Best Snowboarding Pants
One of the most important accessories that every snowboarder could not enjoy the slopes without is the snowboarding pants. The pants a snowboarder decides to wear can have a great impact on the enjoyment for the day, as if you wear too light of pants the weather will penetrate and ruin your day, if you wear too heavy of pants then you will not have the mobility you need to cruise down the hill. This is why a great pair of snowboarder pants is a necessity to ensure you enjoy the day and crush the slopes.
Now when looking for a great pair of snowboarding pants it can be quite overwhelming as there are so many options on the market, and it is hard to know which ones will best fit your style and the type of snowboarding you will be doing. Luckily for you, we have done the research and made a list of the top ten snowboarding pants on the marketplace today, we have also included some criteria about what to look for in a great pair of snowboarding pants to help you narrow down your options.
- Arctix Cargo Sport
- Fully taped seams
- Articulated knees
- White Sierra Insulated Bib
- Adjustable fit
- White Sierra Toboggan
- 120g polyfill insulation
- Adjustable internal waist
10 Best Snowboarding Pants
Arctix Cargo Sport
All seams are fully taped and the exterior has a DWR coating, which will keep water out. This along with the 85g of lightweight ThermaTech insulation mean you won't have to worry about your legs getting cold or wet when you're out.
The articulated knees provide solid freedom of movement, and the boot zippers provide easy on/off access without any hassle. The boot gaiters are designed with grippers for a seamless integration, which along with the fully taped seams and DWR protection will keep water out during all of your adventures.
Warm, lightweight insulation
Runs slightly large
White Sierra Insulated Bib
With a 100% nylon outer shell and a 100% polyfill insulation lining, the White Sierra Insulated Bib is designed with a good balance of warmth and water resistance. The shoulder straps are adjustable for a custom and comfortable fit.
120g polyfill insulation is the best of both worlds; it's warm and good at retaining heat while providing a comfortable fit without being cumbersome. The articulated knees further improve on this ease of movement as well. Sizes range from small to 2XL, and typically runs true to size.
Adjustable shoulder straps
Chest section can feel tight
White Sierra Toboggan
The White Sierra Toboggan feature 120g of polyfill insulation- more than some other pats on this list- for excellent warmth and heat retention. The outer is made of 100% nylon, which is both waterproof and durable. Articulated knees and an adjustable internal waistband ensure an ideal fit as well as ease of movement.
Coming in at under $75, the Toboggan pants are a solid investment for seasons to come, even for those who are on a budget. They come in a wide range of sizes, from small to 2XL. so you'll be able to find a pair that fits as well as they work.
Wide range of sizes
Adjustable internal waist
120g polyfill insulation
Runs slightly large
Columbia Men's Ridge 2 Run II
Taped seams and the brand's own Omni-Heat technology work to keep you warm, though considering these are just a shell you will need some layers in the event of extreme temperatures. The Omni-Heat technology works through a grid of small silver dots inside the pants that are designed to reflect heat back to your body. The outer is waterproof to a certain point, while still allowing for breathability. Men's sizes range from small to 2XL, all sizes come in either a regular or long inseam, and these pants typically run true to size.
The Omni-Heat technology on the interior reflects heat back to your body, to keep you warm without sacrificing breathability or ease of movement. Leg venting allows for more tailored temperature control on warmer days, and the articulated knees make them move with you, which is very important when snowboarding.
Omni-Heat technology to retain heat
Wide range of sizes
Not ideal for extreme temperatures
The two-layer nylon fabric is made with DRYRIDE material to ensure solid water resistance. This along with the "Living Lining" mesh ventilation will ensure that your legs stay dry no matter the conditions. A cargo pocket on the right leg gives you a place to store essentials. The roomy fit allows for thermals or a base layer to be worn under them in the event of extreme temperatures.
The boot gaiters use a clip design to keep snow out, and the expandable cuffs allow you to put on and remove your boots with relative ease. Sizes range from XXS to XXL, run true to size, and come in a wide range of color options, from basic blacks and greys to bright yellows and blues.
Wide range of size and color options
Not ideal for extreme temperatures
Burton Women's Gloria
The articulated knees and polyester outer allow for freedom of movement without the pants being too baggy or unflattering. The overall design is quite fitted and provides a feminine silhouette, and comes in a wide range of colors, from standard black to bright oranges and reds, and even a few patterns. Some users have reported that these pants can run large, so if you have concerns you may need to order a size down.
