Best Ski Accessories – 2021 List!
To make the most out of your time on the slopes, you need the right ski accessories. Cold-weather sports demand that you take a few things into consideration: staying warm, safe, and comfortable. We made sure to select gear that checks all of these boxes. On this list, you will find your basic ski gear such as poles and goggles, but also emergency gear and warm clothing to keep you safe and toasty. Whether you are hitting up the bunny slopes or trekking out into the mountains, being prepared will ensure that you will have a great time.
In the guide, we have provided a list of essential ski accessories that both novices and veterans need for chilly winter adventures. The only thing missing is the post-ski hot chocolate!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
Great overall fit
Comfort fleece lining and ear pads
Great protection with shock-absorbing core
- OutdoorMaster KELVIN Ski Helmet
- Sireck Cold Weather Balaclava
- Athletico Ski Boot Bag
- Tecnica Mach 120 MV
- PHOOZY Apollo II Series Thermal Phone Case
- Triple Eight T8 Bumsaver
- LEKI Rider Ski Pole
- Hestra Army Leather Heli Glove
- Smith Optics Goggles
- Glove and Mitten Clips
- Mammut Flip Removable Airbag 3.0
- Eurosocks OTC Socks
- Backcountry Access Stash Backpack
- Toko All in One Wax
- Icebreaker Oasis Midweight Base Layer
Top Ten Ski Accessories
1. OutdoorMaster KELVIN Ski Helmet
Great overall fit
Comfort fleece lining and ear pads
Great protection with shock-absorbing core
Not for kids
If you’re looking for a helmet that is not only easy to wear but offers superior protection, the Ski Helmet by Outdoor Master is the best one.Read more
The construction of this helmet is built to protect your head with strength, and the bonus is that it is also lightweight. Weighing in at 1.21 pounds, you won't feel weighed down with it on.
To ensure your maximum safety, this helmet complies with EN1077 standards and is comprised of a reinforced ABS shell and shock absorbing core.
This is a helmet built for performance. To get the perfect fit, you simply adjust an easy-to-use dial. To keep the helmet in great condition and odor-free, there is a removable fleece liner and removable fleece liner, so they can be washed.
Along with allowing you a customized fit, the OutdoorMaster Ski Helmet PRO is built to feel great in any weather, as it includes an all-weather airflow climate control.
Clearly, this is an accessory that should be used by all skiers! If you are looking for a highly durable, yet lightweight helmet that allows for maximum airflow, this is your helmet. It also comes with a one-year warranty to ensure your satisfaction.
2. Sireck Cold Weather Balaclava
Breathable mouth panel
Easy to layer
Fits tightly for some
Protecting your face from cold and wind is a must-have for any ski adventure. Many balaclavas out there on the market are only designed to protect your head from cold, but this one from Sireck protects your face from the wind as well. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
One of the reasons that we selected this design is because it has smart features designed especially for cold-weather athletes. The mouth section is composed of a thinner wind-resistant material that keeps cold air and winds out but still allows you to breathe.
Another thing that makes this design ideal for the slopes is that it is composed of a stretchy type of material that makes it great for all sizes and shapes of heads, and also makes it easier to pop on a helmet or other gear on top of this base layer for your head. Plus, the top section is able to fold back if you simply want to wear it around your neck.
Protecting your face from the wind and sun is essential out there on the slopes, and this balaclava from Sireck is made specifically for skiers. It is made from wind-resistant materials that keep the cold air out, but it is thin and versatile enough to layer under other bulky winter gear as well. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
3. Athletico Ski Boot Bag
Plenty of capacity
Easy to access important equipment and boots
Multiple ways to carry
Zippers could be a bit stronger and more durable
In addition to having plenty of room for your boots and gear, this ski boot bag has a number of well thought out features. These include such things as lumbar support for when being used as a backpack, padded handles, an area secured with a bungee cord to allow easy access to your goggles and gloves, and reflective piping on the side for when visibility is a concern.Read more
The fabric used in this ski bag is fairly durable, and there was little evidence of the bag ripping or tearing with normal or even frequent use. However, there were a number of reports of the zippers failing, especially when the bag was filled to capacity.
