Two snowboarders hiking uphill

The Best Snowboard Pants of 2021-2022

Whether you’re uphilling in the backcountry or pounding powder laps at the resort, these are our favorite pants for snowboarding and splitboarding.

Keeping your feet and torso toasty is key to a happy riding day, but snowboard pants are close behind and don’t get enough credit. Snow pants are a fashion statement but provide key comfort and warmth when we sit on a frozen chairlift or sweat a boatload while climbing a remote mountainside.

The best designs fit just right without falling down or being restrictive. In athletic pairs, the knees are articulated and the legs are tapered. The hems need to be wide to seamlessly pair with the bulkier neck of snowboard boots.

Depending on the climate and elements where you ride and the performance qualities you need, there’s a wide range of snowboarding pants and backcountry splitboarding pants that can check those boxes.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best Snowboard Pants of 2021-2022

Best Women’s Snowboard Pants

Best Overall: Volcom Flor Stretch GORE-TEX Pant

Volcom Flor Stretch Gore Pant

The Flor Stretch GORE-TEX Pant ($280) is an extremely comfortable, protective pant made by one of the lead apparel designers in the snowboard world, Volcom. The legs are contoured but not tight, so they don’t sag even after a massive bell-to-bell pow day. The knee is articulated with flexible fabric, so you can sit to strap in, crouch while exploring the trees, and get low while jibbing without thinking twice about your pants.

When whiteout conditions blur the lift chair in front of you, the material of these pants is stout, keeps you as dry as Moab, and doesn’t feel stuffy. The leg zippers are key to dump heat on the warmer days and rigorous rides.

If you go with a Volcom jacket too, the brand’s Zip Tech — a patented technology that connects the powder skirt to the pants — is stout with a burly, waterproof zipper that keeps your backside warm and dry. The setup of the Flor Stretch is also surprisingly easy to operate.

We also love the smooth hand pockets, which are lined with brushed tricot. In total, there are six pockets from front to back. The lower part of the pant cuff is reinforced with panels to help prevent those shreds that inevitably develop (we still recommend rolling up your pants when you leave the snow to help elongate your apparel’s life).

Specs:
  • Fit: Stretch slim
  • Material: GORE-TEX 2-layer stretch
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 28,000
  • Breathability (g): 20,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: None
Pros:
  • Zippers for ventilation
  • Fully taped seams
  • Belt loops plus an adjustable waistband
Cons:
  • No eco-friendly traits

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Volcom

Runner-Up Best Overall: Burton Gloria

Burton Gloria

Burton did a stellar job creating these well-tailored and tough snowboarding pants. The Gloria ($190) doesn’t feature the highest level of waterproofing for back-to-back Pacific Northwest storms, but the fabric is burly enough for the majority of riders and most snowy lift rides.

These shell pants aren’t insulated but house the brand’s proprietary Living Lining, a liner that helps regulate body temperature for even-keeled comfort. The fibers open to release heat when the rider warms up and close when her body temp drops, like on a long lift ride.

There are eight pockets total, so plenty of options for stashing items. The breathability is a happy medium, so there are interior leg zippers for super warm days.

Specs:
  • Fit: Slim
  • Material: 2-layer stretch polyester fabric
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 10,000
  • Breathability (g): 10,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Bluesign-approved materials
Pros:
  • Lower cost
  • Eco-friendly manufacturing
  • Very comfortable
Cons:
  • Low-waisted design is too low for some (or requires a belt or suspenders)
  • No zippers on the hand pockets limits utility

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Best Budget: Sportneer Insulated Snowboard Pants

Sportneer Insulated Snowboard Pants

If your weekend warrior days rack up a half dozen, you’re giving snowboarding a try, or your budget is tight, check out these pants from Sportneer. This insulated pair ($35) is available at a great value with hundreds of 5-star Amazon reviews.

While we don’t recommend this pair if you’re prioritizing a resort rendezvous every weekend or in moderate or severe winter conditions — because the durability and weather protection are lower than other options here — this is a fair option for someone dabbling in the sport.

The waistband features adjustable Velcro straps to help snug up the waist or loosen it to tuck in midlayers. There’s a nifty snap to roll up and secure the pants when you’re walking back and forth around the parking lot. There’s a reinforced fabric guard to strengthen the interior of the pant legs right where pants always break down the fastest.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): Unavailable
  • Breathability (g): Unavailable
  • Insulation: Made from polyester
  • Sustainable Features: None
Pros:
  • Zippered and fleece-lined hand pockets
  • Belt loops
Cons:
  • Not the most waterproof or durable pair

Check Price at Amazon

Best Snow Suit: Airblaster Sassy Beast Suit

Airblaster Sassy Beast Suit

These snazzy high-caliber snowsuits have been a mainstay on the scene for 2 decades and rightfully so. The ladies’ Sassy Beast Suit ($410) is like wearing your pajamas but being completely warm and dry while hucking powder-tossed cliffs and getting face shots.