The outer layer is designed with a DRYRIDE Twill Weave fabric, providing solid water resistance and range of motion while still offering a stylish fit. The insulating material sits between the water-resistant outer and a moisture-wicking inner layer to keep you dry and comfortable.
Wide range of colors
Runs slightly large
The exterior of the Arcteryx Sabre Pants is made with flannel, nylon, and polyester, and is waterproof on the outside. The waterproof features on these pants derive from the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish on the outside of the fabric, which also makes the pants windproof and abrasion resistant.
The interior area of these pants is lightly insulated, and designed to be lightweight while still ventilating well and keeping you warm. The pants are made with Tiny Gore seam tape and have a micro-seam allowance to cut back on weight.
Designed to be stylish, Arcteryx’s Sabre Pants deliver all-around protection from both the weather and abrasions while still offering insulation, ventilation, and plenty of durability. You’ll get a lot of use out of these pants, and they will help you stay warm and dry each time you set out on a new snowboarding adventure.
- Good weather protection
- Can feel stiff
Volcom Juniors Species Stretch
Volcom’s Stretch Snow Pants are made of v-science stretch twill fabric features to offer a lot of versatility and freedom of movement, so you’ll never feel like you are restricted when you wear these pants. You also get plenty of waterproof and weatherproof protection along with breathability, meaning these pants can ventilate to keep you warm and dry even as you sweat so you feel comfortable.
Other features you’ll find in these pants are critical tape seams and a zip tech jacket to pant interface, which is designed to help keep the snow out of your pants so you don’t feel cold.
Volcom’s Stretch Snow Pants also are made with mesh lined zippered vents to allow you to control the ventilation in the pants as you see fit.
Volcom’s Stretch Snow Pants are also made with an adjustable inner waistband to ensure you always get a great, comfortable fit each time you put them on. They also come with several pockets to help you organize your items.
- Run large
- Run long
The North Face Freedom
The North Face’s Freedom Pants are designed with a waterproof, windproof, breathable, and fully seam sealed exterior to boost weather protection and also keep you safe from abrasions and injuries. They also come insulated with 60g Heatseeker technology designed into the inside of the pants, to help keep you warm while you stay dry.
Made with dual brushed handwarmer pockets, these pants also come with a single cargo pocket so that you have plenty of places to store and organize the items you wish to take along with you. Plus, these pants also come with Chimney Venting internal gaiters and durable kick-patches.
The North Face’s Freedom Pants bring you plenty of weather and injury protection features, and are also made to be comfortable and long-lasting. You’ll enjoy the use you get out of them every time you go snowboarding.
- Good weather protection
- Good ventilation
- Crotch zippers could be stronger
- Could offer more styles and colors
DC bring to snowboarders some of the most comfortable, best ventilated, and strongly insulated pants you’ll find for purchase today, while still bringing you ample amounts of weather protection.
DC's Nomad Pants also are fully seam taped and lower leg zippers, zip-up hand-warmer pockets, and zippered back pockets. You’ll also get inner snow gaiters with gripper elastic and cuff anchors designed to help ventilate so that you won’t overheat.
These pants are a more typical fit for snowboard pants as they're a little baggy. This might make the pants a little more comfortable on the slopes but if that's not your style it might be something to look into.
- Great insulation
- Weather protection
- Easy to adjust
- Could be more functional
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
When deciding on what the best pants for snowboarding will be to fit your needs, there are a few criteria points you’ll want to evaluate on a personal preference level prior to making your final purchasing decision. These factors include fit and comfort, weather protection, warmth, insulation, ventilation, and style. We’ll cover each of these concepts below in a bit more detail.
Snowboarding Pants Fit and Comfort
Probably the most important factors you’ll need to consider prior to making your purchase is the comfort and fit of the pants for snowboarding you decide to buy. Fit and comfort can be very subjective concepts and based highly on personal preference as well as your own standards and expectations.
To gage fit and comfort, you’ll want to try your pants for snowboarding on prior to purchasing them so that you can test out how they feel. However, pants for snowboarding come in different styles and designs, and the different style choices you get when selecting your pants for snowboarding typically fit somebody well, but not everybody. So, you’ll need to make an informed decision before making your selection.
