How to choose clothing for downhill skiing?
Before you go to the store and start trying new skiing clothes, read a few tips on how to choose everything correctly. Skiing equipment costs a lot of money, so it's worthy thinking it through properly at the beginning.
Start with functional clothing
Forget about cotton T-shirts or sleeveless T-shirts. They don’t warm you up, they get sweaty quickly and they take a long time to dry. In addition, the sweaty places are cold and you will become cold too. Better to wear functional clothing from synthetic materials. It will keep you warm for the whole time and because it’s breathable, it diverts perspiration from the body. When you stop skiing and sit in the restaurant, you will stay warm as thermal clothing doesn’t feel cold compared to cotton.
You can get thermal T-shirts as well as thermal trousers. When choosing these items, bear in mind that both must adhere tightly to the body. Clothing too large insulates badly and is therefore useless. You don’t have to worry that the functional clothing will be too tight. On the contrary, thermal clothing is flexible, you won’t even know about it.
LOAP tip: There are a number of differences in the thermal clothing. You can get a warmer version for a harsh winter or a lighter version for a milder winter.
Wear a sports sweater or sweatshirt
Over the thermal underwear you should also wear a functional layer that must be breathable and warm. A functional sports sweater is ideal. It warms up, removes the accumulated moisture from the thermal clothing and sends it to the third layer. When the clothing complements perfectly like this, it maintains the optimum body climate and you will be able to ski well.
Don’t underestimate the choice of ski jacket or trousers
A good ski jacket reliably protects you from wind and rain and builds-on the bottom two functional layers. It shouldn’t restrict your movement, try it on properly at the store and take a thermal T-shirt and a sweater to go under it.
Ski jacket should have a variety of practical features such as glued seams, a snow belt, ventilation holes, inner sleeve and a pull-out hood that you can easily pull over your helmet or remove so it doesn’t interfere with your skiing.
LOAP tip: On warmer days, you can also ski in a softshell jacket.
Also focus on the technical parameters, i.e. the jacket’s breathability and water column. The water column indicates how long the material can withstand the water. The higher the value, the better. Breathability tells how fast the fabric can divert moisture. A jacket with high breathability vaporises the sweat faster, but you have to move a lot. When you start to just stand around, you may be cold. So if you are more of a holiday skier, who just goes down the hill a few times and then end up in a pub, just go for clothes with lower or moderate breathability, e.g. 3000-5000 g/m2/24 hours.
The same is true for ski trousers. They should be waterproof, breathable and flexible enough to be able to ski in comfortably. Choose those that have anti-snow cuffs. Thanks to this, the snow doesn’t get under the trousers. It’s also important that you can pull the trousers legs over the shoe buckles’ without problems.
LOAP tip: Buying a ski jacket and trousers is not as simple as it may seem. Learn how to make the correct choice.
Always use ski socks
Do not forget the gloves and the collar
Ski gloves should keep you warm and you should be able to hold your sticks comfortable or open the jacket zip. They should also be waterproof and breathable. Try them together with your ski jacket and test whether they fit in your sleeves or vice versa whether the sleeve fits into the gloves. In either case, a small gap that lets the wind through shouldn’t be created.
LOAP tip: You'd better take a spare pair of gloves to the mountains as gloves are quite easily lost.
A collar is also a good option to protect your neck from draughts. It’s important that you can close your jacket up to your chin even with your collar.
Ski helmet, hat and glasses
The helmet must fit you perfectly. If it moves on your head even after tightening, you have wrong size. Try other models until you find the right one. Leave the belt under your chin unbuttoned and bend forward. If the helmet does not slip, it's good. Be careful, the helmet is supposed to be tight, but it mustn’t squeeze you anywhere. If there is a stiff frost out there or you like warmth, you can wear a hat under the helmet. It should go deep beneath the jacket to avoid rolling or draughts getting under it.
When you try your helmet, also buy yourself some good ski goggles or bring those you already have at home. Helmets and glasses should fit well together. There mustn’t be a big gap between them, otherwise it will blow on your forehead, which is very unpleasant. When you have glasses on your head, make sure that they fit well.
What else can still be done?
When you have the ski wear complete, don’t forget a few useful little things. Add sun cream so you don’t burn your face, sunglasses, lip balm, a first-aid kit (you never know) and warm winter shoes that you can put on after skiing. Take a hat too. When you take a break on the slopes and take your helmet off, it’s very handy to have another hat.
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