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Skiing is not just a sport. It's not just a winter activity. It is a full-blown lifestyle, and if you know any hardcore skiers in your life, you know exactly what we are talking about. Like surfers, or a middle school friend group, being a skier involves an entire new vocabulary and way of life.
With the holidays and ski season upon us, there's a pretty good chance you might find yourself looking for a gift for the ski bum in your life. If you are shopping for a hardcore athlete, know that how stuff performs in the snow, on the mountain, and over time is going to trump aesthetics as far as gear goes. This also means that a lot of the gear is very expensive. Which is great for you, because gift giving is about showing your loved ones how much they mean. And a pricey gear upgrade? That shows them they mean a lot.
Then once they're off the slopes, there's Après Ski culture. Aesthetics absolutely matter here. in fact, this is all aesthetics. A cozy hoodie will do it, but a stylish winter coat will really do it. Winter sneakers will do the job, but some more rugged, fashionable boots will turn heads. Oh, and there's some stuff for when they get home from hitting the slopes, too. Here are our favorites that'll make them feel seen just in time for the holidays.
Rechargeable Hand Warmers
Hand warmers are good, and rechargeable ones are even better.
KOALA 2.0 Super-Grip Smartphone Harness
This phone harness is good for skiers and clumsies alike. It grips to your phone and connects to your jacket pocket (or wherever you want it) so you don't drop your phone off a lift. Or into a subway track.
Ski Strap and Pole Carrier
Carrying skis is an absolute pain in the ass, no matter how long you've been doing it or not. Don't have an ego. Get them a strap.
Sloping Ski Glasses
Because fun glasses are better than boring glasses.
This can be for décor or for using at parties or for both. At après bars, these four-person skis with four holes for taking a team shot together are one of the main modes of bonding.
Cottonwoods GORE-TEX Bibs
Great bibs are a godsend, and typically more comfortable than a pair of snow pants. This pair from Backcountry is as good as they get.
Ski Trip Candle
For those days, weeks, or months they can't hit the slopes, transport them back to the mountain with this Homesick candle. The smell of cool air hooks them, followed by the smokey-sweet smell of the lodge, and it's all backed by that winter woodsy cedar, vanilla, patchouli base.
Merino 250 Baselayer Crew
The all important baselayer. It's got to keep you warm. It's got to wick away sweat. Smartwool's 250 weight is plenty to keep you toasty, and the merino wool build means it's naturally moisture-wicking and odor-reducing. Dare we say, the perfect baselayer.
Merino 250 Bottom
Oh! And they come in bottoms.
Nuptse Après Booties
When the Apès Ski look gets a bit fussy, throw in some crazy-looking technical booties. The look instantly pivots from "child of a Swiss banker," to "explorer at Everest basecamp." A welcome swerve.
I/O MAG Chromapop Goggles
A skier is only as good as their goggles. Sort of. But with these, they're going to be on their best game. The goggles even come with a replacement lens for cloudy days.
When you think of ski apparel, we'd be willing to bet that something like this comes to mind. It's good for both on and off the slopes.
Hestra Gloves Fall Line Mittens - Women's
Real skiers will tell you that mittens are where it's at. They will actually keep your hands warm, and ain't no mittens that'll keep them warm like Hestra leather ones.
Ski Gear Ornament
So that their tree can reflect their love of skiing. It's a necessity for the ski fam.
A neck gaiter is essential for the slopes. It keeps your warm on cold days, and it protects your face and neck from the harsh rays on sunny days. Get a gift that does both.
Snowboard Colorado Socks
Half of the battle are the socks. Make sure that they have a pair of compression, cushioned ones that are going to keep their toes toasty.
Ski Happy Hour Gift Set
Their bar cart needs some love, too. With a shot ski, wooden skis, and shot glasses, and bar tools in this sled holder really cover all the bases. Oh, plus you can add a monogram for a personal touch.
Who needs boring old numbers to tell the time? No one.
Every crew needs a bagman. Show appreciation to yours with this perfectly sized 20-liter pack—just enough space for phones, wallets, snacks, and waters. Straps across the pack face allow for vertical or horizontal snowboard carrying, or use the deployable diagonal ski-carry system.
Ski Wine and Whiskey Decanter
To complete the day of skiing, a nightcap. Make sure their spirit of choice is housed appropriately in this decanter.
Also good: a good helmet. Put an end to their renting of helmets forever. It will change their life.
Apres Ski Puzzle
They might not be able to make it out to the mountain every day, so give them an activity that they can do within their own home. This 1,000-piece puzzle should keep them busy.
