Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Men's Ski Jackets Snowboard Pants Socks Ski Boots Snowboard Boots Skis Snowboards Ski Poles Helmets Balaclavas Goggles Gloves Boot Bags Top Ski Resorts in North America U.S. Resorts by Region Destinations in the Northwest Destinations in the Southeast Romantic Ski Getaways Save Money on Ski Wear Budget Tips for Families U.S. Resorts Where Kids Ski Free Best Ski Clothing Brands Women's Ski Jackets Women's Ski Pants Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide close Overview Outdoors Winter Sports The 10 Best Women’s Ski Pants of 2023, Tested and Reviewed We tested 23 pairs of pants to find the best pair By Rachael Schultz Updated on 01/23/23 Share Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. TripSavvy / Erin Johnson It's ski season—but getting off work and getting to the mountain isn't the only thing you have to figure out. Having the right items to wear skiing can make all the difference in how comfortable and fun your day is. But women's ski pants and apparel are expensive—which is why we tested 23 of the best ski pants to narrow down which are actually worth your money. The best ski pants should be fully waterproof, keep you warm on the resort, cool in the backcountry, and stay just as comfortable as you rip turns as when sitting on the lift for another lap. For women, the fit of ski pants is also a huge factor. Of the 23 pants we tested, the Patagonia Powder Town Pants came out on top thanks to their comfortable fit, roomy hip and leg area, full waterproofing, recycled materials, and Patagonia's lifetime warranty—all for under $250. But we've got different options for you if you're skiing in the backcountry, on a budget, or looking for women's ski bibs. The Rundown Best Overall: Patagonia Powder Town Pants at Patagonia.com Jump to Review Best Overall, Runner-up: Stio Women's Environ Pant at Stio.com Jump to Review Best Budget: Arctix Snow Pants at Amazon Jump to Review Best Style for Snowboarding: Roxy Women's Rising High Pants at Nordstrom Jump to Review Best Style for Skiing: Kari Traa Ski Pants at Karitraa.com Jump to Review Best Backcountry Pants: Outdoor Research Skyward II AscentShell Pants at Outdoorresearch.com Jump to Review Best Women’s Ski Bibs: Flylow Women's Foxy Bib at Amazon Jump to Review Best Backcountry Bibs: Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant at Backcountry.com Jump to Review Best Insulated: Helly Hansen Women's Switch Cargo Insulated Pants at Backcountry.com Jump to Review Best for Extreme Cold: The North Face Women’s Freedom Insulated Pants at Amazon Jump to Review Table of contents Expand Our Picks We Also Tested How We Tested What to Look For FAQ Why Trust Tripsavvy Best Overall Patagonia Men's Powder Town Pants Patagonia View On Patagonia.com View On REI What We Like Mid-rise waist for comfort Five colorways Excellent waterproofing Versatility for two seasons Leg vents and four pockets What We Don't Like Limited sizing The Patagonia Powder Town Pant fits comfortably, is fully waterproof, moves with the body while skiing and snowboarding, and comes with Patagonia’s lifetime warranty—which is why they earned our top overall spot for best women’s ski pants. These snow pants feature a two-layer 100 percent recycled polyester fabric with a PFC-free waterproof outer. Even with that highly-effective water repellency, these pants are breathable as your body heats up on powder runs or backcountry tours, and they have two mesh-lined vents on the outer thighs when you need to dump heat. While many ski pants fit tight in the hips and thighs, the Powder Turn Pants have a wider hip and leg shape, making them more comfortable for a wider variety of body shapes. We love that these also have a mid-rise, partially-elastic waist for a more comfortable fit above the hips—especially if you’re wearing a touring backpack or a snowboarder and constantly bending down to buckle. The waist also features belt loops if you want to cinch them down further. The butt has soft microfleece inside for warmth, while the rest of the pants are non-insulated (though Patagonia makes an insulated version). We prefer a non-insulated pick for greater versatility—you can comfortably add base layers underneath for cold resort days or wear them without for spring skiing or warm ski touring days. Lastly, these pants have four pockets for snacks and ski passes, tough scuff-guard gaiters at the bottom, and they come in five expressive colors. Price at time of publication: $249 Sizes: XXS to XL | Materials: 100 percent recycled polyester fabric | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: Patagonia H2No waterproofing | Sustainability: 100 percent recycled, PFC-free waterproofing | Warranty: Lifetime