Brands are continuously tweaking and adjusting their products as new inspiration and technologies arise. While this is great for the skier in that skiing equipment only gets lighter, faster and more advanced in general, it also makes it more difficult to keep up with “what’s what” on the market and who is delivering the better product. But no stress, this is where we’ve got your back!
Whether it be snow boots, durable winter jackets or reliable ski goggles that we are looking for, we rely on the best ski brands to sell us quality items that are worth their value for money. We trust that the reputation of each brand is enough to deem each product release worthy of its purpose and promises. And this is where we step in. We have fine-tuned our research to narrow down the skiing brands across the world to the 10 best to date. These brands have proven themselves time and time again with their quality and high-performance gear while carrying models for skiers at all levels of ability and for many different types of terrain. Here they are in no particular order:
What we like about this brand: Bolle specializes in protective eyewear and ski helmets, in other words, they have your head and eyes covered! The company dates back to 1888, making it one of the oldest skiing and sport apparel brands to date – that must mean something, right? Other than their solid history, the brand is one of the few manufacturers that maintain the standards of their ski gear all while standing up to its overpriced competitors. This means that they continue to sell excellent quality products without charging obscene amounts of money.
What we like about this brand: One of Spyder’s unique attributes is that it incorporates skiing technology with modern trends. This means that while you are performing on the slopes, you will either be turning heads because of your peak performance or because of your fashionable and appealing ski gear. The brand has held a good reputation since the early 1970’s and is a go-to business for any kind of snow or ski accessory you might require. From ski pants and snow boots to a basic pair of gloves (or even just a snug-fitting scarf), Spyder won’t disappoint with their quality and a wide range of skiing products.
3. Smith Optics
What we like about this brand: With Smith Optics it’s all about, you guessed it, the eyes! Bringing you high-tech ski goggles since way, way back (the 1960’s to be exact), the brand is renowned for its sophisticated eyewear. Smith’s cutting-edge snow and ski goggles pair safety and enjoyment with crystal clear vision and they are one of the leading brands when it comes to creating goggles with reliable anti-fogging and glare reduction capabilities. Their helmets are worth a shout-out too!
4. Outdoor Technology
What we like about this brand: The aim of Outdoor Technology has always been to blend mobile technology with the desire to spend as much time outdoors as possible. We think they hit the nail on the head. With modern ski gear that includes on-the-go power for your phone, heating devices, cameras and a wide range of audio gear – this brand ensures that there is never a dull moment for backcountry skiers who prefer to roam outdoors but still like a little taste of technology at their side. With an Outdoor Technology product at hand, there’s no reason to go back indoors at all.
5. Helly Hansen
What we like about this brand: We couldn’t put Helly Hansen on this list because, well, Helly Hansen products are everywhere! Being a year-round brand, this manufacturer not only produces the ultimate ski apparel but also rigs one out with gear for all sorts of water sports too. While Helly Hansen does it all, the brand is especially renowned and appreciated for their sleek ski jacket designs which never fail to impress (and they are oh so snug)! For a company that has managed to remain competitive since the late 1800s, we have to give credit where credit is due!
What we like about this brand: Shinesty are appreciated for their unique take on ski apparel and many have been daring enough to label them as a modern “hipster chic” brand. Although their ski gear is limited to jackets and snowsuits with a few smaller accessories thrown into the mix, they make the list of our top ski brands because of their originality, their attention to detail and their ability to meet quality standards while keeping to a fair price. If you are not the conservative kind and if you are on the hunt for something a little different, give Shinesty a go – we dare you!
7. The Salamon Group
What we like about this brand: The Salamon Group are commonly known for manufacturing a wide range of sports equipment. Within the skiing industry, however, it’s their ski boots that have left beginner to intermediate skiers alike in awe of the magnificent skiing shoes that they add to the shelves. Through performance driven design, Salomon delivers innovation and ski gear that competes with other popular brands while keeping to reasonable prices. If you are looking for snowshoes or ski boots that look good, feel good and help you perform to perfection, then we’ll sleep easy knowing that we have brought the Salamon Group to your attention.
