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The 10 Best Women’s Ski Pants of 2022

Choosing the right ski pants is just as important as choosing the right jacket, gloves, and other ski equipment. While you’re enjoying resort skiing with family or creating new lines in the backcountry, the pants you choose are key to ensuring your bottom half stays warm, dry, and comfortable.

Below, we recommend the 10 best women’s ski pants with different styles, insulation, and features to meet the needs of every skier out there.

The Expert: I’m a gear tester and freelance journalist based in Alberta, Canada. I’ve had first-hand experience figuring out what ski pants can hold up in frigid, Canada winters, and have spent nearly 15 years adventuring in the Rocky Mountains where temperatures can dip as low as −35°F. Over the years, I’ve worn and tested both regular and bib-style ski pants while skiing, splitboarding, and cross-country skiing. My preference? Bib pants because they keep my core warmer, and they look stylish.

What to Consider When Buying Women’s Ski Pants

The three main things you want to consider when purchasing ski pants are style, warmth, and waterproofing.

Companies make two main styles of ski pants: regular pants and bib pants. Regular pants are most popular and make it easy to remove or add top layers, plus they don’t interfere with backpack straps or overly complicate bathroom breaks. On the flip side, overall-style bibs could cause some discomfort if you’re wearing a pack but do a better job of keeping out snow. The fuller coverage adds extra warmth and storage space and generally fits more body shapes comfortably.

Compared to ski jackets, warmth is not as critical for ski pants but is still something to keep in mind. Insulated ski pants protect you from the elements and are a good choice for cold days. Most feature synthetic insulation that is measured in grams per square meter (often written simply in grams)—the higher the number, the warmer the pants. Uninsulated shell pants, favored by backcountry skiers, don’t provide much extra warmth but are the lightest weight and maximize your mobility.

Although design and insulation vary from model to model, most ski pants are waterproof. All of the models below have some type of waterproof membrane, like Gore-Tex, which works by blocking water from entering your pants while allowing water vapor to pass through small pores in the fabric to maintain a level of breathability. Two-layer waterproof designs have a shell fabric with a waterproof membrane applied to the backside. In three-layer designs, the waterproof membrane is laminated between the shell and a protective knit lining. Overall, three-layer designs are more durable and built for long-term exposure to extreme conditions.

How We Evaluated

When evaluating women’s ski pants, I compared each model’s style, waterproofing, insulation, price, and extra features. Because many people like to mix and match outerwear, I didn’t put too much weight into finding pants that can hook onto a matching jacket. I chose pants in a variety of styles, at different prices, and with inclusive sizes so you’re sure to find a pair that is right for you. Along with my own experience and knowledge, I’ve taken into account thousands of customer reviews from websites like Amazon to select the best of the best.

Best for Resort Skiing

The North Face Freedom Insulated Snow Pants

The North Face
rei.com

$169.00

Key Specs

  • Insulation: 60-g synthetic
  • Size Range: XS–3XL

The Freedom excels when you’re getting in some turns at the resort. The two-layer waterproof fabric and leg gaiters keep you dry in most conditions, and the insulated design keeps you toasty. If you get too hot, though, unzip the inner-thigh vents that run from below to crotch to just above the knee.

Shop All Sizes

  • Affordable
  • Wide size range, including short and long lengths
  • Waterproofing is good, not great

Best for All-Mountain Skiing

Arc’teryx Sentinel AR Pants

Arc’teryx
rei.com

$549.00

Key Specs

  • Insulation: Flannel lining
  • Size Range: XS–XL

These pants hold up well at the resort and in the backcountry. You can rest assured they keep snow and water out with three-layer Gore-Tex protection, taped seams, and waterproof zippers. The Sentinel also attaches with compatible Arc’teryx jackets.

  • Flannel lining for some warmth

Best for Backcountry Skiing

Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated Snow Pants

Helly Hansen
amazon.com

$200.00

Key Specs

  • Insulation: 60-g synthetic
  • Size Range: XS–2XL

Ultra-warm and durable, these ski pants have a two-layer construction that is waterproof, breathable, and windproof. It’s also seam-sealed to keep out the elements and has reinforced hems to hinder wear and tear. Plus, an embedded Recco reflector enhances radio signals from search-and-rescue Recco detectors in the event of an avalanche.

