What to Pack & Wear Skiing

Hey friends! I’ve been getting a lot of feedback that you love when I break down what I pack and wear for trips (in addition to the Trip Report itself), so I’m back today with more details from our trip to Winter Park, Colorado!

I know many of you have ski trips planned for Spring Break, so I’m sharing what each member of the family wore, both on and off the mountain, and hope it’s helpful for your own trip planning!

Growing up in Texas, obviously snow and extreme cold weather aren’t exactly my forte! So as soon as our trip was booked, I immediately called the Gearheads at Backcountry for advice (it’s free, after all!). I told them where we were going, the predicted weather conditions, and pieces we already owned…from there, they made recommendations for everything else, in several price points. (Because ski stuff isn’t cheap!!)

We also picked up a few tips from the seasoned guides at Winter Park, and I’m passing them all along to you! We applied this formula of clothes to every member in our family, and it proved to be a good checklist for both packing and getting dressed each day!

what to wear on a ski holiday

Base Layer

one // Thermal Top  This one is lined in XX, creating an extra-warm barrier that’s the equivalent of wearing several layers. It’s lightweight & dries almost instantly (believe it or not, you actually sweat in 0-degrees!). I wore it on and off the mountain, so having two would be a good idea.

two // Thermal Leggings  Silky soft and light, these provided an extra dose of warm, especially under leggings or jeans off the mountain.

three // Socks  Wool-blend socks are key because they dry quickly, and are thinner

four // Fleece Pullover  Any sweater or sweatshirt is sufficient when wearing the thermal top and ski coat, but these are my faves for softness and warmth. Plus, they’re cute worn off the mountain, too.

Outer Layer

five // Ski Jacket  Gone are the days of the puffier the jacket, the warmer it is! New insulating fabrics allow you to wear a more streamlined jacket, while staying just as warm and dry. I love this jacket for on and off the mountain, and didn’t feel like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man!

six // Ski Pants  I’m completely obsessed with these pants! Comfortable, easy to move, adjustable straps at the waist, good pocket placement…and even a double layer of fleece on the lining of the bum to keep you extra warm while sitting on the lift! Skip the thermal leggings, and they’re great for Spring skiing, as well.

seven // Beanie  Perfect size & shape for layering under a helmet, it keeps your head and ears warm.

eight // Gloves  I prefer mittens over gloves for the best chance at keeping my fingers warm, but found hand-warming packets are key!


nine // Snow Boots  Ski areas are messy, so don’t even bother with regular street shoes! These kept my feet warm & dry, and were perfect for sloshing through the slush. They tuck easily under ski pants, and are cute paired with leggings or skinny jeans.

ten // Neckguard  Essential in Winter skiing, it protects your face and nose from the cold…especially when sitting on the lift!

eleven // Helmet  We didn’t see a single skier or snowboarder without a helmet, they really are the accepted norm these days. We rented these and they fit and felt great.

twelve // Goggles  This was my first time skiing in goggles, and I couldn’t believe the difference they made! Not only do they protect your eyes from wind and snow, but provide a much larger area of clear, sun-blocked vision.

Jacket | Ski Pants | Neck Guard | Beanie Hat | Gloves | Base Shirt | Thermal Leggings | Socks | Helmet | Goggles

Off the mountain, I wore either my ski pants (they are so warm and comfy!), or leggings…and always the full set of thermals and snow boots. The fleece pullovers were perfect apres-ski attire, too.

Sugarplum Style Tip: Packing two coats isn’t essential, but since this one packs so compactly, I liked having the option to switch it up. 

Puffer Coat | Fleece Pullover |  Snow Boots | Pom Hat | Leggings | Thermal Leggings | Socks

The entire family had some sort of snow boot, and they were literally the only shoe we wore.

Sugarplum Style Tip: When getting dressed, put socks on first, then thermal leggings and ski or other pants. That way you create a smooth, wrinkle-free layer directly against your skin.

Women’s Snow Boots | Girls Snow Boots

The same formula applies to each person in the family….socks, thermals, top layer, extras.

Similar Jacket | Ski Pants | Gloves | Thermal Top | Thermal Leggings | Socks | Helmet | Goggles

Our son liked adding a top layer (a sports uniform) over his coat, but mostly for style purposes.

Similar Jacket | Ski Pants | Thermal Top | Thermal Leggings | Gloves | Socks | Helmet | Goggles

Sugarplum Style Tip: Tuck the thermal top into the thermal leggings to create a seal, so no cold air (or snow!) gets through.

On the Teen: Jacket | HoodieSki Pants | Gloves | Beanie
On Mr. SP:  Quilted Hoodie | Cap | Ski Pants | Gloves

Quilted Jacket | HoodieSki Pants | Gloves | Beanie | Similar Boots

On the Teen: Jacket | HoodieSki Pants | Gloves | Beanie | Similar Boots
On Little Miss: Parka | Fleece PulloverSnow Pants | Gloves | Girls Snow Boots
On Mr. SP: Quilted Hoodie | Cap | Ski Pants | Gloves | Similar Boots

I was worried most about Little Miss being warm since she’s so small…but the layering formula worked perfectly for her, too! She preferred ski bibs over pants for extra warmth through the torso (and we didn’t have to find pants to fit her waist).

