Essential Ski Gear You’ll Need Before hitting the Slopes

by Carter Toni

This is it – your very first ski adventure is approaching and you’re probably brimming with excitement… and feeling a little overwhelmed, too. Unless you’re on a ski team with a good sponsorship (like the US ski team that’s sponsored by HomeLight), you’re going to have to fend for yourself when it comes to having the best essential ski gear. But where do you even begin?

Don’t worry because we’ve got your back. Here’s a list of essential ski gear you’ll want to make sure you have packed for a ski vacation.

Skis, poles, and bindings

Since this is your first time going on a ski vacation, you probably don’t have skis, poles, or bindings of your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to rush out and buy them because most resorts will have rentals you can use. The employees who handle the rentals can guide you through the process of choosing the appropriate gear for your skill level and your size.

Ski boots

Like bowling, you can rent ski boots from the resort, but you probably don’t want to do that. Ski boots are designed to fit your feet well and often times rental boots fall short. Not just in fit but in comfort too. If you plan on skiing often, we highly recommend buying your own boots.

Ski helmet

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are at skiing, you should always wear a helmet while on the slopes. Accidents happen even to Olympic skiers! There’s a wide variety of helmets you could choose from, but you’ll want to pay attention to the fit. If you need help choosing a helmet, you can ask the rental employee (if you’re renting from the resort) or a store employee for help.

Ski jacket and pants

You’ve got to stay warm while on the slopes so it’s important to choose outer layers that are designed for skiing. Ski jackets and pants are insulated, warm, and are weather resistant. These outer layer items will be the key to keeping you warm and dry so you can enjoy your day in the snow.

Layers: base and middle

The ski jacket and pants are important, but you shouldn’t overlook your base and mid-layers. Your base layers should be made of a synthetic or wool material, as cotton isn’t waterproof or breathable. Wool socks, thermal undergarments, leggings, and long sleeve shirts are a must. The mid-layer can consist of a fleece, sweater, and warm pants – all made of a synthetic or wool material.


Gloves are important because your hands are going to be exposed to the cold air and touch the snow, so it’s important to keep them as warm and toasty as possible. When you’re choosing gloves, they should be insulated and waterproof, but should also offer enough flexibility so you can hold on to the poles comfortably.


Ski goggles will help you see things clearly while on the slopes. They’ll protect you from the wind, glare, and precipitation while skiing. But keep in mind that if you’re renting a helmet, you’ll probably want to rent the goggles too to ensure they fit properly.


When you’re skiing, you need to prepare for anything and a backpack is key. You’ll want to keep things like sunscreen (yes, you’ll need sunscreen while skiing!), chapstick, scarves, hats, emergency medical kits, identification, and other small items.

Preparing for your ski trip can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first time. However, this list is a great starting point to ensure that you have the basics. If you’re going with a more experienced skier, then ask them to check your gear and see if they have any other recommendations for you.

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