When you hit the slopes, the last thing you want to worry about is your clothing choices, and having the right ski pants can make all of the difference.
Considering you’ll be out there in unforgiving weather and working up a sweat, there’s a lot that goes into choosing the perfect pair.
What are the best women’s ski pants?
Women’s ski pants need to be comfortable, warm, and flexible, as well as being capable of going from the ski resort to the backcountry in terms of style. A specially made ski pant will have the right material and style for skiing, so you need to choose one specifically made for this setting.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of women’s fitted ski pants, we can help, as we’ve selected some of the best that are out there today.
Rating and ranking
With our selections, you’ll guarantee your attention is directed at the slopes in front of you, and know that you’re taken care of in style, performance, and comfort.
As with any type of activewear, a good pair of ski pants for women needs to be designed to suit the conditions you’re being active in.
When it comes to skiing, there are just a handful of contenders on the market today that tick all of the boxes, so check out our picks for the best women’s ski pants.
Best Women’s Ski Pants – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2021
Best Overall: Trew Gear Astoria Bib
- Material: Nylon
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Pockets: 2
If the bib style is your favorite look for ski pants for women, the Trew Gear Astoria is our pick for you. The Astoria Bib has a 100% nylon face and Oxford weave, with a soft silky lining that’s also made of nylon.
These stylish pants are made with a PNW2L membrane that offers 20,000mm waterproofing and 15,000gm breathability, a transceiver pocket with D-ring and zippered back pocket, and adjustable shoulder straps to get it perfectly fitted.
The best thing about the Astoria is that it’s designed for harsh weather, and it does such a good job at protecting you, you’ll almost be praying that the conditions get worse. The Astoria Bib has high levels of waterproofing to keep you dry and warm, so even if your pants get wet you won’t feel it on the inside. Better still, there are three stylish colors to choose from in Black, Dark Spruce, and Honey Mustard.
These are some of the highest quality ski pants on the market, and there are loads of features that make them so, including the taped seam sealing and Super Fabric on the hem to protect against snow damage. They can take a thrashing and will last for many years to come, if you take care of them, and they’re one of the few options out there that have a lengthy warranty for your peace of mind.
The pockets are a little lackluster here and if you’re a woman who likes some storage options on the slopes, you might be let down as well. Included on this bib are a transceiver pocket and a back pocket, without a lot of space, which could be a dealbreaker. Think about what it is you take on the slopes and whether this will suffice, otherwise you’ll be looking at bringing a bag or something else along that could seriously cramp your style.
The Astoria Bib from Trew Gear is an expensive option and might be out of reach for some skiers. Some customers also found that they weren’t the best ski pants for short women, and if you’re planning on taking them up you’ll miss out on the benefits that the Super Fabric hem provides. Therefore, these pants are a better fit for average to tall women so they can enjoy them completely.
As our pick for the best fitted women’s ski pants, the Trew Gear Astoria Bib ticks all of the boxes in comfort, style, and performance. These ski pants come with an incredible three year warranty from the manufacturer that vouches for their high quality, and if you only plan on owning one pair of ski pants in your life, let the Astoria bib be them.
Runner-Up: Flyflow Sphinx Bib Pants
- Material: Polyester
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Pockets: 6
FlyFlow has developed another stellar pair of bib pants with their Sphinx style, coming in five different sizes ranging from extra small to extra large. The Sphinx Bib features powder gaiters, two layers waterproofed membrane, four-way stretch polyester inside and out, and a water repellent finish. The FlyFlow bib features six pockets and comes in two different color schemes of Night and Elderberry, as well as adjustable straps to get the right fit.
By far the best thing about these pants is that they’re heavily insulated and there’s no chance you’ll feel an ounce of cold while you wear them. They’re designed with 40g of Spaceloft which is a micro puff insulation material, and it works in the most extreme cold conditions. Even when it’s not freezing, you’ll still be kept comfortable thanks to their breathability, so it’s a win-win.
Another huge selling point was the massive number of pockets built into them, and it appears that FlyFlow sat up and paid attention to what skiers want from their pants. You’ll get six different pockets to use however you like with these bib pants, and it has a cool kangaroo pocket on the front of the bib which is easy to access and with ample space to fit stuff in.
These pants by FlyFlow run small and there were quite a few reviewers who were disappointed to find this out after the fact. If these are on your list for a new pair of ski pants you’ll want to be fanatical about checking the measurements and how they might fit on your body, because there’s a good chance you’ll need to swap them for the next size up. Length-wise, women seemed happy, but it’s more of an issue of how they fit around the abdomen and buttocks.
