What to pack for a ski trip

The anticipation is electric! Ski season, snow-kissed peaks, exhilarating runs, and cozy evenings by the fire has your inner ski bunny doing a jig. But amidst the excitement, a nagging question looms: what to pack?

This comprehensive guide will be your compass through the packing labyrinth, ensuring you arrive at your winter wonderland prepared for anything the slopes (and après-ski) throw your way. From essential gear to cozy comforts, we’ll cover all the bases so you can focus on carving perfect turns and making memories that last a lifetime.

So, what a ski trip packing? Grab your imaginary mug of hot cocoa, settle in, and let’s embark on a journey to packing perfection for your ski trip!

what to pack for a ski trip


Let’s first discuss the essential items for your ski trip packing list before we dive in, which is travel luggage. Now, if you’re planning to fly and bring your own gear, there’s simply no avoiding it – you’ll have to check-in at least one bag.

Heading to the Mountains: A Handy Guide for Your Ski Trip packing list.

Hitting the mountains for a thrilling winter escapade is absolutely thrilling, but the idea of packing can be quite daunting. This handy guide will help you navigate through the complexities of packing your luggage and ski bag, ensuring a seamless journey from your front door to après-ski fun.

Luggage Lowdown:

1. Wheeled ski luggage: Choose between a sturdy roller suitcase or a duffel bag that can withstand wear and tear. Hard-shell suitcases provide top-notch protection, while soft-sided duffels offer flexibility and room for souvenirs. Keep in mind the airline’s baggage allowance and the length of your trip.

2. Carry-On ski luggage: Don’t forget to pack important items like base layers, toiletries, and medications in your carry-on bag. This will save you time at the baggage claim and keep you comfortable in case your checked luggage gets delayed. Just remember to check the airline’s carry-on size restrictions!

3. Ski boot bag: Investing in a specialized boot bag is a smart move, especially if you’re embarking on a long journey. Not only does it shield your beloved boots from any potential harm, but it also ensures they stay fresh and odor-free throughout your airport adventures.

Bonus Packing Tips:

1. Make sure to tag your luggage clearly to prevent any mix-ups.

2. Keep your belongings organized and accessible by using packing cubes.

3. Opt for rolling clothes instead of folding them to save space and minimize wrinkles.

4. Stay prepared for temperature changes by checking the weather forecast and packing accordingly.

5. Don't forget to add some fun to your trip by bringing along a deck of cards or travel games for après-ski enjoyment.

Now that you have this handy guide and a dash of winter wanderlust, you’re all set to master both the snowy slopes and the tricky luggage situation. Keep in mind, the ultimate ski trip is all about making unforgettable memories, not obsessing over packing everything perfectly. So, take a deep breath, embrace the exciting adventure, and let the fun times begin (or slide)!

Air Travel Tips

Different airlines have different rules when it comes to ski equipment. Typically, airlines consider ski equipment as one piece of checked luggage. However, it’s important to note that if your ski equipment exceeds 50 lbs, most airlines will charge you an additional fee for overweight baggage. Therefore, it’s a good idea to weigh your bag at home and ensure it falls within the 50 lb limit. Additionally, some airlines may charge an extra fee for oversized baggage if it exceeds the specified size limit, which is usually between 62 to 80 linear inches (height + width + depth).

Ski clothing packing list

Packing for a ski trip

Packing for ski trips can be a real challenge, especially with all the gear you need. That’s why we like to approach it like creating a mini capsule wardrobe. Instead of focusing on individual items, we prioritize functionality. As long as you have something packed for each situation, you’ll be good to go.

  • Ski clothes
  • Clothes for on-slope aprés-ski activities
  • Outfit for exploring off the slopes (day and night)
  • Outfit for lounge in
  • Clothes to sleep in

That’s all! Basically, this ski trip packing capsule is super easy (and practical). The key is to pick the right items. You need pieces that not only perform well but also look adorable and can be mixed and matched easily, so you can make the most out of each item, whether you’re on the slopes or off.

Ski And Snowboard Clothing

Make sure to bring plenty of warm clothing, as the weather up in the mountains can shift rapidly and dramatically.

