If you’re going on a ski trip in Europe and you have decided not to ski or snowboard whilst you are there but you’re not sure what to buy pack as a non-skier, I am going to help you out in this post!
I recently went to St Anton in Austria on a ski trip. I did plan on skiing so I got pretty much everything that I needed to ski (that couldn’t be rented there) however I quickly decided skiing wasn’t for me. I of course worried about a few things at this point, what I would do in a ski town whilst everyone else was skiing and what was the point in getting all of the ski stuff that I got as surely I wouldn’t need it now as a non-skier?
However as it turns out, I still had a great time in St Anton as a non-skier and I still wore all of my ski stuff because ski wear is so warm and appropriate in this snowy environment, even for a non-skier and I was so glad that I had all of the ski items that I did!
I was kitted out in items from Dare2b as they kindly provided me with pretty much everything I needed. I am going to link to all of the items that I wore and that you can see in my photos. Although they gifted me these, I 100% recommend Dare2b ski wear as their items are great quality, super stylish, really competitive in the ski wear market and most of all, their prices are so good! Plus they regularly have sales of up to half price, which of course means more money to spend on beers at Apres Ski!
I have also aimed this list at European Ski trips as the weather is not as extreme as it is in places like Canada and Japan. I imagine that you may need more layers or more appropriate attire if you were visiting a ski town outside of Europe but not skiing there!
So here is a list of what I recommend you buy and pack to take on a European Ski Trip as a Non-Skier!
Ski Jacket – This is a must, even for a non-skier! Having never owned or even worn a ski jacket before I couldn’t believe how light they are! I went for the Dare2b White Cultivated Luxe Ski Jacket which was very luxe indeed with lots of pockets, a headphones port, inner cuffs to keep the breeze out and it was a really nice fit!
Salopette’s – Do non-skiers need Salopette’s if they aren’t going to be up a mountain? Yes! Even if you aren’t skiing you will probably end up a mountain at some point, whether that’s by going up in a gondola to see the awesome views or at an Apres Ski Bar. I found my Attract II Ski Pants so comfy, in fact I would wear them all the time at home if I could. The only thing I would note about the Dare2b salopette’s is that they come up quite small. I had to go for a size 14 over the 10 or 12 but this size fitted just right in the end!
Base Layers – Long Sleeved Top, Short Sleeved Top & Leggings – Even with your salopette’s on and even as a non-skier it’s worth putting leggings underneath for extra warmth, especially if you’re going from day to night where the temperature will drop. You’ll also need a top underneath your jacket, it’s best to wear a long-sleeved top unless it’s unseasonably warm. Under this I would recommend wearing a short-sleeved top as an extra layer incase it does get warm. Even if it doesn’t get warm when you’re outside, if you end up in a bar dancing at Apres Ski, you’ll more than likely end up in just this short-sleeved top as the bar’s get so warm!
Skier’s will definitely need leggings and a long-sleeved top that are breathable as they are going to be sweating a lot. As a non-skier you may think this isn’t necessarily and depending on what activities you’ll be doing it may not be but if you think you may even get a bit warm, regular cotton isn’t going to cut it and will become damp and cold if it gets sweaty. I wore the Dare2b Zonal III Base Layer Set of Leggings and a Long Sleeved Top in Black, plus I had the Outlay Core Stretch Midlayer in black for one day too, this top was a bit thicker than the Zonal III base layer and would have been better for a slightly colder climate but it is also a top that looks a bit better without a jacket on due its collar and slightly thicker material, however it’s still very breathable. For my short-sleeved top, I just wore a breathable gym top.
Gloves – Again, does a non-skier need proper ski gloves? Yes! I wore my ski gloves a few times during the day and all evening when we were walking between bars and the hotel. I also went tobogganing and there was no way I could have done it without them. They’re definitely worth buying and you’ll probably end up getting use out of them on a cold Winters day at home too! I had the Dare2b Grapple Ski Gloves in Black which seem really tough wearing with good grip and they were so warm!
Neck Gaitor – Skier’s don’t wear scarfs, they wear neck gaiters and honestly, even as a non-skier for 2 days I still opted for my Chief III Neck Gaitor in Blue or Red over the scarfs that were in my bag. Firstly because the Ski Jackets are so small, there isn’t much room to tuck the ends of a scarf in like there is in a bigger winter coat and secondly, they’re handy if you do go to a viewpoint and its cold and you need to cover your face and ear’s more than a scarf could. Plus I just felt way cooler and part of the ski vibe in a neck gaitor over a scarf!
Hat – A wooley hat is a must!
Goggle’s – Another item that you think only a skier will need! Well, to be honest you don’t need goggles as a non-skier but this again depends on the activities that you will do and the weather. I actually wore my goggles when I went tobogganing and had it been actually snowing when I went up the mountain to see the views, I may have needed them too. My friend lost her goggles so I lent her my Velose Dare2b Goggles and she said they were really good, and they are a great price compared to so many other brands!
Snow Boots – Snow boots or at least hiking boots are a must when on a ski trip, even as a non-skier. They keep your feet super warm and perhaps most importantly give you the extra grip that fashion boots or trainers don’t give. Keen footwear are a favourite of mine due to their high quality boots and I took their Hoodoo III Lace Up boots with me to St Anton and they were perfect. They aren’t too heavy and fitted in my suitcase well, they’re insulated and durable and they saved my feet whilst dancing in the bars and tobogganing!
Clothes for later – Ok, so even when the skiers and snowboarders are off the slopes, what do you wear? Well ski towns are generally very relaxed. No one gets dressed up. A lot of people will still be in their ski wear including salopettes. 1 night we did go back to the hotel to change and I put a pair of jeans on and some thermal leggings along with a jumper, however once we were in the bar, a few beers in and dancing I was so hot so I would recommend layers again, a jumper but also a t-shirt underneath which you can wear on its own depending on what you get up to. We wore our ski boots, ski jacket, hat and gloves out too!
Moisturiser & Suncream – Finally, we’ve all seen a skier with goggle marks and sun burnt cheeks and you may have heard that the cold weather can chap lips and hand etc but it’s not just the skiers that this happens too. It happens to the non-skiers too!
I came back with really dry hands as I didn’t pack much moisturiser and I was so glad that I packed my lip balm with me at all times. I didn’t need suncream however I did take it and if you were to sit out in the sun outside a bar or restaurant then its likely you could still catch the sun. You may not get silly goggle marks but we need to protect our skin all the same!
Bag Info – This applies to skiers too but I know I was quite worried about what big and little bag I should take. If you are getting a transfer from the airport to your hotel then a suitcase is fine! In fact most people have big suitcases as keen skiers will take their helmets too which take up a lot of room and they’ll even take their own ski’s and snowboards so it’s a given that luggage on a ski trip can be quite large and heavy!
I also took a little backpack around with me all day with some water in my camera etc in, this was of course fine as I wasn’t skiing but even people who are on the slopes carry a small bag with them so take one if you need to!
I hope this helps you work out what you need to buy and take on a European Ski-Tip as a non-skier!
** Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn**
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Please note I was gifted the items mentioned in the post but I would never recommend a product and brand that I didn’t truly love! This post also contains some affiliate links but at no extra cost to you!