UKC

/ Ski Clothing

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balmybaldwin - on 27 Dec 2017
Having not been in the market for a few (15) years.... I'm not really sure what I'm looking for.

I'm skiing in a couple of weeks, so need something that will cope with potentially very cold conditions....

Looking in Snow and Rock I'd be looking at close to the price of the holiday.... Looking in Mountain Warehouse was a lot more reasonable, but interested to know what people think of their gear. and third option will be decathlon which looks reasonable - especially with some layering in the region of £80-120 for Jacket and Salopettes

Anyone have recent experience that can advise?
stuartf - on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I've always got on just fine with a cheap pair of mountain warehouse trousers, and a Montane Extreme smock (nothing underneath). Warm enough zipped up for the lifts, and well vented unzipped if you get too hot. You won't look cool though...
balmybaldwin - on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to stuartf:
Good to know thanks...

Looking cool seems to be part of the price issue.... go for something neutral that could be used as an anorak/belay jacket at home and it'll cost you £40 more than a garish neon yellow and green one!
Post edited at 14:32
Postmanpat on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

The outer layer really just needs to be wind and waterproof. It's not there to provide warmth. Go for a shell and use several layers underneath. My personal view is that the brand name stuff is way overpriced and for an "initial' trip a cheaper alternative will be fine.
Tim Davies - on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Decathlon are my choice. All the simond trousers are excellent value.
summo on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I ski much of time in mountain walking / climbing gear. Decent waterproofs with a couple of layers for insulation. The only tricky bit will depend on the trousers fitting over ski boots at the bottom depending on how they taper. I find it works as well as any 'ski' wear.

What is very cold? I've skied in this stuff at below -20c without any issues.
teh_mark on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

These days I'd just go with what I'd go climbing in, and if I bought anything it'd be more geared towards climbing than skiing (as I climb a lot more than I ski these days!).

Whereabouts are you heading? You don't need to go mental on insulation for your average week in January in the Alps.
balmybaldwin - on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

only going to the alps... I'm just conscious that more recently I've skied in march and found it lovely and warm but when I used to ski in Jan we'd quite often get white outs and heavier weather
Stuart S - on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

You might be able to pick up a good bargain in the January sales if you browse the internet - Tiso, Craigdon Sports, Alpinetrek, Barabes etc all have decent deals on ski gear at the moment, and even Sports Direct can be worth a look. Tresspass also make pretty reasonable ski gear - that's what I kitted my kids out in while they were still growing, and it was fine for a couple of Alpine trips as well as the worst of Scottish ski conditions.

One point to think about - most Alpine ski lift systems work best if you have a lift pass in a jacket sleeve pocket to get yourself through the turnstile. Not all ski jackets have such a pocket, especially at the budget end of the range. You can get by without, but it's definitely easier with.
James Jackson on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Second the 'what you'd go climbing in' comments. I primarily ski mountaineer these days, and wear hardshell trousers, and either a hardshell or softshell top, depending on the wind. Under that, thermals and whatever layers are suitable for the temperature, wind and activity level.

I generally wear just a thermal top and occasionally a lightweight down gillet under the hardshell. Never been too cold, even in the midst of the worst of Cairngorm winter. That said, I do run quite hot and don't mind feeling cold when stopping for a quick drink / snack etc.
David Bennett - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

This.

It was properly baltic today in the alps and I was skiing in mostly mountaineering clothing, with just an extra layer. You don't need anything special provided your hard shell or salopettes fit over your boot. A decent pair of hard shell pants / salopettes that fit over your boots and preferably have internal gaiters would be my first and probably only buy of skiing specific clothing (apert from boots obviously)
pec on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Whatever you end up wearing you will almost certainly find yourself skiing next to thousands of people wearing Decathlon stuff.
Wear your mountaineering clothing if you've got some already or kit yourself out from Decathlon, Go Outdoors or even TK Max if you haven't.
captain paranoia - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

If you're there to ski, rather than for the apres-ski, or 'to be seen', just wear normal mountain clothing.

Ideally, trouser ankles will fit over ski boots; I have used the Quechua/Simond mountaineering trousers skiing for the last seven years, with various insulation under.

I haven't worn a waterproof jacket in years (except on those odd days when it had actually been raining). Soft shell for preference.

And yes, in very cold weather, an Extreme smock (over a base layer) has been very effective, though I usually prefer less bulky layers, with a lightweight downie in a small MTB hydration pack if it proves too cold.
baron - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:
One problem is the unpredictable weather.
It can be very cold to hot and very dry to raining.
Your gear needs to be wide ranging enough to cope with these conditions.
Another problem is the levels of activity that might occur during the day.
Skiing a black run full of moguls in the sun will require far less clothing than sitting on a long chair lift in a blizzard.
Layering is probably the best answer but often requires a back pack of some sort which might spoil your style!
As others have said, wear your mountain gear or visit Decathlon, TK Maxx, etc.
marsbar - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

All my snow gear is from t k max.
French Erick - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I you have any mountaineering kit, it'll do. Otherwise, unless you love your kit, cheap stuff is fine ...but the devil is, as always, in the details. Cut, annoyingly difficult zips with gloves...
I suppose, you can always see buying good clothing as an investment. It'll last for many years.

In short, no answer from me ;)
blurty - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

To echo others' comments - just use your hill gear (given you'll get some strange looks in the lift queue with your crampon rash/ gaffer taped hardshell trews!)
ben b - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

sportpursuit is pretty good for half price ski gear - the kids have really good kit from them for nearly bugger all cost.

Hoods are less of an issue when wearing a helmet. I currently ski in a BD soft shell jacket over variable layers of merino +/- a fleece mid layer for really cold days.