Smartwool's super-thin beanie is what they actually will want to wear under a helmet. It won't make the helmet feel hella tight.
Ski Lift Candle
Another candle, yes, but we couldn't resist this one. Come on, it's so freaking cute.
Double Roller Mini
Massage guns are all the rage, rightfully so. But sometimes, nothing hits a sore muscle like a foam roller. This clever pair of rollers from Lululemon packs down incredibly easy.
Titanium Flask L
We're not going to tell that hey miiiight like a little swig on the slopes, nothing crazy. A titanium flask won't weight them down, and, more importantly, won't be damaged in the event of a wipeout.
WPZ2 Rugged Digital Camera
There's no science to this, but pics of a point-and-shoot, even a digital one, just come out infinitely better than phone camera images. Plus, this Nikon WPZ2 is shockproof and waterproof, so no worries about the abuse it'll get on the slopes.
Ski Polo Bear 42mm Steel Watch
Sick and tired of seeing the Polo bear on sweaters. Put the lil guy skiing on a watch? We're all in.
Instinct 2 Solar
That little Apple Watch is cute, but it can handle the slopes. Get something a little more rugged, like this solar-charging GPS smartwatch from Garmin.
Patagonia Classic Retro-X Jacket
If you're not looking to spend Loro Piana cashmere money on a gift, a classic Patagonia Retro X is a great, affordable jacket for around the lodge.
Cool Lock with Cable
Sad truth is that with all the skis lined up at the bottom of the slope, swiping a pair—by mistake or on purpose—is questionably easy. Give them some protection.
Ribbed Colorblock Balaclava
We love turning a balaclava, a purely functional accessory, into something good looking. This Verloop option does that at a very affordable price.
Nothing like the sore muscles that follow a long day of skiing. This mini Theragun is small enough to pack right in their bag for instant relief.
Chamonix II Jacket
Perfect Moment's ski jackets are, first of all, just plain cool. Second of all, they do work in protecting you from the snow and the cold with PrimaLoft insulation, a powder skirt that keeps the snow out, and a built-in balaclava.
You can rely on Canada Goose for just about anything when it comes to being outside in the dead of winter. The brand recently launched new footwear. These journey boots are waterproof and treaded.
Pro Light Performance Salopette
For your favorite ski gal, gift her just about anything from Sweat Betty's ski collection. We're partial to these stretchy, wind- and waterproof salopettes.
Polartec Sherpa ½ Zip
Cuts is best known for its great everyday tees, but they are venturing into some outerwear pieces, too. For a sherpa that works as either a base layer or for après, this is it.
Control Baselayer Leggings
Gift to the guy who refuses to upgrade his current base layer bottoms. He will thank you.
Merino 200 Oasis Glove Liners
Glove liners can seem like an unnecessary expense until you go ski for more than 10 minutes. These merino wool liners prevent from having very cold and unhappy fingers.
IMO, listening to music while skiing is an absolute hazard but people love it. If that's for you, do it with AirPods Pro that won't die halfway through the day.
City Sweat Pullover Hoodie
Also good for changing into: an easy, warm, stretchy hoodie.
For those who rip, a GoPro for them to document it. Also recommended for those who backcountry ski.
Nano Puff Jacket
The thing about loving an outdoor sport is that they have to be ready for outdoor conditions. This Patagonia puffer is thin but impossibly warm and is an essential for all future ski trips.
Aspen Style by Aerin Lauder hardcover book
For those who love the après-ski culture, get them a stylish coffee table book, of course.
Vacuum Insulated Mug
Real skiers know that you have to hit the freshies before they get tracked out, and that requires getting to the mountain early. Which, in fact, means being caffeinated with a warm beverage in hand.
Alpha 3.0 Jacket
Helly Hansen ski jackets are an investment piece and they are absolutely worth the money for the serious skier.
The best part about skiing is taking off ski boots and I won't hear otherwise. These fur-lined, waterproof Uggs are the best winter boots on the planet and an absolute dream to change into after a long day.
All-Purpose Performance Calf Sock (3-Pack)
Skiing is weird because it's cold (probably) but you are probably also sweating. A pack of comfy socks to change into after the day is done is a gift that keeps on giving.
Wicked Good Slippers
This is the après-ski vibe we are talking about. Soft, durable, warm slippers. Preferably by a fire with an IPA, thank yah.
Beta LT Pant Hadron
Pretty much anything from Arc'teryx is going to be good for anything outdoors, but these snow pants are virtually indestructible.
Epic Pass gives them season access to mountains across the country that participate. This is a great gift for someone who wants to ski more often or needs an excuse to try new mountains. One for them, one for you.
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