Best Ski Pants For 2020/2021 Season

Are you on the lookout for a pair of ski pants and only want the very best? Well, it’s a good thing Ridestore always has your back. We created the ultimate buyer’s guide for ski pants, and included our top picks below!

The question of what makes the ‘best’ ski pant is a loaded one. There’s no one best ski trouser  for all occasions (but a few come close). As such, we’ve made an effort to include a good range that will serve you well across all the situations you might find yourself in on the mountain. Being the super ski nerds that we are, we took into account things like waterproofing, breathability, insulation, material, and features, in order to create a comprehensive list of amazing products we know you’ll just love.

The Best Skiing Pants

Top 5 Ski Pants For Men 2020/2021 Season

Name

Style

Rating

Budget

Review

Availability

#1 Montec Fawk

Montec Fawk Black
5/5

$$

#2 Dope Notorious BIB

Dope Notorious BIB Olive Green
4.5/5

$$

#3 Picture Under

Picture Under Denim
4/5

$$

#4 Montec Doom

Montec Doom Khaki
4.5/5

$

#5 Oakley Lined Shell

Oakley Lined Shell White
4/5

$$

Top 5 Ski Pants For Women 2020/2021 Season

Name

Style

Rating

Budget

Review

Availability

#1 Dope Notorious BIB

Dope Notorious BIB Black Women
5/5

$$

#2 Montec Dune

Montec Dune Women Light Grey
4.5/5

$

#3 Dope Tigress

Dope Tigress Khaki
4/5

$

#4 Montec Fawk

Montec Fawk Women Marine Blue
5/5

$$

#5 Picture Treva

Picture Treva Turquoise
4/5

$$

Men’s #1 - Montec Fawk

Montec Fawk Black

Waterproof Rating

20K

Breathability Rating

20K

Features
Rating

10/10

Price
Range

200€

The Montec Fawk ski pants are one of the best all-rounders on the market. They’re equipped with amazing technical specs, a quality fit, made with ultra-sturdy materials, and have all the conveniences you could want from a resort pant — without sacrificing backcountry capability

Tech-wise, you get a super solid 20k/20k split which is bolstered by the Huntsman Zelan R3 DWR finish — the same that Picture use, just so you know what kind of benchmark we’re talking about here. On top of that, they use a reinforced nylon construction which boasts a 300,000 Martindale score. This means they’re highly resistant to wear, snags, abrasions, and tearing. Perfect for those hard riding days.

Inside, you’ve got a compact 40gsm layer of insulation as well, paired with big thigh vents. So staying warm and getting cool is no trouble. They’re super easy to get on and off too with a large front-zip opening and adjustable shoulder straps. All of which makes the Fawk a formidable pair of pants you can take everywhere, from the groomers to the deepest pow, and never feel out of your depth.

Men’s #2 - Dope Notorious BIB

Dope Notorious BIB Olive Green

Waterproof Rating

15K

Breathability Rating

15K

Features
Rating

8/10

Price
Range

200€

The Notorious Bib from Dope is a resort-riders dream, but won’t turn its nose up at a bit of sidecountry excitement, either. With a super solid 15k/15k split in waterproofing and breathability, a great durability rating, and a super stylish baggy cut, pants don’t get much better, and they definitely don’t look any better.

The Notorious Bib is the most hardwearing pair of pants in the Dope lineup and makes the switch from polyester to nylon to give it that extra bit of hardiness. The result is a Martindale score up over 300,000, and a pair of pants that will last pretty much forever.

Designed with total resort domination in mind, these pants have a 40gsm layer of compact insulation to make staying warm at top easy, and a baggy, steezy style to make sure you’re turning heads. The flagship pant in the Dope range, the Notorious checks all our boxes, and adds a few of its own.

Men’s #3 - Picture Under

Picture Under Denim

Waterproof Rating

10K

Breathability Rating

10K

Features
Rating

6/10

Price
Range

200€

The baggiest pant in the Picture lineup, the Under are anything but underwhelming. They’ve got a super slick style that’s hard to beat, a unique reverse-snow-skirt thing going on up top, and plenty of tech to take you all over the mountain, as well as 40gsm of compact insulation to keep you warm

Technically speaking, the Under pants feature the industry standard 10k/10k split, but are bolstered with Picture’s awesome Teflon EcoElite DWR coating, which definitely makes up for what might seem like ‘low’ stats. But then again, you don’t need that much when you’re cruising the resort and lapping the park, which is exactly what these pants are for. So in our mind, their just perfect.

They really come into their own, however, with the storage and unique features. Utilising a reverse-snow-skirt, these pants have an elasticated waist-gaiter that not only keeps snow out, big hugs above the hips to keep them in place, alleviating pressure on the waistband, giving better freedom of movement. Does this make them the ultimate park and resort pant? We don’t know, but they perform well, and look even better. So you decide.

Men’s #4 - Montec Doom

Montec Doom Khaki

Waterproof Rating

20K

Breathability Rating

20K

Features
Rating

7/10

Price
Range

140€

The Montec Doom are a stylish offering from the brand that brought you the Fawk, and luckily, despite their more street-styled appearance, they’re still a technical powerhouse capable of slashing backcountry pow. 

They run the same super durable nylon shell as the Fawk, which means ultimate abrasion and tear resistance, producing the same 20k/20k ratings, along with the same DWR coating. But where they excel is in the cut. They’ve got a baggier crotch which allows for more freedom of movement, adding to both their versatility and comfort.

You also get four big pockets, thigh vents, snow gaiters, and an elasticated adjustable waistband for comfort and fit. All in all, the Doom are a capable pair of pants that are comfy, stylish, and ready for anything. From the park to the pow, they can handle it all.

Men’s #5 - Oakley Lined Shell

Oakley Lined Shell White

Waterproof Rating

10K

Breathability Rating

10K

Features
Rating

6/10

Price
Range

190€

The Oakley Lined shell pants are a lightweight resort riding option with plenty of bagginess for tweaking grabs and enough storage that you can ditch your pack and just go riding. They may look plain to the eye, but they’ve got plenty of great features to warrant a second look.

Oakley has built these pants using their 2L FN Dry 10k Laminate, which is code for sandwiched layers of polyester. This means they’re not only waterproof but also highly durable, too. This is enhanced by their O-Protect DWR coating, which means you’re well-equipped to deal with everything the mountain can throw at you.

All this is tied together with some thoughtful design features like waterproof pockets, fully taped seams, thigh vents, and an adjustable waistband. And being a shell pant, they’re perfect for cruising the groomers in warmer weathers, too. If you’re looking for a spring park pant or something lighter for those bluebird days, you can’t go much wrong with the Lined Shells from Oakley.

Women’s #1 - Dope Notorious BIB W

Dope Notorious BIB Black Women

Waterproof Rating

15K

Breathability Rating

15K

Features
Rating

8/10

Price
Range

200€

The Dope Notorious Bib is our top pick for a one-pants-does-it-all style offering. They’ve got an unmistakable baggy style, plenty of tech to take you everywhere you want to go, and have the convenience to make a long day of riding a walk in the park.

In terms of tech, they’ve got a lot going on under the surface. Dope have made these with a super durable nylon construction so you get an insane 300,000+ Martindale score for exceptional abrasion and tear resistance, meaning you can give these pants a hammering all day long. This is complemented by a solid 15k/15k split, a balanced 40gsm of compact insulation, and an awesome DWR coating, just to top it off.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. You get an amazing style with these pants — baggy in all the right places, but never sacrificing mobility of convenience. Storage is plentiful, and with a side-zip opening for access and a cinchable upper, these pants may look park but have no trouble holding their own in the powder. They really are the whole package.

Women’s #2 - Montec Dune W

Montec Dune Women Light Grey

Waterproof Rating

20K

Breathability Rating

20K

Features
Rating

8/10

Price
Range

150€

The Montec Dune pants are our favourite when it comes to a do-it-all classic pant. They’ve got Montec’s bomb-proof construction, as well as a semi-baggy fit, and plenty of tech, too. This means that if you’re looking for one pant to take from the groomers to the pow, then you really can’t go wrong with the Dune.

