If you love snowboarding, then you’ll know how important it is to have the right gear on before you hit the slopes.
Without a warm, comfortable pair of pants, your descent down the slopes won’t be nearly as warm or comfortable, and when you get wet or cold, you’ll likely find yourself back at the lodge sooner than planned.
So to make sure you have the best alpine experience possible, it’s worth investing in the best snowboard pants you could get your hands on.
To help you out on your search, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 best snowboard pants along with a buying guide to help you make up your mind.
This way, you’ll be sure to hit the slopes in style and comfort, while sporting all the right snowboard outerwear!
These pants are an all-around excellent choice. They offer style, comfort and state-of-the-art weather protection, making them one of the overall best snowboard pants on our list.
The Powder Bowl is an uninsulated pant.
A lot of snowboarders prefer the uninsulated pant as it allows them to add their own insulation as and when is needed with under layers.
If you’re riding in particularly warm conditions or are performing particularly high-aerobic activity, you also have the option of wearing the shell pant alone. This pant has a thin, mesh lining which contributes some warmth to the ensemble.
This pant is made from a 2-layer, 4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester GORE-TEX fabric with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
As one of the best snowboard pants on our list, these pants have a waterproof rating of 28,000mm.
Ratings between 10-15000mm can cope with a moderate amount of rain for sustained periods of time. Ratings between 15-2000mm+ can withstand serious, intense bouts of rain over long periods.
The Gore-Tex fabric, in combination with Patagonia’s water repellent treatment, provides excellent weather protection.
The pants also come with waterproof zippers and pocket flaps which offer an extra level of weatherproofing to the garment. The DWR coating also prevents any liquid from being able to soak the shell fabric.
The pants have vertical zips running along each leg which provides ventilation. There are vents on the outside of the legs which are backed with mesh. One criticism of the Powder Bowl is that they do not have vents on the inner leg in order to protect from snow ingress. However, the pants still succeed in providing a good level of breathability, although some competitors provide slightly more. Still, this is an ideal pant for wearing toward the warmer end of the ski season.
These pants are impeccably tailored. And without being baggy, they are not overly constricting either.
The zips and the pockets create a nice look without being too noticeable, and all the colors on offer are stylish.
These pants are on par with more expensive options. The materials used are long-lasting and the style is timeless. Patagonia’s warranty and repair service further enhances its value. Overall, these are definitely some of the best snowboard pants to be wearing this season.
While they may be a touch more on the pricier side, these Burton pants are innovative, easy on the eyes and highly comfortable.
The multiple layers of Gore-Tex provide adequate insulation for the Alps, although it is recommended that you add extra insulation when snowboarding in the lower sub-zero temperatures.
Made from a three-layered Gore-Tex Pro shell fabric makes it extra weather-resistant and durable.
With a rating of 28,000mm, the Gore-Tex material keeps you dry as a bone in all weather conditions — water drops just bead off. So whether you’re snowboarding in deep powder, rain, snow, ice, or windy conditions, you will stay dry.
The Gore-Tex Pro cannot be faulted when it comes to breathability. It prevents you from overheating or getting drenched in sweat when working hard. And it’s also got Crossflow vents on both the inside and outside of the thighs to let in cool air when needed.
These pants are not baggy and more of a semi-tight fit, made with a stretch fabric. However, they are so well-tailored that this tightness cannot be felt. The shape of the pants along with pockets give a pleasing aesthetic.
Overall, these pants cannot be faulted for much. For one, they provide warmth and weather protection, but they also offer comfort and style, which makes them one of the best snowboard pants on our list.
If you’re on a tighter budget, don’t worry because these pants pack in a lot in terms of features, all at one affordable price.
You can buy both insulated and uninsulated versions of this pant.
If you choose the insulated pant, great. But if you’re wearing the uninsulated pants, you’ll probably still want to wear one or two additional layers underneath to keep yourself warm.
Made with V-science oxford shell fabric, design to keep you warm and dry, perfect for virtually any type of snowboarder ready to shred deep powder.
Coming in with a waterproof rating of 15,000mm, the V-Science 2-Later shell, along with the V-Science Breathable Lining System are both equipped for all kinds of mountainous weather.
However, the rating is a little lower compared to many competitor brands, so it can be expected that you will not completely dry, especially over longer periods of time snowboarding.
These pants come with a breathability rating of 15,000gm2. A breathability rating of 15,000gm2+ is ideal for most snow sports. While a rating lower than this will start to cause uncomfortable levels of perspiration.
A particular advantage of these pants is their modern, street-style inspired design. The burgundy color is especially popular, and the shape and tailoring is well-liked by most customers.