What we like about this brand: We have the Canadians to thank for this awesome brand innovation. Arc’teryx engineer and design high-end ski apparel that can withstand the most punishing conditions. From snow jackets, shells to insulated ski jackets and coats, this brand has an enormous range of mountain gear and apparel that are durable and enhanced for even the most advanced extreme sports enthusiasts. While the brand’s products do tend to come with a somewhat shocking price tag, if you are looking for the utmost quality in apparel that will very likely last you a lifetime, then Arc’teryx is pretty much your go-to manufacturer.
What we like about this brand: Ski goggles are one of the ski accessories that you simply cannot go without. You rely on them to keep your eyes warm and protected from bright light all while sitting comfortably around your head and enhancing your vision. With this brand, however, they go the extra mile by covering all of the goggle basics, and then some. You’ve got to appreciate a brand that adds more steps than they need to, right? High-end anti-fog treatments are Zionor’s forte and with VLTs that range from 8.84% to 70.48%, the snow and ski goggles that stem from this brand are definitely worth the recognition and praise.
What we like about this brand: If it’s high-performance goggles or a ski helmet you’re after, then allow us to introduce you to Bliz. This is a specialty brand that focuses on incorporating modern technology and trending designs into their ski goggles and helmets. Their gear has a good reputation for being functional, comfortable and most importantly, safe. Yup, safety is key and with your two most vulnerable parts taken care of during your snow journeys (your head and your eyes, of course) then you can focus on your performance and the thrill of the ride knowing that your Bliz gear has your back – although they might have your wallet too, they’re quite pricey!
How We Chose Our Best Ski Brands
No, we did not simply go “eenie meenie miney mo”, although that method would have saved a whole lot of time! We did our research with due diligence and then threw in a personal opinion here and there. For the most part, we narrowed down our list of favorite ski brands by considering the following 5 factors: reputation, reviews, history, quality and price.
Reputation: A brand is only as good as it’s reputation and while something will appeal to one but might not have the same effect on another, the more popular a brand is, the more reputable it is. When a brand has a good reputation, it means that it is living up to the standards that it promises to deliver, which at the end of the day is all us consumers want – to get what we paid for!
Reviews: We take our advice straight from the horse’s mouth. You have something to say and we are here to listen and take all opinions and experiences into consideration. This is why we reviewed many ski brands and made sure that our favorites are your favorites too!
History: The fact that some of these brands have been around for yonks only plays in their favor. If you have made it this far without collapsing from the demands of consumers, then your brand has to be worthy. So, with each of the brands listed above, we confirmed their reliability by delving into their history to ensure that their track record is as good as it seems.
Quality: Just because something is pretty or the novelty of the item sounds cool, it doesn’t mean that it is going to meet quality standards and perform the way you desire it to. This is why we mixed pretty with perfection to make sure that each of the ski brands we favor is truly worthy of praise. Quality is key after all.
Price: When we look at the price of a brand’s product, we are not concerned about the number on the price tag – it’s ok if something is expensive. What’s important is that this expense lives up to the quality and promise of the product you are purchasing – this is where the true value lies. While some hang tight on the concept of “you get what you pay for”, we have been around the block enough to know that many brands are chance takers and price their products according to their brand value and not the value of the actual product in question. This is why we sought brands that offer fair and competitive prices that have been valued according to the standard of quality they deliver – their prices make sense, that is.
Taking on skiing as a professional sport or hobby is not cheap. Even your most average ski resorts routinely charge upwards of £80 for a single-day adult lift ticket. And then there’s getting to the top of the mountain, keeping to the surrounds of the mountain, renting or buying your ski equipment, and purchasing the necessary gear and apparel that also all adds to the cost.
If you make your purchases wisely, however, you will definitely save on these expenses and you will have more time to enjoy your snow sports instead of worrying about how you are going to fund them. For instance, you can save big time by buying season passes at your nearest or favorite resort, you could purchase skis and other gear and equipment second hand or on clearance, and if you are looking for cheap skiing accommodation, why not bunk up with some fellow travelers?
Another alternative is to fork out the cash and buy from the best brands available. This way you could get away with only having to buy the necessary gear and equipment once because the quality and durability is so good that it will last a lifetime!
If you are a passionate skier or snowboarder and simply cannot live without the sport or perhaps it is a net positive for your emotional health, then you are probably reluctant to put a price tag on the hobby – then so be it! You’re worth it! Luckily for you, we are here to help you gear yourself up with only the best and finest skiing gear and apparel. You’re welcome!
- Ski Terms and Definitions – Mpora