If you’re heading to the ski slopes this season, an essential part of your skiing equipment will be your ski clothing. Sadly, you can’t just chuck on any old item of outdoor wear and hope to keep warm and dry in the snow. Good quality ski clothes are hi–tech and multi–purpose, designed to keep you insulated from the cold, wet and wind, minimize the damage of possible bumps and falls and give you decent UV protection if the sun is out. This is quite a lot to demand from an outfit, so over the years, skiing gear as been broken–down into a series of layers, with each layer playing its own special part towards keeping you safe, dry and toasty.

Basically, the first thing you need is a base layer, which lies next to the skin. This should be thermal, keeping you warm, but also allowing your skin to breathe. On top of that you need an outer layer which is weather-resistant – and that means snow, rain and wind. A well–made ski jacket should do the trick. Depending on where you are skiing, you may need additional ski clothes between these 2 main layers. Once you’ve dealt with your body, you should look at ski helmets and ski goggles, to protect your head and eyes, respectively. Then you’ll require good ski boots and a couple of layers of ski socks to take care of your feet. Ski gloves or mittens are vital if you don’t hand to lose a finger or 2.

Click 4 SnowIn the following paragraphs we’ve put together a brief checklist of what we think are ski clothing essentials:

Ski Jacket – this is an absolute must. Ski jackets or outdoors jackets need to be waterproof, windproof, insulating and be made from tough enough material to give you some protection should you tumble. At the same time, they have to be breathable so that you don’t poach from the inside out. This is not really a time to think cheap. The research and technology that has good into some well-known brands of ski jacket is amazing, so make the most of it and buy a good one.

Ski Pants – these should have similar protective properties are your ski jacket. Again, quality outdoor pants help you to maintain your thermal balance by keeping you safe, warm and dry without making you sweat.

Ski Bibs – some skiers prefer ski bibs to ski pants and they certainly give added protection.

Ski Gloves or Ski Mittens – Ski gloves need to be protective without being too thick and cumbersome and keep your hands at a comfortable temperature. Often they have a removable inner lining to help with the thermal aspects. Read this guide how to choose a great gloves

Fleece Jacket – if you’re heading out in the cold, you’ll probably need to look into adding a fleece jacket to your skiing equipment shopping list. A good fleece jacket goes over your base layer and under the ski jacket and adds to the thermal properties of your ski clothing by giving you a 3 layer system.

Thermal Pants – these go under your ski pants and give extra warmth and protection. Again, they need to have reliable breathable qualities.

Sweatshirt – this is for added coziness, though for some they can also be a fashion statement, especially in the snowboarding set. Remember that looks may be one thing, but practicality can be quite another. Many people prefer sweatshirts with hoods for extra protection.

Thermal Underwear – warmth is the most important consideration for your base layer and thermal underwear is still hard to beat. Remember that whilst you want to stay warm, you don’t want to drown in your own sweat, so make sure that your thermals allow your skin to breath by having good moisture-wicking characteristics.

Ski Socks – the main purpose of ski socks is comfort and that means keeping your feet warm and dry. Many people like to wear a second pair of socks under their ski socks, for added warmth and to help prevent blisters and the like. Make sure that your ski socks have good moisture-wicking properties as feet sweat more than other parts of the body and a day in ski boots with wet socks can be extremely uncomfortable.

Ski Hats – there are lots of different styles of ski hat available from ski shops and outdoor clothing stores. Beanies are increasingly popular with both men and women, whilst many girls like headbands which also cover their ears and keep the wind out.

Ski Helmets – whilst not everyone chooses to wear one, a ski helmet is recommended. A ski helmet should be tough, durable and fit comfortably.

Ski Goggles or Snow Goggles – good skiing goggles are UV reflective and fit snuggly onto the face, stopping any particles of snow or ice from getting into your eyes. Ski glasses should be tough and durable, rather than just a fashion statement.

Ski Bindings and Skis – these are the knuts and bolts of skiing equipment and can be highly specialized. We will look at both skis and ski bindings in more detail another time, but for now, our best advice is to do your research. Skis are designed with very specific users and uses in mind, so check out ski supplies websites and online ski wear stores, talk to experts and try out a number of brands before you part with any money.