The 11 Best Women's Ski Pants of 2022

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

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Best Women's Ski Pants

Chloe Jeong / TripSavvy

If you're getting excited about hitting the slopes this year, you've probably already started inventorying your gear closet to see what needs replacing. And while it's always good to repair ski pants when possible, after a while, it's just time to get a new pair. And a second pair. And maybe a third. 

Women's ski pants have a lot of variety, from slim fit to plus size and pants made for warm spring conditions to bibs made for the steepest and deepest of backcountry chutes. While you certainly don't need ski-specific pants, they make a big difference when it comes to keeping you warm and dry. Ski pants are your outer layer and your first line of defense against snow, rain, wind, and cold temperatures. 

I hate being cold, but I love being on the slopes. So I've done my due diligence in finding the best gear to keep you warm and dry while skiing.

All the women's ski pants below are great choices if you're looking to buy something new this year.

Best Overall: Stio Women's Doublecharge Insulated Pant

Stio DoubleCharge Pant

Courtesy of Stio

What We Like
  • Loaded with resort-day features

  • Built-in functionality to attach to matching jackets

  • Comfortable fit

What We Don't Like
  • A little expensive

  • Sizing isn't very inclusive

  • Sells out quickly

It's hard to find fault with the Stio Doublecharge when it comes to features or fit, which is why it edges out the competition to get the pick for the best overall women's ski pants this winter. They're a safe bet for most resort skiers, including hard-chargers on double black runs. These pants boast 40 grams of eco-friendly PrimaLoft insulation, two layers of also eco-conscious Gore-Tex waterproof fabric, leg vents, thigh pockets actually large enough to be helpful, and boot gaiters. They have a standard fit, which means you'll probably get the sizing right on the first try—but you can adjust the waist with easy-pull tabs if it's a little roomy.

Price at time of publish: $389

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproof rating: 28K | Insulation: Gore-Tex Guaranteed to Keep You Dry | Fit: Standard fit

Best Budget: TSLA Rip Stop Waterproof Pant

TSLA Rip Stop Waterproof Pant

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Very budget friendly

  • Basic waterproofing

  • Wide range of sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Low quality materials

  • May not stand up through multiple years of heavy wear

Hands-down, one of the most significant barriers to learning to ski is the cost. It's prohibitively expensive for many people, with lift tickets easily costing upwards of $100 a day, and rentals and lessons not much cheaper. So if you're a new skier and looking for a budget pair of pants to wear a few times a year, consider saving your money and buying the TSLA Insulated Pant. It's nothing fancy, but it has the basic features occasional resort skiers need, like light insulation, a water-resistant layer, an adjustable waist, and boot gaiters. Like the Stio's above, they have a low waterproof rating, so save them for bluebird days when possible.

Price at time of publish: $100

Sizes: XS-XXL, plus short options | Waterproof rating: 6K | Insulation: Three-layer fabric | Fit: Runs small, high waist

Best Plus-Size: Columbia Women's Plus Size Bugaboo Omni-Heat Pants

4.9
Columbia Women's Bugaboo Omni-Heat Pants

Courtesy of Columbia

What We Like
  • Inclusive sizing

  • Adjustable waist

  • OmniHeat Tech and 60g insulation

What We Don't Like
  • No leg vents

  • No short or tall options

Unfortunately, not too many ski brands make plus-size pants, which is a shame. It's 2021, and anyone paying attention knows that athletes come in every shape—skiers included. Fortunately, one of the few brands putting plus-size ski pants on the market is Columbia, which makes the Bugaboo, a genuinely excellent women's ski pant. Plus-size skiers get the brand's highly effective Omni-Heat tech, boot gaiters, and an adjustable waist, plus reinforcement around the seams most likely to leak.

Price at time of publish: $120

Sizes: 1X, 2X, 3X | Waterproof rating: 10K | Insulation: Omni-Tech reflective lining, 60g polyester Microtemp XF | Fit: True to size, regular fit

Tested by TripSavvy

Columbia’s Bugaboo II excels where it’s important: warmth. We wore the ski pants in temperatures ranging from the single digits to just above freezing and remained comfortable. We found that the 60-gram insulation was sufficient for temperatures between 25 and 40°F. When we added a light base layer, we were warm down to 0°F. We experienced no cold spots and stayed snug even when sitting on a cold metal chairlift.

Thanks to the waterproof Omni-Tech shell and the sealed seams in critical areas, these pants also kept us completely dry on a wet snow day. Despite repeatedly kneeling to help our children put on their skis, the snow slid right off our pants and never soaked through the fabric.

