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||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
2. Obermeyer Force Pants
3. White Sierra Toboggan Insulated Pant
4. Columbia Men’s Bugaboo II Pant – 2017 Style
5. Dakine Women’s Parkrose Pants
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.