The materials used in the pants for snowboarding you look at will also affect the comfort and fit of the pants overall. Fabric texture does make a difference since some pants feel softer and more comfortable than others, based on the fabric and materials used with the pants.
Some pants feel thicker and are quite stiff when you wear them and don’t feature hanging liners, like the FlyLow Baker, making them very durable. However, they typically don’t feel as comfortable or as flexible than pants designed to be more lightweight and also made with fleecy linings, like the Patagonia Powder Bowl.
So, depending on how thick, durable, and stiff you need your pants to be, you need to remember you’ll be trading off some level of comfort and flexibility if you opt for thicker pants. On the other hand, lightweight pants won’t be as durable or quite as protective but will feel much more comfortable and will also move with you better.
Some of the pants on our list are designed with one of these two concepts in mind, sacrificing either flexibility and comfort for durability and thickness, while other pants on our list provide you with comfort and flexibility but won’t be as durable or thick. As far as a good all-around choice where you’ll get a decent feeling in all categories, the Arcteryx Sabre Pants do a good job of balancing everything out.
The Columbia Bugaboo II Pants are designed with a very soft fleece lining, which makes them comfortable, but they are also very thick so you don’t get the flexibility you might want depending on where your skill level is at. For good insulated pants that are still comfortable and flexible, the Mammut Bormio is a great choice. However, if you’re leaning towards pants that are made to adjust and fit well, then you might want to consider the Patagonia SnowShot or The North Face Freedom.
Snowboarding Pants and Weather Resistance
Another very important feature you’ll want to consider is the level of weather resistance offered to you by your pants for snowboarding. You need pants that will protect you from the elements, still keep you warm, and keep out the snow, moisture, and wind as you move on the slopes.
In pants for snowboarding, you’ll find weather-resistant technology in the shell fabric areas and the design of the garment. The pants we’ve provided on our list above all offer some level of water resistance, while also offering windproof protection designed into the outer fabric. However, while many pants feature weather protection, they aren’t all created equally, and the construction on the outer fabric of the pants is what makes the key difference in the level of weather protection you’re likely to receive.
You want to make sure that the pants for snowboarding you purchase have tight inner cuffs that are separate and also feature solid zippers and flaps to help you keep the snow out. Also, make sure your pants for snowboarding come with some type of good water-resistant finish, like DWR (Durable Water Repellant), which will keep the water out of the exterior of the pants and make the water bead off the fabric. Another type of water protection you’ll see is Gore-Tex, which is one of the best types of weatherproofing technologies you’ll find in pants for snowboarding. Both of these water repellent technologies also help keep the pants breathable since the waterproof technology is a laminate, and still allows the pants to ventilate.
Depending on the amount of time you spend snowboarding, and the weather conditions you snowboard in, you’ll need to factor in the amount of weather-resistant features you’ll need in a pair of pants for snowboarding. People who are snowboarding often in stormy weather conditions should consider pants with ample amounts of weather protection, like the Patagonia Powder Bowl, the Arcteryx Sabre, or the Flylow Baker Bibs, which all offer top-level weather protection built into the design of the pants.
Other pants for snowboarding, like the Patagonia SnowShot and The North Face Freedom do well with weather protection in more predictable snowboarding weather conditions, but the fabrics these pants are designed with can fail you if they get too overwhelmed. Also, some of them are designed with fabrics that aren’t very breathable, which means humidity can create condensation on the inside of the pants, making you feel wet throughout your interior pant leg area.
However, if you aren’t going to be snowboarding when the weather conditions are stormy, these other pants can offer the level of weather protection you need while balancing out other features you might want in your pants for snowboarding. So, before you really decide on your level of weather protection, make sure you are honest with yourself about the types of conditions you are most likely to encounter.
Snowboarding Pants and Warmth
Another thing you’ll need to think about before purchasing your pants for snowboarding is the amount of warmth you’ll need when you are out in the cold weather. As far as warmth is concerned with pants for snowboarding, insulation will make a huge difference, and unfortunately, many snowboarders overlook how important insulation really is when they purchase their pants for snowboarding. This oversight occurs often because a lot of snowboarders will layer underneath their pants for snowboarding for extra warmth. However, you’ll still want to consider the level of warmth you’ll need out of your pants to stay comfortable on the slopes, whether or not you plan to layer underneath your pants.
