling stuff is great but never bought ski stuff is
Perfectly fine for basics and much cheaper than equivalents.
What about jackets? Would I be better off hiring one through school? (this is for ds btw, takes a men's size small - going to Austria in February).
I would get him a jacket that he can wear at home too. Lidl are doing ski gear this week, I think someone mentioned. Look on eBay.
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