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Recommendations for Clothing Brands/Styles for First Time Snowboarder

Hey all! My husband and I are going to Aspen in January for the first time. Neither of us have been snowboarding since high school (12 years for me, 18 for him). We are starting from scratch as far as supplies. We will be renting the actual equipment, but intend to buy our gear. 

I would appreciate any suggestions as far as articles of clothing you recommend all snowboarders wear ranging to particular brands and styles to look for. 


Thank you! 

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2 Replies

Hi @aliciafseltz! What a wonderful trip you have coming up! In any outdoor adventure you want to think layers....layers are our friends, when we can regulate our body temperature, stay dry and warm we can then focus on the real work....having fun!

Base layers is where I would start. Your best options are synthetic stretch material, like the common Under Armour brand or merino wool which you can find with REI, Smartwool, and Kari Traa brands. The benefits of merino wool is it'll dry faster so you can stay warmer longer. I use both styles of base layers depending on when laundry day is. Something to consider, each style does feel little different, synthetics can be more stretchy if you're used that fit.

Next layer up from base, I would ask myself "how cold do I run?" This may determine how many or what mid layers you choose. Some mid layer options to consider can be a long sleeve mid weight Smartwool or Patagonia R1 shirt or if you're like me, I need all the warmth I can get, I wear a down jacket under my outer shell.

Last but certainly not least your outerwear. Can range from 3 in 1 insulated jackets to just waterproof shells. 

Enjoy your trip and I'll be doing my snow dance for you!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@aliciafseltz sounds like you've got an exciting trip planned to Aspen! We're going to supplement the suggestions @REI-ErinC provided with a few resources:

  • For broad brush strokes, here are a few Expert Advice articles: what to wear skiing and snowboarding, planning your first time skiing/snowboarding, and a snowboarding checklist
  • As Erin mentioned, what you wear closest against your skin (long underwear) is a really important place to start (no cotton!) - here's an Expert Advice article on how to pick base layers - one aspect to consider about re-learning to snowboard is that you're likely going to be working pretty hard so you may find yourself getting pretty warm/sweaty during your runs and cooling off during the chairlift ride - the ability for your gear to wick moisture, dry quickly, and vent will be really important!
  • And a few essential items to not overlook: a ski/snowboard helmet, gloves/mittens with a high cuff, and hand warmers (if it's extra cold the days you're boarding) and snacks in your pockets (keep that energy up)!

Let us know if you have additional questions - you might also consider setting up a free virtual outfitting appointment with an REI employee to talk through any specific question you have!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.