This season's best ski and snowboard kit: everything you need to know

Lucy Aspden
The essential guide to getting ready for the slopes - Adrian Myers

Having the right kit can make or break a ski holiday, but with so much choice on the high street, it’s hard to know where to begin.

With the ski season now off to a flying start, with record amounts of snow falling across Europe, now’s the perfect time to make sure you have everything sorted before your next trip to the mountains.

What clothing will I need for a ski holiday?

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes… or so the song goes. It’s a good way to make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need on the slopes.

Whether it’s a pair of socks with extra cushioning or gloves that have the perfect balance of warmth, waterproofing and dexterity, layers to keep you warm or a new jacket to last you the distance, our in-depth reviews of all this season’s best kit will help narrow down your search.

Make sure you don’t lose out on the style stakes either with our pick of the 14 best outfits to wear on the slopes this season, with choices for everyone from young guns to those looking to add a spot of luxury to their winter wardrobe.

The 14 best outfits to wear on the slopes this winter

What other equipment is essential?

Since they're now lighter, slimline and more comfortable to wear than ever, there's really no excuse for not wearing a helmet on the slopes – and for many winter sport insurance policies it’s now compulsory. Be prepared with the best new models to suit all budgets.

Goggles are another essential, and new technologies are introduced every season, such as minimal frames and light-responsive lenses, so there’s a lot to choose from. Our reviews can recommend the right pair for you.

Some skiers and snowboarders choose to ride with a backpack. Whether you’re carrying off-piste safety equipment or just a spare base layer and a packed lunch, it’s worth asking if you might need one on the slopes.

What to buy | The best ski and snowboard kit for 2018

I want to buy my own skis or a new snowboard – where should I begin?

The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard ski test, which takes place every winter, puts over 300 of the newest models through their paces in order to find the best skis for men and women.

The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard team put the latest skis through their paces Credit: Adrian Myers

Consult our guide to find out everything you need to know before buying new skis, including guides to each type of ski and advice on what level of skier you might be, plus a handy jargon buster.

For those of you who prefer one plank instead of two, the results from our annual snowboard test will help – whether you spend your time roaming the mountain or head straight to the park, the experts have tested all the latest models so you don’t have to.

Ski holidays | The essential packing list

As for boots, where do I start?

Investing in a pair of boots that fit right and suit your ability is essential to a hassle-free ski holiday. There are many factors to consider when shopping around, such as how experienced you are, whether you prefer park, powder or piste, your weight and your goals – an expert fitter can help you assess all this and measure your foot shape and size.

Our round-ups of the best ski boots for men and women showcase the best new models for this winter, and our useful buying guide will answer all the questions you might have before you invest.

Finding the right pair of ski boots can be daunting Credit: adrian myers

For snowboarders, the same applies – our expert reviews of the latest boots, whether you’re a hard-charging expert or an up-and-coming freestyler, will make a great starting point before you start shopping.

What other technology might help me out on the slopes?

Every season a whole host of new gadgets and gizmos are launched to help tech-savvy skiers and snowboarders stay one turn ahead on the slopes. Whether it’s the latest action cameras, wearables or apps for your smartphone, check out all the high-tech kit you’ll want to own this season here.

Incredible high-tech ski and snowboard kit you'll want to own

How do I make sure I’m buying the right product?

Learning the lingo before you embark on your winter sports shopping bonanza can help you make sure you find the perfect fit and also speed up the process.

To help you understand all the techy terms used in reviews when you're looking for new kit, our buying guides for jackets, helmets, goggles, gloves, boots, skis and snowboards are here to act as your handy shopping companion.