Let’s be honest. With all the Zoom calls you’ve been on in the last year, you’ve sort of got used to not wearing trousers. You’ve been keeping it smart up top, sure, but down below who’s to know what’s going on? You realised early on your webcam wasn’t going to tell on you and, well, things sort of spiralled from there didn’t they? Unfortunately, such is life, you still need to wear ski pants when you’re in the mountains. These ones below are, in our team’s opinion, the best ski pants that money can buy.
Why do we rate these ski pants so highly? It’s because they’ve scored well in more than one of the following areas – functionality, sustainability, durability and style. All of these products, it’s worth pointing out, featured in our Ski 100.
If you’d like to pair these ski pants up with something on your torso, be sure to check out our best ski jackets list.
Armada Sumpter Bib Pant
The main fabric here is 100% polyester. It has a 10k waterproof / 10k breathability, and has gone through a DWR treatment that’s free of harmful PFOA and PFOS solvents.
Last but by no means least, with that eye-catching camo colourway on your legs you’ll get to be a “super army soldier” on the slopes and that’s always fun.
Armada Union Insulated Pant
Like all the best trade unions, the Armada Union Insulated Pant is a testament to the power of the collective. These excellent ski pants bring together functionality, an environmentally-friendly fill, and a versatile jacket-to-pant snap interface under a single banner of trouser goodness.
They’re rocking an impressive 40g 90% recycled Polyfill – a detail that not only ticks the ‘will it keep you warm’ box, but also the ‘is it environmental sound’ box as well. If we know the Armada crew like we think we do, and with the way industry is going in general, it’s surely only a matter of time before the brand go all in and make their product’s fill 100% recycled. Sustainability for the win.
The 100% polyester fabric used here is 10k waterproof / 10k breathability Oxford Weave with C6 DWR (Durable Water Repellent). The DWR coating, it’s worth adding, is free of PFOA and PFOS – solvents which can be harmful to both the environment and human health.
Join a union. Join the Armada Union.
FW Catalyst 2L Pant
Since the dawn of time, scientists have asked: “What happens if you combine a freestyle spirit with a technical mindset?” For century upon century, the answer to that question remained a mystery. Until, that is, today. Introducing the FW Catalyst 2L Pant. It’s what happens when you bring together streetwear fit with warmth, comfort, functionality and environmentally-friendly production.
Combine the FW Catalyst 2L jacket with the FW Catalyst 2L pant, look the world directly in the eye, and say “Yeah, I’m a little bit freestyle little bit functional. I’m the best of both worlds, me.”
FW donate 1% of their sales to NGOs acting against climate change which is, we think you’ll agree, nice of them.
FW Manifest Tour 3L Bib Pant
The FW Manifest Tour 3L Bib Pant does exactly what it says on the tin. Highly breathable, highly waterproof, and very comfortable. Perfect, in other words, for ski touring.
The fabric used here is WPS-3L 4Way Stretch Nylon. You’ll be grateful for that stretchiness when you’re getting out there, and really getting active. The last thing you want when ski touring is to feel boxed in, like you’re wearing a foldable coffin. You don’t have to worry about that here.
This fabric has a 20k waterproof rating and a 20k breathability rating, meaning it’s perfectly well suited to exploring the backcountry deep stuff. Tour by name, tour by nature – these will keep the wet out and also, very importantly, let sweat moisture escape escape when you’re skinning up the hill and pushing yourself physically.
Combine this with the FW Manifest Tour 3L Jacket.
Mountain Hardwear The Viv Bib Pants
Sporting some new and improved Gore-Tex, the Viv Bib Pants from Mountain Hardwear are designed for technical ascents and technical descent. Inspired by the king of steep skiing himself (Vivian Bruchez), and made to be paired with the Viv Jacket, these will help you to stay cool, calm, and collected on the steepest faces in the world.
They’ve been built using Gore-Tex’s new Most Breathable fabric. As the name suggests, it’s an incredibly breathable thing to make ski clothing out of it. It might not be quite up there at FutureLight levels of breathability, but we love the balance between waterproofing and breathability that GT have achieved here.
Loads of great features, and a stylish aesthetic to boot – get these on your lower half already, and get exploring the wild side of the mountain.
O’Neill Hammer Snow Pant
The O’Neill Hammer Snow Pant is a solid option for the solid intermediate. With an RRP of just over £100, these are a great choice for someone looking to get themselves a pair of practical, reliable, ski pants without spending an arm and a leg. They’re not made for super technical backcountry jaunts but that’s alright, the price point reflects that.
