The best snowboard pants act as the first line of defense against freezing temperatures and cold wet snow. A good quality pair of pants can keep you warm, comfortable, and can allow you to board for longer, without having to cut it short because of freezing temperatures. However, choosing the best pair can be a challenge, especially if you’ve never purchased a pair of boarding pants before.
This buyer’s guide is designed to help point you in the right direction, so you can find the perfect pants for your next boarding trip, pants that will keep you warm and comfortable, without compromising your moves out on the mountain. I’ve also tested out several pairs of top selling pants, narrowing it down to the best four pairs on the market, each of which earned top marks in terms of durability, insulation, and overall quality.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart which includes each of the pairs that made it onto my list, how they rated, and their best features.
Snowboard Pants Comparison Chart
Winter Pants Water
|Arctix Men's Snowboard|
|Gash Hao Softshell|
|Men's Arctic Trip|
MAGCOMSEN Men’s Winter Pants Water
These snowboard pants are insulated with fleece, so they’re comfortable to wear and will keep you nice and warm out on the mountain. The shell is made out of 94% polyester and 6% spandex, allowing you to move the way you need to as you ride. The zipper is durable and features a wear-resistant design, while the multilayered design of the pants themselves are designed to keep you warm and dry in freezing temperatures. The fleece lining works to retain body heat, while wicking away moisture to keep you comfortable. The breathable design will prevent overheating and skin irritating. The shell’s water-resistant construction will prevent moisture from entering the interior, while the reinforced knees will significantly add to the lifespan of these pants.
- Durable zipper
- Reinforced knees
- Fleece lining
- Waterproof design
- Pants are not tapered
These fleece lined pants are flexible, so you can move the way you need to while you ride. The insulated, yet breathable design is perfect for freezing temperatures, with the goal of keeping you comfortable as you ride. The reinforced knees will prevent wear and tear and can significantly lengthen the lifespan of these pants, showing me that they’re designed to last. Also included are a couple of zippered size pockets, so you can bring along important personal items such as your pass, keys, and cellphone. The water-resistant material will keep you and your belongings nice and dry, all day long.
Arctix Men’s Mountain Premium Snowboard Pants
These water repellent pants are made out of 600 denier ballistic material complete with reinforced ankles and hem guards designed to prevent snow from entering your boots. These pants are also made out of one hundred percent nylon, complete with the breathable coating called Therma Lock. The finish is designed to repel water from the surface of the pants, keeping you nice and dry. The knees are reinforced, so you won’t have to worry about wear and tear to this sensitive area. The boot gaiters come complete with grippers, so there’s a seamless integration with your boots.
- Reinforced knees
- Water repellent coating
- Made out of 100% nylon
- Not insulated
These are relaxed fit snowboard pants that come complete with hem guards that prevent snow from sliding down your boots as you ride. The cargo style design comes complete with zippered hand warmer pockets, and a design that’s machine washable and wind-resistant. However, since these pants are not insulated, you’ll need to wear multiple layers to stay warm.
Gash Hao Softshell Snowboard Pants
These pants are made out of 100% polyester. The exterior of the pants are made out of material that’s windproof and waterproof. The softshell material is fast drying, while the interior is lined with fleece, which is moisture wicking and designed to keep you warm. The bottom of the pants are equipped with zippers for a snug fit that will prevent snow from sliding down inside your boots. The waist is highly adjustable, so you can achieve the perfect fit, without the use of a belt. The rear and front pockets are zippered, so you can store your personal items and keep them accessible, without the fear of losing them or getting them wet. The knees have been reinforced for improved durability and comfort.
- Reinforced knees
- Fleece lining
- Two zippered side pockets
These insulated pants are designed to keep you warm and well-protected while you ride. The adjustable waist and flexible design will not hinder your range of motion, while the reinforced knees prevent natural wear and tear in this vulnerable area. These pants are tough, comfortable to wear, highly breathable, and can keep you comfortable and dry as you ride.
Men’s Arctic Trip Snowboarding Pants
These omni-heat snowboarding pants feature thermal reflective technology. The material is designed to reflect your body heat back at you, so you’ll stay warm in freezing conditions. The design itself is surprisingly breathable, so you won’t overheat in these well-insulated pants. The front zipper comes complete with a couple of snaps and a waist that’s adjustable, so you can achieve the perfect fit and ditch the belt. The two front pockets are zippered and designed to store your personal items, keeping them safe and dry.
