What to Look for When Buying Ski Clothes

in Tips and Hints

If you are new to skiing you should learn the differences between street clothes and ski clothes before you go on your first skiing holiday. There are many items of clothing that look suitable for skiing or snowboarding but that will fail you on the slopes and have the potential to ruin your holiday. It is important to understand that the conditions you will encounter while skiing or snowboarding are totally different to what you will experience in everyday life. Here we will endeavor to give you some hints that will ensure that you have a great holiday.

Ski Pants and Jackets

When buying a ski suit you may find items that look just like ski gear for bargain prices at your local store. Do not be tempted to buy them for your ski holiday unless you have identified that they are actually designed for the conditions that you are likely to encounter. This is not to say that the store owner is trying to deceive you in any way. They are selling items that will serve their intended purpose admirably, which is to keep you warm and dry during regular daily life. The store owner may never have even been skiing, so when asked if they are warm enough, may truly believe that they would be.

The reality is that there is a huge difference between warm winter clothing and purpose designed ski clothing. When on the slopes you can encounter extremes of temperatures, icy winds, snow, rain and ice. You therefore need to have clothing that will keep you comfortable in these conditions. When looking for ski clothes carefully check the labels, if they merely say waterproof, or even worse showerproof, there is a good chance that they will be inadequate for your ski trip. All quality ski clothing is labelled with its waterproofing and breathability rating. This is rated as millimetres, mm. 3000m – 5000mm is considered adequate whilst anything over 10,000mm is considered good. Top of the range ski clothing, that will withstand almost all conditions for extended periods of time, will have ratings in excess of 20,000mm, You also need to ensure that the item has sealed seams as, over a few hours of skiing, you can get quite wet and cold if your clothes allow moisture to enter via unsealed seams.

The Correct Fit is Essential

You also need to ensure that your ski clothes fit correctly. You want a good fit that allows you plenty of room for movement and that will allow for the fact that you may need several lighter layers underneath. Correct dressing for skiing or snowboarding is all about layering. This helps, not only with keeping your warm, but with giving you the flexibility of adding or removing layers during the day as conditions change. Whilst discussing temperature, flexibility it is worth checking if the ski pants or jacket that you are considering have air vents. It may surprise some novice skiers but you can actually get quite hot while skiing, especially on sunny days. A lot of ski jackets and pants have zippered vents in them that you can unzip  to allow airflow if you get too hot.

Other Important Considerations

Another important thing to consider is what you will need to carry with you. You are likely to be on the slopes for extended periods of time and there are quite a few things that you will need to keep with you. Make a mental check of the items that you will need to ensure that between your ski pants and jacket you will have enough pockets to stash them comfortably. These may include your ski pass, keys, credit card, phone, sunscreen, money and sunglasses. This is a vital consideration as there is nothing worse than finding you can’t easily carry items that you need.

In summary, don’t be tempted by what appears to be cheap ski clothing. Street clothes and ski clothes are two entirely different things. They may look alike but that is usually where the similarities end. Purpose designed ski clothes have many characteristics that are built in for your comfort. If you use these hints to ensure that you make the right decisions when you are preparing for your ski trip you are more likely to have a fantastic time.



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