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Have you ever spent an entire day with a cold, wet backside? If you’re a snowboarder, you know that level of discomfort well. A day of cruising the groomers or shredding in the backcountry can be totally thwarted if your gear lets you down. A soggy chairlift, a big spill in knee-deep powder, a quick seat to adjust your bindings: the best snowboarding pants should keep you comfy, dry and warm no matter what your day on the slopes has in store.
Selecting the right pair comes down to a crucial—and personal—combination of comfort and technical performance. Comfortable pants that aren’t waterproof? Not worth it. A fully-insulated bib that restricts your range of motion when you’re going for a trick? Forget it.
There are a lot of really great, technically solid snowboard pants out there today—from household brands like Burton and Patagonia to on-the-rise niche labels like Jones Snowboards. And we hate to break it to you, but, just like jeans, there’s really no one perfect pair for every guy. Our best advice is to order a few styles (maybe even multiple sizes) and wear them around the house with your full kit, boots and all.
Need a place to start? We went ahead and rounded up some of the warmest, most versatile and well-reviewed snowboard pants out there, then broke down everything you need to know, from fit and material to waterproofing and insulation. All you have to do now is send it.
Factors to consider before buying the best snowboard pants:
Fit: The nice thing about shopping on an e-commerce site like Backcountry is that they all pretty much use a uniform approach to categorizing fit: relaxed, regular and slim. REI gets even more granular, letting you narrow your search with an inseam filter. What you’re looking for comes down to personal preference, but generally snowboarding apparel has a more relaxed shape than, say, ski apparel.
Material: Pay special attention to the material specs when shopping for snowboard pants. Many are made from recycled nylons and other durable materials. Unlike other items like sweaters and jeans, when it comes to snowsports and outerwear, synthetic materials specifically engineered for mobility, warmth and waterproofing are a good thing.
Waterproof: Waterproofing is arguably even more important for boarders than it is for skiers, especially on the backside and knees of your pants. Read the product descriptions closely for keywords like seam-sealed, which means that any seam that has been sewn has also been sealed over with a special waterproofing tape. Also note that anything made with Gore-Tex will is extra durable along with being waterproof.
Insulation: Regulating your body temperature is essential for staying comfortable for a full day on the slopes. A shell pant will have virtually no insulation, so you’ll need out on base layers on colder days. Also, thigh vents are a great feature to look out, because they cool you down after a challenging black diamond—or keep you from overheating while enjoying a fireside beer at the end of the day.
Most Versatile Snowboard Bib Pants
If you’re a “bib guy”—which, hey, isn’t everyone—consider the Flylow Baker Bib. This breathable snowboard pant—with thigh vents, reinforced knees and adjustable straps—is probably the most solid investment you can make in your on-mountain kit. Plus, it comes in nine colors. Flylow was founded by two Colorado natives determined to create skiwear that is stylish enough for resort runs and tough enough for the most epic backcountry powder, so you’re getting all-terrain performance with a look that won’t embarrass you at the après scene.
Material: 100% polyester with DWR treatment.
Best All-Weather Snowboard Bib Pants
Burton is basically synonymous with snowboarding; the brand’s founder Jake Burton Carpenter was a pioneer in the sport starting in the 1970s. This highly breathable three-layer bib is designed to move with you through any weather thanks to the Gore-Tex Topo stretch panels and a stretchy torso. This bib is not warm on its own, though; it’s designed with space and flexibility for all kinds of layering. Plus, waterproof zippered pockets ensure your stuff is always safe.
Material: Gore-Tex 3-layer fabric.
Best Shoulder Season Snowboard Pants
The ethos of outdoor specialist brand Aether is “beautiful things designed to be abused.” Its Carlyle pants are seam-sealed and waterproof, with an adjustable belt at the waist, Gore-Tex scuff guards and inner thigh vents. Designed for temperatures ranging between 30 and 50 degrees fahrenheit, these pants will require heavy-duty layers this time of year, but are perfect for early and late season days with just a baselayer.
