Skiing is one of the most exciting and unique sports out there that everybody should try at least once in their lives. Skiing down a snowy hill and feeling the crisp wind in your face is refreshing and exhilarating, and there isn’t much else that can compare to the feeling.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert skier, keep in mind that a skier is only as good as his ski gear! Without the right skiing equipment, clothing, and accessories, you cannot make the most of your skiing experience.
If you’re planning a ski trip, whether for cross country skiing, backcountry skiing, or alpine, you need to ensure you’ll have access to the right ski gear. Your gear should be the right size for you, fit you well, and be of good quality so that it is an investment that will last you many years.
Let’s take a look at the different gear you need for skiing, whether you should rent out the gear or make the investment of buying it new, and what some of the best brands for ski gear are out there.
Should You Rent Skiing Equipment or Buy It?
If you are a beginner and this is your first time skiing, it might be a good idea to rent out skiing equipment or borrow it from friends and family. Skiing is a bit of a niche sport, and not everybody is an avid skier. Skiing is also much harder than it looks and is a skill that may not come naturally and requires a lot of practice and consistency.
If you just want to try it out once or twice or see if it’s something you enjoy and want to continue on with, then we definitely suggest renting out the gear for your first few times skiing. It would be a waste of time, effort, and money if you research the right gear and spend a lot of money on buying the best quality things, only to realize that maybe skiing isn’t the sport for you.
However, renting or borrowing ski gear has its own set of problems. Most ski resorts offer gear for rent, but in the holiday season and winter months, you may find that there are a lot of guests at the resort, and as a result, there may not be any equipment available for you to rent out. That would mean at least part of your day wasted when you could have been out on the slopes!
Another problem is that rented and borrowed gear may not be the right size and fit for you. Having the wrong size gear can be uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. It can result in falls, injuries, and accidents.
You should decide what the better option is for you: renting or buying. If you are interested in buying your own gear, then let’s look at the different equipment you will need and what to look out for when buying the equipment.
What You’ll Need
Here is a list of the 9 essential items that you need when it comes to ski gear:
1. Skis and Ski Bag
The kind of skis you use will affect how you ski, how comfortable you feel, and how well you can turn and balance. Skis are not something you can compromise on. There are different kinds of skis available, with different weights, binding types, levels of flexibility. Your skis should be the right size for your height and weight. In general, the skis should be the length from your toes to your chin. The terrain you ski on and the type of snow can also affect the type of skis you should get.
If you’re looking to buy skis, we have some suggestions for you. Try the Rossignol Experience 76 CI Skis with Look Xpress Bindings or the Rossignol Experience Pro Skis with Look Kid-X 4 Binding.
Most skis come along with a ski bag, but if the pair you buy doesn’t, it would be a good idea to separately purchase a ski bag. The bag makes it easier to carry the skis and also protects them from damage or any wear and tear.
2. Ski Poles
When looking at potential ski poles to buy, pay attention to the weight of the poles, the flexibility, and the length. The poles should not be too heavy for you to lift comfortably, nor should they be so light that they cannot bear your weight. The poles should also be flexible so that they do not break when you try out different turns and jumps. Lastly, pay close attention to the length of the poles. The length of your poles will depend on your height. Ski poles usually come in a range between thirty and fifty-six inches.
Take a look at the Retrospec Solstice Trekking & Ski Poles and the Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles.
3. Ski Helmet
After skis and ski poles, a ski helmet is the next most important bit of bear that you need. There is nothing more important than protecting your head during almost any sport. You need to make sure that you buy a strong and solid helmet that is made of sturdy material and will not cave in if you take a fall. The helmet should also have a protective lining that will keep your head warm and dry throughout your runs. Also, pay attention to the fit on the helmet. It should be the right shape for you and not be too tight or too loose.
We suggest the Retrospec H1 Ski & Snowboard Helmet, the AKASO Ski Helmet, and the TurboSke Ski Helmet.
4. Ski Goggles
Goggles are an absolute must-have when it comes to gear for skiing. You cannot compromise on your vision when you are partaking in a dangerous and fast sport like skiing. Rushing down a hill at high speeds leaves your eyes vulnerable to sharp cold air, snow, sun, and water. Protecting your eyes from the elements means that you will have a clear field of vision and will be able to ski better and with fewer falls or accidents.
