You’re happily whizzing down the mountains, enjoying the fallen snow then suddenly you get a feeling something is wrong. The blowing wind is gently kissing on your face, sliding your arms and gently chilling your…thighs?
See, snowboarding is more than getting the coolest snowboard in the market. Before you run off to descend in the snowy mountains, it’s essential that you gear up. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself scampering back into the warm lodge sooner than you anticipated.
|Arc'teryx Men's Sabre Pants||Material: 100% nylon|
Insulation: Brushed poly flannel
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|Obermeyer Force Pants||Material: 100% polyester|
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|White Sierra Toboggan Insulated Pant|
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|Material: 100% Nylon|
Insulation: 120 grams polyfill
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|Columbia Men's Bugaboo II Pant||Material: Nylon|
Insulation: 40g Microtemp Insulation
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|Dakine Women's Parkrose Pants||Material: 100% Polyester|
Insulation: 40g PrimaLoft® Silver
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The best snowboard pants, in particular, are an essential snowboarding gear. Snowboard pants will not only keep you warm and dry during the cold wintry session but will protect your legs against the extreme elements as well as gnarly scrapes and cuts if you’re to wipe out.
Now, picking the right snowboard pants is not all fun and sexy. Despite this, there are essential gears, and without them, you would be in for a cold and long day. While snowboard pants are designed to keep you warm and dry, some surpass the basic function and incorporate a host of other incredible functions, making them super functional and stylish.
Needless to say, the market is full of snowboard pants, enough to spin your head into confusion. The good news is we’ve scoured through the internet and collaborated with skiing experts to cherry-pick the best snowboard options in the market. If you’re planning on having a merry time in the snow, go through our comprehensive guide below, and pick a pant that meets your fancy.
Top Ten Best Snowboarding Pants
1. Arc’teryx Men’s Sabre Pants
The Arc’teryx Sabre, though running on the expensive side, brings snowboarders a premium protective clothing that delivers all-around benefits.
Design and Material
Designed from durable and high-quality nylon, the Arc’teryx Sabre offers excellent weather protection for anyone wanting to spend quality time in the cold and snow.
A stylish model, the Arc’teryx Sabre, offers a relaxed fix while running true to size. The material on the crotch, for instance, is gusseted and better yet, it sits a little lower than most of the ski pants. This is to mean you’re saved from the annoying worry about the pant riding up your crotch.
The Arc’teryx Sabre is a shell-type snowboard pant, meaning that it offers little insulation. Therefore, these pants are ideal for those looking to snowboard in a relatively sunny condition. However, if you need to snowboard in sub-zero temperatures on these pants, you’ll need to get a good base layer.
On the upper side, however, the minimal insulation on this material makes them highly waterproof and extremely breathable. More importantly, less insulation translates to greater flexibility, and with the Arc’teryx Sabre, you’ll experience incredible suppleness allowing you to make energetic moves with greater ease and with less material restraint.
The top layer of the Arc’teryx Sabre is covered by a Durable Water Resistant Finish (DWR) alongside Gore-Tex liner. Both this material will prevent moisture from getting in, thus keeping you dry. The waterproof nature of this pant is further reinforced by the presence of fully taped seams.
Though the manufacturer has oddly placed the ventilation zippers on the back of the Arc’teryx Sabre, they will help to rid your body of the excess warmth to prevent overheating.
At the bottom of the pants, the Arc’teryx Sabre sport sturdy powder cuffs, which snugly it around your snowboard boots. These cuffs play a vital role in keeping the snow and wind from entering your boots. At the top, the manufacturer has included belt loops and a belt to keep the pant tight on you.
2. Obermeyer Force Pants
The Obermeyer Force Pants is an incredibly unique option, ideal for those who are always looking push their snowboarding boundaries.
Featuring a plethora of awesome features such as a high insulation rating, amazing breathability and more, these pants do a great job of keeping you warm. Regardless of the weather outside, the Obermeyer Force Pants should keep your legs toasty all through.
When it comes to fit, the Obermeyer Force Pants fits snug and moves with you. The articulated knees, in particular, offer solid freedom of movement and will not constrict you.