The only downside of the design is that it fits tall, slender men best. Going for a larger size will increase the length, meaning if you're short to average height and more broad then these pants probably aren’t a great option.
Overall these are a perfectly good pair of snowboarding pants, although they are not as water-resistant nor breathable as other pants on this list. The sizing can also be problematic for snowboarders that are not tall and slim.
Style, performance and sustainability are the three main aims of this bib-style pant — and it doesn’t disappoint!
These pants are uninsulated, providing just a shell, which is best used for their waterproofing than anything else. The shell is made of 2-layer Gore-Tex fabric with fully taped seams made with Gore-Seam.
Even though these are uninsulated pants, they still come in with a good waterproof rating. At 28,000mm, these pants are extremely weather-resistant, designed for withstanding strong winds, pouring rain and snow without a problem.
The Gore-Tex material provides impeccable breathability, and the thigh vents bring in cool air when needed. Plus, the Living Lining thermo-regulating technology incorporated into the design also helps to regulate temperature.
Burton’s website describes these pants as having “throwback vibes”, which is certainly visible in the classic bib design. The pants are available in unique colors, including deep teal, kelp and worn camo.
These “biberalls” are made for the coldest conditions and can keep you protected when facing the elements.
Made with 1000-denier Cordura nylon and lined with quilted nylon polyester, these biberalls will keep you warm in the most extreme icy conditions.
The 1000-denier heavyweight CORDURA® fabric nylon shell on these pants is an ideal all-weather material, offering a good balance of both warmth and weather protection.
At 20,000m, these pants are water repellent, but with a slightly lower rating than some of the other pants we’ve compared so far. In other words, they’ll still keep you dry, but they won’t hold up for as long as some other similar pants.
Due to the insulation and water repellent nature of these pants, they are not as breathable as other pants featured on this list. However, they do have zip-up vents on the sides for airing yourself out when needed.
These are designed for durability and warmth, but the look of the biberalls is certainly not bad either.
They come in coal black with a zipper front and leg zippers that go up to the hip and are covered with wind flaps. There is also space for knee pads and hand pockets if needed.
Be aware that these pants are not designed specifically for snow sports, but rather for those working outside in extreme cold-weather conditions. Therefore, they might not be as comfortable as some pant-styles designed specifically for snowboarding.
These modestly priced pants are high-performing, thermo-regulating and comfortable.
The shell0only version provides thermo-regulating “Living Lining”, which is meant to offer adaptable warmth as well as significant comfort. These pants are available with or without insulation. Made with a DRYRIDE two-layer fabric.
With a rating of only 10,000mm, these pants aren’t as waterproof as other pants on this list. However, this Covert Snow Pant is notable for its fast-drying shell material.
With a breathability rating of 5,000g/m², these pants are highly breathable with full knee-to-knee Test-I-Cool venting to help keep you cool while working hard.
Some of Burton’s products are criticized for not fitting men with wider thighs, but this model specifically is very accommodating. The pants are not too baggy, but also not too tight and they even come in a range of subdued colors.
These pants are ideal for those who snowboard for a few weeks every year and are on a slightly lower budget. For the hardcore, all-year-round riders, these pants probably aren’t the best choice.
These pants have a relaxed fit and have a highly functional pocket ensemble.
While these pants have a two-layered shell, they are uninsulated. For extra warmth on those longer excursions, I’d recommend wearing a few other clothing layers underneath.
Made from an extra durable Hammer cloth Shell Fabric with Durable Stretch Canvas outer fabric.
With a rating of only 10,000mm, these pants will keep water out for sustained periods of time. However, they are not as water-resistant as some of the other pants featured on this list.
As well as having a high level of breathability with a rating of 10,000g/m², the mesh-lined zippered inner leg vents will give further relief when you’re breaking a sweat from shredding like a boss.
The overall design of these pants creates a relaxed fit. They are slightly baggier than standard pants with some sag in the crotch area, but they'll still have you looking like a boss out there on the slopes.
Depending on personal preference, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. There is a unique range of colors to choose from, including black with fluorescent yellow pockets. The extra pockets can be handy if you like to keep various things on your person while snowboarding.
This is a well-priced, thoroughly decent budget option for seasonal snowboarders, guarantee to make you into a happy customer.
These lightweight pants have a classic, relaxed design and prioritize comfort.
These pants provide some warmth but are recommended for spring and resort riding — not sub-zero extreme snowboarding. These pants are available with a laminated nylon outer shell material.
Coming in at only 10,000mm, these nylon pants will repel moisture on days with light snow. But, they won't likely be good for long in torrential rain or strong snow.
