Skiers shopping on a budget can be faced with a hard choice - invest in quality ski wear, or risk feeling cold, sweaty, or uncomfortable on the slopes. While there are many good budget brands out there, another way to save money is to buy ski clothing that's versatile enough for all-weather conditions, like the layering pieces here.
Another benefit of these types of clothing is that they work well off the slopes, too, not only for other winter activities but simply for day-to-day wear in cold temperatures. The vests, fleeces and sweaters below are versatile choices available for both men and women.
Nothing says winter like The North Face Denali, perhaps one of the most popular fall/winter fleeces. Available in men's, women's, children's and in many colors, the Denali is a classic fleece jacket that performs well layered under a hard-shell, or even worn alone on a warm day. The Denali is super-comfortable, with a fit that's designed to move with you. Plus, the fleece is treated to ensure waterproof, and surprisingly, the Denali is pretty windproof, too.
Patagonia's line of fleece vests, including the Better Sweater vest, the classic Retro-X vest, and the R1 and R2 vests, are extremely versatile in that perform great on the mountain and look nice off the slopes, too. Patagonia is a premiere choice for ski clothing layers - their fleece is designed especially to keep you warm by blocking the cold and stopping wind gusts, while wicking away sweat and keeping you comfortable. This level of performance translates to off-slope activity, too. Their fleece vests look great layered over a long-sleeve t-shirt or thermal for a mountain casual look.
If you're looking for an easy layer that you can throw on under your jacket on an especially cold day on the slopes, and just as easily put on over your shirt while running winter errands, the Columbia Full Zip Fleece is the choice for you. It's as basic as fleece jackets get, so you can wear it on many different occasions or even just around the house. Although it will keep you warm, it's not quite substantial enough to wear on its own. However, it's available at an extremely affordable price.
Dale of Norway makes classic alpine sweaters made of heavy-weight Norwegian yarn. The material is formulated with an athletic feel, though - it's comfortable to ski in and maintains its shape even after multiple wears. Although Dale sweaters are pricier than your average pick (they cost between $100-$200), it's a good investment, as the sweater is long-lasting but also extremely versatile. Wear it to ski in, and then wear it for aprés ski, or even out to a nice restaurant.
The Patagonia Down Sweater is a true layering classic. Warm without overheating you, yet light enough to layer, this piece can be worn on its own or easily layered under another jacket. The Down Sweater is available in multiple colors, for both men and women. For even more flexibility, you can choose either a vest version or a full-arm jacket. It fits nicely and has a sleek look that's casual enough for an aprés ski bar, but could even be worn out to a casual mountain restaurant.
Courtesy Price Grabber
Eddie Bauer is known for making dependable clothing for an outdoor lifestyle. While they aren't a ski-specific company, their outwear is designed for maximum performance in any winter activity, whether it be alpine skiing, nordic skiing, hiking, sledding, or skating. Their soft shell coats are a great choice to have in your ski wardrobe, as they can be worn alone on warmer days or layered under a hard shell when the temperature drops. Soft shell jackets are lightly insulated and breathable, and fit comfortably, too. Plus, you can easily throw it on during the fall, winter or
spring as a casual jacket. Eddie Bauer offer soft shell jackets in multiple colors, and in both men and women's fits.