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How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

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Fort Lauderdale
posts: 4
reviews: 7
How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

I am going to Breck at the end of December and will be celebrating New Year's Eve there with my boyfriend. We will be there 7 days. I have been browsing online and in some ski shops, but feel very overwhelmed by the choices- insulated vs shell, cheap vs. expensive, street wear vs. skiwear vs. snowboard wear, smart wool, thermals, hot chilis.. apres ski wear...I am beginning to feel stressed!!

Of course, I want to look stylish while there, but I want to be practical and smart about what to bring, and how much of it. So can anyone give me a comprehensive list of what is typically needed for skiing- layers, base layers, jacket, pants, etc., and also what to bring for apres ski wear?

Someone told me I needed to bring at least two ski jacket and pants in case one is wet.. then you can alternate between the two. Is this true? What are the best brands/fits for females? Do I need insulated or shells? I've also looked at snow boots - Sorel seems to be the best brand.. any opinions on these?

In addition, if we go snowmobiling or tubing, can I wear the ski wear or is it better to have more of a street wear jacket for this? I'd appreciate any guidance. I want to look good (I am a girl after all) and stay completely warm! Plus, I hate to be unprepared.

Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
posts: 3,723
reviews: 99
1. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

I ski 50-70 days per year. That said, you can get by with a single ski jacket. I regularly ski 8-10 days in a row in the same jacket and have never had an issue. I personally would not get an insulated jacket and layer instead. I actually don't own an insulated jacket and my pants aren't insulated either.

As far as boots, if you don't own winter boots then, IMHO, there is no point in buying them for a one week vacation. You are not going to freeze walking outside for a few minutes from one place to the next. For snowmobiling and tubing, you should be wearing your ski gear.

In terms of additional advice, I think bib/overall pants are much better for beginner skiers in preventing snow getting down your back every time you fall and will work just as well while doing other activities. Under my own shell clothing is a world of merino wool, however, if you don't spend six months a year in long underwear (I do) then poly-pro and fleece long johns and tops will be your best bet. I'd also avoid over-layering. Base layer (silk or poly), a mid-layer (one thicker and one thinner depending on the temps/activity) and a shell layer will work just fine. Silk or poly liner socks plus a thick wool sock for your feet will be fine as well. Where costs are concerned, it's really up to you but don't expect that a $500 jacket is going to keep you any warmer than the $100 jacket at the sports authority. For apres ski, just wear your long-underwear under some jeans and your ski jacket over a sweater and call it done. No need to overcomplicate things for a one week trip.

Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
posts: 3,723
reviews: 99
2. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

Sorry, almost forgot. For your comprehensive list of what to bring.

3-4 base layers

2-3 mid-layers

1 fleece jacket and or 1-2 sweaters

1 ski jacket and 1 pair of bib overalls.

3-4 pairs of liner socks

3-4 pairs of wool socks

A good warm hat and/or a neck gaiter

1 pair of mittens (they will be warmer than gloves).

Nederland, Colorado
posts: 6,741
reviews: 11
3. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

I agree with most of smushie's advice except the jacket and boots. Ladies tend to be less tolerant of the cold, especially those who live in Florida.

If you plan to go tubing or snowmobiling you definitely want to wear boots. Sorels are a good brand. Yes, wear your ski clothes for tubing and snowmobiling.

Since you are coming in late December I would advise you to wear an insulated jacket. (I only wear a shell in the spring.) You can get by with one jacket but bring 2 pairs of ski pants. If you can find a jacket with pit zips that helps to regulate your temperature. On a sunny day I can wear just a base layer under my jacket. But nights can be very cold (I've stood outside on NYE in below zero temps watching the fireworks) so you want to wear more layers..

I can't really suggest a "best brand" since we're all built differently. I have many ski jackets: Spyder, North Face, Obermeyer, Columbia.

For a base layer I wear Smart Wool (socks too), Patagonia Capilene, SnowAngel, Hot Chilis. I never wear sock liners - SmartWool socks do the trick for me (don't like thick wool). But that will depend on your tolerance for the cold. You can always get heated foot warmer insoles (Grabbers brand hand and foot warmers are sold everywhere).

Apres ski is pretty casual most anywhere. If it's really cold I'll wear my base layer under a pair of cords with a sweater.

No big deal, don't stress about it. Have fun!

Nederland, Colorado
posts: 6,741
reviews: 11
4. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

PS I buy a lot of my ski gear online from Sierra Trading Post - their prices are great. You'll probably want to try on jackets and pants, but base layers and socks you can order online: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/

Montrose, Colorado
posts: 526
reviews: 10
5. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

really good advice above. Here's what I'll add:

Wear a helmet skiing (you can rent) Bring a hat for apres ski. Ski gloves/mittens for skiing. But basic cotton gloves for apres ski.

Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
posts: 3,723
reviews: 99
6. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

Sierra Trading Post is a great website to get winter gear cheap. With a 25-35% off code you can get base-layers or even a fleece mid-layer for roughly $15. Ski jackets and pants are often under $100. I also agree with Babalax about boots if you're going to go snowmobiling. Any pack boot will make you much more comfortable while snowmobiling. I disagree however about buying an insulated coat or pants. If you've got multiple jackets then perhaps one might be insulated; however, for versatility, a fleece jacket under a shell (or fleece long-johns under shell pants) is no less warm than an insulated shell, is far more versatile, and dries much quicker if they really get soaked. My better half barely tips the scale at 100lbs when wet and doesn't own a single insulated jacket or pant, though she does on the coldest of days add a fourth layer (base, mid, fleece/puffy, and shell). She rides 40-60 days a year with a single pair of ski pants and doesn't think that there's anything "practical" about living in Florida and owning two or more pairs of ski pants. :-)

Edited: 3:38 pm, November 04, 2012
posts: 782
reviews: 3
7. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

I never wear an insulated jacket either, and I'm female. I do layer a lot on cold days, and sometimes have added a down vest (but I just don't ski the below zero days anymore, so that isn't necessary).

You can get great fleece shirts for layering at the Walmart in Frisco for very reasonable prices (around $10-20) and it will have something to do with Colorado embroidered on it, so it will make a great souvenir to take home. Do NOT wear anything with cotton as an under layer (including socks) because the cotton retains the moisture from snow and sweating, which just makes you more cold.

For the outer shell, make sure it is waterproof and breathable. I would probably spend the most money on the jacket. If you get something made of GoreTex (or similar), you will probably get a little use out of it in Florida. It is great for the occasional chilly, rainy day in the winter. We have used ours in Disney World in Nov. and January.

Sorels are great, but expensive and you probably won't get much use out of them in Florida. Target has great boots (I like my Target boots better than my Sorels and have been wearing them for years), and they have a website if you'd like to order before arriving. Walmart also has boots in Frisco and probably has boots on their website. The boots from both of these run about $30.

Dublin, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Mexico City
posts: 727
reviews: 94
8. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

I have always brought only one jacket & ski pants and been fine for a week or more. Most places have a washer and dryer so it is not a big deal if they get wet to toss them in the dryer on low for a little bit and lay them out to dry for the next day.

I would bring 2 good pairs of ski gloves because they do get wet and they are hard to dry even in a dryer. A hair dryer works better. Look for a pair with draw sting at the wrist to keep the snow out.

For the base layer, one on-line option is Athleta which is part of gap/old navy/banana republic. They are a little pricey but very good quality. Honestly I have several good items from Target's c-9 line however you may need to order online as often items like fleece lined turtlenecks and running tights may not be available at your local store.

I wear running tights under my ski pants, if it is really cold long underwear & tights under my ski pants. I wear insulated ski pants not shells. While the bib style may keep more snow out, it is a royal pain to go to the bathroom and I have never had problem getting snow down my pants.

I usually wear:

a tank/cami in a technical fabric (like dri-fit)

a technical fabric turtleneck

a mid weight fleece

an unlined jacket with zippers under arms, velcro at the wrists

Running tights

lined ski pants

Smart wool socks midweight or heavy weight depending on temp

If it is really cold I wear a fleece hat under my helmet & a fleece scarf and add another layer on top like a light sweatshirt or fleece. I also use the foot warmers as my feet chill easily, I find them very effective. They get warm on contact.

Boots- I wouldn't spend a lot of money on them. The snow mobile places I have been have snowmobile suits and boots you can wear. You might want to consider a hiking type boot that you may get some use out of later (that is usually what I bring instead of my shovel the driveway/walk the dog when there is a foot of snow boots) because they are lighter and easier to wear or pack. Double up on socks and wear some foot warmers when you go tubing and you will be alright.

Apres ski jeans, sweater and lightweight jacket/fleece are usually sufficient to get in and out of places without being loaded down.

I would definitely think timeless fashion-wise- black or navy snow pants, a quality jacket in a timeless color that you like so if you go skiing in 5 years you are not hating it! Personally, I would stay away from prints just go with the basics.

One last thought- you may want to buy a neoprene or fleece headband to cover your ears under your helmet, sometimes you don't need a hat & helmet but you ned to cover your ears.

Enjoy your trip.

Aspen, Colorado
posts: 1,626
9. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

No need to repeat the good advice already given except to repeat --gloves. Get the best you can afford. Once your fingers and hands are cold you're in the lodge drinking your hot white russian instead of being on the hill. I like Swany brand with the zip pocket for the hand warmer and a $10 pair of poly liners. In fact, buy a box of the warmers online in advance to save big.

Edited: 10:11 pm, November 04, 2012
Fort Lauderdale
posts: 4
reviews: 7
10. Re: How Much Ski Wear/After Ski Wear to Bring for 7 days?

Thanks to everyone.. all awesome advice! I do get cold very easily (I'm used to flip flops and humidity!) so I will probably invest in whatever will keep me the warmest. I did feel that investing in a good pair of boots would be important too, since we probably will be doing other snow activities besides skiing - tubing, snowmobiling, dogsled, walking, etc. Smushie, I agree that living in FL, it's not practical to own skiwear - let alone 2 or more or anything. However, I'm hoping not to make this trip my last one! :) Thinking I'll love it so much, I'll be back soon! Babalax, I appreciate the advice on apres ski. Wasn't sure how dressy people get for dinner and such. Sounds like cords or jeans will work with a warm base layer underneath, and sweater/jacket on top. Thanks again to everyone. Your advice definitely helped me feel a little less stressed..