Keen to get kitted out for the slopes? Here’s my roundup of the best ski gear for 2015 that’s both snow and pocket-friendly. Now, if only the Alps had some decent powder…
1. Urban Beach salopettes, £49.99
Urban Beach may be best known for their awesome surfy staples but they do a great line of bright, cosy ski wear at very agreeable prices, too. These grass green snowboard-style salopettes are soft and fuzzy on the inside and tough and waterproof on the outside, complete with removable stretchy braces and lots of pockets for your lip balm and emergency chocolate bars. You can unzip the leg vents if you get too toasty, too.
2. Kubixl bobble hat, £30
A work of pompom art! Kubixl’s adorable, British-made bobble hats come in a range of geometric prints and primary colours. The genius bit? You can swap the pompom over if you get bored. The designs have very cool names like ‘scrambled egg’ and ‘bubblegum’, too. Wear under your helmet sans pompom in freezing weather or for snow hikes and sledding fun.
3. Trespass Rondo Snow Jacket, £69.99
A well-designed, versatile snowsports jacket that also looks very nice indeed. The Rondo is padded and fleece-lined, with a durable outer that’s waterproof to 5000mm and breathable to 5000mvp. Ventilation zips, an adjustable and removable hood, tons of pockets and a snowskirt make it perfect for skiing, but it’s also great for cold weather walks (or any other wintery adventures you can imagine – I’ve worn it iceskating, husky mushing and in between chilly surf sessions). If you’re after a sporty winter coat that you can snowboard in, this is ideal.
4. Big Balls Beanie, £20
Want to look like a seasonnaire? Start with a big bright knitted bobble hat. New and hilariously named Big Balls Beanies make gorgeously soft knitted hats in a rainbow of colours that are perfect for skiing, mountaineering or just wearing on winter walks.
5. Urban Beach Arrow ski jacket, £79.99
As modelled by my lovely friend Florence – a fantastic jacket for a decent price, with a tough nylon outer featuring 5000mm waterproofing as well as all the features you need in a ski jacket – adjustable snow cuffs, a lift pass pocket and a pack-away hood. I love the bright chevron print – you’ll be easy to spot on the slopes in this beauty. It sizes up small though, so go one size larger than usual.
6. Uniqlo Heattech leggings, £7.90
Cosy, durable leggings that use Uniqlo’s Heattech fabric to keep you warm whatever the weather. They’re super soft, keep their shape and retain heat without making you sweat, making them an ideal base layer for a hard day’s skiing. Once you’re back from the mountains they’re also ideal for yoga and climbing, and they’re cheap as chips, too.
7. Mountain Warehouse Extreme goggles, £34.99
Everything you’d expect from a quality pair of goggles without the painful price tag. Mountain Warehouse’s ‘Extreme’ men and women’s goggles are polarised and treated with anti-fog magic, meaning you only have to worry about whether you’re going to manage that tricky rail. The wide frame, light weight and stretchy headband make the goggles comfy even after hours of ski touring, and they sit high on the face, so you won’t get unsightly goggle gap. If you favour bigger lenses go for the larger men’s version.
8. True Mountain base layer, £55
It’s worth investing in a great quality base layer for snow sports, as you need it to be a lot of things: so comfortable you don’t feel it, warm and insulated when you’re stuck on a wind-swept ski lift, breathable and flexible when you’re bombing down off-piste. I love new brand True Mountain‘s base layers, made of ‘Sportwool’ (a mix of polyester and merino wool). They’re stretchy, cosy and tough, with thumb loops to keep your mitts warm. They’re even treated with anti-microbial goodness, to reduce odour (nice!).
9. Hi-Tec Dubois snow boots, £69.99
It can be hard to find warm, slush-proof boots that don’t make you look like you have yeti feet, but these lovely quilted treats from Hi-Tec manage it with aplomb. They’re insulated with Thinsulate, to keep your toes toasty in sub-zero temperatures, and their rugged soles will keep you upright on slippy ice. The cushiony soles and furry trim make them as comfy to wear as your favourite slippers, and they also look very nice indeed with skinny jeans for a spot of apres ski. I’m a big fan, can you tell?