The slopes are powdery and positively frigid: perfect for a great day of snowboarding and skiing action. Tackling a wintery sport takes some preparation (and we are not talking about several hot drinks). When you look at what to wear snowboarding, the list can seem a bit intimidating.
You have to keep your wits about you and be sure to include everything you might need, otherwise, you won’t be building a snowman, you’ll become one!
Selecting your ski or snowboard attire is not too difficult, the important thing to keep in mind is that regular winter clothes will most likely not be up to scratch. Thus, the important lesson of the day is layers. Ogres have layers, onions have layers, and now so do you.
How to Dress for Snowboarding: What to Keep in Mind
Attempting to master the great beast called Winter is not an easy feat. You have to be properly decked out in some quality gear and clothes to survive (not really, but you catch the drift).
So when looking at your clothing options, remember to keep a few things in mind:
- Is it waterproof, or does it have a water-resistant rating? This is important since snow loves nothing more than melting and leaving you with some drenched clothes.
- How about the thermal insulation: are your chosen jacket or pants up to the task of keeping you warm? At the very least, your thermal undies should have some sort of protection from the cold. Perhaps including some heated gloves will do the trick.
- Function over form. You want to be able to move around comfortably, instead of slogging through the snow in cumbersome gear
- Which also leads to the next point: how heavy is all this stuff going to be? You have to keep in mind that you will be wearing or otherwise lugging around this clothing for most of the day. Being worn out by weighty clothing and gear can be a buzzkill.
- Last but not least: pockets. You’ll be carrying around a few accessories throughout the day (room key, perhaps a GoPro or cellphone, lip balm, etc.), and having the space to store them is helpful.
What To Wear When Snowboarding: Planning Your Outfit
Your skiing and snowboarding pack list will comprise quite a list of items, ranging from tops, jackets, and gloves to pants, socks, and even thermal undies.
You’ll want everything protected from the cold, as that means less time indoors recovering, and longer sessions on the mountain slopes. We have put together a super helpful list, broken down into sections, to help you remember all you need.
Snowboard Outfit: From Head to Toes
You are planning the best snow weekend, but the first thing you have to do is gear up and prepare yourself for the cold. An easy way to organize things is to look at the sections of your ski and snowboard outfits.
Take it one section at a time, this way you’ll be sure to not miss out on anything. Choosing your snowboard and ski outfit should be quick and painless. Plus, we will even provide you with some great options to choose from for each part, how great is that?
Just to be clear, this is your clothing itself, plus any protective things like pads. Your actual gear, like helmets and so on will be covered lower down. If you are leaning towards the skiing side of things, here is a handy guide on what to wear skiing. So without further ado, let’s start.
Arguably the most important part of your body to keep warm and toasty (hello brain), it is vital to keep your head protected from the cold, but not for the reasons you might think. While you don’t lose most of your heat through your head, if it is still the only uncovered part it can be dangerous. So let’s cover up those noggins with this handy list.
Having a nice, warm winter beanie can be a blessing. While you will also be wearing a helmet to actually protect your head, a beanie can help with the wind slicing through when you hit those nice speeds.
A good, solid pair of earmuffs is recommended. While it may look a bit silly, at least you’ll still be able to hear and feel your ears, score one for you!
Facemask or Bandana
Vitally important, as feeling your face is a key part of pulling faces for snow selfies. But in all seriousness, a facemask or covering (like this awesome bandana) can help warm up your neck and face, avoiding some minor frostbite for your important parts.
Wind chill can be a real pain in the neck (literally). This is why we recommend bringing a scarf along. In a pinch, it can also serve as a face covering, if you may have forgotten your balaclava.
Core, torso, triangle shape, and other fun words all describe the center of our bodies. This is where all your vital organs are, like your stomach. Keeping that warm is the only way you’ll be able to make it to dinner later.
Thermal Under top
As we mentioned before, layers are critical. Thermal under tops are a great way to preserve all your natural body heat and keep your torso toasty and unfrozen. So just let it go, worrying about looking silly with all your “armor”, and pick up a pair.
Light Fleece or wooly top
Next up is a light fleece top, something to bring an extra layer of warmth, but also add softness, between your body and your outer jacket. This jacket also forms a bit of a padding layer, should anything happen and you take a tumble. Your jacket might rip a bit or get damaged, but this extra level of protection will reduce any chances of any serious snowboarding injuries.