This bag is nice since it can be carried in quite a few different ways. It can be carried slung over the shoulder, by hand with two strong grips, or as a full backpack, with handles that can be easily stored in one of the zippered pockets.
The bag itself is made from high-density polyester material that resists water and wind damage. In addition, it features a number of grommets that can be used for venting or draining water from the snow. In total, it has an amazing 4050 cubic inches of room in the interior that is divided into three compartments, a main one in the center and two others along the sides. It’s enough room to easily store your boots, gloves, helmet, wax, goggles, and a scarf or two to keep the chill away.
The Athletico Ski Boot Bag is waterproof and a great way to store not only your boots but also most of your skiing equipment when you travel.
4. Tecnica Mach 120 MV
Great customizable fit
Swappable soles for fitting into other ski bindings
Doesn’t fit wide feet as easily
If both skis and poles are essential to a great downhill run, a pair of quality ski boots are just as important. While there are quite a few to choose from, we found that the Mach 1 120 MV ski boots from Tecnica proved to be one of the best on the market today.Read more
Overall, the performance of this boot is one of the best we’ve seen in the freestyle and all-mountain ski categories. They are powerful, responsive, gave great feedback from the snow, whether it’s a powder or packed tight. It also features a swappable sole, so fitting into different ski fittings isn’t that much of an issue.
This particular pair of ski boots is remarkably different than most others in that it is designed from the inside out to fit the foot of the skier first. For the most part, this has created a more customized fit that most people with narrow to average feet can enjoy. However, if you have slightly wide feet, the boots may be a bit uncomfortable for you.
The NFS Celliant EHV liner is paired with a polyester cuff and a durable PU shell. These boots feature a fiberglass rear spine and an upright feel to them, which provides a great deal of overall support and stability as you maneuver down the slope. Most people found these boots to be very comfortable overall, and with the shock-absorbing heel, there is little chance of any serious discomfort.
5. PHOOZY Apollo II Series Thermal Phone Case
Protects your battery life
Great for summer as well
More expensive than expected
We all know what happens to the battery on your phone when subject to super cold temperatures. You leave the house with a full charge to take on the day, and right around lunchtime, you are left with a dead battery. This phone case acts like a little puffer jacket for your phone to keep it warm and cozy so that the cold air doesn’t zap your battery. Plus, it has other features to protect your phone while you are active all day long.Read more
This case works by completely surrounding your phone in a patented chromium thermal barrier that protects your device from the cold and heat. It works the same way your winter coat helps to hold in heat, which means no more dead batteries around lunchtime! Plus, it protects your phone in other ways as well.
This little case is also shock-resistant, so if you take a spill on the slopes you can feel confident that your phone is protected from the fall. It also works as a flotation device that protects your phone from water damage as well. Don’t worry, this super strong barrier around your phone won’t affect its cellular coverage as you play outdoors this winter.
While you may feel compelled to leave your phone at the lodge or cabin, keeping it on you means that you will be able to call for help if needed. This thermal case will help protect your expensive phone in more ways than one and comes in a wide variety of color options. Plus, it’s a great case to take with you on your warm-weather adventures as well!
6. Triple Eight T8 Bumsaver
Removable pads for easy washing
Fits true to size
Great butt and hip protection for any sport
No cup pouch for men
Mesh material is thin
These shorts from Triple Eight will literally save your bum (and hips) from nasty bruises and pain caused by falling. They are made from comfortable and stretchy mesh material with EVA foam panels. Whether you are new to the sport or overly-cautious, this is a great accessory for you.Read more
Most reviewers have high hopes and good experiences with the material and durability of these shorts. The compression material is slightly thin but seems to hold up. If the shorts rip, there is a ninety-day warranty period offered by Triple Eight.
