The Best Snowboard Pants in 2021

With so many options available, it is all about finding comfort and function that suit your style! A great pair of snow pants are essential for any winter sport. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how rad your snowboard jacket is or how long you have been waiting to for a snow day to try out your all-mountain snowboard, without snow pants you won’t be going anywhere.

Ideally you don’t just want any old pair – if your legs are cold and wet, then your trip to the hill didn’t live up to its potential. There are some excellent ski pants and snow pants out there no matter what kind of fit, budget and functionality you are looking for. We have laid out the pros and cons of a selection of snow pants that are especially suited to snowboarding. Take a look and let us help find the best snowboard pants for you!

burton ak 2l gore-tex cyclic pants
  • Outer Material: GORE-TEX 2-Layer Nylon 70D Plain Weave Fabric
  • Waterproofing: 2-layer Gore-Tex
  • Zippers: YYK water resistant
  • Warmth: low
CHECK PRICES

These super lightweight shell pants are very packable making them ideal as a light outer layer and an excellent candidate for hiking the mountain or splitboarding. The waterproofing is absolutely excellent, complete with waterproofed zippers, and the wind protection is great as well. These pants will keep the wind and water out even in very wet, sustained conditions. The material is also breathable which once again lends itself well to hiking or warmer conditions.

Expect ample storage with 2 back pockets, 2 hip pockets and a large thigh pocket. The inner thigh vents are well-placed and the cuffs feature a standard widening zip as well as an additional hidden drawstring to cinch up the back of the pant, keeping it from being walked on whenever you aren’t on your board.

The material is quite thin which is nice in terms of keeping them lightweight, but comes with the tradeoff of reduced durability. The construction feels high-quality, but the material tears and scratches easily on contact with keys, board edges etc. They are quite fitted which could be an advantage if you are planning on touring; however, given that they are an un-insulated shell they don’t leave much room for warm layering so consider sizing up.

All in all, the Burton AK 2L’s are an exceptional option for backcountry and intense riding.

Pros:
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Excellent windproofness
  • Very packable
  • Highly breathable
  • Mesh-lined inner thigh vents
Cons:
  • Narrow fit
  • Thin construction compromises durability

Patagonia Powder Bowl Pant – Men’s

The Best All-Mountain Snowboard Pants

patagonia powder bowl pant mens
  • Outer Material: 4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester 2L
  • Insulation: hanging liner
  • Waterproofing: 2-layer Gore-Tex with DWR finish
  • Warmth: moderate
  • Weight: 756g
  • RECCO reflector
CHECK PRICES

Here are a pair of snow pants that can go anywhere and through just about anything with you! They are ideal for anywhere on the mountain as well as backcountry adventures and touring. Patagonia has been designing outdoor gear for mountaineering and climbing for years, and these pants reflect that expertise with an aerodynamic, tailored fit that is designed for movement and won’t restrict your mobility in any way. Excellent waterproofing – including taped seams, waterproof zippers, and pockets with extra protective flaps – combined with perfect wind resistance and great breathability make riding in any conditions a genuine pleasure.

Mesh backed vents on the outer thighs can help shed some heat and let the air in while keeping the snow out. The tight mesh backing on the vents makes the Powder Bowl Pants well suited to powder, as the name suggests, but it does limit the possible airflow. The only potential downside of these pants is the relatively narrow powder cuffs, which can be a bit tight to get over snowboard boots.

Here is a really high-quality product with the weather resistance and streamlined fit for the backcountry, enough mobility to hit some features in the park or whatever else you have in mind!

Pros:
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Great breathability
  • Tailored fit
  • Great mobility
  • Streamlined design
Cons:
  • Powder cuffs fit very tightly over boots

Volcom L GORE-TEX Pants – Men’s

The Best Waterproof Snowboarding Pants

volcom l gore-tex pants
  • Material: 100% Nylon
  • Waterproofing: 2-layer Gore-Tex, taped seams
  • Zippers: YYK water resistant
  • Warmth: low
CHECK PRICES

These shell pants have a loose to regular fit and offer great versatility in terms of layering options for a variety of winter conditions. They are lined, but not insulated, meaning they can be comfortable on those warm spring days but are unlikely to be ideal for extremely cold winter conditions. The fabric is quite breathable and the zippered vents make it easy to shed extra heat.

