“The mountains are calling, and I must go—into the lodge for some hot chocolate, I’m freezing,” said no self-respecting shredder, ever. In order to answer when winter rings, you need to be prepared for frigid temps, blustery winds and the hurt of the fourth season. So we gathered our favorite cold-weather products and created the ideal setup for the occasion.
Don’t let a frightful forecast scare you off. Instead, suit up with this head-to-toe kit—each piece hand-selected by our team of die-hard skiers and riders—and prepare for a powder day like the pros.
On a stormy day, your ski jacket must juggle two essential jobs: keeping you dry and keeping you warm. Luckily, the Powderbound from REI Co-op is a consummate multitasker. A waterproof, two-layer nylon shell protects against precipitation, while 80 grams of synthetic insulation around the core supply much-needed warmth. Factor in a helmet-friendly hood, high collar, sealable cuffs and hem, removable powder skirt and ample pockets, and this alpine armor is our go-to for midwinter in the mountains. $199
REI Co-op Powderbound Insulated Bib Snow Pants (Women’s, Women’s Plus, Women’s Petite, Men’s and Men’s Short)
The benefits of bibs outnumber even the various sizes and fits the Powderbounds from REI Co-op are available in. These adventure-ready trousers really shine on a good, old-fashioned powder day, when the high-waisted style makes it near impossible for snow to breach your outerwear. A waterproof, two-layer nylon shell seals out precip, and a just-right 40 grams of synthetic insulation keeps your buns and thighs toasty on frigid lift rides or when adjusting snowboard bindings. Integrated gaiters keep powder from creeping into your boots, while zippered thigh vents let you crank the AC if temps rise. Nice touch: spacious chest and hand pockets for stashing snacks and other essentials. $189–$199
Worried about warmth? The venerable Nano Puff is the ultimate insulation insurance policy. Patagonia stuffed it with 60 grams of PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco (sourced from 55% postconsumer recycled materials), which continues to trap heat even when wet. For how much warmth it packs, the Nano Puff is remarkably low-profile underneath your favorite ski shell. It packs down into its own chest pocket and weighs next to nothing, so you can easily stash it in your pack or shell if you start to overheat. $119 for kids, $229 for adults.
Many misguided skiers and riders fret about outerwear yet forget about base layers. But the key to staying warm in winter is a holistic approach to layering, and base layers are just as mission-critical as flashier, pricier outerwear. When it comes to base layers that will keep you warm and dry, nothing beats this Classic Thermo Merino from Smartwool. The heavyweight wool fabric traps body heat next to skin, naturally wicks sweat and combats bacterial build-up. The stretchy top feels tailored thanks to a 3D-mapped fit, articulated elbows, paneled shoulders and flat seams. And while many skintight base layers are exclusively wearable on the hill, the quarter-zip silhouette and neutral colors are apropos for après too. $115
Smartwool Classic Thermo Merino Base Layer Bottoms (Women’s, Women’s Plus and Men’s)
Merino and mobility go together like fat skis and bottomless powder, which is why you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pairing for the Smartwool Merino Classic Merino Quarter-Zip Base Layer Top than—you guessed it—the Smartwool Classic Thermo Merino Base Layer Bottoms. They offer electric blanketlike warmth on cold chair rides, but help you dump heat when thigh burn sets in on powdery laps. Most importantly, though, they move with you, not against you, whether you’re popping through moguls or laying down high-speed GS turns. $110
The GORE-TEX 3-in-1 Gloves from Burton come with both a waterproof outer shell and a cozy liner for the ultimate mix-and-match kit. Wear the shells solo for spring shredding, the fleecy liners for backcountry touring or rock them together on frosty storm days. The GORE-TEX shell provides best-in-class waterproofing and keeps snow from soaking through and ruining your day. When cold fronts are in the forecast, these gloves provide warmth on all fronts. That’s thanks to lofty Thermacore® synthetic insulation, the soft-against-the-skin liners and hand-warmer-accommodating zippered pockets on the back of each glove. And with touchscreen-compatible fabric on every fingertip, you won’t have to ditch gloves on the chairlift to organize a rendezvous with your shred crew or pick the perfect playlist on a powder day. $79.95
