Patching together a ski vacation, whether it’s ten days in the Rockies or a weekend getaway in Vermont, can be a daunting task: especially when it comes to gear. If you’re an occasional skier, it’s probably not worth it for you to buy new gear every couple of years. If you’ve got an entire family to outfit, the sheer quantity of stuff you need to drag through airports and stuff into rental cars can be overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be easier to get all your gear on-site and (even better) have it delivered to your hotel? Enter the niche market of ski gear rental and delivery companies.
Since 2009, companies that offer online rentals of ski clothes and gear that ship directly to your ski vacation destination have been transforming the ski rental industry and offering convenient, affordable options for vacation goers. The clothes are cool, the gear is great, the process is easy, and for the service and convenience, the price tag is superb. Here’s the skinny on how to gear up for your next vacation without all the fuss.
Why rent ski clothes and gear?
The reasons are simple: cost and ease. An entire ski outfit (including base layers, mid layers, outerwear and accessories), plus skis/board, boots, and poles, can run anywhere from $1,200 USD ($1,604 AUD)-$2,100 USD ($2,807 AUD). You can rent an entire kit for a fraction of that price (and get the newest styles and models while you’re at it). This is ideal for skiers who jet set to a ski destination once or twice a year, kids who are growing each year, and trend setters who want the newest models and styles. Forget about lugging extra bags through airports: rental services deliver right to your (vacation house) door.
How does it work?
Order online, they’ll deliver to your door. Rental services offer all the latest gear and clothing options on their websites, so you can pick and choose your favourite pieces (or rent a pre-made outfit). Chat with company experts about sizing and other needs to ensure you get gear that fits. Most services ship to your destination, so that your gear is waiting for you when you arrive. If something doesn’t fit, most services have partners at local ski shops to set you up with a better size. Other services, like Ski Butlers, drop off in person and assist with fitting on-site. After your last day on snow, pack the gear back into the box and return using a prepaid shipping label.
Where do I start?
Reliable, fast-growing companies like Kit Lender and Get Outfitted have been featured in Outside, Ski, InStyle, and USA Today.
Kit Lender offers 3, 5, and 10-day rental deals, as well as season-long rentals. They also have excellent sales on gently used gear. Kit Lender partners with local ski shops in dozens of ski towns across the U.S.; if there’s an issue with delayed shipping, they’ll hook you up with the gear you need right away.
Get Outfitted offers similar service, shipping anywhere in the U.S. They recommend you reserve at least one week ahead of time, but expedited shipping is available for last-minute getaways. Our favourite part? There’s an entire store of vintage onesies for those extra-special ski vacations.
Ski Butlers not only delivers on-site, but does so with a team of experts to ensure you get the best-fitting gear. They have a convenient 2-day minimum rental requirement, and no cancellation policy (you won’t get charged until after the delivery – if something comes up to disrupt your trip, there’s no fee). They also have discount options for early bookings at some resorts. Check the website for details.
Mountain Threads is the cheapest option for Denver area locals. They have a pickup/drop-off location in Golden, or deliver anywhere in the states for extra shipping costs. Mountain Threads was one of the first in the business, and remain the most budget-friendly. They also have “comforts” available for rent – like humidifiers, sunscreen, and an “altitude adjustment arrival snack pack.”