Proper fit is further underlined by the presence of an adjustable waist. The adjustable waist means that you get the perfect fit every time you don on this pant, regardless of your body size. In a nutshell, with the Obermeyer Force Pants, you won’t have to worry about keeping your pants up or having them too tight as they’ll always keep you in your comfort zone.
HydroBlock® Pro Polyester
The Obermeyer Force Pants is a durable, performing piece of gear that relies on articulated HydroBlock® Pro polyester stretch. This fabric offers 15k breathability and 15k waterproof package that is further backed by 60g insulation.
While the above metrics are not the highest we’ve seen, they’re still pretty high, and will sufficiently provide you with protection against moderate rain, average snow, and light pressure. Again, they’ll keep you feeling warm, regardless of the conditions out there.
Another unique feature on these pants is the Handwarmer pockets, which will are quite handy during the wintry conditions. If you’re like me who has an issue with keeping your finger warm before, then having a pant with pockets is ultra-convenient.
Waterproofing and Brethability
Like the Arc’teryx Men’s Sabre Pants we reviewed above, these pants feature water-resistant powder cuffs alongside an adjustable high-back waist, and collectively, these will work hard to keep snow and moisture out.
The Obermeyer Force Pants takes ventilation to another level, and in place of the zippering we’ve seen on the Sabre, the Obermeyer uses Control Zone Ventilation technology that offers a built-in cooling to prevent overheating.[/su_expand]
3. White Sierra Toboggan Insulated Pant
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The White Sierra Toboggan Insulated is a popular model with plenty of exciting features. Sporting 29-inch inseam alongside polyfill insulation, you can expect nothing short of warmth and comfort form this product.
From a glance, these pants are super-sporty, thanks to the cool and alluring look. The pants are available in a plethora of colors including black, caviar, slate blue, milky white and patriot Blue. I love the black variant because it goes well with every type of cardigan.
Like the Obermeyer Force Pants, the Toboggan comes with front Handwarmer pockets that will not only keep the biting cold from your fingers but allow you to keep your belongings.
For an improved fit and comfort, the Toboggan features articulated knees at the front. The articulated knees will offer freedom of movement, allowing you to move with minimal restrictions.
Waterproofing and Breathability
The White Sierra Toboggan Insulated is constructed from 100% nylon, while the inner lining is made from 100% polyester. Both of these materials are known for their waterproof and breathability properties.
The Toboggan is a shell pant, and as such, comes with an underneath polyester material will meet the demands of the changing temperatures. During the warm weather, for instance, the polyester, with its moisture-wicking properties, will prevent you from getting wet from your sweat and thus keeping you dry.
Surprisingly, unlike the traditional shell pants, which do not feature insulation, these pants come with 120g of polyfill insulation. It’s not the highest we’ve come across, but for shell pant, this is a overkill; the insulation will keep you warm and cozy during in the biting cold.
At the end of the pant where it makes contact with the shoe, more particularly the ankle, the Toboggan feature elastic gaiters that prevent the entry of snow and other debris into your boots.[/su_expand]
4. Columbia Men’s Bugaboo II Pant – 2017 Style
Columbia is synonymous with rugged durability and quality, and the Columbia Men’s Bugaboo II Pant is no different.
A budget option, this snowboarding pant offers tons of warmth and has all the features that both a casual and professional skier would need on the snow.
Though quite basic, it’s a great option for the serious skiers as well as those who only ski for a few times a year.
Design and Material
Like a majority of the pants on our Best Snowboard Pants list, the Columbia Bugaboo is constructed from heavy-duty nylon. The nylon construction offers great durability, reduces instances of wear and tear as well as abrasion. The thicker nylon reinforced cuffs on the pant legs, in particular, are incredible at preventing fraying.
Echoing on what we had mentioned above, the Columbia Bugaboo is a budget option, and it’s really surprising to see how the manufacturer has managed to make these pants waterproof as well as breathable.