With a breathability rating of 10,000g/m², these are a comfortable, lightweight pant that provides great breathability, on top of the side zip pockets that can also help expel excess heat.
The modern, simple design of these pants is perhaps their best feature. The belt loops, elastic cuffs and cargo pockets give the design a more unique look in keeping with its classic aesthetic.
Overall, these are a great choice of pants for the casual rider who enjoys spring and resort snowboarding.
These high utility pants provide protection in extremely wet and tempestuous conditions. They are also made of recycled material making them popular among the eco-conscious.
These pants only have shell insulation and a WarmFlight Rating of 1/3, meaning they provide ultra-lightweight and breathable warmth.
One neat fact about these pants is that they’re made from 100% recycled Nylon. In fact, this pant’s shell material is made from a recycled polyester blend fabric, made from plastic bottles.
At 20,000mm, these pants do have a higher waterproof rating, so you can be sure these pants will keep you dry even in the stormiest of weather.
On top of a breathability rating of 10,000g/m², and along with being seriously waterproof, the Utility Short Pants are also made with highly breathable mesh-lined vents for extra ventilation when needed.
These eco-conscious pants come in relaxed slim fits. There is lots of mobility permitted in the design and the silver buttons contrast nicely with the casual muted color options (otter, castle rock).
If you’re looking for sustainable, high-quality snowboard apparel, then this brand and model may well be the best option for you.
Last on the list are these relaxed-fit shell pants, built to withstand the harshest weather and accompany the most daring rider.
As ideal backcountry pants, the two-layer Gore-Tex provides some warmth, while the relaxed cut will allow you to layer up underneath for insulation.
The Dekine Smyth Pure pants are made with a durable Gore-Tex 2L Plain Weave 100% polyester. Together with its Gore-tex insulation and polyester, this material combo makes these pants one of the best pair of snowboard pants on our list.
28,000mm -- Like all Gore-Tex products, the Dakin Smyth Pure Pants are extremely water-resistant.
Two-layer Gore-Tex is notable for its breathability, and the zip leg vents will help you to release excess heat on warm days. These pants are somewhere between baggy and tight and come in classic colors.
Customers who have purchased the Dakine Smyth Pure pants say they fit slimmer builds best. But with their Gore-Tex build, they truly are something any snowboarder will appreciate.
Overall, riders with slight frames on a budget will get a lot of use out of this pair of snowboard pants.
With our top ten recommendations in mind, here is a quick guide of what to look out for when buying snowboard pants.
|Waterproof Rating||Performance & Protection|
|0 - 5,000 mm||Little to no protection against moisture|
Drizzle and light dry snow
|5,000 - 10,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under light pressure|
Light rain and normal snowfall
|10,000 - 15,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under medium pressure|
Average rain and normal snowfall
|16,000 - 20,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under high pressure|
Heavy rain and wet snow
|> 20,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under very high pressure|
Very heavy rain and wet snow
Waterproofing is arguably the most important feature of snowboard gear. Indeed, riding with soaked pants isn’t fun at all.
Waterproofing ratings tell you how much water a material can withstand before it starts letting water seep in.
Waterproofing is usually measured and presented in millimeters (mm). This rating is calculated by using a tube on the fabric and filling it with water. The point at which the water starts to penetrate the fabric equates to the rating.
Therefore, the higher the waterproofing rating, the more waterproof a garment is.
The absolute minimum waterproofing rating for a pair of pants to be called waterproof is 1,500mm.
Gore-Tex is one of the most reliable and sought-after waterproof materials. Alongside Gore-Tex, Hyvent and other extremely waterproof materials have far higher ratings, usually around 28,000mm.
What makes these materials so effective is that they have pores large enough to let a molecule of sweat pass, but small enough to prevent molecules of water from entering. This makes them waterproof yet breathable.
A waterproof rating usually corresponds to price, i.e. the higher the rating, the higher the price.
There are uninsulated shell pants and insulated pants with synthetic insulation built into the garment.
For versatility, most keen riders opt for uninsulated shell pants which provide only a little warmth. To compensate, it is recommended that you wear thermal leggings underneath for insulation.
Insulated pants will have a fleece or synthetic material like Primaloft. Some insulated pants will have extra insulation in particularly vulnerable areas.
An insulated pants' level of insulation is measured in grams. The higher the number in grams, the warmer the snowboard pants. The range is usually between 30 and 800 grams for snowboarding pants.
Many of the best-insulated pants will use a combination of polyester and Gore-Tex.
Insulated pants or not, you'll likely want to choose a fully taped sea, if you can afford it.