Best Overall, Runner-up Stio Women's Environ Pant 5 Stio View On Stio.com What We Like Comfortable fit Fun colorways Lightweight with great waterproofing and leg vents Lifetime warranty What We Don't Like Expensive Limited sizing Single pocket These ski pants are super lightweight (23 ounces) and non-bulky, which our tester found made them very easy to move around in and looked good in photos. Testing proved them to be super comfortable to squat and ski in. They're not insulated, which we prefer for versatility across winter and spring skiing, resort, and backcountry skiing. Despite not being insulated, our tester found them to keep her warm while resort skiing with just a basic base layer underneath. They also have two external leg vents if you get hot moving. These pants are fully seam-sealed for complete waterproof protection, which our tester confirmed as they stayed dry even when she fell while skiing. Moreover, water and snow slid right off the surface and dried quickly. They only have one pocket, but it's easy to access and fleece-lined, which is a nice luxury touch. These pants come in limited sizing—just XS to XL—but we love that they come in a regular or short length, as the latter is hard to find for many women. These pants also have a built-in belt which is excellent for a customized fit. The biggest con is that they're expensive. But these ski pants are very well made, have great features like abrasion-resistant scuff guards and gaiters to add to their lifespan, and Stio's lifetime warranty backs them—so they're a worthwhile investment. Plus, you're supporting a small brand. Price at time of publication: $419 Sizes: XS to XL, Regular and Short | Materials: 100 percent recycled polyester | Insulation: No | Waterproofing: PeakProof waterproofing and DWR finish | Sustainability: 100 percent recycled materials | Warranty: Lifetime TripSavvy / Erin Johnson Best Budget Arctix Women's Insulated Snow Pants 4.7 Amazon View On Amazon View On Arctix.com View On Cabelas.com What We Like Insulated Quality material Good water-resistance Range of sizes and colors What We Don't Like No warranty or quality guarantee If you’re looking for affordable ski pants to get you through a few days a season at the resort, Arctix’s Insulated Snow Pants are a great option. Our tester found they were comfortable to move in and surprisingly waterproof for the price—they only claim to be water-resistant, but our testing found water droplets roll right off the surface, and they dry quickly after being drenched. These pants are well insulated—perhaps too warm for those working up a sweat, as they have no leg vents, but they’re ideal for anyone who runs cold or will be skiing groomers at the resort. These pants also fit well. Our tester found them roomy without looking comically oversized and liked the flared leg. They come in a range of sizes and lengths and 14 colors. These ski pants also offer two well-located, zippered pockets. The primary cons are that these don’t include any kind of warranty, which we like to see for any outdoor gear that will be used a lot, and the quality of the stitching and hardwear isn’t all that reliable. There’s no scuff guard at the bottom, so these pants will probably get a little torn up by your boots after a season or two. That said, you really can’t argue with a $30 to $60 price tag (price varies by color and size). These pants perform well and feel and look more expensive than their budget, making them ideal for the skier only hitting the slopes a few times a year. Price at time of publication: $13 to $60, depending on size and color Sizes: XS to 4X, Short, Regular, Tall; 2 to 18 | Materials: 100 percent Polyester | Insulation: 85 grams | Waterproofing: Water resistant | Sustainability: None | Warranty: None Best Style for Snowboarding Roxy Women's Rising High Pants 4.9 REI View On Nordstrom View On Backcountry.com View On Dick's What We Like Elastic high waisted Comfortable, sporty fit Premium materials Waterproof What We Don't Like Zippered butt pockets might be uncomfortable If style and comfort are equally at the top of your list, we love the Roxy Rising Ski Pants, especially for snowboarder style. Our tester found these ski pants to be super comfortable, fitting in all the right places with thick, warm material that didn’t look bulky. The high waist of these pants is clutch—they sit perfectly above the hips, which is great for keeping snow out and for staying comfortable as you bend, squat, or sit down to buckle. Plus, the upper waistband is elastic, so they move with you. Despite being high-waisted, they are not constrictive. These ski pants are finished with a slight flare at the bottom for a curvy, sporty silhouette and room to fit over your boots. Our