I just got back from Lake Tahoe snowboarding!
Because there is a lack of snow in Socal winters, I love snow! Though it’s chilly as anything, I love the thrill of snowsports…from sledding to skiing and snowboarding.
It’s been over 8 years since I bought any new snow gear, though I really want new jacket…in black, gray, or white. Most of the time, I mix and match my gear with my mom and sis since we’re all about the same size so I don’t get bored with my snow outfit. However, when we all go up the mountain, I end up in all blue. In high school, I had this phase where I wanted everything in baby blue…and now, I feel a little silly when I have to wear that outfit. Still, it’s warm, it’s comfy and it still fits!
When I was in Tahoe, I noticed that the people who are really into snow sports have all the proper gear versus the person who just started who usually wears makeshift gear. As long as you’re warm and the clothes protect you from the elements, I think you’re fine. But sometimes, it’s nice to at least have a couple of key pieces.
As a petite, the most difficult part of snow gear shopping is finding the right pants and jacket. It’s easy to look like you’re drowning in your gear since they tend to make the clothes larger to account for additional layers. But, with a bit of research and some patience, you’ll look like you’ve lived on the mountain your whole life without breaking the bank.
So here’s a quick and dirty guide to snow-gear shopping:
- Pants: must try the girls or youth sizes because most adult women sizes are too long. It’s manageable when you’re wearing the ski/snowboarding boots, but when you’re wearing your regular shoes…the regular sizes will drag and that’s not cool. I like something simple like these Northface pants and usually the price hovers around $100. Btw, I wear stockings and leggings under the pants for added warmth….long underwear works too. (If you have a real aversion to purchasing ski pants…then wear waterproof pants with really warm long underwear.)
- Gloves: girl, youth sizes, or adult sizes are all fine as long as your hands fit in it pretty well and it’s not too large. I go for girl sizes because my hands fit better in them. Just make sure they’re water-proof and they’re easy to slip on and off. These ones from Dakine are solid.
- Jacket: it’s not absolutely essential, but it’s better to have a properly insulated jacket so you don’t have to wear as many layers. I go for the girl sizes because the sleeves are a bit shorter than the adult sizes. Also, kid’s jackets tend to be a bit boxy and not as shapely as the adult women jackets. But this one is perfect for all weather conditions and you could wear it as a regular rain jacket as well. I love jackets that you can wear for multiple weather occasions.
- Goggles: it’s not essential either, but they help when the snow conditions change. The adult sizes are pretty large on my face, so youth sizes will have to do. Orange tinted goggles are good for all weather conditions…so you can’t really go wrong with a pair from Oakley. Sunglasses will do for most clear weather conditions, just beware that they may get foggy.
- Top: long sleeved shirts, long sleeved turtlenecks, thermals…it all works. You can wear as many layers as you choose. If it’s really chilly, add a thin fleece pullover or sweatshirt. Some people opt for dri-fit style clothing to wick away moisture from your body so you don’t feel sweaty, but it’s personal preference what you’d choose to wear.
- Socks: thick socks are a must, but they don’t have to be special snow socks. Make sure that they’re about knee length and they’re warm. If you need to, you can double up if you don’t mind the extra bulk and warmth.
- Accessories: neck gaiters, neck warmers, scarves, and beanies are great things if you need additional warmth.
When it comes to snowboarding equipment, I end up in the kids’ section. I don’t mind, but there are slight differences between kid’s and adult equipment. If you’re planning to own snowboarding equipment, ask what the differences are between the youth and adult sizes. Depending on the brand, the differences can be large or slight…so do your research.