15 Must-Have Ski Trip Essentials

Skis? Check. Boots? Check. Sunscreen? Helmet? Travel mug? Don't worry, we made your packing list. Here are the essentials items you won't want to forget for your next skiing getaway.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
February 05, 2019

Touchscreen-Compatible Gloves

Stay both warm and connected in between runs with touchscreen-compatible gloves like these from The North Face.

Buy It: REI, $31 (originally $45)

Wool Base Layers

The key to a good day on the mountain is the right layering system. And few materials perform as well as merino wool. Unlike cotton, wool keeps you warm when its wet, so you can avoid freezing on the chairlift in between runs. Icebreaker's varying weights of merino tops and bottoms, for both men and women, fit well, look good, and dry fast, so you'll stay comfortable no matter how hard you work.

Buy It: REI, Tops starting at $63

Wool Ski Socks

The days of bulky, scratchy wool socks are over. Enter thin yet powerfully warm merino ski socks, ideal for hours of playing in the snow and days of staving off the odors of sweat.

Buy It: REI, $26

Indoor/Outdoor Slippers

Get cozy in the lodge after a full day on the slopes by dressing your feet in the equivalent of a cozy wool sweater. With rubber soles, arch support, and an adjustable drawcord to seal out the drafts, these slippers feel toasty both inside and outside, with or without socks.

Buy It: Amazon, $120-$146

Adjustable Helmet

If you think helmets are bulky, awkward, uncomfortable, and not worth renting, you've been using the wrong helmet. Giro's Range helmets expand and contract to offer the perfect fit, and the cozy lining keeps your noggin warm. The low-friction MIPS liner helps further reduce the risk of serious brain injury in the event of a crash. It allows your head to slide in the helmet rather than directly absorb the full force of the crash.

Buy It: Backcountry, $250

Sunscreen That Won't Freeze

Avoid the dreaded goggle tan by bringing ample sunscreen along for your trip. And avoid plastering your face with nearly-frozen goop by bringing along a powdered sunscreen like Brush On Block, which goes on invisibly, mess-free, in seconds.

Buy It: Amazon, $30.50

Water-Resistant Rolling Duffel

Tromp through slush puddles without the fear of ruining your stuff. The Big Agnes Stagecoach line of luggage is extremely water-resistant. Taking the stairs? No worries. Removable straps allow you to turn these roller bags into backpacks when needed.

Buy It: REI, $192 (originally $240)

SPF Lip Balm

Joshua Tree's super-smooth lip balms are the kind you won't hesitate to apply. Protect your lips against chapping and sunburn with this SPF 15 organic balm.

Buy It: Amazon, $15 (Set of 3)

Ultralight Neckwarmer

Skida's buttery-soft neck warmers feel great against your skin and help regulate your temperature while you're flying down the mountain. Plus, they're much lighter and easier to pack than scarves. Skida's designs are mainly targeted toward women, but BUFF is also a great choice and has a huge variety of patterns for everyone.

Buy It: Amazon, $20

Wind-Resistant, Breathable Jacket

This is not your standard ski jacket. Rab's Alpha Direct jacket, available in both men's and women's styles, keeps you warm on the chairlift yet allows you to dump heat on the downhills, thanks to its open-knit insulation.

Buy It: Amazon, $265-$275

Insulated Travel Mug

Eliminate single-use plastics and disposable cups by bringing your own travel mug to the mountain. Stanley's insulated ceramic bottles have treads low on the lip of the bottle instead of right at the top, so it feels more like you're drinking out of your favorite mug.

Buy It: REI, $35

Instant Coffee or Chai

Want to catch first chair? Skip the coffee shop run in favor of Alpine Start's instant Dirty Chai Latte, which really does taste just as good as the stuff that costs $5 a mug.

Buy It: $6.75 (Originally $9)


Cut down your luggage weight by bringing a Kindle instead of a stack of books for lounging by the fire. The latest generation of Paperwhite Kindles are now hot tub-ready, too; they're waterproof, so they'll survive an accidental dunk.

Buy It: Amazon, $130

Insulating Skirt

The idea of a puffy mini skirt might sound ridiculous. But bear with us. Whether you're lounging around the lodge in your baselayers, heading out for yoga class, or waiting for the tram back to the parking lot, this wool-insulated skirt offers just enough extra insulation. It unzips all the way so you can put it on like a kilt instead of needing to step into it, which also offers a bit of extra mobility when you need it. It's an especially great layer to bring along for the first couple of warm-up laps of cross-country skiing.

Buy It: Amazon, $84-$120

Skin Repair Balm

Cold, dry mountain air won't do your skin any favors. Keep your hands from flaking with Green Goo, an all-natural skin repair salve that heals dry skin more quickly (and is TSA-friendlier) than lotion.

Buy It: Walmart, $19