Maybe when you were younger, you never thought much about wearing snow pants. Maybe that’s how you knew that it was truly cold out, when you pulled that old, oversized pair of ski pants.
Those days have passed. It’s now time to revamp your style with some new, fabulous ski pants for women.
And forget what you used to think about women’s ski pants. They are now fashionable, warm, and keep you dry.
They’re not clunky, they don’t let the wind blow through, and they’ll never be the last resort on a cold day. In fact, you’ll anxiously await the day when you can imagine a trace of snow falling, just so you have an excuse to put your new pair of snow pants on.
Understanding Women’s Ski Pants
But first, what do you know about ski pants? Do you know how the technology has changed? Yes, that’s right, we used the word “technology” together with ski pants. Ski wear has evolved a lot in the last few years.
Do you know what you should look for? Do you know what you should avoid? Do you even know what salopettes are?
Don’t worry, because by the end of this article, you will. In fact, you’ll know all there is to know about buying the best pair of women’s ski pants.
And you don’t even have to be a skier to enjoy the benefits to buy a good set of ski clothes for yourself.
Why Wear Ski Pants?
Ok, we don’t have to convince you that it’s important to wear a women’s ski jacket.
You already understand how crucial it is to wear women’s ski gloves when the temperature drops.
But if you’ve not grown up in a wintery climate, you probably reluctantly put on your ski pants last. But is that the right move?
Here’s what ski pants should do for you.
You should seek to find some sort of warmth from ski pants. Your legs aren’t affected by the cold as greatly as, say, your hands. You are at extreme risk of frostbite with an exposed hand in frigid temperatures. But your legs still need protection from the cold.
Ski pants are there to serve a dual purpose, just as is all your best ski gear.
Your ski pants do work to keep your legs warm. They do that by doing two things. Firstly, they get the heat in. Insulation (as we’ll talk about later) is the first line of defence against losing heat to the winter weather.
Remember your high school chemistry classes? In there, you learned that there’s no such thing as “cold”. There’s only an absence of heat. Just as there’s no such thing as darkness, only an absence of light (you can’t say we’re not full of fun facts here at FlyerDiaries…).
Your body produces enough heat to keep you going all day long, even in the coldest days. But if you can’t retain that heat, that’s when you get into trouble.
The second thing that your ski pants should do is be windproof. Again, this is about retaining that natural body heat you’re so good at producing. If the wind whips away your heat, you can become prone to serious risk of frostbite and hypothermia.
Even if it’s not a naturally windy day, you’re flying down the slopes at 50 km/h, even on a sunny day, that wind drastically reduces your core temperature without adequate protection.
It goes without saying that a big reason to wear ski pants is because you’ll need something to protect against the snow and ice (and possibly rain, if you’re skiing during the spring).
Most ski pants come with a coating applied to the outer shell of the pants. That helps the water bead off. We’ll talk more about waterproof pants later on, and how to recognise the right amount of waterproofing that your pants will need.
Features of the Best Women’s Ski Pants
We’re not going to spend long discussing the in-depth terminology. Besides, we want to get outside and get in the snow as well. Here’s a brief rundown of what you need to know to get you outside and on those runs.
Get to know the ability of your pants to block water from getting through the fabric. Most pants (worth buying) come with a rating in “mm” to show how permeable they are to water. The higher the rating, the more able they are to block water from soaking through.
The best pants usually come with around 10,000mm or more. Of course, it depends on where you’ll be skiing. Some resorts are wetter than others, receiving high amounts of precipitation in the form of snow or rain. In that case, look for something in the 20,000mm range for the ultimate protection.
If your resort experiences plenty of sun and not much moisture during the day, 5000mm will do the trick.
Remember, the coating on the outer shell can wash off after repeated wear. Look for the best naturally repellent material, and not something that will fade during the ski season. Otherwise, find a good coating with excellent ratings over time.
Protect your exposed legs with a good amount of windproofing. In saying that, most of the best ski pants for women you’ll find online come with a rating of 0 or 1 for their windproof factor. The lower numbers represent more wind blocking ability. It’s rare to find something other than that.
It’s still worth mentioning that you should find pants that don’t let any wind pass through. Avoid fleecy or anything without a solid wind barrier as the outer shell. Those are just winter pants, and are no good for skiing or extreme winter activity.
