How and What to Pack for a Ski Trip

Ski Gear

Things can get a little bit stressful when packing for a ski trip as it requires a massive amount of equipment, gear, warm clothing, gloves, boots, and more. If you want to know what to pack for a ski trip without breaking your back or the bank, here are some simple tips that you can follow.

To pack everything you need for a ski trip, think of the essentials, choose the right luggage, the right clothing, and your equipment. Being fashionable is irrelevant if you want to avoid baggage fees, thus, bring what you actually need and leave the unnecessary gizmos behind.


Packing is not only about the things that you need to bring, you also need to consider the carrier that you’ll be carrying your stuff in. Our luggage of choice for ski trips is a backpack and if you’re looking to get one for yourself, check out our top recommendations of the best ski backpacks that you can find in the market today. 


Selecting the right luggage

It is important that you have the right luggage to pack your personal belongings. You can either use a backpack, duffel bag, or suitcase, as long as it can carry everything you need. A stuff sack can also be very beneficial as it will allow you to pack quicker and be more organized. 

A boot bag is also an important piece of luggage for a ski trip. Your boots are more personalized and customized, so you wouldn’t want the airline to lose them. Having a boot bag can serve as a carry-on item when you fly, thus, you wouldn’t have to worry about renting out boots in case something happens.

Ski Backpacks

Ski backpacks are useful for carrying your skiing essentials like rescue tools, water, snacks, extra layers of clothes, and other ski gears. Having a reliable backpack is especially important on extended ski trips and excursions in the backcountry. 

If you’re going to enjoy a chill day on groomed slopes, a small backpack to stuff your snacks, water, and small essentials is helpful, although not necessary as some small accessories can fit into the pockets of your ski jacket or pants. Note that everything on the mountain is expensive, so if you want to save money, you can choose to bring a small backpack for your refreshments.

There are a lot of ski backpacks on the market today that are incredibly well-made, and picking the right one depends a lot on your chosen expedition. If you don’t know which one to choose, check out our Best Ski Backpack article for our top recommendations. 


Skiing Gear

If you are bringing your own skiing gear, these are the first items that you need to pack. These tend to be the bulkiest and you need to be careful when you are packing them to avoid causing any damage. 


A ski is a narrow and long board that is made of hard and flexible material that allows you to glide over snow. They come in pairs and are attached to your ski boots with the use of ski bindings. 

There are many different kinds of skis that are used for different kinds of skiing, such as all-mountain skis, backcountry skis, and powder skis, to name a few. 

Ski Poles

Ski poles provide balance and propelling force for downhill skiing, are needed for climbing and descending the backcountry, and are critical tools for Nordic skiing. Similar to skis, ski poles come in pairs. 

There are many different kinds of ski poles. If you don’t know which one to get for yourself, check out our top recommendations in our Best Ski Poles article. 

Ski Boots

Ski boots are specially designed footwear that can be attached to your skis with the use of ski bindings. They allow you to control your skis while providing comfort and warmth for your feet. 

Ski boots have come a long way with regards to technology and material, thus making it more complicated to choose which pair will suit you the best. If you need a bit of help with this decision, check out our top ski boots recommendations in our Best Ski Boots article. 

Ski Bindings

Ski bindings connect your ski boots to your skis. They also function as safety gears. Ski bindings release your ski boots from your skis in the case of a bad fall or strong impact to minimize injury. 

There are different kinds of ski bindings with varying strengths and flexibility. If you’re on the hunt for a quality pair of ski bindings, check out our top recommendations in our Best Ski Bindings article. 


Keeping warm is always the top priority when choosing clothes for any winter activity. If you plan on going skiing, check out our helpful guide on what you can wear for skiing to make sure that you’ll be warm and toasty for your day on the slopes. 


Ski accessories

Aside from your main skiing equipment, you also need to pack your skiing accessories. These are items that will provide you comfort and protection while you are out on the slopes. 


A helmet is an important item that you should bring on a ski trip, but you can also choose to rent one at the ski resort. This accessory will protect you from potential falls by reducing your chances of getting a head injury.


Goggles are essential to avoid glare, increase contrast, and of course, to protect your eyes and face from the cold, wind, and any debris that the terrain might throw at you.

Ski gloves

You should absolutely bring your ski gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm. These should also be waterproof and insulated.

Neck warmer

Neck warmers can also protect you from the wind and are small enough to be stuffed into your ski jacket. You can bring neck warmers made of thick fleece or a more lightweight microfiber material.


