Travel Light: how to pack for a skiing holiday with just one bag

Glide through the airport without the extra baggage
Sponsored by Intersport

There’s no getting away from the fact winter sport involves a lot of kit, just take a look at our ultimate guide for hitting the slopes, but can you really do trip to the slopes with just one bag, and not compromise on performance, warmth or style?

Thanks to the finest packable fabric tech, Stuff was amazed by how much arctic-quality kit we could fit in one 44 litre bag, and that’s before we factored in civilian gear, contact lenses, bobble hats, boots and slippers, plus, obviously, a host of the latest tech essentials, to give any trip the edge.

And for the best trick of all, hire top quality gear and collect it when you get to your chosen snowy encalve; no one seriously wants to carry a pair of skis through an airport. 

1) Vollebak Indestructible Puffer

In typical Vollebak fashion, their latest release utilises Dyneema, the world’s strongest fibre, making it the outerwear equivalent of a Sherman tank wrapped in a missile proof duvet.

Up to 15x stronger than steel – we’ve seen Stanley knives bounce off this thing - Dyneema was originally used in body and anti-ballistic vehicle armour, but now covers this quilted jacket designed to keep you toasty to -40C conditions.

What’s even more remarkable is the fact this stuff gets stronger the colder it becomes – which is why it’s most commonly used to make mooring lines on giant ships and deep-water oil rigs that have to perform in freezing seas. If the mercury plummets to -50C Dyneema gains 5-10 per cent strength.

£795 I


2) Oakley Clifden

To save valuable pack space we broke a sacred mountain rule and wore sunglasses with a helmet, but when the light went flat we were still able to see thanks to the now legendary Prizm Lens tech that sucks in light, enhances contrast and basically makes you see better in all conditions. Combined with the old-school side shields and full bridge, our eyes remained protected from snow, wind and glare.

£160 I

3) Helly Hansen H1 Pro Seamless base layers

With the bottoms weighing just 138g (top 207g) these base layers have no right being as good as they are, but the combination of seamless construction, thermal mapping – read: different thicknesses where you need more breathability – and a mix of merino wool and Helly Hansen’s own Lifa fabric tech, that’s 40 per cent lighter yet absorbs 40x less water than polyester, and you’ve got the ultimate in performance without the bulk.

From £100 I

4) Adidas Terrex Freehiker GTX

The perfect après ski footwear that grips well on ice, and thanks to the Gore-tex membrane remains impervious to the wet at all times. As comfortable as a trainer, the Primeknit upper hugs your foot, the lacing configuration keeps things secure while the big and bouncy Boost sole with Torsion bar helps push you up the mountains. Oh, and unlike a traditional walking boot they crush down small for easy packing.

£180 I

5) Zippo Heat Bank 6

Look what happens to a lighter brand when everyone stops smoking! Zippo has reinvented the battery pack for the winter, giving you the chance to charge your tech via USB (5200mAh lithium ion battery) or, if your digits are feeling the chill switch modes and use the battery charger as a five-temperature (50°C max) hand warmer.

£39.45 I

6) Waykes Compression Packing Cubes

The answer to all our packing problems, these cloth cubes took care of most our kit and left room for all the fun tech extras by using a nifty three-zipper system to squish everything down without undue creasing.

€34.99 for two I

7) Kjus Bluetooth Gloves

These luxuriously insulated, waterproof leather gloves are the ultimate in mountain business chic, offering handsfree calling thanks to integrated mic and receiver in the thumb and finger and with the teeny OLED display you can even see who’s calling. Sadly though, you don’t have to make the universal hand signal for ‘call me’ to answer.

£149 I

8) GoPro Max 360

This phenomenal 360-action cam will transform your (ok, our) piffling attempts at radness into hyper stylish video clips without you worrying about composition, just record everything and edit three-dimensionally in the app. It’ll also bring a welcome edge to chairlift selfies, produce the perfect 270° panoramic shots, and shoot exceptional single lens video with eerily good image stabilization.

£479.99 with 64Gb MicroSD,

9) Patagonia Nano Puff

337g of lightweight mid-layer brilliance that, when worn with the H1 base layers and Harvest jacket, gave us epic levels of protection with none of the bulk. Made from highly compressible PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco - created using 55 per cent postconsumer recycled content - and wrapped in a recycled polyester shell, it’s also water repellent so handy as a grab-and-go jacket too.

£180 I

10) Osprey Transporter Carry On 44ltr

By ditching the wheels and pull-along plastic gubbins Osprey has maxed out every inch of space in this carry-on giving a full 44litres for your kit. It’s hefty when fully loaded but has shoulder and rucksack straps and loads of compartments for effortless packing.

£120 I

11) Finisterre x Vans Slip-Er

Based around the classic Vans slip-on sneaker, these slippers are heavily insulated using organic cotton, have a supremely comfortable insole and even pack a waterproof coating and durable waffle sole for outdoor use. A blissfully comfortable post ski treat for our feet, and further proof you can pack in the luxuries even when limited to just one bag.

£60 I

12) Harvest Jacket and Bib Pant

You’ll need to layer up under this shell for warmth, but both the super packable jacket and bib pant remained impervious to snow and wind, even when gusts hit 75mph. It’s a high-performance eco-friendly design made using a castor oil derived Dryplay Biosource membrane that’s seriously tech - 20K mm Waterproof/20K – while the waterproof treatment is fluorocarbon and parabens free.

Pants €319.99, jacket €429.99 I