Now we are getting to the good stuff. Your bread and butter, a nice heated jacket will be your best friend in cold times. There is nothing like whipping down the slopes at top speeds, but you feel as warm and comfy as ever. Definitely a must!
Your legs for days need to be covered and shielded from the elements and other hazards. Leggings won’t cut it, as your lower half needs to be better protected when braving the great winter wonderland.
Take note: Mobility is key here, so layering is important but flexibility and being able to shift and reposition is just as relevant. Having a full range of motion can be the difference between a turn and a tumble.
Keep your important bits warm. Yet again, layering takes place, with thermal underwear adding an extra layer of insulation for your body to help maintain proper temperatures. It’s so easy to slip on before getting dressed in your gear and will help you retain your core body temp. It is the best choice on what to wear under ski pants.
Your snow pants are important in keeping you warm through insulation, but they also help a lot when it comes to keeping the wind out. We have all experienced that feeling when the wind just rips through you, so a solid pair of snow pants will eliminate this in a major way.
Knee and Elbow Pads
Protection is the word. Keeping your important joints safe from most bangs and bruises will help you stay on the mountain longer. Plus, any critical injuries, like a banged up, twisted, or broken knee can easily be avoided with some strong elbow and knee pads. Besides, a knee slide is all the craze, right?
Hands and Feet
The extremities, your hands, and feet are the easiest targets for frostbite. They are far away from our cores and get the least amount of circulation and body heat. Keeping them safe and warm can be difficult, but we have the best gear to point you in the right way.
This little piggy fell off from frostbite. To avoid any toe-related injuries, look into acquiring some warm socks. They should be thick and wooly, but not overly bulky (otherwise your feet will be hating you within 5 minutes). The right sock is a blessing to your feet, as you will be spending most of your time on them. You can look into getting some heated socks, but they aren’t strictly necessary
Next up, some nice winter boost should be included in any snow pack list. Now, this isn’t your snow boots, but rather your boots you’ll be wearing when off the slopes. There is still the rest of the resort or lodge to enjoy, after all.
You will thank us for this one: a good pair of snowboarding gloves will make a world of difference. Keeping your digits warm, frostbite-free, and mobile, gloves are your best friend in cold weather.
Just take note: Ski gloves are a little bit different, as they have some other requirements (like a comfortable grip on your ski poles). So when choosing your ski gloves or mittens, consider that.
Extra or Additional Items
Lastly, we have all the extras that might not be necessary for everyone. These items are optional, but still useful in their own right and can make a difference for the right people.
If you are prone to cold hands or perhaps even have some arthritis flare-ups when it gets cold, glove warmers are the way to go. Usually, they are quite easy to slip into any type of glove and help to warm up those fingers and ease your pains.
Funny as it might sound, earplugs are often included in the list when you are dressing for skiing. They help to eliminate any issue that might arise from high winds gusting past your face. At the very least, they’ll help drown out the howling winds as you speed down the black diamond.
Snowboard And Ski Gear
When we talk about your snow gear, we are referring to the physical equipment used when tackling these sports.
- Skis – You can rent skis from most, if not all, resorts and lodges.
- Ski poles – Same as with the skis, you should be able to pick these up at the lodge.
- Ski boots (Handy guide for boot sizing) – Renting boots is fine, but if you can bring your own, that would be recommended.
Tip: Have a look here for a more in-depth guide on ski gear
- Snowboard – You should be able to rent this from your lodge.
- Snowboarding boots (Guide for boot fitting here) – Again rental boots will do the trick, but investing in a pair is best.
- Boot locks – These are used to lock in your boots to the board, normally the board comes with it but it can also come separately.
Tip: Try this if you need some more info or a guide to snowboarding equipment.
And then they both have a few items in common
- Helmet – Fairly standard issue, with a chinstrap to keep it secured. They are normally offered at the lodges, but if you are looking to invest, a good helmet is a great asset.
- Goggles or glasses – Try to get a pair with 2-1 or anti-fogging functions. This will save you from going down half a mountain in steamed-up goggles. You should be able to get some from your lodge shop or rent a pair if you don’t plan on choosing a pair to buy at this time.
Snow Outfit Done and Dusted: To the Mountain, We Go
Ready for the slopes? More like are the slopes ready for you! You should be all geared up, fitted out, and ready for some snowy action.
Taking on the snow and ice will be a breeze, but be sure to give your snowboard a nice clean before heading out. Plan your path to glory, tackle those jumps and remember to have a blast. Winter is coming, are you ready?