One thing to remember about warmth when it comes to pants for snowboarding is that there is often a trade-off between insulation and warmth and the flexibility of your pants. Thicker pants with stronger insulation often fall short in the flexibility area, and can feel stiff as you move. So, you really do want to consider how much warmth you’ll need, so you don’t wind up sacrificing flexibility if you don’t have to
The warmest pants provided on our list above are the Mammut Bormio Pants, which come lightly insulated and have enough breathability features to keep you comfortable. The Columbia Bugaboo Pants also work well for warmth, as do the North Face Freedom Pants, the Patagonia SnowShot, and the Patagonia Powder Bowl.
Snowboarding Pants and Ventilation
When you’re trying to factor in how much ventilation you’ll need when you purchase your pants for snowboarding, you’ll need to remember where you’ll be skiing, and what the climate and conditions will most likely provide you on your snowboarding days. Snowboarding days and weather conditions can vary, and where you snowboard can help dictate a lot about the level of breathability you’ll want in your pants for snowboarding.
Typically, most snowboarders layer their upper body area, but this isn’t always true when it comes to pants for snowboarding. So, you need versatile pants that can also ventilate decently so that your pants can adapt and adjust to the weather conditions you encounter when you are snowboarding. The more breathable your pants are, the more likely they will adapt well to a wide range of weather conditions and climates.
If you want to snowboard and hit the backcountry areas, ventilation becomes even more important for the types of weather conditions you are likely to encounter. You want to make sure your pants are breathable for those conditions, so they can adapt to the weather and bring you the comfort that you’ll need each time you snowboard.
Some of the pants for snowboarding on our list include thigh vents, which is an excellent feature to have in a high-quality ventilation system. So, if you know you need a lot of breathability in your pants for snowboarding, selecting a pair of pants with thigh vents is a great place to start.
Thigh vents are very effective since they are found on the inside, making them better at creating ventilation than vents typically found on the exterior areas of the pants. Flylow’s Baker Bibs have both inner and outer leg area vents which helps to make the breathability exceptional. Also, the Mammut Bormio Pants also provide a superior ventilation system, which works well even though these pants are also very insulated. The Mammut Bormio Pants include vents that are well-positioned and can be unzipped or zipped up depending on the amount of ventilation you need.
Other pants that offer decent ventilation systems include the Arcteryx Sabre, which features non-mesh backed vents, which do work do provide average breathability. Patagonia’s SnowShot vents are also similar to the Sabre’s vents, and also offer average functionality. Columbia’s Bugaboo II Pants do not provide you with any vents.
So, as you consider the level of breathability you need, think about the weather conditions and whether or not humidity could affect your level of perspiration. Once you know how to evaluate that, you’ll be able to select pants for snowboarding that give you the right level of breathability.
Snowboarding Pants and Style
While the way a pair of pants for snowboarding look is not always a major factor, or the most important one, snowboarders use when making a decision, it is nice to feel stylish and fashionable while you’re snowboarding in your new pair of pants. However, since you know you won’t be wearing your pants out often, you’ll need to balance out how much style you need, since it can affect the cost of your snowboarding pants if you are shopping on a budget.
Many snowboarders feel that their pants only need to be functional and look like pants for snowboarding. However, many manufacturers do give you a variety of color options, and as long as you find a color you like and can match it to your jacket, you’ll still look good on the slopes. Of course, if you prefer to be able to mix and match your jackets, you might want to consider grey or black pants so that you can swap out your jacket’s styles and colors.
Also when factoring in the style of your pants for snowboarding, remember that the way your pants for snowboarding will fit you can vary. While a baggy look is still popular, it’s not as trendy as it used to be, and snowboarders can get away with pants that are baggy and do sag. Just keep in mind that if you are seeking out a baggier look, you might be trading style for your range of motion, which can affect the way you perform when you are snowboarding.
Most manufacturers on our list offer a wide range of styles in their pants for snowboarding. For example, the Arcteryx Sabre has a slimmed down look that’s made to fit more closely, and provides a lot of flexibility. Other manufacturers make their pants to appear sleek, like the FlyLows.
Q: What type of features should I consider when purchasing my snowboarding pants?
Some features are important to have in pants for snowboarding, but what you need can really vary depending on your snowboarding style, where you snowboard, and your pants for snowboarding budget. Some pants include things like integrated belts, pockets, and key clips. While not all of these features are necessary to have on your pants for snowboarding, you need to remember what you’ll be carrying with you and how you can organize your items when you make your decision.
