Ski Layering Guide 2019

Igoadventures
Igoadventures

When the time has come to take your skis and hit the slope, you need to pay attention to your body temperature.

The time spent in the snow flies fast and you can end up with frostbites before you know it.

Still, if you overdo with clothing, you’ll be all in sweat.

In low temperatures, this can lead to a severe cold or even pneumonia.

Therefore, you have to wrap up yourself in several layers to keep warm and not sweat while skiing.

Our layering guide will help you choose the right items for your skiing holiday this season. Tried and tested in resorts such as St Anton, Meribel and Val Thorens.

 

The feet fleet

salomon ski boots
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What you’re wearing on your feet during your skiing sessions can play a huge role in your body temperature.

Although the choice of ski boots is extremely important, we’d like to pay more attention to ski socks.

They come in different shapes and materials, which is why you should learn more about their features.

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For starters, it’s good to know that there are three types of ski socks in accordance with their thickness.

On a sunny day, with the temperature, a bit above zero put on a pair of lightweight socks.

They fit tightly with the feet and enable fast energy transfer from the feet to the ski boots, i.e. the skis.

When the temperature is a bit below zero, go for midweight socks.

Also, this might be the best choice for amateur skiers in general.

They’re a great combo of comfort, agility, and warmth.

As for the performance, they’ll meet the average demands, technique-wise.

In the extremely cold weather, we recommend heavyweight ski socks and these UK made socks from Coory More Farm not only feel great but they won’t smell because of the mohair fibre!

While they might curb some outstanding performance, they’ll give you a lot of support and warmth.

Furthermore, the materials and ergonomic features of ski socks also deserve your attention so do your homework and learn more about these features.

 

The three-layer rule

ski layers
Click for ski layer options

 

Now that we’ve built the base for your skiing experience, it’s time to add new layers to your body.

A rule of thumb is that every skier has three layers of clothes on their body.

You should follow this rule in every type of weather but make sure that you put on different materials in line with the conditions out there.

 

The base tier

base layer for skiing

It’s important to know that it’s the moisture that makes your body feel cold in lower temperatures.

Because of that, your base layer has to be made of materials that breathe.

That way you’ll also reduce the possibility to be covered in sweat.

Therefore, the wool base layer is one of the best options.

Wool is a natural material that will keep the heat while letting off the moisture.

Similarly, polypropylene is another smart option.

While it’s a synthetic material, it’s a good moisture regulator.

On the other hand, wearing cotton leggings or top increase the chance of sweating.

 

The middle section

The middle layer has to be made of materials that ensure seamless insulation but wick the moisture.

Just like wool is one of the best options for the base layer, the middle section should be made of fleece fabric.

The adjustability of the clothing items for the middle section is also a detail that makes a difference, sweat-wise.

Hence, go for a jacket or sweater with a zip which can be a bit opened in warmer weather and closed in colder skiing conditions.

Since we all have different sweat predispositions, it’s good to have additional anti-sweat solutions at the reach of your hand.

So, get jackets or sweater that have armpit zips, which can be opened or closed for better ventilation.

In the case of windier conditions, keep a Softshell by your side and wear them on the sweater or jacket.

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Finally, if the weather is freezing cold, you might want to put on a pair of mid-layer trousers.

However, the technology behind modern ski trousers makes this skiing item redundant for most skiers.

And if you can’t ski that well, you might better skip your session if the weather is really bad.

 

The outer layer

ski layers
Click to view ski jackets

The anti-sweat outer layer consists of a comfortable but not too large ski jacket and a pair of ski trousers.

The fact is that if you’ve followed our tips so far and broken a sweat to avoid moisture retention, the outer layer won’t make a large difference in that sense.

However, make sure that your ski jacket is made from breathable, windproof and waterproof materials.

So, the outer layer should come with a durable water repellent (DWR), under which there should be a breathable layer or membrane (like GORE-TEX).

Logically, some skiers will have some specific design requests for those outer ski items.

While all this might sound expensive, it makes more sense to invest a bit more money at the beginning, when you’re putting together your clothing ski set.

That way, you’ll rest assured you’re safe and sound for a longer period of time.

 

Additional tips

View helmet options

A borderline case between warmth and safety tips, the head cover should always be a ski helmet and not a hat.

Even if it seems that the weather is nice with no wind, wearing a hat is much more risky in the case of fall.

Therefore, always go for top-notch ski helmets with proper venting systems to ensure that your head doesn’t sweat.

Apart from that, it’s wise to choose the ski accommodation close to the slopes or the ski lift so that you don’t have to carry all your equipment for a long period of time.

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powder white chalets val d'isere
Val d’Isere, Skye (8 people)

Otherwise, you could sweat before you hit the ski run.

Since the sun can be pretty strong on mountain slopes, make sure that you put on some sun cream and prevent yourself from getting sunburnt.

Finally, you want your hands to be neither hot nor cold, which is why you should get the right ski gloves for your needs.

While you can choose from different sizes and levels of thickness, make sure that the pair you choose can be properly fastened at the wrists so that no snow can get into the gloves.

The final word

Skiing is the most exciting winter activity, especially for families.

When families are making a plan to go to a ski resort for winter holidays, it’s better to buy the equipment in advance. It’s less expensive and more practical.

So, while you’re getting your ski items, pay attention to the layering rules.

Follow the ones presented in this guide but do your homework and find out more about proper ski clothing.

That way you’ll keep yourself and your family members warm and dry throughout your mountain holidays in the snow.