tester also found the material to feel quite premium and luxurious. These pants repelled water well and, despite being non-insulated, were very warm inside and outside, our tester found. She also loved the copious pockets—four in total—for snacks. But it’s worth noting that the tassels on the butt pocket zippers might be uncomfortable when sitting on the lift. Price at time of publication: $200 Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 56 percent polyester, 32 percent recycled polyester, 12 percent elastane | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 15,000 mm | Sustainability: 32 percent recycled polyester, PFC-free | Warranty: 1 year Tripsavvy / Anna Popp Best Style for Skiing Kari Traa Voss Ski Pants Kari Traa View On Karitraa.com What We Like Insulated Reliably waterproof Incredibly comfortable for both skiing and sitting Very flattering Small brand What We Don't Like Suspender straps loosen over the day Expensive Limited sizing, and they’re long From Olympic free-skier Kari Traa, these cute women’s ski pants are flattering, comfortable, warm, and very well-designed. The unique high-waisted pant, half-bib design has two accent front zippers which emphasize the feminine look and, as revealed in our testing, make them very easy to get on and off to use the restroom. In addition to the comfort of the high-waist design, our tester loved the velcro waist cinch to deliver a feminine fit. During testing, we also found that the hips, butt, and thighs have plenty of room for movement, along with articulated knees and a gusseted crotch, all of which allowed for freedom of movement while skiing and sitting. Testing on powder days proved these ski pants to be reliably waterproof thanks to sealed construction seams and eco-friendly water-repellency. They also have a fair amount of insulation to keep you warm on the lifts. The drawbacks of these pants are that they come in limited sizing and are long for anyone over 5-foot, 4-inches. The suspender straps loosen over the day—although this didn’t prove to be a big annoyance during testing because your jacket generally keeps them up—and they’re expensive. But considering how well-designed and flattering they are, they’re worth the value if they fit your size. Price at time of publication: $325 Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 100 percent Polyester | Insulation: Yes, 100 percent Polyester | Waterproofing: DWR treatment | Sustainability: Rudolf Bionic Finish ECO water-repellent treatment | Warranty: 2 years Best Backcountry Pants Outdoor Research Skyward II AscentShell Pants 4.5 Outdoor Research View On Outdoorresearch.com What We Like Super lightweight Lifetime warranty What We Don't Like Limited colors and sizing and they’re long Lower rise is not ideal if wearing a harness and not ideal for curvy people Outdoor Research has a long-standing reputation for super high-quality, highly-technical outdoor gear worth the price—and the SkyWard II AscentShell is no different. For starters, these ski pants are super lightweight at just 21 ounces, so they won’t hold you back while on the skin track. Just a shell, our testing found they weren’t very warm for walking around or resort skiing—which is actually ideal for backcountry skiing as you can always layer more underneath on cold days. They have an outer thigh vent on either side to dump heat on the move and articulated knees for more comfortable hiking. They rock four easy-access pockets on the top thigh when you want to grab a quick snack or chapstick without taking off your pack and a specific pocket (and clip) for your avalanche beacon. Our testing found these pants to be very waterproof, including the zippers, which is ideal for deep powder days. These ski pants are a bit pricey, but their durability, reliability, and thoughtful design make them worth it for backcountry skiing, where every feature matters. The only con is potentially on the fit: Our tester found these pants definitely run slim, which means they might not be ideal for a curvier person. Also, they’re on the lower-rise side, which could fall uncomfortably with a harness or backpack. If slim-hipped works for you, consider sizing up if you like a roomier fit. But we do love that they have adjustable tabs at the waist and belt loops for an individualized fit. Price at time of publication: $329 Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 88 percent nylon, 12 percent spandex 50D stretch plain weave face with 100 percent polyester 50D knit backer | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: AscentShell 3L | Sustainability: None | Warranty: Lifetime Best Women’s Ski Bibs Flylow Women's Foxy Bib 4.8 Amazon View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On Curated.com