A better question is, what can these not be used for? If you are learning how to ski or are overly cautious, these are made for you. They provide great padding throughout your tailbone, hips, and thighs, keeping you from feeling the force of a nasty fall. They fit easily under a pair of ski pants and will save you from bruises and aches. Some male reviewers have been disappointed in the fact that there is no cup pouch.
The primary material of the shorts is made from form-fitting mesh. This gives you a tight yet comfortable fit without cutting off your circulation. The pads are made from shock-absorbing EVA foam. The pads are removable, making the shorts easy to wash.
7. LEKI Rider Ski Pole
Trigger release system for added safety
Fits most skiers without trouble
No straps to get caught on the chairlift, etc
Not only do ski poles make traveling downhill faster and easier, but they are also great for helping to maintain your balance, and can be a real asset in emergency situations. One of our favorites so far is the Leki Stealth Ski Pole.Read more
While not the strongest poles we’ve seen, the lightweight aluminum poles offer a great deal of strength and resistance to breakage. These poles are fairly average in weight for most ski poles, weighing about 2-3 pounds each. It has enough heft to make them solid companions while on the slope, but light enough to be easily carried.
These poles fit remarkably well in the hand. When measured using the standard methods, most people’s elbow joint easily reaches the 90 degrees necessary for proper fit. The Leki S Stealth Pole is best suited for downhill skiing and features a great safety feature that makes it a great choice.
Essentially, there is a trigger system that allows you to easily disengage the pole when an injury is possible, so you can just let ii go if necessary.
The shaft is made from lightweight yet very sturdy aluminum. The shaft does add a bit more weight than you’d see in competition poles, but most people don’t notice it.
8. Hestra Army Leather Heli Glove
Easy to use with most ski poles
Tough leather palm and protective shell
Could keep your hands warmer
Downhill skiing can definitely be rough on the hands. So having a pair of quality ski gloves can definitely be an asset when you’re enjoying the sport. There are lots of different types to choose from, but when it comes to protection and overall dexterity, it’s hard to beat the Army Leather Heli Ski and Ride Glove with Gauntlet from Hestra.Read more
If you need a reliable and quality pair of ski gloves that will work well on the slopes and off, this option will certainly do the trick. While quite a few people felt the need to use a liner glove for warmth, overall most found these gloves more than accommodating.
These gloves will easily fit most ski poles and feature the ability to lock into the poles using a combination of Velcro closure, carabiners, and wrist cuffs if needed. Overall they have decent manual dexterity and are designed to have an “eagle grip” construction which encourages the hands to naturally curve around the ski pole or other objects to aid in gripping.
The outer shell of these gloves features a combination of goat leather and breathable tri-layer polyamide fabric. The inner portions have a removable Bernberg/polyester lining with fiberfill and polyester insulation. Most people, about 83 % found these gloves to fit as they expected.
The leather material and the tri-layer polyamide fabric worked well in protection against debris and ice, and the gloves certainly blocked a great deal of wind and water from reaching the hand and wrists through the gloves and gauntlet.
9. Smith Optics Goggles
Great and comfortable fit
Large, wide-angled lenses for great visibility
When you’re traveling downslope and the powder is flying around you in your wake, the last thing you want is poor visibility. The I/O goggles from Smith Optics not only offers fantastic visibility but also the ability to change out lenses quickly and easily.Read more
The outer lenses of these goggles feature Carbonic X material that is molded to provide for significant impact and scratch resistance. They meet Class 1 Optical Standards, as well as ANSI Z87.1 standards as well. Necessarily these glasses will offer the same protection from debris as you would expect to get from your standard safety glasses.
The overall shape provides for a wide-angled view of the surrounding landscape, with very little of the vision being obscured by the frame or the nose piece. Also, the lens is spherical, providing for the reduction of fog in the inside of the goggles.
