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Purchasing ski apparel/accessories

We have threads about purchasing new ski equipment and our quivers. How about ski apparel and accessories?
How often do divas buy new ski apparel and for what reason? Worn out, out of style, too small or too big, newer colors, fashion, just because ?

alison wong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I only purchase things that I consider "must haves" and try to minimize "nice-to-have" purchases.

The past season I bought and reason for the purchase:
1) face mask - must have since I lost mine the season prior
2) ski socks - pseudo must have because the ones I owned are too "thick" for my new boots
3) base layer pants - another pseudo must have because they are 3/4 length long and specifically designed for skiing. So the only layer between your calf and boots is ski socks.
4) mid-layer - another pseudo must have consider I only have 1 mid layer. Bought Kjus brand online after I saw so many skiers wearing Kjus brand clothing in Aspen and I like the design. Best part, it was on sale, very warm and can be used as a base layer.
5) ski helmet - nice to have but my justification, my old helmet was ill-fitted, the one I got this season was asian fit (which I've been looking for a while) and it was on sale.


Certified Ski Diva
I bought a new coat and pants on clearance last month because I was borrowing them so I wanted my own stuff! I have more things I still want to get but will just take time to acquire

ski diva

Staff member
I kept my purchases down this year. After buying two(!) new jackets last year, I was pretty well set in that department. But you know how it goes: new jackets (sometimes) require new stuff. So I scored a great pair of gray Phenix pants (60% off!) that look good with both. And I got a new helmet, too, that's more color compatible. I'm still on the lookout for a pair of patterned pants to go with the red jacket, so if anyone sees anything, let me know!


Staff member
With my up coming move, I decided to store the ski stuff at the cottage for the summer. I can't believe that I have a total of 5 suits up here. One is my old instructor uniform (we had to buy them, so it's mine!). It's for snow removal. Both Salomon suits have rips in the pants. One pair I had fixed by a colleague of GG's here in Canada. Think I'll send other pair to him too. But no more Salomon pants! I've never ripped 3 pairs of Avalanche ones over the years.

So I'm trying to decide if I should look for new pants. Saw a pair on the Columbia site that might work. But I need skis this year!!


Staff member
I bought a lot of apparel in the "want" category, including a couple of things in sort of "aspirational" sizes, which I'm glad to have, as they are inspiration for summer fitness. Now, even just browsing off-season sales doesn't tempt me anymore, because I really have more than enough of everything.

Also, quitting my job has given me a whole new perspective on what I "need." My new standard is: "That'll work!" I'm just grateful that I am set with a nice quiver of three pair of skis and a lineup of apparel that is in good condition and spans the range of temperature needs. Oh, and a season pass for next year!


Angel Diva
The past season I bought and reason for the purchase:
1) face mask - 'cuz divas recommended it and it's a nice to have
2) ski socks - 'cuz I found a favorite brand at a good price and my boyfriend needed a present for me
3) base layer - 'cuz I read a stellar review of it, and it is my fave brand, and it was a reduced price, and it would work for more than skiing


Angel Diva
spans the range of temperature needs.
A big reason the collection of base layers and jackets grew was when I started skiing in more than one region on a regular basis. Don't need that many options for the southeast. Adding a 5-6 day spring break trip to Alta didn't make too much difference either. But skiing mid-season out west or in the northeast meant going shopping. Late season warm days meant adding to the collection. Got a very lightweight UV Buff at Mammoth for sun because a winter weight neck warmer was way too warm.

Made good use of the last big purchase that was totally unplanned. I found Pro level Helly Hansen shell pants that fit from the Clearance rack last summer at the ski shop in VA that does the Massanutten demo days. Bonus was that they are the same purple as the Arc'teryx Gortex shell that I bought on sale at the Arc'teryx outlet near Denver a few years ago. Brought them in case of rain for an early May trip, but happily mostly skied in the sunshine.

Fair to say that most of what I've bought in the last decade was on sale during early or late season. When something fits well, very likely to take it home. Being petite sometimes makes finding a bargain possible. Even easier for my daughter who fits XS.

Found the FaceSaver partial face mask browsing in a ski shop at Alta. Usually look around ski shops for little stuff because I prefer to check things out in person, even if I eventually buy online.
Guess I should respond to my own thread. New ski apparel/accessories purchase for 2018 and why purchased:

Grassticks bamboo ski poles - convinced that I was skiing with poles too big so needed (ha) shorter poles. Hmm that's gear so shouldn't count .

Goretex mittens - Upon returning from Taos trip, only one gore tex glove made it home. Skiing Mammoth in the rain/mixed snow one day, my Hestra mittens were soaked. Had to buy new gore tex gloves to keep skiing that day.

Baselayer - found icebreaker gray long sleeve lightweight merino wool top at steep and cheap. One of @ski diva 's posts for sales. I couldn't resist. I have a black one exactly like it and love it. Did I need it? No.

Shell - I really needed a shell as didn't have one. Well an old Isis brand one from years ago... Found a Patagonia Refugitive Shell on Patagonia's website half off. Had to buy it.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
This was my first "season" so it showed me what worked and what didn't. Going skiing for only a few days, it didn't matter if the gear wasn't perfect. As long as I wasn't wet or cold it was cool. But getting more mileage meant the gear did too and in a bigger variety of conditions. I ended up replacing things that I found I didn't like for whatever reason and just adding to the overall collection. Honestly, I bought a whole new kit this season including skis and boots but I'll just list accessories in no particular order.

