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Maybe the last time you wore snow pants was while sledding in your neighborhood with the other local kids or maybe the last pair you bought was back in the ‘90s and the waterproofing has long since disappeared. Either way, the technology in women’s ski pants has come a long way, and the days of wearing jeans on the ski slopes have definitely passed. Today, in addition to a myriad of design and technological choices, you can also choose the fit, color, design, and warmth that fits best with your style and activity levels. To help you optimize your enjoyment of the ski slopes this season, we’ve put together a list of the best women’s ski pants on the market. Each with their own unique features and appeal, there’s something for everyone on this list. Take a look at this guide, and we’ll see you out on the mountain!

For more of our top ski gear recommendations, check out the Best Ski Pants.

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Quick Answer - The Best Women's Ski Pants

  1. Columbia Bugaboo II
  2. Helly Hansen Legendary
  3. Strafe Belle
  4. Outdoor Research Hemispheres
  5. The North Face Freedom
  6. Arc’teryx Sentinel
  7. Patagonia Descensionist
  8. Columbia Wildside
  9. Obermeyer Bliss
  10. Flylow Foxy

 

Comparison Table - Best Women's Ski Pants

PictureNameBest ForInsulationWaterproof?Powder CuffsPriceRating
Columbia Bugaboo IIDownhill SkiingYesYesYes$4.5
Helly Hansen LegendaryDownhill SkiingYesYesYes$$4.8
Strafe BelleDownhill SkiingYesYesYes$$$$4.8
Outdoor Research HemispheresDownhill SkiingNoYesYes$$$$4.9
The North Face FreedomDownhill SkiingYesYesYes$$4.8
Arc’teryx SentinelDownhill SkiingNoYesYes$$$$4.5
Patagonia DescensionistDownhill SkiingNoYesYes$$$4.6
Columbia WildsideDownhill SkiingYesYesYes$4.7
Obermeyer BlissDownhill SkiingYesYesYes$$$4.8
Flylow FoxyDownhill SkiingNoYesYes$$$$4.9
PictureNameBest ForInsulationWaterproof?Powder CuffsPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Ski Pants for Women

Columbia Bugaboo II

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: Yes
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Omni-Tech Waterproof/Breathable Membrane
  • Insulation Type: Synthetic
  • Lining: Polyester Taffeta
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • Exterior Waterproof/Breathable Fabric Is Sealed At The Seams To Keep Out Snow And Cold Temperatures
  • Internal Leg Gaiters Keep The Snow Out Of Ski Boots
  • Adjustable Waist For A Personalized And Customizable Fit

BEST FOR: VALUE MEETS PERFORMANCE

The Columbia Women’s Bugaboo II ski pants are the epitome of value meeting performance. These ski pants incorporate all of the technology that Columbia is known for while retaining a reasonable price point. Zippered hand pockets and back flap pockets keep all of your valuables safe – phone, wallet, keys – while you’re out on the hill, and the multiple color options available will fulfill the style needs of any skier. The adjustable waist also allows for customization based on weather. If you need any extra layer underneath on an especially cold day, simply loosen the pants and then tighten them again come spring. These reliable ski pants will keep you warm, dry, and looking cool throughout the winter and for many winters to come.

Helly Hansen Legendary

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: Yes
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: 2-ply HellyTech Performance
  • Insulation Type: Synthetic
  • Lining: Polyester
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • Durable Water Repellent Treatment Keeps Fabric Dry And Water On The Surface Of The Pants
  • Stretch Fabric With Articulated Knees Provide Ease Of Movement
  • Integrated Waist Adjustment And Belt Loops Make It Easy To Customize The Fit And Feel Of These Ski Pants

BEST FOR: ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS SKIERS

Known for classic skier style and performance, Helly Hansen’s Legendary ski pants are designed with the best in weather protection technology as well as durability. Helly Hansen also included bluesign materials in these pants, an effort that has sought to reduce the negative impacts from production on the environment, workers, and wearers of their products.

These pants also feature extra insulation in the seat and knees to keep you warmer when you’re riding the chair lifts around the resort. As an added safety feature, these pants also include a RECCO reflector embedded in the design. The RECCO technology enhances radio signals from search-and-rescue detectors in the event of an avalanche or other accident at the resort. These ski pants are sure to be your next favorite piece of ski gear.

