Snowboard pants can be essential to everyone planning on snowboarding because regular street clothes offer no protection against the elements.
Furthermore, snowboard pants are distinct from regular ski pants because snowboard pants are loose and help you move while ski pants are much more snug. A good pair of snowboard pants help keep your lower body dry in the snow.
Anyone looking for snowboard pants should research all of the many features, fabrics, and styles available. We present some of the most important categories you should consider when purchasing. We also
Key Specs to Look for When Choosing Snowboard Pants
There will be several things to consider when purchasing snowboard pants. No one category is automatically more important than another.
Try to keep in mind all of the following considerations when making your purchase. You will be able to offer yourself the best protection and also get the best value for your money.
Most snowboard pants have a waterproof rating between 5,000 and 20,000 millimeters (mm). A higher number means a more water-resistant fabric.
Wetter snow settings will require a higher waterproof rating, while the more dry areas may allow you to buy a lower waterproof rating. An increase in waterproof rating can result in higher prices.
Uninsulated snowboard pants may feature a shell with a kind of lining for more warmth and comfort. The amount of layering may change depending on the weather, but shell pants are usually a versatile option.
Pants that are as light as possible allow for more breathability. Insulated pants feature lightweight synthetic insulation for extra warmth.
Critically taped or Fully seam-sealed
Critically taped snowboard pants have critical seams that are taped but not all of them. Water may find a way of getting into the non-critical seams.
Fully seam-sealed means that nothing gets in. This is ideal for people wanting maximum protection.
Gaiters are found under the cuffs of pants and are designed to keep snow out of boots and lower extremities. They could have features such as hooks to connect to laces or buckles or hook-and-loop openings along the sides.
Some pants have zippered cuffs, making them more manageable. Features like zips at the cuffs allow for easy access to boot gaiters.
Many snowboard pants have zippered vents. The vents open to allow a person to dump heat and promote air circulation when they start to get too hot.
Zippered vents are often located on the inner thigh inseam and have a mesh lining to keep snow from getting in. Some pants may have zip vents across the front or along the outer seam.
Breathability is measured in grams and illustrates how much air might get through. Standard measurements of breathability are usually between 5,000 and 20,000g.
It is usually recommended that you go with at least 10,000. It may not be too much of an issue to settle for 5,000, however.
Several brands have systems connecting pants to jackets when compatible. The result is a snow-proof barrier preventing snow and wind in deep snow.
People who usually ski with a backpack may not need much more than standard hand pockets. Those who do not carry around a pack the whole time could want some cargo pockets to hold other essentials.
Snowboard pants often have reinforcement at the cuff to protect the pants from wear and tear. For snowboard pants, the support is usually a band at the cuff in the back.
A RECCO is a rescue technology used to locate people buried by an avalanche or lost in the outdoors. It is based on a harmonic radar system composed of a detector and a passive reflector integrated into outdoor clothing and gears.
Some snowboard pants have a small RECCO unit sewn into them. The unit works with a RECCO transponder, which many resorts or rescue operations have handy.
Bibs offer protection against snow down the back. A zippered drop-seat can make things easier for those who might be concerned about bathroom break issues.
Bib styles could be minimalist backcountry or more along the line of overalls. Zip-off designs typically offer the most versatility.
Style & Fit
Fit is usually broken down into slim, regular, and loose. Many snowboarders wear snowboard pants made by legacy brands, although other mainstream names have unique offerings.
Brands of Snowboard Pants
1. Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic
The Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic offers top-of-the-line waterproofing and a robust set of features, including multiple pockets. The Gore-Tex also offers full-seam taping and a mesh liner, and zippered inner thigh vents.
2. Volcom Freakin Snow Chino
The Volcom Freakin Snow Chino is a great-looking budget option. The stretchy twill face fabric is excellent for comfort and mobility, while the two-layer V-Science membrane stands up to precipitation and wind.
It is only taped at the critical seams, though, meaning these are not ideal for heavy snowfall. They will work fine on most dry and cold days.
3. Roxy Backyard
Built specifically for women, the Roxy Backyard snowpants offer a more tailored fit than the baggy style that has become common. The feminine cut provides a layer of 60-gram synthetic insulation.
The snowpants also have a jacket attachment and taffeta liner. As a budget buy, not ideal for wet conditions again.
4. Trew Gear TREWth Bib
The TREWth Bib features the company’s proprietary three-layer PNW construction with full-seam taping that has reinforcements, smooth-operating water-resistant zippers, and bomber coverage. The fit and finish, as well as side vents running from knee to chest, make these a complete package.
