Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in America. According to the National Ski Areas Association, 472 ski areas operated during the 2017/18 season with over 7 million active skiers. That’s a huge number compared to the 2.2 million active snowboarders. Additionally, Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council stated that skiers contribute an estimated $20.3 billion in economic value to the U.S. economy annually.
With the economic growth of the sport and its increasing popularity, experienced skiers and beginners now have a wide variety of ski wear to choose from. The cost of ski clothing varies and if you’re lucky, you can buy clothes for nearly half their original prices during an end-of-season sale. You may also opt for high-end ski apparel at luxury resort boutiques and online stores.
Ski Wear on a Dime
When you’re shopping on a budget, keep in mind that price is usually correlated with quality. High-quality ski wear costs more than mediocre brands but that also means that the fabrics are truly weatherproof and breathable. It requires more money and effort to design a jacket that is warm but still lightweight, and technical details such as insulation, ventilation, moisture wicking and seam-sealing add more to the price of a single jacket.
However, it’s still possible to score some great deals on ski wear. You can find high-quality jackets and pants at reasonable prices when it’s not high season like summer or early fall. For example, expensive brands like Bogner usually have sales on men’s ski pants and Nordica offers boots at reasonable prices during the off-season.
Another option is to invest in “3-in-1” jackets which are offered by many brands. A good 3-in-1 jacket includes an insulated mid-layer and a waterproof shell. They cost more than regular ski jackets but the bigger upfront investment saves you money in the long run. The jacket eliminates your need to buy a sweater, vest or mid-layer fleece. Although the jackets might not have the most high-performance and technical features, they do the job of keeping people dry and warm on the slopes.
Investing in High-End Ski Wear
When deciding to invest a hefty sum of money into your ski clothing, think about what matters more to you: fashion or function? A number of brands are known for their high-end technical details while others are popular for their style cred. For example, some brands like Canada Goose offer the most cutting-edge features in ski attire. Their ski clothes are engineered for superior warmth and worn by mountaineers on Everest and scientists in the Arctic. Other brands like Bogner are popular because of their fashionable appeal. The brand designs colorful and patterned parkas that have won the hearts of experienced skiers and enthusiasts in major slopes all over the world.
In a sport that is often associated with luxury living, you’re going to pay quite a bit but when it comes to ski apparel, you get what you pay for. The most luxurious brands on the slopes aren’t just slapping logos on ski jackets and pants. In most cases, high-end ski apparel is expensive due to the strength of their design, the technical details, and the high-quality craftsmanship.
In such a diverse market, it’s hard to know where to begin shopping for ski clothes. Just remember that you don’t have to sacrifice style for substance. The most important part is finding ski wear that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable on the slopes.