Nobody knows how to dress for a day of cold-weather skiing better than Veronica Paulsen. During the winter, the professional big mountain skier spends much of her time hucking herself off natural features in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (where she became the first woman to land a backflip at the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s, an annual invitational that sees some of the world’s top skiers and riders pull off ariel tricks by throwing themselves off the famous schute surrounded by narrow rock walls.) Paulsen is intimately familiar with the best ski gear on the market, so we asked for her reccs on the best ski gloves, goggles, helmets, and more.
Whether you’re a full on ski-bum who revels in the knee-deep powder or a green circle beginner who just wants to stay warm and dry until après hour starts, Paulsen says when it comes to shopping for ski gear, it’s best to invest in high-quality products that do the job, even if you have to throw down a little more cash. “Do your research,” says Paulsen. “This is the gear that is going to protect you from the harsh mountain elements so make sure it works.” Here are her picks for the best ski gloves, the best ski goggles, the best ski helmet, and more.
When it comes to keeping your fingers from going numb, Paulsen recommends Hestra’s Leather Fall Line 3 Finger Glove, which comes with a leather balm to make them waterproof as well. Many avid skiers are diehard Hestra fans because the Swedish brand’s gloves are known to last and feel like sleeping bags for your hands. “Having the full leather glove keeps your hands warm in freezing temperatures,” adds Paulsen about this particular model. “Plus having the extra dexterity for your index finger makes it easier to do whatever you need to do whether it’s zipping jackets, adjusting goggles, etc., while keeping your gloves on.”
Paulsen swears by POC’s orb clarity goggles, which come with an anti-fog treatment that helps keep your line of sight clear when hitting those moguls or cruising the groomers on snow days. “They come in lots of colors, they fit with my helmet well, and they have an interchangeable lens system, so you can change the lens depending on the light for the day,” says Paulsen. (Changing out the lens can help with both flat light on cloudy days or filter out the bright sun on bluebird mornings.)
“I wear the POC Fornix Spin. POC makes one of the most protective helmets on the market. Their patented “Spin” technology adds protection from rotational impacts, which can cause brain injuries. Plus, the helmet is lightweight and has air vents to cool you off when you’re hiking.” For those who don’t want to take off your gloves if you need to loosen or tighten the helmet, there’s an easy adjustable button in the back that makes sizing a breeze.
“Contrary to popular belief, wearing thick socks in your ski boots can impede your circulation and actually make your feet colder,” says Paulsen who prefers Fits Ultra-light versions. These socks are made of merino wool and are best paired with a tighter-fitting boot. “I love this brand because the socks come in cool colors and patterns and the thickness is perfect.”
“Kari Traa has exploded in the women’s ski market this year,” says Paulsen about the Norwegian Olympic skier’s wildly popular base layer brand. “All of its base layers are 100% merino wool, are super warm, and they come in the cutest nordic inspired patterns.”
“I never leave the house without a neck warmer and Skida makes the coziest ones, in a million different styles to choose from.” This option has a microfleece lining and bandanna-like style, plus it’s snow and sleet resistant.
When you’re ready to take off those ski boots at the end of a physically exhausting day on the slopes, you’ll want a comfortable pair of water resistant shoes to slip on that has zero buckles, laces or anything that might restrict your feet again. “I finally got a pair of puffy booties this year, and I can safely say that I wear these everyday to the mountain.” says Paulsen about these faux-fur-lined boots. “Taking my ski boots off at the end of the day and slipping into these warm booties is unbeatable.