Ski goggles come in different styles, sizes, lens shapes, and qualities. Some good options that are not too expensive are the Findlay Ski Goggles and the HUBO SPORTS Ski Snow Goggles.
5. Ski Boots
Ski boots are essential for skiing and can’t be missed out on. Ski boots are specifically designed to be bound to your skis and are meant to protect your feet from the cold. The boots should be the right size for you, snug but with enough space for socks. They should also be snow and water-proof and have a protective lining.
Try out the Salomon X Access 70 Wide Ski Boots, the Columbia Women’s Paninaro Omni-Heat Pull-on Snow Boot, and the Rossignol Pure Comfort 60 Ski Boots.
6. Ski Jacket
A good ski jacket should be water and snow-proof, be made out of a material that repels snow and water, have plenty of pocket space for various accessories, and be lined with an insulating material like fleece. Some ski jackets also come with hoods that are detachable. A hooded jacket is a good idea as the hood can be pulled over your helmet and give your head extra warmth and protection.
For ski jackets, we suggest you try out the Arc’teryx Fission SV Jacket and the SUOKENI Waterproof Ski Jacket.
7. Ski Pants
Like your ski jacket, ski pants should be made of water and snow-proof material and have an insulating lining made of fleece or some other warming material. The pants should be a perfect fit to ensure you are comfortable while skiing. If they are too tight, it may affect your flexibility and become a hindrance. Conversely, if they are loose, you will be uncomfortable and unable to pull them up repeatedly since your hands will be busy holding the ski poles. Some ski pants also have an elastic cuff at the bottom that fits around your ski boots and gives you an added layer of protection from any snow or water getting into your boots.
You should try out the Heatwave Thermal Trousers or the Gash Hao Men’s Snow Ski Waterproof Softshell Pants.
8. Ski Socks
Ski socks are an important investment and should not be overlooked. Ski socks are essential for protecting your feet and keeping them safe from extreme cold. They are also great for reducing the risk of blisters and sores. Ski boots can often be heavy and uncomfortable, and ski socks provide an added layer between your feet and the boots.
Try looking for a pair in wool or synthetic material. It may be a good idea to get two or three pairs of socks. We suggest the Thermal Ski Socks or the Weierya Ski Socks.
9. Water-proof Gloves
Gloves are essential for protecting your hands and fingers from the snow, cold winds, and water. Gloves should be water-proof and snow-proof and lined with an insulating material. They should also be a material that helps you grip your ski poles tightly and securely. Some skiing gloves come with textured bumps along with the palms and the inside of the fingers to help with grip.
Some of the gloves we suggest are the Columbia Youth Whirlibird Glove, the Anjetan Waterproof Thermal Gloves, and the MCTi Waterproof Ski Gloves.
Some of the Best Ski Gear Brands
Skiing is a gear-intensive sport, and skiing equipment can be very expensive if you want to purchase high-quality gear. Here are some brands that range from high-end to more affordable that make good quality gear.
Arc’teryx is a Canadian brand that has expensive but extremely high quality, stylish, and well-fitting gear. It is one of the best-known brands in the skiing industry and has earned a great reputation for itself. The brand’s most popular gears are their ski jackets and ski pants.
Patagonia is a California-based brand that has become popular worldwide and focuses on producing environmentally friendly gear and using sustainable materials. If you want good quality gear and are environmentally conscious, this is the brand for you!
Columbia is a brand based in Oregon that freestyle skiers are more familiar with. It is an outdoor adventure brand but is well known for its ski jackets and fleece materials. Columbia gear is affordable and great in quality.
Rossignol is a French ski gear brand that has been in the market for over a hundred years and has experience in making a wide range of ski products. Their products are affordable and durable, and you can’t go wrong with a company that has been in the business for such a long time.
These were just a few of the top brands you can look at when you’re doing your research on ski equipment and trying to figure out what brands to look at and what types of equipment to buy.
Our Final Thoughts
When it comes to ski equipment, there are so many options to choose from. Skiing is a gear-intensive sport, and the quality of your gear directly affects the quality of your skiing and your confidence on the slopes. Whether you decide to rent, borrow, or buy your gear, do plenty of research on the features you’re looking for and make sure that your gear is the correct size for you.
Yes, ski gear can be expensive when you buy it, but it is an investment worth making if you think you will be an avid skier and will want to make ski trips every year. Make sure to get all 9 of the ski gear that we have mentioned, and happy skiing!