Best men’s snow pants | OurQuadCities

Which men’s snow pants are best?

Pants for snow use are often referred to as ski pants or snowboard pants. They may only be a hard shell or have some form of insulation. They can be used for winter activities, working in icy conditions, or even just for wandering around town on a frosty afternoon. Whatever you require them for, there is a range of pants from which to choose. The best overall snow pants are The North Face: Men’s Freedom Insulated Pant.

What to know before you buy men’s snow pants

Hardshell vs. softshell

Hardshell snow pants are usually waterproof and windproof. This could be great when skiing in wet snow conditions or trekking in the mountains on a windy day. They are thin and you can easily pack them in a backpack. However, they aren’t so breathable and are generally not great insulators. Softshells are warm yet breathable and offer better maneuverability. However, they are often water and wind-resistant rather than proof.

Ski vs. snowboard pants

Although men’s snow pants manufacturers don’t really differentiate between the two, snowboarding is a more strenuous activity and you will likely sweat harder. Skiers can be more streamlined and have a tighter fit. Snowboarders should focus on breathability. Furthermore, snow pants for boarding need to be baggier than pants for skiing, so choosing a larger size may be a good idea.

Type of snow

If using snow pants for winter sports, knowing the conditions of the snow could affect your choice. Wet snow conditions will require premium and highly waterproof snow pants. In contrast, you may not need to splash out as much cash if you usually ski in places with drier snowy conditions.

What to look for in quality men’s snow pants


There is a difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant clothing will only keep you dry for specific periods according to the weather conditions. Water resistance is measured in millimeters. The scale is usually 5,000 to 20,000 millimeters for winter sports, with the higher numbers being more water-resistant. 20,000 coupled with a Durable Water Repellent shell will keep you dry in most conditions. A resistance level of 2,000 to 5,000 should be enough for regular use.

Waterproofing, windproofing and breathability

More premium brands often use unique technology such as DryVent or Gore-Tex to keep the water out. DryVent, for example, is a polyurethane fabric and is waterproof. Clothing using this has different layering categories, from two-layer to three-layer. Two-layer is the regular category for most winter activities, with two and a half and three-layer being for more extreme activities. These technologies tend to be completely windproof and breathable, too.


Warmth in the legs is not as essential as core warmth. Once you start walking, your legs will soon generate heat naturally. In saying that, you may live in a freezing climate. Therefore, down is the warmest insulator and will be great for walking around town or easy hiking and trekking. It isn’t ideal for winter sports as it will be too warm. Also, it isn’t waterproof, so make sure a good DWR coating is present. Synthetic materials, such as polyester, are more common in snow pants for more strenuous winter activities because they are breathable and flexible. In addition, any sweat will be absorbed and wicked away. 

How much you can expect to spend on men’s snow pants

Budget snow pants will start at the $35 mark. They will probably be warm and breathable but may not offer enough water and windproofing. Premium pants could go as high as $700 for a pair, but you can find solid quality for much less.

Men’s snow pants FAQ

What are good base layers to wear with hard shells?

A. Long underwear made from breathable materials is best. Avoid cotton because it is not quick-drying and not breathable. Focus on synthetic materials or merino wool.  

Are bibbed snow pants a good option?

A. This depends on what you need the pants for and the actual weather conditions. Bibbed pants offer extra protection in wet snow conditions. They also provide additional comfort when you remove the waistband. However, they are heavier and more awkward to put on and take off.

What are the best men’s snow pants to buy?

Top men’s snow pants

The North Face: Men’s Freedom Insulated Pant

The North Face: Men’s Freedom Insulated Pant

What you need to know: This is a great pair of men’s softshell snow pants suitable for a range of activities.

What you’ll love: These pants are an excellent choice for all but the most extreme activities due to their two-layer DryVent with DWR coating. They’re fully waterproof, windproof, breathable and have excellent warmth ratings. They are available in many colors to suit your taste, and sizes range from X-small to 2X-tall.

What you should consider: The 60-gram Heatseeker Eco insulation may need a base layer for everyday use in frigid conditions. However, they should be suitable for winter sports and less extreme climates.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Backcountry

Top men’s snow pants for money

Arctic: Men’s Sport Cargo Snow Pants

Arctic: Men’s Sport Cargo Snow Pants

What you need to know: Men’s budget-friendly softshell snow pants are suitable for everyday use and dry weather conditions.

What you’ll love: These pants are available in various colors and designs, making them suitable for the fashion conscious. The pants are made from breathable 100% polyester, and the 85 grams of insulation offered by ThermaTech is pretty good. Base layers can be added in the extreme cold if needed.

What you should consider: The 3,000 millimeters waterproofing/windproofing won’t be enough for very wet and windy conditions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Columbia: Ridge 2 Run II: Men’s Snow Pant

Columbia: Ridge 2 Run II: Men’s Snow Pant

What you need to know: These are hardshell snow pants for men, using technology for warmth.

What you’ll love: Columbia’s innovative Omni-Heat technology reflects the heat back into the body. The fabric is not stiff, thanks to more patented technology in Omni-Tech. This technology also ensures the pants are waterproof and breathable. Stain resistance is a bonus, and leg vents are also featured, making them a great all-around choice.

What you should consider: Base layers may be required with low-level activity in cold conditions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Barry Peacock writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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