Sponsored by Nikwax

Lift passes booked. Accommodation sorted. But what state is your ski gear in? Now’s the time to get it ski slope ready. 

Snow will start to fall across European and North American resorts in the next couple of months. Talk will turn to bindings, black runs and button lifts. You may even have your flights already booked, but we can guarantee your ski gear will still be boxed up in the loft languishing in a similar state to that when you touched down at the airport last winter. So how do you get it back to piste perfection? Here are our five key stages to remember when preparing your clothes for the slopes this winter

Air it

Never pack your suitcase straight from the wardrobe (or the box in the loft!) Get your ski pants, jacket, base layers, socks and gloves out and give them an airing. Check all the zips still work and there are no holes in the pockets. You don’t want to discover your Lift Pass has dropped out as you reach the chairlift turnstile! Remove old melted lip balms, exploded bottles of sunscreen, lift passes and tissues. You might even find a bonus five Euro note.

Check it

Put some time aside to check over your helmet and goggles properly. These are two incredibly important and potentially life-saving pieces of equipment. Were they stored in a safe way, or could they have been knocked about badly? Look for tiny cracks or dents that might represent weak spots and check over the internal absorbent material and foam – it should all be intact. Are there any rips in the straps of your helmet or goggles? If in any doubt, its worth buying a new helmet or pair of goggles and always from a reputable brand. You can also use a product like Nikwax Visor Proof to help repel water from your goggles.

Wear it

Make sure your heating isn’t on and then get yourself dressed up in your entire ski or snowboard outfit. It’s the only way to make sure it still fits after all those summer ice-creams and there are no tears or rips. Poorly fitting or damaged clothing won’t protect you properly when you’re up against the elements and you’ll only feel cold, wet and uncomfortable. If you do have to buy new gear, look for brands like Eider who repair or upcycle damaged clothing.

Wash it

Any mud, dirt or grime on your waterproof clothing will soak up water. Not great when you fall over into the powder for the hundredth time that morning! Especially if your dirty clothes have been neglected over the summer months. At any rate, even if they don’t appear dirty, it’s good to give your outer garments and base layers a freshen up. It’s best to use a technical wash like Nikwax Tech Wash which also revitalises the breathability of your clothes. It’s really easy to use because you just pop it into the washing machine with your clothes as you would do with normal detergent. And for your sweaty, smelly base layers, Nikwax Base Fresh works in the same way to deodorise and soften your clothing - enhancing its drying and cooling properties for future ski trips.

Waterproof it

Then you need to specifically re-waterproof your outer garments like ski jackets and pants. Nikwax TX.Direct is another technical product that can also be added to your washing machine cycle. It treats not only the fabric but also the seams, tapes and cords. The Durable Water Repellency (DWR) develops as everything air dries afterwards. This also removes the need to use a tumble dryer, saving energy and protecting more vulnerable, older garments from heat. All of Nikwax’s products are safe to use because they’re PFC-free and water based for the lowest environmental impact.

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