The minimalist design is simple, functional and affordable. The mesh lining throughout allows the pants to hang comfortably. The front hand-warmer pockets and waistband are fleece-lined, which adds an extra touch of coziness. A large diagonal thigh pocket and back pocket provide enough storage for all your odds and ends.

A zipper and snap-button make it easy to get the Volcom L’s over your boots and the zippered jacket to pants interface provides a great continuous fit, but it is only compatible with certain Volcom jackets.

Pros:
  • Great waterproofing
  • Good breathability
  • Loose to regular fit
  • Ample pockets
  • Zippered Vents
Cons:
  • We got nothing!

The North Face Men’s Freedom Pant

The Best Value Resort Snowboard Pants

the north face mens freedom pant
  • Outer Material: 100% Nylon
  • Insulation: 105 G/M² 100% Polyester Tricot
  • Waterproofing: 2-layer DryVent breathable fabric
  • Warmth: moderate
  • Weight: 720g

Here are a pair of snow pants that truly cover all the bases without breaking the bank: you get a lot of pant for the price. While they may not be the best in any particular category, they are absolute all-rounders and they aren’t particularly lacking in any category either. They are waterproof and windproof in most winter conditions, though they aren’t designed to hold up in a seriously wet or cold storm. The main seams are waterproofed; however, the zippers are not which is a weak point for moisture.

The material is only moderately breathable, and while the mesh-backed vents do allow for some extra airflow, they also aren’t the most effective at shedding heat. Overall, breathability is acceptable, but not great. The fleece lining is really comfortable: soft enough to wear directly on your skin and it doesn’t cling to long underwear either. The mid-warmth insulation is just right for most winter days.

The two fleece-lined hand-warmer pockets are pretty standard, while the Velcro closure thigh pocket has limited use due to it not being 100% snow- or waterproof. Still, we would recommend these pants to anyone who is looking for a simple, functional resort pant – great value without the bells and whistles.

Pros:
  • Good waterproofing
  • Good windproofing
  • Very comfortable
Cons:
  • Only main seams are sealed
  • Inner leg vents only moderately effective
  • No waterproofed zippers

Burton Covert Insulated Snowboard Pants – Men’s

The Best Budget Insulated Snowboard Pants

burton covert insulated snowboard pants mens
  • Outer Material: DryRide 2 layer
  • Insulation: 40% Recycled Content THERMOLITE® Insulation
  • Warmth: moderate

These snow pants are super affordable and still manage to deliver decent performance across the board. The insulation is moderate meaning an extra layer can make these pants good for colder winter days and skipping the under layers altogether can be ideal for spring skiing without overheating. They are quite comfortable and the regular fit leaves space for layers without being baggy.

The Coverts are waterproof enough to handle wet snow with ease, in part thanks to their taped seams, but aren’t designed to handle heavy rain or prolonged wet conditions. The breathability, or lack thereof, is probably the biggest drawback of these pants and the biggest compromise that comes with the budget price. The mesh-backed vents along the inner thighs do help shed extra heat when needed.

A standard selection of pockets includes 2 Velcro-closure back pockets, a large zippered thigh pocket and 2 fleece-lined front pockets. The cuffs also feature a standard zipper that allows the cuffs to easily fit over your snowboard boots. These Burton pants offer a great package for the price point!