Parka | Fleece PulloverSnow Pants | Gloves | Thermal Top | Thermal Leggings | Socks | Helmet | Goggles

Parka | Fleece PulloverSnow Pants | Gloves | Helmet | Goggles

Puffer Coat | Fleece Pullover |  Snow Boots | Pom Hat | Leggings | Thermal Leggings | Socks

No matter how gorgeous the mountain or perfect the snow, how much fun you have is completely dependent on being warm and dry! We encountered sub-zero temperatures, snow, and sun, and all of it was a non-issue since we were dressed properly!

I can’t recommend Backcountry and their Gearheads enough for dressing for any and all outdoor activities…especially skiing! And don’t forget, save 15% on your first order with code SUGARPLUM15.

Do you have any dressing or packing tips to add for snow and ski days? What’s your winning layering formula? And even more fun, what are your Spring Break plans?

*Read our full Trip Report on Winter Park, Colorado here.


*This post created in collaboration with Backcountry & ShopStyle, but all styles, product selections, and warm heart are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors.*



Leave a Comment


  1. Court wrote:

    Love all the photos! We are leaving for our ski trip tomorrow. What camera did you use for all these great photos? They look superior to phone quality so I’m wondering if you took a nice camera on the mountain? Thanks!

    Posted 3.7.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Hi Court…so exciting you’re headed out to ski! Thanks for the kind words on my pics…90% of these were taken with my iPhone and edited with ColorStory app! I had my ‘good’ travel camera, but barely pulled it out. The phone is just so much easier, especially on the slopes since it slides inside your pocket. Have a great trip!

      Posted 3.7.19 Reply
  2. Vermonter wrote:

    Hello from Vermont! You did a great job telling tricks of the trade (how we dress here what feels like seven months of the year!). Love the sock tip. So true! My main recommendation is Darn Tough socks. Unbeatable comfort and lifetime guarantee!!! My feet are never too cold or too hot. It’s the only brand my family and most of our friends wear. I also highly reccomend Skida for hats and neck warmer. Such fun patterns! Both are pricy but 100% worth it and available at backcountry.com ;). Skida and Darn Tough are Vermont products so you know they are well tested!!

    Posted 3.7.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Awesome tips, thank you so much!!! I’ll look into those brands for our next cold-weather trip!! xo

      Posted 3.7.19 Reply
  3. Sandy wrote:

    I love this post !!!
    Goggles really do make you feel warmer, safer and more “contained” out in the elements. I swear it makes one ski better.
    So many great looks and pics. Tell “The Teen”, what a great idea w/the sports jersey!
    One stylin’ family-thanks!!

    Posted 3.7.19 Reply
  4. Sandy wrote:

    Ps-Backcountry is one amazing site. They have everything! Great prices.

    Posted 3.7.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Agreed!! I’m so thrilled to be an ambassador for such an amazing company!! They are so supportive of environmental causes, too!

      Posted 3.7.19 Reply
      • Sandy wrote:

        The family that plays (skis!) together, stays together. : )

        Posted 3.7.19 Reply
  5. Caroline wrote:

    These are great tips for people who are not used to ski/snowy conditions. I was born and raised in Montreal and now live in Canada’s capital (Ottawa) so snow and ski trips are part of me (although really, I don’t like being cold and after 32 years on this planet, in Canada, I’m pretty done with winter and snow, but I am “used” to it). Goggles are a must and you’re right, a helmet is now a normal staple of skier’s outfits (I remember learning how to ski in the 90s, I would have been 5-6 years old well up until I was a “veteran” and skiing and snowboarding almost professionally in my teens and doing so without a helmet because, nobody wore them and it wasn’t “cool”. As an adult with children, I can guarantee my opinion on helmets is different now). I love the jackets you guys are wearing. Have fun on the slopes 😉

    Posted 3.7.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Agreed…even a couple of years ago, only the kids were wearing helmets (bc their parents made them!). But now you’d be outside the norm to NOT wear one. I’m actually thankful for that. Plus, the helmets are actually comfortable and help keep your head warmer! 😉

      Posted 3.7.19 Reply
  6. Patricia wrote:

    Just arrived home last nite from 9 days skiing at Heavenly, Ca. Underarmour Heat Guard clothing has some very good options for under layers and served our family well when temps dipped into the teens. I completely agree that helmets have evolved tremendously. They even have a nice thermal lining too. To avoid hat hair, I prefer wearing knitted headbands or a beanie with a ponytail hole. Ditto with leaving the street/dress shoes at home. My only other tip is to not forget the sunscreen and moisturizer! Looks like you family had a great time at Winterpark. Great year for skiing!

    Posted 3.7.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Oh my gosh, yes!! so much sunscreen and moisturizer!!! Thanks for the great tips!

      Posted 3.7.19 Reply
      • Sarah M wrote:

        And make sure your chapstick has sunscreen! I like to use Aquaphor with SPF 30, almost feels like vaseline so my lips don’t dry out and are protected from the sun.

        Posted 3.8.19 Reply
  7. Sue wrote:

    Hi Cassie,

    The link for the thermals take me to the page of thermals. Which one is yours?

    Thank you!

    Posted 3.10.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Oh shoot, mine is the Columbia shirt and North Face leggings

      Posted 3.10.19 Reply
  8. Michelle wrote:

    How do the ladies boots run in size? Should I size up?

    Posted 7.13.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I go up half to accommodate bulky socks!

      Posted 7.14.19 Reply