I have to confess, I am one of those people who finds it hard to resist a bargain – hence I have a wardrobe full of impractical, ill-fitting garments that give me no joy, just guilt at wasting money and resources.  But I may well have turned a corner – a glorious, smooth, arc of a turn, on a perfectly groomed piste.

With a ski trip booked, it was time to kit myself out with a jacket and pants which would not only look great but improve my skiing beyond any recognition! It had started out as a normal shopping trip – with a traipse around TK Maxx scouring the rails for a must have bargain.  Unsurprisingly, no success, but literally next door were the enticing windows of Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports.  

After trying on a few outfits, I found myself in a dreamy duo by German ski brand, Schoffel – sleek, stretchy pants which I like to hope my bum does indeed look good in, and a sumptuous jacket with a faux fur trim around the hood which made me feel glam enough to grace the chicest of resorts, should I ever visit one!  

The fabulous manager Theo explained why it’s important to buy the best quality you can afford for the slopes and what justifies the premium price.  Brands like Schoffel use the latest fabric technology and design technique to produce the highest performing kit.    Breathability is as important as weather protection so look for a 20k/20k ratio to ensure you keep dry and warm but also don’t get damp from perspiration as you exert yourself.   The stretch of the garment is also key – a well cut premium fabric will let you ski freely without any restriction of movement.

Apparently, for the past decade, Schoffel has provided the Austrian Ski Team with performance clothing for on- and off-the-piste.    While I certainly don’t have the skills to require a race suit, I’m more than happy to enjoy the expertise and performance carried down into my jacket and pants. And surely it will rub off on my skiing too.

And the cost?  Well, it was certainly more than my old bargain-hunter self would have paid out, but it will last me the rest of my skiing days and I’ll put the jacket to good use on cold winter days around town.   I am converted to the true benefits of a prestige purchase.  Good for me and better for the planet.  As for my skiing, well, l’ll  have to wait and see…


Thanks to Katy Turner – Snowsports Professional @Spike for her blog.