Pros:
  • Adjustable waistband
  • Ample pockets
  • Good fit
  • Standard set of features
  • Taped seams
Cons:
  • Mediocre waterproofing
  • Sub-par breathability

Volcom Rain Gore-Tex Bib Overall Pants

The Best Bib Style Snowboard Pants – Men’s

volcom rain gore-tex bib overall pant mens
  • Main Material: GORE-TEX 2-Layer + PFCec Free® Laminate
  • Waterproofing: 2-Layer Gore-Tex
  • Zippers: YKK® AquaGuard® water resistant
  • Warmth: moderate
CHECK PRICES

These pants not only have a style of their own, but the looser fit makes them very comfortable as well without being excessively baggy. Adjustable suspenders make the fit customizable for even the shortest and the tallest of riders. Just in case you want even more snow protection than this bib design already provides, these pants boast Volcom’s ZipTech interface in which the pants can be zipped to the snow skirt of select Volcom jackets.

Expect a selection of features for high-end comfort and performance. Waterproofed zippers and taped seams ensure that the excellent waterproofing can stand up to any weather. Mesh-backed vents allow for extra airflow and easy shedding of extra heat and reinforced kick panels, hems and butt patch contribute to the already excellent durability. The chest pocket, double fleece-lined front pockets and additional legs pockets all have waterproof zippers. Even the back pockets are taffeta lined with a zipper and a protective flap.

Overall, these are really high quality, well-designed bib pants.

Pros:
  • Bib pants with adjustable suspenders
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Very durable
  • High-quality materials
  • Many functional features
Cons:
  • Reduced access due to bib design
  • That’s it!

Columbia Bugaboo IV Snow Pants

The Best Snowboard Pants for the Occasional Rider

columbia bugaboo iv snow pants mens
  • Outer Material: Omni-Tech™ Generation Dobby 100% nylon
  • Lining: Omni-Heat™ Reflective Microtex Light 100% Polyester
  • Insulation: 60g Microtemp XF II synthetic fibers
  • Waterproofing: Omni-Tech™ waterproof breathable laminate
CHECK PRICES

These lightly lined shell pants are a great option whether you are snowboarding, skiing or doing any other fun winter activity. They provide decent waterproofing and the 60g insulation is enough to keep you warm on mild winter days. Expecting colder weather? Just throw on a base layer and you can count on these shells to keep the wind and wet outside where it belongs. Internal gaiters help keep the snow out and snaps on the cuffs make it easy to accommodate ski or snowboard boots.

Columbia’s Omni-Heat™ Reflective technology fabric keeps the wearer surprisingly warm without adding extra weight or bulk. These Columbia pants have a relaxed fit with an adjustable waist. Definitely a great option for the occasional skier or weekend warrior.

Pros:
  • Reflective heat technology
  • Lightly insulated
  • Decent waterproofing
  • Zippered hand pockets
Cons:
  • Zippers not waterproof

Burton Avalon Bib Pants – Women’s

The Best Bib Style Snowboard Pants

burton avalon bib pants womens
  • Main Material: Stretch Polyester
  • Waterproofing: 2-Layer DryRide
  • Warmth: moderate
  • Weight: 862g
CHECK PRICES

These pants are comfortable, functional and packing a lot of style! Adjustable straps combined with a stretch panel in the back make it easy to customize the fit of the Avalon bib pants. Other well-designed features include well-placed leg vents that make it easy to shed some heat as well as drop seat zippers on both sides, which make it as convenient as possible to access your under layers when nature calls (without having to strip off the whole pants!).

Expect a really comfortable pant all-around, whether you are ripping down the hill, on the chair lift or enjoying your après ski. The stretchy construction doesn’t limit your range of motion and the multiple pockets include two cozy fleece-lined, handwarmer pockets.

The biggest drawback is that the Avalon bib pants deliver only moderate warmth and waterproofing making them perfect for a sunny weekend at the resort, but not ideal for harsher weather conditions or prolonged precipitation.

Pros:
  • Awesome style
  • Very comfortable
  • Double-sided drop seat zippers
  • Good ventilation
  • Great adjustability
Cons:
  • Mediocre Waterproofing
  • Zippers are not waterproof
  • Drop seat zippers tend to slide down
  • Mediocre durability

Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Pants – Women’s

The Best Insulated Pants for Women

patagonia insulated snowbelle pants womens
  • Material: 75D 100% polyester
  • Insulation: 100% polyester taffeta with 40g Thermogreen
  • Waterproofing: 2-layer H2No Performance
  • Warmth: high
CHECK PRICES

If you want to make sure you are comfortably warm even when the mercury drops, then the Insulated Snowbelle Pants are a great option for you. Fleece-lined hand pockets, super soft taffeta lining throughout and an adjustable fit make these pants very comfortable. In fact, the elastic Velcro waist adjustments are integrated into the inside of the waistband so you won’t see or feel them once you have them set up.

