Carving your way through fresh powder on your snowboard is an exhilarating experience. With the wind rushing past your face, you take your line and launch a stream of snow towards the sky as you turn hard down the slope.
Sound exciting? Snowboarding is by far the most popular winter sport, and its long since surpassed the popularity of skiing. If you’re planning your first snowboard trip, and you have no experience with cold weather, then you need to learn how to dress to stay warm.
Ski slopes can vary in temperatures, from mild to freezing, and you need the right gear if you want to stay warm and dry during your session on the slopes.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the gear you need to bring with you on your snowboarding trip.
Snowboard and Bindings
If this is your first snowboarding experience, then don’t bother buying a board and bindings. All resorts have equipment rentals, and it’s cheaper to rent on your first trip, rather than going to the expense of buying new equipment, only to discover snowboarding’s not for you.
Beginners will do best on freestyle snowboards. Freestyle boards are the easiest to control and switch your stance. Ask the employee at the gear rental for their advice on the best board and bindings for your experience level.
Snowboarding boots clip into the bindings attached to the board using a quick-release system. Most resorts rent boots, but it’s preferable to have a pair of your own.
Snowboard boots conform to your feet, and if you’re using rented boots, you might find them uncomfortable. Still, if this is your first snowboard trip, and you’re running on a budget, skip this gear and rent it instead.
If you decide to buy a pair, then purchase boots that are a size bigger than your standard shoe size. You’ll be wearing think snowboarding socks, and choosing your regular shoe size will leave your feet feeling cramped.
Best Selling Snowboard Boots
- Liner: Thermofit Heat Moldable Get the perfect fit from your boots, eliminate pressure points, and ride in comfort all day! The heat mold liner allows the boot to adapt to every curve of your foot perfectly. The APX is simply one of the best fitting, and most comfortable boots on the market.
- Lacing: Reenforced Traditional Laces The APX uses traditional lacing to allow riders to easily keep the boot tight in all the right places. Traditional laces allow riders to tighten each section of the boot separately for the perfect fit. Special smoothed metal hooks help hold your laces tight for the entire day while eliminating abrasion to your laces making the boot last even longer!
- Warranty: 3 Years A three year warranty against manufacturer defects guarantees that this will be one of the longest lasting boot
- 1:1 Lasting
- Boa Coiler Lacing System
- Evolution Foam Outsole
- 3D Molded Tongue
Snowboarding socks are an essential piece of kit for your trip. Avoid using cotton socks. Cotton socks move around in your boots, and they absorb moisture. As a result, you’ll end up with blisters the size of golf balls on your feet.
Choose Merino wool socks for your snowboarding trip. Merino wool wicks away the moisture and holds in the heat around your feet. We recommend that you choose thinner woolen socks over thicker ones. If the sock is too thick, it causes your feet to sweat profusely, making them feel cold.
Carving your way down the slopes at the resort is a thrill you’ll never forget – unless you have an accidental fall. Snowboarding involves movement at high speed, and if you fall, you need protection for your head.
Powder might look soft and inviting, but if you come across a frozen patch, the ice will be as hard as cement. Falling and bashing your head on an icy patch will have you trading your vacation for a trip to the emergency room.
You’ll see all of the pros rocking beanies or hats, without a helmet. Don’t follow their lead. Pros have plenty of experience, and they rarely fall, which is why most of them don’t wear helmets unless they’re competing in a super-pipe competition.
As a beginner, you can’t afford to take the risk of leaving your head unprotected. Choose a helmet and goggles from the same brand to get a good fit. You can rent a helmet from the gear supply shop at the resort if you’re running on a budget.
Best Selling Snowboard Helmets
- ASTM CERTIFIED SAFETY - Ski helmet built for both comfort and safety. Equipped with REINFORCED ABS SHELL & SHOCK-ABSORBING EPS CORE.
- CHOOSE BETWEEN 9 DIFFERENT COLOR OPTIONS - Sleek design available in 9 different color combinations for you to choose from. All in matte finish.
- ADJUSTABLE SIZE - Size adjustment dial for a perfect fit. EASY TO WASH removable ear pads & inner fleece liner.
- BEST-IN-CLASS VENTILATION - Equipped with 14 individual vents for next-level ventilation for HOURS OF COMFORTABLE SKIING.