  • Great price for the features
  • Recco reflector for search-and-rescue efforts
  • Fit can be snug around the hips for some people

Best for Ski Touring

Backcountry Notchtop Gore-Tex Active Bib Pant

Backcountry
backcountry.com

$262.46

Key Specs

  • Insulation: None
  • Size Range: XS–L

These waist-high bib pants are perfect for those high-output climbs when you’re touring. They have full-leg ventilation (simply unzip at the sides) to help you cool off and ultra-burly kevlar panels at the hem for extra protection from boots, bindings, and nature. Plus, they have a three-layer membrane with Gore-Tex that is waterproof yet breathable.

  • Full-leg zippers for temperature regulation

Best for Big Mountain Skiing

Eddie Bauer BC Fineline Bib

Eddie Bauer
eddiebauer.com

$336.75

Key Specs

  • Insulation: None
  • Size Range: XS–2XL

These bib pants come with full-length side zips for extra ventilation and have removable foam knee pads. The torso portion is made of a stretchier material for comfort and mobility, and three-layer WeatherEdge Pro seam-sealed technology throughout the garment keeps you dry.

  • Water-resistant zippers
  • Comes with knee pads
  • Articulated fit can look a bit bulky
  • Expensive

Best Value Ski Pants

Outdoor Research Skyward II AscentShell Pants

Outdoor Research
rei.com

$299.00

Key Specs

  • Insulation: None
  • Size Range: XS–XL

If you care about peak performance and comfort, these snow pants fit the bill. The waistband is lined with a soft fabric and has adjustable tabs and belt loops for a secure fit. They come equipped with a beacon pocket clip and thigh vents, and protect you from all the elements with a three-layer breathable fabric.

  • Great performance for price

Most Affordable

L.L. Bean Wildcat Waterproof Insulated Snow Pant

L.L. Bean
llbean.com

$149.00

Key Specs

  • Insulation: 60-g synthetic
  • Size Range: XS–3X

These pants are made from breathable, waterproof nylon. They have a two-snap waist closure and velcro waist adjusters for a custom fit and articulated knees for extra mobility. Don’t be afraid to go into the deep snow in these; they have inner snow gaiters and a microfleece-lined waistband, seat, and knees to keep you warm.

  • Wide size range with petite and plus sizes
  • Nylon lining for extra warmth and comfort
  • Fit could be more flattering

Best for Easy Riding

Burton Avalon Bib Pant

Key Specs

  • Insulation: None
  • Size Range: 2XS–2XL

The waterproof Avalon holds up rain or shine—and you’ll look good, too (choose from seven colors and patterns). The stretch panel at the back allows for greater range of motion, and the unique dual-drop seat makes a bathroom break simple. The two-layer fabric helps keep you dry, while the mesh-lined inner-thigh vents release excess heat.

  • Stretchy and comfortable
  • Drop seat for easier bathroom breaks
  • Some reports of the zippers on seat unintentionally unzipping

Room for an Avalanche Beacon

Outdoor Research x Arcade Belts Carbide Bib Snow Pants

Outdoor Research
rei.com

$299.00

Key Specs

  • Insulation: None
  • Size Range: XS–L

Grab a pair of the Carbide if you’re looking for versatile protection while you surf powder or enjoy the resort. It has three-layer waterproof fabric that is fully seam-taped to keep out the water and a swing-hatch zip that reaches from the top of the bib to your knee. It also has an avalanche beacon pocket and internal mesh gaiters.

  • Performs well in a variety of conditions
  • Only available in black, which might not be to everyone’s taste

Best for Rainy Day Skiing

Rossignol Elite Ski Pants

Rossignol
rossignol.com

$275.00

Key Specs

  • Insulation: 40-g synthetic
  • Size Range: 2XS–3XL

Stay warm, dry, and unrestricted in these four-way stretch pants. They have low-profile insulation to reduce bulk, plus heat-sealed seams and waterproof zippers keep out any moisture even in heavy rain. They also have boot gaiters, four pockets for storage, and an adjustable waist.

  • Extremely waterproof
  • Inclusive sizing
  • No ventilation if you overheat

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