To call this suit a fortress is an understatement, with some of the strongest waterproofing of any snowboard outerwear on our list. To increase ventilation, there are upper and lower leg and arms vents, one of our favorite attributes of the outfit. Inside, you can stash your extra goggle lens in a mesh pocket plus another six zippered pockets for goodies.

Of course, one of the reasons Airblaster’s iconic suit has lasted so long is the easy-to-use 360-degree zipper to drop the drawers when nature calls.

Specs:
  • Fit: Baggy with slightly tailored legs
  • Material: 2-layer Eco-Vortex recycled polyester
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 30,000
  • Breathability (g): 2,0000
  • Insulation: 40g Primaloft insulation
  • Sustainable Features: PFC-free DWR, recycled polyester fabric
Pros:
  • Drop seat for bathroom breaks
  • Integrated wrist gaiters and adjustable wrist cuffs
  • Eco-friendly traits
Cons:
  • A bit too warm for super sunny or hot spring laps
  • Pricier choice

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Amazon

Best Bib: Flylow Sphinx Bib

Flylow Sphinx Bib

We’ve raved about the Flylow Foxy Bib, a pair that’s a superstar for riders and skiers alike, in our Best Women’s Bibs guide. But the Sphinx ($300) is equally flattering with the brand’s high-chested design that sits so cleanly on a gal’s figure regardless of how hard she’s ripping turns.

But the Sphinx sets itself apart with insulation, a nice addition for heart-of-winter freezing temperatures, wind chill, sitting in the snow watching your pals do tricks, or long lift rides. And some ladies just run cold.

The six pockets are great, but that reach-through kangaroo pocket up front takes the gold. The fabric is treated with DWR, so droplets can bead off the surface of the pants on those stormy days. To visit the restroom, that side zipper also helps speed up the process so you don’t need to pull off the bibs to go.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: 2-layer hardshell fabric
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 10,000
  • Breathability (g): 10,000
  • Insulation: 40g Spaceloft micropuff insulation
  • Sustainable Features: None
Pros:
  • Stellar bib choice for majority resort days
  • Very durable
  • Comfortable cut (even for rounder midsections)
Cons:
  • Higher cost compared to other pant choices
  • Women with curvier quads and glutes should consider sizing up

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

Best Insulated Pant: 686 GLCR GORE-TEX Utopia Insulated Pant

686 GLCR Gore-Tex Utopia Insulated Pant

When you’re playing in the snow, it’s nice to have some extra backside coverage. This mid-rise pant design helps the lower back stay a bit warmer and dryer. The 686 ($300) also has a BOA-compatible boot system in the gaiter — a flap where the single front-facing BOA pops through and stays operable with the gaiter pulled down — which is clutch given so many boots these days are constructed with single BOA lace systems.

The system would still work with a double BOA, but you wouldn’t be able to access the higher-placed turn dial without lifting the gaiter. The bottom cuff also has a gusset with two snaps for varying degrees of openness to accommodate wide boots.

We appreciate the insulation for keeping our thighs and cheeks warm on long-life rides or when we need to sit to fix our bindings. But we equally need those inner leg vents for warm and sunny and high-octane powder days, which these pants provide. Plus, the interior inner pant leg is lined with burly 500-denier CORDURA panels — a very nice touch.

Similar to Volcom, the brand has a jacket-to-pant interface system, though it’s not as stalwart against the elements. It’s pretty simple — fabric strips with snap closures extend from the jacket to loops on the pants, extend through, and snap closed, which helps maintain some connection and prevent a full-on gap in the event of a tumble.

Ultimately, we stay super-dry and comfortable in these tenacious, breathable pants whether it’s windy, sunny, or fluffy flakes are dropping from the sky.

Specs:
  • Fit: Fitted but not tight
  • Material: 2-layer GORE-TEX polyester fabric
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 28,000
  • Breathability (g): 20,000
  • Insulation: 40g infiLOFT insulation
  • Sustainable Features: Bluesign-approved GORE-TEX fabric, 70% recycled insulation
Pros:
  • BOA-compatible system
  • Fully taped seams
Cons:
  • No back pockets

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Best for the Backcountry: TREW Chariot Bib

TREW Chariot Bib

Another iconic piece in our lineup is the TREW Chariot Bib ($439). The build of these bibs is burly and can keep backcountry splitboarders and front country lift-riders dry from Vancouver Island to California, Idaho, and Vermont.

