17 Top Ski Trip Packing List Items + What NOT to Bring (2019 Update)

Updated on March 17, 2019 by Asher Fergusson

What should I pack for a ski trip?

There’s no better way to make the most of winter than by hitting the slopes! Whether you’ll be taking it easy on the bunny hills or flying down the more advanced runs, being prepared is key. Getting caught without proper gear, sun protection, change of clothes, etc. can really ruin your day!

Check out this list of my 17 ski trip must-haves and sure you don’t forget a thing. Remember your smile, keep your chapstick and shades close, and get ready to ride some powder!

1) Gloves – Gloves are two of the most important things you’ll be bringing on your ski trip. Make sure you get specialized ski gloves so that your hands don’t overheat, but stay protected from the wind and snow. These ones work great for skiing.
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2) Sweaters and jackets – Layers are important when heading out for a day of skiing. I like to layer a thermal long sleeve shirt underneath a sweater or jacket. Remember to wear clothing made of synthetic materials so that your sweat will dry quickly.
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3) Long Underwear – This is an important base layer of your ski outfit. These ones are sweat-wicking, insulating and ultra comfortable.
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4) Buff – A buff is another name for a neck warmer and muffler combo. It can also be used as a headband or sweatband. Buffs are super multipurpose and very handy while skiing.
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5) Snow boots – For those occasions during your ski trip in which you are not skiing, it’s handy to have some cute, warm snow boots with you. Slip these white ones on with any sort of outfit and feel like a bona fide snow bunny!
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6) Warm hat – Did you know that most of your body heat is lost through your head? Keep that heat in and your overall body temperature regulated by wearing a warm hat. This beanie is perfect for slipping on under your ski mask, and is a good alternative to earmuffs.
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7) Waterproof Ski Pants – The last thing you’ll want to worry about on your ski holiday is wet pants! You can’t help exposing your clothing to the snow and ice, so having waterproof pants is key. These ski pants are highly rated and extremely insulated, yet breathable.
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8) Waterproof Socks – Socks are vital to an enjoyable ski experience. Skiing in socks that absorb water will leave you cold and blistered at the end of the day. Stick with waterproof socks. These ones are breathable, waterproof and perfect for a day in the snow.
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9) GoPro – Even if you’re just a beginner, a ski trip almost guarantees awesome views! Bring a GoPro to capture all the incredible moments set in your snowy wonderland. There are special attachments you can get to attach the camera to your ski poles or to a helmet for first-person action footage.
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10) Sunglasses – The sun rays that bounce off of white snow can damage your eyes and even cause snow-blindness. It’s extremely important to bring polarized sunglasses on your ski trip. These ones are not to expensive, and come in some funky colors.
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11) Poles – Poles are obviously a key part of skiing. A good pair of poles should be sturdy, semi-flexible and lightweight. These Rossignol poles are perfect for the job.
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12) Ski bag – Of course, you’re going to need a bag to transport all of your ski gear. The awkward shape of much of your gear definitely calls for a specialized ski bag like this one, that can fit all your stuff and is extremely durable.
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13) Ski lock – When you stop for breaks at the lodge, or to grab a drink on your way back to the ski resort, keep your skis locked up with this three-digit lock. It’ll give you peace of mind during your trip.
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14) Skis – This one is a no-brainer. Obviously you need skis. I bet you didn’t know you could get some high quality skis on Amazon, though. These ones have awesome reviews and aren’t too expensive as far as skis are concerned.
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15) First Aid Kit – Accidents happen. And when they do, you’ll be glad that you’re prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit. This one can be slipped into your ski bag, and comes with everything you need to treat mild injuries on the slopes.
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16) Sunscreen – Like I said before, sun rays bouncing off the snow are intensified. It’s so easy to get sunburned while skiing even if it’s freezing outside! Most of your body will be covered by clothing and gear, but make sure you cover your face (and especially your lips) in SPF.
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17) Travel Pillow – Keep your neck and back aligned and kink-free by traveling with a pillow like this one. Nothing can ruin a vacation like a sore neck!
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Other packing list items for a ski trip:

What to wear skiing:

Layering is key when dressing for a day of skiing. Start with your base layers of thermal underwear and a synthetic long sleeve shirt. Your mid-layer is your insulating layer. It should be a soft-shell (or fleece) jacket or pullover. Your next layer is your protective layer including your ski pants. They should be waterproof, and wind resistant. Make sure you wear your waterproof ski socks, and maybe tuck an extra pair into your ski bag in case water or snow gets inside your socks. Ski gloves are important as well. Don’t forget your goggles, buff and any other accessories!

What NOT to bring:

1) 🚫 Scarf – A buff is a much more logical item of ski wear. An ordinary scarf runs the risk of flying off of your neck. A buff can be a scarf, a face guard, a headband, or a sweatband.

2) 🚫 Cotton clothing or socks – Cotton absorbs water and sweat easily, and then takes forever to dry. In freezing temperatures this is highly dangerous, and even puts you at risk for hypothermia. Opt for synthetic fabrics that are marketed as quick-dry or sweat-wicking.

3) 🚫 Dressy clothes – Ski towns are very laid back. After skiing most people go out for dinner or a beer in their ski clothes! If you’re in a nicer place like Aspen, CO, and are planning on having a fancier night out, go

4) 🚫 Jewelry

5) 🚫 Lots of electronics

FAQs about packing for a ski trip:

1) Should I bring my own gear or rent?

It depends on your budget and skill level, really. If you’re an experienced skier but you don’t have your own equipment, it may cost a little more to rent equipment that can keep up with your level of skill, but it’s worth it. If you’re a beginner, it makes more sense to rent since it’s unlikely that you’ve invested enough to purchase your own gear.

2) What types of lodging options are available?

Often resorts have their own lodges, or you can find hotels and even home-share options like condos very close to the resort. Often they even offer shuttle services!

3) What if skiing is not my thing, but I still want to go?

Try a sightseeing tour or a ski class that sounds like fun! Even if skiing isn’t your thing, a ski class can be a fun way to feel entertained and safe at any skill level. Other options for rental equipment can sometimes even include sleds or other fun and unique snow riding gear. Otherwise, check out the shopping and entertainment near the slopes!

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