Nothing displays the delightful mood swings of Mother Nature like spring skiing. One minute you’re ripping turns down the mountain sweating in the sun and slush and the next you’re shivering in the midst of an arctic whiteout.
Thanks to the vast range of weather possibilities, you’ll have to think a little harder about what you pack and wear for a spring skiing trip. There are plenty of options out there that cover all of your bases for every type of spring skiing experience, from blustery snowstorms to (gulp) rain to intensely warm, sunny days.
The secret is temperature-controlled clothing. The high-tech fabric created by 37.5 Technology® is designed to respond to body heat, pulling moisture away from your body before it turns to liquid sweat, thus keeping your body temperature regulated and making sure you stay dry and comfortable.
We’ve put together a list of gear and clothing that will keep you comfortable no matter what kind of weather you might encounter on your spring skiing adventures. Here are a few suggestions.
You certainly don’t need a thick base layer in the spring, even on the coldest March days. The secret is to choose a first layer that will repel moisture while also keeping you warm, that is also light enough to strip down to if you end up on a sunny patio come après time.
You also don’t want to smell your day on the mountain for months to come, so you’ll want a base layer that not only keeps you from emanating a late afternoon funk, but which also keeps odor from soaking in. The Rab Merino Long Sleeve Zip Tee comes in an array of color options for men and women. For those who prefer a scoop neck with no zip, Salomon’s Primo Warm Seamless Tees are indeed primo.
Mid layers are often optional for spring skiing, but when those wet storms hit, you will definitely want one. (A heavy sweater or sweatshirt is not a good option here.) While adding insulation, you don’t want to lose breathability, so polyester is a winning choice, particularly if it’s been infused with the temperature-controlled technology, like Homeschool’s Brigade Hoodie. Fleece, as found in the Adidas Terrex Stockhorn jacket or women’s hoodie is another winning mid layer, stretchy and snug, but designed to stay dry.
When it does dump snow in March and April, typically the flakes are wet and heavy. This means you can get soaked fast if you’re missing a waterproof layer. That being said, it could warm up fast, so you also want a jacket that’s lightweight and breathable.
A top choice is Homeschool’s Vices Jacket for men. The jacket is designed specifically for spring skiing/riding with features aimed at keeping the wet spring snow off of every part of your upper half, including a spacious hood that fits over your helmet, a powder skirt, and deep cuffs to keep the wind and water off your wrists.
For women, the Harmony Gum provides the perfect storm of everything you love about a jacket – lightweight, comfortable, cute, waterproof, super comfortable, and long enough to keep the breeze from blowing through.
When it comes to pants, we can all agree that free movement is key, especially when our legs are either sweating or potentially facing a douse from wet slush or spring powder. You want pants that are waterproof, breathable and, most importantly, stretchable. Rip Curl’s Gum Pants are ideal, complete with fully sealed seams and double stretch features.
Finding the right pair of ski or snowboard boots to keep your feet comfortable is a whole other conversation, but when it comes to socks, there are definitely particular features you should look for. The first is that they are made of a wool material (no cotton!) that is flexible, breathable, light and quick to dry.
Better than quick to dry? A material that doesn’t get wet in the first place. Point 6 Compression Ultra Light socks not only prevents moisture before it becomes sweat, but also offer a compression feature that enhances blood flow and reduces swelling. They fit comfortably over your calf muscle, too, and will never quit on you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing shorts on the mountain. You should always wear a helmet—no excuses. There are plenty out there that are lightweight with a great airflow system and don’t make your head feel like a cooking baked potato. Smith’s Vantage helmet falls into this category.
With the sun and warmer temperatures of spring, skiers and riders often believe that sunglasses work just fine. If you’re going down the hill at a decent pace, however, the mountain air will get in and make your eyes water. Goggles are always a good idea, no matter the season.
It’s always a personal choice between gloves and mittens, with mittens being by and large the warmer option. No matter which you choose for spring skiing, make sure they’re waterproof on the exterior and have at least a thin, breathable insulated fabric inside.
When it comes to spring skiing, you’ll want to be prepared for anything, but without being too hot or too cold. If you choose the right gear and layer it properly, you can focus more on carving turns than getting to the bottom of the mountain to swap out your clothing.