These ski goggles are designed for a medium fit and don’t offer that much for adjustability, so if you need something remarkably larger or smaller, you might want to explore other options. However, the extra wide band and the cushioning around the eyepieces do make for a reasonably comfortable fit. They are specifically designed to work with many of the ski helmets on the market today. The overall shape can easily fit within the helmet’s paradigm, and won’t interfere with the protection that the helmet offers.
These goggles have a surprising number of features including the ability to easily change out the inner lenses with a simple snap, a Vaporator Lens Technology System, three-layer Dri-Wix Foam material for added comfort, and a microfiber goggle bag to name a few. Overall the features make them are a great overall choice for versatility and functionality on the slopes.
10. Glove and Mitten Clips
Easy to use
Very strong elastic
Clips don’t work on smooth material
If you have kids that love to ski, chances are a mitten or glove has been lost along the way. If you don’t want that to happen again, one option is to attach a pair of clips to connect the wayward glove to the coat sleeve. One of the best we’ve seen so far for this job is the Glove Clip.Read more
The elastic band between the two clips is relatively stable but still allows for enough stretch to make it easy to put the gloves on or take them off with too much hassle. The strength of the grip for the clips is solid, especially if it is clipped into rougher fabrics like knitwear or cotton.
The overall design of these clips is simple enough, and there were no indications of serious problems with fraying or deterioration over time.
While these clips don’t grip well on smooth material, for the most part, they work remarkably well at any other time. In truth, these clips can easily be used by men, women as well as children to keep their gloves and mittens from being lost. Also, they have enough strength overall to be used to keep other items connected.
11. Mammut Flip Removable Airbag 3.0
Survival tools included
Easy to deploy
If you plan on hitting the bunny slopes this winter, the Mammut Airbag most likely won’t be necessary. However, if you like to really explore the mountains far away from any lodge, this bag can save your life. Not only does it come with an easy-deployable airbag, but it also packs in a few safety tools to help you stay alive and safe in the face of an avalanche.Read more
The main feature of this pack is the airbag tucked inside. The airbag is attached to a gas canister, and one canister works for one deployment. If you need to use it again, you simply need to replace the canister. Users find that this pack is a little unintuitive, so be sure to explore all pockets before heading out!
We also like that it comes with extra tools and pockets to store essential survival gear such as ice picks. Don’t worry, it is also functional as a daily pack as well. The exterior host’s loops and buckles to mount extra gear such as your helmet, skis, and poles.
If you love to head far into the mountains to explore, this pack from Mammut is a must-have to keep you safe when disaster strikes. Deploying the airbag is as simple as pulling a drawcord, and can be done even when wearing big and bulky mittens. Just be sure that you explore all pockets and compartments before heading out to the mountain!
12. Eurosocks OTC Socks
Wicks moisture away
Comfortable to wear in ski boots
Could be more durable
If you want a pair of socks that will help you keep your feet dry and warm, you’ll want to take a look at the Eurosocks Ski Zone OTC socks.Read more
These socks offer great overall support through the use of elastic arch bands, ankle braces, and flat knit construction. The socks are form-fitting and are designed to offer the maximum amount of support with the least amount of bulk. While some may find the overall thickness a bit bulky, the cushioning in the heel, toe, and calf areas do help quite a bit on the comfort levels.
While the exact materials are not listed, these Italian-made socks are most likely made from a blend of synthetic materials. The majority of people found these socks to be well-fitting, with only a small minority finding them to be a bit larger than expected. K
The socks use micro-supreme technology to help create superior wicking and self-drying capabilities. While the system seems to work well for some, other users found them to be somewhat ineffective.