Beside the waterproofing number, you might also find a number measured in g/mm2. This just refers to the breathability of the fabric. The higher the number, the more able it is to wick away the moisture forming on the inside of your legs.
When you’re skiing, you’re working up a sweat. That sweat can soak through your pants if you can’t channel it away. Look for a good breathable fabric, one that measures at least 5,000 on the breathability scale.
Otherwise, you could be in trouble as soon as your start exerting yourself and your trousers won’t feel comfortable.
As long as your ski pants give you some measure of water and wind protection, it should be enough to protect you from the cold.
But if the pants are lined with fleece or some micro-fibre material, that will insulate your legs against the bitter cold days. It doesn’t hurt to find a pair with a great, lined interior. But it’s not the be-all and end-all of ladies ski pants.
Different Types of Ski Pants
Depending on your preference, you can either buy a pair of ski trousers, or you can opt for the traditional salopette style. This is more commonly known as “bib” ski pants. They look like overalls with shoulder straps and a higher back and chest section.
Salopettes give you an added protection against the snow getting up into your pants or jacket. Experienced skiers prefer this style sometimes when they’re going through deep powder, or expect to get covered in snow. The only downside is that if the straps fall off mid-run, you have to remove the jacket to access the bib straps.
Other styles include matching sets of ski jackets and ski pants. Some sets allow the jacket and pants to be joined together. It’s not common to find, but you can connect your ski gear to prevent any snow from penetrating inside. But a good powder skirt on your jacket should perform the same feat.
Obviously, you don’t want snow to get inside your pants, so there are three points where you need protection against that. That is your waist and both of your leg cuffs.
Look for extra protection at these access points to give yourself the best protection against flying snow.
Of course, if you’re a novice skier, definitely check out the bands and cuffs. There’s a good chance you’ll end up on the ground more than once. You’d hate for snow to get up and under the cuffs of your bands. The best ski trousers for women have elastic bands with adjustable draw cords to tighten the waist and leg cuffs.
As we just explained, having cuff and band protection is important for all weather conditions.
But if you’re going to specifically be using the ski pants for skiing or snowboarding (rather than hiking), look for gaiters. These are the dedicated connection points that keep snow out of your ski boots.
Many different pants have straps, buckles, or hook-and-loop opening to keep your snow boot firmly tucked inside your pants. Never tuck your pants into your boot. Not only will decrease the boot’s functionality, you’ll also allow an opening for snow to get to your foot.
Use a gaiter to lock your pants on the bottom from rising up and allowing snow inside.
Keep your gear safely stowed while you ride. The best ski pants have a number of pockets that you can use to store your goodies. Keep your lift pass, your phone, or just an extra pair of mittens for comfort.
Make sure that the pockets are secure with zips that you can easily open with gloves on. You also might find pockets to store small items like extra heating pads or a fresh cloth to wipe your goggles.
To aid your legs from getting too sweaty, keep yourself properly vented. With adjustable vents on your pants, you can determine just how breathable your material is, opening up a spare vent to allow more moisture to escape.
Buying the Best Ski Pants for Women
And now the part you’ve been anxiously awaiting. Here are our best selections for women’s ski trousers. You’ll find a range of low and high-priced pants, but we’ve emphasised the features you need to know for each pair.
To start off this list, we’ve actually begun with one of the most decent pair of salopettes we’ve come across. If you’re brand new to the sport, we’d be happy to see you purchase these pants as your first selection.
The bib design and sturdy shoulder straps make this a strong choice for the winter activities you’d like to try out. You won’t be cold either with an insulated interior and a durable waterproof coating to keep the snow and ice out.
If you need to, you can always detach the braces to get a pant-like style if you’d prefer. The gaiters on the legs strap into your boot, making a seamless connection that doesn’t allow any snow to penetrate inside. You probably will take a tumble or two, so it’s nice knowing you won’t get anything inside your pants when you (inevitably) do.
The fit isn’t perfectly formed to your body, but its cosy enough to feel at ease while schussing down the slopes. We’d suggest finding roomy pants for your first pair to get used to the experience.
We’re fans of the budget-friendly price, and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the fun of skiing. Goodbye cold, hello winter.