Legs: if wet/spring snow then an old pair of mostly waterproof goretex salopettes (now in their second decade) over a pair of power stretch tights (in their third decade, eek!); if cold and dry I wear a pair of Cactus Dreadnoughts ( https://www.cactusoutdoor.co.nz/hd-dreadnought.html ) over the power stretch tights. These were purchased in 2002 and are now starting to soften up nicely (they no longer stand up by themselves when taken off at the end of the day).

Gloves can be a bit thicker and less dextrous than needed for climbing as there's not a lot of knot tying required for lift skiing, but I always have a few pairs of thin liners around to rotate through (telemark skier so still a bit of binding faffage to contend with).

A couple of 'nice' features that do help are an arm pocket for NFC lift passes on the upper left arm, and inner cuffs on the sleeves. A high collar seals well around the base of the helmet and reduces the chance of snow getting in round the neck.

Have a great trip

b

Stairclimber - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Shell on top of layering can be quite cheap, then spend all your money on good fitting socks (one pair will do if you swill them out mid holiday) and the best quality mittens you can afford.
oldie - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Went skiing for first time in 30+ years recently. Agree with the many replies about using mountain gear including mitts (plus gloves for warmer weather) and light balaclava for cold. Then extra bits from Decathlon.
Probably didn't cut a particularly dashing figure in Buffalo salopettes and shirt. Used climbing helmet (Helmets seem almost universal now) but you can get a cheap skiing one for £20/30 if preferred (check comfort if possible).
mysterion on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:
Don't really need an arm pocket for the lift pass, an inside left chest pocket on my Paramo works fine if I turn a little towards the reader
Post edited at 15:41
Lion Bakes on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Yep just wear your mountaineering gear if you don't regularly ski.
TobyA on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to oldie:

> Went skiing for first time in 30+ years recently. Agree with the many replies about using mountain gear including mitts (plus gloves for warmer weather) and light balaclava for cold. Then extra bits from Decathlon.

> Probably didn't cut a particularly dashing figure in Buffalo salopettes

Do your salopettes have the belly button to top-of-your-butt-crack 'bombs away' zip? That's what makes them so classy. My current pair, which I haven't actually used in ages do but they are black with black zips, so its not totally visible. My original mid-90s were purple with a black crotch zip - so it was really obvious. I went clubbing in them once, but it was the Winking Owl in Aviemore so I didn't get too many weird looks. I was wearing plastic boots just finish the look off.
balmybaldwin - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:
Ok thanks guys.... will be purchasing some salopettes, as not being into big mountains or winter climbing I've not got anything other than waterproof or windproof trousers.

Helmets - could get away with a MTB half-lid I guess if I can fit a beanie or similar underneath? presumably falling off an mtb onto a rock/tree is much the same as falling off skis onto rock/tree and therefore probably more suitable than my climbing lid?

Edit: I'll leave the full face at home
Post edited at 16:08
oldie - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

I'm afraid mine are the boring black ones......however I do wear them with a matching black buffalo Big Face top with a blue bib and hood; nicely offset, I think, by the striking crotch strap.
captain paranoia - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Helmets - could get away with a MTB half-lid I guess

Helmets aren't compulsory.
TobyA on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> presumably falling off an mtb onto a rock/tree is much the same as falling off skis onto rock/tree and therefore probably more suitable than my climbing lid?

They look rather different, so I guess the testing regimes are different. Same with ski vs climbing helmets, very few that get the certification for both.
Decathlon do nice ski helmets for very reasonable amounts. My son has one we got in Aldi! Its great and cost something like 12 quid on sale.
marsbar - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:
If you are hiring skis they will have helmets at the hire place.

One less thing to carry as well.
Post edited at 21:04
stubbed on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I've just been skiing in the alps for the first time in years and I ended up buying salopettes and a ski jackets (both for £100 or so). I was planning to just wear my normal mountain kit but I'm no skier and I didn't want it ruined.

In the end, it rained bizarrely for 2 days and we were totally soaked. I got a rip in my new salopettes and my jacket tore. So glad I didn't wear my normal stuff really. I would go to Decathlon if I was you.

edunn on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

If you go wearing your climbing gear people will think you're hardcore. It doesn't matter what you look like on the piste (no ones watching), it's all about what you look like in the bar afterwards.

;-)

rocksol - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Most serious skiers wear mountaineering gear I.e. layers and a shell jacket and  over trousers Check the leg wear goes over ski boots

womblingfree on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Aldi are currently advertising their ski gear, might be worth a look

Rigid Raider - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

If you buy a shell top that pulls over the head, make sure it's lined with a slippery material to help with donning and doffing over bulky warm layers.

pebbles - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to womblingfree:

It's great for winter climbing too, Iv been using the softshell ski trousers for years. Cosy, stretchy, water resistant and cheap. A style free zone but you can't have everything.

Webster - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to rocksol:

> Most serious skiers wear mountaineering gear

not true...

sure if you are in the backcountry where you are basically mountaineering anyway, but in a resort 'most' serious skiers/boarders will wear ski gear. its what its made for! far more comfortable wearing purpose made ski gear than climbing gear for a day on the pists.

 

captain paranoia - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Webster:

> far more comfortable wearing purpose made ski gear than climbing gear for a day on the pists.

Wear the right 'climbing gear', and you will be as comfortable, if not more comfortable, than wearing 'purpose-made ski gear'.

Layering and soft shell is my preference. My MixMaster was perfect until the lamination glue failed, and left it too air permeable. Now replaced by base, fleece & ReadyMix, or other softshell combinations, depending on the weather.


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