The List:

  • Ski Jacket – choose 1 to 3 waterproof options available. The best choice is a ski jacket for park city resorts that combines comfort, a great fit, and excellent durability and weatherproofing. When facing snowstorms or gusty days, the jacket’s ability to resist water and wind is essential to prevent any discomfort caused by drafts or moisture. You can select from three main categories: an uninsulated hardshell, an insulated jacket, or a budget-friendly 3-in-1 option that comes with a zip-in midlayer.
  • Ski Pants – When it comes to ski pants, having 1 to 3 waterproof choices is a smart move. Similar to a ski jacket, these pants are designed to withstand tough conditions and keep you dry. They’re also windproof, which is a bonus. If you’re someone who frequently skis in freezing temperatures, you might want to consider getting an insulated pair. However, if you prefer flexibility, a thick, non-insulated hardshell pant is a great option for season-long use. Just layer it with a light or midweight baselayer depending on the conditions.
  • Snowsuits – 1 to 2 waterproof snowsuits
  • Additional insulation – down or fleece vest
  • Base layer tops – You’ll want to have a variety of four base layer tops that are not made of cotton. The first layer that comes into contact with your skin should be able to wick away moisture. Even on the coldest days, your body sweats, and this layer’s purpose is to move that sweat away from your skin, ensuring you stay warm and comfortable.
  • Base layer bottoms – 1 to 4 non-cotton base layer bottoms
  • Gloves & mittens – If you tend to feel cold easily, opt for mittens instead of waterproof and insulated ski gloves. The fingers in mittens work together to keep each other warm.
  • Sweaters – 1 to 4 fleece or wool sweaters
  • Warm winter hat
  • Ski Socks – 3 to 4 wool ski socks. A good ski sock has some key qualities: a snug fit that doesn’t feel tight, materials that are soft to the touch and don’t cause itching, and enough padding to keep you comfortable on the slopes all day long. Unlike regular socks, ski socks are taller, reaching over the calf, and have extra cushioning in areas that are prone to rubbing and pressure. This is particularly important when you’re wearing rigid ski boots.
  • Neck gaiter – A non-cotton balaclava or ski mask is a versatile accessory that can serve as both outerwear and a base layer. Whether you’re braving the stormiest weather or simply need some extra warmth for your neck and face, this balaclava or neck gaiter has got you covered.

Ski And Snowboard Gear

Rent Or Bring Your Own Skis Or Snowboard?

Deciding whether to rent or bring your own gear depends on a few factors. If you’re flying, chances are you’ll have to pay around $25 each way. There’s a small possibility that your gear might get lost or damaged during travel. Once you arrive, you’ll have to carry the gear around until you can rent a car or take a shuttle.

On the flip side, if you have your setup perfectly customized to your liking, then the choice is clear. Regardless, we recommend purchasing your own ski or snowboard boots at the very least and bringing them along.

The List:

  • Skis and ski poles or snowboard
  • Ski boots or snowboard boots
  • Ski Goggles
  • Sunglasses
  • Helmet
  • Hand and toe warmers – 1 to 7 packs of each, or electric boot warmers
  • Hydration pack

After Ski Clothing

No matter how much you love skiing or snowboarding, there’s going to be time that you spend off the hill. Here’s what we normally bring from a clothing perspective outside of our ski trip packing list that isn’t ski related:

The List:

  • Warm winter jacket
  • Warm winter hat
  • Gloves and mittens
  • Sweaters
  • Jeans and pants
  • Warm winter socks
  • Waterproof winter boots
  • Undergarments
  • Sleepwear – Tops and bottoms

Additional Items for Ski Vacation

The List:

  • Ski tickets/Ski passes
  • Itineraries, tickets, and reservation confirmations
  • Credit card and cash
  • Identification card
  • Medical insurance cards
  • Prescriptions and other medications
  • Mask
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Power cables for electronics – phone, computer, electric toothbrush, etc.


When it’s freezing outside and gloves aren’t doing the trick, cheap handwarmers become our secret weapon. Just open a package, slide in a warmer, and suddenly the day becomes bearable. We always have a few extra packages for our friends too. HotHands offers affordable, air-activated warmers that you can order online or find at most big-box stores.

