Top 10: The Absolute Best Ski Pants To Buy

Ski pants are probably among the least considered items for a skiing trip. Many novices may not realize how important this piece of clothing is to their skiing experience. But along with buying all the other ski essentials, choosing a great pair of skiing pants may help you enjoy your skiing trip comfortably.

However, there are so many choices available today that trying to pick out a pair is often frustrating. How do you choose the best ski pants for yourself? To start with, take a look at your skiing style and the conditions you’re dealing with. This will help you evaluate your needs. With the right information, shopping for ski pants is fun!

COMPARISON TABLE

Why Should You Select Only the Best Ski Pants?

Ski pants are not like snowboarding pants, and both activities have some differences too. Skiing is all about efficiency and speed, so the pants have to suit this goal. Such pants aren’t baggy, but tight and slim-fitting to allow for quick movement.

Additionally, ski pants need to have a simple design that won’t be an obstacle to the wearer. They hence need to be snug, have ventilation zippers, and be able to keep up with aggressive use. With the right pair of ski pants, you can have a much better and safer skiing experience. You’ll notice the difference only when you’ve tried a variety of ski pants, but this comes with your experience.

Types of Ski Pants

Various kinds of ski pants are available. This makes sense, as you can ski in several kinds of weather and on different types of terrain. Before choosing a pair of ski pants, you should see what type of skiing is up for you next, and then decide which of the following types will suit your needs the best.

​Insulated Ski Pants


Insulated ski pants have an outer layer called a shell. This is made of waterproof material. Such a pair of pants also has an inner layer that’s insulated, made of fleece or synthetic material. You can measure the level of insulation in grams. The higher the number, the warmer the insulated ski pants will be.

If you’re skiing in a cold area, insulated pants are probably the best choice. However, they’re not a good idea for spring skiing, as they’re not too breathable.

Uninsulated Ski Pants


These are a versatile kind of pants, as they don’t have insulation to weigh them down. The most they’ll give you is a lining to provide warmth, comfort, and a good fit. You might get cold in these, so thermal leggings may have to be an additional purchase.

Uninsulated ski pants are a good choice for those who are skiing as tourists and just need a little extra warmth. The flexibility and lightness of this kind are great for beginners as well.

2 ski pants worn by two man

Bibs


Bibs are the kind of ski pants that also have a covering for the chest, much like overalls. They have straps to hold them up, so are more stable than just the pants design. However, they may also be seen as constricting and inconvenient if one has to go to the bathroom.

While ski bibs might be on the bulky side, they’re also more versatile than pants since they can be adjusted for kids. They’re also a great choice for long, hard skiing journeys where you need all the warmth you can get.

Softshell Ski Pants


Softshell ski pants have an outer material of woven fabric that’s soft to touch. Since such pants make a rustling noise, softshell ski pants offer a looser fit and a higher level of breathability as compared to the features offered by the hard shell variety.

These are the kind of pants you want if you plan to have a higher level of activity on the slopes. It’s also best if the conditions in question are a bit dry since the waterproof factor isn’t that great. If that’s the case with your skiing activity, then these pants are a comfortable and breathable choice that will let you move freely.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Ski Pants

There are several factors you should consider before buying ski pants for your own use or as a gift. These include the following:

Comfort and warmth


The fit of your ski pants is essential for your comfort and warmth. If you’re going to be ripping some hard curves, go with a style that has stretchy areas on the knees, crotch, and behind. This will help in providing maximum flexibility while not compromising on the snug fit.

Black ski pants

While it’s important to get a good fit for ski pants, it’s not always possible. Therefore, it’s wise to go for a larger size. This way, you can actually fit into the pants, and they won’t decrease your flexibility.

If you’re spring skiing, the temperature can get very warm. In such cases, you might want to wear thin layers under a shell type. Some warmth management such as vents and layering is also a logical idea here. The mid-season temperature can be very cold, so adding layers should be an option.

Weather resistance


Generally, you need ski pants to keep out the cold. Snow is dry, so unless it gets inside the clothes, you don’t have to worry about the damp. Spring skiing, though, is another matter. You can find yourself skiing in the rain while it’s still cold, risking several illnesses including hypothermia. Unless this is a regular occurrence, you may not need to invest in waterproof pants.

Features


Certain features of ski pants might be considered necessary. First, you should have reinforced panels in strategic areas. This makes sure the pants are durable. Gaiters, which are elastic cuffs, are also necessary to close up your boot. Otherwise, the snow could get in and make your feet wet.

If necessary, you may also look for cargo pockets to carry snacks, a phone, or other essentials. Other useful additions include ventilation zippers, reinforced nylon cuffs, and an adjustable waist.

