Which ski pants for men are best?
As winter creeps closer, there’s nothing more freeing than skiing down an untouched mountain of pristine white snow. If this is the year you’re finally going to hit the slopes or you just need an upgrade to your existing kit, a pair of great men’s ski pants is in your future.
Determining the best ski pants for men mainly comes down to the type of winter activities you enjoy. If you’re looking for the best overall pants, consider the Flylow Baker Bib, the top choice of ski pants for men.
What to know before you buy ski pants for men
Not all skiing is the same
Just like you need the right pair of skis to fit your style and conditions, you need the right pair of ski pants, as well. If you prefer to backcountry ski, you’ll need a lighter pair of men’s ski pants. If you ski at resorts, you’ll probably prefer something a bit heavier, and if you ski cross-country, you’ll need a different style altogether. If you’re looking for something to fit all scenarios, the closest you can get is a pair of all-mountain pants.
What snow do you ski in?
Mainly a question of insulation needs, you’ll want to determine when and where you’ll be skiing. If you ski groomed trails at resorts, you won’t need to pick as carefully as you would for wet backcountry snow. Consider the type and amount of snow you’re likely to ski to help you choose the appropriate men’s ski pants for the situation.
What is your skiing intensity?
If you just search “best ski pants for men,” you may be doing yourself a disservice. While this may give you a general sense of what you’ll need, it may not give enough information for your specific skiing situation. For example, if you plan to ski with young children, you won’t move as quickly, nor keep yourself as warm as you would on your own, so you may want insulated pants. However, if you’re a Nordic skier and you expect to have high-intensity skiing adventures, the lighter the pants, the better.
What to look for in quality ski pants for men
Hardshell vs softshell
You’re likely to notice that most popular ski pants are hardshell. While you may be familiar with this term for rain jackets or even ski jackets, you may not realize it applies to ski pants, as well. Hardshells provide the best protection from water and wind, but don’t move or breathe as well as softshells. If you expect to be skiing at a high intensity, you may prefer to purchase a softshell, though you may get a bit wetter.
If you know you’ll be skiing slowly, you may want a pair of insulated ski pants. However, many people choose non-insulated ski pants and wear layers of insulative clothing, such as merino wool leggings or thermal underwear, underneath their ski clothes.
If you plan to take your time and enjoy the downhill, you may want a heavier pair of pants to help keep you warm. If you expect to take plenty of falls on your runs, a heavier pair of hardshell pants will keep you drier and more comfortable. If you’re an experienced backcountry skier, you may want to make the trade between weight and warmth.
How much you can expect to spend on ski pants for men
You can get onto the slopes for as little as $150 or as much as $550. Generally, you get what you pay for, so assess what type of skiing you want to do and how often you want to go when considering price.
Ski pants for men FAQ
What length of ski pants should I buy?
A. Don’t want to make the mistake of buying your usual inseam. Your ski pants need to go over your boots, so plan to add 4 or 5 inches to your usual inseam length when buying ski pants. When in doubt, consult the brand’s size guidelines.
Should I buy pants or a bib?
A. This is mainly a question of preference. Bibs are warmer and offer you more coverage, but may be a bit more restrictive. Pants don’t offer any warmth above the waist, so you’ll want to pair them with a quality jacket. If you’re an athletic skier and don’t want anything to get in the way, you may want to choose a pair of pants over a bib.
What are the best ski pants for men to buy?
Top ski pants for men
What you need to know: This bib comes with a high price tag, but you’ll be prepared for anything the mountain can throw at you.
What you’ll love: One of the more full-featured bibs on the market, you get three layers of material to keep you dry with enough stretch to maintain freedom of movement. With built-in ventilation, this durable bib breathes and keeps you comfortable.
What you should consider: At more than $335, there are cheaper options.
Top ski pants for men for the money
What you need to know: If you want to get onto the slopes without breaking the bank, Spyder consistently offers budget-friendly quality ski products like these pants.
What you’ll love: Made with GORE-TEX, you won’t have to worry about water seeping through and spending the afternoon wet. As snow sports go, this offering from Spyder is likely the best deal you’ll find.
What you should consider: Spyder pants tend to fit a bit snug. Be especially aware of this if you choose an “athletic fit” pant.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you want a pair of pants equally capable of handling the resort and the backcountry, this is it.
What you’ll love: Aside from being fashionable and environmentally friendly, these Patagonia snow pants keep you dry and have enough pockets to keep your things protected. With a slightly baggy fit, there are short and regular inseam options and a fully-articulated knee for freedom of movement.
What you should consider: The non-insulated pants are just under $300. Expect to spend another $80 for the insulated option.
Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry
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Joe Coleman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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