13. Backcountry Access Stash Backpack
Small and compact
Dedicated goggle pocket
Difficult to access gear at the bottom
If you are heading out to the mountains for a full day of skiing, you need a good backpack. There are a ton of basic packs out there on the market, but this design from Backcountry is specifically designed with skiers in mind. It has a ton of internal storage and has exterior hooks for poles, picks, helmets, and ski. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
The reason that we selected this design from Backcountry is that it is packed with additional features to stash all of your gear for quick and easy access. For instance, it boasts a side goggle pocket that is the perfect size and is lined with fleece so it won’t scratch your Smith Optics Goggles. It also has a dedicated pocket for essential tools such as an ice pick, saw, and shovel (not included).
Inside, it hosts a large central pocket to store all of your essential gears. Users love that the myriad of pockets makes accessing your gear quick and easy. It also boasts a slim design that makes boarding the lifts a lot easier and has a strap system that evenly distributes the weight of your pack so that it won’t weigh you down too much when wearing it all day long.
This design from Backcountry is a great pack choice that is made specifically for those hitting the slopes. It has a lot of features that provide a great place to stash all of your gear, and it is small and compact enough to make getting on and off the lifts quick and easy.
14. Toko All in One Wax
Wide temperature rating
Great glide coefficient
Application needs heat to be successful
When it comes to downhill skiing, the smoothness of the bottom of your skis will often help determine how fast and how well you ski. So having a quality glide wax or grip wax is important for overall performance. One of the best we’ve found so far is the Toko All in One Wax Rub Wax.Read more
If you’re looking for a universal wax that can help keep your skis gliding efficiently, then the Toko All in One Hot Wax is something to consider. While the application may be a bit problematic without a viable heat source, overall, this is a great find.
This wax type falls quickly into the glide category and is designed to get you down to the bottom of the hill safely and quickly. Also, the wax helps you maintain your skis and protect them from the wear and tear often seen in downhill skiing.
This wax has a base of paraffin materials which makes it easy to melt overall and apply to the base of your skis as needed. The one drawback that we found to this ski wax product is that it can be sometimes hard to apply touch-ups as needed since it does need a heat source, such as iron to get the job done.
This wax can be used effectively in a wide range of temperatures, namely between 50 degrees and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike most universal temperature waxes, this one is genuinely biodegradable without the addition of fluorine, which can be harmful to the environment.
15. Icebreaker Oasis Midweight Base Layer
100 percent merino wool
Layers, layers, layers! If you want to stay warm without hindering your full range of motion, thoughtful layers are a must. What we love most about this base layer from Icebreaker is that it is made from super-lightweight materials that hold in the heat without holding you back.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it is made from 100 percent merino wool. Other brands offer a smaller percentage of merino, which is why we selected this design for our list. This design does an excellent job at holding in heat, and the merino wool used is super soft, comfortable, and won’t cut off the circulation to your feet!
This design also boasts a few smart features to keep you comfortable while out on the slopes. It is gusseted to help you maintain a full range of motion that will not ride up or bunch as you move. It also boasts flatlock seam lines that won’t dig into your skin when layered under other gear.
The key to staying warm in extreme temperatures starts and ends with a good base layer. This design from Icebreaker is ideal not only because the merino wool traps in heat, but also because it is constructed in a way that will not limit your full range of motion or fit too tightly.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One factor that we considered was whether or not the item would be durable or tough enough to withstand a skier’s life. The colder temperatures, the snow, ice, and even wind can undoubtedly do some significant damage to your skis, not to mention the acrobatics that downhill skiing sometimes produces. Whatever you take with you to the slopes needs to be strong enough to survive the slopes.
For the most part, the items on our list are very reliable and robust when it comes to withstanding a skier’s life.
Another factor we considered when looking for the best ski accessories was how practical or useful an item was to the average skier. There is a lot to choose from in the accessory department, and not everything that you see in the stores should be on the slopes or in the ski lodge in our opinion.
Therefore, making sure something is both easy to use and serves a useful purpose for the average skier is essential. Everything we listed here may not be crucial, but it certainly does make things a lot easier.