Strafe Belle

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: Yes
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: 3-layer Recon Elite
  • Insulation Type: Synthetic
  • Lining: Nylon/Polyester
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • Micro-Fleece Lined Hand And Back Pockets And Chamois Fleece-Lined Waistband
  • Mesh-Lined Front Thigh Vents Help Prevent Build Up Of Excess Heat
  • Fleece Insulation Is Soft On The Skin And Helps To Regulate Body Temperature During Activity

BEST FOR: ULTIMATE COMFORT

These are the pants that are worth the dawn wake up and drive to the ski hill. Strafe has designed these ski pants to be the leader in comfort and performance. The soft, fleece lining through the pants as well as specifically targeted fleecing at the waistband and pockets makes for a super soft and cozy feel throughout the day. The external hook-and-loop waist adjustment system ensures a personalized fit every time, and four-way stretch powder cuffs also make it easy to slide the gaiters over your boots and then remove to adjust your boots throughout the day as needed. Skiers will also love the teal and raspberry color choices, making these pants a contender for the leading ski pants on the market.

Outdoor Research Hemispheres

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: No
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: 3-layer GORE-TEX
  • Insulation Type: N/A
  • Lining: N/A
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • Stretch In The Fabric, Articulated Knees, And Stretch Back And Gusset Panels Enhance Your Range Of Motion
  • Zippered Outer Thigh Vents Release Excess Heat
  • Zippered Hand Pockets, Zippered Center Pockets, And Zippered Kangaroo Pocket On The Bib Protect All Of Your Valuables On The Hill

BEST FOR: POWDER DAYS

These ski pants, awarded Apparel of the Year by Powder Magazine in 2018, are best-in-class when it comes to waterproofing technology and stretch. Outdoor Research made them for those hard-charging powder days when even though it seems contradictory to the chilly temperatures outside, you end up at the bottom of the hill breathing hard and sweating. The suspenders of the bib design ensure a customized fit that’ll stay in place through the day and keep your base layers in order under your pants and jacket. Finally, the GORE-TEX waterproofing material boasts an impressive suite of features, including waterproofing, windproofing, breathability, and sealing to keep out excess snow. If you’re skiing out west under those bluebird skies and with ample powder days, these pants might be the ones for you.

The North Face Freedom

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: Yes
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: 2-layer DryVent
  • Insulation Type: Synthetic
  • Lining: Recycled Polyester Taffeta
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • 50% Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester Insulation Provides Warmth Without The Bulk
  • Gaiters With Gripper Elastic Help Keep Snow Out Of Your Boots
  • Inner Thigh Vents Release Heat For Maximum Comfort, Even On Warm Spring Days

BEST FOR: VERSATILE PERFORMANCE

The North Face’s signature Freedom ski pant is made for every skier on the hill. The North Face has designed these pants in tall sizes, short sizes, and in a bib with suspenders so that they will work for almost every woman on the hill. With adjustable waist tabs and belt loops, you can further customize your fit as well as manually adjust your venting when the temperature drops or heats up. Finally, the insulation in these ski pants contain 50% post-consumer recycled materials, so not only will you feel warm and comfortable on the hill, you can feel good knowing that your purchase supports these kinds of sustainability efforts in outerwear and ski apparel.

Arc’teryx Sentinel

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: No
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: 3-layer GORE-TEX
  • Insulation Type: N/A
  • Lining: N/A
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • Soft-Brushed Liner Provides Light Insulation Without The Bulk Of Full Insulation
  • Articulated Knees Provide Freedom Of Movement On Both Ascents And Descents
  • Compatible With Arc’teryx Ski Jackets

BEST FOR: EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN

The Arc’teryx Sentinel ski pants are designed for those who move. As a shell without insulation, you can be sure you’ll stay cool throughout your day on the resort or even in the backcountry. The exterior Gore-Tex material is windproof, waterproof, and breathable so that you can enjoy your turns in any weather and at any time during the season while the brushed liner on the interior of the pants promises a cozy feel throughout the day. Finally, these pants are compatible with many Arc’teryx ski jackets. When combined, the pants connect to the jacket to keep out the deep powder and wind-swept snow when you’re having fun exploring the resort. These pants will work as hard as you do on a ski day!

