What to Pack for a Ski Trip

The ski season is just around the corner and later this month I’ll be flying out to the Swiss ski resort of Verbier. The biggest conundrum before jetting off to the slopes is knowing what to pack for a ski trip, especially if you’re a beginner. So, whether you’re going skiing for the first time or the 10th, here is a definitive list of what to pack for a ski holiday…

1. The Basic Ski Outfit

I’m going to start with the basics, which is your outer skiwear. This typically consists of salopettes (the ski trousers) and a ski jacket. Ski jackets are different to regular jackets because they’re thermal, insulated, breathable, windproof and waterproof to ensure you’re protected whatever the weather decides to do. You’re going to be wearing this every day when you’re out on the slopes, so you want to make sure you’re comfortable in it.

My jacket and trousers are both from the new ski wear collection at Topshop called SNO. The jacket is the Belted Ski Jacket in white and the bottoms are the Skinny Fitted Salopettes. The jacket is breathable but keeps you incredibly warm and cosy. I love how it comes with a belt to nip you in at the waist, and the faux fur around the hood gives a touch of glamour on the slopes.

2. A Helmet

When I first started skiing helmets weren’t really a ‘thing’, but its now strongly encouraged that all skiers and snowboarders wear one, especially beginners. You can purchase your own, or hire one in resort along with your ski equipment. 

3. Goggles

Another staple in your ski outfit is a pair of ski goggles. These can be attached to your helmet so you can take them on and off easily without loosing them. With all the white snow around it can be extremely bright on the slopes, so a good pair of goggles are a must. I would definitely recommend buying your own pair, but you can also hire them along with your ski equipment. Roxy have some gorgeous ski goggles with great colours and reflective lenses. They start from £30.oo and go up to £100.00 for the top spec.

4. Gloves

As with ski jackets, ski gloves are waterproof, thermal, breathable and all that jazz. They also have good grip to help you hold on to your poles. Gloves can’t be hired and will cost 3x the price when you’re in resort, so definitely make sure you buy some before your trip.

5. Thermal Socks 

I used to layer on 3 pairs of socks to stop my toes from going numb when skiing as it was always a problem for me. On my ski trip in December I got a great tip form the helpful guys at SnowBerry ski hire, who told me to only wear 1 pair of thermal socks to keep the circulation in your feet. I tested the theory and it worked! 1 pair of socks will keep your feet warm, 3 pairs will make them go numb. If you’re skiing for a week, bring a few pairs with you.

6. Base Layers

The biggest conundrum for a first time skier is – what to wear underneath? If the weather is sunny and you’re planning on doing lots of skiing throughout the day, a thin top with full length sleeves and a pair of long leggings / thermals is ideal. You want these to be breathable as opposed to cotton or wool, so any sports wear would fit the bill. If you already have long length gym leggings, these would be perfect. If you’re looking for some new kit, check out the amazing thermal base layers from Sweaty Betty, specifically designed for skiing.

7. A Neck Tube

I had no idea what these were til I started skiing, but I can promise you they’re a lifesaver on a windy chair lift. Quite simply, they’re a fabric tube you put round your neck that you can also pull up to protect your face and cheeks. Unlike a scarf, they’re streamlined, light and thin and won’t puff out your ski jacket. I love this one from Roxy, which has Enjoy & Care fabric from BIOTHERM.

8. Sunglasses

Hopefully you’ll be in for some good weather on your ski trip, which means sunglasses are essential. You might stop for an al fresco lunch up the mountain and you’ll certainly be getting involved in the après ski bars, so I would advise taking your sunglasses with you for the day.

9. Essential Toiletries: Suncream, Lip Balm and Moisturiser

As far as toiletries go, these will be your essentials for the week. Be sure to apply sun cream in the mornings before you go out for the day, and take a lip balm with you when you’re skiing. You’ll be amazed at how dry your skin and lips can get, so you’ll get through plenty of moisturiser too. 

