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Published Sep. 27, 2021

The best snowboarding pants have a big job to do: Keep you warm and dry even when you plunge into several feet of wet snow. But there’s a lot more to modern snowboarding pants than simple water resistance. With a wide variety of styles, from heavyweight bibs to lightweight performance pants, it’s important to look at all the options and find the perfect pair for your winter weather activities. 

The right snowboarding gear can make a huge difference. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you’ll stay out on the mountain. Great snowboarding pants also help you move, shift and sway without feeling like your legs are wrapped in soggy pillows. And new materials and high-tech layers ensure your body stays warm without overheating and sweating. 

Adults, teens, and kids get the most out of a winter vacation when wearing proper snow gear. For hitting the bunny hills or shredding down the black diamond slopes, boost your snow skills and look like a pro with the best snowboarding pants.

How We Picked These Products

Methodology 

I’ve been reviewing outdoor products and sporting goods for over 15 years. Living in the unpredictable Northeast, I know my way around snow gear. Whenever I’m checking out new snow gear, I’m looking for top-quality construction. If anything looks like it’s going to rip and tear, it probably will. 

Breathability is just as important as waterproofing, so if a pair of snowboarding pants felt too warm or lacked ventilation, they didn’t make the list, no matter how great the water resistance. (These are snowboarding pants, not survival slacks.) 

Price was also a huge factor when picking the best snowboarding pants. Without some useful features to justify the price mark, pants that are prohibitively expensive feel like a rip-off for the average snowboarder or skier.  And cheap snowboarding pants are really glorified workout pants that won’t last a single ski lift ride. 

To highlight the best of the best, I looked at more than 15 popular snowboard pants and scrutinized online reviews to see what issues customers have encountered. All of these findings went into generating this list. 

The Best Snowboarding Pants: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Burton Men’s Covert Pant

Great Comfort And Mobility

Burton snow pants are the perfect choice for every type of winter athlete, from pro to first timer. Burton

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Why It Made The Cut: You can’t go wrong with Burton snowboarding pants.The Covert line is lightweight enough for extreme sports and still waterproof enough to keep you dry and warm… but not too warm. 

Specs: 

  • Waterproof and breathability rating: 10,000mm / 5,000 grams
  • Fully-taped seams
  • Regular fit 

Pros:

  • Great fit, not too baggy or slim 
  • Pockets galore (cargo pocket, zipper side pocket, back pocket)
  • Good waterproofing
  • Great breathability 

Cons:

  • Expensive 
  • Not great for extreme cold

If you’re looking for a versatile option to get started, Burton’s snowboarding pants are a great choice. An iconic brand in snowboarding for over 40 years, Burton has the expertise to make snowboarding pants that are known for quality. These pants provide good waterproofing and excellent breathability and with zipper vents in the legs, you won’t overheat during a long day on the slopes. The fit of these cargo pants feels good, without being too baggy. And they come with a lining that helps regulate your temperature on those cold days. 

If you’re investing in pants like these, they must be durable enough to last more than one season. Fortunately, Burton snow pants are built to last. The lightweight Covert pants does a good job at keeping snow off your legs. The style is simple without looking basic. The pockets are easy to access and keep things in place even after a tumble. Whether this is your first pair of snowboarding pants, or you’re a gold-medal-winning snowboarding champion, Burton snowboarding pants are the best all-around snow gear. 

Best Snowboarding Pants for Sunny Days: DC Code Snowboard Pants Mens

Breathable Material

The DC Code pants feature impressive waterproofing and cool, comfortable breathability. DC Shoes

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Why It Made The Cut: DC snowboarding pants are extremely comfortable, especially when snowboarding in warmer climates where your legs need to breathe. Plus, the style is unique and stands out.

Specs: 

  • Stretch polyester fabric 
  • Regular fit 
  • Waterproof and breathability rating: 15,000mm /10,000 grams
  • Boot gusset with snap closure 

Pros:

  • Impressive waterproofing
  • Great stretch in the knees
  • Airy and comfortable 
  • Pants attach to DC jackets

Cons:

  • Won’t keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures 
  • Regular fit can feel snug on some body types

DC streetwear is an icon of skateboarding and extreme sports, and the DC snowboarding pants are a good choice for those who want to stay cool, or just look cool. These snow pants feel great and keep snow and water from ruining your day. However, these pants are not so good at keeping you warm. The company even comes right out and tells you that in the product description, so don’t expect to use the DC pants when trekking across Antarctica. However snowboarding can be an intense activity, which means pants that keep you cool are often a huge plus, especially on bright sunny days. (On a mountain, you are technically closer to the sun so you’ll be warmer…right?) For comfortable pants that won’t make you sweat, the DC snowboarding pants are one of the best options. 