Up front, the design has a transceiver pocket with a D-ring to secure that life-saving tool. The pocket is a great feature for easy, ergonomic access. Beyond that pouch, there are four other zippered pockets including deep ones on the thighs.

The bottom portions of the pant legs are shielded with tough cuffs to prevent slashes during kick turns.

The drop seat is well-designed and easy to operate. The bibs are also offered with tall or short inseam options.

Specs:
  • Fit: Form-fitted
  • Material: 3-layer nylon fabric
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 20,000
  • Breathability (g): 20,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Bluesign-certified
Pros:
  • Internal dual-direction leg vents
  • RECCO reflector
Cons:
  • Premium price

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Trew Gear

Best Men’s Snowboard Pants

Best Overall: Volcom L Pants

Volcom L Pants

After multiple decades at the forefront of boardsports apparel design, Volcom continues to churn out high-quality and stylish gear. With bombproof weatherproofing and supreme comfort, the GORE-TEX L ($260) pants are among the best all-around snowboard pants on the market.

Though Volcom produces a wide range of snow pants, the GORE-TEX L offers the highest-level waterproofing in the entire range. Two-layer GORE-TEX construction is combined with the brand’s V-Science breathable lining.

The result is reliable waterproofing that also eliminates heat-draining sweat. Snow pants traditionally struggle to find the balance between waterproofing and breathability, but the L pants are pretty close to perfect.

Other key features of the L pants include articulated knees, fully taped seams, an adjustable waistband, a water-repellent zipper, and a pant-to-jacket interface. Though they aren’t the cheapest pants on this list, the L pants are a great value considering their plentiful features and generally stellar build quality.

Specs:
  • Fit: Relaxed fit with articulated knees
  • Material: Nylon with 2-layer GORE-TEX
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 28,000
  • Breathability (g): 20,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Bluesign-approved nylon + PFC free laminate shell
Pros:
  • Reinforced in high-wear areas
  • High-quality waterproofing
  • Nice looking
Cons:
  • Some riders find them to be excessively baggy

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Runner-Up Best Overall: Burton Cargo Snow Pants

Burton Cargo Snow Pants

From powder stashes to park laps, the Burton Cargo Pants ($180) are the perfect all-mountain outerwear for riding at the resort. Burton’s DryRide waterproof material stands up to snow, ice, and even falling rain. No matter the conditions, the Cargo Pants will keep you dry and comfortable as you shred to your heart’s content.

In cold temps, Burton’s Living Lining technology feels soft and cozy and offers impressive warmth relative to other shell-style pants. When conditions heat up in the spring, large inner-thigh vents allow for simple and effective climate control. Though these pants are geared more toward resort riding, we like that they feature reinforced cuffs that can hold up to regular hiking and bootpacking.

As their name suggests, the Cargo Pants have an impressive — and borderline excessive — amount of storage space. While the multiple pockets can be helpful for storing lunch, a small action camera, or other items, most riders won’t regularly utilize all of the pockets on the Cargo.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: Polyester twill weave with 2-layer DryRide membrane
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 10,000
  • Breathability (g): 10,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Bluesign-approved
Pros:
  • Good value
  • Nice balance of warmth and breathability
Cons:
  • Not super roomy in the crotch area
  • May be a bit short for riders over 6′

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

Best Budget: The North Face Freedom Insulated Pants

The North Face Freedom Insulated Pants

The North Face Insulated Freedom Pants ($169) are among the best value buys on the snowboarding outerwear market. Thanks to 60g integrated Heatseeker Eco insulation, these pants are especially comfortable in cold conditions. If your home mountain is prone to chilly days, you’ll be happy (and stylish) in the Freedom Pants.

Like most modern snow pants, the Freedom is equipped with weatherproof two-layer construction. Though The North Face’s DryVent fabrics don’t quite have the name recognition that GORE-TEX has, their waterproofing performance is on par.

While the combination of insulation and two-layer waterproofing is great on cold and snowy days, the Freedom Pants can become uncomfortably warm at times. If you regularly ride in warm spring temps, or enjoy hiking/bootpacking, these pants probably won’t suit your needs.

Despite their relatively affordable price tag, the Freedom Pants aren’t lacking in the features department. With durable boot gaiters, reinforced kick patches, adjustable waist tabs, and side-zip entry, the Freedom Pants are thoroughly versatile.

The North Face builds snow pants with modern styling and a slim fit. While we love the way these pants look, you’ll want to look elsewhere if you prefer a roomy fit or baggy look.