What We Like Unique and fun colorways Lots of pockets Buttery-soft fabric Lifetime warranty Short, regular, and tall lengths, flattering fit, and leg vents What We Don't Like Expensive Limited sizing No drop seat Ski bibs look cute and provide better coverage to keep snow out of your pants and a fuss-free fit, as you don’t have to worry about pants sliding off your hips. Flylow’s Foxy Bibs are the best on the market, with waterproof, breathable, and stretchy fabric for a comfortable fit on different body shapes. We particularly love the luxurious, buttery-soft fabric Flylow uses on these bibs, which feel lush and fancy, along with thoughtful design features like two chest pouches (including one kangaroo), really unique and expressive colorways, and options for short or tall lengths. This three-layer softshell isn’t insulated, which helps keep them from looking bulky and allows you to layer underneath for more warmth. They have outer leg vents for uphill or spring skiing. Our testing found these bibs to be completely weatherproof and repel water while keeping you warm inside. The bottom of the bibs has a reinforced scuff guard for longevity. Note that these bibs don’t have a drop seat if you like that for backcountry bathroom access. But they’re well-designed to be able to throw off one strap and unzip the side for easy resort bathroom access. The major con of these bibs is that they’re expensive—but that’s going to be the case for any ski bib as they use more material and hardware and require more nuanced designing. And they do feel expensive, thanks to Flylow’s fabric, and have every design feature you’d want, making them well worth the money. Price at time of publication: $430 Sizes: XS to XL, Short and Tall | Materials: 100 percent polyester recycled Tactic 3L softshell, 20k/20k waterproof breathable membrane | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 20k/20k waterproof breathable membrane | Sustainability: 100 percent polyester | Warranty: Lifetime TripSavvy / Madeleine Armstrong Best Backcountry Bibs Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant 4.7 Backcountry View On Backcountry.com View On Evo.com View On Hellyhansen.com What We Like Fully waterproof No insulation and leg vents Convenient pockets Two-way barndoor zip for easy bathroom access What We Don't Like Limited sizing Ski bibs are great for the backcountry because they stay put as you hike uphill and keep all the snow out skiing down. Our tester absolutely loved the Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bibs, as they fit incredibly well and stayed in place during articulated movements like squats and hiking. With fully taped seams, they repelled water and stayed dry during testing, and they kept our tester warm while moving on 30-degree nights. They also have outer leg vents. The belt loops on the waist can attach to your jacket’s powder skirt to keep snow away, while the brushed-fleece lining at the seat will help keep your bum warm. We love that these bibs have many easy-access pockets, including a chest pouch, two thigh pockets (all fully waterproof), and a two-way barn door zip on the backside for convenient bathroom breaks. These ski bibs run small, an even bigger bummer for the already-limited sizing. Price at time of publication: $300 Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 100 percent polyester outer, 100 percent polyurethane lining | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: Yes, 20,000mm | Sustainability: None | Warranty: 2 years Tripsavvy / Taylor Calta Best Insulated Helly Hansen Women's Switch Cargo Insulated Pants 4.6 Evo View On Backcountry.com View On Evo.com View On Hellyhansen.com What We Like Two-year warranty Relaxed fit Great range of motion Perfectly insulated for ideal temperature regulation Waterproof What We Don't Like Not all pockets are waterproof Our tester found these ski pants incredibly comfortable with an excellent range of motion, both with and without a layer underneath. The waistband is adjustable with velcro straps so you can cinch it down for a secure fit. Unlike other ski pants, these never fell down during testing. The cargo style offers a more relaxed fit which keeps these pants super comfortable but doesn’t deliver the fashionable resort fit some skiers like. Most of all, they were warm during on-mountain testing. The Switch Cargo pants have 40 grams of PrimaLoft eco insulation, which our testing found was the sweet spot for perfect temperature regulation during resort skiing, even in the low 20s. We also love that these have venting zips on the inner thigh for spring skiing or après inside. During on-mountain testing, these pants proved waterproof and kept the moisture out. One note: The cargo pants only