Best Ski and Snowboard Pants for Men 2019-2020

This article provides reviews of my choices for the 6 best ski and snowboard pants for men.

Pants are the workhorse of your ski or snowboard outerwear gear. At a minimum, they need to be made of the right materials that can keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.

In particular, if you’re a snowboarder, you may spend a lot of time on your butt (hopefully not in the middle of the run). So you should pay particular attention to the waterproof rating of your pants so you don’t end up with a cold wet behind.

Even if you’re a skier there is time spent sitting on wet lifts so you’re at risk here too.

Sitting on lifts is also when a lot of moisture sits on the tops of your thighs and has the opportunity to wet out the fabric and soak in. So even if you rarely fall down sitting on lifts in wet weather can take its toll on pants and you can end up getting wet, uncomfortable, and cold.

The best ski or snowboard pants should not restrict your movement since the movement of your legs is such an important part of being able to perform well on the mountain. A good pair of pants must also have enough pockets in the right locations to carry any of the items that you need to bring along with you.

In addition, pants need to be made of very durable material. Think of all the bending over that you do that they need to hold up under.

Pick a cheap pair of pants and you could have an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction…RRRRRRRIIIIIPPPP!!!

In this post, I'll first introduce my top selections in a Feature Comparison Table. Then I'll share some quick tips to be aware of while shopping for pants and for the technical minded I’ll link to some resources for more detailed information. Then we’ll go through my in depth reviews of the 6 best ski and snowboard pants for men.

So read on to check out my buying tips and reviews!

Feature Comparison Table: Best Ski and Snowboard Pants for Men

Photo

Brand/

Model

Waterproof/

Breathability

Warmth

Our Rating

20k/20k

Low (Shell)

28k/20k

Low (Shell)

10k/10k

Low (Shell)

10k/5k

Low (Shell)

10k/5k

Medium

10k/5k

Low (Shell)

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

20k/20k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

28k/20k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/10k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/5k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/5k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/5k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

Quick Tips for Choosing Ski and Snowboard Pants

I've compiled the following quick tips to help you understand the important aspects to be focused on while researching the best ski and snowboard pants for men.


Fit: Think about your personal style and body type as you choose between slim, regular, and relaxed fit.  Slim fit pants are fitted and more of a sleek street style but have less room and will feel tighter and possibly restrictive especially if you want to layer. Relaxed fit may feel too baggy unless you have a big and tall body type. Regular fit usually gives the best compromise of freedom of movement and ability to wear layers without restricting movement.


Length: You likely won't have as many choices of inseam length as you might find in a normal pair of pants.  In some cases, you might find only small, medium, and large.  Although many manufacturers do carry extra-small and extra-large.  The key is to check the manufacturers sizing charts for the corresponding inseam length.  Don't assume sizes are uniform across brands.  For example, if you wear medium pants in Burton don't assume that is the same size as a medium in 686 brand.


Waterproof and Breathability: Generally you should purchase the most waterproof and breathable pants you can afford. The bare minimum is 5k/5k but 10k/10k and above is preferred. For detailed information on how these are rated check out our Buying Guide: How to Choose Waterproof and Breathability Ratings for Outerwear.


Insulation: Decide if you want just a simple shell or insulated pants. If you like to wear a lot of layers to adjust warmth then a shell may be right for you. If you are usually cold then you may prefer the extra warmth of insulated pants. Consider that insulated pants can't really be made "less warm". The degree of warmth varies by the type and amount of insulation used. So you can choose anywhere from low to heavy warmth. For detailed information check out our Buying Guide: How to Choose Insulated Outerwear.


Design Features: Pay attention to the features that are most important to you like pockets, vents, jacket powder skirt attachment system, hem lift system…etc. For me, two cargo pockets are a must because I like to carry everything I might need and I don’t want that bulk on my hips or back pockets.


Try it On: Set up all your gear ahead of your snowboard trip. Put on your layers you expect to wear and make sure you have enough room to move your arms and legs around freely with little restriction.