Specs:
  • Fit: Slim
  • Material: Nylon blend with 2-layer DryVent construction
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): Unknown
  • Breathability (g): Unknown
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Sustainable Features: Heatseeker insulation is made from 50% post-consumer recycled material
Pros:
  • Excellent value
  • Ideal for cold conditions
Cons:
  • Not the most breathable

Check Price at evoCheck Price at REI

Best Snow Suit: Helly Hansen Ullr Chugach Powder Suit

Helly Hansen Ullr Chugach Powder Suit

When you find yourself in full-blown blizzard conditions, a traditional jacket and pants combo might not be sufficient. In the interest of staying warm and comfortable while you shred, a snowsuit is sometimes the best outerwear option.

The Ullr Chugach Powder Suit ($495-900) from Helly Hansen has you covered from the top of the head to the laces of your boots. With fully sealed seams and a top-of-the-line durable water-repellent treatment, this suit promises to keep you dry no matter how severe the weather gets. Plus, it’s surprisingly unrestrictive.

Weatherproofing is certainly the most important feature of a full-body snowsuit, so we’re glad the Ullr Chugach shines in that category. As an added bonus, this suit also comes equipped with several thoughtful and unique features. An insulated pocket is great for storing electronics and an additional beacon-specific pocket comes in handy on backcountry trips.

As is true of most snowsuits, the Ullr Chugach traps body heat and is best suited for cold conditions and deep powder. Though an assortment of zippered vents offers some temperature control, we generally don’t recommend this suit as an everyday wear item. However, if you’re looking for ultimate weather protection for the deepest of backcountry excursions, this snowsuit is perfect.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: Nylon and polyester blend with 3-layer Helly Tech waterproof membrane
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): Unknown
  • Breathability (g): Unknown
  • Insulation: Primaloft Aerogel Insulation
  • Sustainable Features: Unknown
Pros:
  • Extremely weatherproof
  • High-quality insulation
  • Useful pockets
Cons:
  • Not ideal for warm conditions
  • Expensive

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Best Bib: Patagonia PowSlayer Bib

Patagonia PowSlayer Bib

If you’re looking to upgrade the bottom half of your outerwear kit to something with reliable waterproofing and durable materials, look no further than the Patagonia PowSlayer Bib ($599). Outfitted with GORE-TEX’s highest-performing waterproof membrane to date, this bib is revered by riders for its performance in everything from dumping rain to deep powder.

Riders in the northwest report the PowSlayer is ideal for cruising through the heavy and wet snow common to the region. Like most waterproof bibs, you can expect these to run a little warm, though the MicroGrid backing material effectively wicks sweat and improves overall breathability.

In addition to its hardy construction, there are a few key features that set the PowSlayer apart from the competition. A thoughtfully designed pocket set and an easy-to-use drop seat significantly improve the general experience of wearing the PowSlayer.

While most outerwear bottoms are geared toward either the resort or the backcountry, the PowSlayer has the rare distinction of working well for both. We recommend this bib for all kinds of riding.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: Recycled Nylon Ripstop with a GORE-TEX Pro membrane
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 28,000
  • Breathability (g): 25,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Made from recycled nylon
Pros:
  • Great for backcountry use
  • Ideal for stormy conditions and backcountry riding
Cons:
  • Sticky zippers

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Best Insulated Pant: 686 GLCR Quantum Thermagraph

686 GLCR Quantum Thermagraph

While most of the pants we’ve included on this list are uninsulated shells, some riders prefer the extra warmth of insulated outerwear. The beauty of the GLCR Quantum Pants ($250) is they’re only insulated in the key areas that tend to lose heat while riding. Compared to other insulated styles, these pants are far less prone to overheating.

The 686 infiDRY two-layer waterproofing system is among the most effective snow- and water-repellent materials on the outerwear market. Long-time users report the durable water-repellent outer coating seems to last for multiple seasons of riding.

We appreciate that the articulated fit of these pants has been carefully designed to support the body mechanics of both skiing and snowboarding. As for features, the GLCR Quantum Thermagraph has all the bells and whistles that high-end snow pants should. Fully taped seams, boot gaiters, and a jacket-integration system are all included.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: 2-layer infiDRY Stretch Fabric with a waterproof membrane and synthetic insulation
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 20,000
  • Breathability (g): 15,000
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Sustainable Features: Insulation is made from 93% plastic bottles
Pros:
  • Insulated in key areas
  • Highly waterproof
Cons:
  • Mesh-lined vents

Check Price at evoCheck Price at REI

Best for the Backcountry: Flylow Tannen Bib Pants

Flylow Tannen Bib Pants

This high-quality bib is fully equipped for the deepest of days. Made with a burly three-layer Storm Shell outer fabric with extra reinforcements in high-wear areas, this bib is the gold standard in durable outerwear.

If you generally ride on hard-packed surfaces in mild to moderate weather conditions, this bib is probably going to feel bulky and overengineered relative to your needs. The Flylow Tannen Bib ($400) thrives in big mountain backcountry settings and deep powder. Anywhere else, it’s a little excessive.