- Lower leg snaps
- Zippered pockets
- Thermal reflective technology uses body heat to keep you warm
- Breathable design
- Pants run a size large
These pants will keep you warm when you’re snowboarding, thanks to the fully sealed seams, thermal reflective technology, and breathable design. The knees are reinforced, while the internal leg gaiters do an excellent job of seamlessly fitting over your boots, preventing snow from entering. These pants are a must-have for the avid boarder in need of a pair of pants that can handle heavy-duty use, while providing protection from moisture and freezing temperatures.
Snowboard Pants Buyer’s Guide
There are many different types and styles to choose from, each made out of special fabrics that are designed to prevent water from penetrating the interior of the pants, so you’ll stay warm and dry. I’ll kick this buyer’s guide off with the different types available and the benefits they have to offer.
Types of Snowboard Pants
When you’re shopping online for a new pair of boarding pants, you’ll come across several different types. Insulated are by far the most common. Other types of pants will have insulated zones or a simple shell design. Figuring out which type will work the best for you can be a matter of trial and error and personal preference. Some boarders will choose insulated pants, but if you’re someone who gets hot easily, then you may want to opt for shell style pants, or pants that come equipped with insulated panels, both of which will prevent excessive sweating.
With insulated boarding pants, the outer layer features a shell that’s waterproof, with insulated material inside. These pants are usually made out of some type of synthetic material or fleece. These pants may have specific areas of insulation so you’ll remain warm in more vulnerable areas.
Grams are measured in insulation weight. The higher the grams, the warmer the pants. Insulation types can range from 30-800 grams.
These pants are similar to insulated boarding pants, minus the insulation. So, why would a boarder be interested in pants that don’t have any insulation? These pants are ideal for the person who tends to get hot easily. Additionally, these pants are also very lightweight. The biggest reason a person will choose these pants is because they prefer to layer their clothing. These pants are a good choice for layering since they don’t add much bulk. All you have to do is add more base layers if you’re cold, or you can remove layers if you start to get too warm.
This style is also a great choice to use with minimal layers for warm weather riding. For extreme temperatures, they’re not the best choice unless you wear several layers.
The most important feature of these pants is their waterproof rating. This type of rating will determine how much water the pants can take before they allow water in. The rating is measured in millimeters. The rating is determined by pouring a tube full of water on the pants. The level of water that begins to penetrate the pants will determine the waterproof rating. This means a higher rating equals pants that offer optimal waterproof capabilities. In order for a pair of pants to be deemed waterproof, they must have a minimum of a 1500 millimeter rating. Some pants will have a rating as high as 20,000 millimeters, but on average, you’ll come across pants with a rating of 5,000-10,000 millimeters. Pants that have a higher rating will often cost more.
There are also many different types of fabrics to choose from, including Dry Ride and Gore-Tex. What makes these types of materials so effective is the fact that they contain pores that are much bigger than a molecule of sweat. However, these pores are also much smaller than a water molecule. This design allows the pants to feel breathable, yet they’ll still be waterproof.
Pants will also have a breathability rating, which is similar to a waterproof rating, although it works the opposite way. How breathable a fabric is concerns the fabric’s ability to allow sweat to escape. Allowing sweat to escape will ensure the wearer remains warm and dry.
The breathability rating is measured in grams. the higher the number, the more moisture is able to escape the pants, equaling better breathability. Pants with a low breathability rating will have a range of 2,000-3,000 grams, while top of the line pants will have a breathability rating of 25,000 grams or higher.
Most pants are made out of tightly woven polyester or nylon. Both types of materials are designed for high performance in extreme temperatures. These pants should be abrasion resistant and tear resistant, so you won’t have to worry about your pants ripping when you’re moving on your board, or in the event of a fall.
There are also a couple of different seam options. You’ll want to pay close attention to the type of seams a pair of pants have since this can be a great indicator of how durable the pants are and how dry they can keep you.
Fully taped seams have been taped for waterproofing. This process consists of using a waterproof type of taping material on the outside and inside of the seams. Seams that have been fully taped are the best choice for optimal protection against water. However, this type of seam design will hike up the price of the pants.
Pants that have seams that are critically taped are more affordable compared to pants that are fully taped. This type of seam is only taped in areas that are considered the most vulnerable.
For full protection, you’ll want to go with pants that have been fully taped since these pants will limit your exposure to moisture and have a better reputation for quality and durability.
Other Important Features
When you shop for new pants, it won’t just be about paying attention to how breathable they are, or what their waterproof rating is. There are several other features that you’ll want to pay attention to, such as cuff design, knee protection, and more. Now, I’ll go over these other essential features, to give you a closer look at the must-have features that can significantly increase durability and overall quality.