Another downside was their waterproof rating was a little lower than others we’ve reviewed at around 10,000mm/10,000g, and because of the higher price tag on these pants, it’s even more disappointing. While there’s minimal chance you’ll get wet from the snow because they have a double layer, they’re still not as defensive against water as the competition. If you’re someone who can’t stand even a bit of moisture on the inner legs of your pants and want to know you have the most protection, they’re not for you.
The FlyFlow Sphinx Bib Pants are considered premium quality skiing pants, but unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any warranty coverage on them, which is disappointing for something in this price range. However, if the brand’s reputation and happy customers are anything to go by, you don’t have to worry about these ski bib pants letting you down on the slopes. The FlyFlow Spinx is one of our favorites and combines style and snow suitability all in one.
Alternative: Outdoor Research Carbide Snow Bib
- Material: Nylon
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Pockets: N/A
The Carbide Snow Bib from Outdoor Research is another contender for the best women’s ski pants, designed for traveling through the back country with 40D Nylon Pertex inside and 420D Nylon Oxford outside on the scruff guards. This bib comes in three colors, Elk, Solid Black, and Treeline, and their sizes include extra small through to extra large, so there’s something for everyone.
The Outdoor Research Carbide snow pants are considered some of the comfiest on the slope and this dedication to comfort is what makes the brand so popular. They’re incredibly soft on the inside and not too tight in certain areas, so you won’t feel restricted at all. On the outside, they’re rugged though, which means you’re getting the best of both worlds.
Another major selling point of the Outdoor Research Carbide Ski Bib is how flexible they are which means you can move however you need to without a problem. The Arcade stretch webbing on the front of the pants also makes them more breathable and as you’re working your way through the backcountry, any extra air and relief you can get make this component worth its weight in gold. If you’re looking for the best cross country ski pants women’s style, the Carbide is it.
The fit of these pants was a little unusual and different compared to other ski pants for women. There were quite a few reviews that claimed they were wide on the hips which is great for people with this body type, but for others, it meant they felt loose at times. If you’re after form-fitting ski pants and have smaller hips, there are other ski bibs out there that are a better pick.
Additionally, there were some complaints about how waterproof the Outdoor Research Carbide bib really was, so it’s not one of our favorites for those who might fall a lot and pick up powder. Because of the higher price tag, this is a pretty big disadvantage and could lead to some uncomfortable skiing sessions if you do happen to get wet. You could add another layer underneath to prevent it, but when you’re getting a quality pair of ski pants, you shouldn’t have to.
The Outdoor Research Carbide Ski Bib is our favorite find for those looking for cross country and backcountry garments, and it’s made specifically to handle these settings. Impressively, these ski pants come with a limited lifetime warranty which is hard to come by on these types of garments and proves just how well made they are. Outdoor Research is a brand with a solid reputation and they’ve illustrated why with their Carbide Ski Bib.
Alternative: Mountain Hardware Powder Quest
- Material: Polyester
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Pockets: 3
Mountain Hardware has created the Powder Quest ski pant shorts as an alternative to the popular bib style, and they come in sizes extra small through to extra large. The Powder Quest pants are made with 150D 2L polyester stretch plain weave on the face and 100% recycled polyester insulation. The two color choices are Dark Storm and Dusted Sky, and they feature articulated knees and a sports fit that make them a perfect choice for those wanting a larger range of movement.
For pants this size, it’s good to see that Mountain Hardware didn’t skimp on pockets. You’ll get two pockets located on the thighs and another located on the inner thigh that’s been sized to fit a beacon. Three pockets in this type of pant is more than you’ll get in most, and it means you can still take your important gear along for the ride.
Another bonus of these ski pants is the built-in Recco Avalance Rescue System, which includes an active detector and a passive reflector. Using this, you’ll be able to signal for help if anything goes wrong, and because it’s all built into the pants and makes use of the pockets on them, there’s no need to do anything else for this extra peace of mind. They also have a fully taped seam and feature two layers to keep you warm, so there’s no shortage of protection from winter.
These are regular ski pants and not in the bib design, which might be a pro or con, depending on what your needs are. Because it doesn’t have the bib style, you might find yourself adjusting with the straps more often to keep them on. You’ll also miss out on the kangaroo pouch pocket that many of the bibs have at the front which can be a godsend when it comes to easily accessible storage.
