Wondering What to Wear Spring Skiing and Touring?
The best breathable, stretchy, and lightweight jackets, base layers, gloves, and accessories for your spring ski tours.
Spring skiing combines two of our favorite things: Soft snow and sunshine. The best of winter and summer, combined into one joyful season! Yet these elements require a few extra considerations while packing and layering: How can I stay cool and protected from the sun? How can I stay warm and dry from the snow? What types of gloves, hats, and other accessories will help me enjoy a full day out on the slopes? We’re here to answer those and more, with our hand-selected curation of the best spring skiing gear.
Best Base and Mid Layers for Spring Skiing
You’re likely to encounter a range of temperatures spring skiing, so you’ll need base layers that breathe well, wick fast, and layer easily whether they’re worn on their own or with a fleece.
- On colder days, the Alpine Onset Merino Collection are going to be your go-to base layers for wool warmth and durability. Merino wool is a natural material that will make sure you don’t build up sweat, you let airflow in, and you balance warmth and cool comfort when moving in the sun. These are ideal when worn underneath all of your other layers.
- On warmer days, the Echo Collection will be your favorite tops for layering and staying protected from the sun. These ultralight sun hoodies, shirts, and tanks are the perfect combo of UV protection and breathability for days when the sun’s rays are extra harsh against the snow and you want to cover up to save your skin.
- The Vigor Collection make great midlayers for layering over these base layers and under a jacket. This warm and wicking grid back fleece adds just enough weight without overheating you. The quarter-zip is a best seller and works great all year long, from cold winter cross-country skiing to summer hiking.
Best Jackets for Spring Skiing
Since it’s generally warmer weather this time of year, the best jackets for spring skiing are going to have better versatility and a lighter weight. You’ll always want to carry these layers just in case.
- SuperStrand LT Collection is your year-round insulation – hands down. This is our lightest, softest, most compressible synthetic down collection delivering four-season warmth. Wear this under a hard shell or stash it at the bottom of your pack. It’s so ultralight and packable, you’ll barely notice it’s there.
- You might not expect to see Ferrosi Collection on here, but it’s truly one of our favorite layers for warm spring tours and uphill skiing. When you just need a single jacket, choose the Ferrosi Hoodie or Anorak for lightweight breathability, durability, and weather resistance that sheds light rain and snow.
Best Bibs, Pants, and Hard Shell Pairings for Spring Skiing
Depending on your objective and the temperature outside, you can level up or down on your hard shell strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Skytour AscentShell Bibs and Jacket are an ideal pair for waterproof protection delivered by AscentShell™ technology. The electrospinning process behind this waterproof membrane is what makes them feel so lightweight, stretchy, breathable, and all around comfortable, and likely the same reason they’ve won Backpacker Editors’ Choice Gold Award and are rated as GearJunkie’s “Best Ski Jackets of 2021.”
- Women’s Carbide Bibs and Men’s Carbide Bibs were built to adapt anywhere, designed with layerability in mind depending on the conditions. Add warmer grid fleece bottoms on colder tours, or lightweight merino wool bottoms if you want less bulk. Dual side zips make it easy to vent out excess heat when the sun comes out.
- Men’s Cirque II Pants and Women’s Cirque II Pants are excellent contenders if you want a pair of soft-shell pants that you can wear skiing, or alpine climbing, or summer mountaineering. Their fit and function will reel you in, and their versatility for year-round sports will keep them at the top of your gear closet.
Related: Get to Know AscentShell Technology
Best Gloves for Spring Skiing
Fleece gloves and liners are usually all it takes to do the trick on warmer spring tours – though you’ll still want to pack a couple of extra pairs in case one wets out. Plus, each of these are so light and small, they barely take up any space.
- Merino 150 Sensor Liners, like their matching tops and bottoms, pack all the punch of merino wool into a liner glove. Odor resistant, breathable, wicking, and warmth that doesn’t hold onto the sweat and smells of other fabrics.
- Men’s Vigor Midweight Gloves and Women’s Vigor Midweight Gloves are our most popular fleece liner, complete with thermo-regulating ActiveTemp™ technology. These gloves have an anti-slip silicone grip on the palm that will grip your ski poles nicely, and the glove clip on each ensures they stay close at hand between laps on the ski hill.
- Adrenaline Gloves and Mitts – available in sizing for men, women, kids, and toddlers – are a good pair of burly ski gloves to keep on hand. After all, you never know what conditions you’ll encounter or whether you’ll need to put that snow shovel to use. Better to show up prepared.
Best Headwear Accessories and Hats for Spring Skiing
These accessories give you a blend of UPF sun protection for those harsh rays we warned you about, they’re packable and versatile for when you need them most, and they all provide different levels of warmth for your face, neck, and head.
- Neck Gaiters and Ear Bands go a long way in terms of their usefulness. Protect your ears, head, face in however way you like to wear them – in fact, the weather may make that decision for you. On sunny days, the more skin you can cover, the better.
- Caps and Trucker Hats make spring skiing a whole lot more fun, especially when you can trade in your bulky warm layers for fun colors, prints, and styles.
- And of course, a Selection of Beanies for the transition downhill is always a good idea. Pick a style that will fit under your helmet, find one that layers over your ears, or get one purely for style – the Juneau Tie Dye Beanie is a favorite for that.