Ski Trip Packing List (Updated Jan 2022)
Traveling with your ski gear can be a little more challenging than packing for any other kind of trip because your equipment is very bulky. At She Packs Lite, I’m here to help you make the most of any trip by packing efficiently and conservatively. Compression packing cubes will be your best friend because the compression straps will let you squish down bulky clothing items so you can pack a few extra layers. Keep reading for the ultimate ski trip packing list for your next ski holiday, whether it be with friends or a family ski trip!
Want more resources on packing for packing and skiing?
- All the Ski Essentials (+ Printable Packing List!)
- 13 Best Ski Boot Bags for Air Travel: Protect Your Gear | 2022
- 27 Piece Winter Wardrobe Capsule For Travels Near and Far
Ski Trip Packing List: Layer Up
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Since ski season is in the winter, it’s natural to think that you should bundle up when you’re on the mountain. However, skiing is physical activity, so you’re likely to heat up quite a bit once you get going. Depending on the weather on a particular day, you may need to shed a few layers or add some on.
1 | Thermal Shirts
Thermal shirts make a great base layer for any ski outfit, whether you’re on the mountain or hanging out around town afterward. If you’re skiing on a bluebird day, you may not need more than a thermal and a ski jacket to keep you comfortable, but if it’s a little colder, most sweaters fit easily over a long-sleeved thermal shirt.
2 | Long underwear or leggings
Other things that should be on your ski trip checklist are some leggings or long underwear to go under your ski pants. Sweatpants will be uncomfortable or bulky under ski pants. Tighter-fitting leggings will keep your body heat in while you’re on the slopes and they tuck in easily to your ski socks.
3 | Wool sweaters
On cold weather days, if you need a bit more warmth while you’re skiing, a merino wool sweater is a great option for a second layer. This extra layer also works great for walking around the resort town after you’re done skiing.
4 | Not thick socks – ski socks
Ski boots are pretty uncomfortable as far as ski gear goes, but a good pair of ski socks can really help keep you comfortable during a long day. You can find socks that are specially made for skiing at most outdoor stores, but a pair of warm socks also work well too. Any avid skier will tell you that a good pair of socks will make a big difference; freezing feet can really put a damper on the day.
Ski Trip Packing List: Essential ski clothes
Some other ski essentials that you should have with you will help keep you warm and dry while you’re skiing in the case that your encounter some stormy days. Packing cubes will really come in handy for these items because they can be a bit bulkier than any of the other clothes that you’ll pack.
5 | Waterproof ski jacket and ski pants
Of course, for any ski vacation, a ski jacket and pants are some of the more essential items that should be on your packing list. North Face makes some great winter gear, but you can find a lot of great ski jackets and pant sets from other brands including Under Armour and Burton.
6 | Ski boots
If you’re packing your own equipment, it goes without saying to be sure to include ski boots. If it’s your first time skiing, you might decide to rent skis and boots when you get to the resort. Renting ski equipment also saves you the trouble of checking extra bags for your flight. Ski boots are highly personal and dependant on your feet, your skill and your budget. I am not recommending any boots because I cannot do it justice in this brief space.
7 | Face mask for cold days
If you’ve been skiing on a stormy day, you probably remember the feeling of the winter wind stinging your cheeks and making your entire face numb. As fun as skiing is, the weather can have a big impact on your day. If you’re only on your trip for a short time, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ski vacation. Packing a face mask for those bitter cold days will greatly improve your mood and help you take advantage of your time away.
8 | Ski gloves or mittens
Another essential item of ski clothing is ski gloves. Protecting your hands from the cold is very important, especially when you’re flying down the mountain. Some people prefer mittens to gloves, but no matter what your personal preference, just make sure you have something to keep your hands covered.
Ski Trip Packing List: Other ski gear & accessories
A ski trip is one that requires quite a bit more specialized gear than any other vacation you’ll go on. There’s a lot of equipment and accessories that you should either pack or plan on renting when you get to your destination. If you’re planning on traveling with all of your gear, be sure to check out your airline’s carry on and checked baggage policies to make sure you’re not going to be paying an arm and a leg for all of your gear to travel with you.
9 | Skis & poles
At the risk of sounding too obvious, be sure to remember skis and ski poles for your ski trip. A lot of resort towns have plenty of places where you can rent skis and poles if you don’t have them or if you don’t want to check a lot of bags full of equipment. If you’re new to skiing, it’s also not a bad idea to check out a ski school to make sure you’re learning how to ski safely and correctly.
Similar to boots, your ski equipment takes research and thought into your skill level and budget. I cannot make a recommendation that is meaningful here. You should visit a store that specializes in skis to find ones right for you.