Bring a good pair of socks that will keep your feet warm and have moisture-wicking abilities to also keep them dry. You can pack your socks and goggles in your ski boots to save some luggage space.

Ski Boot Footbeds

To provide maximum support, warmth, and comfort for your feet, make sure to pack your ski boot footbeds. These are made to support your feet, and keep them from collapsing or being put into uncomfortable positions. 

Protective gear

Make sure to pack some protective gear, especially if you are a first-timer. Knee pads, padded impact shorts, external bum pads, and wrist guards are some of the important protective gear. Verify that they are durable enough and shock-absorbent to protect you from falls or impacts.


Safety Equipment

Skiing is an extreme sport and you are exposed to a number of threats, such as avalanches, while you are skiing. These are the items that you need to pack to increase your chances of survival in case anything bad happens while you are out on the slopes. 

First Aid Kit

Pack your first aid kit depending on the type of activity that you plan on doing. Anticipate the kind of injuries that you might need to deal with and pack your first aid kit accordingly. Make sure to pack your personal medications as well.

Avalanche Airbag

An avalanche airbag has a system that includes a large balloon or balloons that inflate by just pulling a cord. These equipment are designed to make the wearer rise to the surface of the snow, thus preventing burial in the event of an avalanche.

Avalanche Beacon

An avalanche beacon, or avalanche transceiver, is an electronic device that is tasked with emitting a steady radio signal to be able to locate and search for buried victims in an avalanche aftermath.

**Brief disclaimer:

This article only serves as a guide for what to pack for a ski trip, and does not promote the use of avalanche airbags and avalanche beacons without proper knowledge of said equipment. Thus, if you are a beginner backcountry enthusiast, we encourage you to take an AIARE Level 1 avalanche course. Furthermore,, its associates, affiliates, and partners will not be held responsible for any harm or injury that may arise from the use of these products.


The key to enjoying winter activities is staying warm and cozy even if you’re outside in the freezing cold. From goggles to boots, check out our winter clothes and accessories tab for our top winter attire recommendations!


Ski clothing

Make sure to pack the appropriate ski clothing that will help you stay dry and warm. Below is a list of some of the essential clothing that you will need.

Base layer

Your base layer should be snug fitting and absorb sweat. It should be able to keep you dry and warm while skiing and should also be breathable. Stay away from cotton fabrics as they stay wet when you sweat, thus making you feel even colder.


A mid-layer is important because of its insulation properties. You can either bring a long-sleeved sweatshirt, a lightweight down jacket, or a fairly thick wool sweater. If the weather becomes a little warm, you can always remove your mid-layer clothing.

Outerwear/Ski jacket

Bring a jacket that offers a good waterproofing and breathability rating to keep you comfortable. A breathable jacket is important to allow moisture to escape the fabric, keeping you nice and dry. If you tend to get cold very quickly, opt for an insulated jacket.

Ski pants

Make sure that you bring waterproof ski pants as they tend to get more snow on them than other clothing. Ski pants with venting capabilities can also be a good choice.

Thermal pants

A good pair of thermal pants or leggings can also be a nice addition. If you need more warmth and comfort, avoid cotton fabrics and opt for wools or synthetics instead.


Clothing for off-the-slopes

Wearing your ski clothes off-the-slopes is not ideal and not comfortable at all. Therefore, you should also pack clothes that you can wear after you are done skiing. A winter jacket and a few layers of garments should be enough once you’re off the mountain.

Bring a few casual tops and jumpers that you can mix and match, along with long pants. Gloves or mittens, a winter hat or beanie, and a scarf can also help keep you warm. Finally, waterproof, non-slip shoes, boots, or trail shoes are also essential for walking around the village.


Final thoughts

Pack like a pro! You should always fill any opening in your luggage. For instance, you can fill your boots with clothing, socks, or any small essentials. The bucket of your helmet can also serve as a jacket holder; just remember to roll and stuff. Your boot bag can contain your boots along with your base layer, goggles, mittens or gloves, socks, some toiletries, or whatever else is essential. Meanwhile, your ski bag can be filled with clothing — just make sure that the metal edges of the ski won’t damage them.

The key is to be able to pack light, bring what you need, and not exceed the weight limit. It is best to carry your boot bag on the plane and to opt for a good backpack so that you can also have it as a carry-on. It is also best to write down a list of everything that you need beforehand so that when you’re ready to pack, you can just check things off of your list. This way, you won’t forget anything that you need for your skiing escapade. 

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