Heading out on a ski vacation and ready to pack your bags? Do you know everything you need to bring? Our family loves to go skiing and we know what you need to bring along on the trip. From knit caps to warm socks, my ski trip packing list will keep you cozy on the slopes!
By the way, you’ll find the packing list at the end of the post.
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Ski Clothing to Pack
First things first, let’s talk about what clothing to pack to wear while skiing.
Ski Jackets & Pants
You need to equip yourself with a great waterproof ski jacket. Make sure to find one that has a few easily accessible pockets. This is useful in case you want to grab your phone for a photo or enjoy a granola bar on the chair lift.
You also want one that has a good range of motion in the arms — move your arms around to make sure the shoulders and back aren’t too tight.
And you definitely need a pair of ski pants. These are insulated to keep you warm but also waterproof to protect you from getting wet from the snow. Some ski pants have suspenders, others just snap-close at the waist. I personally don’t like the suspender ones because of bathroom breaks.
Once you have a great jacket and pants, you don’t want a lot of bulk underneath so a good quality base layer works great. My husband has a pair of old-fashion style long underwear he wears. The girls and I love to wear these for our base layers. They keep us warm, go on easily, and are super comfortable for a long day on the slopes!
Of course, if you envision taking off your ski pants to hang out in the lodge, you might want to wear a thicker pair of leggings than some base layers. Although my Cuddlduds are kind of like leggings, if I was hanging out in public I’d choose something like this for my base layer.
You’ll want a good pair of ski socks. They’ll help keep your feet warm and dry, and they are pretty much the only way to survive a day in ski boots.
Make sure to wear a pair like these that have mostly wool (Merino is best) plus some synthetic, like nylon. This combo will help keep your feet warm and hopefully prevent blisters.
Ski Gloves / Mittens
You need a great pair of ski gloves for your trip. My Canadian family actually prefers mittens, so you should decide what you’d like most. Make sure they’re waterproof and well-insulated, like these gloves. Also, look for ones that clip together – we recently lost one glove in Keystone.
Balaklava / Neck Buff
My girls used to hate wearing balaclavas, but they soon realized the difference they make on the hill if it’s really cold or a weather front moves in. You need a great layer that will let you breathe and fits smoothly under your helmet. We love thin ones, but we also don’t ski in extremely cold temps. You’ll need something heavier if you’re facing the extreme cold.
Ski Gear to Bring
Now there’s a chance you’ll be renting your ski gear if you’re new to the sport. But if you do have your own ski gear, make sure you have plans to haul it along. Definitely check your airline’s rules for oversized/ski gear baggage so you’re not surprised at the airport by fees.
- Skis / Snowboard
- Ski / Snowboard Boots
- Ski Poles
To keep your ski gear protected, I recommend you purchase a ski bag for your skis, board, and possibly even boots. Although boots can often be packed in your regular checked suitcase.
Here’s something you might not think to pack, but it’s really important. Especially if you’re dealing with a higher altitude, you don’t want to get dehydrated and get altitude sickness. We love traveling with these Nomader collapsible water bottles because they have a strap you can clip on a bag and can collapse to be able to shove in a pocket and pack away easily.
Often it makes sense to buy your lift tickets in advance online. Most resorts offer cheaper tickets if you buy them in advance. You can also check out the pricing at Undercover Tourist as they have discounted tickets and vacation package specials for many of the top west coast ski resorts.
Cozy Winter Clothing to Wear on a Ski Vacation
Jeans / Pants
When you’re not on the ski hill, you’ll want a cute pair of jeans or pants to wear around the village and for dinner at night. A dark wash skinny jean works great with sweaters and can look nice for dinner. I also love bringing black leggings to pair with a great oversized sweater.
Long Sleeve Tops / Shirts
You’ll have to figure out how many days you’ll be exploring out of your ski jacket and base layer and make sure to bring some tops for those times. I love these simple long-sleeve tees at Target.
Sweater / Fleece
You’ll want to pack some cute sweaters for fleeces for hanging out in the village or going to dinner. Slim your packing by re-wearing a sweater (love this fair isle style) a couple of times for dinner. And pair some cute long-sleeve tees with a great fleece like this one, and you’ll be super cute and comfy.
We’re normally heading straight to the hill from our car or from our hotel so we wear our ski jacket and pants always. However, if you’re heading into town and planning to hang around a bit off the hill, you might want to bring a packable puffer coat if you feel your ski jacket is too bulky or wet.
You’ll want a great pair of cozy snow boots for the times you’re not skiing. I personally love a waterproof hiking style boot like this one, but you might prefer to bring a more fashionable snow boot.
Knit Cap / Beanie
Don’t forget to pack a winter hat (or toque as Canadians like to call it). This will be great for keeping your head warm when you’re not skiing in your helmet. Plus, knit caps can work better than coat hoods for windy weather.
If you have a full head balaclava for skiing, consider a cute pom beanie for coziness off the slopes.
Undergarments & Socks
This is pretty basic, but keep in mind that you’ll probably want ski socks for when you ski and then another pair of socks you can put on after skiing. Plus, I recommend packing some fuzzy socks for all those cozy lounging moments.
Small Bag / Backpack
While your ski jacket pockets will serve you well on the slopes, you might want to bring a small backpack if you’re packing your own lunch while skiing, or for holding your stuff when you’re hanging out in the village.
Everything Else to Add to Your Ski Trip Packing List
- Pajamas – pack comfy ones!
- Swimsuit – in case you have access to a hot tub.
- Toiletries – you might have dry skin and need extra moisturizer.
- Sunglasses – sunny days can be bright with snow.
- Sunscreen – just because it’s cold doesn’t mean UV rays aren’t present.
- Lip Balm – your lips will probably get dry or chapped.
- Walkie Talkies – we LOVE these Relay walkie talkies / trackers for the kids, they work on cell towers so are better IMO.
- Camera / Action Cam – consider bringing a GoPro and mounts.
- Energy Snacks – snacks are always great to have in your pocket.
- Hand / Boot Warmers – these are great to stash in your pockets.
- Ibuprofen / Muscle Rub – you might get sore so be ready for that!
There you have my go-to items you need to add to your ski trip packing list. Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get your own copy of my printable checklist to use while packing for your own ski vacation.