Another quite wonderful feature on the Columbia Bugaboo is the presence of 40g insulation. While the insulation is a tad low and unfit for the extreme temperature protection, it’s an ideal fit for the warm temperature or rather sunny skiing. It will provide you with just sufficient warm to keep your legs and feet feeling al toasty.
The Columbia Bugaboo is “Critically seam-sealed,” meaning it does not let in moisture in the most prone areas. While this is a great idea, and not quite standard in many pants in its class, we would have liked to see the seam seal on the entire pant. Nonetheless, users had no issues of getting wet even when wet skiing on these pants.
A solid option for the snowboarding aficionados, this snowboard pant features an adjustable waist constructed from double Velcro for ruggedness.
An absolute necessity, the Columbia Bugaboo has incorporated gaiters into these pants for added security and preventing snow and other debris from entering your boots.[/su_expand]
5. Dakine Women’s Parkrose Pants
With plenty of style ad ease, the Dakine Parkose will find your way into your winter rider’s heart. Built with both wind and waterproofing complemented by the proprietary Primaloft insulation, these pants will keep you exceptionally warm and dry throughout your ride.
Design and Material
Sporting a contoured fit, the slimmer fitting silhouette delivers a modern and stylish look. More importantly, the articulated knees will move as you ride and the pants provide an incredible flexibility.
The outer fabric on the Dakine is constructed from high-quality nylon. Nylon has better weathering properties, including better waterproofing as well as breathability. In fact, the manufacturer claims that the Dakine has a breathability rating of 10,000.
The DWR coating will protect against moisture, while the 10,000g of breathability will wick the sweat away and keep you dry and comfortable throughout the entire snowboarding experience.
Besides the weathering properties, Nylon comes with rugged durability, thanks to the superior abrasion resistance. So, it doesn’t matter where you’ll be using your Dakine, but you can be assured it’s not going to wear or tear easily.
We particularly liked the scuff guard; a feature that prevents tearing and fraying, thus extending the life of the Dakine pants and ensuring that you can wear them season after season.
40g of Primaloft Insulation
Boasting of 40g of Primaloft Insulation, the Dakine will provide your feet with the warmth in the chilling condition. While this insulation is not the most on earth, it’s sufficient to keep you pretty toasty in average temperatures.
Though not the perfect 3-in-1 pants, the Dakine come with inner leg vents that are easily zippered and unzipped. This is to mean when you’re feeling a little hot; you can dump the extra heat easily.
In the end, we have the boot gaiters which snugly fit over your legs. These gaiters will prevent snow from getting into your boots and legs.
The inner waistband on the Dakine means that it’s easy to achieve a good it since you can easily adjust the pant to fit your body type. The cargo pockets, on the hand, will keep your fingers warm and allow you to carry your belongings with you.[/su_expand]
Best Snowboard Pants Buying Guide
From the above reviews, you are now aware that snowboards pants are created differently. But how different are they? And what features should I look out for when choosing a snowboard pant?
In the best snowboard pant buyer guide below, we shall look at a-must features to consider when choosing a snowboard pant.
But before then, let’s look at the various types of snowboard pants in the market;
Types of Snowboard Pants
Shell pants, also known as uninsulated ski pants, are usually waterproof and windproof.
In most cases, these pants are primarily manufactured from an outer layer of thick nylon fabric. Nylon is known for its durability as well as abrasion resistance, and will not trip when you take your first digger.
Shell pants are further classified into 2-layered or 3-layered pants.
The 2-layered pants feature a breathable liner alongside a water-resistant shell. On the other hand, the 3-layered shell pant will provide you with a water-resistant and breathable membrane in between the shell and liner.
There are numerous benefits as to why you would want to have a shell pant for your snowboarding.
For starters, there’re extremely versatile, allowing you to layer underneath to meet the demands of the changing temperatures. For instance, if you’re skiing in warm temperatures, you can add a moisture-wicking base layer to absorb your sweat, whereas when skiing in cold temperatures, you can add a thick and warm base layer.
Secondly, since shell pants do not feature insulation, they help in boosting maneuverability. See, insulation can get quite bulky, and while you can still move with it, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility of movement in an uninsulated pant.