You might also find that the Mountain Hardware Powder Quest pants sit a little high on the waist, so if you’re not into that style, move along. While some liked having a pant that came up to their abdomen, most found it uncomfortable and it took a while to get used to. If you’re after a shorter pant because you don’t like the bib style, choosing one that sits on the hips rather than the waist might be best.
All in all, the Mountain Hardware Powder Quest pants are a great pick for women who want to steer clear of the bib style. They come with a limited lifetime warranty that speaks voluems for this brand and shows you that they’re an investment worth making. If you want a simpler ski pant that’s not lacking in any features, the Mountain Hardware Powder Quest is one of our favorites.
Best Budget Pick: Columbia Bugaboo Omni-Heat Pants
- Material: Nylon and taffeta
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Pockets: 4
If you only have basic needs for a pair of ski pants and don’t want to spend a fortune, the Columbia Bugaboo Omi-Heat Pants are it. These versatile pants are lined with 210T taffeta on nylon fabric on the outside, so they’re comfortable and flexible. The Bugaboo Pants also feature 60g Microtemp XF II synthetic fibers in its insulation, reinforced leg hems, and they range in size from extra small to extra large, with just a black style available.
The best thing about the Columbia Bugaboo Pants is all of the extra features, which you don’t usually find at this price point. It comes with things like adjustable waist straps for comfort and internal leg gaiters to keep the snow out, as well as four included pockets on the front and back. As they’re designed for all types of snow sports, they’ve managed to include features that suit them all, which is a bonus for the wearer and especially at this lower cost.
Customers were also thrilled to find that the pants provide a good level of protection against wind and water, even though they’re on the cheaper end of the scale. The Omni-Heat and Omni-Tech that Columbia uses mean you’ll get thermal reflection and waterproofing fabric both working for you and keeping you warm on the slopes, so you can stay out for longer enjoying the day. If you want even more protection, a heavier weight base layer can be added, but for most, these pants alone should be all you need.
These are multipurpose pants used for all kinds of snow sports, including skiing and snowboarding, so you might find the fit to be different than you’re used to. They’re a lot baggier and better suited to the wider breadth of movements that snowboarders perform, which may turn expert skiers away. Don’t’ purchase these expecting any form-fitting sports skiing pants, because they’ll only let you down.
Another negative of the Columbia Bugaboo Pants is that they’re not as high quality as the more expensive brands, which is okay if you’re not planning on using them all the time, but not ideal for someone looking for a permanent pair of pants. For skiers with lots of experience, this more affordable option would be better left as a backup pair, but if you’re hoping for something for your first skiing trip, they’re suitable as an entry-level option.
As a more budget-friendly pair of ski pants, the Columbia Bugaboos do a fine job, and without having to break the bank. For something of this price, it’s not surprising that there’s no warranty coverage on them, and they’re not designed to be a lifelong ski garment. If you want reliable and multipurpose snow clothes at an entry-level price, the Columbia Bugaboo Omni-Heat Ski Pants are the way to go.
Women’s Ski Pants FAQs
Whether you want short ski pants for women or the best ski pants for tall women, there’s no shortage of great choices out there.
To help you navigate the market and figure out what you need from a pair of ski pants, we’ve answered some FAQs that other women have that will point you in the right direction.
Is There A Difference Between Ski Pants And Snow Pants?
Snowboarding pants are designed for that sport, and will usually have a baggier fit to allow for more flexibility and comfort.
Ski clothes are tighter fitting to assist with aerodynamics and the body movements used in skiing, and they usually feature an inner powder cuff to prevent anything from getting in.
Do You Really Need Ski Pants?
Yes, you should invest in a pair of ski pants before hitting the slopes, as they’re created specifically for this activity.
Ski pants allow you enough flexibility to move, provide protection from the snow and cold temperatures, but are tight fitting to improve speed and aerodynamics, so they’re an essential item for the sport.
Do Ski Pants Go Over Boots?
Most ski pants are designed to go over the top of ski boots, but some styles tuck into the boots instead.
The purpose of having them go over the boots is that less snow can get inside, but there are other design features like inner powder cuffs that aim to prevent snow as well.
How Are Women’s Ski Pants Supposed To Fit?
Ski pants should be a medium fit so they’re not too loose or too tight.
The goal of a good pair of ski pants is to allow you to move comfortably in the movements of skiing but tight enough that they’re aerodynamic, unlike a pant made for snowboarding that it is always wider and baggier.
Skiing in Style
A good pair of ski pants isn’t just a fashion accessory but it can improve comfort and performance on the slopes, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
Check out our top picks for women’s ski pants and treat yourself to something that can change your entire skiing experience for the better.