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In prehistoric times, caveman wore bibs made out of animal fur. For many years, ski clothing copped this look with nylon and polyester fashion disasters that featured a mix of unsightly colors and the one, long zipper that uniformly swaddled skiers like toddlers. Fortunately, though some still sport the retro bibs today, ski clothing has evolved into handsome and practical outdoor wear that serves its purpose.

Each piece of ski clothing has evolved into specialty wear that is different for each type of user. Bibs and the jeans and gators look, has given way to two main segments of ski pants. The first is for those who seek comfort, warmth and some fashion: the snowboard pant. Though they are designed for skiers these days, these ski pants borrow heavily the baggy, saggy look of their snowboard origins. With a lightweight, water resistant or totally waterproof shell, they are perfect for day-trippers or anyone not looking to push the limits.

The other segment is a high performance, skin tight design that is ideal for those advance skiers who don’t plan on falling and want a streamlined design. Rather than get in the way, these pants are all form and function, helping the skier’s legs spring up over moguls or during powder descents. They are made of a lycra-wool and more poly-blend and work to perfection.

For the torso, ski clothing has also evolved into a layered format. Rather than jackets stuffed like a teddy bear, the trend is to provide a dry, waterproof outer shell that is then supplemented for warmth with successive layers of clothing. The base layer, the piece closest to your body, is made of a tight piece of fabric designed to warm you and to pass any moisture from your skin up and away from you (wicking). The next layer, often called the soft shell, is usually a piece of fleece that can keep you very warm with very little fabric. This is the piece that you may end up shedding into your backpack as the day heats up.

Ski clothing

Other accessories now include a helmet that provides warmth and protection in the unlikely event of a head-on collision. Water-filled backpacks are also a standard accessory to ski clothing these days. The skier has an endless supply of water whenever he needs it. Ski clothing upgrades over the last decade are one of the key reasons that skiing is more comfortable and popular than ever.

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