10. Mini Back Pack

You can keep essentials such as your ski pass, piste map and mobile phone in your ski jacket, but if you want to take more than that, I would advise taking a mini backpack. This way you can bring optional extras out on to the slopes such as a camera, water bottle, sun cream etc.

11. Snow Boots

In between skiing, you’ll be walking around your ski resort. Chances are, there will be lots of snow within the town too, so you need to take some ‘snow friendly’ boots that have good grip. You might already own some that are suitable, e.g. hiking boots, Caterpillar boots. There are also plenty of cool ski boots on the market, I love the ones by North Face.

12. Casual Clothes for Après Ski

The après ski scene is super casual, and whether you’re on the slopes or down in your resort, après ski is not a fancy affair. People typically start their ‘après’ straight from the slopes, so there is no time to get dolled up. You stay in your salopettes and may take off your jacket if the weather is good. For the evenings, be sure to pack some casual clothes such as cosy jumpers and jeans.

Use this blog post as your packing checklist and I guarantee you’ll have everything you need to hit the slopes like a pro!

What did you think about my ski packing guide? Is there anything you think I’ve missed off the list? If you enjoyed this post or found it useful, please leave me a comment in the box below! Jess x

Read my new post; things to consider before choosing a ski resort


Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.


  • Hi Jessica, I was looking at toyshop sno jackets but I wasn’t sure on buying because I haven’t seen any reviews. It’s my first time skiing and I really wanna buy a good quality ski jacket. Would you recommend? What are your reviews on this jacket?
    Thanks for your answer in advance,

    • Hi Ana, it’s funny you should ask this as I am just about to go skiing tomorrow and my Topshop Sno jacket is packed! I absolutely love my white jacket. Although it’s from topshop it has all the ski-jacket functions you could want e.g. breathable, elasticated at the hips / waist underneath , inbuilt fingerless gloves and a space for your ski pass. Incredibly warm too so overall for the price I think they’re fantastic. Happy skiing! 🙂

  • This was most helpful! I love the look of the snood from Roxy.

    • So glad Mary! I love the look of the neck tube too. I take one every year. They’re so useful when it gets chilly on the ski lift x

  • Hi Jessica,

    Great post! I just wondered how warm you found the Topshop SNO Jacket? I really love the style but I am worried how well it is made/how warm it is going to be? How did you find it on your recent skiing trip…!? xx

    • Hi Georgie! It was definitely warm enough! It’s breathable so you don’t overhear and is definitely proper ski jacket quality. The faux fur is gorgeous too. I’d definitely recommend! I’ve added the link to this post xx

      • Sophie Thomas

        Hi Jessica,

        I am also looking at the Topshop Ski Jacket – did you need to get it in your normal dress size, or did you need to get one size up?


        • Hi Sophie! No I am a size 10 and the size 10 jacket was perfect for me. The jacket is so warm and you really only need a thin long sleeve top underneath it when skiing. You’d definitely be warm enough. It’s a gorgeous ski jacket for a great price xx

  • Such a great post, it’s crazy the little things you can forget. I swear by a belt, as slipping down ski pants has got to be one of the worst things! And definitely bring spare gloves, they can be so expensive to buy in resort. Also Eye drops are surprisingly great for the morning after!

    • Spare gloves is definitely a great shout! It’s criminal how much the ski gear costs in resort. Great tip about the eye drops too, I am going to try this myself next time I go skiing 🙂

      Thanks for commenting! xx

  • This was such a helpful post! I’m going skiing for the very first time in Feb and I literally had no clue what to buy/take with me until now so thank you! I absolutely love your ski jacket too! xx


    • So glad you found it useful! Thanks for commenting and have a fabulous first time skiing in Feb. Hopefully you can pack some of my recommendations 🙂 x

Leave a comment

Travelista is an online publication and community for the adventurous modern woman covering travel, style, family, home, career and wellbeing.