The 12 Best Women's Ski Pants of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated Pants at Backcountry

"These pants will keep you warm and dry."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Columbia Bugaboo II Pants at Backcountry

"Easy-on-the-budget, well-fitting, and warm."

Best for Petites: The North Face Lenado Ski Pants at Dick's Sporting Goods

"The slim fit hugs close to the body without adding bulk."

Best Splurge: Stio Environ Bib at Stio

"Will be a stylish staple for seasons to come."

Best Cult Favorite: Flylow Foxy Bib Pants at Backcountry

"Women who frequently ski swear by these pants."

Best Bibs: Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant at Backcountry

"Great for the backcountry, mountaineering, or heading down the slopes."

Best Budget: Mountain Warehouse Mesa Ski Pants at Mountain Warehouse

"Mountain Warehouse makes a great pair of budget-friendly ski pants."

Best for Experts: Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib Pants at Backcountry

"Has everything serious skiers love with a price point to match."

Best All-Season: Dakine Remington Pure Gore-Tex 2L Pant at Backcountry

"Great, all-conditions ski pants that aren’t going to cost a fortune."

Best for the Backcountry: Trew Chariot Bib at Trew Gear

"Pays off almost on your first wear."

Our Top Picks

01 of 12

Best Overall: Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated Pants

Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pants
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.7

Norwegian-based Helly Hansen has ski wear down, particularly when it comes to waterproofing, durability, and breathability. Designed with two-way mechanical stretch perfect for ski runs at the resort, these pants will keep you warm and dry, even if the skies open up when you’re all the way at the top of the mountain — thanks, in part, to 60g of Primaloft Black Insulation, with bonus warmth packed into the seat and knee areas. They're a classic women's ski pant, sure, but that's because it’s proven its excellence year after year. And for parents, if you have little ones who frequently hit the slopes, a kids’ version comes with adjustable legs so they can grow as your child does.

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Runner-Up, Best Overall: Columbia Bugaboo II Pants

Columbia Bugaboo II Pants

Amazon

3.7

Available in a rainbow of colors, Columbia’s Bugaboo II ski pants are one of the most beloved styles out there for easy-on-the-budget, well-fitting, and warm trousers for the slopes. Made from the company’s proprietary Omni-Tech material, which keeps you dry, ventilated, and warm after hours on the slopes, the Bugaboos are a favorite of casual and veteran skiers alike. The waist is adjustable, as are the leg gaiters — the better for slipping them easily over and around bulky ski boots. They’re also available in a range of sizes, including plus-size versions.

03 of 12

Best for Petites: The North Face Lenado Ski Pants

The North Face Lenado Ski Pants

 Courtesy of North Face

For petite sizes, finding ski pants can be difficult: either they’re far too long, which necessitates bulky cuffing, or they hit far too high on the leg, which doesn’t exactly help keep the snow out of your ski boots. Enter The North Face’s Lenado ski pants, which come in short (30-inch), regular (32-inch), and long (34-inch) lengths, with sizes from XS to XXL. Thoroughly insulated and breathable, the slim fit hugs close to the body without adding bulk, which yields a streamlined silhouette on the slopes and, for some, makes skiing more comfortable. Still, there's enough room to layer a pair of thermal leggings underneath if needed.

04 of 12

Best Splurge: Stio Environ Bib

Stio Environ Bib

Stio

These well-designed bib-style trousers have a front that slings low (the better to accommodate various chest sizes), seam-sealed waterproof fabric, and a fit made to flatter a woman’s body. The side-zip vents for releasing heat are well made, and articulated knees, as well as a gusseted inseam, help you navigate the slopes at speed. Plus, there are pockets for all the essentials, including zippered ones on the thigh, which are double-protected by an overlaying snap closure. Sure, they're a splurge, but these ski pants will be a stylish staple for seasons to come.

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05 of 12

Best Cult Favorite: Flylow Foxy Bib Pants

Flylow Foxy Bib Snow Pants

Backcountry

Women who frequently ski swear by these pants, which live up to their name and then some. Not only do they look flattering, but they’re also comfy: picture more of a looser, overall-style fit than bulky skiwear. Pockets are everywhere (chest, midthigh, rear), and they’ll hold what you need for the day, like your wallet, phone, and sunscreen. If you’re in the backcountry all day, there’s a drop-seat in the back that makes it convenient to use the bathroom while keeping your backpack on. The ski pants tend to fit true to size, with a little extra room left over for layering — not that you’ll (likely) need it, thanks to three-layer Intuitive Oxford fabric and DWR treatment that keeps moisture from sinking in.

06 of 12

Best Bibs: Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant

Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant

Backcountry

Pretty much anything from Helly Hansen’s line will get you down the hill comfortably, but the Powderqueen ski bibs particularly stand out. These ski pants make great all-rounders for skiers hitting the backcountry, mountaineering, or heading down the slopes, thanks to a four-way-stretch design that allows for bending and twisting, a reinforced design that keeps them in top condition, and down insulation for warmth without overheating (if you do get a little hot, release heat with the zippered side vents). And, if the worst should happen, the ski bibs come with a RECCO chip built in, which can send signals to a rescue team if you encounter an avalanche.

