Snow Gear

Mountains, Winter, and Powder

From skiing in Tahoe to exploring all the snowy winter wonderlands in California (they exist, we swear!), we’ve tested all types of snowboard and ski gear as well as just plain old stay-warm-and-cozy gear.

We know the best way to test a piece of gear is to simply get outside and take it with us in the snow. In addition to that, we also conduct controlled product tests at home to ensure a consistent setting. After months of testing, we rate and score each product based on various metrics important to that type of gear.

Use this page to find your next piece of ski and snowboard gear, no matter where your snow adventures take you! If you’re new to skiing and snowboarding or just want a top-level look at our recommended gear and tips, the below articles are for you.

Two bright orange tents set up in deep snow.
A woman in bright orange snow pants and a white polka-dotted snow coat with a beanie poses beside her snowboard, looking away from the camera, with snowy trees and mountains in the background.
From the perspective of sitting on a blanket in a snowy field, your shoes off and feet in cozy socks, with a snow-covered mountain in the background.

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Our Go-To Snow Sport Packing List

If you’re just looking for a quick list of our must-have clothing and gear, these are the products we use the most on our powder days.


A blond woman snowboarding in white snow pants, a bright orange snow coat, a white snow helmet, gloves, and snow goggles.
  1. Base Layer: Merino.Tech’s wool base layer is moisture-wicking, cozy, and easily fits under bulkier layers.
  2. Balaclava: The Minus33 balaclava is made of soft merino wool that wicks moisture away.
  3. Heated Socks: FieldSheer Premium 2.0 Heated Socks: Comfy wool material, long 10-hour battery life, and still affordable.
  4. Heated Gloves: Neveland Heated Gloves: Waterproof, durable, and flexible, these are great both for working in the snow or snow sports.
  5. Snow Gloves: Hestra All Mountain CZone Gloves: Durable, waterproof outer shell with breathable synthetic insulation, zippered pockets, and goat leather-reinforced palms.
  6. Snow Pants: The North Face Freedom Bibs are breathable and waterproof, with thigh vents and mesh gaiters for temperature regulation, so they’re warm but not too bulky.
  7. Coat (Women’s & Men’s): The Columbia Whirlbird Winter 3-in-1 jacket adapts to the weather and has a helmet-friendly storm hood.
  8. Snow Slippers: North Face ThermoBall Slippers are made of waterproof, ripstop fabric with extra insulation, and are easy to slip on while resting at the lodge.
  9. Beanie: The Meriwool beanie is lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying for comfy warmth.


Two ski poles stuck into the ground with snow gloves on top in the foreground and out-of-focus skiers in the background.
  1. Snow Helmet: The Smith Mission Mips helmet is unisex with up-to-date concussion reduction padding, ear covers, and ventilation.
  2. Snow Goggles: These Smith Squad ChromaPop goggles have special vents to reduce fogging and provide 100% UV protection, great for beginner and intermediate skill levels.
  3. Thermal Phone Case: The Apollo thermal phone pouch fits multiple phone sizes and protects phones from losing charge as quickly in cold weather.
  4. Snow Backpack: The Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Pack is designed for use while wearing bulky gloves, it has external straps for carrying gear, and low-profile shoulder straps.
  5. Lip Balm: Sun Bum lip balm is 30 SPF, smooth, and flavorful.
  6. Sunscreen Stick: Sun Bum sunscreen sticks offer easy application while wearing full snow gear.
  7. Go Pro: Durable, waterproof camera and video camera that can be mounted to a helmet.
  8. Stomp Pads: Stylish and helps snowboarders avoid slipping when unstrapped, a great buy or gift.
  9. Boot and Glove Dryer: The DryGuy DX dryer dries snow gear with 105-degree heat.
  10. Portable Phone Charger: This waterproof battery pack has USB, USB-C, and iSO ports.

Snowboard & Ski Clothing

Snowboard & Ski Accessories

Snow Gear FAQs


If you’re wondering what to wear Skiing or snowboarding for your first time, start with a cozy base layer like leggings and a long sleeve athletic shirt.

Keep yourself warm with wool socks or heated ski socks, and a neck gaiter, scarf, or balaclava.

Then, wear waterproof snow pants or a snow bib and a warm waterproof coat.

Lastly, remember your snow gloves, snow goggles or sunglasses, and a snow sports helmet.

Snow helmets are a must. Although you’ll want a cute hat to keep warm while hanging out at the lodge, wear a helmet with MIPS padding to protect from concussions when skiing and snowboarding.


Except for ski boots and snowboard boots, you can wear snowboarding gear skiing, and skiing gear snowboarding.

Snow gear is slightly more fitted for skiing and slightly baggier for snowboarding. Otherwise, pants, coats, and gloves are interchangeable across snow sports.


Wear warm, comfortable clothes to ski resorts when you’re not skiing. Consider wearing snow boots with wool socks, leggings, a sweater, a warm coat, and a hat. You’ll probably also want gloves and a scarf if you plan to take pictures in the snow. 


Do not snowboard or ski without snow pants. Snow pants keep you dry and warm. If you don’t have snow pants, you can use waterproof rain pants over leggings.


Jeans are uncomfortable to ski or snowboard in because the cotton becomes heavy with snow melt, and moisture sitting against your skin draws away your body heat.

You also won’t have as much range of motion in jeans, and the denim might cause chaffing when it’s wet.


Skiers and snowboarders wear long underwear or leggings under their snow pants. Fleece or wool offer extra insulation and free movement within the snow gear.


Ski boots and snowboard boots use Mondopoint sizes, which directly correlate with the length of your foot in centimeters. Theoretically, if your foot is 24cm long, and you wear ski boots size 24.

Boots should be snug but not so tight that they create pressure points. Too loose of shoes can result in blisters from rubbing and not as much control.

Women’s boots are slightly shorter to accommodate larger calf muscles, but women can wear Men’s ski boots, and Men can wear Women’s boots.


Usually, ski resorts have ski and snowboarding equipment rentals. You can rent skis, ski poles, and ski boots, or a snowboard and snowboarding boots.

Helmets are also usually available for rent but bring your own goggles and snow clothes.

The benefit of owning your own gear is that you have properly fitted equipment, you don’t have to wait in long lines, and you don’t have to pay rental fees every time.

Buying your own ski and snowboard equipment is worth it if you think you’ll be skiing regularly.

Our Snow Sports Experts

Mimi McFadden
Founder & Editor-In-Chief

Mimi McFadden Headshot

Mimi started snowboarding later in life. You can tell from the bruises after a day on the mountain. Still, she enthusiastically hits the slopes and is always excited to see which gear will keep her most dry and protected.

Suneel Jain
Partnerships & Management

Suneel Jain author headshot

Suneel learned how to ski at a young age, unfortunately before he learned how to stop. He quickly figured that out, though.

He loves trips to Tahoe and in his younger days going through moguls and terrain parks. While he still mostly skis, he dabbles in a bit of snowboarding now and then, too.

Jodelle Marx
Editor & Content Manager

Jodelle Author Headshot

Jodelle lives in Oregon, where she skis, snowshoes, and unabashedly carries a toboggan in her car during the winter.

She’s driven by the need for speed and the majestic mountain views. Jodelle’s a diehard fan of Merino wool and hydration packs—both of which, she says, are game changers.