Other notable features of this bib include powder gaiters, a thigh pocket with a beacon attachment system, and an articulated knee box.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: Polyester fabric with 3-layer construction and a waterproof membrane
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 20,000
  • Breathability (g): 20,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Unknown
Pros:
  • Functional venting system
  • Great for riding in deep powder
Cons:
  • Fit runs slightly short

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Best of the Rest

Women’s Dakine Westside Pants

Women’s Dakine Westside Pants

If you’re not into baggy snowboard pants, this silhouette is for you. The Dakine Westside Pants ($150) have a straightforward, tailored-fitting, and slim design for all-day resort runs in mild and moderate weather conditions.

The wide waistband has a double-snap closure and belt loops. Inside the waistband, there’s a brushed tricot lining that’s super soft.

To accommodate boots, the hems are adjustable via zippers with gussets, and the gaiters help bar the snow.

Specs:
  • Fit: Slim
  • Material: 100% nylon
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 10,000
  • Breathability (g): 10,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Bluesign-approved fabric
Pros:
  • Environmentally friendly fabric
  • Zippered inner thigh vents
  • Comparatively low price
Cons:
  • Front hand pockets lack zippers
  • A bit too slim-fitting for stouter builds
  • Thin material makes us question long-term durability

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Amazon

Women’s Roxy Rising High Pants

Women’s Roxy Rising High Pants

One of our biggest pet peeves is getting snow blasted against our lower backside base layers. This high-waisted design all but fixes that problem. It’s a popular pair, in great part because of the extra coverage.

The Roxy Rising High Pants ($200) provide a fair amount of waterproofing and breathability for riding the resort in average conditions. That brushed polar fleece liner is a cozy addition. And to help the bottom hem from splitting, there’s additional reinforcement alongside the zipper bottom leg gussets.

Specs:
  • Fit: Very Fitted
  • Material: 89% polyester, 11% elastane plain weave
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 15,000
  • Breathability (g): 10,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: None
Pros:
  • High-reaching neoprene waist panel
  • Belt loops
Cons:
  • Pockets are small and not ergonomic or utility-focused
  • Too lean-fitting for some ladies

Check Price at evoCheck Price at REI

FW Manifest Tour 3L Bibs — Men’s & Women’s

FW Manifest Tour 3L Bibs

For dudes and ladies alike, FW — which stands for Future Wild — apparel is rooted in developing technical backcountry splitboarding and resort snowboarding apparel in the heart of the French Alps. That said, skiers wear these pieces, too. The brand debuted in the U.S. in 2019.

Among the biggest investments on our list, the Manifest Tour 3L Bib ($500) is very breathable, waterproof, and a solid choice for backcountry tours. The construction is lightweight, stretchy, and ergonomic. Made with a three-layer fabric, the four-way stretch membrane is sandwiched between a nylon-spandex blend and a 20-denier nylon tricot fabric backer.

When we slash quick turns through tight glades or around moguls, the malleable CORDURA side panels (which are super durable) move with us. The articulated knees enhance comfort. Durable kick-turn patches help boost the longevity of the pant hems.

We like the functional, spacious thigh pockets, and there’s a chest pocket, too. For the ladies’ bib, we give a huge high-five for the two-way YKK zipper that opens from the body to mid-thigh for bathroom breaks.

Specs:
  • Fit: Athletic but a bit roomy
  • Material: 85% nylon, 15% spandex
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 20,000
  • Breathability (g): 20,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: None
Pros:
  • Zip and snap-button system can hold up cuff for protection
  • Large thigh pockets
Cons:
  • Premium price tag

Check Men’s Price at evoCheck Women’s Price at Backcountry

Men’s Patagonia Powder Bowl Pant

Men’s Patagonia Powder Bowl Pant

Patagonia’s Powder Bowl Pants ($299) have been a staple of the slopes for many seasons. In 2021, this iconic piece of outerwear remains mostly unchanged. If you’re looking for hard-wearing and classic-looking ski pants for any conditions, the Powder Bowl Pants reign supreme.

In an age of flashy color schemes and eye-catching aesthetics, the Powder Bowl Pants keep it simple with a classy and understated appearance. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity, though. These pants come with plenty of integrated technology. A two-layer GORE-TEX membrane offers industry-leading waterproofing, and a concealed RECCO reflector adds peace of mind.