have a velcro seal, so they aren’t entirely waterproof or secure. Price at time of publication: $225 Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 100 percent polyester, PrimaLoft insulation | Insulation: 40 grams PrimaLoft eco insulation | Waterproofing: Yes | Sustainability: PrimaLoft eco insulation | Warranty: 2 years Tripsavvy / Julia Sayers Gokhale Best for Extreme Cold The North Face Women’s Freedom Insulated Pants 4.5 Amazon View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com What We Like Affordable 60 grams of insulation Range of sizing and colors Recycled materials What We Don't Like Low-rise fit If you're always cold, especially while on the mountain, you want ski pants with excellent insulation. We love The North Face's Freedom Insulated Ski Pants, which have 60 grams of recycled post-consumer insulation fill to keep you toasty. They're fully waterproof, as we confirmed during testing, and if you size up, you can add more layers underneath for even more warmth. Our tester found these ski pants incredibly comfortable and cozy inside, outside, and during movement. Despite being so warm, these pants are also exceptionally breathable and windproof. There are only two pockets, but both have fleece lining, which is nice. They have a straight-leg fit and an adjustable waist, which is ideal for fitting them to your body shape. They also come in 13 different colors and a range of sizes and lengths. Our tester did note that the material doesn't feel like the most high-end, but these are a great value for under $200, with excellent insulation and a lifetime warranty. Price at time of publication: $169 Sizes: XS to 3XL, Short, regular, long | Materials: 100 percent recycled nylon with non-PFC DWR | Insulation: 60 grams | Waterproofing: Yes | Sustainability: 100 percent recycled nylon with non-PFC DWR shell, 90 percent post-consumer recycled polyester insulation | Warranty: Lifetime We Also Tested Arc’teryx Sentinel Pant ($550): These ski pants are so comfortable, incredibly lightweight, and great for articulated movement. They’re pretty thin, which is excellent for backcountry, and water glides right off. But they are expensive, so they’re not a great fit for everyone. The quality does match the value, though. Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants ($299): These ski pants were incredibly comfortable with a velcro waist adjuster, roomy legs, soft material, and excellent insulation. They didn’t reach the best for any of our categories, but we highly recommend them. Columbia Bugaboo Pants ($120): These are your basic women’s snow pants with two zippered side pockets, gaiters to keep the snow out, and 60 grams of insulation. They didn’t fit our tester right, but for the price, they’re worth trying out for yourself. Trew TREWth Bib ($439): These bibs were comfortable, fit a variety of body types, and had great water-repellency. However, some design features weren’t great, like a knee seam that is irritating if you’re not the right height, and we think there are better bibs for the price. But overall, they are good bibs. Black Diamond Recon Stretch Pants ($350): These pants are waterproof, stretch well during movement, and have great backcountry features like RECCO inserts for safer rescue and a beacon pocket with a clip. They do run small, so size up. Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Pant ($649): These pants are incredibly lightweight and offer a tailored fit with a Gore-Tex finish and reliable waterproofing. They’re very expensive, which is why they didn’t make our list, but they’re well-made and have a luxurious feel, so they are a good value if you have the money. Burton Gloria Pant ($180 and up): These ski pants are bulky and low-rise, which isn’t ideal for most skiers or snowboarders. Plus, Burton has notoriously awful customer service and warranty policies, so in our opinion, you can find better ski pants at this price. Trew Capow Bib ($479): These bibs are very comfortable with excellent waterproofing and ventilation (zippered vents on the inside and outside), which makes them a good value for backcountry skiers or anyone who uphill skis a lot. Helly Hansen Legendary Pants ($200): These ski pants are comfortable without feeling bulky or constricting, with pockets, gaiters, and a limited lifetime warranty. Overall, they’re an excellent value for the price. How We Tested To narrow down the best women’s ski pants, we had our editors and writers test 23 leading snow pants and look for: How the pants fitHow comfortable they were during heart-pounding movement, squatting, and sittingHow warm the ski pants wereHow durable and reliable hardware like zippers and buckles wereHow well the waterproofing held up against water How quickly