The best ski pants

Nick

The best ski pants - Nickskithreevalleys

Choosing the ‘best’ of anything is no easy task. But when it comes to ski gear, I’ve got a good bit of experience and a whole wardrobe full of jackets and pants that say I’ve tested enough stuff to sort the wheat from the chaff on this one. So, when it comes to ski pants, I can say with a good bit of confidence that I know what makes a good pair great.

I’ve rounded up my top picks below and sorted them into categories so that no matter what kind of riding you like to do, there’s something for everyone. There are so many styles and types of pants that it can be really overwhelming to pick the perfect pair, but hopefully, this list gives you a running (or skiing) start. I looked at waterproofing, breathability, durability, design, and features to assemble this list, so if you’re ready to drop in, then let’s go.

The winners

Let’s look at the top picks before we get into the reviews. I’ve laid out the category, name, price, and link below and then dug deeper into each pair of pants in their own specific review.

Best overall

Montec Fawk Bib

Price: £201
What we love: The Montec Fawk Bib pants offer a fantastic blend of roominess and features. With a 20k/20k shell and a comfortable design, they are an excellent all-round choice, boasting a lightweight construction.

The Montec Fawk Bib pants have been my go-to for the last two seasons, and they still look brand new, even after a hundred days of riding. I particularly prefer the Fawk over the Arch because of their tailored fit, which makes them more comfortable for long days on the mountain and for hiking.

These bibs are lightweight thanks to their lined shell design and are easy to get on and off, unlike some bibs that can be quite cumbersome. They’re priced really well compared to other bibs with similar stats too, and they come packed with a host of features like vents, waterproof storage, and one-hand adjustable suspenders (a feature I really like), along with all the other necessities for a long day on the slopes. Plus, the Fawk Bib pants are available in both insulated and non-insulated options, giving you the flexibility to choose based on your preference; an option I love.

While it’s hard to claim one bib can do it all, if I had to pick just one, it would be the Fawk. Plus, it comes in a variety of colorways that match both the Fawk jacket and other Montec jackets, allowing for easy mix-and-match options to keep your style on point. The versatility and thoughtful design of the Montec Fawk Bib make it a top contender for any skier or snowboarder looking for reliable and stylish gear.

Best value for money

Protest MIIKKA Ski pants

Price: £149.99
What we love: Exceptional performance and durability at a price that’s easy on the wallet. These pants offer solid protection and functionality without breaking the bank.

The Protest MIIKKA Ski Pants feature 20k/20k waterproofing and breathability, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable all day long. They come with reinforced stitching and a modern fit that pairs well with their sleek design. Additionally, they have a layer of lightweight insulation that keeps you warm without adding bulk and fully taped seams, which is a standout feature at this price point.

These pants come loaded with useful features, including zipped and meshed leg vents for optimal ventilation, a tab-adjustable waist for a customized fit, and boot gaiters to keep the snow out. The Protest MIIKKA Ski Pants are an easy pick for the best value for money because they deliver great quality at an affordable price. Whether you damage them, spill something on them, or simply wear them out, they are economical enough to replace without much hassle. Ski-wear takes a beating, so having a reliable and cost-effective option like the Protest MIIKKA Ski Pants is perfect for those who go through gear quickly or want to grab something new every season.

Best bib

Burton Freebird GORE‑TEX 3L Stretch Bib Pants

Price: £650
What we love: Burton’s commitment to quality and performance shines in the Freeride 3L Bib, offering superior waterproofing and breathability with plenty of features to enhance your ride.

The Burton Freeride 3L Bib definitely comes in on the high end of the price spectrum, but in terms of a long-term investment, it’s hard to beat. With the bombproof reliability of GORE-TEX backing you up, these bibs ensure you stay dry and comfortable in the harshest conditions. Design features include an easy-entry front opening and adjustable suspenders for a snug but comfortable fit. 