Material: 100% nylon and Gore-Tex 3-layer fabric.
Insulation: 80 grams Primaloft Silver Eco insulation at seat and knees.
Most Comfortable Snowboard Pants
The first thing to say outright is that these are not strictly snowboarding pants, but rather, a pair of breathable, flexible, and temperature-regulating pants you can do almost anything in. The reviews for these Outdoor Research pants are overwhelmingly positive—rating most highly for their comfort, waterproofing and the sheer range of activities. Boarders in particular will appreciate the waterproof lower leg and thermo-regulating waistband. Yes, really!
Material: Nylon, polyester and spandex; Pertex Shield+ 2L on lower leg.
Best Backcountry Snowboard Pants
If you’re looking for sustainability and serious pedigree, Jones Snowboards is it. Started by award-winning snowboarder and Protect Our Winters founder Jeremy Jones, the brand is hyperfocused on high-performing gear with minimal environmental impact. The Shralpinist pants are made from 100 percent recycled nylon and rugged Gore-Tex Pro; meaning they’ll do just fine on your bluebird groomer days, but are designed to withstand extreme conditions and all the backcountry adventures you can handle.
Material: 100% recycled nylon and Gore-Tex Pro.
Insulation: 3-layer shell.
Best Cold Weather Snowboard Pants
It’s hard to pick just one thing to highlight about these Helly Hansen pants. Are they strictly snowboarding pants? No. But they’re water and windproof, have a decent amount of stretch and come at a value of $200. They also get our vote for the warmest pants on the list thanks to their two-ply Primaloft insulation that holds heat without any bulk. The Legendary pants are also great if you’re looking for a more slim cut or want some variety; they come in 11 colors.
Material: 100% polyester.
Insulation: PrimaLoft black insulation 60G.
Best Cargo Snowboard Pants
If you’re looking to log some serious vertical feet, you’re not going to want to bother with trips to the lodge to retrieve an extra neck gaiter, or hand warmers. These pants have cargo pockets (yes, they are okay to wear again!) that are perfect for stashing chapstick, sunglasses, trail maps—whatever you might need for a full day on the slopes. Waterproofing, temperature-regulating lining, articulated knees and microfleece hand-warming pockets make these one of the most all-around awesome pants on our list.
Material: Polyester and 2-layer Dryride.
Most Sustainable Snowboard Pants
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that Patagonia sets an enviable standard for sustainability in the world of outdoor retail and beyond. Their Powder Town pants are waterproof while also being fully PFC-free (a.k.a., no “forever chemicals”) and lined with 100 percent recycled polyester. We also love that these warm, flexible pants have built-in Recco reflector technology to help search-and-rescue locate the wearer in case of an emergency.
Material: Recycled polyester and H2No Performance Standard 2-layer shell.
Insulation: Thermogreen 100% recycled polyester.
Most Stylish Snowboard Pants
Need a pair of snowboard pants that look as good at the lodge as they do on the chairlift? These sleek pants get our vote for the most stylish low-key flex you can make on the mountain—especially in the “relic” colorway, which is a coppery brown. As with all things Arc’teryx, these pants are an investment, but really come through with the features you need for all-season wearability, including weather-proof Gore-Tex, thigh vents, articulated knees and an integrated adjustable belt for the perfect fit.
Material: Gore-Tex 3-layer with DWR treatment.
Insulation: Flannel backer.
Most Affordable Snowboard Pants
Dope is a relatively new brand based in Sweden that’s fully dedicated to snowboard apparel. Its designs are geared toward the younger set (or those with youthful style)— think super-relaxed fits and unexpected colors like lavender, peach-y orange and sage green. For under $200, these pants have a surprising number of performance details, including a breathable shell fabric with four-way stretch, eco-friendly waterproofing and cozy thermal insulation to keep you warm.
Material: Performance ripstop stretch 2-layer shell with DWR treatment.
Insulation: Comfortemp thermal medium-weight insulation.