The mesh-lined leg vents add some extra airflow if you start overheating, but not enough to make these pants suitable for the backcountry. The wind- and waterproofing are above average with Patagonia’s patented H2No fabric and more than adequate to keep the weather out. Most of all, these pants really are warm, 40g of Thermogreen insulation should keep you warm even on the coldest days, especially if you add a base layer.

Pros:
  • Very comfortable
  • Adjustable waist
  • Mesh-lined leg vents
  • Very warm
  • Can be attached to Patagonia jackets
Cons:
  • Mediocre ventilation

What to Consider When Buying Snowboard Pants

Every rider has their own expectations, whether it be something warm and stylish for the groomers and après ski or rather something lightweight and streamlined for lots of hikes and backcountry descents. Let’s take a look at some of the key features you need to consider to make sure that you end up with snowboard pants that are suited to you.

Waterproofing

Technology has made major advances in terms of waterproofing gear to the extent that most snow pants you buy will be waterproof enough for a normal bluebird day at the resort. Many companies have their own unique, patented waterproof fabrics – combinations of membranes, waterproof coatings and other technologies – most of which perform quite well.

If you plan on hitting the slopes rain or shine, then the quality and durability of your waterproofing will become a really important factor for you. The quality of the waterproofing is determined by the extent of water exposure a material can withstand before leakage begins. The main difference in waterproofing is the type: waterproof membrane or waterproof coatings.

Waterproof membranes, such as Gore-Tex, are the best. A waterproof membrane is literally a fabric with such tiny pores that water cannot seep through, but vapors can: this means its breathable enough to let extra body heat out without letting moisture from snow or precipitation in. Since the actual fabric is waterproof, it can never ‘wear off’, although the fabric can wear out, stretch and lose its integrity after extensive use.

The other option is waterproof coatings. DWR (durable water repellent) coatings come in a wide variety and they often consist of polyester urethane (PU), polyether urethane (PE), silicone or a combination. The disadvantage is that such coatings tend to wear off over time, but the advantage is that most can be easily renewed with at-home treatments and tend to be more affordable.

Make sure your gear has sealed or taped seams as well as water-resistant zippers if you need 100% waterproofing.

Resort or Backcountry?

Where you board will have a big influence on the features that serve you best. Generally, anyone who is hiking, splitboarding or enjoying a lot of backcountry descents needs a more streamlined pant – you don’t want those cargo pockets getting snagged on a branch! Powder cuffs, also know as gaiters, are also important for our backcountry boarders. Or even better – choose snowboard pants that can be snapped or zipped directly to your jacket for gapless protection.

Likewise, if you are enjoying casual resort laps ample pockets and fashion over function may be where it’s at for you. Anyone who’s home turf is the park needs to consider having an uninhibited range of movement and zippered pockets are a must-have if you are catching air, upside down or expecting a few crashes here and there.

Intensity

Breathability and ventilation become major factors the more intense, or aerobic, your activities are. If you are going to be sweating or generating a lot of body heat through exertion then you need external legs vents and breathable fabric. If you are spending a lot of time in chilly lift lines, riding the lifts up and cruising back down, then warmth and wind resistance are likely more important to you than breathability or vents.

Vents are always zippered, may or may not have a mesh backing and are usually vertically integrated along the inner or outer thighs. Open vents let in the most air, but the mesh-backed vents have the advantage of keeping snow out. Location also plays a role: choose outer vents for maximum heat shedding and inner vents for a more subtle effect.

Grab your board, pull up your snow pants and get shredding!

About The Author

AthletePath Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts and professional athletes thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need to become a better athlete.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments