If you’ve got yourself a new pair of ski pants are are looking for some top tips to keep them looking and feeling pristine, then sink your teeth into our quick wear and care guide.
Snow pants come in so many shapes, sizes, and styles, it can be impossible to keep track of all the new-fangled tech and features that manufacturers are packing in these days. Which is why we went ahead and crafted this article, which covers some of the common features, as well as some of the burning questions on the tips of the tongues of those new to the sport (and those who have been around a while and too afraid to ask, no doubt!). So sit back and enjoy, and get ready to get a little more out of your pants this coming season.
Let’s cover some of the basic and core features you’ll be using on the mountain every day.
This can vary a little bit between pants but will hold true in most cases. So read on and explore your pants!
Vents are super important and a must-have for snow pants, no matter how good their breathability rating is.
Using this feature will make your days on the slopes better — much better actually. If you start to feel sweaty, make sure to open up the vents, both on your jacket and your pants.
The goal is to stay dry and warm. Letting the steam out before it condenses is key. When you get wet from sweat, it is only a matter of time before you start to feel cold. So open them early and stay dry!
Your new pants will most likely have a host of pockets.
Your standard zipped pockets on the top front of the pants are good for valuables or anything flat, like cash and cards. Or even your phone! These pockets tend to stay much warmer than, say, your cargo pockets on the legs.
Cargo pockets are great if you have something that is a little bulkier like a beanie (or a chocolate bar!). Having bulky items in your top pockets will restrict movement a bit, and can hurt if you fall, therefore not the best idea.
Most pants come with belt loops But many already have functions to help your pants to stay up, even without a belt. This adjustable waist is usually fitted with velcro straps using strong elastic, so you can adjust for a perfect fit.
We get a lot of questions regarding snow pants. We gathered up the ones we hear most often and laid them out below.
Base layer pants. Simple as that. Then, adjust the number of layers depending on the temperature outside. You can also use a base layer and a second layer that are a pair of warm fleece pants or similar if it’s really cold or you’re just wearing shell pants.
First, check your washing instruction label. Secondly, check out our guide on this exact thing. It covers all possible methods and outcomes and even includes a handy DWR re-application guide to keep your pants in fighting shape.
Good question! Snow pants should be longer than your normal everyday pants. This is to make sure that they fit well over your ski or snowboarding boot. Most ski and snowboard pants have a longer inseam for this reason so there’s no need to search for ‘long’ pants or anything like that.
A common question, but one without a straight answer. Everyone differs with regards to how hot or cold they get on the slopes. A good general guideline though is that if you are skiing in temperatures lower than -0 to -5, lightly insulated pants will be a solid choice. Then be sure to use the ventilation on them to get rid of extra steam if needed.
If you are skiing a lot in the spring, shell pants without insulation might be a better option. But if you are going for one pair of pants, a lightly insulated pair is the best general bet.
Mostly, there is no difference. Ski and snow pants are generally suitable for both, and are likely marketed to the core consumer base of the brand. Burton, for example, market their snow pants to snowboarders because they’re a snowboard brand. Peak Performance on the other hand, will probably lean more towards skiers. But both will be fine on the other, if that makes sense!
The main difference is style and cut between models. Some companies will make skinner pants for skiing as your legs will be closer together, while some companies will make wider fitting pants for the snowboarding stance. But you probably won’t even notice the difference as no company is looking to alienate any potential customers, no matter what they ride!
Base layers. Polyester base layers can be really thin and great at managing moisture. They mainly make sure that the snow pants don’t rub or cling to your skin. So even in warm weather, it’s more comfy to ride with base layers than without. Just maybe not your thick wool ones!
It’s mostly down to experimentation, though. So try out some different combos to see what works.