With a 20k/20k split in waterproofing and breathability, you can really tackle the mountain in all weathers. Add in 40gsm of compact insulation to ward off the cold, and a high-performance DWR coating and these are a pair of pants that will stand up to any and all weathers.

But for us it’s not that they’re super technical, it’s that they’re supremely comfy. They fit and ride like a resort pant, but they’ve got the specs to handle any backcountry skiing adventure you’re lining up. And with suspender compatibility, plenty of storage, and all the conveniences you could need for both a long day inside and outside the resort, the Dune are one of our all-time favourite quiver-killers, and we know you’ll just love them, too.

Women’s #3 - Dope Tigress

Dope Tigress Khaki

Waterproof Rating

15K

Breathability Rating

15K

Features
Rating

7/10

Price
Range

140€

Would any top five be complete without a pair of skinny ski pants? The Tigress are the women’s version of the men’s Tiger pants from Dope and combine super solid tech specs with a light weight construction, and amazingly, four-way-stretch. 

The big problem with skinny ski pants is that they’re constricting. But you won’t find that here. The Tigress are built to move and have an elastane content that allows them to do just that. Which means you can go skinny, but still feel super free to carve up the resort, thanks to the stretchy materials, jib out in the park, and drop backcountry powder pillows. 

In terms of their tech, you get the same 15k/15k split as with Dope’s Fully Featured collection, sans the insulation. But what you lack in warmth you make up for in comfort and style, and certainly not at the expense of convenience, With plenty of storage, along with boot-gaiters and suspender compatibility, there’s no reason not to go skinny this winter.

Women’s #4 - Montec Fawk W

Montec Fawk Women Marine Blue

Waterproof Rating

20K

Breathability Rating

20K

Features
Rating

10/10

Price
Range

200€

With the more seasoned rider in mind, the Fawk is built for all-mountain domination, and tops up on the Notorious’ 15k/15k split, taking things to a hefty 20k/20k, along with 40gsm of compact insulation and a high-performance DWR coating just for good measure. All of which means that the Fawk is the most capable and versatile bib in the Montec line, and possibly one of the best all-rounders on the market.

The tech speaks for itself. And with a durable nylon construction that dishes up a 300,000+ Martindale score, hammering through trees, scrubbing your butt on tumbles, and sitting out in the ice while you catch your breath are all things these pants can do with ease. Made to last and designed for total mountain conquest, the Fawk are an insane pair of pants perfect for the demanding rider.

With a front-accessed zip, too, as well as a cinchable waist and loads of secure storage, the Fawk are just as good in the resort as they are for backcountry skiing. If you need one pant that’ll do it all, and we really mean all, then the Fawk are ready to go. The question is, where to?

Women’s #5 - Picture Treva

Picture Treva Turquoise

Waterproof Rating

10K

Breathability Rating

10K

Features
Rating

6/10

Price
Range

190€

The Picture Treva ski pants are a relaxed offering from Picture made with the resort in mind. With a baggy styling, as well as Picture’s awesome ‘reverse snow skirt’, these pants will ride all day long, keeping you warm, comfy, and dry too. From the park to the pow, the Treva are ready for anything.

Picture have given the Treva a 10k/10k split in waterproofing and breathability, and enhanced it with their Teflon Eco Elite DWR coating, just for good measure. But it’s underneath that the Treva really shine. Thanks to their baggier cut, Picture have packed in 40gsm of thermal STD insulation for unmatched warmth on the mountain. Which makes these pants our top pick for the most relaxed resort focused rider.

As for convenience and features, we already mentioned the snow skirt, but let’s talk about it again! The snow-skirt is an elasticated waist-gaiter designed to hug above the hips and keep your pants secure, and the powder out, too. This allows the pants to hang lower and looser, alleviating pressure from the waistband for a super comfortable wearing experience. Ideal for women with wider hips and narrower waists, or those just looking for a relaxed pair of pants, the Treva are a great choice from a great company.

How To Choose The Best Ski Trousers

It’s time to dig deeper into what makes a pair of great skiing pants, and what you should look for if you go out on your own comparing pants for skiing.  Ready to become your own skiing pants expert? Let’s go!