Breathability and ventilation


Ski pants have to serve a double role. They have to keep you warm inside while letting out any perspiration. If either of these roles isn’t fulfilled, your experience could be uncomfortable and may cramp your skiing style. To this end, you need some long ventilation zippers to let the heat out from time to time. These have to be on the inside, as the outside ones risk getting snow inside your pants.

khaki colored pants

Color


The color of your ski pants will help you look your best on the slopes. White may present an amazing appearance, but they stain very easily. It’s much more convenient and safe to get a black or brown pair so you can be seen.

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the best ski pants of 2018 by looking at their Amazon ratings, reviews, and overall features. With this, we were able to compile an unbiased selection of the best ski pants available on the market today. We’ve also looked at a good mixture of the types of ski pants to consider, so you have a better chance of finding the best pair for the slopes.

10 Best Ski Pants in 2018

These are the 10 ski pants that have made it to the top of the list in 2018. You’ll be sure to find your best skiing choice here.

1.) Arc'teryx Men's Sabre Pants Neptune Small R

Arc'teryx Men's Sabre Pants Neptune Small R
  • Arc'teryx Bottoms Size Chart
  • Arc'teryx Tops Size Chart
  • The Sabre Pants offers waterproof and breathable protection with the hard-wearing, season-after-season durability...

The Arc’teryx Sabre Men’s GORE-TEX Ski Pants are a premium offering for ski pants, so they’re actually on the expensive side. However, you’ll get high quality and meticulous detail with this particular pair. The company behind them is known for manufacturing outdoor clothing for the Canadian military. We can easily gauge their high standards from this information.

These are ski pants with a shell but very little insulation. Customers appreciate the fact that they’re durable, but you might need another base layer in colder weather. There have been no Amazon ratings for this item yet. The price range for Arc’teryx ski pants is between $320 and $670.

2.) Spyder Men's Troublemaker Pants, Cirrus, XX-Large/Long

Spyder Men's Troublemaker Pants, Cirrus, XX-Large/Long
  • Critically seam taped, scuff guards and articulated knee construction
  • Thigh ventilation system
  • Inner snow gaiters with gripper elastic

The Spyder Troublemaker is an excellent complement to the ski jackets by the same company. It has a modern, clean look with light insulation of 40 grams. The 3M Thinsulate is also acceptable as the industry's standard. With a DWR shell coating, this pair is a tough, durable one that’s also waterproof.

While customers love the lightweight insulation and ventilation thigh zippers, this pair does seem to get hot very quickly. The Amazon rating for this item is 4.3 out of 5 stars. The price range is between $58 and $200.

3.) Columbia Men's Bugaboo II Extended Pant, Bright Red, 2X

Columbia Men's Bugaboo II Extended Pant, Bright Red, 2X
  • Reinforced cuff guard
  • Lining - 100% polyester tricot
  • Omni-Tech waterproof/breathable critically seam sealed

The Columbia Bugaboo II pants are probably the best kind you can buy on a tight budget. These boast an outer completely made of nylon, with reinforced cuffs made of the same material. This prevents fraying and ensures durability. These are undoubtedly the best pants you can get for the low price.

Reviews have reported that while there are several useful features in this pair, there could have been more seam sealing. The Amazon rating for this item is 4.2 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $30 and $220.

4.) Burton Men's Covert Pant

Burton Men's Covert Pant
  • DRYRIDE two-layer fabric [10,000MM, 10,000G] is waterproof and breathable for outstanding weather protection
  • Living Lining mapped with taffeta and mesh regulates body temperature, adapting to ups and downs of your activity
  • Fully taped seams seal out foul weather; Zippered cargo pockets for storage

The Burton Cargo Ski Pants come in a slim fit model as well as the regular kind. Equipped with large cargo pockets, you can carry some snacks if required as a result. They have a light insulation layer and a shell, along with a taffeta and mesh lining. These pants are available in 13 styles and colors, allowing you to express your personality on the slopes.

Customers love the range of choice available here, along with the variety of features they have. The Amazon rating for this item is 4.5 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $68 and $350.

5.) Outdoor Research Men's Skyward Pants, Black, Medium

Outdoor Research Men's Skyward Pants, Black, Medium
  • AscentShell 3L, 84% nylon 16% spandex 70D stretch plain weave face with 100% polyester 30D knit backer, 100% nylon...
  • Waterproof, Breathable, Air Permeable, Fully Seam-Taped, Laminated Construction, Windproof, Movement-Mirroring...
  • Avalanche Beacon Pocket with Clip, YKK AquaGuard Zippers

The Outdoor Research Skyward Pants are one of the most popular choices for ski pants today. Due to its high-quality stitches, this pair is especially handy for technical and professional skiers. These pants come with water-resistant zippers, quality materials, and high durability even when used roughly.