Skis and riders agree — the Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants deserve their place at the top of the outerwear market.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: Polyester with 2-layer GORE-TEX waterproof membrane
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 28,000
  • Breathability (g): 20,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Bluesign-approved fabric
Pros:
  • Durable
  • Stylish
  • Top-notch weather protection
Cons:
  • Expensive relative to similar options

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Men’s Quiksilver Travis Rice Stretch Snow Pant

Men’s Quiksilver Travis Rice Stretch Snow Pant

As part of Quiksilver’s new Surf the Mountain collection, these Travis Rice Stretch Snow Pants ($290) are dedicated to steep and deep snowboarding. The name Travis Rice is synonymous with ambitious big mountain riding and innovative gear, and pro-model pants certainly fit the mold.

During the design process, Quiksilver utilized body mapping technology to identify areas prone to cold spots and overheating. Specific materials including brushed tricot and stretch mesh were incorporated accordingly to create a pair that’s warm and comfortable across a wide variety of conditions.

On the sustainability front, these pants have been crafted from fabric made from ocean waste and recycled insulation.

Specs:
  • Fit: Regular
  • Material: Recycled polyester with Quiksilver DryFlight waterproof membrane
  • Waterproof Rating (mm): 20,000
  • Breathability (g): 15,000
  • Insulation: None
  • Sustainable Features: Recycled polyester fabric and recycled synthetic insulation
Pros:
  • Plentiful features
  • Strategically designed for optimal comfort in all conditions
Cons:
  • Flashy color schemes won’t appeal to some riders

Check Price at Quiksilver

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Snowboard Pants

Every rider needs a reliable pair of snowboard pants. Sure, you can technically ride in just about any kind of pants, but the comfort and waterproofing that comes with a high-quality purpose-built pair are unmatched.

With so many great options to choose from, it can be difficult to select a single pair of snowboard pants. Between materials, features, and price, there are quite a few factors to consider when navigating the snowboard pants market. In this handy how-to-choose guide, we have compiled all of the information you need to make an informed purchase.

How Snowboard Pants Differ From Ski Pants

For the most part, ski pants and snowboard pants are very similar. On this list, we’ve included some snowboard-specific pants and some generalized styles designed for both skiing and snowboarding. While some riders find snowboard-specific pants come with certain advantages, others are perfectly happy using more generalized pants.

Snowboard-specific pants tend to fit on the baggier side to allow for plenty of flexibility in a crouched position. Snowboarding involves a lot of dynamic lower body movement — especially in the terrain park. If maximum flexibility is a concern, we recommend seeking out a slightly baggy snowboard-specific pant.

Because snowboarders tend to spend more time sitting down on the snow than skiers, some snowboard pants also come with light padding in the rear.

snowboarder pointing downhill
(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Snowboard Bibs and Snowboard Pants

The choice between snowboard pants and bibs comes down to a combination of personal preference and function. Bibs are suspended by shoulder straps and are generally more effective at keeping snow out. Pants are held up by the waistband and generally offer better breathability and freedom of movement.

On deep powder days, a bib can be a game-changing addition to your kit. For this reason, we specifically recommend bibs to those who regularly ride in areas with lots of snowfall. Backcountry riders also tend to enjoy the extra coverage and protection provided by bibs.

Bibs pose a logistical bathroom-use challenge. Many bibs come with a drop seat, which is essentially a flap that opens in the back. Drop seats are handy when you need to squat and go in the backcountry.

For those who mostly stick to the resort and don’t spend much time in chest-deep powder, we recommend pants over bibs.

Resort Riding and Backcountry Riding

If you plan to regularly snowboard in the backcountry, you’ll want pants or a bib that are up to the task. Riding in the backcountry means hiking uphill, and there are a few key features that can make the experience much more enjoyable.

First, backcountry riders need breathable outerwear. When hiking, you will generate heat, which can quickly lead to perspiration. Sweating in the backcountry is not ideal, since the moisture quickly becomes cold and uncomfortable as soon as the hike is over.

For this reason, we recommend seeking breathable materials and well-designed vents. For backcountry snowboarding, insulated pants are generally not recommended.

Additionally, backcountry snowboard pants should have reinforced fabric around the inner ankle. While hiking or skinning uphill, your inner ankles will likely rub repeatedly against your boots or splitboard, which can lead to excessive wear if your pants have not been properly designed for the job.

Resort riding is generally less demanding on your outerwear. Because the bathrooms and lodge are always relatively close by, you don’t have to worry as much about bathroom breaks or temperature control at the resort.

Most resort riders prefer a relatively simple pair of traditional snowboard pants. If you do a lot of in-bounds boot packing or uphill hiking, be sure to seek a pair with reinforced fabric around the inner ankle.

Materials and Durability

Snowboard pants need to be durable enough to hold up to the demands of shredding through the trees and ripping deep carves. On this list, we’ve recommended many high-quality pairs of snowboard pants, but some are more durable than others.

