Make sure you have the right clothing packed for your trip to Colorado

What to Wear Skiing in Colorado

Hit the slopes with confidence and comfort, prepare for what to wear while skiing before your winter vacation.

Posted on October 18, 2023

Skiers applying sunscreen

Skiing is one of the most exhilarating sports a person can do in the snow. The thrill of balancing on a pair of skis while whizzing down a snow-covered slope is something special. It takes courage, balance, and above all else, a willingness to be cold. But what should you, and what should you not wear while skiing? And what ski gear do beginners need, exactly? 

Here's what to wear and what gear you need for your first time on Breck's slopes. 

What Should You Wear While Skiing in Coloraodo?

1. A Base Layer 

The first and most crucial piece is a solid base layer that keeps you warm on the slopes. Look for long sleeve thermal tops, long johns or leggings, fleece pullovers, and comfortable underwear that allow you to move freely while you're learning to navigate the mountains. 

2. A Warm Ski Jacket and Snow Pants 

When you're in the mountains, you need a jacket that's actually warm. Skip the thin-down jacket and opt for a warm jacket designed for skiing or snowboarding. These ski jackets usually come with zippers for venting so you don't overheat. 

Make sure you're also wearing a pair of ski pants that are warm and comfortable. They should be waterproof so they don't soak up all the snow you'll step in or fall in. 

3. Gloves or Mittens 

Invest in a good pair of ski gloves or mittens that are insulated and waterproof or water resistant. Gloves or mittens will prevent your hands from getting cold and exhausted from holding onto the poles for too long. Mittens tend to be warmer, but some people prefer the increased dexterity gained by wearing gloves. 

4. Helmet and Googles 

While they are not mandatory for skiing by yourself or with friends, helmets are strongly recommended. A helmet will help protect your head if you fall and keep your head and ears warm and dry. As well as a helmet, you should wear ski goggles that protect your eyes from the elements and prevent you from spending the whole day squinting.  

5. Slather on the Sunscreen 

The last thing you want to happen during your ski trip is for your skin to get burnt. Make sure you remember your sunscreen when you go skiing. It's essential to wear sunscreen even when it's cold outside. The sun's rays can still be harmful, especially on the mountains where the snow is reflective and bounces the light back up to you. 

6. A Thin Jacket Is Often Enough on Warmer Days 

If you're skiing in the late fall or early spring, you might get lucky enough to hit the slopes on a warm, sunny day. Bring a lighter-weight coat but ensure it's waterproof so you don't get wet from the snow.  

It's also crucial to focus on the fit. A jacket that's too bulky could get caught in ski poles or enable snow and wind to get through, while one that's too tight could inhibit your flexibility. Make sure to wear a comfortable and flexible jacket for a fun day of skiing. 

7. Equipment That Fits 

Before you leave for your ski trip, make sure your skis and boots fit you correctly. You don't want to go on a ski trip and realize your boots don't fit anymore, or your skis aren't sharp and waxed. So before you head to the slopes, ensure your gear is serviced and fitted by a professional. If you don't have your own gear or don't want the added hassle of transporting your skis then you can rent skis and boots at one of Breckenridge's equipment rental locations

8. Don't Forget Your Phone! 

While not something you technically 'wear', a cellphone is an essential item to bring with you on your first day of skiing. Make sure you download the My Epic App to your phone before hitting the slopes to access interactive trail maps, real-time weather, lift line predictions and GPS tracking to keep track of your on-slope adventures.  

Plus, it's easy to get separated from your friends on the mountain, so your cellphone will also allow you to find your friends so you can get back to enjoying the slopes together. You can either call them or use My Epic to see their location and send them a message, meaning you'll be back skiing together in no time.   

What Shouldn't You Wear While Skiing?  

Everything above answered that burning question of what gear beginner skiers need. Still, it's also good to know what not to wear on the mountain. Comfort and flexibility are the most important aspects of dressing for the occasion, so avoid wearing jeans or tight-fitting clothing under your ski gear.  

It's also crucial to avoid winter gear that's not waterproof. A winter jacket that's not designed for outdoor sports, knit mittens and gloves, and athletic pants that weren't made for skiing or snowboarding will leave you soaking wet in no time. Also, avoid wearing a loose scarf, as it can get caught on ski poles, trees, and other objects.  

Book Your Skiing and Snowboarding This Winter at Breckenridge 

Looking for a great place to take in some beginner skiing and try out your new gear? Book a day (or a weekend) on the slopes at Breckenridge.