the ski pants dried after getting wet What to Look for in Women’s Ski Pants Warmth and Insulation You have two main types of ski pants: insulated and uninsulated. Uninsulated is generally referred to as a “shell” and is just a one-to-three-ply breathable, waterproof membrane. Shells allow you to add your own customized warmth underneath with base layers, making them great for multi-season skiing and any hiking you may be doing, be it backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, or resort ski touring. Insulated ski pants, meanwhile, have varying amounts of warmth inside (often PrimaLoft or another synthetic material). Insulated ski pants are ideal if you run cold or exclusively resort skiing, as the insulation keeps you warm on lifts between runs. Keep in mind that more insulation also usually means a bulkier look if aesthetics are a priority for you. Weatherproofing You want ski pants that are waterproof—plain and simple. Even if you don’t ski that hard, you’ll likely ski on a day when wet snow falls on you, or the outer shell will get wet when you fall. This can make you really cold if the pants retain that moisture. In addition to a waterproof finish like Gore-Tex or DWR, it’s also nice to have fully-taped seams (which means water won’t come in the seams) and seam-taped, waterproof zippers to keep your belongings dry. Fit Ski pants should fit comfortably both while you’re sitting (like on a chair lift) and when you move in every direction, like bending down to buckle your boots. How tight or loose you want your ski pants to be depends on personal preference and style. But for women, it’s important that the ski pants fit—and stay put—at the waist, so you don’t have to pull them up all the time. Cost Ski apparel is expensive. That’s because a quality pair features highly technical materials with a ton of nuanced hardware like waterproof seam-taping and zippers that can last many seasons. You can snag a pair of ski pants on Amazon for around $50, which will work fine for anyone who skis once or twice a year. But these products generally don’t have features that make skiing more comfortable and convenient, like strategically-placed pockets or waterproofing. You can get a quality pair of ski pants for as low as $120, but it’s really the $200 to $300 range where the quality jumps up to keep you super comfortable—and cute—in the pants you choose. Frequently Asked Questions How should I care for and wash my ski pants? You can wash your ski pants in a machine on cold and gentle. But you want to use a technical detergent like NikWax Tech Wash, which helps maintain the waterproofing. Then, hang them to dry. Are ski pants the same as snow pants? Generally, yes, ski pants can be snow pants and vice versa. But not every ski pant is a good snow pant. Well-designed ski pants with a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and adjustable waist to secure the pants will serve you well on a hike, snowshoeing, or dog walk. But bulkier ski pants, like some insulated pairs or more fashion resort-style ski pants, might not be comfortable to walk around in.On the other hand, snow pants might not have as many features as you’d like for skiing, like snack pockets. But in a pinch, you can definitely wear one for the other. Are pants or bibs better? Generally, ski bibs are better than ski pants because they provide more coverage, which helps keep your core a little warmer and helps keep snow out if you fall while skiing. Ski bibs can also be more comfortable since they won’t fall off your hips. However, ski bibs are often more expensive because they use more fabric and hardware. Why Trust Tripsavvy Rachael Schultz is a fitness and outdoor product journalist based in Carbondale, Colorado. Growing up in and around cities on the East Coast, she wasn't taught how to backpack or ski as a kid, which means that as she moved West and her passion for the outdoors grew in adulthood, so did her research skills around what exactly one needed to buy to get outside. Now an avid mountain biker, skier, hiker, and camper, she's endlessly fascinated by and knowledgeable about the nuances of materials, performance, and convenience of outdoor gear. She's lucky enough to test everything from women's ski bibs to ultralight backpacking gear to camping cocktail kits. Rachael is passionate about making the outdoors just as accessible to those who haven't spent much time under the stars as those who grew up enjoying it, and that includes having the right gear to stay safe, happy, and motivated to head out again as soon as possible. The Best Thermal Underwear for Men and Women, Tested and Reviewed Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! 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