Unique details like the back pocket have made this pair a favorite with its customers, along with the optional bib. There is no Amazon rating for this item yet, but the price range is between $210 and $350.

6.) Helly Hansen Men's Legendary Pants, Sulphur, S

Helly Hansen Men's Legendary Pants, Sulphur, S
  • Helly Tech Performance, waterproof, windproof and breathable
  • Durable Water Repellency treatment (DWR)
  • Recco Advanced Rescue system

The market might underrate Helly Hansen, but those who’ve used them don’t regret the decision. These pants are of the insulated kind, unlike many on this list. While this may lead to a lot of leg sweat, the leg venting should take care of such issues very quickly.

Customers love the fact that they can use these pants even on the coldest slopes. However, some might find them too snug a fit, so be sure to order a size up at least. The Amazon rating for this item is 5 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $110 and $220.

7.) Men's 1960 Snow Sports Cargo Pants, Large, Black

Men's 1960 Snow Sports Cargo Pants, Large, Black
  • 85 grams ThermaTech Insulation offers warmth in a lightweight, low bulk garment (keeps you warm at temperatures...
  • 600 Denier Ballistic are used to reinforce the ankle, scuff and hem guards to hold up against daily wear and tear
  • Adjustable waist for comfortable fit

Unlike the Arc’teryx option, the Arctix Bibs and Ski Pants for Men are essentially a pair of ski pants available at a low price. They’re of the insulated kind and have a shell made solely of nylon. There’s around 600D nylon reinforcement on its cuffs, which prevents any abrasions from your boots or ski edges.

Users appreciate the adjustable waist with Velcro straps that give you a safe snug size. However, they might need an extra layer during the freezing season. The Amazon rating for this item is 3.8 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $17 and $95.

8.) Arctix Men's Mountain Ski Pant, Black, Large

Arctix Men's Mountain Ski Pant, Black, Large
  • 85 grams ThermaTech Insulation offers warmth in a lightweight, low bulk garment (keeps you warm at temperatures...
  • 600 Denier Ballistic are used to reinforce the ankle, scuff and hem guards to hold up against daily wear and tear
  • Adjustable waist for comfortable fit

The Arctix Avalanche ski pants are affordable, come with protective zippers, and will easily integrate with most ski boots. They have an adjustable waist so that can tighten or loosen your fit as required. These adjustments will leave you hassle-free, which means that you don’t need to struggle with zips or laces at all.

Users love the fact that these pants give you everything you need within a reasonable price range. The Amazon rating for this item is 4.1 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $42 and $70.

Columbia Bugaboo II

9.) Columbia Men's Big-Tall Bugaboo II Pants, 3X, Mountain Red

Columbia Men's Big-Tall Bugaboo II Pants, 3X, Mountain Red
  • Omni-Tech waterproof/breathable critically seam sealed. Insulated
  • Exterior adjustable waist
  • Articulated knees

The Columbia Bugaboo II ski pants are your safest bet if you want a decent appearance and a quality performance. The color variety consists of 18 choices, so you’ll look and feel good. Besides, you can easily choose the color according to what your fellow skiers plan to wear. Along with this, the adjustable weight, cuff guard, and articulated knees ensure long-term use of these pants.

There has been a lot of praise for these pants regarding their durability and versatility. The Amazon rating for this item is 4.2 out of 5 stars. The price range for this item is between $29 and $220.

10.) Arctix Men's Essential Bib Overall, Black, Large/Regular

Arctix Men's Essential Bib Overall, Black, Large/Regular
  • 85 grams ThermaTech Insulation offers warmth in a lightweight, low bulk garment (keeps you warm at temperatures...
  • Adjustable comfort suspenders for the perfect fit with elasticized side gussets for maximum motion; Water...
  • 600 Denier Ballistic are used to reinforce the ankle, scuff and hem guards to hold up against daily wear and tear

The Arctic Essential Bib is a convenient choice since you’ll get a lot of coverage and security with your ski pants. There are no worries in getting rough on the slope with this choice. They’re available in six colors, along with a warm and insulating material. There are even zippers at the bottom so you can easily cover your boots.

Reviews have stated that these pants are both windproof and waterproof. The Amazon rating for this item is 4.2 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $25 and $90.

Our Verdict

The ski pants reviewed above contain a decent variety and have something for everyone. If you like to have a lot of space to carry essentials, a cargo option like the Burton Cargo Mid Fit Men’s Ski Pants will suit you best. If you prefer a snug, slim fit, you should go for the Helly Hansen Men’s Legendary Ski Pants.

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