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Find your ski holiday

A ski packing list for beginners

By TravelFactory , 20/10/2022
An illustration of ski gear and ski wear

A successful ski trip is a well-equipped ski trip. The right clothes, shoes, accessories, and ski equipment will make your life that much easier on the mountain. After all, you want to be enjoying that rush of adrenaline—not suffering through cold temperatures or compensating for ill-fitting ski boots! That’s why we’ve included a packing list as part of our Ski Travel Guide.

If it’s your first time on the slopes, you may not have everything yet. That’s ok! You can always rent equipment upon arrival. But the right clothing is worth having in your closet. Shop Decathalon or TK Maxx if you’d prefer to hold off on high-priced items. 

An important note on luggage: If you’re bringing your own equipment to the resort, your luggage will be very bulky and heavy. It may have to meet certain specifications on airlines. Stay organised. Plan to bring along two separate bags: a boot bag (for your gear) and a duffel bag or rolling suitcase (for non-ski gear). 


Ski Equipment to Pack 

Proper-fitting, good quality equipment is of the utmost importance for winter sports. Safety and comfort should be your top priorities. If you’re not bringing your own gear (or not yet ready to invest), renting at the resort is a lower-commitment option. Either way, make sure you’ve got all the essentials listed below. 

A close up of skis, red ski boots, and ski poles in the snow

Ski Boots 

A good fit is key. It’s worth trying on a few different styles, sizes, and brands. Models exist for beginners, experienced skiers, and experts, so take your level into account. If you ski often, you may want to opt for a sturdier model that will withstand wear and tear. Choose the clamping system that is most comfortable for you and best fits into your budget.  

Important: Make sure to buy your ski boots before looking for a pair of skis! 


Choose your skis based on your height, shoe size, and habits. Beginners practicing on the green slopes can easily do without the kind of equipment that expert freestylers might need. There are different types of skis for Alpine, Telemark, and Cross-country skiing.

A helmet 

Make sure to have a quality helmet to prevent head trauma in the event of an accident. Consider weight, durability, and materials used. You can even go eco-friendly—some ski helmets are made from recycled materials. 

Après Ski Clothing and Accessories 

‘Après ski’ meaning ‘after ski’ in French, is the time you spend on activities other than skiing. You’ll have tired yourself out after your session on the slopes, so take some time to rest and decompress. You don’t want to over-exert yourself. Throw on a pair of warm and comfortable snow boots to show your feet some love. They’ve worked hard to keep you balanced and ready. A nice chunky sweater and a pair of jeans are the perfect ski lodge loungewear.  


Ski Wear to Pack: Layers 

Layering is a winning strategy when it comes to dressing for the slopes. Each layer serves a specific purpose, and you can easily add or remove layers if you’re too hot or cold without running back to the resort. Layers fall into three major categories: base layers, mid-layers, and outer layers.     

A family of three dressed for skiing on the mountain

Base layers (moisture wicking): 

  • Ski socks – stretchy and warmth 

  • Thermal pants or leggings – keep heat in  

  • Wool performance shirt – insulates  

Mid-layers (insulating): 

  • Performance pullover: light and ergonomic 

  • Fleece jacket - keeps heat in at low temperatures 

Outer layers (waterproofing): 

  • Ski jacket - protects you from the elements 

  • Ski pants - keep you dry 


  • Hat - retains heat 

  • Waterproof gloves and/or mittens: protect from frostbite 

  • Goggles and sun cream - protect from UV rays 

  • A slim, lightweight backpack - to store your water and extra layers  

  • Snow boots - to wear après ski 

  • Knee pads, shin guards, etc. (optional) - as an extra precaution 

Sun cream is an absolute must! UV protection doesn’t often cross our minds in the winter, but snow reflects sunlight. You’ll be out all day, so don’t neglect this important step. 

For an in-depth breakdown of what to look for when choosing your ski wear, check out What to Wear Skiing.


General Holiday Packing 

Now that our ski-specific items are taken care of, it’s time to pack the essentials: toiletries, electronic devices, and clothing. Your suitcase wouldn't be complete without them. Feel free to personalize this list, but here are some suggested basics. 

Holiday Essentials 

  • Après ski clothing  

  • Pyjamas 

  • Underwear
  • Toiletries 

  • Personal hygiene products 

  • Medicine 

  • First aid kit 

  • Electronic devices (phones, tablets, chargers, etc.) 

  • Games, reading material, snacks 


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