The 10 Best Ski and Snowboard Pants of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Our winners are the sleek, sturdy Flylow Foxy Bib pants for women and the Helly Hansen Legendary Pants for men.

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Best Ski and Snowboard Pants

Arc’teryx / REI / Helly Hansen

If you’re heading into the mountains this winter, you’ll need a pair of ski or snowboard pants that not only keep your legs warm and dry, but also fit your style preferences. Since there are plenty of great snow pant designs out there to try, we sent our powder hounds out with 19 pairs to assess the warmth, comfort, design, waterproofness, and value of each.

After several ski trips, snowshoe excursions, and other cold-weather activities, we chose the women’s Flylow Foxy Bib Pants and the men’s Helly Hansen Legendary Pants as our best overall winners. They earned rave reviews from our testers for providing excellent fit, ample warmth, and mogul-ready range of motion. Other ski and snowboard pants made our list thanks to optimal features for budget-friendly skiers, backcountry explorers, and those looking for lightweight and breathable options.

Best Overall, Women’s

Flylow Women's Foxy Bib

4.8
Flylow Foxy Bib Ski and Snowboard Pants

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    4/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Weatherproofing
    5/5

Why We Love It: The bib prevents your pants from sliding down during high-intensity activities and has a svelte look off the slope.

What to Consider: The materials could be thicker for more warmth.

Our tester couldn’t stop raving about the sleek and comfortable fit of the Flylow Foxy Bib Ski and Snowboard Pants in their testing notes. Right away, the pants impressed them with an adjustable bib that ensured the suspenders fit our tester just right without any bunching in the waist or discomfort in the shoulders. “I like the slim fit, they felt easy to move in and because of the bib, I was never worried they would ride down, and [they] fit under a sweater and ski jacket,” they shared. Despite the slimmer fit, the pants didn’t feel tight in the waist or thighs, and we noticed how easy it was to move around in them, which is a must for skiers and snowboarders alike. They’re also available in tall and petite sizes to ensure perfect proportions.

These polyester pants have 20K/20K waterproofing and breathability, meaning the fabric can withstand 20,000 millimeters of rain before you feel any dampness, so we’re confident that these pants will keep you dry in the wettest snow of the season. Though the fabric is tough, it’s very lightweight and breathable, but it could be a bit thicker for additional warmth. Still, we found the pants to be perfectly warm, and with a cozy set of thermal underwear on, you’ll be riding all day long in comfort and style.

Price at time of publish: $387

Sizes: XS to XL (petite, regular, tall) | Insulated: No | Fit: Slim

Best Overall, Men’s

Helly Hansen Men's Legendary Insulated Ski Pants

4.8
Helly Hansen Legendary Pants

Helly Hansen

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    4/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Weatherproofing
    5/5

Why We Love It: These were very warm and had a superb range of motion while snowshoeing.

What to Consider: A lighter base layer might be best to pair with these pants since they have insulation and were noticeably warm during testing.

From skiing to snowshoeing, Helly Hansen’s Legendary Pants are the ideal pair of men’s snow pants for a variety of seasonal activities. Perfectly roomy, the two-ply insulated fabric doesn’t feel bulky despite the extra thickness for warmth. Our tester wore the pants during a snowshoe excursion in the Pacific Northwest and discovered how warm the pants will keep your legs during a high-intensity activity like hiking in the snow while remaining breathable. Although the snow was more dry than wet during the hike, the pants did an excellent job of preventing any moisture from leaking through, leading us to believe the seam-sealed polyester fabric will be tough against the harshest winter conditions.

With an adjustable waist, boot gaiters, two zippered hand pockets, and the two-way mechanical stretch of the fabric, these pants are outfitted with plenty of thoughtful features to take you from the slopes to the aprés with comfort and warmth top of mind. And, Helly Hansen has a lifetime warranty, meaning they will repair or replace your pants so you can keep shredding season after season.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: S to 4XL | Insulated: Yes | Fit: Straight-leg

Best Budget

Arctix Women's Insulated Snow Pants

4.7
Arctix Women’s Insulated Snow Pants

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Warmth
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Weatherproofing
    4.5/5

Why We Love It: The fit is flattering and the inseam comes in short, regular, tall, and long options.

