A Brief Guide For First-Time Skiwear Buyers

Kitting yourself out with the right gear is an essential part of preparing to hit the slopes. With so many brands to choose from and numerous pieces of kit available, it can be a bit daunting for newbies to know exactly what to wear and how much to spend on it. With the winter snow season well under way we’ve put together a brief guide for those buying skiwear for the first time. We’ll take a look at the most essential skiwear you need to get hold of, and the key features you should be looking out for before you buy.


A good ski jacket should be well insulated, breathable and waterproof. Your jacket forms the first line of defence between you and the elements, and you should always look out for the following features when picking one out:

  • Ski pass holderMake sure your jacket has a good ski pass holder and you will benefit from the convenience of being able to keep your pass safe, secure and readily available.
  • Pull tabsPull tabs on zips are ideal because they allow you to freely zip and unzip your jacket whilst wearing ski gloves, keeping your hands nice and toasty!
  • VentilationGood ventilation and breathability are key features because the last thing you want is to feel like you’re overheating out on the slopes. Breathable jackets will allow sweat to evaporate away from the body, preventing the build-up of excess moisture and keeping your body at a comfortable temperature.
  • Thumb looped inner cuffsLook out for thumb loops as they will allow you to use your jacket cuffs as protection when you remove your gloves for lunch or an extended break.

A good jacket can be found for under £100

Ski pants

Ski pants should be breathable whilst providing your legs with good levels of insulation. You can pick up a good pair for under £50, and the key features you should be looking out for include sturdy front fasteners, zip pockets and internal gaiters to grip the pants to your ski boots.


It’s best not to scrimp when it comes to buying a decent pair of goggles, but you can find good pairs for around £40. The brightness of the sun is amplified when reflected off the snow and a good pair of goggles will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. There are several different lens types that accommodate varying light conditions, including black chrome for bright weather and orange for low light.


Along with goggles and gloves, ski helmets are vital for keeping you safe and warm when skiing. A good helmet can be found for under £50 and the majority are pretty light, comfortable and well ventilated. To ensure you get a good fit make sure to check the specific brand sizing and compare it to your own head measurements – each brand has its own interpretation of standard sizing so if you don’t make thorough checks you could end up vulnerable to serious injury.


With so many different options to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a pair of thermals. Designed to trap a thin layer of air against the body, thermal baselayers are designed to pull sweat away from the skin, a process referred to as ‘wicking’. Avoid cotton thermals as they soak up sweat and draw heat away from the body when wet, which in extreme cases can lead to hypothermia. The best thermals are made from Merino wool or synthetic fabrics. Merino is great for extremely cold conditions whilst synthetic baselayers are cheaper and tend to dry slightly quicker.

Hopefully this brief guide has given you a better idea of what you should be looking out for whilst preparing for a ski trip. Remember everybody falls their first time so stay safe, and have fun!

About the Author: Ski & Trek is a premium independent ski wear retailer. They offer a range of quality all-weather ski clothing from a range of leading sportswear manufacturers.

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Robert Stewart

Ski Editor at Snow.Guide

Rob has extensive knowledge and experience of winter sports and has been qualified to instruct and teach Alpine Skiing for over 25 years. He is also an experienced off-piste and backcountry skier and has competed in freestyle and freeride events around the world. Now a full-time ski writer and Director of Ski Press, Rob is Snow.Guide’s Ski Editor and contributes to many other snowsports, national and lifestyle publications.

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