Often how well something functions is much dependent on not only how well it’s made, but also the material that it is made from. Since the best ski accessories need to function well, this is one area that we took into consideration. With only a few minor exceptions, the items presented here are made from quality fabrics and materials such as leather, rip-stop nylon material, stainless steel, and high strength fiberglass.
Also, these items are well made, often featuring reinforcement, targeted cushioning, and seams or junction points that easily withstand the wear and tear that the average skier encounters.
Being prepared for the weather can make your day that much better. For some of the items on this list, we looked into their insulation capabilities, breathability, or how well they function in cold temperatures.
That being said, it’s important to remember that with a little effort, you can predict and sometimes plan for the overall conditions that you can encounter on a particular slope. Some paths are known to feature snow that is hard-packed and difficult to maneuver through. Others feature fresh powder that although easy to glide through, can create havoc with your visibility.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Just like the need to consider how well you ski when choosing your skis, your skill level on the slopes can play a role in choosing which accessories to use. Items such as your poles, gloves, goggles, and yes, even your boots can and will change depending on your experience level and expertise in the different downhill ski environments.
A ski jacket, pants, skis, and boots are crucial but don't forget about a great set of base layers. Base layers will warm you up from the core and allow you to continue cruising the slopes for much longer!
Other Factors to Consider
If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, you'll want to consider one of the more versatile products on our list. Many of these items can easily be used for skiing or snowboarding, but some can even be used beyond that. The ski poles, for example, can also be used as trekking poles in the winter or summer. The ski helmet can be used for a number of winter sports, including street sports, such as BMX or skateboarding. Investing in a versatile product is a great way to save money and enjoy more time engaging in your favorite outdoor sport.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are all these ski accessories really necessary?
Well, no, not everything on this list is vital. However, they do make the skiing experience much more fun and enjoyable overall. What we’ve presented here are the items that we’ve found to be the most practical and useful on the slopes over the years.
q: How will I know what ski accessories I will need on a given day?
Each ski area will provide what is called a conditions report. This report provides daily and sometimes hourly information about the characteristics of the slopes and the ski conditions on that particular day. This information can include temperature, snow depth, and type, the probability of avalanches and wind speed. Most skiers use this information to put together a package of ski accessories that are best suited for their needs at the time.
q: Do I need to carry a first aid pack while skiing?
While the chance of being injured while skiing does exist, the likelihood of being seriously injured on most slopes and having to administer first aid yourself is relatively slim. Most ski resorts have a dedicated team of ski patrol professionals that monitor the slopes for situations where people have been injured, and they have been trained to administer first aid effectively.
If you are comfortable carrying the extra weight and bulk that a first aid kit has while skiing downhill, by all means, do so. But realize that it not often an essential ski accessory.
q: How often should I replace my ski helmet?
You must protect your head with an adequate helmet when hitting the slopes. When it comes to knowing when your helmet needs to be replaced, it is best, to begin with checking with the specific manufacturer of it to see what they suggest. However, in general, it is suggested that you change your helmet every five years.
With that being said, make sure to give your helmet a good and thorough inspection before and after its use. If you have taken a severe spill in your helmet, it very well may need replacing.
Also, it is worth noting that even if you have never fallen on your head while wearing it, the materials of the helmet can begin to deteriorate and become less useful over time. In short, be sure to check out your helmet’s construction as often as possible to make sure it is still in good form. When in doubt, check with a trusted sport’s professional.
q: Should I wax my own skis?
Waxing your skis regularly is an excellent idea. The sleeker your wax, the easier it is to turn and handle what’s ahead of you. Furthermore, a good wax job protects your skis from abrasions. If this sounds like something you want in your skiing experience, it’s worth learning how to wax your skis by yourself.
To begin waxing your skis, make sure that the bases of them are clean, and this can be done using a proper solvent. You will also want to make sure that the edges are ready to go, meaning they don’t need any work. If your edges do need some maintenance, make sure to do this before waxing them. Next, you will want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for waxing. Not to worry, though, many people opt to wax their skis, so it is doable with little to no hassle.