It’s amazing what people will adapt to as normal.
For many people around the world, ski pants are normal. They are simply an everyday addition to living life in a cold climate. Winters (and some summers) are harsh and quality ski wear, and thick men’s ski jackets and thermal layers to hats and men’s ski gloves, are the every day norm.
But for many others buying ski gear can be tricky because it’s so unlike anything they’ve ever purchased.
We’re sure you’ll agree that buying ski or snowboard pants can be a challenge if you’ve never been a part of that world where a pair of denim jeans just won’t do.
There are so many factors to consider and types or brands that offer multiple versions of their ski pants. There are numbers like 15,000mm or 5000g listed on the pants. There are different colours, thicknesses, weather resistant terms, and styles to choose from.
How do you know where start when it comes to finding the best men’s ski pants?
You’ll be pleased to hear that this guide is going to take you deep into the terminology of ski pants and make it easy to understand. You’ll be able to walk into an outdoor wear shop or catch a bargain online, and be able to purchase the best ski pants for men that you need.
This guide will assume that you’re a complete novice, and it will take you from zero knowledge to zero problems picking out the perfect pair for you.
We’ll show you some of the key performance factors you need to know (and the ones you don’t). It will demonstrate some of the numbers and terms you’ll see when buying men’s ski pants. You’ll end up knowing way more than you probably should, but that’s OK.
And soon you’ll be suiting up with your new ski trousers, getting on the slopes, deep in the snow, or sledding down the hills.
Some people think a few thermal layers with a water proof top layer will be okay for a ski trip, and there are others who know that just won’t do.
As you’re here reading this guide, we guess that means that you understand the need for dedicated cold weather gear.
How do you decide what makes the best ski pants? How do you choose between good pairs?
If you’re a part of the snow culture, you already know what to look for when shopping for ski gear.
But if you’re going on a holiday, you’re planning on working at a ski resort, or you simply want to fit in with the locals in colder climates, let’s look at the specifics that make up a good quality pair of ski pants for men.
Here are the things you must consider before making a purchase:
I know it’s tempting to first check out the price as a quality indicator. This can be true for most cases, but don’t let it be your only factor. The higher the price, usually the more the ski pants can do.
It’s usually the case that pants that are more durable, wind-resistant, have great thermal range, and move easily are the higher priced.
Use the prices as a guide, not a strict rule. Just because the brand is asking for an arm and a leg on price, doesn’t mean those are the best men’s ski trousers.
You can get pants with no insulation up to the high-quality pair of pants that wick away moisture and provide added layers of heat-retaining technology.
If you’re planning doing plenty of skiing, aim for pants that are insulated. The best ski pants can break the wind as well as providing a good layer of down insulation.
No-insulation ski trousers are essentially just shells that don’t keep heat in, but allow you the most mobility.
Choose pants with both heat properties as well as insulation if you’re planning on spending extended amounts of time in extremely cold temperatures. The insulation will keep the heat in, and the heat properties can provide a buffer of warmth against the cold, exterior air.
Each pair of pants comes with a rating, or a number that shows how effective it is at waterproofing.
Normally the numbers range from 5-20,000. The higher the number, the better it is at protecting against moisture getting through the barrier.
Waterproofing can be affected by the placement of the seams or the type of soft-shell or hard-shell outer layers.
If you need constant protection against harsh climates, choose higher ratings, even though that can compromise on mobility.
Otherwise, a lower rating on men’s ski trousers should suffice if you’re an average skier.
Depending on how active you’re going to be, you need to consider breathable fabrics.
On good pairs of ski trousers, you should expect to find a rating of the fabric’s breathability. It’s measured by the amount of sweat (in grams) that can escape from the pants.
It’s simple. The higher the number, the faster sweat can escape and keep you dry, warm and comfortable. The best pairs of ski pants allow moisture to escape while preventing any from entering in.
Look for pairs that have at least a rating of 10,000g or more for regular outdoor activities. Anything less is fine for simply warmth and protection, but won’t be able to wick moisture away from your body as well as pants with a higher rating.
High range pants have numbers like 20,000g or more. That’s for the extremely experienced, able to withstand heavy snow and rain, and probably unnecessary for everyday snow activity.
Once your ski trousers arrive, make sure you try them on and move around as you would for your outdoor activity. Bend and move if you’re skiing. Try walking around for a bit of distance if you’re doing some hiking. Manoeuvre around in a few different positions if they’re meant for play.
Mobility is hard to categorise with a number or a stat. It’s more up to your preference in the types of movement you want to perform.
All men’s ski trousers will impede your movement somehow. Decide now how much movement you’re willing to sacrifice.
Look for brands that offers extended warranties and guarantees. IT’s a good rule of thumb that if a ski pants brand has been around for a while, they have pants that last.
To be honest, if you make one purchase of good men’s ski pants, it should last you few quite a few seasons. Take the time to check out the stitching, see if they have padding, check the insides and out for weak joins or fasteners.
For some, wearing men’s ski pants is all about style. Although it’s mostly a functional item that’s meant to fulfil a purpose, some people care about style.
If looking good on the slopes and racking up Instagram likes are important to you, stylish men’s ski pants are easy to find.
Additional Useful Features
Ok, so you’re happy with the basics. You understand waterproofing, thermal ranges, and mobility.
But there are a number of smaller features that you can enjoy when you make your purchase.
