Whether you’re planning a skiing trip to Europe for a jaunt around the Swiss Alps, or a winter weekend away at Perisher, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected from those bitter mountain chills as well as being ready for some brighter sunny days.
The key to a successful season on the pistes often comes down to choosing the best mid-layers and outerwear on the market – striking the fine balance between style, technology, and high-performance. But with so many snow and ski brands out there, deciding which ones stand out from the rest – and which ones are best suited to your style of skiing, is not for the faint-hearted.
With the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season fast approaching, all the major players are releasing their newest collections of apparel for fans of the slopes. Here we have highlighted some of the best ski brands that provide the finest in everything from ski jackets and pants to boots, skis, and ski helmets – giving you a head start for the ski season.
First set up in 1957, Black Diamond is all about skiing and climbing. They have a great range of products that work across both disciplines, most notably their down jackets for the eco-conscious adventurer. Black Diamond’s classy range of products won’t break the bank - and sit nicely set in the mid-price range.
Founded in 1973 by climbing enthusiast Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia has become one of the biggest and most well-respected ski brands in the world of mountain outerwear. All of this California based brand’s products are developed with an environmental focus, using natural and sustainable materials without ever compromising on quality and performance.
Freestyle skiers around the world will be more than familiar with Colombia. Although primarily an outdoor adventure brand, their ski jackets are used in high-flying ski disciplines thanks to fine, lightweight fabrics that provides maximum freedom of movement. Their mid-layer fleeces and apres-ski boots are also a must for your next skiing adventure.
Norrona was born back in 1929 in Norway, a country renowned for it’s cold, wet and unforgiving winter weather. Their range of innovative jackets, pants, tents and backpacks have become sought after the world-over by modern powder riders. Norrona gear is typically lightweight, warm and stylish with a minimal edge.
Salomon is currently Europes leading winter sports equipment brand. They work with superstars in ski disciplines as varied as slalom, downhill and super g - and are known for producing some of the best skis on the planet. Whether you’re looking to free-ride, off-piste or a pair of skis for pure speed, Salomon is the professional standard choice.
For ultimate alpine efficiency and protection this winter, you can’t go wrong with Arc'terex. This truly innovative Canadian brand bring sports science to their garments - and the results are high-performance layers made for excelling when in the mountains. From jackets and mids to pants and shells, Arc'terex has it covered.
The North Face
The North Face has become a real household name for high-performance climbing, backpacking and skiing equipment. The brand first appeared in San Francisco back in 1968, the brainchild of two innovative climbers. Move forward to 2019 and The North Face is known worldwide for its superior quality and sustainable mountain wear.
As luxurious as it is comfortable, Bogner products certainly live up to their price tag. Eye-catching designs with streamlined fit and comfort make sure you look the business before, during and after your days on the pistes. A real statement of style and functionality, Bogner effortlessly find that sweet spot between casual dress and sportswear.
Colorado is home to the Rockies, which has some of the best slopes in the USA and a heavyweight ski brand in Spyder. Initially set up to produce ski jumpers and ski pants, Spyder now creates a fantastic range of performance gear from jackets and fleeces to gloves and socks - all of which are used by the US Ski Team.
One of our favourite and reasonably affordable ski brands, Mackage, now make ski apparel. Their ski collection is as fast as it is classy, ensuring you can go from slope to apres in supreme style.
Camping in the mountains requires kit you are confident using at both elevation and downrange. Marmot’s excellent tents and camping bags have been created using recycled and sustainable fabrics that keep you warm whilst leaving you with peace of mind. They also produce a stellar range of ski jackets and pants.
Iconic French brand Rossignol has over 100 years experience in cold season clobber. They’re a true heavyweight mark that exudes style throughout its wide range of products. Rossignol produces everything you need to maximise your time in the mountains, including excellent hats, glove and footwear - and it’s for this reason they remain the go-to brand for skiers in the know.
If you like suave slopestyle and 'suaver' ski gear then Aztech Mountain has you more than covered. Take your sartorial (and performance) game to new heights with this performance sportswear brand, which specialises in uncomplicated and purposeful design.
Clothing made for extremely cold temperatures, Haglofs is all about keeping you dry and warm in the most testing of conditions. Their designs not only retain your body’s heat, but they also perform as a barrier on sleet-heavy days at altitude. Haglofs is a name synonymous with serious outdoor clothing for the serious mountain competitor.
Performance apparel for the outdoor athlete, American brand Mountain Hardware prides themselves on innovative outdoor clothing. Set up in 1993 by a band of mountain enthusiasts, they have gone on to create a classy range of light outer jackets and mid-layers for total, unrestrictive movement - at a more than affordable price.
Striking the perfect balance between style and practicality, Colmar has been one of Europe’s elite ski brands since the 1920s. Striking colourways coupled with impeccable design exemplify their French routes. Popular with adrenaline junkies who like to take their skiing off-piste, Colmar apparel keeps you warm, agile and looking sharp.
Two-thirds of South Korea is made up of mountains, so we shouldn’t be surprised when a brand such as Black Yak come along. Their smart, minimalistic downs provide superior warmth with great face coverage in high winds. Black Yak’s supremely comfortable jackets are also made for sub-zero days on the slopes when a couple of extra degrees is needed.
Alps & Meters
Rugged Swedish style with a touch of the nostalgic best describes Alps & Meters. Serious about design, style and ski slope appearance, they have created a catalogue of luxury mountain wear perfect for serious skiers. Alps & Metres stands for superior, Scandinavian quality with zero compromise - with a high-end price to match.
Founded in 1952 by René Ramillon and André Vincent, the Moncler Grenoble name come from a shortened version of Monestier-de-Clermont, the French alpine town where the company began. Their jackets are tried and tested in the French Alps and Pyrennes, where they have become hugely popular thanks to unparalleled warmth.
Built on the idea that life is an adventure, Outdoor Research combines innovative design with classic looking gear for practical winter clothing solutions. Their collections include everything from jackets and pants to base layers and casual wear, all made to make your mountain experience a warm and pleasurable one!
Nothing feels as soft and comfortable under your favourite skiwear than a Stoic mid or base layer. Their highly breathable gear is perfect for those cold days exploring the mountains, keeping you dry and fresh on the inside. They also have a decent range of natural wool layers for the eco-conscious explorer.
For more than half a century, Descente has been at the changing the way ski gear is made through constant improvements through superior technology. This is one of the best ski brands, that's always looking one step ahead.