Types Of Ski Pants

First off, let’s get our teeth into what different kinds of skiing pants there is out there, so you know exactly what kind of skiing pants to look for and why.

Types Of Ski Pants

Insulated Ski Pants

Just like the name says, insulated skiing pants are… Insulated! Which means that they have added insulation to provide warmth. This is the most common type of pant for resort skiers. And a good pick if you quickly get cold, ski in cold conditions, or just like it warm and cozy. 

Just like most kind of skiing pants, they have an outer layer which is made to resist water and snow. Then there is padding to make you warm. 

It is necessary to look for proper waterproofing and breathability when looking at insulated skiing pants. (Or any kind of skiing pant for that matter) More about waterproofing and breathability later.

Shell Ski Pants

There are a few different types of shell pants, but to make it a bit simpler, we will discuss shell pants as one category. But there are two, and three layers shell pants, soft and hard shell pants, they work in more or less the same way. 

A shell pant is a pant without any kind of padding, which means that it does not add any warmth. Or not much at least. They do block the wind and keep water out while being breathable. So why would you want a pair of skiing pants that do not add any warmth? Easy! 

Versatility, it is easy to add warmth yourself with base layers and second layers. If you ski in warmer conditions or break a sweat easily or thinking about doing some ski touring, the shell pant is excellent. Because you control how much warmth you wish to add. That way, you can use the same pant on warm spring shred day or in the blistering cold, just adjust your layers underneath.

Shell pants are my personal favorite type of pant, I do a lot of different styles of skiing and in many different climates. The shell pant allows me to have just one pair of pants, instead of many different for every type of environment.

Shell Ski Pants

Bibs vs Pants for Skiing

Technically, not different types of skiing pants like shell vs. insulated. However, let’s quickly cover Bib vs. Pant as well! 

Both Bib and regular pants can come in all variations mentioned above, three-layer shell, insulated and etc. A regular skiing pant would be a pant that fits like a regular pair of pants and tightens around your waist. The Bib pant usually goes all the way up to the chest and secures over your shoulders with suspenders.

So what’s differentiates them? 

Well, to start with, the style is entirely different. Mostly you are going to have your jacket covering the Bib, which makes it hard to tell if you are wearing bibs or not. Useful to think about is that the bibs will add more warmth to your upper body than a pair of regular pants would. They will also protect you better against snow, especially if you are skiing in deep snow. Although, they can also feel a bit bulkier compared to regular pants. 

In the end, there is no better pick, just personal preference.

Insulation And Warmth

We covered a bit about this above, how warm you are while skiing relies on more factors than just insulation. In fact, heavy pants might end up making you cold.  If you are skiing in mostly cold weather, and in a resort, most likely insulated pants are the best pick for you. The main thing you want to do if you’re going to stay warm is to keep dry. 

Actually, the most common reason why people get wet while skiing is not from the snow. It’s from getting sweaty and not having clothing that breathes well. It is hard to avoid to get warm when skiing, but if you have clothing that breathes well and is not to warm, you will stay dry. Because what happens when you start to sweat, is that as soon as you stop moving, that sweat will get cold. And you will now be wet and cold, even if you have the warmest pair of pants on the mountain. That’s why most skiing gear isn’t super warm.

Insulation and Warmth Ski Pants

Waterproofing

This one is pretty straight forward, how waterproof are the skiing pants. This does not mean waterproof as you could go for a swim in the pants and except to be dry. But how much water it can resist before it starts to leak through. You have maybe seen the 10/10K or 15/15K symbol when looking at skiing pants, that’s the measurement of how water resistant the pant is. You do not need to know what the number stands for, but if you want to see, you will find the answer in the bottom part of this segment. But in short, the higher, the better.

A pair of good skiing pants should have 15K of waterproofing, that will keep you dry in most weather you can end up in on a ski resort. Proper waterproofing will also ensure that you have a good day, even if the weather is terrible. Eventually, if you are out for a full day of heavy rain, you will get wet. Because we do not actually want totally waterproof pants. More about that soon.

First, how is waterproofing measured? Take 15K for example, K stands for thousand, so 15K = 15.000. And the measurement is in millimeters. So 15.000 MM is what 15K stands for. It means that the pants can take the pressure of 15.000 millimeters water before it starts to sip through.

