If you feel freezing while skiing, you’re not wearing the right ski wear. If you’re clothing is soaking wet on the inside at the end of a day’s skiing, you’re also wearing the wrong ski wear. If looking trendy is priority number 1, then you’re probably wearing the wrong ski wear too! If you fall into any of these categories, then you should definitely read our buyer's guide to ski wear. Ten tips on what’s important when buying ski jackets, ski pants, gloves and thermal underwear with information about breathable, windproof and waterproof ski wear so that you feel comfortable in any weather on the slopes. Happy skiing.
When choosing ski wear, try not to pay too much attention to the appearance of a new ski jacket or ski trousers. However, pay particular attention to the functionality. Take a close look at the materials and information given and ask the shop assistant for more details if necessary – in a good ski wear shop, the staff are generally well-informed. Take note of other details such as a special pocket for your ski pass or mobile phone, easily to close zippers or the snow guard in a ski jacket or in ski trousers. Try to imagine yourself on the slopes trying to get your mobile phone out to answer an urgent call…
The onion-skin principle used by extreme mountaineering experts has now been introduced to the world of ski wear. This means three layers of specially adapted clothing consisting of thermal underwear, an insulation layer (eg a fleece) and an outer, protective, waterproof layer (ski jacket). The three layers ensure that you are prepared for all weather conditions while skiing and if you carry a light-weight rucksack with you can always remove a layer if weather conditions warm up. You remain flexible, can move comfortably and you’re never too hot or too cold.
The importance of a first layer of ski clothing is often underestimated but this layer is obligatory if you don’t want to be swimming inside your ski wear at the end of the day. Avoid t-shirts made of pure cotton and rather choose functional, thermal underwear specially adapted for snow sports. Synthetic fabrics or wool provide good thermal insulation allowing any moisture can escape better.
The various layers of your ski wear will provide better heat and moisture regulation. The outer layer of ski clothing – your ski jacket and ski trousers - should be 100% waterproof and preferably also windproof and breathable. Materials used in the manufacturing process are continually developing, so that each ski season you can find better, more well-adapted ski wear.
Good ski wear does not have to be expensive. Even in discount stores you can now find functional ski wear which is sufficient for a 1-week ski holiday – however, you may find that once your ski trousers or ski jacket have been washed, that the material becomes less waterproof. Quality brands such as Peak Performance, Atomic and The North Face offer more expensive ski wear with optimal fit and freedom of movement – this ski wear will last you a good number of ski season even after washing or dry cleaning. So more expensive generally means your ski wear will last longer. If you like a new look every ski season, then no need really to invest 100s of pounds for your ski jacket or ski trousers.
When skiing you are constantly in motion whatever your level. It is important that your ski wear does not prevent you from complete freedom of movement. When trying on a new ski suit, ski jacket or ski trousers, imagine you are already on your ski holidays and bend down to reach your feet, swing your arms from right to left to make sure you do not feel confined and restricted in your movements. Some modern ski wear is made with very light and elastic materials that provide even greater freedom of movement.
Over the years ski wear trends, just like fashion trends, have come and gone and we now look back at the 1970s one-piece ski suits for adults with disbelief – much like many other fashion trends. If you want to be among the hippest skiers and snowboarders on the slopes for the season 2015-2016, bright, colorful ski jackets and ski trousers are essential. Black, brown or gray are out of the question. Your ski goggles must be rimless and extra-wide with funky, bright designs and why not treat yourself to an original ski mask.
Ski socks should fit well, be made of appropriate materials to prevent sweating and not be too thick. Ski gloves must be 100% water proof and keep your hands warm too – this is particularly important for snowboarders who spend much time with their hands in the snow. If you often suffer from having cold hands, you can also wear thin inner gloves to guarantee extra warmth. Not forgetting, of course, the most important element of your ski wear - a well-fitting, well-ventilated ski helmet to protect yourself from injury.
The truth is that buying a complete set of ski wear including a ski jacket, trousers, ski helmet, etc. works out very expensive and not everyone can afford to buy everything at once on top of the already high price of their ski holidays. It’s always a good idea in this case to borrow ski wear from friends or family. You can also find good second-hand ski wear or discounted ski wear in end of season sales in ski wear and sports shops.
To get the most out of your ski wear, you can also wear ski jackets and other accessories during the winter and not only on your ski holidays. If you choose more neutral colours, a ski jacket can be suitable as a winter jacket for long walks on cold days. Ski socks can be worn as cozy house socks while watching TV in the evenings on the couch. Thermal underwear will come in handy for any kind of outdoor sporting activity in cold weather. Read more info about ski equipment and ski gear.
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Being lucky enough to have parents who were crazy about skiing, my love for the mountains started when I was 4 years old on our first family ski holiday to Austrian ski resort of Obergurl. One ski holiday a year was never enough and tears rolled down my face as I looked out the back window of the car on the drive down the valley on the way home!
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