Snow Gear Essentials Checklist – Must-haves when hitting the slopes
Snow is synonymous with layers, and whether you're a snow aficionado or just getting into it, there are essential clothing items and accessories you just can't go without. Forgetting any of the essentials will not only compromise your comfort and enjoyment levels, but safety too.
With the above in mind, we've put together a snow gear checklist to tick off when packing your gear before your next trip to the snow.
1. Base Layer
Think of thermals as the platform upon which all other layers build upon. Thermal tops and bottoms offer fast moisture wicking capabilities to help keep you dry but also assist in retaining all-important body heat.
Thermal layers should fit your body like a glove for them to be most effective, so you need to ensure you choose the right size.
2. Mid layer
Moving on from the base layer and thermals, the next thing to think about is the mid layer. Mid layers are akin to a cake filling. You put them on over the base and prior to the icing (outer layer).
Mid layers act as insulation by trapping any heat that might have escaped past your thermals. And when it comes to mid layers, it's hard to go past fleece. While not solely a snow-item, fleece is durable, tough, warm and protective.
Taking a fleece jacket or top to the snow will ensure further protection from the wind without being weighed down by another layer. The durability of most fleece tops means that you can rely on them in tough conditions, year after year.
3. Outer layer
Ski Jacket & Ski Pants
Last but certainly not least, is the outer layer, or the icing on the cake as far as layering goes.
Ski jacket and pants are the first barrier to protecting your body from the wind and icy temperatures. Opt for water-resistant, insulated options that are still breathable so that you rid your body of excess moisture build up inside your clothing while still protecting yourself from the elements.
When choosing your ski jacket and ski pants, be mindful of the fact that both will be worn over base and mid layers, so you may need to choose a bigger size than normal.
We highly recommend a ski jacket with a ski pass pocket in the sleeve for ease of access.
Beyond your torso and legs, you want to ensure your hands and feet stay warm. Most people have experienced the feeling of icy cold fingers during that first sign of winter when gloves quickly rocket up the shopping list.
Consider the plummeting temperatures at the snow and you'll realise rather quickly just how important it is to invest in quality gloves.
Similarly to your hands, your feet cannot be forgotten when packing essential snow gear. Feet have a big impact on body temperature due to a lack of muscle mass, which means they cool down a lot faster than other regions of the body. It makes sense then to invest in multiple pairs of quality thermal socks.
To ensure a steady grip and that you remain on your feet - as often as possible in the snow - waterproof snow boots are a non-negotiable.
This one is easy to overlook, but it certainly shouldn't be. Protecting your eyes while enjoying the slopes, is just as important as it is to do so on a warm sunny day by the beach.
Don't be fooled by the cool climate; being higher up means you are more susceptible to the harsh UV rays. Protect your eyes with a pair of 100% UV protected goggles. Ensure that they have anti-fog capabilities to help with that all-important visibility.
Beanies are must-haves throughout the cooler months; thus, when it comes to the plummeting temperatures often experienced at the snow, they simply can't be forgotten.
For extra warmth look for a 100% Merino wool beanie or go one further with a balaclava. Just be sure to ditch the pom pom versions, as they'll get in the way of that all-important helmet.
Just as you should on a bike, a helmet is a must at the snow. Look for a durable, lightweight helmet that allows you to move freely when shooting down the slopes. Most mountain resorts will have a requirement that children have to wear helmets at all times so forgetting this item is a big no-no.
10. Other essential snow items
As is the case when packing for any holiday, there's more to remember than just clothing as far as a trip to the snow is concerned.
To further increase warmth among your hands, one handy bit of kit is hand warmers. These easy-to-pack gems are an environmentally friendly heat source using all- ingredients that are non-toxic, odourless, and non-combustible.
Sunscreen may not be on your radar when considering the snow, but as mentioned above, UV radiation is more intense at elevations, so be sure to cover all exposed skin, and re-apply every four hours.