We all already started planning our winter holidays as the cold season is slowly approaching. While some of us prefer calm getaways to spend some quality time with our families, others decide to embrace the idea of experiencing some adrenaline by hitting the snowboard on the ski slopes across or outside Australia.
If snowboarding is your choice for the winter season too, then I’m sure you’re already familiar with the importance of having the right snowboarding gear. According to experienced snowboarders, the best investment you can make when it comes to gear is a pair of good snowboarding pants that will keep your lower body warm and dry and allow you to move with ease.
Choose Your Prefered Style of Snowboard Pants
Talking about pants for snowboarding, they may not be the most fashionable option, but their style is what’s definitely going to keep you comfortable and warm on the slope. So, before you throw yourself on the snowboard, you really need to choose a pair of snowboard pants that matches your preference. Here’s what styles you can pick.
Pants are the universal bottomwear when we’re talking about snowboarding gear. But before you decide to go for the classic pants, you should know that in the world of snow sports pants aren’t considered the warmest option for getting out on the slope.
But, if you’re not the type of person that gets easily cold, and you prefer being comfortable over everything, then you should definitely choose a pair of standard pants with an elastic waist or a zip fly- depending on your preferences. Besides keeping you comfortable on the slope, with the classic pants, you’ll never face any issues during the bathroom breaks.
If keeping warm is your priority over everything else, adding a pair of bib pants to your snowboarding gear is the best investment you can make. These pants come up to the chest and have built-in suspenders that provide extra warmth to your core.
Aside from keeping you warm, you’re mutual that falls aren’t unusual when snowboarding. By having a nice pair of bib pants, you won’t need to worry that snow is going to get into your business since they cover your entire body and remove the gap between the jacket and the pants.
Pick a Fit That Feels Right for You
The fit of the pants usually depends on your preferences. Do you prefer a more comfortable solution that will let you maneuver easily or you like the feeling of wearing tight pants more? Here’s what you should know regarding the fit.
The skinny fit pants are tailored at the waist, hips and thigh. As much as they aren’t the most comfortable solution, they offer a great base for layering that will keep all the layers close to the body and by that keep your body warmer.
The regular fit pants offer more comfort than the skinny fits and are good for layering too, without being too tight or constricting.
If you’re not willing to compensate for your comfort when hitting the snowboard, make sure you go for relaxed fit pants. These snow pants are not tailored at all and offer more space in the waist and hips area you can use for layering, without worrying that the layers are glued to your body making moving around hard.
Consider the Warmth a Pair of Pants Can Provide
Different people feel the cold on the slopes differently. Some tend to get very cold while being in the snow, and others get easily hot when moving their body, regardless of being surrounded by snow and the temperatures being extremely low.
If roaming around the snow makes you chilled to the bone, then you should definitely opt for snowboard pants that have insulated materials built into them. Snowboarding pants insulation is often made from fleece, or synthetics such as the Primaloft, and can be placed all over the pants or on specific areas that will keep the most vulnerable parts of your body warm.
If jumping on your snowboard and ruling the slope for you means sweating, then a good pair of shell pants is ideal for winter outdoor activities. These snowboarding pants are extremely breathable and lightweight, which makes them ideal for warmer winter conditions too.
But, that doesn’t mean that the shell pants can’t be worn in colder conditions. Shell pants are ideal for layering because they add minimal bulk, making it possible to adjust the layers to your preferences and the weather conditions without compensating for the flexibility of movement while snowboarding. What’s more, just like insulated pants, they are wind-resistant too.
Always Opt for a Breathable Pair
The breathability of the pants you’re going to wear is important for transporting the water vapour (or the sweat) outside of the fabric. Such fabrics tend to have pores that are bigger than sweat molecules, which lets them escape, and ensures you that you’ll stay dry and warm while being in the snow. One of the best fabrics used for making snow pants is Gore-Tex, which offers and extremely breathable experience.
Waterproofing Is Important Too
Waterproofing usually goes hand-in-hand with the breathability feature of the pants. In other words, the same pores that let the sweat escape are smaller than a molecule of water, thus preventing any water from penetrating the fabric and make you wet when accidentally slipping from your snowboard.
In addition to the Gore-Tex option we mentioned before (which is the most breathable and waterproof fabric on the market), the materials such as Hyvent and DryRide also provide a good waterproof solution for a lower price.
Other Features You Should Pay Attention to
Any seams or zippers that can be found on the pants are potential holes for the water to penetrate inside the pants. For this purpose, you can choose fully taped pants that have every stitched seam taped, and have additional waterproof tape glued inside and outside of the seam in the areas that are most prone to moisturize.
Aside from the fully taped pants for snowboard, you can also choose the critically taped type of pants. These pants are taped only at the most vulnerable areas of the pants that are most exposed to moisture. But, this doesn’t mean that the critically taped pants are a bad choice for snowboarding pants, and they are budget-friendly too.
As much as your winter pants are waterproof and are fully taped, the area where your pants are cuffed can’t be protected from the moisture penetrating your boots and lower extremities with nothing but built-in gaiters. As much as the gaiters are mostly intended for skiing pants, additional protection is always welcome when we’re talking about snowy conditions.
Even if you’re having the most breathable pair of snow pants, sometimes snowboarding can become sweaty, especially on the warmer days. For this purpose, you’ll need pants with vents that release the heat without making you “steam” inside your gear and let the air circulate instead.
The vents are most commonly located on the inner thigh inseam and feature a mesh lining or zip vents along the outer seam. As much as both of these features offer excellent venting, the zippers on the outside tend to be bigger, and additionally speed up the process of cooling if it gets extremely hot.
Pockets are one of the essential features you should look for in a pair of snowboarding pants because I’m sure you don’t want to snowboard carrying a backpack on your back.
As much as sometimes smaller pockets are enough to store the most important things, such as your phone, money or your snowboarding pass, sometimes having some more space to store things in your pants is welcomed. Such feature can be found in cargo pockets (which can be mostly seen on army uniform pants) and are useful if you want to store some snacks or water if snowboarding is the only thing you’ll be doing for the day, or you simply need to store more things you find essential for your next snowboarding adventure.
Once you check all the features on this list, you can rest assured that you can find yourself the best pair of snowboarding pants and get ready to snowboard like a pro.