Most Versatile Snowboarding Pants: WildHorn Outfitters mens Snow Pants

Durable And Warm

These are a great pair of snowboarding pants that can be used for all winter outdoor activities. WildHorn Outfitters

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Why It Made The Cut: Not only do the WildHorn pants hold up well on the snowboard trails, they are great for shoveling the driveway, outdoor winter chores, and backyard snowball fights with the family (or enemies). 

Specs: 

  • 100 percent polyester 
  • Waterproof and breathability rating: 12,000mm / 10,000k 
  • 4 waterproof pockets 
  • Quick release adjustable belt 

Pros:

  • Impressive waterproofing
  • Good knee articulation 
  • Rugged, durable material holds up well 

Cons:

  • A little pricey 
  • Slim fit (even though it says regular fit)
  • Style is plain

Sometimes you need a great pair of snow pants for more than downhill winter sports. The WildHorn pants are a solid option for snowboarding and skiing, but they are also great for other types of outdoor winter work. From working in the elements to sledding with toddlers, these pants will keep you warm and dry. The fit runs just a little slim, so if you want baggy comfort, go up a size. The waterproofing is high-quality, featuring a DuPont DWR waterproof coating, and the seams are durable. The belt is secure and easy to adjust, and the four pockets come in handy. Even if you never intend to ride a snowboard, these pants provide fantastic winter weather protection.  

Best Snowboarding Pants for Beginners: Columbia Men’s Snow Gun Pant, Waterproof, Insulated

Well Built And Warm

Columbia snowboarding pants are a great place to start your journey towards Olympic gold. Columbia

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Why It Made The Cut: For those hitting the slopes for the first time, the Columbia snow pants offer good all-around waterproofing and breathability that will last a season or two. 

Specs: 

  • 100 percent nylon outer layer, 100 percent polyester inner layer 
  • Zipper closure 
  • Machine washable 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Good waterproofing
  • Comfortable fit 

Cons:

  • No boot gaiters means snow can easily get in
  • Outer layer won’t last long under extreme conditions

It’s too easy to dump thousands of dollars into winter sports. If you’re new to snowboarding, the Columbia snow pants are the perfect place to start. They are reasonably priced without feeling cheap. The waterproofing will keep you nice and dry and you’ll have enough articulation to move freely. The fit feels great without being too snug. While more advanced snowboarders will want to invest in higher-quality gear that suits their specific needs, the Columbia snowboarding pants are the best entry-level product for all future Shaun Whites. 

Best Bib Snowboarding Overalls: Volcom Men’s Roan Bib Overall Snowboard Pant

Optimal Snow Protection

The best way to keep snow out and heat in is with high-quality, durable bib snowboarding pants. Volcom

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Why It Made The Cut: The Volcom snowboarding pants offer the best snow-proofing there is thanks to strong, sturdy overall straps that don’t restrict movement. They are well worth the high price if you want to ensure snow isn’t getting near your skin. 

Specs: 

  • 100 percent polyester 
  • Buckle closure 
  • Zipper pant to jacket interface 

Pros:

  • Modern, relaxed fit
  • Comfortable shoulder straps 
  • Fully taped seams 
  • Secure connection to jackets

Cons:

  • The most expensive snowboarding pants on the list 
  • Can feel bulky

Bib overall snowboarding pants are designed to keep snow out and these Volcom snowboarding pants do just that. The material feels great and moves freely. All fasteners are secure. The adjustable straps easily fit most body types. And Volcom snowboarding pants are made to take a beating. The biggest downside is the price. These are serious snow pants for serious snowboarders. You’re paying for high-quality waterproof protection and performance. Experienced snowboarders know the benefit of good construction. The best bib overalls wrap up your entire lower half in a waterproof layer, and the Volcom snow pants are the most comfortable bibs on the market.  

Best Value: Gash Hao Mens Snow Ski Waterproof Softshell Snowboard Pants 

Budget Priced

Cheap snowboarding pants that still keep you protected. Gash Hao

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Why It Made The Cut: These affordable snow pants offer enough winter weather protection to make them worth the money. They may be too restrictive for pulling off wild tricks, but for the casual boarder, these pants do a fair and affordable job. 

Specs: 

  • 95 percent polyester 
  • Softshell
  • Fleece lined

Pros:

  • Cheap snowboarding pants
  • Fleece lining feel good in the cold
  • Doesn’t bunch and sag

Cons:

  • The seams may rip when stretched
  • Better for hiking than all-star snowboarding 

If you and the family only want basic snowboarding pants, these do a good job at a great price. Snowboarding pants can be expensive because they provide top-quality material made to last. When you go too cheap, you’re giving up durability. This isn’t a dealbreaker for those who snowboard only once or twice a year. And the money you save can be used towards beverages in the lodge. These snow pants are pretty good for hiking and walking in the snow. Skiers and snowboarders sometimes complain that these pants aren’t very warm, but if you wear a good layer underneath, such as Under Armor pants, you’ll stay toasty. 

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Snowboarding Pants

The snowboarding market can feel intimidating to first timers. If you’ve never outfitted yourself with winter gear, it’s important to know how waterproofing and breathability work. You also want to keep an eye on the price tag and make sure the snow pants are flexible as well as waterproof. 

