Clothing Quiver: Vail Ski Clothing from Head to Toe

When you’re gathering ski clothing for a trip to Vail, plan ahead so that you’ve got what you need from head to toe. Find ski clothing tips here in addition to a checklist that helps make packing for Vail skiing a cinch.

VBSR blog ski clothing quiver group

Vail Ski Clothing Overview and Checklist

Two major factors to consider when choosing ski clothing for a Vail ski trip are weather and time of year. December through February are often Vail’s coldest months, so this is the time layer up. Wearing a puffy jacket beneath a weatherproof shell is often advisable on cold, snowy days. And the heart of the winter season is also the time to wear insulated pants and underlayers. In the spring season, daily temperatures are often warm and sunny. During warmer weather, choose lighter shells and pants that have zipper venting options. Good to know: Find the Vail weather and snow report here.

VBSR ski clothing quiver. photogapher: fanny rascle

Photo: Fanny Rascle

Dressing in layers and wearing ski-specific clothing can help you dress for success no matter the weather. Ski clothing often includes fabrics that have quick-dry abilities to wick away sweat and help keep you dry. Zipper vents are also helpful ski clothing features for jackets and pants because they can help regulate body temperature. With these basic principles in mind, use this checklist to pack all ski clothing items you’ll need for a Vail ski trip:

Head to Toe Ski Clothing Checklist

In addition to your skiing and snowboarding gear (ski or snowboard, boots, poles), add the following to your ski clothing checklist:

  • Helmet
  • Beanie or hat for underneath helmet
  • Goggles and/or sunglasses
  • Neck gaiter
  • Ski jacket
  • Ski pants
  • Top underlayers
  • Bottom underlayers
  • Ski socks
  • Mittens and/or gloves

Vail Ski Clothing Specifics

It’s also important to think beyond basic ski clothing principles and weigh specific options. Dressing in layers and choosing weather-appropriate wear is important yearlong, but here are additional key ski clothing options to consider:

Hard shell vs. soft shell:

Two common materials for ski jackets and pants are hard shell and soft shell fabrics. Hard shells are usually made of tough and durable waterproof materials. Soft shells are often more flexible. They feel good while making dynamic ski moves, but soft shells are often not as waterproof or durable as hard shells.


Some ski pants and jackets are insulated, while others are only lightweight shells. Underlayers add warmth and comfort to any type of outerwear, and it’s nice to have different thicknesses. Lightweight underlayers offer comfort all winter long, and a thicker fleece underlayer is best for those super-cold days.


Here’s the skinny on socks: Wear ski-specific socks, and don’t double up. Ski-specific socks are padded in the right places for maximum comfort in ski boots.

Mittens vs. gloves:

Mittens group fingers together for added warmth, but gloves offer the most dexterity. Consider carrying a thin pair of gloves in your jacket pocket if you’re wearing mittens, and use them at moments when you need to use your fingers in the cold.

Goggles vs. sunglasses:

Ski goggles are appropriate ski clothing all year long, providing optimal coverage and eye protection. In the spring season, skiing with sunglasses can be a good choice. Wrap-style sunglasses that offer full eye coverage are recommended for safety and comfort.


Don’t forget other ski clothing accessories, especially your helmet. Depending on the weather, a neck gaiter and a thin beanie-style hat for wearing underneath a helmet can provide extra warmth. Sunscreen and lip balm are a must in Vail’s sunny, dry climate.

VBSR blog ski clothing quiver alpine

Ski Clothing Advice & Professional Services at VBSR

If you’d like extra advice on ski clothing from industry professionals, stop by Vista Bahn Ski Rentals (VBSR). Here at VBSR, we offer snowboard and ski rental services at our Vail Village location that’s just steps from Gondola One. Our central location makes it easy to access ski tuning and repair services throughout the day. Plus, we make it simple to reserve ski rentals in advance, and we offer Vail ski storage solutions that will help lighten your load at the end of the day.