We wouldn’t recommend the Bugaboo II pants for a backcountry ski excursion, though. There are no leg vents to let off excess heat. It may be breathable enough for light activities, but it can’t keep up when you start to work up a sweat. We think these pants are better for resort skiing or snowmobiling. —Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester

Columbia Bugaboo II Ski Pants

TripSavvy / Kelly Hodgkins

Best Bib: Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib Pant

Helly Hansen PowderQueen Bib Pant

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Very waterproof

  • Built-in beacon pocket and jacket attachment system

  • Lightweight, non-restrictive, stretch materials

What We Don't Like
  • Fitted in the hips; may want to size up

  • May not have enough insulation for resort skiers

The PowderQueen Bib Pant comes close to being our pick for the best women's ski pants, were it not for the fact that most resort-skiing women generally opt for pants, not bibs. However, the PowderQueen does have some light insulation, so it should work for most resort ski days—though it's made for ladies who earn their turns on the uphill. The stretchy fabric is completely waterproof, and the fleece lining on the rear, thighs, and knees add extra warmth in the areas most likely to come in contact with the snow. The straps are adjustable and, thank the snow-gear gods, the bib has plenty of pockets, including a roomy chest pocket big enough for goggles or a beanie.

Price at time of publish: $300

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproof rating: 20K | Insulation: Fleece lining in parts | Fit: Regular/relaxed (but runs a little narrow)

Tested by TripSavvy

The Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant jumped to the top of our list of favorite ski pants thanks to its outstanding performance in wet weather and warmth in a range of temperatures. Though a lightweight pant, the 60 grams of Primaloft Black Insulation is plenty warm. We were warm with only the pant and a light underlayer even when the temps dipped into the low teens. When the temps climbed above freezing, we just unzipped the leg vents to let off some extra heat.

Each zippered opening is covered with mesh allowing you to open the vent without fully exposing your legs. The Legendary pant uses Helly Hansen’s Performance fabric, which is waterproof and breathable. We were comfortable and dry skiing in the snow, sleet, and rain. The only time the pants got clammy on the inside was when we decided to hike up a ski trail to loop a section and avoid a long chairlift ride.

Like many outdoors manufacturers, Helly Hansen utilizes RECCO advanced rescue technology throughout its winter gear lineup. The Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant is not the most expensive ski pant on the market, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest either. The price tag is reasonable given the quality of the design and performance, but it is pricey for the occasional skier. —Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester

Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant

TripSavvy / Kelly Hodgkins 

Best for Backcountry: Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib

Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib

Courtesy of Outdoor Research

What We Like
  • Designed by backcountry athletes

  • Entirely waterproof with generous ventilation

  • Stretch fabrics for a full range of uphill and downhill motion

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • Slim in hips and legs

If you can get over the price tag, you'll be really, really happy with the Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib. Bibs are ideal for backcountry skiers for several reasons, but the most useful is their ability to keep snow out. The Hemispheres, which has won an impressive list of ski gear awards, do just that and so much more. They're loaded with useful backcountry features, from an avalanche beacon pocket to stretch fabrics to giant stash pockets, and a side zipper for mid-mountain bathroom breaks.

Price at time of publish: $179

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproof rating: 20K | Insulation: None | Fit: Standard

Best for Petites: Obermeyer Bliss Snow Pant

Obermeyer Bliss Snow Pant

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Shorter and slimmer cut

  • Numerical sizes for a more specific fit

  • Variety of colors and patterns

What We Don't Like
  • Small pockets

  • May need to size up

Too many pants designed for petite buyers do no more than shortening the inseam. And while that may work for some buyers, often, those who wear petite sizes also need a slimmer fit. That's why the Bliss Snow Pant Short is such a good find. The pants have a more traditional ski-pant cut, with slim legs and an unadorned waistband. They're not as fitted as downhill race pants, but they won't add the bulk you sometimes see in baggier ski pants that can overwhelm petite buyers. Oh, and you also get 40 grams of insulation and a 15K waterproof rating, so they'll be appropriate for most of your resort ski days this winter.

Price at time of publish: $199

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproof rating: 15K |Insulation: 40g 3M Thinsulate Platinum Flex synthetic | Fit: Standard (fits on the slim side)

Best for Layering: Dakine Barrier 2L Gore-Tex Pant

Dakine Barrier 2L GORE-TEX Pant

Courtesy of Dakine

What We Like
  • Comfortable fit

  • 28K waterproofing

  • Tons of pockets

What We Don't Like
  • Limited sizes

If you're all about layering on the slopes, you already know that the outer layer is mainly for wind and water protection. Since I mostly ski in warm California sunshine, I often find that a base layer and a shell are enough, especially for days where I know I'm going to be sweating. This year, I'm obsessed with the Dakine Barrier Pant—named because it's a barrier against the elements. The two-layer Gore-Tex fabric is totally waterproof and windproof (with a solid guarantee to back it up). The waterproofing tech is also PFC-free to make it more environmentally friendly (and the thigh pocket is more than big enough for an oversized phone).

