protective equipment for freeride skiing

Basic Protective Equipment For Freeride Skiing: Checklist

Freeride skiing isn’t for the faint-hearted. It is a thrilling type of skiing that’s done on natural terrain, which is quite different from what you’d find in a snow park. Freeride skiing is much more challenging and risky. While enjoying freeride skiing, you have to contend with untracked lines, thick snow, and harsh weather conditions. However, freeride skiing is a tremendously fun sport. With the right protective gear and equipment, you can fully enjoy freeride skiing safely.

When packing for your freeride skiing trip, you have to think about the basic protective equipment. These range from clothes, sun protection, snow boots, ski goggles, and so on.

In this article, we are going to provide a comprehensive list of all the protective equipment and gear you should have for your next freeride skiing escapade.

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Protective Skiing Equipment and Ski Outerwear: Gear Guide


When it comes to skiing outerwear, a quality jacket is a must-have. A ski jacket is different from your ordinary jacket. It is robust on the outside and comes with two layers for maximum insulation against the cold. Such a jacket is designed to keep you warm and cozy from the inside. Its tough outer cover keeps the snow and wind at bay as you cruise down the slopes at high speed.

Quality freeride ski jackets should be windproof, breathable, and waterproof. You can either choose a versatile shell just in case it gets sunny when you are skiing. But if you are sure that it will be cold throughout, you should go for more insulations against the cold.

Montec Moss - Ski Jacket


Freeride skiing requires a full protective gear. That said, your jacket has to be accompanied by quality skiing pants. You can’t ski comfortably when your lower body is exposed.

Your legs might get cold, and you’ll not enjoy the experience at all. 3-in-1 ski pants are the best, especially if you are not sure of the weather you’ll encounter at your select skiing destination. These pants are also ideal when you don’t know whether you’ll run hot or cold when skiing.

These pants have a weatherproof and waterproof shell. They are also quite versatile. For instance, you can wear just the outside layer of the pants when it’s warm. When it’s extremely cold, you’ll need to wear all the layers.

Insulating pants are another great choice. These are different from the 3-in-1 pants. They offer warmth and protection against the elements on the ski slopes. 

Insulating pants are made of synthetic material for insulation purposes. Usually, the insulation weight is expressed in grams. The more the grams, the higher the level of insulation. Your choice of pants should be based on the most likely weather condition of the freeride skiing destination.

Montec - Ski Pants


Freeride skiing is a risky and adventurous sport. This is because accidents may happen when you least expect them. This ranges from harmless tumbles to life-threatening accidents. Head injuries are also possible.

With freeride skiing, you don’t get a ski patrol, groomed terrain, or avalanche mitigation. It is extremely dangerous to hit the slopes without a helmet. Moreover, the National Ski Areas Association recommends a helmet for freeride skiers. 

A good skiing helmet should have extra paddings and inner linings. For it to be comfortable, there should be padding between your head, and the hard shell.

A helmet that’s designed with moisture-wicking is incredible. It ensures that your head doesn’t sweat too much. Besides protecting you from injury, a helmet keeps you warm.

A freeride skiing helmet should sit on your head perfectly and fit well. It should not be too tight.

Once you wear the helmet, shake your head. If you feel a significant shift, then it’s not the right fit.

Also, the helmet you choose has to be compatible with your goggles. On the front, it should cover your forehead properly. There should be no gaps left between the helmet and your head. The chin strap has to be firm.  It should not choke you, as this can bring about tremendous discomfort. But also, it shouldn’t be loose to the extent of coming off during an impact. Most importantly, you need to fasten the straps before you embark on the action.

Poc - Ski Helmet


When it comes to freeride skiing goggles, quality and vision are of the essence. Factors such as depth perception, color definition, and eye fatigue should come into play. And of course, the googles need to fit right.

Your choice of goggles narrows down to the Visible Light Transmission (VLT). For low visibility, light-colored lenses are the best. But for darker conditions, category 4 lenses should do it.

There are goggles with interchangeable lenses, while others adjust to various light conditions.

These are commonly referred to as photochromic goggles.

The choice of googles depends on your taste and preference. Go with what feels most comfortable.

Dope - Ski Goggles


Freeride skiing has a pretty demanding terrain and thus demands a robust backpack. You need a high-quality backpack to hold all your valuables during the rigorous sporting activity.

The decision on your ideal backpack should be based on the amount of gear you intend to carry.  A backpack with a distinct compartment for your avalanche gear is ideal. Apart from that, easy access comes in handy as you might need something while still on the move. Think about the outfit you’ll be wearing as you buy your backpack, and go for the right fit.

Ortovox - Freeride Ski Backpack

Back Protector

When skiing, falling or collision is a possibility. In case of any accidents, wearing a back protector can help avoid a serious injury.

Back protectors are designed to protect you from spinal injuries. They absorb and distribute the energy emanating from the impact when an accident happens. These armors come in different sizes and models. These include the softshell, which is made of hybrid materials and the hard shell that is made of hard plastics. Some come as jackets while others are vests. The most preferred is the softshell back protector due to its soft materials. However, you can choose whichever you like.

Poc - Freeride Back Protector

Whether you are a professional freeride skier or you just do it for leisure, protection is imperative. See to it that you have all the basic protective equipment at all times because you never know when you’ll have a bad day at the slopes.

Interested in the most popular styles for the 2020 snow season? 

Find your perfect look at Ridestore now!

Women’s Ski Goggles | Men’s Ski Goggles
Men’s Ski Jackets | Men’s Ski Pants

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