Pro Tip: When choosing a shell pant, ensure they’ve enough zippering, which can be opened and closed to allow easy management of heat levels.
Secondly, ensure that the pants have enough space to allow adding layers of insulation when temperatures drop.
Most of the snowboarders naturally assume that they’ll need insulated pants for their skiing. But this is further from the truth, not unless you’re skiing in the frosty, sub-zero temperatures.
Even then, I usually find my shell pant with an insulated base layer quite bothersome, let alone having an insulated pant.
Insulated pants, however, are the perfect option only if you’re snowboarding in extreme temperatures. Even then, understand that they’re quite restrictive, especially in movement and also on versatility.
Unlike the shell pants, you can’t relax on your patio on the insulated pants since most of them do not have a warmth control mechanism.
Regarding the material of insulation, insulated pants, unlike jackets, use synthetic insulation, though you might come across the fleece.
Performance-wise, the greater the grams of insulation, the warmer a snowboard pant is.
Soft Shell Pants
Softshell is often associated with jackets, but there’s a softshell version for pants too.
The soft shells are seen as blood cousins to the shell or uninsulated pants we had reviewed above, with the only difference being that the latter doesn’t use the durable, nylon outer shell but instead use a lighter and more flexible material.
As such, they’re primarily designed for use in warm weather as they offer little resistance to wind and cold.
Though comfortable and flexible than the nylon-made shells, they’re not ideal for beginners. The reason for this is because they offer minimal resistance to wind and moisture. And in case you fall, they’re going to absorb water making your experience wet and miserable.
Bibs take the snowboard pants game to another level.
Bibs use over the shoulder straps to hold the pants in position while you ski.
They’re an incredible option for the deep skiers, or those in need of the ultimate protection.
Though quite expensive than the latter, they’ve two solid benefits:
- They stay securely in place
- Prevent snow from getting through the waistline
However, you must get the correct sizing for your bib. If you’re a man, for instance, getting a wrongly sized bib means that you’ll end up pulling them down always as the bib presses against your crotch.
Ideally, the best bib should allow you to zip off the upper section of the bib, leaving you with a pair of pants only.
How to Choose a Snowboard Pant
Snow is frozen water, and so it makes sense to have waterproof snowboard pants.
However, waterproofing on pants is not straightforward, like it is with electronic gadgets. See, regardless of how high-quality your pant is, if it’s subjected to high pressure, the fabric will eventually give in, right? And so, it can rightly be assumed pants are not unconditionally waterproof.
Nonetheless, when choosing a snowboard pant, it vital to ensure that it does not let water inside. In any case, using a wet pant in sub-zero temperatures is not only unwieldy but a recipe for hypothermia.
Some of the crucial tips to consider when looking for waterproofing include critical seams versus fully taped seams, alongside with the material of the pant.
Typically, the best waterproof fabrics are eVent, FlashDry, and Dry.Q.
Pants with fully taped seams will have every seam in the entire piece of fabric reinforced for the ultimate water resistance. On the other hand, the pants with critical seams have seams reinforced only in critical parts that suffer from most wear and tear.
The former requires a more intensive process, and thus more expensive.
Regarding the waterproofing rating, we recommend getting a snowboard pant with a waterproof rating of 5,000mm.
However, if you’re the type that skis hard and a frequent mountaineer in the deep and wet snow, then having anything above 10,000mm is perfect.
Breathability refers to the free flow of air.
A breathable material should allow the free movement of air within your pants, and it should ensure there’s proper perspiration of your sweat.
While a true waterproof material should prevent entry and exit of moisture, this can be problematic with snowboard pants because it will mean that you’ll be soaking from the trapped sweat. Sounds nasty, right?
Well, the trick is to get a breathable material; this material strikes the perfect balance between letting perspiration pass through the fabric from your body, while at the same time, preventing water and moisture from accessing your legs.
We’ve already talked above warmth in the insulation section.
When skiing in sunny temperatures, you would want a lightweight snowboard pant that will keep you cool.