You’re going to use at least two, but don’t count on stuffing 5 or 6 pockets.
While outdoors, having an exterior pocket that you can easily access can be crucial. You can store extra snacks, a phone, or just stash a pair of gloves.
Look for deep pockets that can be closed with zips. Losing a phone or ski pass on a mountain covered in snow isn’t nice. Ski pants are designed for active use, so an open, un-zippered pocket will be a waste of time.
When you’re using your ski pants during exercise, you’re going to build up a healthy amount of body heat and sweat. That sweat can quickly wick away the heat from your body and get your ski pants wet on the inside.
A good quality venting system allows the built-up moisture to escape. You don’t overheat, and your pants don’t lose functionality due to excess moisture.
No, gaiters aren’t long scaly reptiles. Gaiters are the cuffed pant legs that keep ice and snow from getting up into your ski boots.
Some gaiters have hooks or buckles to keep your boot firmly fastened to the pants. Some just use a tight elastic barrier against snow and moisture. This is one of the most crucial parts of any ski pant brand you choose.
You need to be comfortable that your boots aren’t going to come untucked from your pants, thus allowing cold air to sap away precious body heat.
Pick gaiters that you know won’t hamper your movement, and still provide unshakable barriers against the cold and wet.
Bibs? On trousers? Yep.
Good quality ski pants for men include adjustable, comfortable bibs. They provide an added layer of heat retention on your chest. They also stay on better during high-impact activities like snowmobiling and snowboarding.
They keep snow from going down your back as well as untucking at the waist.
All it takes is one bad fall and you could get snow everywhere in your jacket. Protect your pants and legs with excellent coverage, even in the deepest snow banks.
The Best Men’s Ski & Snowboard Pants 2019
Trespass Men’s Brezzy Ski Pants
Trespass are a well known and very popular outdoor clothing brand, providing high quality, reliable clothing at reasonable prices.
As an all-rounder, the Trespass Brezzy ski pants work well. They have an exceptional rating online and they fit well over your normal pants.
As a weather rating, they have a waterproof range of 5000 and are rated as “windproof”. Not ideal for heavy usage, but great for getting into a good pair of ski trousers for men that will be perfect for a ski holiday.
Berghaus Men’s Deluge Overtrousers
If you’re looking for a lightweight pair of ski trousers that aren’t too bulky or heavy, then check out the Deluge ski pants from Berghaus.
Not your typical pair of ski pants, but good for light usage. They have a 10000mm waterproof rating and a 8000g breathability.
That’s excellent for all day wear on lighter days, rather than heavy snowfall. If you’re going to be skiing in sunny conditions, these are an ideal choice.
Helly Hansen Odin Vertical
This is one of the most high-performing pair of outdoor men’s ski pants you can buy. Helly Hansen has a reputation for outfitting the warriors of the outdoors.
The Odin Vertical have exceeded all other ski pants with an extremely high 20,000mm waterproofing and 15,000g breathability rating.
This will keep you warm, dry, and safe every minute you are outside, and in just about any weather condition. They’re expensive, but the pants are built to withstand it all.
Billabong Men’s Lowdown Snow Pants
If style is what you’re after, Billabong has a great name for providing excellent men’s snow pants that not only perform well, but look good too.
These pants are waterproof and breathable, offering protection and style in one great looking pair of trousers.
Billabong ski pants are very popular with snowboarders, giving more movement in the legs and coping well with falls and slides on the ice and snow.
Dare 2b Divedown
This is a great option for beginners looking for a quality pair of ski pants without spending out a lot of money.
The Dare 2b Divedown are an affordable option that doesn’t lack quality. With a waterproof and breathability rating of 5000, these are a great pair of men’s ski trousers for beginner-intermediate skiers.
The Divedown also feature ankle gaiters to ensure no snow gets under the trousers.
Two Bare Feet Claw Hammer
The Claw Hammer ski pants from Two Bare feet are a superb all-rounder that are well suited to different climates and weather conditions.
With a wide selection of colours to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone with the men’s Claw Hammer ski pants from Two Bare Feet.
Once again, these pants have a waterproofing and breathability rating of 5000, providing plenty of protection from the elements and keeping you warm and dry on the slopes.
Mountain Warehouse Spectrum Extreme
Mountain Warehouse are a well known brand for their high quality outdoor sportswear and reliable products.
The Spectrum Extreme ski pants for men are no different, offering high levels of performance from their affordable range.
With a waterproof rating of 10,000 and breathability rating of 5000, these ski trousers will protect you from the elements and keep you warm and dry on the slopes.
Helly Hansen Odin Vertica
This is one of the most high-performing outdoor men’s ski pants you can buy. Helly Hansen has a reputation for outfitting the warriors of the outdoors. They have exceeded all other ski pants with an extremely high 20,000mm waterproofing and 15,000g breathability rating. This will keep you warm, dry, and safe every minute you are outside, and in just about any weather condition. It’s expensive, but the pants are built to withstand it all.
Buying a good quality pair of ski pants is a rewarding feeling. You could be literally saving your own life by putting on protection against the harms of frostbite and hypothermia.
Enjoy the new-found freedom of wearing a good pair of snow pants, enabling you to ski all day without worrying about your ski pants letting you down. They will make your winters more memorable, and keep you going for many ski trips and winter hikes to come.