Skiing is not a cheap sport. On top of the basic holiday costs, special winter insurance and travel, there is clothing and equipment to factor in, as well as mountain lunches and ski lessons. It soon adds up, especially for families.

Renting ski equipment and clothing can help ease the financial burden and help make your ski holiday more sustainable, too.

We’ve put together a handy guide to help you decide whether rental is for you.

Q: Are you going skiing for the first time, or the first time in many years?

If yes, renting both ski clothing and equipment is the right choice. Skiing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so why splash out on an entire wardrobe just in case you decide to go again? While you might get some use out of a jacket and thermals in the UK, ski pants, socks, helmets and gloves are not cheap especially if you only use them once — and are a waste of the planet’s resources and wardrobe space. Similarly, it’s best to rent boots, skis and poles, which you can do in the resort. These are big purchases and you’ll need to change your equipment as you get more proficient on the slopes so there’s just no point buying it yet. Plus, there’s the hassle of carting equipment on the journey — something that not even the best skiers enjoy!

Q: Do you have a growing family?

Borrowing from friends or renting ski clothing is ideal for families who don’t ski every year, or are trying a ski holiday for the first time. Renting ski kit for children cuts costs and eliminates wastage among kids who are growing fast, so less will end up in landfill — research by WRAP (the Water and Resources Action Programme) revealed that half of Brits (45%) own clothing that is only worn once a year — much of which is holiday clothing. Ski kit is bulky to store all year round for once-a-year use! Hand-me-down skis are brilliant for children, but unless you drive to the Alps and have room in your car, remember that it costs as much as renting skis to transport them by plane.

Q: Do you ski more than once a year?

Once you start skiing several times a season, and your skill level improves, it’s the right time to buy your own boots and possibly skis. Having your own kit is a bit like driving your own car — you know how it handles, how it feels and what condition it is in. But don’t forget the hidden costs: on top of transportation, skis and snowboards need to be waxed, edged, serviced and repaired — starting at around £30 a pop.

Since you’ll be getting more use out of your ski clothing, investing in good-quality kit that will last a long time makes perfect sense. EcoSki stocks a range of more environmentally conscious brands, and we have tips on how to look after your ski kit to make it last. If you fancy a change or to update your look, that’s the ideal time to rent a ski jacket or pants.

Q: Are you learning to snowboard or ski touring for the first time?

If you are learning a new skill like snowboarding or ski touring for the first time, renting kit for the first week is the right choice. If you don’t ever go again, buying specialist kit will be an expensive mistake, even if secondhand/preloved (which EcoSki offers here). Ski touring is booming in popularity, and requires a specialist and lightweight layering system which can take time and money to acquire (read our blog on how to build a layering system here). Renting through us allows you to try before you buy, too.

Snowboarding and ski touring equipment is now easy to rent in your chosen ski resort, and while EcoSki doesn’t offer hardwear rental (boards, skis, bindings, skins and touring boots) we do offer avalanche equipment and backpacks for a fraction of the cost of buying it.

EcoSki’s range of rental ski kit for men, women and children includes everything from ski jackets and pants to goggles, socks and even avalanche equipment. Check the full range here.