O’Neill Star Ski Pants
There’s not many brands out there that have done the whole sea to summit thing as well as O’Neill have. Founded in the early fifties by Jack O’Neill, a man who invented the wetsuit and who wore an eyepatch following a surfboard accident, they’re a brand that have climbed out of the salty Californian water and up onto dry land – evolving as they go, marching right up into the snow-covered mountains; embracing skiing and snowboarding along the way.
The O’Neill Star Ski Pants aren’t going to be winning ISPO awards for groundbreaking innovation anytime soon but they are solid, reliable, and functional – something which when you get down to the cold brass tax of in-resort skiing is essentially all you really need. No gimmicks. No gadgets. Just a dependable pair of ski pants with a 10k / 10k waterproof and breathability rating.
Patagonia PowSlayer Pants
Patagonia are, of course, well-versed in producing quality gear designed to look after people in mountain environments. They’re also, and this is one of the most important issues facing our planet, very, very, good at serving up items that take Mother Earth into consideration – not just as a tokenistic afterthought, but as a fundamental part of the kit they make.
The lightweight PowSlayer Pants are brilliant in the sense they’re lightweight, tough, protective and optimised for backcountry touring. Without question though, the coolest thing about them is the fact its face fabric is made from 100% recycled nylon.
Tired arguments around whether it’s even possible to produce sustainable gear that can do a job as well as unsustainable gear can are becoming increasingly ludicrous by their very nature – spoken, more and more, only by those on the fringes or those with a vested interest elsewhere.
Patagonia Upstride Pants
Love ascending the mountains on skis? Get yourself some pants that love it too. 100% recycled, stretchy, and breathable – we’re big fans of the Patagonia Upstride Pants.
Team these up with the Patagonia Upstride Jacket, and you’re looking at a result so winning it absolutely will not need to go to the American Supreme Court to settle the matter. A great ski pant option for ascenders of those great big snowy hills we call mountains.
Planks Easy Rider Pant
Stylish skiers who like the simple things in life with dig the Planks Easy Rider Pant. It’s a practical, stylish, versatile and comfortable place to store your legs.
There’s undoubtedly more technical, featured-filled, pants out there but, realistically, how many of those features do you need? Sit down, son. You’re not skiing Lhotse anytime soon.
Planks X Woodsy ‘Yeah Baby’ Pant
Give yourself a little bit of that James ‘Woodsy’ Woods aura with the Planks X Woodsy ‘Yeah Baby’ Pant. They’re loose-fitting, look cool, and provide a properly practical foundation upon which you can build up a big old pile of fun times both at the park and away from it.
Pair these up with the Planks X Woodsy ‘Yeah Baby’ Jacket for the full Woodsy effect.
The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Bib Trousers
For those that are all about seeking out untouched powder, we think The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Bib Trousers are absolutely perfect. They’re packing FutureLight technology, ‘chimney protection, and excellent protective qualities.
£400 might seem like a hefty whack to spend on some ski trousers but if you are serious about freeriding in the backcountry there’s no point skimping on gear that won’t cut the mustard when you need it to.
The FutureLight technology used here is as impressive as ever, and there really is a high quality feel to the whole set-up. These won’t be for everyone but if you love scoring fresh powder lines off the beaten track, we say treat yourself.
Yuki Threads Northbound Bib and Brace
Yuki Threads are as Australian as Vegemite, Tim Tams, and a Steve Smith century against England. Founded a decade ago, with one eye on bridging the often gargantuan gap between mountain and street, this is one snow outerwear brand it’s nigh on impossible not to have a soft spot for. Seriously, just you try it. It’s (almost) impossible.
Whether you’re skiing Mount Buller in eastern Victoria, Niseko in Japan, Telluride in Colorado, or somewhere a bit more European, we’re convinced you’ll dig what the Yuki Threads Northbound Bib and Brace bring to the party. It’s a real no fuss number, and well worthy of inclusion in our Ski 100 alongside the matching Yuki Threads Northbound Jacket.
686 GLCR Gore-Tex Smarty Pant
These versatile ski pants combine the cleverness of 686 design with the shielding qualities of Gore-Tex. They’re practical, breathable, and tough. The 686 GLCR Gore-Tex Smarty Pant works best when it’s collaborating with the 686 GLCR Gore-Tex Weapon 3-In-1 Smarty Jacket.