Product Reviews: Best Ski and Snowboard Pants for Men


Quicksilver Utility Stretch Pants Review

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

20k/20k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

OVERVIEW

When you’re ready to step up your game in terms of waterproof/breathability performance without smashing your piggy bank then the Quicksilver Utility Stretch pants are a good way to make it happen. These are modern fit shell pants which are in between regular and slim fit. They have a slightly stretchy material which is quite comfortable.

PROS

  • Internal Velcro waist adjustment allows for a customized fit
  • Waterproof rating of 20,000 mm and breathability rating of 20,000 g (20k/20k) offers great dry performance when the weather is wet
  • Elastic boot gaiters to keep the snow out
  • Loops allow attachment to jacket powder skirts with loop/button style attachment systems to keep snow from going up your back
  • Zippered slits at the bottom to allow them to easily fit over your boots
  • Zippered mesh lined crotch vents to keep you cool
  • Two hip pockets, two back pockets, and two cargo pockets
  • Belt loops if you like to wear a belt
  • Fully taped seams
  • Hem lift system accessed from inside hip pockets will keep your hem off the ground when walking

CONS

  • Hem lift system is nice but dropping the hem back down involves accessing from the hip pocket and pulling the bottom at the same time

BOTTOM LINE

These are comfortable stretchy pants which feature great dry performance at a more affordable price point than Gore-Tex.


Volcom L Gore-Tex Pants Review

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

28k/20k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

OVERVIEW

If you’re looking for superior waterproofing and breathability then the Volcom L Gore-Tex pants will not disappoint. Your butt is guaranteed to stay dry no matter how wet that lift seat is. These pants are a non-insulated shell designed with a relaxed fit and feature articulated legs. All seams are fully taped and pocket zippers are treated with a coating to make these pants as waterproof and wind resistant as possible.

PROS

  • Waterproof rating of 28,000 mm and breathability rating of 20,000 g (28k/20k) offers premium dry performance when the weather is wet
  • Elastic boot gaiters with lace hook so snow stays out
  • Zippered slits at bottom help make fitting over your boots easy
  • Two hip pockets, one back pocket, and one thigh cargo pocket
  • Belt loops if you like to wear a belt
  • Pass attachment loop
  • Reinforced bottom hem for wear protection
  • Zippered mesh lined crotch vents for airflow adjustment
  • Internal Velcro waist adjustment allows for a customized fit

CONS

  • Could use more pockets with just one thigh cargo pocket and one back pocket
  • Volcom’s zipper to jacket powder skirt attachment system works fine with Volcom jackets but is not compatible with most other brands

BOTTOM LINE

Volcom’s L Gore-Tex pants are a simple design and the pockets give it a sleek look. The relaxed fit leaves plenty of room for layering. But the best thing about these pants is you will not have to worry about getting wet from the elements and the superior breathability will help make the very active rider quicker to dry out after a long hike.


686 Rover Pants Review

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/10k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

OVERVIEW

The 686 Rover pants are non-insulated shell pants and carry a moderate waterproof/breathability rating. They will do a good job keeping you dry and since there’s no insulation they work great when the weather is warmer. They are a tailored, streetwear inspired fit but there’s still enough room to add a layer for extra warmth when it is really cold.

PROS

  • Zippered mesh lined crotch vents to keep you cool
  • Internal Velcro waist adjustment allows for a customized fit
  • Waterproof rating of 10,000 mm and breathability rating of 10,000 g (10k/10k) offers light to moderate dry performance when the weather is wet
  • Elastic boot gaiters to keep the snow out
  • Loops allow attachment to jacket powder skirts with loop/button style attachment systems to keep snow from going up your back
  • Button-up slits at the bottom to allow them to easily fit over your boots
  • Horseshoe hem to help keep them from dragging and wearing out when you’re walking around
  • Two hip pockets, two back pockets, and one thigh cargo pocket
  • Belt loops if you like to wear a belt

CONS

  • Just one thigh cargo pocket rather than two

BOTTOM LINE

The 686 Rover pants are a great pair of basic snowboard pants providing all the essential design and performance you need and nothing you don’t.