What to Consider: The pants are insulated and very warm, so wearing a lighter base layer might prevent overheating.

Our budget-friendly pick goes to the size-inclusive and toasty Arctix Women’s Insulated Snow Pants. “They're roomy without looking comically oversized and the short length option is greatly appreciated as they fit at the perfect part of my foot with ski boots on,” our tester raved in their notes. The sizes range from XS to 4XL, and there is the option to have the inseam in short, regular, tall, or long lengths for fit customization. In addition to the impressive sizing choices, these insulated pants are noticeably warm and the shell boasted ideal waterproofness when we dumped water on the fabric and the inside remained perfectly dry. Plus, the pants are outfitted with two zippered pockets, an O-ring for a lift ticket or season pass, boot zippers, and adjustable waist straps. For an affordable pair of snow pants, we love that these don’t sacrifice quality for the price. Arctix also offers a men’s version.

Price at time of publish: $45

Sizes: XS to 4XL (short, regular, tall, long) | Insulated: Yes | Fit: Straight-leg

Best Style

Roxy Women's Rising High Pants

4.9
Roxy Rising High Pants

REI

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    5/5
  • Design
    4.5/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Weatherproofing
    5/5

Why We Love It: It’s form-flattering and the high waist is a nice alternative to a bib.

What to Consider: They don’t look like a standard pair of ski pants and instead have more of a slim fit at the waist and thighs with a flare at the legs.

For skiers looking to stray away from the standard straight-leg ski pant, the Roxy Rising High Pants are your best option. While our tester normally prefers a straight-leg fit, these pants ended up being a winner thanks to the slim fit at the thighs and flare at the boot that looks sporty and stylish at the same time. The polyester exterior and fleece-lined interior feel premium, and with 15,000 millimeters of waterproofness, we’re confident these will hold up well in the snow. The best part of these ski pants is that the polyester snow pant material ends right at the top of the hips and the rest of the waistline is an elastane belt that makes the pants exceptionally comfortable to sit, stand, walk, or squat for superb mobility. There are three buttons on the front of the pants that are reinforced with velcro strips on either side so you’ll never have to worry about a button popping undone on the slopes. And we love that there are two front zippered pockets and two back zippered pockets for storing snacks while skiing.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: XS to XL | Insulated: No | Fit: Slim/flare

Best Backcountry

Trew Capow Ski Bib

Trew Gear Capow Bibs

Evo

Why We Love It: The pants have special features for backcountry skiing like an avalanche beacon pocket, stretchy fabric, and an upper bib.

What to Consider: You’ll want thick base layers for resort skiing since these pants aren’t insulated.

Backcountry skiing is a thrill, but it’s imperative to go into it prepared for the intense workout with a pair of lightweight and breathable snow pants like the Trew Capow Bibs, which are also available in women’s sizes. This pair of pants is specifically designed for backcountry skiers, as the fabric is both stretchy and breathable, and we love that there are ample ventilation pockets in the bib and pants. “As someone who tends to overheat easily while on the skin track, I really appreciate all of the massive ventilation,” our tester shared in their notes. Plus, there are six zippered pockets to store snacks, as well as an avalanche beacon which is a must-have for safely skiing in backcountry conditions. One thing to note is that because these pants are designed to be lightweight and stretchy, there isn’t any insulation, so if you’re doing more resort skiing, we recommend layering up or opting for an insulated pant for warmth.

Sizes: XS to 2XL | Insulated: No | Fit: Straight-leg

Price at time of publish: $479

Most Breathable

Helly Hansen Women's Switch Cargo Insulated Pants

4.6
Helly Hansen Switch Cargo Insulated Pants - Women's

Evo

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    5/5
  • Design
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Weatherproofing
    5/5

Why We Love It: The pants regulate temperature nicely and they have inner-thigh ventilation.

What to Consider: The cargo pockets are velcro and don't feel super secure for valuables like keys or a phone.

Skiing and snowboarding can be quite the workout, so it’s nice to have a pair of breathable snow pants like the Helly Hansen Switch Cargo Insulated pants. Made with the brand’s Helly Tech Performance fabric, these pants are designed to have the perfect balance of waterproofness and breathability, and it was well demonstrated during testing. Our tester wore these pants for a day at the mountain and noted that “they kept my temperature perfectly balanced — there wasn't a time that was too hot either, even though our second day got a little warmer.” And if you do find yourself a little too warm after a mogul run, the pants have handy inner-thigh vents that are easy to access and unzip. The only thing we didn’t love about these pants is that the side cargo pockets only have velcro to secure the contents of the pockets, so our tester recommended using the standard zipper pockets at the hip of the pants.

