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skier creating snow cloud

The 9 Best Ski Gear Items for This Winter


Got a mountain getaway planned this winter? These ski gear items will keep you warm and dry while you tear it up on the slopes.

Outdoor Research Blackpowder II Pants

Outdoor Research

Who says ski pants have to be bright and garish? Outdoor Research’s slim and stylish black Blackpowder II Pants (men’s version here) look good and perform even better. These pants have a Pertex Shield that makes them water and windproof, and a cozy fabric lining to keep your legs warm on the coldest days. Zippered outer thigh vents let in much-needed air if you work up too much of a sweat, and there are plenty of pockets to hold all your stuff. Gaiters are built-in to help your pants stay in place over your boots and to keep out snow.

FITS Ski Socks

red and white sock, purple gray black sock

Socks are that piece of ski gear that you never really put any thought in to—until the first time you try a pair that’s specifically designed for skiing and feel the difference. With FITS’ ski line, you can choose a sock that’s customized for the type of skiing you’ll be doing—there are different socks for Black Diamond-experts wearing custom boots and weekend skiers looking for warmth, comfort and everything in between. All the socks are made from an insulating and moisture-wicking Merino Wool/Nylon/Spandex blend, and feature various levels of cushioning.

Fjallraven KEB Lite Padded Jacket

black puff jacket

After skiing in frigid New England winters for many years, I’ve discovered the secret to staying warm while skiing—layer a puffy jacket under a ski parka. Fjallraven’s KEB Lite Padded Jacket is perfect for this—it’s thin enough that it will work under your regular ski jacket without feeling bulky, and it’s super lightweight and packs down small in your bag for when you don’t need it. Off the slopes, this jacket is great on its own. Wind and water-resistant, it will keep you warm even in damp conditions.

Backcountry Baselayers

teal exercise quarter zip and leggings

Layer correctly, and you can ski until last chair. Backcountry’s Matilda Baselayer Bottom and matching top are thin enough to fit under any outfit, but made from an ultra-warm Merino Wool blend that will help regulate your temperature.

Outdoor Research Lodgeside Beanie

gray and black beanies with pom on top

For apres-ski, there’s no better look (or way to cover up your helmet hair) than a cute hat. Outdoor Research’s Lodgeside Beanie. This adorable cable knit beanie has a warm secret—a fleece lining and patented GORE Windstopper ear protectant that will keep your head and ears cozy (and laser-cut ear openings that mean your hearing won’t be muffled).

Free Country Swift Softshell Ski Pants

loose black ski pants
Free Country

Free Country’s Swift Softshell Ski Pants is the rare item of ski gear pants that actually feel like sweatpants, thanks to their fleece lining. The comfortable lining is topped with a bonded three-layer softshell that will protect you from rain and snow. The bootcut style makes it easy to pull these on over your ski boots, and the pants are equipped Gripper Hem Gaiters to help keep the snow out.

Fuel Optics High Performance Anti-Fog Ski and Snow Goggles

reflective blue ski googles with black strap

Good quality ski gear doesn’t have to cost more than a lift ticket. These goggles from Fuel Optics have all of the best features (anti-fog, magnetic quick change lenses, and an adjustable strap), but only cost around $40.

Hot Sockees

red toe warmers

Nothing can cut your day short faster than cold feet. Hot Sockees solves this problem. Made from a thin neoprene fabric, these toe warmers slide over your socks and can be worn with ski boots without hindering performance. The Hot Sockees keep your toes warm all day long by trapping in heat.

Giro LEDGE MIPS Snow Helmet

black and purple helmets

If you’re in the market for a new helmet, it’s worth investing in one with MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) technology. This somewhat recent innovation for helmets helps to better protect your brain during rotational impacts—which are common during skiing falls. Giro’s LEDGE helmet offers MIPS protection at an affordable price, and comes in a wide variety of colors and fits.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is always on the lookout for the best new ski gear. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for photos from the slopes and around the world. 

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

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