What to Pack for a Ski Trip
Are you heading to a resort for a long weekend this winter? Wondering what to pack? We’re here to help. No matter what your ski vacation might look like (resort skiing, flying vs. driving, backcountry, with kids, adults-only, etc.) there are some pieces of essential gear that you’ll want to make sure you have in your pack.
General Packing Tips
Are you bringing your own skis or snowboard? If so, check airline requirements for travelling with a ski/snowboard bag. Most airlines count a ski or snowboard bag as a piece of luggage but check with your airline to make sure that your bag fits size and weight requirements. Get creative with how you pack your bag to make the most out of the space!
We’re a fan of BYOS (bring your own snacks). Resort food can get pretty pricey, so an easy way to avoid astronomical fees is to bring easy snacks for days on the mountain. We’re a big fan of snack bars, or anything that’s easy to eat on a chairlift. Don’t forget to leave no trace, and make sure your snack bags and wrappers go in your pockets or pack when snacking on the mountain!
Packing cubes are your friend! With so many accessories and different articles of clothing needed, having an organizational structure to your suitcase or duffel bag can be a lifesaver. This also makes it easy to unpack and will help you find extras to then pack in your ski backpack for each day on the mountain.
Ski Trip Packing List
- Skis + Ski Poles / Snowboard (unless renting)
- Base layers
- Mid layers
Skis + Ski Poles / Snowboard
If you don’t have to pay extra to bring your ski or snowboard bag (meets flight requirements for a checked bag or you’re driving), bringing your own ski or snowboard is the preferred option over renting. It’s cheaper (significantly) and you have experience on that piece of equipment already so you won’t risk losing time getting used to new equipment.
You might be the most experienced skier or rider on the mountain, but you don’t know the skills of those around you. Comfort is key with your helmet – if you’re not sure if you have a good fit, talk to a pro at your local gear shop or someone at the rental center at the mountain. Check out our blog post for more ski safety tips.
And don’t forget additional lenses if you have them! You never know what the weather will be, so if you have lenses that are better for sunny days or gloomy days, pack ‘em.
This is a parent (and kid!) favorite. The neck/beanie combo ensures that their heads stay warm under helmets and hats, and their neck is protected from the cold, wind, snow, sleet, etc. We love the balaclava for a lot of reasons; it’s one piece of gear that offers a LOT of coverage; the neck tucks into jackets so there is no area for cold to get in; and the head coverage provides a snug fit and won’t fall off like other under helmet accessories. Turtle Fur has a few options for Balaclavas.
A great choice for full head coverage! Our Brain Shrouds offer a snug fit and are made of athleisure materials (think – moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, warm, yet lightweight). They also work great at covering up helmet hair when you’re in the lodge on a lunch break (or at the bar for some après ski adventures).
A headband will keep hair out of your eyes and keep your ears warm under your helmet. Headbands are a great ski trip option because you can slip them behind your ears inside the lodge (still keeping your hair out of your face), and utilize them on other wintry adventures.
Neck Warmer or Neck Gaiter
Pending on the temperatures, you have a few options here. If it’s below freezing, and windy, you’d want a heavyweight option like The Turtle’s Neck® (made of our beloved Original Turtle Fur® Fleece) or the Double-Layer Neck Warmer made of Chelonia 150™ Fleece. If it’s a bit warmer outside and the sun is shining, we’d recommend the Comfort Shell™ Totally Tubular™ to do the trick. This tube offers warmth (without weight) and 4-way stretch, while being odor-resistant, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking.
Ski or snowboard socks are another item you definitely do NOT want to forget at home. Heat escapes from the head and feet, so you want to make sure that those toes stay warm and dry when out on the mountain. Oddly enough, a thick sock isn’t always the best option. You want to look for something thin and wicking, with a snug fit.
The base layer is key to success for a day on the mountain – so don’t leave these articles of clothing behind! Base layers help wick moisture, keeping you dry and warm during long days on the slopes.
Luckily, mid layers can double as cozy clothes to wear in the evenings at your lodging. Think quarterzips, pullovers, or anything that will help insulate. Try to avoid anything too bulky, so it fits well under jackets and ski pants.
This is personal preference here – choose what works best for you and your travel companions! Doesn’t hurt to pack a spare set, if you have extra. Many gloves and mittens meet the fate of falling off the chairlift or getting left in the lodge.
Additional things to pack that might not be so obvious
- Hand warmers: Better to bring these from home then buy them at the resort! They can be pricey when you buy them at the resort, whereas you can find great deals buying them in bulk online or at your local gear shop.
- Swimsuit: Your lodging might have a hot tub or sauna. Trust us – they both feel amazing after a day on the mountain!
Packing for a ski trip isn’t easy. And you’ll often be up against your 50lb weight limit for luggage if you’re flying. But regardless of how much you need to squeeze in your bags or how stressful packing might seem, if you have these essentials, you’ll be good to go. We might be biased, but it’s worth it – after all, ski trips are the best trips.