This is an add-on post from my Cold Weather Skiing Wardrobe Capsule post, which walks skiers (particularly first timers and moms) through warm layer dressing options to prolong time on the slopes. Now that your core and legs are warm, let’s jump to some really great snow skiing accessories that will enhance your cold weather skiing experience.
After 45 years of skiing, the SWANY Toaster (Arctic Mitten), is the most functional mitten/glove I’ve found. The mitten encases thermal gloves which can be accessed by a long, sealed zipper. Hand warmers are easily placed into the mitten… try two per glove for extra cold days:)
Anyone who has been skiing long enough knows a good ski helmet is a must. If you ski once a year, consider purchasing your own helmet. Visit a ski shop to try on several brands and sizes of helmets to ensure the best fit for your noggin. Not only will your helmet protect your head in an accident, it also provides warmth… and of course, it’s a canvas for some cool skiing stickers! Our family invested in GIRO helmets and have been happy with the quality.
Ski googles are a must for skiing on cold, windy days. They protect your eyes and most of the upper part of your face. There are so many brands and styles to choose from, so while you’re trying on helmets, check out the google options. This would be a good time to coordinate helmet/google fit. Our family skis in SMITH googles, but there are other excellent brands from which to choose. Best Ski Goggles of 2022 article.
I added a ski hood/face mask this year, and it really protected my head, face, and neck from the freezing wind. These masks can be found at most sporting good stores, but Amazon (of course!) has a large selection. I’ve linked one to REI above.
A lightweight, warm vest with collar is also helpful to trap heat under the main ski jacket. Patagonia has many vest options.
Finding the right snow boots is important since you’ll need to keep feet warm and dry transitioning into ski boots. PAJAR Canadian brand boots are an excellent investment for your winter wardrobe. The insulted inside and water proof outside protects feet and lower legs from getting wet. Getting a flatter boot allows for more stability on the snow and ice. I bought half a size up to allow room for thick ski socks. The Canadians certainly know about cold weather, and these boots are worth it!
Bringing a insulated, non-skiing jacket is a good idea for the times when you don’t want to layer up. Since we drive to skiing destinations, my jacket comes in handy as a blanket/back support/pillow. Eddie Bauer usually has decent prices for quality jackets, and it’s hard to beat their sales. Patagonia also has great jackets!
Handy Odds-n-Ends– Presorting your sunscreen, chapstick, and skin care products before the ski trip will save you time and money. It’s a good idea to place these items in zip lock plastic bags and/or reusable bags since the altitude may cause them to explode. I make smaller zip bags for each of our family members with a small sun screen and chapstick included for them to carry in their ski jackets. Phytomer skin care line has clinically proven natural product. Check out Heidi Cooper’s Skinside Out (Phytomer products) site for products and knowledgable advice.
Snacks on the go… Chocolate helps you ski better… this is not scientifically proven, but a little chocolate takes the bite out of those windy, frigid ski lift rides. Granola (bars), nuts, raisons, dried fruit, and string cheese are also good ski snacks.
Save your bulky ski gloves for the slopes, and bring some regular hats and gloves. They are nice to have when you’re walking around town or making a grocery run. It’s also handy to have regular hats and sunglasses on the trip.
If you’re lucky enough to have a ‘pack mule’ in your skiing group, they might be so kind as to carry some or most of the skiing extras. A small backpack or fannypack (yes, they are back in style!) helps consolidate these small items.
And last but not least, it’s always nice to pop off those hard, heavy ski boots and wear your own fuzzy slippers at the end of a long day on the slopes…:)
Happy skiing to you and your family. May you create some special memories on the slopes,
Sarah Heinzelmann Andersen
p.s. I would love to hear about your favorite places to ski and your tips&tricks that make your ski trips more comfortable.