10 | Boot bag
Ski equipment can be expensive to rent, especially when it’s in a resort town. The best way to save money on ski and boot rentals on your next ski trip is to bring your gear with you. If you’re flying, you’ll have to check your pair of skis, but you should be able to carry everything else with you. I’ve compiled a list of the best ski boot bags of different sizes after reading tons of ski boot bag reviews so you can pick a great boot bag that gives you enough room for all of your ski gear.
11 | Ski helmet
If you’re renting skis, you’ll be able to rent a helmet as well, but if you’re planning on bringing your own skis for your trip, be sure to remember your ski helmet. If you’re an avid skier, a helmet may not seem necessary, but skiing is a sport and therefore requires appropriate safety gear. Play it safe and wear a helmet at all times while you’re skiing.
12 | Ski goggles
Ski goggles not only protect your face from the cold, they protect it from the sun as well. If it’s your first time skiing and you’re in the market for ski clothing, be sure to pick out some goggles that offer UV protection from the sun. Think of them like heavy-duty sunglasses for that strong mountain sun.
13 | Water bottle
When you’re at high altitude, it’s really important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re coming from somewhere that is around sea level. Altitude sickness can ruin a ski trip and leave you in bed for the remainder of your vacation. It’s a good idea to have a backpack or some kind of day pack with you while you’re skiing so you can stay hydrated and avoid missing out on a great trip.
13 | Sunscreen & lip balm
Some people prefer a baseball cap at the beach, others like a floppy Most people think to pack sunscreen and lip balm for sunny beach vacations, but they’re equally as important for ski vacations. In fact, they’re probably some of the most important items to have with you while you’re skiing. The sun up on a mountain on a sunny day is incredibly strong, which can lead to nasty sunburns in a matter of hours if you don’t apply sunscreen. Even if it’s cloudy, be sure to get your SPF on before hitting the slopes every day.
14 | Hand warmers
The high altitude can be chilling, especially when you’re not lucky enough to have sunny days on the slopes. Check the weather before you get to your destination, and if it looks like it’s going to be cloudy and cold, throw some handwarmers in your day pack if your fingers start to get cold on the mountain. They’ll make a huge difference when you’re riding up those chairlifts.
Ski Trip Packing List: Casual clothing after a day on the slopes
As fun as skiing is, the moment I’m off the mountain all I want to do is take all of those layers off. If you’re taking a ski trip with the entire family, there’s probably very little reason to dress up, so keep it casual when you’re packing non-ski clothes.
15 | Snow boots
A great ski trip means that you’ll be dealing with a lot of snow pile up both on and off the mountain. Regular shoes won’t keep your feet warm and dry while you’re walking around, so I recommend bringing snow boots to help you navigate the winter season weather. If you don’t have room in your checked luggage or ski bags, you can always wear these boots on the plane if you need to save a little room.
16 | Bathing suit
After a day on the slopes, nothing warms you up like a soak in the hot tub. Ski season may not scream ‘bathing suit’ to you, but that’s why in my packing tips I always recommend packing a bathing suit even if you don’t think you’ll need one. Many of the best ski resorts also have great amenities, including hot tubs, gyms, and saunas.
17 | Winter hat
A ski helmet does a pretty good job of keeping your head warm while you’re on the ski lifts and slopes, but after that, you’ll need something to keep yourself warm while you’re walking around town. A warm winter hat is something that you can throw in your day pack just in case you need to swap your helmet for a hat during the day.
20 | Compression Packing Cubes
Compression packing cubes are perfect to keep your luggage organized. I like these Taskin bags in particular because there is a side with a mesh window and the other side that can be used as a laundry dry bag.
If you would like to see other types of packing cubes, here is a post for more reading! 10 Best Compression Packing Cubes: Pack Like a Pro.
FAQ: Ski Trip Packing List
Still have lingering questions about all the gear and clothing you should pack for your next family ski trip? Keep reading to have your remaining questions answered while you get ready to hit the slopes.
What should I pack for a luxury ski trip?
Base layers are an important part of a ski trip wardrobe because they’ll be the things keeping you warm for the most part. However, another very important part of your packing list for a ski vacation is the actual ski gear. This include a ski jacket, pants, helmet, gloves and a helmet.
What clothes do I need for a ski trip?
Thermals are a great option for any ski trip. I also suggest bringing some fleece or wool sweaters for extra layers while you’re skiing or for when you’re ready to relax at the end of the day.
What should I wear for my first time skiing?
Unlike a lot of other vacations, you don’t need fancy or fashionable clothes for a ski trip. Dressing for comfort is key, but dressing for warmth is very important. As long as you have some comfortable clothes that will keep you warm, you’ll be good to go!