The Benefits of Bibs

Snowboarding pants come in two standard styles: regular pants and bib overalls. Overalls are bulkier, heavier and more cumbersome to take off when nature calls, but they do provide the best protection against snow. Because they terminate higher on the waist, and because most bib overalls connect to your jacket, wearing bib overalls is like wearing a comfy cocoon. They also stay on better even after epic wipeouts. 

One of the big downsides is price. Bib overalls are more expensive than standard pants. And for those new to snowboarding, bib snow pants may be overkill. If you know you need extra protection, bib snowboarding pants are a great pick. Everyone else, stick with regular snow pants. 

Waterproofing 101

Waterproofing can seem confusing. You’ll be looking for a waterproof rating measured in millimeters and a breathability rating measured in grams. This has nothing to do with the thickness or weight of the pants. Millimeters refer to the threshold of the amount of moisture the material can withstand before liquid gets into the fabric. Anything above 15,000mm will be good for snowboarding, sledding, skiing and snow fort building. You can get pants with a higher rating, but this often means the pants become less breathable.

Speaking of breathability, this is the second number to look for… if the specs list it. (Some don’t.) Breathability is measured in grams or kilograms. It measures the amount of sweat (or melted snow) that can escape through the fabric. Higher numbers mean more sweat escapes, which means you won’t overheat. In snowboarding, like other rigorous sports, you want to stay cool and comfortable. A rating of 15,000 grams should do the trick. Numbers below 10,000 grams may feel stifling. 

Seams

No matter how waterproof the material is, if the seams are shoddy, you’ll get wet. To prevent this, better-made snowboarding pants will reinforce the seams with tape. Fully taped seams cover every connection point. Critically taped seams, or critical seam tape, means that only the seams that get the most abuse will be reinforced. For snowboarding, fully taped seams are good because you’ll be moving the pants in a variety of positions and straining just about every seam at some point. But casual snowboarders shouldn’t worry too much about seam tape.  

Pants and Jacket

Snowboarding pants can often attach directly to your jacket. This helps envelop you in a safe and cozy snow-proof covering. Some brands of pants will only work well with the same brand of jacket. (Because life is unfair.) Make sure the connection will work with your current snow gear, and if you’re getting a whole new set of winter weather clothing it’s probably a good idea to stick with one brand.  

Gaiters

Gaiters are the extra sleeve of material found at the cuff of the pant leg. They keep snow from getting up into the pant leg or down into your boot. They are worn outside the boot. (Do NOT tuck your snowboarding pants into the boot.) Most snowboarding pants come equipped with built-in gaiters, but not all of them have this helpful feature. Before purchasing, read specs carefully and poke around the item’s reviews to see if other customers had issues with the pant’s gaiters or lack thereof. Gaiters can make or break a day on the slopes. 

FAQs 

Q: Do you need special pants for snowboarding?

Yes, it helps to have the right pants for snowboarding. Ski pants and snowboarding pants are similar, and often interchangeable. Snowboarders tend to like a baggier fit, but that won’t necessarily increase performance. It’s more of an aesthetic choice. Snowboarders do sit in the snow more than skiers, as this is how you get your boots on the board. So the extra room in baggy pants can be more comfortable. What you really need to focus on is waterproofing and breathability. Some snow pants are designed for high water resistance. These pants are great for those working outside in the snow all day, but snowboarders don’t need an excessive amount of water proofing. Instead, you want something comfortable that breathes and moves. And pants designed for snowboarders do just that. 

Q: Are pants or bibs better for snowboarding?

Bibs are better for snowboarding, but not everyone will need them. Bib overall snow pants offer the best snow protection and stay in place better than traditional snow pants. Some riders say they are more comfortable, too. But tastes vary. Bib overall snow pants also provide extra storage which is a huge plus. The downside is they’re more expensive. Are they necessary for snowboarding? No. But some people swear by them. 

Q: What do you wear under your snowboarding bib?

You can wear whatever feels comfortable under your snowboarding bib. Some riders wear only a pair of thermal underwear beneath the pants. Some opt for performance pants like Under Armor. For cold weather, you’ll want a few layers to keep you warm, so adding sweatpants is a good option. Do not wear jeans. While there are no rules against them, jeans can be restrictive. And cold wet denim is no friend of skin. 

Final Thoughts

Your legs are the most important snowboarding accessory, so it’s always a good idea to keep them warm, dry, and happy. When shopping for the best snowboarding pants, look for great zipper venting, temperature control and air circulation. And if you want the highest level of snow protection, a bib snowpant may be the best bet even if it is heavier. Think about how you plan to use the snowboarding pants and where. Warmer climates will need less layering, while colder climates may need heavier material. But most importantly of all, consider comfort and price. The best snowboarding pants make it easy to board, ski and hike through any outdoor winter wonderland.  

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