17 Must-Pack Essentials That'll Make Any Ski Trip Better
Skis? Check. Boots? Check. Sunscreen? Helmet? Travel mug? Don't worry, we made your packing list. Here are the essential items you won't want to forget for your next skiing getaway.
Whether you're headed off on a girls' weekend ski trip, a family getaway or a solo mission to shred without anyone to hold you back, there are a few things that make every winter trip a little cozier. Here are some of our favorite ski weekend must-haves for the slopes, the apres drinks and, of course, curling up by the fire with a good read.
Want to catch first chair? Skip the coffee shop run in favor of Alpine Start's instant Dirty Chai Latte, which really does taste just as good as the stuff that costs $5 a mug.
Joshua Tree's super-smooth lip balms are the kind you won't hesitate to apply. Protect your lips against chapping and sunburn with this SPF 15 organic balm.
Cold, dry mountain air won't do your skin any favors. Keep your hands from flaking with Green Goo, an all-natural skin repair salve that heals dry skin more quickly (and is TSA-friendlier) than lotion.
Keep your hands toasty on the coldest of days with this rechargeable handwarmer, which offers a little bit of extra heat when you need it most. Pack extras for the kids so they can get in a few extra runs before calling it quits. Bonus: It's also a phone charger.
Skida's buttery-soft neck warmers feel great against your skin and help regulate your temperature while you're flying down the mountain. Plus, they're much lighter and easier to pack than scarves. Skida's designs are mainly targeted toward women, but BUFF is also a great choice and has a huge variety of patterns for everyone.
The days of bulky, scratchy wool socks are over. Enter thin yet powerfully warm merino ski socks, ideal for hours of playing in the snow and days of staving off the odors of sweat. Darn Tough makes these socks for men, women and kids in a wide variety of colors, patterns and styles.
Eliminate single-use plastics and disposable cups by bringing your own travel mug to the mountain. Stanley's insulated ceramic bottles have treads low on the lip of the bottle instead of right at the top, so it feels more like you're drinking out of your favorite mug.
Avoid the dreaded goggle tan by bringing ample sunscreen along for your trip. And avoid plastering your face with nearly frozen goop by bringing along a powdered sunscreen like Brush On Block, which goes on invisibly, mess-free, in seconds.
Dry boots can be the difference between a fun day on the slopes and having cold, uncomfortable feet. If you're going on a multi-day ski trip and bringing your own gear in your car, bring along a portable dryer to air out your boots overnight. You can also use it to dry gloves and mittens, which will come in handy if your kids like to play in the snow long enough to soak through them.
Stay cozy (and stylish) while you apres with this ultra-soft fleece jacket from The North Face. It's a full-zip, making it easy to pull on and off and pair with other layers, and has two hand pockets.
It might seem counter-intuitive at first to wear long underwear that doesn't cover your full leg. But capri leggings are actually ideal for pairing with tall ski socks, so you don't end up with overlapping seams that dig into your skin. Kari Traa's merino wool baselayers for women are extremely comfortable, don't stink when you sweat and come in a wide variety of colors and Nordic-inspired patterns.
Patagonia's Black Hole duffel is highly water-resistant so you don't have to worry about your clothes getting wet if you drop this pack in a slush puddle or have to port it through a blizzard. The Black Hole line has duffels, backpacks and packing cubes in a wide variety of sizes so you can outfit the whole family.
Cut down your luggage weight by bringing a Kindle instead of a stack of books for lounging by the fire. The latest generation of Paperwhite Kindles are now hot tub-ready, too; they're waterproof, so they'll survive an accidental dunk.
Get cozy in the lodge after a full day on the slopes by dressing your feet in the equivalent of a cozy wool sweater. With rubber soles, arch support, and an adjustable drawcord to seal out the drafts, these slippers feel toasty both inside and outside, with or without socks.
If you think helmets are bulky, awkward, uncomfortable and not worth renting, you've been using the wrong helmet. A high-quality, comfortable helmet is the perfect addition to your gear closet, especially if you take ski trips regularly. Giro's Range helmets expand and contract to offer the perfect fit, and the cozy lining keeps your noggin warm. The low-friction MIPS liner helps further reduce the risk of serious brain injury in the event of a crash. It allows your head to slide in the helmet rather than directly absorb the full force of the crash.
Another nice-to-have item that will make days on the slopes better? Ski goggles. They offer you more than just sun and wind protection. Goggles with the right lenses can help you see terrain more clearly in flat light situations and on ultra-bright days when everything is reflecting off the slopes. Smith's 4D Mag ChromaPop goggles have lenses that snap in with magnets so you can change them out based on whatever conditions you're facing.
Pairing a technical shell with insulating mid-layers can be a smart way to make your outerwear more versatile year-round. This 3-layer shell from Fjällräven is certainly an investment piece, but it's one you'll have for a decade or more. This technical shell has long pit zips to help you dump heat quickly when you're working hard downhill (or uphill, if you're into alpine touring), and has huge chest pockets on the inside and outside of the jacket to store things like your phone, a beanie and an extra pair of gloves. When ski season is over, don't pack this jacket away with the rest of your winter gear; it's an excellent rain jacket to use in spring and summer as well.
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