Burton Reserve Bib Pants Review

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/5k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

OVERVIEW

If you are a fan of bib style pants then the Burton Reserve Bib is a great choice. These are a non-insulated shell with a moderate waterproof rating. The seams are fully taped which provide extra protection from the elements. The regular fit design gives plenty of room for layering.

PROS

  • Waterproof rating of 10,000 mm and breathability rating of 5,000 g (10k/5k) offers light to moderate dry performance when the weather is wet
  • Elastic boot gaiters to keep snow out of your boots/pants
  • Slits at bottom help make fitting over your boots easy
  • Adjustable suspenders
  • Tons of Pockets: Two hip, two back, two cargo, and one on the chest
  • Side zipper to help make getting in and out easier
  • Zippered mesh lined crotch vents for airflow adjustment
  • Some of the available colorways are Bluesign® approved products which is a more sustainable method of textile production

CONS

  • Fabric breathability could be improved

BOTTOM LINE

The Burton Reserve Bib will perform well in moderate weather conditions. The pocket selection is great. With the bib style, you get good protection from snow getting in your pants without having to mess around with a jacket/pants attachment system.


DC Banshee Pants Review

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/5k

Warmth

Medium

OVERVIEW

The DC Banshee pants are lightly insulated pants and carry a moderate waterproof rating. They will do a fine job keeping you dry in moderate conditions and since they are a regular fit there's plenty of room to layer for extra warmth when the temps are really freezing.

PROS

  • Button slits at the bottom for easy fitting over your boots
  • Articulated knees for less bunching behind the knees
  • Hem lift system means no dragging in the parking lot
  • Two hip pockets, two back pockets, and two cargo pockets
  • Belt loops for belt wearers
  • Internal waist adjustment allows for a customized fit
  • Waterproof rating of 10,000 mm and breathability rating of 5,000 g (10k/5k) offers light to moderate dry performance when the weather is wet
  • Elastic boot gaiters to keep the snow out
  • Loops allow attachment to jacket powder skirts with loop/button style attachment systems to keep snow from going up your back
  • Zippered mesh lined crotch vents to cool off after a hike or on warm days

CONS

  • Fabric breathability is in the low range

BOTTOM LINE

The Banshee is a great choice for an insulated pair of pants at a good price point. DC has equipped them with all the features you should need including a bonus hem lift system.


Burton Covert Pants Review

Our Rating

Waterproof/

Breathability

10k/5k

Warmth

Low (Shell)

OVERVIEW

The Burton Covert pants provide acceptable dry performance and are a non-insulated shell with a regular fit to allow for warmth layering. They’re a great choice for the budget minded but that doesn’t mean that Burton skimped on the design features. You’ll find their standard set of pockets, waist adjustment, powder skirt attachment, crotch vents, boot gaiters, and hem lift system.

PROS

  • Internal Velcro waist adjustment allows for a customized fit
  • Waterproof rating of 10,000 mm and breathability rating of 5,000 g (10k/5k) offers light to moderate dry performance when the weather is wet
  • Elastic boot gaiters to keep the snow out
  • Loops allow attachment to jacket powder skirts with loop/button style attachment systems to keep snow from going up your back
  • Zippered mesh lined crotch vents to keep you cool
  • Zippered slits at the bottom for easy fitting over your boots
  • Fully taped seams
  • Articulated knees for less bunching behind the knees
  • Hem lift system to allow you to sinch them up so they won’t drag when you’re walking around
  • Two hip pockets, two back pockets, and one thigh cargo pocket
  • Belt loops if you like to wear a belt
  • Some of the available colorways are Bluesign® approved products which is a more sustainable method of textile production

CONS

  • Fabric breathability is in the low range
  • Just one cargo pocket

BOTTOM LINE

The Burton Covert pants have the features you need in a good pair of pants at an affordable price. They’ll perform fine in moderate weather conditions. I really like the hem lift system because I always end up wearing out my pants dragging them around.


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