Christy Sports The Ridge Report
A Blog About Everything Skiing & Snowboarding in Colorado & Utah
FAQ: Can I Rent Ski Clothing?

Our guests know we offer ski and snowboard rentals, but we are often asked about the rest of the package – the pieces that keep you warm out on the mountain. The right ski or snowboard clothing can make or break your day on the slopes, but it shouldn’t break the bank. Whether you are a first-time skier or rider, a large family planning a ski trip with the kiddos, or simply don’t want to haul a suitcase full of winter clothing, renting affordable, yet quality ski/snowboard apparel may be an option.

There are, however, a few things to consider when doing so. Renting ski/snowboard clothing and accessories has both pros and cons over buying. Below are some of our recommendations

What is the Value of Purchasing vs. Renting Ski Clothing?

When you purchase your own softgoods (jackets, pants, base layers, gloves, etc.), that’s exactly what they become – your very own, yours to keep. That means you have the freedom to choose your own personal fit and style, rather than being stuck with whatever apparel the rental shop may provide. You can also keep this clothing and wear it from season to season, for as long as you would like. In addition, there are many items that are not available to rent, nor would you want to rent these items such as socks, hats, and thermal underwear base layers. So, you will need to buy and pack these items anyway.

Often times, while you may be able to rent ski/snowboard apparel for a fraction of the cost of buying, the quality of that clothing may be less that what you want and need. This is especially true in more extreme alpine weather conditions, or for the avid skier/rider who needs better protection against the elements. Having proper quality winter clothing is particularly important for small children, who feel the extremes of cold temperatures much faster than adults. It can mean the difference between your child enjoying his/her time on the slopes or collapsed on the snow bank in a puddle of tears. Not to mention, many retailers offer warranties on all their gear – hard and softgoods.

If packing extra clothing is a concern – no worries – many soft goods brands have already considered this travel obstacle. These days, outerwear companies are becoming more consumer-friendly and designing products that are compact and/or collapsible like Patagonia’s Nanopuff jackets and pants. Made of PrimaLoft Gold Insulation, these items are lightweight and collapsible, yet warm and both wind and waterproof. Purchasing apparel made of this type of material will certainly save space in your suitcase and make packing for your ski trip much easier.

On the other hand, if your luggage is truly stuffed to the brim, renting clothing does allow you to pack less, not mention save on extra bag fees with the airline.

What Type of Skier / Snowboarder Are You?

There are definitely several variables to consider when deciding whether to purchase or rent ski/snowboard clothing. Among them are determining what type of skier or rider you are and how often you will ski or ride. Avid, hard-core skiers and riders who are out there crushing the slopes several weeks a season will definitely want to purchase their own gear – everything from apparel to their own skis and boards. For economical and practical purposes, it just makes sense.

For those who only ski or ride one week or one to two weekends per season, then renting apparel may be more cost effective – especially if you live somewhere warm and don’t need cold weather gear. If you are a first-time skier/rider and you don’t own any gear yet, and are uncertain if the sport is your cup of tea, you may consider renting as an option. If you have young children, they will grow out of any clothing you buy for them by next season. Renting certainly saves time, hassle, and of course, money spent shopping for winter clothing each year, especially if you are not ready to make the investment.

What About Purchasing Second-Hand / Gently Worn Clothing?

An alternative to buying brand new or renting your winter threads, is the option of purchasing gently used clothing from second-hand thrift or consignment stores such as Recycle Sports. Or, find a local ski swap in town that sells gently worn gear and clothing. These are all great options for the first-time or casual skier/rider and for families with children who are constantly growing out of both clothing and equipment. Again, keep in mind quality and value when deciding if this is the best option for your circumstance.

You can also check out ski/snowboard shop sales both in early season and also at the end of the season. Often, the best time to buy both clothing and equipment is either just before the slopes open from September to late October, or at the end of season, April to mid-May. Christy Sports’ Powder Daze sale kicks off at the end of August each year and is a great option for purchasing discounted ski clothing and gear.

 Can I Rent Ski Clothing From Christy Sports?

If your ski/snowboard trip includes Steamboat Springs, then your best bet for winter clothing rentals is our very own Central Park Plaza Christy Sports. Uniquely, this is our only location that rents ski and snowboard clothing. Christy Sports here rents mainly ski/snowboard pants and jackets for both adults and children, and offers a discount when you rent both pants and jackets together vs. separately. As a bonus, Christy Sports also has a full rental fleet of skis and snowboards for all ages and ability levels. Not to mention, a large retail store to purchase any other items and accessories you will need.


Ultimately, the cost of ski equipment and clothing will vary based on how frequently you ski or snowboard, and how you get your gear – buy new or used, rent, or even borrow. Before making any decisions on outfitting you and your family this winter, simply take into consideration the cost and value of ownership, how often you will use the gear, transportation, laundry, and storage. Different skiers/snowboarders have different needs and there is an ideal solution for every type. Just do the math!

Whatever option you choose, not to worry, if you forget something, or the airline loses your luggage, or you simply decide lugging your equipment cross country is not for you, any of our Christy Sports locations can save the day!  Most locations offer both rental and retail shops, where you have the ease and convenience of renting equipment, as well as purchasing any clothing that may have been left behind.

ski rental demo program

Whether you are serious about purchasing ski and/or snowboard equipment, or simply wanting to test out the latest and greatest technology this winter, Christy Sports has you covered. Our ski/snowboard Demo programs offer options to suit both fancies.