1. Helmet- a need!
2. Goggles- want. The pair I had was fine but the new pair allows for lens changes so I can change based on extremely sunny or snowy.
3. Gloves- need. Not all gloves are the same and different temps required different ones.
4. Ski socks- this was a want so I didn't have to worry about washing (as much) on longer trips
5. Jacket- this was a sort of want too. I had two jackets but wasn't in love with either. The new one is a more skiing specific jacket with pit zips
6. Pants (x3)- this was borderline need because some were more light weight for spring skiing. When I find pants that fit I go a little overboard...
7. Boot bag- need. Now did I "need" to buy the Kulkea one with all the pockets...
8. Speakers for helmet- want, but it makes solo skiing a little more fun
9. Neck Gaiters- want, because I had some but I wanted more to switch out if it gets wet or gross
10. Hankies- want. I get really snotty when I ski and I hated fumbling with tissues so I thought I'd give this a try. Still don't know how I feel about reusable tissue...
11. Booster Strap- want. I wanted to see if it would make a difference in my ski boots. Still on the fence but I like how secure they feel.
12. Hand and feet warmers- need!
13. Ski Bag- I don't think I needed this as I just threw it in the back of the car. I didn't fly this season.
14. Lunch box- need. This is petty to add but I wouldn't have bought it otherwise so I'm counting it!

I just kept remembering things as the list got longer! I probably left off some random thing and honestly don't want to add up how much I spent this year. Hopefully next year I won't have to buy anything.


Staff member
@CrystalRose I have an inexpensive-but-sturdy ski bag from LevelNine and when I take long/highway trips with my skis in the car, I put them in the bag. I have a station wagon, and they just sit in the flat back area, so I figure they could become projectiles in the event of an accident. The bag is at least padded, and I can attach the straps via carabiner to the metal clasps that normally hold the seats up.

Also, #10: I have a bunch of bandanas that I've cut in half for that purpose. Works fine for me; anyway it's less gross than wiping one's nose on one's gloves!
For the drive, I put my skis in their ski bags. It keeps them safer/tidier, my car neater/drier.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I only have one set of gear (maybe a few different weights of baselayers) so I don't replace things unless they get worn to pieces or lose functionality.

This past year I bought myself a pair of baselayer pants because the old ones were super stretched out from being worn throughout multiple pregnancies (scored a deal at the REI garage sale!) and my husband bought me a new wool hat because we have roughly 6 of the same model and I love them and I always lose them and find them later so its nice to have multiples.

Last year I got new ski pants and a new ski jacket as a treat to myself for being done having kids (my ski stuff took a beating with all the body shape changes). I may save up and buy a pair of bib shell pants next year, the ones I have now are great but are lightly insulated so some days I find them too hot.

I attempted to buy a new helmet this year because mine is beat up and due to be replaced, but the one I ordered on SAC didn't fit right so I returned it and just haven't bought a new one.
Totally forgot about my new Kulkea Trekker boot bag until @CrystalRose mentioned it.. Worked as carry on (barely fit in overhead ) for Taos! My other old old boot bag fits boots only and very little else. Also got new speakers for helmet but returned as piece of junk... kept cutting out!
4. Ski socks- this was a want so I didn't have to worry about washing (as much) on longer trips
Good list!

Now that I know what brand and type of ski socks I like, if I see a pair on sale, chances are I'll buy one. Even when I fly, I take at least 4 pairs. More if I'm driving and going to be skiing more than 3-4 days. There are times when I feel like changing socks at lunch.

For a few years, I was buying gloves during late season sales to try out options. Have kept them to lend to friends just starting out or who don't ski enough in cold (<30 degrees) weather to make it worth buying good ski gloves or mittens.

That reminds me, I bought a couple Smith I/OS goggles to get spare frames and Chromapop lenses. 50% off from somewhere online. Wanted the lenses and figured I might as well get the frames. The elastic band is what fails the soonest and eventually the foam too. May sell one to my friend. Plus my daughter uses I/OS too.


Staff member
@CrystalRose - I do the same thing as others mentioned. I have an SUV and don't have a roof rack or box anymore. Just put them in the bag to protect the upholstery.

On the warmers....boot heaters are great, but expensive. Costco has the "chemical" hand and feet warmers by the case in the fall. Keep an eye for them.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oops, I should've explained the ski bag a little better it seems! I'm in a car and I used the ski bag in my trunk, with the back seat down, all season but I still feel like it was a somewhat unnecessary (though not expensive) purchase. Maybe I'm not doing it right or because it's just one set of skis but if I had to make a list of things a new skier should buy I would leave it off. I liked it for carrying the skis to and from the car but that was about it. A set of ski straps might of been better. Sometimes I would be too lazy and just throw my skis in the trunk on top of the bag. My skis are never really that dirty after a day of skiing so I'm not worried about my interior. Even then I usually wipe them down before I stick them in the trunk. Then I've see then projectile reason for a bag but I figure if I'm in an accident that's bad enough that the skis are flying around, I have bigger problems.

Olesya Chornoguz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Several of my jackets are nearing their end, I have had them for 5 seasons or so. Also one of my insulated ski pants have ripped beyond repair, they were cheap and I wore them for 2 seasons so it's ot a big deal. So I took advantage of the recent Steep and Cheap sale and ordered several jackets and pants. I will be returning some of them most likely, I ordered several varieties because of my height/weight sizing can be difficult.

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