Price at time of publish: $300

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproof rating: Gore-Tex Guaranteed to Keep You Dry | Insulation: Shell | Fit: Regular fit (slightly loose)

Best Cult Favorite: Norrøna Lyngen Flex1 Pant

Norrøna Lyngen Flex1 Pant

Courtesy of Norrøna

What We Like
  • Stretchy with slightly bent knees

  • Softshell fabric is ideal for moisture and temperature management

  • Gore-Tex waterproof reinforcements on knees and cuffs

What We Don't Like
  • Not as warm as insulated pants

  • Zipper at waist (to connect a bib) could be uncomfortable if very tight

  • Limited sizes

Norrøna is still a bit under-the-radar in the States, but they're one of the oldest ski gear companies, popular with backcountry skiers, and are beginning to make their way into the US resort-skiing world. For an excellent intro to the brand, check out the Lyngen Flex1 Pants. They're a stretchy softshell, which means the warmth retention comes from the fabric, not a stitched-in fill. That makes them super flexible and soft (as opposed to a stiff hardshell), but reinforcements on high abrasion areas will prolong their useful lifespan. The only downside with softshells is that they're water-repellent (not waterproof), so you don't want to wear them in heavy snow or rain.

Price at time of publish: $279

Sizes: XS-L | Waterproof rating: Low, Gore-Tex on knees and gaiters | Insulation: Light (softshell) | Fit: Technical (mid) fit

Best Fit: Obermeyer Sundown Pant

Obermeyer Sundown Pant

Courtesy of Moosejaw

What We Like
  • Surprisingly comfortable fit

  • 20K waterproofing and stretch fabrics

  • Comes in 14 sizes, plus tall and short options

What We Don't Like
  • Runs a touch slim

  • Pricey

I was lucky enough to test out the Obermeyer Sundown Pant before it comes out this fall, and it's certainly one of the most comfortable pants I've ever worn. I'm not usually a slim-fit type of person, but these seem to have nailed it—they're roomy enough in the waist and rear but slim enough through the thighs and legs to maintain a streamlined silhouette. They also come in an extended range of sizes with long and tall options, so it should be pretty easy for most women to find the perfect fit. Oh, and with a 20K waterproofing rating, 40 grams of Thinsulate Flex insulation, and four-way stretch fabrics, they'll keep you warm and dry through every lunge, jump, and tumble. 

Price at time of publish: $329

Sizes: 2-16, short and long available in all sizes | Waterproof rating: 20K | Insulation: 40g Thinsulate Flex insulation | Fit: Active/Athletic

Best Down Pant: Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Insulated Pant

4.7
Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Insulated Pant

Courtesy of Mountain Hardwear

What We Like
  • Very warm and comfortable

  • Adjustable elastic waistband

  • Useful for other cold-weather sports

What We Don't Like
  • Not especially flattering

  • Limited color options

Cold-weather athletes have been wearing down jackets for nearly 100 years. In fact, most historians credit Eddie Bauer with creating the idea in the 1930s. But for some reason, down pants are still few and far between, though they're growing in popularity. If you're ready to add a pair to your cold-weather closet, opt for the Stretchdown Insulated Pant from Mountain Hardware. The elastic-waist pants have an all-over stretch and are just like a down jacket for your legs, with baffles (quilted pockets) of 700-fill-power, responsibly sourced down. They weigh just nine ounces and are the perfect insulation under a shell pant on super cold, high-elevation ski days.

Price at time of publish: $260

Sizes: XS-XL, short and long available | Waterproof rating: DWR coating (water-resistant) | Insulation: 700 fill-power responsible down | Fit: True to size, regular fit

Best for Extreme Cold: Arc’teryx Andessa Pant

Arc’teryx Andessa Pant

Courtesy of Arc’teryx

What We Like
  • Very warm

  • 3L Gore-Tex is virtually leak-proof

  • Tall waist and mesh liners to keep snow out

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Limited colors

Truthfully, on sub-zero ski days, you're going to need to layer up under your pants. And if you're resort skiing, you'll probably still get pretty chilly on the ski lift, especially if you broke a sweat on the way down. But that's why the Arc'teryx Andessa Pant is a smart go-to for those crazy-cold days. The 80 grams of synthetic fill is double what most pants have and because it's synthetic, it continues to insulate if it gets wet. Of course, it'd be nearly impossible for that to happen as it has three layers of Gore-Tex material. If the sun does poke out, unzip the thigh vents to cool down, but rest assured that the mesh liner will keep snow on the hill. 