For the true-to-the-slopes serious buyers in the market for ski / snowboard gear, Christy Sports’ Demo Test program is a perfect fit. What you see on the sales floor is exactly what you have the opportunity to rent and “test” before you buy.

“We use it (Demo Test) as a sales tool for the serious shopper,” says our very own Brian Sullivan, Director of Mountain Operations for Summit County and Winter Park Christy Sports locations.

Who is the Demo Program For?

Christy Sports’ Demo Rentals fleet offers top-of-the-line brand equipment for those who are renting, but not necessarily buying. Demo Rentals are designed for skiers and boarders who, either don’t have their own gear, or don’t want to bring their own gear, but still want to enjoy top of the line rental equipment. Each Christy Sports store carries 3-5 “select” models to have in stock and will have several of these models in multiple sizes on hand.

The biggest difference, then, between Demo Test rentals and the Demo Rentals fleet is the selection of equipment vs. quantity. Demo Test offers a rental for everything on the sales floor, but limited to one in each size, while in the Demo Rentals fleet, particular brands and models are limited in each Christy Sports rental shop, but there are typically plenty of those models in stock.

What You Should Know About the Demo Test Program

Some things to keep in mind when considering renting equipment through the Demo Test program are:

  • ONLY ONE of each model and size is available.
  • Equipment can only be rented for one day at a time, and needs to returned to the original store it was rented from.

“Customers can swap out equipment all day long at any Christy Sports location, but at the end of the day, that particular ski or board needs to come back to its original home,” Sullivan says.

  • No advanced reservations – online or by phone – can be made for Demo Test gear.
  • Demo Test equipment offered is based on availability and first-come first-serve.

How to Reserve Your Demo Rental Skis / Snowboards

Demo Rentals can be reserved in advance either online or over the phone. You receive a 20% discount for making an advanced reservation for Demo Rental gear. The cost to rent through the Demo Test program is the same as the walk-in rate for Demo Rentals.  Since advanced reservations cannot be made for Demo Test equipment, the 20% discounted advanced reservation rate does not apply.

The best thing about both the Demo Test program and Demo Rentals is the cost of a two-day rental can be put towards the purchase of brand new ski and/or snowboard equipment straight off the sales floor! So, whether you are looking to purchase skis or snowboards, or just want to test the newest gear of the season, it’s definitely a win-win. Stop by any of our Christy Sports locations and let our friendly staff get you geared up for the season with the best name brands in skis and snowboards!

Season Ski Rental - Season Snowboard Rental - Christy Sports

You just moved to a place that finally has some elevation and you’ve had one of the most exciting summers of your life exploring the Rockies. Yet, with every passing day, you hear more about the approaching legendary winter. Between ski sale events and season pass promos, for the first time in your life, you’re starting to use “excited” and “winter” in the same sentence. You simply can’t wait to see if all the hype surrounding skiing and snowboarding in the Rockies is worth believing.

However, the move out here wasn’t cheap and you’re starting to notice lift ticket prices. The price of an individual ticket makes you cringe. You also have the option to spend big all at once on a season pass (choose this option, trust me). After doing the math, purchasing new equipment might be difficult. On top of the cost, you’re not sure whether skiing or snowboarding is your true calling, and you don’t want to make a long-term commitment to either without trying them first. What to do?

Have you considered a season ski or snowboard rental from Christy Sports?

All it takes is a visit to your nearest Front Range Christy Sports to get fitted with the proper equipment for your ability level. From there, take the equipment with you…for the WHOLE season! The convenience doesn’t stop there. If you have an issue with any of your equipment, whether it is the fit of your boots, a ski pole that didn’t make it into the car or a malfunctioning ratchet on your snowboard binding, Christy’s has you covered. They have over 40 locations across Colorado and Utah, so no matter where you’re skiing or riding; when a problem arises, an expert technician is there to fix it.

Here’s another advantage to renting gear for the season. Say that you grab skis in September, and by mid-December you’ve already put some serious mileage on the sticks. Drop into a Christy Sports and get your ski rental gear tuned at no charge! Getting ski wax on your landlord’s carpet is probably not on your to-do list, which is why the friendly and experienced staff at any Christy Sports location is happy to get your rental equipment mountain-ready again.

Let’s look at another scenario. You select a pair of skis in September, but by mid-December, you’re bored of the pizza/French fry routine and you want to stand sideways instead. Do it! With a season rental from Christy Sports, you can swap out skis for a board, or vice versa, whenever you like. They say that variety is the spice of life, so why limit yourself to just one method of cruising the slopes?

Remember how I said to splurge and buy the season pass, even though you still need equipment? You can afford it, and here’s why: a season rental package starts at just $159 for an adult and $99 for a junior! That’s everything you need: boots, bindings, poles and a pair of skis or a snowboard. It’s yours from the day you pick it up until April 14, 2016. Not to mention you can switch between skis and a board as many times your heart desires, and Christy Sports even provides a free mid-season tune for your rental gear. Sound too good to be true? It’s not; this is the real deal. Everyone else reading this is thinking the same thing, which is why you need to hurry in and pick up your ski rental or snowboard rental for the season. The absolute last day to rent is November 22nd, but why wait when you can have your pick of the best gear available starting on September 25th?

If you thought summer in the Rockies was fun, just wait until the snow starts to pile up! Any negative feelings you have about winter will be replaced with happy thoughts of slashing powder during the day and learning the true meaning of après at night.

Rent once and ski or ride all season long with a season ski or snowboard rental package from your nearest Front Range Christy Sports. See you in the rental shop on September 25th!

For more information on Christy Sports Season Rentals, visit: www.christysports.com/season