Most ski pants are primarily made of nylon, polyester, or a blend of both. Many styles are reinforced in key wear areas to prevent premature material failure.

If durability is a primary concern, be sure to find a pair of pants with two-layer or three-layer fabric construction. Burly zippers and fully taped seams are also a plus.

Insulation and Warmth

Most snowboard pants on the market are not insulated. The primary job of snowboard pants is to keep you dry and protect your body from the surrounding weather. Because most snowboard pants are in the shell category, most riders wear various layers underneath to keep their legs warm and comfortable.

However, if you tend to run cold or regularly ride in extra cold conditions, you may want to purchase snowboard pants with built-in insulation. Some styles come with insulation strategically located only in key cold-prone areas. On this list, we have included insulated and noninsulated snowboard pants.

Waterproofing and Breathability

While wearing snowboard pants, you’ll likely sit on wet surfaces and ride through falling rain and snow. Reliable water resistance is an absolute must. Many of the styles included on this list come with high-end waterproof membranes and outer fabrics.

Within the outerwear industry, GORE-TEX is generally considered top-tier waterproof protection. All well-made waterproof snowboard pants will come with taped seams, waterproof zippers, and a DWR coating.

Every skier has a different comfort zone when it comes to temperature regulation and layering. For those who tend to run warm, breathable and well-ventilated outerwear may be absolutely essential.

In general, snowboard pants will offer varying degrees of ventilation and breathability depending on their design. When backcountry riding or bootpacking, grueling uphill treks call for air-permeable outer layers.

Sustainable Features

With each passing season, the snow sports outerwear industry incorporates more and more sustainable manufacturing practices and recycled materials. If sustainable features are a priority for you, be sure to check each manufacturer’s specifications for material sources, sustainable manufacturing certifications, and so on.

Bluesign certification is the gold standard for textile products that are safe for the environment, workers, and customers. We have included multiple Bluesign-certified pants and bibs on this list.

Key Features

Ventilation

Different types of fabric have varying levels of breathability in snowboard pants. You can read the breathability and waterproof ratings to get an idea of how easily the fabric breathes. The more waterproof a fabric is, generally the less breathable it is. If a pant is insulated, expect it to feel warmer.

Regardless of the insulation, breathability, and waterproofness of a pant, it’s typically a great idea to invest in a pair with ventilation if you plan to ride in the warmer spring months.

Ventilation is also great if you generally ride in a milder climate, don’t take cooldown breaks from top to bottom, or tend to build heat while riding. If you plan to uphill at the resort, or if you explore boot-accessed hike-to terrain or backcountry splitboard, then ventilation is mandatory.

Ventilation usually includes zippered openings along the interior thigh. It’s nice when pants have a mesh liner to offer some protection from snow drift (and privacy) while you ride or sit on the lift airing out your lower half. Full snowsuits usually also have ventilation below the arms.

Pockets

If you prefer to carry items in your pants versus your jacket, be mindful of the pockets in the snowboard pants you choose. Some are just for looks, while others are extremely functional.

The options range from hand pockets — sometimes zippered and other times with no closure at all — to various cargo pockets on the thighs and sometimes pockets on the backside. We find the most functional pockets are either deep hand pockets that are zippered and spacious or big, well-positioned thigh pockets.

If you’re looking for bibs for backcountry exploration, it’s nice for those designs to have a chest pocket that accommodates a beacon. For some, carrying a beacon against the torso can feel more comfortable and functional than toting a beacon in a thigh pocket.

In contrast, it’s easier to grab a phone out of a leg pocket while riding or skinning in the backcountry than to unzip a jacket to access a bib’s chest pocket. The caveat — a chest pocket is generally warmer and will help preserve the battery life.

Built-In Gaiters

Snowboard pants have built-in gaiters that open very wide and stretch down over boots to the ankle. This is one differentiator between pants that work well for ski boots versus snowboard boots because ski boots have a narrower neck.

In a unique innovation, the 686 has a BOA-compatible gaiter, which is a window where the front-facing BOA — a dial that turns to tighten the cable laces in a boot — can be accessed and stays operable with the gaiter pulled down. Of course, that setup isn’t as effective with dual BOA systems.

Reinforced Cuffs

Reinforced cuffs are a key detail. When we’re at the resort and skating through the lift line or connecting runs via flat meadows or groomed corduroy, it’s really easy to beat up the interior pant legs with our board’s metal edge.

When we’re uphilling, kick turns can slice that fabric. During splitboard mountaineering objectives, our crampons easily snatch the other pant leg. For post-ride après, if we walk around without rolling up our hems, that wears and tears the fabric, too.