- WHAT YOU GET - 1 x OutdoorMaster KELVIN Ski Helmet, OutdoorMaster's friendly customer service.
Snowboarding Pants and Jacket
Now that the essential gear is out of the way, it’s time to focus on your clothing. Snowboarding involves making sudden movements with your hips, arms, and legs. Therefore, you need to select clothing that’s stretchy and forgiving.
Your snowboard jacket is your first line of defense against the cold weather. Snowboarding jackets come in different makes and models, suited to weather and temperature conditions. Some jackets come with a built-in insulating liner that you can unclip on warmer days.
The outer shell of the jacket must have a waterproof membrane to avoid getting the layers under your jacket wet. You also need to look for a snowboarding jacket made from breathable materials as well.
You’ll get hot under your jacket from time to time on the slopes. A breathable jacket helps to control the temperature underneath the garment, by allowing air to move in and out of the jacket material, ensuring you don’t overheat on the slopes.
When the mercury drops below freezing, it presents a frostbite hazard for your extremities. A pair of snowboarding gloves will help protect your digits from the freezing weather. We recommend you use the standard 5-finger gloves for warmer days and then trade them for mittens on days where it’s below freezing.
Mittens are far warmer than gloves, but you lose some grip and control when using them. If you want to take a picture or hold a camera, it’s easy with 5-finger gloves, but challenging with mittens. Look for gloves and mittens with Gore-Tex shells for the best water-resistance and warmth.
The glare from the white powder on the slopes will leave you snow-blind if you don’t wear a pair of protective goggles.
Choose a pair of goggles from the same manufacturer as your helmet. If you do select a different brand to your helmet, you might find that there’s a gap between the goggles and your helmet that allows cold air to enter. As a result, your head starts to freeze, and your time on the slopes comes to an end.
Goggles help to keep the wind, rain, and debris out of your eyes when you’re cruising down the trail. Most googles will come with two lenses, one for low-light conditions, and one lens for when its bright outside.
Most goggles come with polarized lenses to stop the glare. You have the option of choosing a variety of lens colors for your goggles as well.
Best Selling Snowboard Goggles
- Optimized Performance Ski Goggles - Solid & durable lens, enhanced anti-scratch and smart ventilation system.
- Full Protection for Eyes – Anti-fog and 100% UV Protection treatment on double layer lens. Crystal view on the slope when skiing and snowboarding.
- Comfortable & Warm – High density woven strap with great elastic and superior sponge covers your face providing top anti-wind features.
- Helmet Compatible & OTG – Extra long strap for better helmet compatibility and keep the snow goggles in place. Over the glass designed ski & snowboard goggles to fit small to medium size glasses. Design to fit both youth and adult.
- Customer Oriented Service - All ZIONOR snow goggles are designed for both men and women, we provide swift response customer service if there is anything you need.
- OTG (OVER-THE-GLASSES) DESIGN - Ski goggles that fits over glasses. Suitable for both ADULTS AND YOUTH.
- ANTI-FOG LENS & EXCELLENT OPTICAL CLARITY - Dual-layer lens technology with anti-fog coated inner lens gives you a FOG-FREE SKI EXPERIENCE.
- SAFE & RELIABLE WITH UV PROTECTION - Soft TPU frame with lenses that provide 100% UV400 protection and YEARS OF RELIABLE USE.
- UNIVERSAL HELMET COMPATIBILITY - Extra long elastic strap ensures great helmet compatibility with all helmets. Suitable for both adults & teens.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1 x OutdoorMaster OTG Ski Goggles, 1 x Carrying Pouch, CUSTOMER-FAVORITE 1 YEAR WARRANTY and friendly customer service.
Neck Buffs, Facemasks, Balaclavas, and Beanies
For colder days on the slopes, you’ll need additional protection for your neck, face, and scalp. The balaclava is the ideal full-face protective clothing for those days when the mercury drops below freezing.
If you don’t want to wear a full-face balaclava, you have the option of wearing a beanie under your helmet. Beanies and facemasks can trap heat under your helmet, causing you to sweat. Therefore, be sure you only use them on icy days.
A buff is a great clothing item to protect your neck and face from the cold wind as you make your way down the slope. Some buffs come with facemasks attached to the neck warmer, allowing you to pull it over your nose when you start your descent.