While the extra features on pants for snowboarding can be a real benefit, if you are shopping on a budget, then you really want to focus in on fit, comfort, weather protection, and ventilation. Those are probably the most important features that will affect performance. Everything else can be viewed as a bonus option, and whether or not you need these bonuses depends on your snowboarding style and the climate conditions you will most likely encounter.
Q: What are the different types of snowboarding pants?
Snowboarding pants come in three different types: uninsulated, insulated, and bibs. We’ll break down each type of style in a bit more detail below.
- Uninsulated Snowboarding Pants. This type of pants for snowboarding doesn’t offer an insulating layer, but does bring you a lot of versatility, since if you plan on layering underneath your pants for snowboarding, you may not need any insulation at all. With uninsulated pants for snowboarding, you can customize what you wear to better fit your needs, and adjust and adapt. These pants are usually made with a three-layer construction that features a waterproof and breathable membrane found between a strong face fabric and a lighter mesh or fleece lining. Pants that are designed this way aren’t quite as flexible in design, and can feel stiff, but they are made to be durable and long-lasting. Plus, they ventilate very well, but won’t feel great against your naked skin, so you’ll probably want to layer with them. Some other uninsulated pants use a two-layer construction, meaning the face fabric and waterproof membrane are combined, and you’ll get a free hanging inner layer of fleece or mesh. These pants are usually softer on the skin than pants with a three-layer construction, and also offer a little more warmth.
- Insulated Snowboarding Pants. Insulated Snowboarding Pants like the Columbia Bugaboo II Pants and the Mammut Bormio are both insulated. These pants feature a lining fabric and a waterproof membrane and also have some type of synthetic insulation to help keep you warm if you plan to be snowboarding when the weather gets very cold. While these pants will keep you warmer, they do tend to be thicker and can limit flexibility, and they also may not be as breathable as some other options.
- Bibs are made using a three-layer construction and help to cover the gap between the lower and upper body, usually using suspenders to hold the pants up and prevent any gap. Bibs like the Flylow Baker Bibs are great for taller people or those worried about falling and getting snow into their pants.
Q: How should my snowboarding pants fit?
Your snowboarding pants should feel comfortable but the style of the pant will determine how they fit as snowboarding pants come in the following styles:
- Slim Fit. This style of pant is form fitting and are good if you will not be wearing layers as they offer an active fit. Great for mobility and usually the most stylish.
- Regular Fit. This style is the most common among snowboarders and offers a more loose fit so you do not feel compressed and tight in your snowboarding pants.
- Relaxed Fit. This style is a larger/baggier fit and offer more comfort and is good if you will be wearing a lot of layers, but may cut down on your mobility.
Q: Is a waterproof rating important when looking for snowboarding pants?
Waterproof rating is how fast your pants will dry, and since you will be cruising down the slopes and getting covered in snow, most likely you will be experiencing some water or dampness on your pants depending on the temperature that day. The higher the rating the dryer the pants will keep you as you continue your day of snowboarding, the lower the rating the quicker you are going to experience some water penetrating your pants and causing some feeling of uncomfortably. So find a pant with a good waterproof rating as you do not want your pants getting damp and ruining your day.
Q: Is breathability important when looking for snowboarding pants?
Breathability is quite important when looking at snowboarding pants as the more breathable the pants are the more ventilation you will have to allow water vapor caused by sweat to escape the pants, which will allow you to stay warmer and drier than if you had a pair of snowboarding pants that were not breathable.
When you research the best pants for snowboarding available on your market today, you’ll want to consider a few things before making your final selection, like your budget, your snowboarding style, the climate and weather you’ll encounter, and how much weather protection, warmth, and ventilation you’ll really need. Once you are able to consider those factors, you’ll be able to make a great choice in pants for snowboarding that will give you everything you need each time you venture outdoors into the winter weather.
With a high-quality pair of snowboarding pants, you’ll be protected from the weather, and you’ll always feel warm and protected no matter where you go. Plus, you’ll be able to get many seasons of use out of your snowboarding pants, since these types of pants are designed to be durable and strong. Remember as well, that if you have found a pair you think will fit your needs and style, to always go instore and try them on to ensure they fit perfect and are comfortable.