Gear Guides: How to Layer for Skiing and Snowboarding

Time in the mountains usually means being prepared for a wide variety of possible conditions. Especially for people getting active in the hills – whether it’s on skis or board, scenic snowshoeing or gnarly park practice – staying comfortable is going to maximise the enjoyment you get out of your day.

Luckily, it isn’t too difficult to keep yourself warm, dry, cool and comfortable if you choose the right kit. Learn how to layer and be prepared for everything. In the words of legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes,

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing “

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
A great summary on how to layer for skiing, from instructor booking platform SkiBro.


Your first layer will be what’s called a ‘baselayer‘ – a close-fitting, breathable layer made from synthetic or natural materials:

  • Wick moisture away from the skin to keep you dry and comfortable, even in high-tempo activities.
  • Natural fabrics, such as merino wool, can perform better and are naturally odour-resistant.
  • Synthetic fibres can be cheaper and many brands have engineered special blends to perform as well as possible.

Check out a wide range of baselayers for men and women, and some top picks below:


Next up is insulation to keep you warm. Depending on the conditions you can combine wool midlayers, fleece fabrics, and synthetic or down insulation. Carry an extra layer if you can in case the temperature drops or you’re out longer than expected!

  • Trap heat to keep you warm even when mountain temperatures are well below freezing.
  • Can help shift moisture from the baselayer to keep you sweat-free.
  • Are easily packed away or layered up depending on how the conditions change.
Down Insulation is a commonly-used midlayer for it’s exceptional warmth, light weight, and packable construction – explore a wide range of down jackets here.

Outer Shells

A protective layer is essential to keep out wind and snow (or rain if you’re unlucky!). Performance fabrics can maintain breathability while keeping you dry and protected.

  • Keep the elements at bay with a protective weatherproof layer.
  • Pockets, pit zips and powder skirts can be useful features for skiers and snowboarders.
  • Trusted fabrics such as GoreTex and eVent can reliably withstand challenging conditions.

For skiing and snowboarding you’ll need a jacket and trousers that are equipped for mountain conditions.

Shell Fabrics

A good shell will protect you from the elements with high-performance fabrics. Some brands try to keep their shell layers environmentally friendly by using recycled materials, such as the ecoSHIELD fabric used by UNTRAKT.

Trousers & Bibs

Some ski and snowboard trousers, like the J.Lindeberg Hubbard Bib Trousers, include suspenders and a bib construction to keep the snow out in deep powder.

Don’t forget the smaller accessories, such including socks and gloves, and you’ll be ready to take on the mountain. Check out our 2019 Ski Clearance for a great range of ski gear at up to 70% off!