I’m a bargain hunter and thrifty shopper. That said, some things just require you to pony up. I’ve tried to come up with a list of items at reasonable prices to choose from. If you’re a savvy shopper, you can also search eBay, as I have in the past for some of the bigger ticket items. Links below are to amazon and are affiliate links, meaning The Woolfer may get a few cents for each referral, at no cost to you. Transparency is everything! Here goes…

Arctix Women’s Insulated Snow Pant

These are warm, waterproof and best of all budget friendly. Available in a variety of colors and sizes. If pants aren’t your style, they also offer bibs! If you’re prone to heating up, I highly recommend snowboarding pants. They have zipper vents in the “undercarriage” zone to help bring a breeze into your chassis! A few brands I like, Burton, Neff and Helly Hansen. Shop around for the price and style you like.

Racerback Sports Bra

There’s nothing more annoying than a loose strap, jiggling bosoms ore nip slips at subzero temperature. Tame the girls in comfort and without killing your bank account. Best of all, they’re inexpensive enough that you can get several and not have to re-wear any during your trip. I swear by these! They come in every size imaginable.

Base Layers & Socks

Here’s where you can go horribly right and horribly wrong. There is very little to rival the misery of clammy, wet undergarments. The term moisture wicking is no joke. You will sweat and it will be cold. You don’t want either of those things sinking into your skin and ruining an awesome day on the mountain.
I prefer merino wool exclusively. Others like blends. One thing to avoid is cotton. It absorbs moisture, takes forever to dry and won’t be good for more than one wear. I’m not making a specific recommendation, aside from get it early, try it on for fit and wash before heading out on your trip. If you can afford it, get two sets. They can get a little ripe and that’s not fun.

 

My personal list is as follows:
  • Helly Hansen 3/4 leggings. You don’t want the extra thickness in ski boots. If you’re snowboarding, go full length. They’re not cheap and the sizing is limited to XS-XL. Above that size, I recommend going into the men’s. Below that size, go to youth.
  • Helly Hansen or Patagonia long sleeve crew or zip mock turtleneck. The crew is a little less constricting, but being able to unzip for temperature control is worth the tightness.
  • Socks. Do not cheap out. Spring for the merino wool. Your feet freezing will make you miserable. I prefer merino compression socks that go up to the knee. Regular athletic socks won’t cut it. I promise this is essential.

Recs from other mods:

  • Smart Wool Socks – “They are versatile and also don’t stick even after a few days of wear without washing.  I also use mine on cold days in my snow boot.”

Neck Gaiter

These are great for neck and face warmth. You’ll look like a bandit, but you won’t get wind or sunburn. The best gaiters are fleece at the neck and a thinner, breathable material at the top. Have fun with the style. Options are limitless.

A few options:

Apres Ski Hat

This is one of our mods favorite styles. It comes in a wide range of colors and it’s faux fur, so you can feel good about the critters.

Gloves / Mittens

We have both high and moderate price options! When you choose, waterproof and, if possible, gortex are good options. On the high side, these are the top of the line and the price reflects it. This is the ultimate and will last you a lifetime, but they’re an investment! Don’t feel obligated, we’ve got more reasonable picks too, several of which I own!

 

Mittens:
Generally, mittens are warmer than gloves, but you compromise a little on mobility since your fingers aren’t separated. If you’re skiing, this isn’t an issue, but snowboarders often prefer 3-finger or standard 5-finger gloves. Your choice!

Snow Boots

Almost every reputable outfitter has great options for snow boots. This is a function over fashion situation. You want warmth, waterproofing and traction control so you keep your footing. Here are a couple of options to get you started:
  • Sorel – They have a broad range of styles and prices. I’m partial to lumberjack or perhaps lumberjill look of these.
  • Pajar – Straight our of Montreal, they know cold and how to fight it. These are pricier, but I have a pair that are almost 6 years old and they are still going strong. Best of all, I can wear them anywhere. Great grip and super toasty.
  • Columbia – Super reputable company and a very reasonable price point. Slip ons are easy and don’t require lacing or zipping. You almost don’t need to even bend over!

 ODT Bluetooth Helmet Speakers 

When you’re on the slopes snowboarding or skiing, having your favorite tunes is the ultimate luxury. Either create your own playlist or grab one of the awesome Woolfer curated playlists on Spotify. You’ll be cruising with the best soundtrack ever. Best of all, it links with your phone so you can stay in touch if need be. There’s even a walkie option to stay connected with other friends on the mountain.

 Smith MIPS Helmet

I prefer the Smiths Vantage. It’s adjustable, vented to allow airflow and most importantly has MIPS technology for additional impact protection.  Whatever helmet you buy, remember your cranium is the most important body part to protect. Buy or rent the best you can afford. It’s your noggin!

Lip Balm

Sounds superfluous, but it’s not. The cold and wind are rough and your lips will bear the brunt of it. I’m a fan of all the Burt’s Bees line. Lots of flavors, tinted options, stick or squeeze bottle. Whichever you choose, keep it close at hand.
Remember falling down is part of the process, especially for snowboarders. Just like life, the best path to success is to persevere. Always wear sunscreen. Hydrate and moisturize! Have fun!
Tulani Bridgewater
Professional Manager, Mother, Negotiator…purveyor of sardonic optimism with a love for gifs and great conversation.