Since this is our first time flying as a family to Vail, CO and putting all the kids in ski school, I learned a lot about not only my ski apparel but kids’ apparel too, so I thought I’d break it down simply and share in case it might help any of you!! Because it certainly can get overwhelming!!
So here’s a checklist of what you might need on such a trip 🎿❄️✈️
✅base layer: long underwear is SO important – make sure it’s form-fitting, breathable and wicks moisture away! Would avoid cotton because it absorbs moisture and keeps it against your skin, so keep that in mind.
✅mid-layer: worn over base and under ski jacket and pants. When skiing in CA, this mid-layer is often taken off but here in CO, it’s necessary, IMHO. Look for a light- to medium/ weight shirt or light jacket made of polyester, fleece of wool. Again, not cotton. You could also do a vest if you want warmth without bulk.
✅ ski jacket: duh, you need outerwear that will keep you dry, warm and comfortable. Make sure it doesn’t restrict your movement but fits well. Waterproof is also important – so look for Gor or something similar to stay dry.
✅ski pants: they should be insulated and long/wide enough to be pulled down over your ski/board boots. As you can see, all my kids wore bibs – which are ideal because they extend well above the waist to keep snow out and they won’t fall down!!
✅ ski socks: a good pair is so key – again think slim-fitting, breathable and again wicks away moisture. Go for thinner and single-layer than thicker IMHO. I remember when my dad used to take us every week and I wore super thick socks – gone are those days. otherwise you’ll be like me on this trip – I had thin socks but I didn’t straighten out my base layer had compression
A good pair of ski socks ensures an optimal fit Thick socks or doubled-up socks compress and shift throughout the day, changing the fit of your boots.
✅ski gloves: mittens are warmer than gloves so for little kids and first-time of beginner skiers like Ollie and Olivia, we went for mittens. They don’t need a ton of dexterity and won’t be using poles too much. Go for quality here and if you can, gloves designed for skiing.
✅ neck warmer or balaclavas: we chose balaclavas for the kids because they stay on your head and provide warmth, plus they’re thin and fit underneath helmets easily. I prefer a neck warmer, or gaiter, because it’s the ultimate ski accessory – you can use it as a headband/headwarmer, neck warmer, face warmer and it is such a small accessory that is so versatile and keeps me so warm. Plus, it’s a much better option than a scarf, which can be dangerous if it becomes tangled on the ski lift or unravels on the slopes and easy to lose, which is another factor when dropping and picking up your kids at ski school.
✅ski helmet: this is absolutely necessary to me. Ski helmets are proven to reduce injury, and there’s no reason not to wear one – they’re more affordable and comfortable now. You can even rent them if you don’t want to commit to one. And when it’s really cold, I’ll slip on a thin beanie underneath my helmet (I like the Smith allure helmet and the Juliette beanie from Coal).
✅ski goggles: so important for protecting your eyes from sun, wind and snow and increasing visibility when skiing. There are so many different colored and types of lenses, I’m not gonna go into all of it in detail. Most yellow/orange lenses will be good for all conditions out there! Also, make sure you try on your goggles with your helmet to make sure there’s no gap between them!
*when getting your kids ready, they won’t be THE most comfortable, and certain things need to be fitted but not “too tight!!!” So make sure, their base layer and socks are fitted and smooth as possible before putting their feet into the ski boots. This is SO important! You can cause nerve issues if they aren’t smoothed out – I found this out the hard way on myself when I went skiing before.
*if you can check your kids into ski school and get them fitted for rentals the day before, do it! Saves time and stress the next morning!
*bring a small suitcase like the one in the pic – esp if you have multiple days of ski school – we carried the kids’ snowshoes, mittens and ski gloves/ski boots in them back and forth between dropping them off and picking them up!
*have them go pee before you send them off to class – their instructors will thank you! Also with Ollie who was recently potty trained, we placed him in a pull up! He never peed in it but you never know!! I didn’t want peed-on snow gear to deal with!
*if it’s super cold, get these hot hands warmers!!! I got mine off amazon!!
Okay, hope that’s helpful!!! Remember, be safe and have fun! ❄️❤️🎿