This article is part of our series of 2020 Ski Clothing Gear Guides, in partnership with Collett’s Mountain Holidays. We tested key products from our ski collections in the heart of the Dolomites – giving you advice and insight about the best kit for snowsports this winter.
Every time you head to the mountains, there’s a long packing list to make sure you’ve covered all eventualities. While it’s easy to remember a jacket or trousers it’s the smaller items that are less obvious. Various accessories that will finish off your outfit and work with your baselayers, midlayers and outerwear to keep you warm and comfortable.
In many cases, the best accessories are those that you carry everywhere and use all the time – it’s a very personal touch what you see as essential for a day on skis. Hear, we round up a few of the accessories we relied on in our Ski Clothing tests in the Dolomites, and some tips on finding the accessories that work for you.
A note on our reviews:
Our testing team from SportPursuit HQ used products on location in the Italian Dolomites to form reviews from hands-on experience. We aim to offer a useful summary of the product based on the performance for regular snowsports enthusiasts without too much technical jargon. Any specific questions about an item we tested? Let us know in the comments.
The least glamorous item of kit on your packing list, but one of the ones that can change your skiing experience for the better or worse. You could write a long list of the functions you expect from your ski socks: keeping your feet warm, wicking away sweat, giving you good control in your boots…
For a straightforward solution our testers reached for the Merino Blend Ski Socks from Isobaa – making use of the naturally temperature regulating properties of this natural material. A relatively straightforward construction in mid weight fabric includes shin panels for comfort.
For more advanced skiers looking for a more precise fit, Lorpen Ski Socks come in a variety of thicknesses to suit your preference. In the Superlight weight the blended merino fabric has a technical construction and is much less thick than other socks. In tight fitting, high performance ski boots this gives you more control and a firm fit – skiers used to thicker socks will need to get used to this feeling and make sure they have appropriately sized boots.
Nobody likes cold hands, and with skiing it seems inevitable at some point! Our advice, find a pair of gloves that you can rely on. Mitt versions tend to be warmer, whereas gloves with separate fingers give you more dexterity when adjusting boots, holding poles and other tasks.
Untrakt’s Mafic Insulated Ski Mitts were released for the 2020 season and bring a modern spin on the classic mitt design by using a proportion of recycled insulation to give exceptional warmth. Our 2020 kit testing in the Dolomites was treated to relatively warm weather – the Mafic Mitts really excel in colder temperatures. Alongside these newer developments, many of our test team highly rate long-established models from iconic glove-maker Hestra. The Army Leather range remains a staple for hardwearing and durable gloves for a variety of conditions.
Aside from specific pieces of equipment like helmets and goggles, it’s worth having a couple of option for headwear to keep you prepared for different conditions. We always recommend a balaclava or neck tube on colder days to seal out the wind and snow around your neck, as well as a warm hat for stops.
Many might go without but skiing with a backpack can help you stay out for longer, carry spare water and snacks, and be prepared for different weather conditions throughout the day. For backcountry or off-piste skiers it’s also a crucial item to carry your avalanche rescue equipment and other tools.
Over the years we’ve used many different packs but for a kit testing project where we are carrying plenty of different layers we rely on the Deuter Freerider Rucksack. With varieties for differing uses, different sizes, and a female-specific version of the fit, it’s a well-constructed workhorse that is ready for anything. With a dedicated avalanche tool pocket, specific soft-lined goggle pocket and convenient hip belt pockets, and various options to attach and carry skis and other equipment, it is a fully featured rucksack. Despite this, the fit remains streamlined and unfussy and no feature feels unnecessary – the ski carry and compression straps even stow away when not in use.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our 2020 Gear Guides for ski clothing.
Got a question about one of the products we reviews, or more general opinions on choosing new ski gear? Let us know in the comments below.