Pillagers of powder will love the Marauder, premium cylindrical goggles from Spy, for the slick style, helmet compatibility, primo optics and effortless lens interchangeability. The sleek, frameless goggle outline is undeniably hip and earned praise from our hardest-to-please testers. Each goggle comes with a pair of ultra-crisp Happy lenses: a darker one for sunny days and a lighter one for low-light riding. Not only that, but the easy-to-operate Deadbolt lens system uses magnets to guide lenses home and levers to lock ‘em in place, making it simple to swap lenses on the chairlift. If you’re hiking up a storm, sweat-wicking triple-layer foam, top-notch ventilation and antifog lenses help keep moisture to a minimum. All told, the Marauder is a go-to for any day on the hill, no matter how freezing the forecast. $159.93–$240
“Grom” is an endearing term for a young ripper, and the Grom goggles from Smith are purpose-built for kids who have small faces but still send it big. The goggles boast the same crystal-clear, contrast-heightening spherical ChromaPop lenses you’ll find on the brand’s premium adult options, but they’re sized to a medium youth fit. Antifog treatments and two-layer face foam ensure all-day clarity and comfort, and the semiframeless design and vibrant colorways add a splash of fun to any kit. A note on fit: The Grom should fit most kids aged 6 to 9, but some preteens may want to size up to a small adult goggle like the I/O MAG S. $90
Sending it on powder days gets a little warmer with lightweight, aerodynamic Jackson (men’s) and Terra (women’s) Mips helmets by Giro. Giro keeps weight low thanks to a fused construction, which melds a resilient polycarbonate outer shell with an impact-absorbing foam liner. Factor in cushioned, insulating earpads and a waffled, warmth-trapping Polartec® Power Grid Liner (our favorite feature) and it’s no surprise that this Giro brain bucket is our go-to for chilly days. With an easily adjustable and efficient ventilation system, both helmets are more than ready for spring shredding too. $190
Smith engineered the Glide Jr. Mips helmet with a simple premise at top of mind: Kids deserve the same protection as their parents. A classic in-mold construction—hard polycarbonate shell integrated with EPS foam interior—keeps weight down and safety first. On chilly days, a fuzzy fleece lining may just keep your little one from hightailing it to the lodge. Meanwhile, fixed vents help keep them cool on warmer spring sessions. With three adjustable sizes and a rainbow of colors to choose from, the Glide Jr. makes shopping for a kids’ ski helmet easier than cruising the greens at your local hill. $90
Don’t get cold feet—instead, get ready to drop in with Ski Targeted Cushion Over the Calf socks from Smartwool. A thick blend of merino wool, nylon and elastane serves up a just-right balance of warmth, moisture management and durability. Padding targets higher-wear areas on the ball and the heel of your feet. Notably, though, the merino content naturally prevents stinky bacteria from finding their footing, which your carpool will appreciate. Available in different patterns and colors. $28
Overexposing your nose to the elements is a classic rookie mistake. Instead, shred like a veteran in this wool balaclava from REI Co-op. A synthetic, durable-water-repellent-treated outer fabric serves as all-weather armor, protecting your face from sun, wind and snow. Inside, a soft, merino wool liner is warm and comfortable next to skin. The seams are unobtrusive, and the low-profile cut fits well beneath a helmet. $34.95
Keep your fingertips or core warm when the mercury drops with the Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmer. It includes a funnel that you use to fill it with lighter fluid, then it generates flameless heat 2.5 times warmer than disposable warmers, the brand says. That means that this long-lasting heater—which fits neatly inside a pocket or mitten—eliminates the need for single-use heat packs, so it’s win-win for you and Mother Nature. $22.95
Do you need boot warmers? Of course not. But once you experience the joy of warm tootsies on a frigid day, you may change your tune. This kit from Hotronic includes a couple of rechargeable heating elements that turn hard, plastic ski boots into veritable saunas. They work with most insoles (including snowboard boots and hiking boots). And the small battery packs easily affix to an ankle cuff or power strap. Four settings allow for varying temperatures (ranging from 2.5 hours to 21 hours per charge). $268
Interested in more staff picks and kits? Find more collections here.