Generally, insulated pants with fully taped seams are more expensive, but they do offer more comfort and protection from the elements.
Fully taped means all of the seams are taped, making them waterproof.
This is done by attaching a waterproof taping material on both the inside and outside of the seams. For thorough protection from water, taping is recommended. However, these pants will usually come at a high price.
A less expensive option is critically taped seams. As the name suggests, these are only taped at the most critical areas.
When it comes to snowboarding, fully taped is usually recommended as you will be very exposed to the elements. But, if you’re looking to save a bit of money, critically taped will suffice for casual riders.
You'll either want bib pants or pants without a bib. Whether your choose bib pants or not largely falls down to your own personal preference.
Bib pants are often preferred for three main reasons: greater protection from the elements (as bib pants cover the torso and chest), greater storage space (due to the additional pockets), and enhanced comfort (bib pants cannot fall down and aren’t tight around the waist).
Some simply prefer the overall look of bib pants as well.
Bib pants are slightly more insulating on cooler days. But during the warmer spring months, a regular snowboard pant can be a more lightweight and freeing option.
Don’t forget, it’s also a heck of a lot easier to go to the bathroom in pants as opposed to when you're wearing bib pants.
|Breathability Rating||Breathability Level & Use|
|0 - 5,000 grams||Low breathability|
Useful for wearing around town and low-intensity activity
|5,000 - 10,000 grams||Medium breathability|
Good for medium intensity activities like hiking or biking
|10,000 - 15,000 grams||High breathability|
Ideal for demanding activities like skiing or snowboarding
|> 15,000 grams||Extra high breathability|
Excellent for long periods of high-intensity work with no breaks
Breathability is a material’s ability to let sweat molecules escape and so keep you dry and cool. Like waterproofing, breathability is communicated by way of a rating.
Breathability rating is measured and presented in grams (g).
The rating is calculated by determining the Moisture Vapour Transmission Rate (MVTR). The MCTR tells you how many grams of sweat per square meter is expelled, and therefore how breathable a material is.
Lower-level breathable fabrics have MVTR ratings within the range of 2,000-3,000g. More expensive, high-quality fabrics have an MVTR or 25,000g.
It’s extremely important that your snowboarding pants fit well.
Too tight and you’ll be uncomfortable all day, too loose and you’ll constantly feel the need to pull them up (not ideal while descending the slopes!)
Some designs, like the Volcom Men's Frickin Relaxed Fit Chino (number 3 on the list), are better suited to slim builds and simply won’t fit broader men well.
Make sure you have an accurate knowledge of your size before buying and read product reviews to find out if the design is tailored to your build.
Decide whether you prefer relaxed, baggy pants or tighter more closely tailored styles as well. There’s a huge variety to choose from, so you don’t have to compromise on style.
The following size chart contains information from the most popular brands:
|The North Face||26-28||29-31||32-34||35-37||38-41||42-45|
|The North Face||31.5||31.5||32||32||32.5||32.5|
Now that you know the most important factors to look for while shopping for your pants, let’s go over a few frequently asked questions that you might still have on your mind.
When you’re wearing insulated snowboard pants, you might not need to wear more than a pair of comfortable and flexible pants. Either way, it’s never a bad idea to layer up with a pair of long underwear and thick wool socks.
It’s better to have extra layers that you can easily remove, rather than not having enough layers to keep yourself warm. For more info, read our guide on what to wear under snow pants.
While you could technically wear either type of pants, there are a few subtle differences between ski pants and snowboarding pants.
For instance, snowboard pants are generally baggier and looser, which provides more flexibility and freedom for taking jumps and performing tricks. Whereas ski pants tight to be slightly tighter and more form-fitting.
It really all depends on your own personal preference. But because bib-style pants offer a bit more thermal insulation for your chest and upper torso, they tend to be better to wear during those warmer days on the hill, where it might even be sunny enough to take off your coat.
While some snowboard pants may have leg openings that are meant to be tucked into your boots, most are generally designed to fit snugly over your boots. On top of helping keep your body's warmth trapped inside, this also helps prevent snow from getting in.
While they both serve the same purposes, women's snowboard pants vary from men's models in several ways. Not only is the sizing different but so is the proportions and styles. It is highly preferable that you opt for a model designed for your gender for optimal comfort and performance.
As well as making you look good, they will also keep you warm, dry and comfortable throughout your trip.
Whether you're venturing out on a casual trip in spring or a challenging expedition in extreme conditions, you’ll want to make sure you have the optimal setup in terms of your snowboard outerwear.
I hope this guide will help you make the best choice when buying your next pair of snowboard pants!