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.*



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