Price at time of publish: $575

Sizes: 0-12 | Waterproof rating: Gore-Tex Guaranteed to Keep You Dry™ | Insulation: Coreloft™ Compact 80g synthetic | Fit: Trim (slim) fit

Final Verdict

I’ve tested, worn, and worn out a lot of ski pants over decades of living in the mountains, and I can confidently say the Stio Doublecharge Pant (view at Stio) checks nearly all the boxes for an ideal go-to ski pant. While it certainly isn’t the cheapest women’s ski pants on the market, it’s loaded with features and should last you season after season, especially if you keep it clean and repair the waterproofing here and there. If you're looking for a bib, it's tough to beat the Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bib (view at Backcountry).

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 fit 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.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Why are ski pants so pricey?

    There's no denying that ski pants are expensive, but the reason why varies. For some brands, the materials are expensive, which is common in clothing that uses technical fabrics or high-level insulation. For other pants, it's because they take longer to make, perhaps with complicated stitching or labor-intensive processes. Women's ski pants on the inexpensive side (under $100) aren't necessarily inferior, but they likely use more commonplace materials and may go through less rigorous testing and quality control processes.

  • So, how much should I spend?

    If you don't ski very often, buy inexpensive pants. Skiers who don't leave the cabin unless it's sunny and warm don't need to spring for pants with expensive waterproofing or insulation and should be able to find a pair for around $150. If you ski in less-ideal conditions (or more ideal, depending on how much you like snow), you'll likely appreciate spending a bit more on technical fabrics that do a better job of keeping you warm and dry. Skiers who sweat a lot (either on active downhill runs or while skinning uphill) will certainly want to pay for features like large leg vents and high bib-waists, which may cost closer to $300–$400.

  • How much insulation do I want?

    Most ski pants have about 40 grams of insulation, appropriate for resort days in the 10-40 degree F range. If it's on the colder side, you can add a pair of thicker base layers, and if it's warmer, unzip your vents and ditch the long underwear. 

    However, if you want maximum versatility for everything from super-cold conditions to 60-degree bluebird days in May, you'll probably want a pant without much insulation, like a shell. That allows you to layer up underneath on cold days or rock them with nothing underneath if it's a t-shirt-skiing kind of day.

Ski Pant Care and Cleaning

It used to be that all ski pants were covered with a DWR layer as the main waterproofing process. It can be hard to know how long a DWR coating will last, but it's generally anywhere from two to six months, depending on how much you wear it. If you drop water on your jacket and it beads up, the DWR coating is still functioning. 

However, there are other methods now for waterproofing garments, some of which use natural or non-chemical finishes (for example, Fjallraven uses wax coatings). So check your brand's cleaning instructions before you toss your ski pants in the laundry with a DWR solution like NikWax.

"If you ski a lot, maybe 30 or more times a season, you'd be smart to buy two pairs of ski pants," says Daniel Cates of Technical Equipment Cleaners, which repairs and re-waterproofs outdoor gear. "Buy a basic pair with mid-level waterproofing to wear on most days, and save your super-waterproof gear for heavy snow days. Dirt, sunscreen, and direct sun can eat away at waterproofing effectiveness, so you'll extend the life of your gear if you save it for the days where you need it most."

Unsurprisingly, Cates also recommends cleaning your gear at the end of every season for the same reason. He also points out that dirty down doesn't insulate as well, so have your ski pants cleaned before tossing them out if you start getting cold on the slopes. Many brands also have gear trade-in and repair programs, which can keep your old gear out of landfills and be cheaper than buying a new pair. 

Finally, be aware of damage at heavy use spots, especially the cuffs. Clip your pant hems up when you switch out of your ski boots to avoid walking on the ends, which will cause fraying and thinning. Don't have clips? Roll 'em up.

Why Trust Tripsavvy?

Suzie Dundas is a freelance gear tester and writer who lives in the mountains of Lake Tahoe—though she’s also lived in the far-chillier mountains of Vermont. She skis anywhere from 30 to 100 or more days a year, from early-season turns to spring backcountry sessions. Because she’s tested so much gear in the field and written about gear technology so many times, she’s learned how to evaluate which pants do more than just look good.

Methodology

TripSavvy decided what pants to include on this list from a mix of product testing, reviews, technical specs, and availability in terms of pricing and sizes. Pants were tested for comfort and fit, warmth, level of waterproof protection, and useful features.

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