Wearing the right clothing will keep you comfortable and help you get the most from your time on the mountain.
Skiing and snowboarding are active sports, so it’s important you stay warm, dry and comfortable on the slopes. Layering up is the key; not only do layers trap air, helping to keep you warm, but they also make your outfit more flexible, allowing you put on or take off extra items as the temperature changes.
Going from the inside out, snowsports clothing is split into three basic levels - a wicking base layer to take the moisture away from your skin, an insulating and breathable mid-layer to keep you warm and a waterproof breathable outer layer to protect you against the elements.
In practice when putting your snowsports wardrobe together, this means a set of thermals, a fleece or gilet, a pair of ski trousers and a ski jacket. Look for ski jackets with a snow-skirt and hood to keep the snow out and for jackets and trousers with zipped vents in case you get hot.
Other important items are socks (ideally specialised snowsports socks), waterproof gloves or mittens, goggles and a warm hat. Helmets are now very popular and must be worn by children in most resorts.
On really cold days, a pair of silk liner gloves worn underneath your ski gloves can make a real difference, especially if you tend to get cold hands. Other useful items for really cold temperatures are snoods (a type of scarf that goes all the way around your neck without flapping around), and a face mask to protect against the wind – these can be particularly welcome on a cold and windy chair lift.
One final thing not to forget is underwear – choose whatever makes you feel comfortable and supported. For women, wearing a sports bra can be a good idea to help absorb the impact of bumps in the snow as well as any falls.
Snowsports clothing is continually developing and there is plenty on the market to choose from. If you need any advice the best retailers have trained staff who can help you get what you need for your budget.
If you are after a bargain, look out for end-of-season sales or make use of the Ski Club member discounts available year-round. Inexpensive clothing is also available from many supermarkets such as Tesco, Aldi and Asda, as well as shops like TK Maxx or Decathlon. You can spend a small fortune on ski gear, but you don’t have to, especially if you ski just once a year.
Ski Club members can get discounts at many of the UK’s leading ski-wear retailers.