On the other hand, during the chilly temperatures, you would want to have a thick layer underneath your pants to keep you warm.
This is why I’m a fan favorite of the shell pants as they allow me to regulate the temperatures, by adding or removing the base layer, according to the temperatures.
In addition, to the base layering, you should find a pant with enough zippering and venting to allow efficient temperature regulation.
Fit and Comfort
It does not matter whether your pant has the best waterproof and breathability qualities if it does not deliver a comfortable experience.
The best snowboard pants should not only run true to size, fit well, but they should remain comfortable as well.
Some of the important fit considerations to make include the construction material; or instance, pants with stretchy panels on the crotch, knees, and butts are often quite comfortable. They’re an incredible solution, particularly to those who love ripping curves as they’ll need you to go all the way down to the snow.
However, if you find yourself always making an error regarding fitting, it’s better that you choose something a little bigger that will not reduce your flexibility and restrict your movement.
Style and Color
Looking and feeling good is among the first step of becoming a great skier. While white-colored pants are a candy to the eye, refrain from purchasing them as they easily get stained.
Features to Consider
Alongside the above factors, there’re features that I consider an absolute necessity in any snowboarding pant.
Some of these features include;
Reinforced panels: These help at improving the rugged durability as well as extending the longevity of the snowboard pants.
Boot gaiters: A must-have feature, boot gaiters are the elastic cuffs located on each leg. Boot gaiters stretch over your boost, and they’ll prevent the entry of snow or any other debris into your shoes.
Cargo pockets: Though not necessary, they’re handy for keeping essential that you might need while on the mountain.
Jacket to Pants Connections: These connections will allow you to transform your regular snowboard pant into a bib. However, the jacket and pant must be compatible. Like a bib, the connections will create a snow barrier by creating a one-piece suit.
Other essential features include;
- Adjustable waist
- Reinforced nylon cuffs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Snowboarding Pants
Q. What is seam sealing, and why is it important?
A. Seam sealing, also known as seam taping, is the process of covering the small holes made by the needle during the sewing process. Seam sealing aims to prevent leakage.
Often seam sealing is performed using a heat application, though the seams might be bonded using glue or heat.
Adequate seam sealing will not only prevent leakage of water or moisture into your legs, but it will keep you dry all through.
Q. What is Durable Water Repellent or DWR?
A. DWR is a treatment of your outer fabric, and it helps to keep your fabric from getting soaked by precipitation.
It will keep your fabric from getting saturated with water, which can translate to the fabric feeling heavier, colder, and less flexible.
Q. What materials are best for snowboard pants?
A. Nylon and polyester are the most popular materials, and it’s for a reason.
Both materials are durable, windproof, and breathable.
And though polyester is not as durable as nylon, it serves its purpose. Polyester, however, absorbs moisture, and therefore not the perfect material for the snowboarders working in deep and wet snow.
Q. What size of snowboard pants should I get?
A. Traditionally, many of the snowboarders often preferred baggy pants because of their incredible flexibility and a wider range of motion.
On the flip side, these pants are quite uncomfortable and can fall at any time.
Get your waist measurements right. If you’re to purchase a shell pant, you’ll need to leave space for the underneath layering. When the waist measurements are right, you’ll not have to worry about the pants coming offs.
Best Ski Pant Brands
This list is quite subjective because everyone has their favorite brand. If you ask different skier, you’ll get different answers, and that is quite understandable.
However, according to our opinion, or at least what we think, the best snowboard pants brands in the market are;
- The North Face
- Dope snow
There you have it. We’ve already covered a lot of ground, and the ball is in your hands.
We understand that the ultimate decision is yours to make, but we hope that this best snowboard pant has left you with a better idea of the features to look out for and how to choose the perfect snowboard pant.
During your selection process, ensure that you factor in your personal preferences. There’s no point of purchasing a pant that you’re not comfortable or confident in.
5 Best Snowboard Pants Reviewed In 2019
You’re happily whizzing down the mountains, enjoying the fallen snow then suddenly you get a feeling something is wrong. The blowing wind is gently kissing