Has there been a thread on this? I’m too lazy to check!
So, how much attention do you pay to your ski clothing? Proper clothing...jackets, pants, base layers...can make a HUGE difference when it comes to both comfort and functionality. Of course, ski clothing can be quite an investment.
So, how do you approach ski clothing?
Personally, I’ve always TRIED to find good stuff, but I usually try to do it on the cheap. I’ve been fairly successful, I guess...or so I thought. However, especially now that I’m into touring (where proper clothing/layering becomes a bigger issue [?]) I’ve started to look at it closer. One of my new purchases this season, used, is the Black Diamond Mission Pant. Retail they are $500, but I picked them up on TAY for $200. Man, best ski pants I’ve ever owned, and I haven’t even taken them touring yet. And no doubt I’ll have these for 10 years, whereas the Karbon jacket and pants I got two years ago (not cheap) look and have worn like shit.
So, what’s your take on ski clothing, and what killer recommendations do you have?
Generally I go cheap. Sierra trading post gets a lot of my business. Also try not to buy anything that’s single sport other then my balaclava maybe. Multi purpose Raincoats and pants rather then ski clothes. The results can be hit or miss but I’m usually happy
I don't use much. Good long undies - EMS tech wick. Shell pants - EMS thunderhead - mine are pretty beat, surprised I haven't duct taped the tears from my ski edges yet. Fleece - North Face, but more specifically it was all about the material, a specific polartec highly breathable windblocking fleece. I would have bought any brand if it had that specific material. Shell - I have a couple but only wear them when it's really cold or I'm riding lifts. North face and an EMS one.
I have some heavier duty pants for lift riding that have insulation. I don't much care for them because I get too warm actually skiing, but need the extra warmth for sitting on a freezing cold metal chair.
When I lift ski, I have some thick spyder gloves but my normal XC and touring for turns skiing I don't wear those. I just have some really thin EMS gloves. My hands don't get cold when I'm moving. Often times I actually take my gloves off
Headwear I use something called a buff - it's basically a tube you can wrap in different configs. You can make it into a toque or just a headband. You can also use them as a facemask or neck warmer. Made of thin, stretchy wool. Very versatile and warm even when soaked with sweat. Riding lifts I wear a regular toque.
Socks for me are key. With plastic boots I usually just wear a thin liner although now I have some new fancy wool ski socks that are super thin like a liner. I don't know if they are any better, don't really need much warmth, usually my feet get sweaty. With leathers I wear a liner plus a thin, engineered (meaning stretchy in all different ways) sock. The liner helps wick away sweat and keep from blistering and the other sock is for warmth and foot support (believe it or not).
I have collection of ski wear from the last 25 years. Duofold base layers that wear like iron and are warm but not stylish. I also have some Patagonia stuff - some very thin base layers that are very comfortable and warm. I have a Heli Hansen jacked that has held up for close to 25 years, the zipper pulls wore out years ago and I replaced them with wire ties, and I now wear it when running the snow blower - replaced it with an EMS jacket for skiing and touring a few years ago that I just love. I also bought a pair of campmor touring pants that I have had for 25 years. I bought a pair of Karbon insulated ski pants - threw them out in 2 years, Karbon==shit. I also like EMS brand, you can usually get a super price on their stuff if you wait for a sale and then use a $10 coupon which they mail me all the time. I have a new pair of Patagonia pants in my closet that I got 2 seasons ago on sale, haven't tried them yet but I think this will be the season as my old campmor pants are really looking tired.
I also have ski socks (I go thin as well) that have lasted for years. I hate wet feet and I may change socks several times in a day if I am resort skiing and I always have a nice dry pair of woolies for the ride home. I use to get one or two pair of ski socks a season, but now I have so many the extras are stored in a box in my closet.
Staying away from cotton when its going to be wet, snowy or bitter cold is a good idea. You can get away with it on clear warmer days.
In general - just with everything else - it's not how much you pay up front it's how much you pay per year of use.
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
I usually by decent but not super expensive gear. My wife bought me an Arcteryx shell, it was really expensive. ($300). I kind of gave her a hard time, but it is an incredible coat. It's super light (can easily go into my butt bag), allows full arm motion, and its super water and wind tight. It's the best piece of ski clothing I've ever had.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
My wife bought me an Arcteryx shell, it was really expensive.
Yea - that brand is crazy expensive. They do look well cut and well made though. Being old, I think my clothes should look the part... Besides that, if I bought expensive stuff Matt would get jealous and start calling me names again.
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
I tend to buy something of quality and make sure it lasts, with hardware & apparel. My ski pants were 50% off (it was 92+ degrees when I bought them), have had to sew the plasticky part of the cuff back on the pants with dental floss. Gloves & mitts are both Swany. When they get damp I put Bag Balm on them to re-hydrate & soften them. Ski jacket is Spyder. I prefer a basic look so it won't look out of style 10 years after I buy the stuff.
Sent from the driver's seat of my car while in motion.
Price per use is key. Because XC and XCD skiing are similar to mountain biking and hiking, my gear for that gets used in cross-over. My rain shells are used in summer for backpacking/canoe tripping as well. The only thing that is highly specialized is resort gear because you need extra warmth. I don't tend to spend as much money on that stuff and it also lasts a lot longer because I don't use it as much. I don't wear trendy stuff, so style is pretty classic.