Patagonia Descensionist

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: No
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: DWR (durable water repellent coating)
  • Insulation Type: N/A
  • Lining: N/A
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • 3-Layer Hard Shell Exterior Provides Waterproofing, Windproofing, And Breathability
  • Soft Interior Of The Pants Wicks Away Moisture
  • Soft Fabric Lining Around The Waistband Inside Of The Pants Provides Unmatched Comfort

BEST FOR: PANTS-JACKET COMPATIBILITY

The best feature of Patagonia’s Descensionist ski pants is that they’re compatible with any Patagonia snow jacket. The webbing loop on the rear of the pants securely attaches the pants to the powder skirt in any Patagonia jacket, which promises to help prevent snow and wind from getting through your layers and onto your skin. These pants also feature robust gaiters near the boots and ankles that will help prevent snow from getting into your boots and getting your socks and toes wet and cold. Finally, the three-layer hard shell material of the exterior of the pants provides unparalleled waterproofing and windproofing, so even though these pants do not have any lining, you’re sure to stay warm on the chilliest days of the season.

Columbia Wildside

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: Yes
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Omni-Tech Waterproof/Breathable Fabric
  • Insulation Type: Synthetic
  • Lining: Omni-Heat Taffeta
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective Technology Regulates Your Body Temperature With Silver Dots On The Fabric
  • Adjustable Waistband Lets You Customize The Fit Of Your Ski Pants
  • Internal Leg Gaiters Keep Snow Out Of Your Boots And Ensure Warmth And Dryness Throughout the Day

BEST FOR: COLD WEATHER PROTECTION

If you run colder than the average skier or if you spend most of your time on the ski hill in the Northeast where temperatures often reside below freezing, these might be the pants for you. Columbia’s Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology features silver dots on the fabric that reflect and retain the heat that your body creates. These are some of the most user-friendly pants on the market; Columbia’s tried and true technology and attention to comfort will keep you warm and comfortable all day on the hill without the fuss of more technical apparel. The Wildside design also comes in extended sizes as well, so they’re really the perfect fit for every woman out there on the ski hill.

Obermeyer Bliss

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: Yes
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Hydroblock Waterproof Breathable Membrane
  • Insulation Type: Synthetic
  • Lining: Nylon
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • Articulated Knees And Interior Stretch Panels Promote Range Of Motion And Enhance Mobility
  • Zippered Gussets At The Back Of The Ankle Make It Easy To Get Your Ski Boots On And Off
  • Zippered Hand Pockets With Sealed Seams Keep Your Valuables Safe And Dry Throughout The Day

BEST FOR: STYLE & PERFORMANCE

These ski pants will take you from the lift to apres-ski without batting an eye. The Obermeyer Bliss ski pants have a more streamlined silhouette for those skiers looking for a less baggy, more refined look on the ski hill. That silhouette does not, however, compromise on comfort, warmth, and protection. Their fully-seamed stretch fabric provides waterproof, breathable protection against snow and wind, and the lightweight insulation protects against those cold winter temperatures both on the ski hill and off. They also have a contoured, fleece-lined high back for added comfort (you won’t have to worry about the wind sneaking down your back) and range of motion while exploring the mountain.

Flylow Foxy

Specs
  • Best For: Downhill Skiing
  • Insulation: No
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Intuitive 3-layer Waterproof Breathable Membrane
  • Insulation Type: N/A
  • Lining: N/A
  • Powder Cuffs: Yes
Features
  • High Performance Waterproofing Forces Water To Bead Up On The Ski Pant Fabric Rather Than Seep or Stay Inside
  • Inner Thigh Vents Help You To Shed Excess Heat
  • Pockets Include A Kangaroo Chest Pouch, Two Mid-Thigh Pockets, One Rear Pocket, And Two Chest Pockets

