On the slopes, there is nothing as risky as ‘style over substance’. Of course, part of the skiing experience is looking good in your gear, but shrug on a ski jacket or salopettes that don’t have the quality to back up their style credentials and you’ll end up at the mercy of the bitter, bracing cold.
So, to ensure you stay sheltered and look sharp on the slopes this season, we’ve found eight of the finest technically-sound skiing brands — and the best of their products. This way, even when you’re carving up the freshest, briskest powder, you won’t be left out in the cold.
Peak Performance was founded by skiers, for skiers
Back in 1986, three talented skiers got together to discuss why no-one was making gear they wanted to wear. They wanted jackets and accessories for the slopes that combined excellent functionality with simple, cool design; not flashy, but still not boring. Peak Performance was born, using laboratories to create super-technical products with such pioneering materials as the brand’s own-made HiPe Core Plus and Recco reflectors.
Two of the brand’s best products are must-haves when we pack for the slopes. The Helo Fleece-Back Jersey Jacket is cut from a fabric with sweat-wicking properties and comfortable flatlock seams, and the Everett GORE-TEX Gloves have elasticated wrists and drawstring cuffs ensure they fit securely.
Oakley are pioneers of eyewear technology
Started in 1975 by James January — from a garage with an initial investment of $300 — Oakley is today one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports performance sunglasses and goggles. One of their many patented technologies, Prizm lenses, are fine-tuned to individual wavelengths of colour, and can sharpen visual acuity to reveal nuances invisible to the naked eye. Perfect, then, for snowscapes.
One of the best products to benefit from this technology are Oakley’s Flight Deck XM Rimless Prizm Ski Goggles. Made from lightweight moulded polycarbonate for durability, the rimless design and specialised lenses give you an unrivalled field of vision — and the triple-layer face foam will keep you as comfortable as you can be.
Salomon were born in the French Alps
Ever since Salomon began playing in the French Alps in 1947, the outdoor sports brand has been driven by the pursuit of new technologies and craftsmanship. Today, Salomon serves athletes, consumers, employees and partners in this pursuit — and creates everything from ski and snowboard gear to running shoes and backpacks.
They’re the brand we trust to kit us out with that hardiest of slopewear: our jacket and salopettes. This Whitebreeze Quilted Down Ski Jacket is made from robust shell with AdvancedSkin Warm technology for protection and has an integrated snow skirt to keep you dry and trap warmth. Similarly, these Icemania Canvas-Trimmed Ski Trousers are cut from waterproof fabric with built-in four-way stretch to accommodate even the more adventurous manoeuvre.
Moncler combine fashion and function flawlessly
In Monestier-de-Clermont, Moncler has been operating for over half a century. Merging style with technological research, and harnessing the knowledge of mountaineering experts, the brand effortlessly bridges the gap between day-to-day clothing and garments that can withstand extreme conditions.
This Tricot Intarsia Wool and Cashmere-Blend Scarf is the epitome of this ideology. Knitted in Italy, it is crafted from a mix of wool and cashmere for natural warmth, while boasting bold zigzag stripes in red and white to keep your fashion credentials up.
Falke will keep your feet cosy and comfortable
This family business have been creating the highest-quality and fashionable footwear for over a century. But they’re not in the business of shoemaking. Rather, Falke have been sourcing the finest materials and artisans to create socks and thermal underwear — perfect for when you hit the slopes this winter.
We know we never step out into the snow without pulling on our Ergonomic Sport System Max Warm Ski Tights, made from flexible stretch-jersey and constructed with two layers and an inner surface material that traps heat and wicks sweat. Our socks, too, are from Falke. The SK Energising Wool Knee-High Socks not only improve blood circulation and offer high thermal insulation, but they also have cushioning for comfort.
The North Face offer tried and tested kit
The north face of a mountain, in the northern hemisphere at least, is the coldest, iciest and most formidable route to climb. It was bold, then, in 1966 for this brand to take this term as their name. But, over half a century later, the company manufactures some of the most technically-sound and mountain-ready kit on the market. We know we’d trust it with our lives.
In fact, another of our favourite mid-layers comes from The North Face. The Denali Shell and Fleece Jacket has been around since 1992, and it’s barely changed save for slight upgrades in fabric and materials. Cut from warm fleece and panelled with shell, it’s also equipped with secure pockets to ensure you have easy access when you’re on the go.
Patagonia are champions of the environment
This storied brand had humble beginnings. In 1957, founder Yvon Chouinard set up a shop in parents’ back garden selling pitons — the pegs climbers use to support their ropes. Fast forward half a century, and Patagonia is one of the most trusted names in outdoor clothing. What’s more, they’re unrivalled in their environmental focus, switching to organic cotton in 1996 and solar energy in the same year.
Our chosen products from the brand show similar eco-mindedness. This Recycled Cashmere Beanie is made of 95% recycled fibre, and styled as a classic cuff hat to keep your head as warm as possible on the slopes. This Recycled Cashmere Scarf, too, is created from pre-consumer recycled fibres, and is the perfect size to tuck into your jacket.
Now you’ve got the gear, it’s time to pack the best skincare products for the winter season…