When you go skiing, you have to take a lot of stuff. Jackets, trousers, boots, socks, gloves, gogglesâ€¦itâ€™s a pretty long list.
And if you donâ€™t already have them, the thought of buying those things can be pretty unappealing, since you have so many other things to pay for.
The good news, though, is that help is at hand. You can hire ski clothing. I didnâ€™t even know that was a thing â€“ but itâ€™s true!
When I went to Catalonia, I tested out a couple of ski hire packages to find out how they work and whether they are worth considering when you go on a winter sports trip. First up is Ski-Stuff.
Ski-Stuff is based in Dorset and provides both hiring and purchasing options for ski clothing. It provides gear for school trips and for families and so has options for adults and children.
It stocks kit from a range of suppliers such as Trespass, NoFear and Dare2Be.
You can hire out jackets, salopettes and snow boots for Â£15 each â€“ and thereâ€™s a Â£5 discount if you take all three.
If you need other bits like socks, goggles or hats, you can buy them at the same time.
How it works
When you send in your order, the staff at Ski-stuff send you a form where you note the dates youâ€™re away, your measurements and which items you prefer.
They let you know what they have in your size and then post it out to you.
When you get back, you return the goods to them within three days and, assuming all is well, youâ€™ll get your Â£50 security deposit returned.
I was sent a Surfanic Jacket, Crane ski pants and some Trespass boots. The items were in excellent condition and were well packed. They all fitted very well â€“ the company calculate the correct size you need from the measurements you give, allowing the correct amount of room for other layers underneath.
The package Ski-Stuff offers is definitely a good choice for the family and school trip market. The lines it carries are good quality but not designer. The hire prices are very affordable â€“ the only thing not included is the return postage. And the prices for the â€˜For Saleâ€™ items are also very reasonable with, for example, goggles and micro fleeces both selling for Â£15.
So, hire or buy?
I did a quick and very unscientific calculation based on the Trespass website and for a adult woman, youâ€™re looking at something in the region of Â£80 for their cheapest set of jacket, pants and snow boots.
So hiring would save you at least 50 per cent – itâ€™s a good option if youâ€™ve never been skiing before, not sure if itâ€™s your thing and donâ€™t want to buy kit until youâ€™re sure youâ€™ll go again â€“ or if youâ€™ve got a fast-growing child who would outgrow anything you bought before you went again.
They do only hire out those three items though. You still need to get all of the other bits â€“ and buying all of those can quickly stack up. It would definitely be worth checking with your friends to see what you can borrow before buying them.
I was provided with a hire package from Ski-Stuff for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.