The 12 Best Women's Ski Pants of 2021

These ski pants will keep you warm and dry during a day on the slopes

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

TRIPSAVVY-best-women's-ski-pants

Chloe Jeong / TripSavvy

The Rundown

Best Overall: Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pants at Helly Hansen

"Designed with two-way mechanical stretch perfect for ski runs at the resort."

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

"Made from Columbia's proprietary Omni-Tech material, the Bugaboos are a favorite of casual and veteran skiers alike."

Best Budget: Mountain Warehouse Mesa Ski Pants at Amazon

"Perfect 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."

Best Plus-Size: Columbia Bugaboo Omni-Heat Pants at Amazon

"We love the classic shape of these, with wide-cut legs to ease over your boots."

Best for Petites: The North Face Lenado Ski Pants at Moosejaw

"Comes in short, regular, and long lengths with sizes from XS to XXL."

Best Bibs: Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant at Amazon

"These ski bibs are great for the backcountry, mountaineering, or heading down the slopes."

Best Fit: Spyder Orb Softshell Pant at Backcountry

"Have a glove-like fit that feels like yoga leggings with a lower-rise style."

Best for Layering: Arc'teryx Axina Knicker at Backcountry

"A great layering pant that’ll keep you warm without making you break a sweat."

Best for Experts: Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib Pants at Amazon

"Has everything serious skiers love with a design that can move and bend with athletes."

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

"Designed to be appropriate for warmers days on the slopes, but still has enough insulation for when it gets colder."

Ski pants are necessary to keep you warm and comfortable on the slopes, but you don't need to sacrifice fashion for function. Women's ski pants come in a variety of flattering styles and will shield your legs from the elements while you're skiing down the mountain. Some options also feature breathable fabric that wicks away sweat and allows for movement so you can stay balanced.

Read on for our picks of the best women's ski pants available.

Best Overall: Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pants

Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pants
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.7
What We Like
  • Flattering fit

  • Leg vents

  • Warm in subzero temps

  • Adjustable waist

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Could use more pockets

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 60 grams 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.

"The Legendary pant’s standout feature is the lightweight Helly Tech Performance stretch fabric that perfectly balances warmth with comfort." — Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Columbia Bugaboo II Pants

Columbia Bugaboo II Pants

Amazon

3.7
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Adjustable waist

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Boxy


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.

"Columbia’s Bugaboo II excels where it is important: warmth." — Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester

Best Budget: Mountain Warehouse Mesa Ski Pants

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • RECCO reflectors

  • Ventilation

What We Don't Like
  • Generic cut

  • Could use more pockets

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.

Best Plus-Size: Columbia Bugaboo Omni-Heat Pants

 Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size, back Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size, a1 Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size, a2 Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size, a3 Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size, a4 Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size, a5 Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size, a6 Women's Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat™ Pants - Plus Size
What We Like
  • Good coverage

  • Comfortable

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Boxy

  • Could use more pockets

These ski pants consistently come out on top for their comfort, relatively affordable price point, and construction that’ll see you down the slopes ski season after ski season. The 60 grams of insulation and its welded seams will keep you warm throughout the day. We love the classic shape of these, with wide-cut legs to ease over your boots and a fit that can easily head straight into apres-ski activities. Plus, they come in a ton of colors, so you can pick whichever one fits your jacket the best. This pair of ski pants are available in sizes 1X to 3X.

Best for Petites: The North Face Lenado Ski Pants

The North Face Lenado Ski Pants

 Courtesy of North Face

What We Like
  • Flattering fit

  • Warm

  • Ventilated

What We Don't Like
  • Too few/small pockets

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.

Best Bibs: Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant

Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant

Backcountry

What We Like
  • Won't fall down

  • Breathable

  • Many pockets

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

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.

Best Fit: Spyder Orb Softshell Pant

Spyder Orb Softshell Pant

Spyder

What We Like
  • Flattering fit

  • Versatile

What We Don't Like
  • Too few pockets

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. With a close-to-the-body shape, they’re made to look great 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.

Best for Layering: Arc'teryx Axina Knicker

Arc'teryx Axina Knicker Women's

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Breathable

  • Moisture wicking

  • Adjustable waist

What We Don't Like
  • Aren't an alternative to snowpants

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 make you overheat or keep air trapped while you’re working hard.

Best for Experts: Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib Pants

What We Like
  • Pockets

  • Warm

  • Flattering fit

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Leg opening is narrow

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 before the season ends.

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

Dakine Remington Pure Gore-Tex 2L Pant

Backcountry

What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Affordable

  • Adjustable waistband

What We Don't Like
  • Boxy

  • Buttons can be hard to undo

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.

Best for the Backcountry: Trew Chariot Bib

Trew Chariot Bib

Courtesy of Trew

What We Like
  • Multiple fun colors

  • So many pockets

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • High neckline

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.

Best Cult Favorite: Flylow Foxy Bib Pants

Flylow Foxy Bib Pants

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Flattering

  • So many pockets

  • Ventilated

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • May run small

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 comfortable: 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.

Final Verdict

Helly Hansen’s Legendary Ski Pants (available on Helly Hansen) live up to their name—and although they’re pricey, cost per wear will work out in your favor, thanks to the high quality of their construction. The two-way stretch and great Primaloft Black insulation will serve wearers well run after run, too.

What to Look for in Women’s Ski Pants

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 fitting 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.

Material

The material your ski pants are made of truly does make a difference in terms of how dry and warm you’ll stay. Look for material like Gore-Tex with a durable water-repellant (DWR) coating—it’s among the best for keeping moisture from seeping through the fabric.

Pockets

Most ski pants have at least a couple of pockets but think carefully about what you’re most likely to be carrying and what the pocket setup for your ski jacket is like, too. If you have a more minimal jacket and need to have space for a wallet and phone, consider looking for ski pants that have cargo-style pockets sewn into the hip. Otherwise, if your jacket has plenty of pockets, you might find yourself only needing a pair of pants with a couple of them. 

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. Ski pants should keep you warm and dry, so do a little searching to find a pair that suits your personal style.

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. 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.

FAQs

How should I wash my ski pants?

With many different types of waterproofing, coating, and material used in the construction of ski pants, there’s no one foolproof set of instructions for washing ski pants. Always check the manufacturer’s tag to see what the care instructions are, especially if you think there might be water-repellant coating involved. It’ll be the care most specific to those ski pants and therefore your best plan of action. 

What is RECCO? 

RECCO is the name of a rescue system that’s stitched into some pieces of ski- and snow wear, including ski pants. Most of the time you can spot it as a reflector-style label sewn into garments. It functions kind of like a metal detector: if there’s an avalanche, first responders use a RECCO detector to pick up signals from this magic piece of material and find buried skiers. 

Are ski pants better than ski bibs? 

Not necessarily—it comes down to what’s right for you. Ski pants have gained in popularity in the past years, but bibs are still preferred by those who like the extra security suspenders provide on the slopes. They also help keep a bit more body heat in—and prevent snow from going up your back if you go down some of the hill on your bum.

Why Trust Tripsavvy

Krystin Arneson spent hours researching for this guide, reading expert blogs, and synthesizing user reviews to find the best women’s ski pants available.

Was this page helpful?
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
Continue to 9 of 12 below.