If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Robb Report may receive an affiliate commission.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat on a chairlift, hoping for a seamless day, when suddenly I feel a cold burst of air on my backside—the result of my ski pants slipping off my waist. Personally speaking, a pair that isn’t constructed with suspenders or a chest-high bib doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s a sign I should do more squats in the gym or maybe it’s a sign that all bodies are shaped differently. Either way, landing on the best ski pants requires figuring out which style stays the put when you’re sitting, standing, and shredding all day.
More from Robb Report
Having the right ski equipment makes all the difference on the slopes. A good skier can spend years fine-tuning the apparel and gear in his quiver—and the right ski pants are the foundation of any ski getup. And as an admitted good skier, I’ve tried them all: ski pants with bibs, ski pants without bibs, ski pants without suspenders. Everything. The beautiful thing about shopping for a stellar pair today is that there are many, many options available. This also means that finding the right one could feel paralyzing.
But that’s why we’re here. If you’re looking for the best ski pants for men this winter, the selection below is a great place to start.
What to Consider Before Buying the Best Ski Pants
There are figuratively as many types of ski pants out there as there are mountains in the world. The overarching questions you need to start with are what type of skier you are and how you plan on wearing these pants. If you’re into advanced backcountry touring, something lightweight and unlined will suit you best. If you’re a novice who perhaps isn’t working up quite as much of a sweat, something insulated will suit you better. Here are some things to think about before adding to cart.
Material: The most important aspect to consider here is that your ski pants are water repellent or waterproof. Snow—especially when it’s actively precipitating—quickly melts from your body heat when it comes into contact with your ski pants, so anything that isn’t water-repellent at a bare minimum will quickly start to sop and lose all its insulation properties.
Fit: As mentioned, anything that leaves your skin exposed is no bueno. You’ll want pants that hug your waist or perhaps feature details like velcro straps or built-in belts, which allow you to cinch the pants into place. You’ll want freedom of movement, but you’ll also want to make sure they aren’t budging.
Insulation: This is largely up to your personal comfort level and how well you know your body. Are you someone who is always running on the chilly side? Or does your body throw as much heat as a wood-fired furnace? The other variable to consider is what level of activity you plan on doing in the ski pants: resort skiing that involves a lot of short bursts of activity followed by long bouts of chilly chairlift rides; or backcountry skiing, which involves hours of heavy trekking uphill.
Style: Ski gear is a significant investment that most of us end up only using a few times a year, so it’s important to consider the style of your ski pants. You’ll get more mileage out of something that has a more sleek, low-key design profile. This way it can be mixed and matched with a variety of jackets for many ski seasons to come.
BEST OVERALL SKI PANTS
Mammut Haldigrat HS Bib Ski Pants
From the size of bib (it should hit right below your pecs) and the low-profile width of the suspenders to the not-slim-but-not-baggy silhouette and the thoughtfully placed pockets, everything about these pants is a winner. Serious skiers and professional guides turn to Mammut for quality and durability, but this pair is also comfortable enough for the casual set, too. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing on the mountain, this pair will make you look like you do.
Material: Polyamide with Drytech Pro Technology membrane.
MOST STYLISH SKI PANTS
Mackage Kenyon Ski Pants
It’s easy for ski pants to add on the bells and whistles, unnecessary design elements that can easily look dated after a few seasons. This pair from Mackage, however, features many of those functional bells and whistles—but is designed to last. It’s a quintessential style that is surprisingly lightweight, features articulated knees that never bunch up, and offers added protection from the snow with built-in gaiters—all without sacrificing the sleek silhouette.
Material: Polyamide and elastane.
BEST BIB SKI PANTS
Burton [ak] Freebird Gore-Tex 3L Stretch Bib Ski Pants
Just because Burton is a heritage snowboard brand doesn’t necessarily mean its stuff can’t work for skiers, too. Specifically, its [ak] range provides top-of-the-line protection from the elements and mobility. The Freeboard pant, in particular, is lightweight, comfortable, and stretchy. But it’s the bib that sets this pair apart. It features adjustable suspenders and built-in hidden velcro panels at the lower back that you can easily tweak for the perfect fit.