Some snowboard pant designs have additional tough material wrapped around the interior portion of the hem, which also reaches up toward the calf. The textile coat increases the pant leg’s durability and overall lifespan. Once the outer fabric splits, the pant’s waterproof membrane can get exposed and start to shred, so it’s not the easiest fix even if you have a sewing kit.

Jacket-to-Pant Interface

A handful of brands feature a system that allows the company’s jackets and pants to connect to one another in order to prevent snow or wind drift on the lift. These styles also provide good protection when we’re bending over to strap our boots into our bindings or when we take a tumble on a rowdy powder day.

Volcom has a superior and proprietary system with a burly zipper that connects the jacket to the pant. It’s durable, comfortable, and easy to use. Other brands, like 686, have fabric strips on the jacket that extend through loops on the pants and snap closed, which helps maintain some connection and prevents a full-on gap in the event of a tumble.

RECCO

RECCO is an integrated lightweight reflector that’s often added to snow sports apparel. It’s a passive, searchable technology that rescuers can use to help locate a lost person.

Organized rescuers use handheld detectors to help find the reflector, which can complement a search during an avalanche burial. From the air, helicopter detectors can also search for a RECCO reflector.

Price

The prices in our snowboard pants guide range from very budget-friendly choices like the $35 Sportneer Insulated Snowboard Pants to the very pricey FW Manifest Tour 3L Bibs ($500). The average snowboard pants are in the $200-300 range.

Often, the higher the price, the greater the waterproofing, breathability, and fabric reinforcement. You also might notice more pockets, zippered pockets, high-quality zippers, or more fabric in general.

Lower cost options are often not as durable, nor will they be as stout against resounding, repeated weather like biting wind, snow, rain, hail, or sleet. But for mild climate or moderate conditions, budget options can work fine for a handful of seasonal outings at the hill.

three snowboarders on top of a hill

Fit & Function

Well-designed snowboard pants are nicely fitted and articulated for function, which also parlays into style. To be paired with snowboard boots, the hems need to be modifiable and splay at various degrees.

The gaiters need to accommodate the broad width of a snowboard boot, especially if the closure features a BOA system versus traditional laces, which are more streamlined.

Often, the pants are tailored in the upper portion and bell out toward the pant leg hem. The knees are articulated for ergonomics and comfort while cleaning out binding plates and strapping in and out or while jibbing around the resort or park.

For some brands, snowboard pants for men are a bit less form-fitting or athletic shaped and are baggier compared to designs made for women.

If you think a pair of tailored ladies’ snowboard pants or roomy lads’ snowboard pants would fit your riding style, get ‘em regardless of how you identify.

FAQ

Which Brand Makes the Best Snowboard Pants?

All of the snowboard pants and bibs we’ve included on this list are high-quality products. Though certain leading brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, and Burton are known for their top-notch outerwear, many other brands make outstanding products too.

Are Snowboard Pants and Ski Pants the Same Thing?

For the most part, snowboard pants and ski pants are the same thing. With that said, snowboard-specific pants tend to have a baggy fit and boot gaiters specifically designed to work with snowboard boots.

On this list, we’ve included some snowboard-specific pants and some general snow sport pants. All of the styles we have listed work well for snowboarding.

Do I Need Insulated Snowboard Pants?

If you tend to run cold or regularly ride in frigid conditions, you may want a pair of insulated snow pants. However, it’s important to note that insulated pants can become uncomfortable when the weather turns warm.

Most riders prefer noninsulated pants for their superior versatility. In cold conditions, layers can always be added for extra warmth.

Are Bibs or Pants Better for Snowboarding?

The pants versus bibs decision ultimately comes down to personal preference. Neither is strictly better, though both have a few key advantages and disadvantages.

Bibs are great for keeping snow out while surfing through chest-deep powder, but they tend to be warm and pose some logistical bathroom-use challenges. Pants are beautifully simple, though they can’t keep the elements out as well as a bib can.

Do Snowboard Pants Need to Be Waterproof?

While some riders get away with nonwaterproof pants, the simple answer is yes. For maximum comfort while snowboarding, you should wear waterproof outerwear.

What Pants Are Best for Backcountry Snowboarding?

Backcountry snowboarding involves a lot of uphill walking and riding through deep, untracked snow. For these reasons, backcountry snowboarding requires reliably waterproof pants that are also durable, breathable, and relatively stretchy.


The 19 Best Snowboard Boots of 2021-2022
The 19 Best Snowboard Boots of 2021-2022

Whether heading into the backcountry or looking for an all-mountain winner, we found the best snowboard boots of 2021. Read more…

Skiing while using BUFF ThermoNet in Winter
The Best Face Coverings for Skiing & Snowboarding in 2021-2022

We've tested the best face coverings for downhill skiing and snowboarding in 2021-2022 to keep you warm and safe all winter long. Read more…