Foot warmers

There are various foot warmer choices out there, ranging from heated insoles to socks powered by batteries. However, the key to staying cozy lies in selecting a properly fitting boot. Nowadays, ski boots provide excellent insulation, so it’s all about finding the right fit. Moreover, you’ll need thin socks to prevent circulation problems. Nevertheless, if you’ve tried all the boot and sock options and still have cold feet, companies like Hotronic and Therm-IC offer fantastic heated insoles and socks for skiers in need.


Most resort skiers opt for smartphones as their go-to camera due to limited pocket space. However, if you’re looking to enhance image quality, consider upgrading to a premium point-and-shoot like the compact Sony RX100. It easily fits into a jacket pocket. But if you’re a serious photographer, nothing beats a professional-grade setup. Mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, like our impressive Sony A7R III, help maintain a manageable weight. When it comes to shooting videos, GoPros are fantastic for capturing a thrilling first-person perspective. The newly-released Hero11 Black even allows you to send highlight videos directly to your phone.

Go Pro ski camera


We hate expensive snacks just as much as you do. We’d rather save our money for fun activities after hitting the slopes. That’s why we always bring some snacks with us when we plan to spend the whole day at the resort. You can pack trail mix, bars, pretzels, dried fruit, or anything that can fit in your pocket. This way, you won’t have to make a long trip back to the parking lot.

Boot and Ski Bags

If you’re planning to catch a flight or hop on a bus in search of some awesome powder, you’ll definitely need a boot bag and a ski bag to safely transport your gear from point A to point B. The boot bag is perfect for keeping your ski boots safe and snug, and it often comes with extra compartments for your goggles, socks, and other essentials.

Plus, most boot bags are designed to meet carry-on luggage size restrictions, so you won’t have to worry about losing your most important piece of gear in your ski vacation. On the other hand, ski bags are specifically designed to carry one or two pairs of skis. They usually have padded sides (although hard cases are also available) to provide ample protection during your travels. And to make things even more convenient, some ski bags even come with wheels on one end, just like a roller bag.

Extras and Personal Items

Our list above has got you covered for any day at the resort, but there are a couple of smaller items that we usually keep handy in our pocket or car. Some are essential (like a ski pass), while others are just good to have.

  • Sunblock
  • Shades
  • Lip moisturizer
  • Soft cloth for cleaning goggles
  • Ski pass or lift ticket
  • Spare socks and a warm hat for after skiing
  • Water and additional snacks
  • Towel for wiping down ski equipment before storing it
  • Small backpack if you’re planning to ski in the sidecountry
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail clippers and nail file
  • Scissors

Hitting the Slopes with Confidence: Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve conquered the Ski trip packing list, and your ski vacation is now prepped for epic descents, cozy evenings, and laughter-filled memories. Remember, the most important thing you’re bringing is your sense of adventure. So, grab your gear, embrace the crisp mountain air, and carve your way into an unforgettable winter wonderland.

Here’s a quick recap to ensure you leave nothing but powder footprints behind:

  • Gear Up: Base layers, mid-layers, an outer shell, and your trusty skis or board – the foundation for frosty fun.
  • Stay Warm: Cozy socks, toasty hats, and insulating gloves keep the chills at bay, letting you focus on conquering that black diamond.
  • Après-Ski Essentials: Comfortable clothes for unwinding by the fire, a good book, and games for creating après-ski magic.
  • Don’t Forget the Fun: Sunscreen, lip balm, and a playful spirit – essential ingredients for sun-kissed cheeks and epic snowball fights.

As you embark on your snowy adventure, remember, the perfect ski trip isn’t about having everything; it’s about creating moments that last a lifetime. So, savor the crisp air, relish the thrill of the slopes, and connect with loved ones under a blanket of stars. The mountains await, and with this handy guide, you’re ready to conquer them in style.

Bonus Tip: Leave some space in your suitcase for souvenirs, because you’ll definitely want to bring back a piece of that winter magic.

Now, go forth and shred! And while you’re at it, tag us in your snowy snaps – we love seeing our readers conquering the slopes in style.

Happy trails!

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