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Ski / Snowboard Jacket

 Waterproof vs. Water Resistant - Most regular winter coats (department store coats) are made with waterproof fabric but the garment itself is not waterproof. During construction, as the jacket is sewn together, tiny holes are poked in the fabric. It cannot be waterproof if there are holes in it. To make a garment waterproof it must be constructed with waterproof fabric and then the seams must be heat sealed with a special waterproof tape to seal off the seams. This process is called "Taped Seams" or "Seam Sealed". It is not a feature that you can typically see, but it will be stated on the hang tags. Features - Look for jackets with lots of pockets, zip out liners, air vents, powder skirts and hoods

Pants & Bibs

 Beginners and children often get bibs as a guard against snow getting in the pants....but, as long as the pant fits correctly at the waist and the jacket is an appropriate length, it would be VERY difficult to get snow down a good pair of pants. Snowboard pants have taped seams (see Waterproof vs. Water Resistant above) - Do not make the mistake of snowboarding in a ski pant or you will be wet.


 Cold fingers will make you miserable and can ruin your day on the mountain. Look for waterproof/breathable gloves that allow your hands to breath and prevent you from perspiring as much as standard waterproof gloves. If you plan on skiing more than 2 days, do yourself a favor and take an extra pair of gloves. You could buy the best gloves in the world, but after skiing they will be a little wet (from falling, taking them on and off, sweating, laying them down, etc). Gloves take several days to completely dry and the last thing you want to do is start off your 3rd day on the mountain with a wet pair of gloves, you will be miserable. Also, DO NOT TURN YOUR GLOVE INSIDE-OUT TO DRY IT! Liners cannot be sewn to the shell of gloves and if you turn it inside-out you may not be able to put it back in and your gloves will be ruined.

Goggles & Sunglasses

 Should I wear goggles or sunglasses? This is the question I get asked the most. The best answer is to take a pair of both. If it is snowing while you are there, a pair of sunglasses will not be adequate protection from the wind and snow pellets striking your eyes. Then you will be faced with paying "mountain price" for a pair of goggles so you can enjoy the rest of your day. Then again, if the sun comes out while you are skiing you may want to just throw on a pair of inexpensive shades to enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face.

Underwear / Base Layer / Long Johns

 Adults, DO NOT WEAR COTTON! Cotton acts like a sponge and absorbs perspiration and ultimately will make you cold because it stays wet. We prefer thin, snug fitting, stretchy material that fits comfortably close to the skin but with enough stretch to not hinder your rnage of motion. Polypropylene makes a good, inexpensive option, but we normally prefer a nicer, polyester/spandex blend. Small kids typically do not sweat very much and can get by with a simple pair of cotton thermals.


 Wool has been used for many years because it is the warmest natural fiber (it keeps those goats nice and warm). Don't make the mistake of wearing cotton socks…cotton is NOT warm and does not wick moisture away from the skin. Your wool hiking socks may be warm, but they are probably not tall enough, and they just don't stay up on your leg throughout the day.


 You can't buy ears, but you have to wear something to keep them warm. Hats and beanies are a popular choice, but many people find that they get too warm when they cover their heads and opt to cover their ears with a headband instead. Earmuffs are great for walking around town and going to a football game, but they are not recommended for skiing because they will fall off.

Sunscreen & Lip Balm

 Don't leave home without it! The suns rays are deceptively strong up on the mountain. You not only get the suns rays bouncing off the snow, but the air is thinner at higher elevations which increases the strength of the suns rays. You will sunburn faster on the mountain than you will on the beach - even if it is an overcast day! Remember, if you take a big bottle of sunscreen you will not use it….you need something that will fit into your pocket or hang around your neck so you will be encouraged to reapply it throughout the day.


 Aside from the essentials shown above, there are many additional items you may want to consider depending on where you plan to ski, when you plan to ski, and how you personally lean towards being cold natured or hot natured…..


 Helmets are suggested for all ages, but is now becoming required for ski-school kids at some resorts.

Snow Boots

 Great for walking from the car to the lift, or around town in Colorado.

Neck Warmers

 Always ski in a neck warmer - they are great for pulling up over your nose and mouth while you are going back up the mountain on the lift.

Hand & Toe Warmers

 Little heat packs that you slide into your gloves and boots.


 Lightweight plastic sleds and discs keep the kids (and many adults) busy for hours.

Mitten Clips

 Attaches kids mittens to their jackets so they won't get lost.

Boot Straps & Carrier Handles

 Great for those long walks from your room to the lift.

Sunglass Cords

 Sunglasses are the most popular items in the lost & found up on the mountain.