This pair of pants comes with a 5000mm waterproof rating. While it’s not good enough to warrant a recommendation for extreme mountaineers, we’re pretty confident you’ll enjoy it.
You’ll be able to enjoy a warm and dry day when wearing these Trespass Lohans. You won’t be caught chilly. Rather you’ll appreciate the extra ventilation patches for a day where you go a bit harder than normal.
You’ll also love the articulated knees to help maintain your perfect posture on top your skis. The secure pockets give you the freedom to keep your phone, your keys, or just a quick snack if you need it at the top of the run.
As an added bonus, all the seams are taped to prevent any excess water seeping in gradually. The taped seams are an added bonus, and one of the reasons we’ve put this pair on our list. It’s those added extras that we’re glad to pass along to the novice skiers who are new to ski pants in general.
But we’re super impressed with the price. While this isn’t the cheapest on the list, it’s (many) hundreds of pounds less than other versions we’ve come across with not too different features. The best part is that you’ll come to the end of the day without ever once having thought about your ski trousers. That’s as much as you can ask for in a good pair of women’s ski pants.
If you’re going to invest in the best pair of women’s ski trousers, don’t steer past this Helly Hansen version. Helly Hansen are the experts on the mountain and they know how to put together a reputable pair of pants you’ll enjoy and use for years to come.
No, these aren’t cheap. Yes, they take a small chunk out of your wallet. But the best redeeming feature for the cost is that these pants are an investment, designed to last for multiple runs without ever losing their waterproof or warmth.
Here’s what you should expect from a high-end pair of women’s pants. You’ll get secure gripped silicone ankle gaiters for your boots, reinforced hems all along the pants, and a fully sealed seam to keep water out.
The technology behind these pants allows for venting to keep you warmer on cold days and cooler for warmer activities. Along with an excellent waterproof material, it’s also coated with a water repellent designed to last multiple washings before ever fading.
But one of the best features on these pants is the RECCO strips on the pants. These strips are designed to bounce the radio signals given off by the RECCO detectors used by staff during avalanches. Keep yourself safe with the RECCO system used by the world’s best resorts.
There’s also a wide range of colours to choose from, so you can find the perfect pair for you.
O’Neill pants are always in fashion on the slopes. They work so well because they’re designed and produced by skiers just like you.
For one, you’ll be glad to find a 10,000mm rating on both the waterproofing and breathability scale of these pants. That’s a good sign that you’re in a good pair of pants for whatever the weather throws at you.
The knitted lining and woven interior keeps you nice and warm, comfortable, and most importantly, dry after a long hard day in the powder. The pants are filled with a layer of polyester as well to provide an extra layer of insulation. That’s so reassuring when you check the temperature and see double digits in the negative, plus wind chill.
Also, feel free to layer up, because these pants are designed to stretch and move as you do. The pants themselves free you up to feel unrestrained as you charge down the slopes. You shouldn’t ever feel like your ski trousers are holding you back.
The pant style comes with a tightening cord around the waist to ensure the waist fit is perfect. The gaiters on the bottom securely fasten with a hook-and-loop system to keep it attached firmly at the bottom as well. Take a few tumbles. Go on. You won’t get any snow inside these pants.
We’re not just going to show you the expensive options. We’re more than happy to give you a budget version. But budget doesn’t always mean cheap. This pair is the proof of that.
The Dare 2B brand isn’t going to break the bank, but you will have fantastic day in these pants. First off, we love that these are a pant style but with salopette straps to secure you inside. The 5000/5000 waterproof/breathability rating is good enough for any beginner to the sport. The polyester insulation should also hold in the heat pretty well. The taped seams are just an added bonus to the whole system’s viability in the snow.
One of the smartest parts of these pants is the double fastening system for the waist. Do up the snaps to keep it snug, and double secure it with a Velcro back-up. The snow gaiters and adjustable waist keeps the snow out without compromising on style.
Keep yourself warm and dry in the winter, through blizzard, hail, ice, sleet, and driving snow. With a great pair of ski trousers for women, you shouldn’t even notice that you have them on. If you’ve come to end of the day, and you’re chilling at the chalet with a hot chocolate in hand, you’ll be glad to know you protected your legs all day with the best pair of ski pants you can find.