Boot gaiters refer to the type of cuff located on the inner bottom portion of the pants. These cuffs often have lace clips, complete with an elastic band. The clips can be attached to snowboard boot laces. The elastic band ensures that the cuffs will snugly fit over the boot, preventing snow from entering.
This feature pre-shapes the knees of pants to match the natural bend of the knees. This is a must-have feature and one that can have a major impact on your mobility when you’re riding.
Scuff guards consist of durable fabric that’s placed inside the ankles. The purpose of these guards is to prevent the pants from fraying in a spot that’s very prone to friction. Scuff guards are a must-have feature since they can significantly lengthen the lifespan of your pants.
Pants that have an adjustable waist will allow you to achieve the perfect fit. In most cases, an adjustable waist will come in the form of Velcro. Some pants will have other options, such as elastic. This is another important feature to have, especially for people who prefer wearing multiple layers of clothing.
Pants that come with suspenders will allow you to wear your pants without the fear they’ll begin to fall down as you ride. These suspenders are similar to traditional suspenders, however, the big difference here is that these suspenders will be sewn into the pants. Suspenders aren’t as common as they once were, however, there are many boarders who prefer this design over the adjustable waist.
Side zippers are found on the bottom of the pants. The zippers will ensure that your pants fit well over your boots. You’ll usually find these zippers on pants that don’t have boot gaiters.
Leg vents can be a welcome addition for many boarders. The vents consist of zippers complete with a mesh lining located on the inner thigh area. When you start to get hot as you ride, you can unzip these vents and allow some air inside. Many pants come equipped with this feature.
You’ll only come across a few models with leg lifts. This feature consists of a piece of material that’s placed by the boot cuff. It’s designed to allow the wearer to roll up the pants, snapping them into a higher position. This will cause the cuffs to be lifted off the ground. If you don’t want the bottom of your pants rubbing against the ground as you’re walking, then leg lifts are a must.
If you’re looking for a more streamlined pair of pants, then pockets may not be at the top of your list. However, if you’re someone who carries around your personal items and other board-related gear, then a pair that’s pocket heavy will be a must.
Some pants will include this small pocket that gives you a spot to protect and store your pass, keeping it safe and dry. While this isn’t a must-have feature, it’s definitely convenient.
Pants with cargo pockets will allow you to store personal items such as your wallet, phone, and keys. Yet, the addition of these pockets can also make your pants feel too bulky.
A glove holster consists of a plastic hook that allows the wearer to clip their gloves to their pants when they’re not in use, keeping the gloves highly accessible and easy to find. If you’re guilty of losing one or both of your gloves at least once during the season, then this feature will help you keep track of your gloves and will ensure they’re dry and ready to wear once the temperature drops.
Pants that have a higher waterproof rating and temperature rating will cost significantly more than pants with a lower rating. If you’re a serious boarder, then it makes sense to invest in a higher priced pair of pants that will last all season long, without splitting or tearing. If you only snowboard once or twice per year, then a lower priced pair of pants with a decent waterproof and temperature rating may be sufficient. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a pair of pants you won’t have to replace every season, then it’s important to invest in a pair that may be pricey, but ones that you know are designed to last.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Pants Do You Wear Snowboarding?
Choose a pair of pants that are waterproof. The pants should lock out moisture and should cover your boots. Go with a pair that will keep the snow off your skin, yet, the pants should also have a breathable design so you remain dry and comfortable.
Is There a Difference Between Ski and Snowboard Pants?
Pants designed for snowboarding are usually baggier and will offer better range of motion. Pants meant for skiing use feature a slim fit that has more of a focus on aerodynamics.
Do you Wear Pants Under Snowboard Pants?
This depends on the type of snowboard pants you use. Pants that are insulated do not require you to wear an additional pair of pants underneath. Shell style snowboard pants are meant to be worn over another pair of pants since they do not provide insulation and simply act as a waterproof barrier.
The best snowboard pants will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable as you ride. However, because some people tend to run hotter or cooler than average, the type of pants you choose should depend on your insulation needs. If you’re someone who easily gets hot when you ride, then you’ll want to steer clear of insulated pants. If you’re sensitive to the cold and looking for a pair that offers ultimate protection against freezing temperatures, then a pair of insulated pants is the way to go. Aside from keeping you warm, these pants also need to protect you from moisture, yet they should also be breathable enough to prevent excessive sweating and allow sweat to escape the interior of the pants while preventing water from entering the pants. This buyer’s guide and the four pairs that made it onto my list will help you choose a pair that has what it takes to keep you warm and dry when you’re riding, so you can spend more time on the mountain, in total comfort.