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What To Pack For A Ski Vacation

by krismkoch
what to pack for a ski vacation

In the winter (and spring!), there’s nothing we love more than going skiing. We have been skiing out in Park City every Christmas since Andrew and I started dating. It’s become a special family tradition for our family now too. We even got engaged in Park City on our favorite mountain, and had a ski wedding in Utah as well. We try to get to the mountains at least a couple times throughout the winter, and since I pack for everyone in my family (*eye roll*), I have plenty of practice packing for a ski vacation. So I thought I’d finally put together this long overdue guide for what to pack for a ski vacation.

There’s a lot of gear and extra clothing required when you’re planning to hit the slopes. Plus, there are so many gorgeous family photo opps, that I like to pack lots of cute ski outfits for everyone.  To make it easier to pack for our ski vacations, I have created a checklist for what to pack for a ski vacation that I use each year. I thought it’d be helpful to share it with all my fellow ski bunnies, and finally got it all put together into one post.

From gear for the slopes to apres ski outfits and warm layers, here’s everything you need to pack for a ski vacation.

OFF THE SLOPES

Heavy-Duty Parka

I love Canada Goose’s heavy duty parkas, but there are tons of great options at every price point from L.L. Bean and Helly Hansen to Moncler. (Also love this down parka.)

Black Leggings

I like my leggings lined for extra warmth, especially since it’s totally acceptable to wear them as pants when hanging out off the slopes.

Skinny Jeans

I don’t care what Gen Z says, there is a time and a place for skinny jeans, and this is it. These are one of my favorite pairs — super flattering with or without boots. Go for a skinny style to tuck easily into boots (which is basically all I wear when in a ski town, because why would you wrap your feet in anything else?).

Leather Skinnies

Its’ the perfect time to wear leather without worrying about getting too hot, so I always like to break mine out. They also feel slightly more dressed-up than jeans for nicer dinners.

White Jeans (optional)

Optional extra but I love to pack a pair because they look especially chic with big, chunky sweaters. (Love this pair.) Speaking of which…

Chunky Sweater

The chunkier, the better. This one is perfect for after the ski slopes. I usually bring 2-3 and always include a longer sweater that covers your booty pairs perfectly with leggings and boots.

Furry Vest 

Fur instantly dresses up sweaters, leggings and jeans and makes everything look so much more luxe. Plus, when you get to bundle up in glam fur (faux or real) without looking semi-ridiculous, take advantage.

Ski Sweater

If you have some festive parties to go to as my in-laws always are sure to throw, consider a knit in a festive pattern like fair isle or a ski logo on it like my fave ski sweater.

Sweater Coat

A long cardigan or sweater coat (this one is a splurge but you’ll wear it forever) can act as a jacket on sunny blue bird days (at high altitudes it can be surprisingly warm in the sun), a cozy coverup while lounging in leggings or pj’s, or for an added layer when it’s really chilly and you’re headed out and about. It’s also a perfect piece for plane travel. I usually stick to black or grey so it can easily be dressed up or down.

Cotton Turtlenecks and Tees

A thinner, cotton turtleneck is key for layering under sweaters when it’s super chilly, or even a dress or sleeveless going out top if you have anything fancier going on. A white t-shirt and maybe a grey or black one is key for layering under unbuttoned plaid shirts, sweaters, and for when the heat is blowing heavy inside.

Snow Boots

I prefer tall boots for keeping snow out  and legs warm (and they tend to be more flattering than ankle boots, which can make legs look shorter). I actually pack a few — these for dealing with icier snowy conditions and playing in the snow with the kids, these ones for apres, and these for when I’m feeling cozy.

Big Scarf

A big, cozy scarf is perfect for bundling up on the plane and for wrapping up in when you’re apres skiing.

Sweater Dress

I always like to pack at least one dress for a nicer dinner or one of my in-laws’ many festive parties. I find it hard to find the right dress though because most don’t look awesome with snow boots, and heels or even ballet flats are usually not the right footwear when you’re dealing with snow, salt, and ice. A cozy sweater dress is totally appropriate for the setting, and works with leggings and snow boots, or tights.

Sunglasses

The sun is strong in the mountain, so you def don’t want to forget about protecting those peepers (plus, squinty eyes give you wrinkles.)

Mittens

Gotta keep those hands warm.

Knit Hat

I prefer cashmere or cotton-cashmere blend. There’s nothing worse than an itchy hat. A pom pom hat is super cute, but a classic knit beanie is always on-point.

Swimsuit

For the apres-ski hot tub, obvs.

ON THE SLOPES

Skies or Snowboard (if bringing own)

Ski Boots (if bringing own)

Ski Goggles

Helmet (if bringing own)

Ski Gloves or Mittens

Insulated Pullover

To wear over long underwear and under your ski jacket. I always like to wear my Chilli and then like to layer something over like my Patagonia zip-up, or if it’s on the warmer side, I will just toss a Patagonia vest over it.

Snow Pants

Ski Jacket

I have a few different options I swap around depending on the weather. Arc’trx makes the best ski shells and Moncler and Patagonia also make great puffy jacket styles if you prefer to go that route. Of course you could go old-school with Bogner.

Neck Warmer

Also known as a “turtle.”

Long Underwear 

I like to go as warm as humanly possible and for the technology that whisks away sweat so you don’t freeze in your own cold sweater on the ride up the ski lift after breaking a serious sweat hiking.

Ski Socks

These are key and worth investing in ones that whisk away sweat and keep your tootsies warm, because there’s nothing worse than freezing cold feet while skiing.

Hand Warmers

Because if you’re like me, mittens alone just aren’t enough.

Ski Mask

Yes, I wear one, and no, I don’t care how ridiculous I look. I hate being cold and having chapped skin.

Travel Gear

Hardshell Roller Suitcase or Waterproof Duffel

The hardshell is key for keeping your stuff dry and safe when it’s being loaded onto the plane in snow or sleet.  If you’re going for a duffel style, which can make sense when packing all your puffy gear like snow pants etc., you definitely want a waterproof bag. North Face and Patagonia make great waterproof, heavy-duty travel bags that will keep your clothes/gear etc. dry if your bags sit on tarmac in the snow or rain. We have this one.

Boot Bag

To protect boots and helmet during travel if you’re bringing your equipment with you.

Ski or Snowboard Travel Case

If bringing your own equipment, you’ll want good protective cases to keep them safe en route. Make sure to choose ones that are airline certified.

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