Updated: May 2
When it comes to skiing and heated gear, the big question for most people is whether heated gear will work for them out on the mountain and if it is worth the cost. The answer can vary depending on what type of heated gear we are talking about. While some heated clothing works extremely well for skiing, other products miss the mark and are better suited for other activities.
As for the cost, heated gear has been around for a long time now and as battery technology has advanced, prices have dropped significantly. In most cases, the price of a heated product is very much in line with a good quality ski brand and often the heated gear will actually be cheaper.
Let’s have a quick look at the types of heated clothing that will keep you nice and warm when cranking down the mountain as well as heated gear that you probably want to leave at home when skiing.
While you might think skiing is one area where a heated coat would shine, I would disagree for many of the heated coats available. While there are certainly a few that fit the bill (we will highlight them below) many heated jackets lack the pockets and other features that make a great ski or snowboarding coat.
Most heated coats and jackets lack the numerous pockets, including inside pockets that a ski or snowboarding coat would come with as standard equipment, as well as specialty features such as underarm zippers for ventilation.
I usually end up carrying a variety of stuff with me on the mountain, car keys, phone, ski pass, and possibly a snack. My current ski coat also has large net pocket on the inside where I stash my gloves when wandering around the lodge, I am unaware of any heated jackets that have this feature.
However, a lighter weight heated jacket works very well under your ski coat and ups the heat dramatically, allowing you to run the hearted coat on low, extending the battery life. I have used a lightweight heated coat or a heated vest under my ski coat, both of which kept me super warm on a very cold day.
Once you are off the mountain a heated jacket or vest can be a great choice for après ski or just wandering around the village at night. I often keep a heated coat or vest in my ski bag and switch into that once I am done skiing for the day and it’s time for a drink. It helps keep me nice and toasty while hanging out with friends or family.
Here is what we consider the best heated coat for skiing. We have also put together a Heated Gear for Skiing page so you can check out all of the heated options for skiing.
A heated vest is an excellent choice for skiing. Wearing one under your ski coat will keep you superwarm while allowing free movement of your arms and shoulders. I often ski with a heated vest under my ski coat when it is really cold outside and have used one on its own for spring skiing.
A heated vest is often my go-to after skiing is over if the weather is mild. They are great for sitting outside having some drinks or even around a fire pit. There are plenty of heated vest options that work great for skiing, we listed just a couple of them below. Check out our individual reviews as well as our Men's Best Heated Vests of 2022 or Women's Best Heated Vests of 2022 to find one that works for you.
Heated Gloves and Mittens
Heated gloves or mittens are an excellent addition to your skiing gear, particularly on really cold days. While I find heated gloves too warm for mild days, when the temperature really drops, I absolutely use heated gloves.
The biggest issue with heated gloves is the battery life. If you run them on high, you will most likely be out of juice in 3 hours. I find that the lowest setting usually works just fine except on the coldest of days and on low you can often get 6 hours or more out of a charge.
I like the finger dexterity of gloves, but many skiers swear by mittens. Heated mittens work very similar to heated gloves and the battery life is roughly the same. If you are cranking it up to high, you can expect around 3 hours of heat but that number doubles to 6 when you drop the temp down to low. Many heated mittens have touch sensitive thumbs so you can operate your phone without taking them off.
Check out our Best Heated Gloves/Mittens for 2022 for a full selection.
Heated base layers
I rarely wear heated base layers when skiing and that is mainly due to battery life. While heated base layers can be great when camping or sitting outside around a fire, the short battery life can be an issue when you go skiing. While many heated base layers advertise up to 8 hours on low, the reality is that in most cases you are looking at 4 hours on low and possibly under 2 hours on high depending on the brand.
I think as battery life improves, heated base layers may become standard but for right now, I rarely recommend them to people for skiing.
If you don’t have boot heaters (we will be reviewing those in a few weeks) heated socks are a no brainer for skiing. They are both comfortable and will keep your feet nice and warm out on the slopes. Heated socks will keep the heat flowing for 6-8 hours on low or up to 4 hours on high which should be enough for most days on the hill.
Heated socks can have the warming element on the top of the foot, bottom of the foot or even around the toes and they all work well. There are a wide variety of heated socks both style and price wise so there is bound to be something that works for you.
One thing to consider is a remote control which makes changing the temperature easy without having to pull over. We highly recommend all of the heated socks on our Best of Heated Socks 2022 list.