Price at time of publish: $225

Sizes: XS to XL | Insulated: Yes | Fit: Straight-leg

Best Pockets

Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant

4.7
Powderqueen Bib Pant - Women's

Backcountry

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Weatherproofing
    4.5/5

Why We Love It: There are five useful pockets for storing everything from a phone to an avalanche beacon.

What to Consider: The fabric was a little moist on the inside after long exposure to running water.

Unless you like to carry a small backpack around with you on the slopes, a pair of snow pants with ample pockets is the best way to store your valuables, and these Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pants have the perfect amount of storage. With five pockets between the bib and the legs of the pants, we were impressed with the variety of places to store a wallet, phone, avalanche beacon, and more without feeling weighed down. “Everywhere you reach on the pants have somewhere to put your belongings in without making them bulky. The compartment right across the chest is a plus for me because it’s easily accessible,” our tester raved. We also love the slim fit of the pants with enough stretch in the Helly Tech Performance fabric that our tester was both comfortable and warm while wearing the pants in near-freezing temperatures.

Price at time of publish: $300

Sizes: XS to XL | Insulated: Lightly insulated | Fit: Slim

Best Shell, Women’s

Arc’teryx Women's Sentinel Pant

4.6
Sentinel Pants

Arc'teryx

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    3.5/5
  • Design
    4.6/5
  • Value
    5/5
  • Weatherproofing
    5/5

Why We Love It: These are extremely lightweight and comfortable pants to ski in.

What to Consider: The pants are a little thin, so we recommend layering them with a thick pair of thermal underwear.

If you’re in search of ski pants that feel like wearing a regular pair of pants, then the Arc'teryx Sentinel Pants will be your go-to gear for skiing. While the price tag is higher than most pants we tested, these pants are weatherproof, lightweight, and easy to move around in, making them well worth the investment for the promise of staying warm and dry while skiing for many seasons to come. We found that the slim fit and lightweight fabric make the pants incredibly comfortable to wear, and we were impressed with the way the fabric repelled water during our test for waterproofness. Made with waterproof Gore-tex fabric and insulation and watertight zippers, we feel confident that these pants will keep your legs dry in rain or wet snow. “I ran these under water and water literally glides right off these pants. It's like magic,” our tester shared.

Price at time of publish: $550

Sizes: 0 to 12 (short, regular, tall) | Insulated: No | Fit: Slim

Best Shell, Men’s

Arc'teryx Men's Macai Pants

4.6
 Arc’teryx Macai Pants

 Arc’teryx 

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    4/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
  • Weatherproofing
    5/5

Why We Love It: The pants are lightweight and thin, and they proved to be completely waterproof during testing.

What to Consider: There isn’t much insulation in the pants, so you’ll want a warm base layer underneath for colder days.

Arc’teryx is a pricier outdoor gear brand, but after testing two pairs of their ski pants, we determined that you get what you pay for with the company: a pair of extremely high-quality pants like the men’s Macai Pants. The lean fit is very flattering and looks sleek, and we love that the pants are incredibly lightweight so they won’t feel like a traditional pair of snow pants. They’re made with a variety of durable materials that really make them stand out in terms of waterproofness thanks to the double-layer Gore-tex shell and watertight zippers. Our tester said that these pants are “totally waterproof” with no chance of snow getting through the taped seams and Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. There is a light layer of synthetic insulation for wicking away moisture and regulating temperature, but you might want an extra layer for cold days since we noticed that the pants are slightly thin.

Price at time of publish: $575

Sizes: S to XL | Insulated: Lightly Insulated | Fit: Slim

Best Basic

The North Face Women’s Freedom Insulated Pants

4.5
The North Face Women’s Freedom Insulated Pants

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Warmth
    4/5
  • Design
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
  • Weatherproofing
    5/5

Why We Love It: These are a no-frills pair of snow pants with simple features for any kind of snow sport.

What to Consider: The pants run slightly large.

