Equally important (some would argue more important) to what you look like and staying warm in Vail’s winter weather, is your “hard gear”. This includes skis, snowboard, boots, poles, googles and helmet. Vail’s two dozen “winter gear” stores, with expert sales members, can outfit you in just the right gear for your ability, comfort needs and budget. Avoid the hassle of hauling gear from home to Vail and purchase gear (many offer demo/rent to own programs) once you are here!
The “chain” gear retailers including Vail Sports, Christy Sports, Sun & Ski Sports and Charter Sports and Burton all offer a variety of name-brand skis, boards, poles and boots.
Smaller, specialty “local” outfitters including Wheel Base, Outdoor Divas (women’s’ specific gear), Vail Ski Tech and Performance Sports (all in Lionshead), and Troy’s, Venture Sports, Mill Creek Sports, Pepi’s and Gorsuch (in Vail Village) provide a personalized experience and often more exclusive and specialized gear. Explore the options and take the time to demo before you purchase.
Don’t forget your eyes and head when purchasing gear! Craniologie, in Vail Village, is all about protecting your noggin during your outdoor adventures. Featuring helmets and goggles in a wide variety and helpful associates to make sure that you have the right fit and interaction with goggles and helmet with a customized fitting process. Eye Pieces, with locations in Vail and Lionshead, offers a wide selection of goggles and sunglasses with or without prescription optics.
Another unique option and service is provided by Black Tie Ski Rentals and Ski Butlers. With either delivery service, you can place your order for gear before you arrive.
When you’re done with your day on the mountain and don’t want to schlep your gear back to where you’re staying, considering storing it at a convenient slope-side location. (Note – some lodges offer slope-side storage options) Vail Village storage options include: 8150 Ski Shop, Mill Creek Sports, and American Ski Exchange. Lionshead storage options include: Ski Valet.
Purchasing skis, a board, boots and all the other “hard gear” needed can be overwhelming, so take the time to explore the options and try the gear before committing.