What clothing is essential for a school ski trip?

10th November 2019 Tips

For many people, the first time they even think about buying ski clothing is when their child is signed up for a school ski trip. You’ve paid for travel, tuition and accommodation, but how many of those items on the kit list do you really need to buy?

See above a genuine plea for help from a mum-friend just this week. The message thread continued…

ski trip message continued...

Hmm, yes: having the wrong kit could well be a factor!

No parent wants their child to be uncomfortable on the mountain, especially if you’re skiing with them (every ski parent will do everything they can to minimise small skier whingeing, right?), so making sure they’ve got the right clothing is essential.

If you’re not a ski parent, however, it can be hard to know what on that lengthy list of recommended school ski kit clothing is a must-have, and what you can skip buying or borrowing.

Here’s what I recommend, after almost two decades of skiing with children (from age 0 upwards):
MUST-HAVES:

  • warm, waterproof ski jacket and trousers or ski suit. You cannot ‘make do’ with non-specialist equipment here: waterproofing, flexible movement, pockets and padding will make for an all-round better ski experience.
  • mid-layer. This can be a simple fleece, but make sure it has a zip so the wearer can open and close according to weather and exertion
  • ski goggles. More protective than sunglasses, less easy to lose, warmer for the face on a cold day or when it is snowing.
  • ski gloves. Absolutely essential as cold hands are a source of misery for many. You might also want to throw in a pair of thin glove liners
  • ski socks. Longer than normal socks with heat-retaining qualities and the right padding in the right places, two pairs of ski socks for a week’s trip will be enough, provided your child puts them on the radiator to dry between wears.
  • snowboots. No child or adult should ever go skiing without a chunky pair of cosy, waterproof snowboots. They mean kids can play in the snow without getting frostbite of the toes, and adults can walk to the bar/supermarket/ski school pick-up point without slipping over. Wear them on the journey to cut down on luggage weight
  • slippers/Crocs. Aka footwear you can wear between bootroom and chalet/hotel room. The first sign you will see at the entrance to your accommodation will be: no outdoor footwear. Without slippers (ideally, something robust with a sturdy sole) your socks will quickly be soggy. Yuck.

NICE-TO-HAVES:

  • handwarmers. Keeping one of these in your pocket for those super-cold days can make a big difference, although there will be years when you don’t need them at all. Good news though: they don’t go off, so save them for next season if unused.
  • sunglasses. I would never go skiing without a pair in my pocket, but my kids have been known to stick with goggles whatever the weather. One less thing to lose, too!
  • thermal underwear. I always made sure my young kids wore thermals – and sometimes that was all they needed under their ski suits – but for teens, not essential.
  • helmet. Essential to wear, but easy to rent. You only really need to own one if you’re a habitual skier.
  • ski boots. As above: wait to buy them until you’ve got the ski bug.

Got children’s ski clothing that no longer fits? Pass it on via our preloved ski clothing marketplace.

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