No matter the type of cold-weather activity you prefer, The North Face Women's Freedom Insulated Pants are a great choice for a simple pair of snow pants that are warm and comfortable to wear. Also available for men, the pants are made with the brand’s Heatseeker Eco insulation for regulating warmth and the seam-sealed DryVent shell for staying dry. While we wish the pants were a little thicker in material, we think they will provide a good amount of warmth with base layers underneath. We loved the waterproofness of the pants after our tester ran the legs under a stream of water for several minutes, and the underneath of the pant remained completely dry. The straight-leg fit is versatile for skiing, snowboarding, or any other type of outdoor venture, and while the waistline runs a bit big, there are adjustable straps on either side of the hip to customize the fit.

Price at time of publish: $113

Sizes: XS to 3XL | Insulated: Yes | Fit: Straight-leg/baggy

Other Ski and Snowboard Pants We Tested

While we found plenty of winners for our list of best snow pants, several almost made the cut but fell short during testing.

Black Diamond Recon Stretch Pants: The pants proved to be water-resistant with waterproof pockets after our tester stood in the shower with the pants on, but the four-way stretch didn’t impress us, as they felt a bit tight.

Outdoor Research Skyward II AscentShell: These pants have various technical features for backcountry skiers like a slim fit, lightweight materials, and an avalanche beacon pocket, but because they aren’t insulated, they're not the warmest pant you can get or the most impressive shell we tested.

Flylow Baker Bib: Our tester thought these pants were breathable during a winter hike, but the waist bunched up around the bottom of the bib, which was awkward.

Our Testing Process

We tried over 19 pairs of ski and snowboard pants for men and women from popular outdoor gear brands like Helly Hansen, The North Face, Arc’teryx, and more to find the best of the best on the market. Rating each pair on a scale of one to five, we judged the pants based on categories including comfort, warmth, weatherproofing, and design while skiing and snowboarding or doing other winter activities with similar intensities.

After wearing the pants for several hours for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, or walking in the cold, the most comfortable snow pants we tested had a variety of adjustable components that made it easy to customize the fit without sacrificing the range of motion. To test waterproofness, we ran a stream of water down a leg of the pant and hung them out to dry to see how well the pants repelled water and how quickly they dried after being wet.

Our testers evaluated the warmth of the pants after completing a high-intensity activity outdoors. the highest rated pants for warmth kept our legs warm without overheating. In the process of wearing the pants several times, we paid close attention to the design of the ski pants, noting thoughtful features like avalanche pockets, sturdy zippers, adjustable components, and other useful designs that made the pants stand out.

Tips for Buying Ski and Snowboard Pants

Think about ski versus snowboarding pant style

While any pair of good-quality snow pants can keep your legs warm and dry, the best fit can vary depending on the intended use of the pants. For example, a pair of snowboard or freeride pants might have a looser fit for crouching low whereas ski pants will have a slimmer fit for aerodynamics. You can wear both pants for either activity, but it’s good to consider the differences for style preferences.

Consider bib or no bib

Ask any skier or snowboarder their preference for a bib or no bib, and they will have a strong opinion. Bibs can be nice for skiing in deep powder, as the suspenders can prevent snow from making its way into places snow has no place getting into. A bib also adds an additional layer of warmth and insulation with the top of the bib usually rising to the chest area. However, the suspenders are a slight inconvenience for going to the bathroom, but that’s already a nuisance with so much outdoor gear on anyway.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What should I wear under ski pants?

    Generally, you’ll want to wear a pair of thermal underwear under ski pants for adequate. Consider opting for a base layer made with moisture-wicking synthetic materials like nylon or polyester instead of cotton which will absorb moisture and make you colder in return. Merino wool is also a great choice for its natural thermoregulation and moisture management. You’ll also want a pair of wool socks for regulating heat and keeping your toes warm.

  • How do I wash snow pants?

    The tag on a pair of snow pants should recommend the best way to wash them, but in the event that it does not, separate your ski pants from other clothing and wash them on delicate with cold water to prevent damage.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

T+L commerce writer Anna Popp grew up in Bend, Oregon, spending every weekend in the winter skiing at Mt. Bachelor. Anna participated in this test alongside T+L editors who helped determine our list of the best ski and snowboard pants you can get for your next trip to the slopes.

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