Material: Gore-Tex C-Knit Stretch 3-Layer Nylon 30D.
BEST INSULATING SKI PANTS
Canada Goose Tundra Cargo Ski Pant
For those of us who always run a little cold, Canada Goose’s Tundra Cargo pant is about as toasty as it gets. It’s actually designed for the most extreme conditions and cold climates (think escapades in the Arctic), but they’re mobile enough to also work for skiing, too. The fabric is woven with a hint of cotton, so it’ll develop a unique patina over time for that super cool “had these forever” look.
Material: Polyester and cotton with a water-repellent finish.
Insulation: 625 fill power down.
BEST PANTS FOR BACKCOUNTRY SKIING
Fjallraven Bergtagen Touring Ski Pants
The demands of backcountry ski pants are unique. They need to be lightweight enough so you don’t sweat through them on strenuous ascents, but they also need to be substantial enough to keep you warm on the way down the mountain. This pair perfectly nails that balance of breathability and insulation, made with three different stretch fabrics for maximum mobility.
Material: Polyamide and elastane.
BEST FITTING SKI PANTS
Fusalp Flash II Fuseau Ski Pants
Leave it to a European brand, one born on the slopes, to understand the perfect fit. This pair from Fusalp is breathable, waterproof, and windproof—all the characteristics that make it ideal for shredding. But the crux is the silhouette, which is precisely cut from a soft shell material that hugs the body in all the right places. It’s slim without being skinny and will look good—and perform well—all day long.
Material: Polyester, polyamide and elastane.
BEST WOOL-LINED SKI PANTS
Ortovox 3L Guardian Ski Pants
Ortovox is known for innovative uses of both high-tech fabrics and merino wools, and this pair is a great example of this sentiment. They’re made from a high-performance membrane to keep wind and moisture at bay, but they’re also fully lined with a fine merino wool that is equal parts insulating and moisture-wicking. To wit: They will keep you warm and dry on the slopes.
Material: Polyamide with a DERMIZAX®EV membrane.
Insulation: Merino wool.
MOST COMFORTABLE SKI PANTS
Arc’teryx Rush Soft Shell Ski Pants
Ever encounter those old-school ski pants that are crinkly and loud? These are pretty much the opposite. They’re made from a flexible, stretchy, comfy soft shell material. Sometimes soft shell ski gear means sacrificing functionality—but this pair is wind-resistant, water-repellent, and breathable, while also featuring enough stretch to keep up with all your moves.
Material: 220gsm Wee Burly Double Weave.
Insulation: Brushed backer.
BEST WATERPROOF SKI PANTS
Head Sportswear Summit Ski Pants
Certain mountain ranges are known for heavier snow, wetter snow, and conditions that generally mean that you’re putting up with above-average moisture. Enter this high-performing pair of ski pants from Head Sportswear, which features a durable waterproof finish and built-in gaiters for added protection. But despite offering a pretty impenetrable barrier against the elements, they’re still breathable and mobile; plus, they come in a sleek articulated fit.
Material: Polyester 2L four-way stretch with DWR finish.
BEST SUSTAINABLE SKI PANTS
Houdini Rollercoaster Ski Pants
If we don’t take care of our planet, we’re not going to be able to ski forever. Here to help is Houdini, a brand that is doing really interesting work around circularity and sustainable production. Its collections are Bluesign-certified, meaning they’ve been vetted by a third party to ensure no harmful chemicals or substances were used during the production process. And they’re made from recycled materials, sourced from a chain of suppliers that produce 32 percent less CO2 emissions and use 94 percent less water. Also, all of Houdini’s stores and many of its retailers offer recycling units, so (many years from now) when these pants are completely worn out, you can return them knowing they’ll be recycled into a new pair.
Material: Polyester with Atmos membrane.
Best of Robb Report