Breathability

So why do you not want fully waterproof skiing pants? That would mean that no water can come in, great, right? That also means that nothing can escape…

So all steam that’s generated by your body heat will remain inside. It will become liquid, and you will get wet, soaked even if you would ski actively. As soon as you stop, all of that wet will make you cold, and just like that, you are soaking wet and cold. We avoid that by having breathable pants, which lead the steam away from your body before it makes you sweat.

Good skiing pants have techniques to keep the water out while allowing steam to pass through. Make sure your pants have both proper waterproofing and breathability. The breathability works like waterproofing, 10K, 15K and etc. Usually, they go hand in hand, 15/15K is first waterproofing and then breathability. So 15/15K means that the pants have 15K in both waterproofing and breathability.

You should look for pants with 15K or higher. 15K will do the job for almost every type of skier, so if you do not know why you would need more, you probably do not need it.

Ski Pant Features

There are many features to be on the lookout for when looking for your best ski trousers. We are going to cover the most important ones and why they are must-have features for a great skiing experience.

Ski Pants Pockets

Ski Pants Pockets

If you are not skiing with a backpack, you depend on your ski jacket and ski pants pockets, make sure that the pants you are looking at have pockets enough to bring what you need. And also, make sure that the pockets secure with either zips or some other technique that keeps your stuff safe.

Ski Pants Ventilation

Ventilation is a significant feature of ski pants. Usually, it’s vent zips located in the crotch or on the side of the pants. Use the ventilation actively on the slopes to avoid getting too sweaty. Just make sure that you close the ventilation if you are risking to get snow inside. But make use of it in the lift or so, if you are a bit to warm.

Ski Pants Ventilation

Ski Pants DWR Coating

DWR coating is a further treatment that is made to the outer fabric of the ski pants. It makes water pearl and fall off, instead of staying on the pant to slowly soak in.

Basically, providing much better water protection. An important note about DWR coating. Some brands do still not use ECO-Friendly DWR coating, but a coating containing perfluorinated compounds, which do not break down by nature. And are poisonous for humans, animals, and the environment. So make sure that your pants have an ECO-Friendly and PFC free DWR coating.

Ski Pants Fit

How should your ski pants fit? Honestly, for most skiers, you can choose your fit, depending on the style you like. Slim, regular, or a baggy fit. Keep in mind that they should not be so slim that your movement gets restricted in any way. Also, you need to be able to add extra layering under if its a freezing day. 

The same goes for bigger sizes, if they are too big in the waist, you will need a belt or something to keep your pants up. You don’t want to have pants so baggy that they won’t stay up. That’s an excellent way to get snow inside. Apart from those notes, choose a style of fitting you like.

Ski Pants Fit

Ski Pants FAQ

Let’s answer some of the most common things that are asked on Google about ski pants.

What are ski pants?​

Ski pants are a pair of snow pants, specially made for being active in snowy conditions. Skiing pants have an outer layer that acts as a shield against the elements, in other words, keeping you dry.

Do I really need ski pants?​

Short answer: If you are going skiing, yes! At least if you want to have a good time. Ski pants will keep you dry and warm while skiing. Two things that are quite satisfying if I can say so myself.

What do I need to wear under my ski pants?​

Depending on the temperature outdoors, this will vary a bit. But you should always wear a base layer, this adds warmth to your legs, but also leads steam away from your body. If it’s freezing, you can add a fleece layer between your pants and base layer.

FAQ Ski Pants

What is the difference between ski pants and snowboard pants?​

In many cases, none at all. In some instances, snowboard pants can be a bit baggier. But every skiing pant is excellent for snowboarding and vice versa. In fact, many brands sell the exact same pant, just names snowboarding pants, or skiing pants.

Are ski pants supposed to be long?​

They should be longer than a pair of regular pants should. About 10-15 centimeters longer. This is to leave space for ski boots and also so you can wear them high up in the waist if you want to.

More relevant reading?

Still hungry to read more? How about reading all you need to know about skiing jackets? Or are you looking for buying advice for your new ski gloves? We got you covered!