How to Layer for Snowboarding
Staying warm on the slopes is all about finding the right layering strategy for your clothing. Let’s look at a layering strategy that will keep you warm on your snowboarding trip.
The Thermal Base Layer
The base layer goes against your skin. Therefore, you want to choose a t-shirt that features moisture-wicking materials. Never wear a cotton undershirt on the slopes. Cotton will absorb your sweat, and you’ll start to feel cold as soon as you stop moving.
Synthetic materials, like those you find on athletic tees, offers you the best option. These moisture-wicking materials pull your sweat through the shirt, preventing it from sticking to your skin. The lightweight and breathable materials also ensure that your sweat dries out quickly.
The Insulating Layers
After your base layer, you need to start looking at insulation to keep you warm. Don’t make the mistake of relying on your outer jacket to provide you with the protection you need against the cold, and it won’t be sufficient.
Your insulating layer should consist of a zip-up fleece-lined lightweight jacket. Choose a premium brand designed for skiing or snowboarding.
External Protective Layer
Your outer layer, or shell, protects you from the elements. Make sure you select a jacket with a waterproof membrane and protection from the wind.
Dressing for Temperature Conditions
How you dress for the slopes depends on the temperatures outside. In this section, we’ll look at your layering strategy for different temperature ranges.
40F to 10F
These are typical preseason temperatures. In these conditions, it feels warm in the sunshine and then turns cold rapidly as the night sets in on the resort.
If you’re a person that runs hot, then you won’t need more than a tee and a hoody in these conditions. Wearing a jacket will have you sweating at these temperatures.
If you feel the cold, then sport a thin fleece under your hoody for extra warmth.
32F to 39F
When the weather gets to the freezing mark around the beginning of the winter, then you’re going to need to step up your game a bit to stay warm on the slopes.
If you run hot, then a lightweight thermal under your ski jacket is all you need to stay warm.
If you feel the cold, then add a thermal vest under your fleece and ski jacket.
30F to 25F
These mid-season conditions produce some of the best powder of the season, but it’s a little chilly on the slopes.
If you get hot quickly, then a thermal onesie keeps you warm under your fleece. A onesie doesn’t limit your range of motion, and you’ll still feel free on the slopes.
If you get cold easily, then you might want to use a thicker thermal mid-layer. A well-insulated jacket is also a necessity.
23F to 17F
Now it’s starting to get cold. These temperatures require efficient layering. However, you need to be intelligent with your approach, as too many hoodies and such will leave you sweating under your clothes.
Adding a lightly insulated mid-layer is sufficient to keep out the cold if you run hot on the slopes.
If you feel the cold, then you’re going to start wondering why you took the trip. Maintain your double-combination of thermals, and change your riding hoody for an insulated jacket.
At this point, you’re going to want to trade your gloves for mittens.
16F to 9F
These temperatures bring the best snowfalls, but it’s challenging for people that feel the cold to find the motivation to hit the slopes. Your outer layer becomes vital in these conditions.
Wear a thicker onesie for additional thermal protection if you run hot while snowboarding
Those snowboarders that feel the cold will start to lose their mind in these conditions. Put on some triple-layer thermals underneath your insulating mid-layer and the outer shell.
Gloves are a no-go in these conditions unless you have ice running through your veins. A pair of insulated mittens that go over the sleeves of your jacket will help keep out the cold.
6F or Colder
When the temperature falls this far, you need to ensure you have the proper preparation to deal with the conditions. When the mercury drops this low, you need to go full-out with your layering strategy.
Try wearing a down jacket as your mid-layer. However, you might find that you get too hot after 30-minutes or so on the slopes. Remember to wear a balaclava, and inner gloves for your mittens to protect your fingers from frostbite.
If you get cold quickly, then the best layering strategy we can offer is to tell you to stay inside. Enjoy a mug of hot chocolate in front of the fire instead.
In Closing – Find the Best Deals Online
When shopping for your gear, we recommend you deal with online retailers. You’ll find that online stores are around 5% cheaper on most items.
If you’re hesitant to purchase online without trying on your gear first, then visit a store. Try on your preferred kit, and then leave the store and buy it online.
Avoid buying any gear at the resort, as you’ll end up paying a hefty premium from the ski shops.