The bib also boasts loads of storage options with multiple body and leg pockets, perfect for keeping your essentials close at hand. Ventilation zips help regulate your temperature, while reinforced hems and snow gaiters keep the snow out and ensure durability. The Burton Freeride 3L Bib is a fantastic all-around option for those who demand high performance and durability on the mountain. Whether you’re tackling backcountry powder or resort groomers, these bibs are designed to handle it all while keeping you comfortable and stylish.

Best design

Peak Performance ALPINE GORE-TEX 3L SHELL PANTS

Price: £550
What we love: Classic pants designed from the ground up for deep powder days. Equipped with GORE-TEX and a 3L construction, these high-end pants are ready for the gnarliest lines.

The Peak Performance Alpine GORE-TEX 3L Pants feature a sleek and stylish design with a 3L construction that ensures superior waterproofing and breathability in a lightweight package. These pants are built to withstand the harshest weather conditions, providing rock-solid protection in even the harshest conditions. The standout feature of these pants is the full-length, two-way leg zips. You can zip from the hem all the way to the hip to customize how ‘open’ they are and how much cooling you get, making them ideal for strenuous ascents and touring in warmer conditions. 

The Alpine GORE-TEX 3L Pants also come with fully taped seams, ensuring no water gets through, even in the wettest conditions.  They also threw in a RECCO® reflector for added safety in the backcountry and an adjustable waistband for a perfect fit. The combination of innovative design alongside a host of high-end features makes the Peak Performance Alpine GORE-TEX 3L Pants the top choice for the best-designed ski pants available, offering unmatched performance and style for serious skiers and snowboarders.

Best for touring

Black Diamond Recon Bib

Price: £400
What we love: The stretchy 3L construction, ultra-lightweight design, loads of storage, and a 20k/20k split make this a powerhouse powder hound of a bib with lots of features, tech, and a mountain pedigree that’s sure to please even the most hardcore crowd.

When it comes to touring, you really are spoilt for choice. The likes of Picture and Peak Performance sit at the top of the tree, but you’re paying so much for some of those items that you must ask yourself sometimes if it is really worth it. All the touring gear I’ve had wears out faster than the resort stuff just because you’re making it work that much harder. So when I see a bib that’s on par with the items that are two, even three hundred pounds more expensive, I get my head turned. And when that item is from Black Diamond, and is a 3L stretchy shell? Well, then, I’m piqued.

Digging into these pants, you see that they really haven’t skimped at all. You get both left and right openings at the waist for easier access and lots of storage up top, including a dedicated phone pocket, along with an extremely comfy suspender design. Waterproof zips throughout, combined with reinforced heel kicks, shaped knees, a built-in RECCO reflector, and an integrated belt, all make this pair of pants the complete package and, at this price point, a welcome reprieve from the ultra-high-end pants they sit alongside.

Best for park riding

Dope Antek Pants

Price: £140
What we love: 15k/15k with an ultra-tough recycled nylon shell, oversized vents, unique cargo styling, and a built-in belt. The Antek are my go-to for cruisey resort days and park sessions, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

At £140, these are not only the cheapest pants on our list but some of the most comfy and stylish, too. The Antek pants from Dope Snow have a rock-solid 15k of waterproofing and 15k of breathability, along with an eco-friendly DWR coating and a woven nylon shell to make them indestructible. All that means that they’re punching well above their weight. And thanks to having no insulation, that weight is low, even better for kickers and rails.

They’re not just designed for the park, though, with a list of great features, including boot gaiters to keep the powder out, fully taped seams, elasticated hems, an elasticated waist (which is the most comfortable thing ever), a built-in belt, and loads of storage. As such, they’re park-focused pants perfect for spring sessions thanks to the massive external vents on the thighs, with the specs and the design capability to ride the whole mountain. If I don’t feel like wearing the Arch bib, I’ll reach for these as they’re super easy to pull on and just go riding.

About the author

Nick is a seasoned skier and passionate about the Three Valleys region in France and likes to share expert advice on resorts, accommodations, and local gems, based on his personal experiences. Nick is dedicated to supporting local businesses and promoting the authentic French skiing culture for a memorable experience on the slopes.