07 of 12

Best Budget: Mountain Warehouse Mesa Ski Pants

Mountain Warehouse Mesa Ski Pants

Mountain Warehouse

Even occasional skiers need the proper gear for safety purposes. For those who don’t want to drop a lot of money on gear but still need to stay warm and dry in the elements (and especially if you anticipate taking a spill or two), Mountain Warehouse makes a great pair of budget-friendly ski pants. They’re breathable, insulated, waterproof, and come enhanced with RECCO reflectors, which signals your location to rescue teams in case of emergencies. There are also three pockets, including two zippered side ones and one on the back — perfect for holding your phone and ski passes.

08 of 12

Best for Experts: Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib Pants

Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib Snow Pants

Backcountry

 

If you plan to ski on the mountains for most of the winter season, Outdoor Research gets the job done when it comes to women's ski pants that hold up and can move and bend with athletes (they're even put to the test by the company's in-house athletic team). There is plenty of movement-mirroring stretch, Gore-Tex for protecting you from wet snow, zippered outer thigh vents, and a lower-back panel that stops that region from becoming encased in cold sweat. Basically, these have everything serious skiers love, and admittedly, a price point to match. But if you’re on the slopes more often than not, these will pay off sooner than the season’s end.

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09 of 12

Best All-Season: Dakine Remington Pure Gore-Tex 2L Pant

Dakine Remington Pure Gore-Tex 2L Pant

Backcountry

Not all skiing takes place in Arctic settings — for shoulder seasons or mild-weather destinations, Dakine makes some great, all-conditions women's ski pants that aren’t going to cost a fortune. Designed to be appropriate for warmer days on the slopes, they’re still insulated with recycled Primaloft polyester and can be layered if your day gets colder. Two layers of Gore-Tex plus fully taped seams keep moisture out, and you can adjust the waistband a little tighter, so you won't get snow in your pants if you tumble. They’re easy to take care of, too: machine wash the pants on warm and gentle, then throw them in the dryer on warm to reactivate the durable, water-repellent treatment.

10 of 12

Best for the Backcountry: Trew Chariot Bib

Trew Chariot Bib

 Courtesy of Trew

Sometimes, women’s ski pants can feel like menswear that’s just been shifted to fit women’s measurements. Not with these, however: designed by a woman, Trew’s admittedly pricey Chariot bibs pay off almost on your first wear. They boast PNW 3 fabric for keeping you warm and dry, roomier thighs for women who tone via mountain slopes, and even a drop-flap in the back. Besides the practical features, the pants are available in gorgeous color options, ranging from plum to chartreuse.

11 of 12

Best Fit: Spyder Orb Softshell Pant

Spyder Orb Softshell Pant

Spyder

Not everyone loves a high-rise ski pant — snowboarders tend to go for lower-rise styles that let you bend and twist, and the rugged feel of ski pants may be unflattering for some. If the standard array of ski pants are a little too bulky for you, there’s news: ski pant technology has come a long way. Spyder’s Orb pants have a glove-like fit that feels like yoga leggings with a lower-rise style, according to reviewers. With a close-to-the-body shape, they’re made to look great on you while you power downhill, and you can throw them in the washer after a day or two of runs. Note that they’re a little lighter on pockets than other styles, presumably to keep the shape streamlined.

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Best for Layering: Arc'teryx Axina Knicker

Arcteryx Axina Knicker

Backcountry

When you need to add a layer under your ski pants, Arc'teryx makes a great layering pant that’ll keep you warm without making you break a sweat. With a similar style to yoga leggings, these knickers have a cropped length that hits right above your ski boots (with less material to tuck in), and the low-rise fit doesn’t interfere with your outer layer. It combines three technologies — Coreloft™ Continuous insulation, Permeair™ nylon lining, and the Fortius™ Air 40 outer — for a ton of comfort on the slopes. Above all, these won’t overheat you nor keep air trapped while you’re working hard.

How We Tested

We bought three top-rated women’s ski pants that our reviewers tested for 76 hours on the slopes. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when wearing these ski pants, from their fit to their style. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in Women’s Ski Pants

Price If you hit the slopes frequently, ski pants are a necessary investment—don’t be afraid to spend a bit more on a pair that fits your body and how you move just right. If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of winter sports, it might be worth going with a more budget-friendly pair until you decide if skiing will be a serious hobby.

Style Some ski pants are super sporty and designed for high-performance athletes; others are so minimalist you might almost mistake them for yoga pants. The key for ski pants is that they keep you warm and dry, so do a little searching to find the style that suits your personal style.

Fit When it comes to fit, ski pants are designed to move with your body as you head down the slopes (and, perhaps, pick yourself up a time or two). Most are slim-fit, to hug your body, and there are a variety of rises out there (the Columbia Bugaboo, for example, is more high-waisted than some). Figure out how your favorite pair of jeans fits and then use that to guide your choice.

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