The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List

Follow this guide to the best things to take on a ski trip, for both on and off the slopes.

Collage of ski trip essentials on a purple and green checkered background

Simplify packing for your next ski trip with this checklist of essentials.

Designed by Ellie See

Whether you’re a novice on the slopes or ready to rip down black diamond runs, the essential ski gear you’ll need to stay comfortable on and off the mountain is the same: You’ll need outer layers to protect you from the elements, a midlayer to keep your core warm, and base layers to keep everything from your ankles to your neck warm.

Windproof and waterproof ski jackets and ski pants are what separate a great day on the slopes from a miserable one. Look for fabrics made with Gore-Tex or a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating to keep snow out. You’ll also want them to be breathable to let moisture out and to include features like armpit vents so you don’t overheat.

In addition, keep your core warm with a midlayer between your outer shell and base layer woolies. Anything from a fleece pullover or a puffy jacket or vest will work, depending on how cold and snowy you expect your destination to be.

Besides a pair of leggings, you’ll also want to pack a long-sleeve top layer. We prefer ones with a quarter zip neck so you can adjust for changing weather throughout the day. Choose from either synthetic fabrics or merino wool—both provide sweat-wicking properties. We gravitate toward merino wool since in addition to being breathable, it naturally remains odor-free no matter how sweaty you get.

Use this ski trip packing list to guarantee you have everything you need for a successful weekend away in the mountains—plus some of our favorite gear recommendations and packing tips.

A packing list of items to bring on a ski trip with text over a purple and yellow background

Tip: Download or save this ski trip checklist to use for your next mountain getaway.

Designed by Ellie See

Ski and snowboarding clothing

If you’re not looking to invest hundreds of dollars on ski pants and jackets that you’re only going to wear a few times a year, you can also rent ski clothes from brands like Perfect Moment and Spyder from Rent the Runway for a fraction of the retail cost.

Ski and snowboarding gear

Unless you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder who hits the slopes every weekend, it’s more convenient (and ecofriendly) to rent your gear on-site—especially if you’re flying and don’t want to schlep it all there.

  • Skis or snowboard
  • Ski poles
  • Ski or snowboard boots
  • Goggles
  • Helmet

Après-ski clothing

Whether your dream après-ski scene is sipping whiskey by the fireplace or in the hot tub at your cabin or with a crowd of new friends at a rowdy bar, you’ll want to pack comfy clothes for relaxing after a day on the slopes. Be sure to bring the following items for peak coziness:

  • Jeans
  • 1–2 pairs comfy pants for lounging
  • 1–2 sweaters or cozy fleece jacket
  • Mittens
  • Beanie
  • Sunglasses
  • Casual waterproof boots, like the Stio Colter Boot ($169)
  • Slippers (Danish Glerup Slippers, $135–$155, are made with felted wool uppers and slip-resistant rubber soles so your feet stay warm and dry even if you have to dash outside.)
  • Swimsuit
  • Flip-flops
  • Sleepwear
  • Socks and underwear

Miscellaneous items for the slopes

In addition to your ski pass, you’ll want to have some cash and a credit card with you on the slopes so you can pay for lunch, plus a photo ID. You’ll also want to consider keeping these other miscellaneous items handy on the slopes so you stay warm, hydrated, and sunburn-free:

Luggage for ski gear

If you own your gear, consider investing in the following specialized luggage:

And if you’re renting your gear, make sure your suitcase has enough room to fit your sweaters and ski jacket. It also doesn’t hurt to purchase compression packing cubes to cut down on the bulk from puffy pants and fluffy fleeces.

>> More tips on how to travel carry-on only for a ski trip

This article was originally published in 2020; it was updated most recently on January 30, 2024, with current information.

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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