The Trew Gear is more expensive, but you get what you pay for. You will get a softer feel that is easy to move in.
5. Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl
Patagonia’s Powder Bowl gives you a 60-gram Thermogreen fill and 150-denier recycled face fabric. You also get mesh-lined outer thigh vents, gaiters and scuff guards, and a jacket attachment at the waist.
6. Outdoor Research Skyward II
The Outdoor Research Skyward II offers maximum breathability. The Skyward has stretch-infused, three-layer AscentShell fabric, protecting almost as well as the two-layer Gore-Tex designs.
The three-layer hardshell pant offers more sustainable protection somewhat at the cost of mobility and comfort.
7. The North Face Freedom Insulated
Anybody on a budget might like the thick two-layer construction that is super durable and blocks out wind and snow effectively. A 60-gram Heatseeker Eco insulation system offers extra warmth while the venting system is also sound.
The waterproofing technology leaves a little bit to be desired, though. The placement of zippered vents along the inner thigh also adds more bulk.
8. Burton Gore-Tex Reserve Bibs
The Gore-Tex Reserve provides two-layer construction and full seam taping, and 150-denier face fabric. Again, two-layer constructions do not offer the best breathability.
The Reserve also does not offer a drop seat. It also is not available in short or tall sizes.
9. Volcom L Gore-Tex
Volcom combines a premium two-layer Gore-Tex construction with a breathable liner and inner thigh vents. There are also cargo pockets, extra stitching at the inner rise, and hem reinforcements.
A single button closure often comes undone, and the white mesh lining on the thigh vents leaves a lot to be desired.
10. Burton Covert Insulated
The Burton Covert has a warm layer of 40-gram Thermolite insulation wrapped up in the company’s two-layer Dryride membrane with fully taped seams. A budget option with microfleece handwarmer pockets, stylish cargo and thigh pockets, and inner thigh vents.
The Covert is not as warm with 40-gram insulation compared to others on this list. The price, however, usually makes it an attractive option for the more budget-conscious.
11. Flylow Gear Chemical
Flylow Gear offers a rugged design that has a three-layer construction and 1,000-denier reinforcements in the cuffs, as well as waterproof zippers. In addition to the protection, the snowpants also ventilate well with the ability to release hot air in four places: two zippered vents along the inner thigh and two large vents along the outside of your legs.
12. Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Storm Bibs
Outdoor Research bibs are built for aggressive riding and weather with a two-layer Gore-Tex construction and strong materials. The price may be a deal-breaker for many people, however.
13. Arc’teryx Sabre AR
The Sabre AR features bomber yet light three-layer Gore-Tex waterproofing. It allows for ideal protection and improved breathability compared to most two-layer designs.
There is also a brushed liner for additional warmth and side zips that allow you to dump heat on the skin track. The Sabre AR is not explicitly built for snowboarders, which means no features such as cargo pockets or butt protection.
14. Picture Organic Object
The Object has an in-house protective membrane. There is also a layer of 25-gram insulation.
The Object does a great job keeping snow out. The top-of-thigh vents, silicone reinforcements, and I-Fit system at the hem for rolling the cuffs back to the waterproof zippers and fully taped seams are all attractive.
15. Patagonia Snowshot
The Patagonia men’s Snowshot and women’s Snowbelle snowpants offer a secure two-button closure, smooth-operating zippers, and an adjustable fleece-lined waist. The downside to the Snowshot is lacking breathability because of a standard mesh liner.
16. 686 Smarty 3-in-1 Cargo
The 3-in-1 snowpants have a durable and protective shell and a cozy fleece mid-layer that zips in and out. They may not be as effective as the usual insulated designs, though.
17. Thirtytwo Basement Bib
Thirtytwo’s Basement bib gives you a baggy fit and solid overall performance. The bib now offers improved waterproofing and breathability because of full-seam taping and triple-stitching in high-wear areas.
18. Jones Shralpinist 3L Gore-Tex Pro
Jones Snowboards now offers outerwear for snowboarders, and the Shralpinist has additional durability on the seat and knees as well as top-of-the-line breathability at the waist, groin, and back of the legs.
19. 686 Standard
The 686 Standard is perhaps the cheapest option you can find. It has many of the features snowboarders seek, such as boot gussets and gaiters, reinforced patches, inner leg vents, and many pockets.
The waterproofing and breathability leave a lot to be desired, however.