BEST FOR: TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

The Flylow Foxy Bib ski pants are a cult favorite amongst skiers who are headed into the backcountry. These pants have all the technical features that you want in your ski pants – superior waterproofing, customizable fit, and venting to shed excess heat – while not compromising on style. Maybe you’re ready to take it to the next level with your skiing or maybe you’re heading out west where the snow is deeper and fluffier… Either way, these pants are technical enough to hold up to all weather conditions and stylish enough to enjoy during apres-ski.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING WOMEN’S SKI PANTS

COST

Ski pants come in a range of prices; you can easily spend just $100 on a decent pair or you can pay upwards of $500 for the highest quality pair of ski pants. The difference is often in features, fit, and desired activity. The best advice we can give is to buy gear that fits your lifestyle and geography. If you most often ski in the Northeast, you’ll probably need more insulation than if you’re most often skiing somewhere like Colorado. We’ve included a range of women’s ski pants at varying prices in this guide so that you can find a pair that works best for you.

 

FIT

Women’s ski pants generally come in three fit styles: slim, regular, and loose. The terms refer to how closely the legs of the pants adhere to your legs underneath. Slim fitting pants are characterized by a tighter, more form-fitting look. Though they have less freedom of movement than their looser counterparts and often less insulation, some women prefer them for their streamlined look.

Ski pants designed for a regular fit often have more room for layers underneath (a bonus if you’re skiing in northern locales like Northeastern and Canadian ski resorts), and they allow for more freedom of movement on the slopes. Finally, a loose fitting ski pants will have plenty of room for layers while offering a more relaxed, casual look. This is the style most often preferred by those that enjoy the terrain park, both for style as well as comfort while attempting tricks on the terrain park features. For more information about fit, check out this article from the brand, Roxy, about how to choose the best ski pants for you.

 

WARMTH & INSULATION

In addition to the numerous safety benefits of wearing ski pants, they also are significantly warmer than your average pair of pants on the ski hill. Whether you tend to run cooler or warmer, it’s important that you choose ski pants that match your natural rhythm. Unlined pants are generally best for backcountry skiers that need to dump heat as they hike up the hill, while insulated pants are most often preferred by people that spend most of their season in the resort. It’s important to note that most people, for comfort, sweat-wicking, and warmth, wear a thin base layer under their ski pants. Adjustable venting is also a great feature that many of the pants on this list offer that allows you to open the vents for more airflow on warm days and close the vents on cold days to retain your body heat.

 

JACKET COMPATIBILITY

Many companies design their ski outerwear as a system. The jacket and pants connect with snaps, zippers, or hooks. The connection ideally seals snow out of the jacket and pants, so that even on those deep snow days, you’re protected from the wet and cold.

 

FEATURES, ACCESSORIES & STYLE

Colors, designs, and embellishments vary each year in the same way that apparel brands change up their designs for each season. The color, fit, and design of your ski pants is really a matter of preference. It is, however, always prudent to choose gear that fits well. Well fitting gear can make the difference between an okay day on the hill and an awesome one. Though it may not be your primary concern when choosing ski pants, the right color and look can make you that much more excited about wearing this vital piece of ski equipment.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BIB

This style of ski pants features a higher rise in the front and back, and they’re held up by suspenders that drape over your shoulders. Bibs often provide more protection against powder snow, wind, and cold than more traditional pants.

GAITERS

Gaiters are a liner under the ski pants that are designed to keep snow out of your boots. To utilize this feature properly, pull the cinched liner over your ski boots (rather than tucked in) to prevent excess snow from getting into your boots and making your socks wet and cold.

RECCO

RECCO is a radio wave reflector that is often sewn into ski pants in some way. If an accident occurs at a resort where a skier is caught in an avalanche condition, ski patrol might use their RECCO detector to search for the lost skier. The RECCO reflector sewn into your pants may then echo the signal and make it easier for ski patrol to locate you. This is not a replacement for proper avalanche safety gear when in the backcountry.

VENTS

Venting is super important on those warm and sunny spring ski days. To remove excess heat, simply unzip the vents to expose a mesh lining underneath, which will allow heat to escape from your pants.

CUFF REINFORCEMENT

Ski pants often have a stiff fabric on the inside or outside of the pants at the bottom near the cuff of the pants and around the ankles to protect against the natural wear and tear of walking around and skiing in ski boots.

READ MORE

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