This is my review of the best snowboard pants in 2021.
Getting the right snowboard gear can be a process. The sport requires a lot of equipment, including boots, bindings, and the snowboard itself. It does not matter if you rent or buy such items, they are essential for the sport.
Once you get the basics, you next need apparel. Snowboard clothing is high on the list of essential gear, and a good pair of pants is a must-have item for all riders.
Here, we will take a look at the best snowboard pants on the market to help you get geared up for your next snowboarding adventure.
- Quick Summary
- Who Should Get This?
- Best Snowboard Pants: What to Consider in 2020
- Best Snowboard Pants: Our Picks
- 1. Best Overall – Volcom Men’s L
- 2. Runner Up – DC Nomad
- 3. Best Budget – Arctix Mountain Snowboard Shell
- 4. Budget Runner Up – Burton Covert
- 5. Best for Cold Weather – Oakley Black Forest
- 6. Best Bib Snowboard Pants – DC Revival Bib
- 7. Bib Runner Up – Volcom Rain GTX
- 8. Best for Women – Burton Society Snow Pant
- Useful Tips & Resources
- Final Words
- Two great snowboard pants that make this list due to their comfort, cold weather protection, and style are the Volcom Men’s L and the DC Nomad. You can’t go wrong with either of these and they are both made of quality material that will last for at least a few hard-charging seasons.
- The Arctix Men’s Mountain Snowboard Shell Cargo and the Burton Covert are two awesome budget options. Snowboarding is an expensive sport, so it’s nice to save some money on gear when you can. Both of these options will perform well on and off the snow.
- If you want a warm option that will keep you dry even if the harshest of storms, take a look at the Oakley Black Forest. These pants are tough, thick, and able to handle any condition that comes at them.
- For bib-style pants, both the DC Revival Bib and the Volcom Rain GTX are solid options. Bibs are great for the backcountry or cold weather conditions, and they also have a unique fit and feel that many riders prefer.
- The Burton Society Snow Pant is one of the options for women boarders. These are stylish and affordable, but also deliver the quality performance you would expect from an industry-leading brand.
Who Should Get This?
No matter what your ability level is or how often you’re able to ride, every boarder needs pants. Besides the essential equipment that makes it possible to go down the mountain (board, boots, bindings), snowboard pants are the most crucial item you can buy.
They go a long way towards keeping snow and wind off of your body when you’re out in the elements and they can directly help you ride longer and harder.
You can’t rent pants in the same way you do your other equipment. As such, everyone needs to invest in a good pair.
Luckily, many brands let you customize your style and with all of the options available, you can find the perfect pair for you.
Best Snowboard Pants: What to Consider in 2020
The main function of snowboard pants is to keep your lower body warm and dry while you ride. That means all pairs need to be fully waterproof and weatherproof. If you’re looking at pants that are not waterproof, you’re not looking at snowboard pants.
Being cold and wet while riding can be bad at best and dangerous at worst. As such, you need models that do a good job of keeping water and weather away.
Strong snowboard pants have strong materials. Gore-Tex is one of the most common out there because of how well it keeps moisture out and away from your body.
There are other materials that work well too. Just be sure whatever you get can stand up to the different elements you’ll encounter on the mountain.
Insulation is also important to consider when getting snowboard pants. The amount of warmth you need or want can either be decided by how warm your body tends to be or the conditions you find yourself most often in.
Most snowboard pants use synthetic insulation made from materials such as polyester and other plastic derived fibers.
If you tend to run hot or ride in a warmer location, you can get pants that have less insulation or even a shell type pant that only keeps out water and wind.
If you want to stay warm or plan on riding in a cold location, you want to get pants with a good amount of insulation.
Snowboard pants come in two main styles: regular pants or bibs. Regular pants are just as they sound, two legs with a zipper or button-up crotch that you secure at the waist.
Bibs have extra material going above the waist and secure with straps over your shoulders. Bibs look like overalls if you’re familiar with that item of clothing.
Which style you choose is up to you. The majority of riders use regular pants just because they are more common and function well in almost every situation. Bibs come in handy in the backcountry when you need extra protection against the elements. They also help you carry extra food or equipment.
I personally like using both styles and switch them up depending on what kind of riding I’m doing. I wear bibs in the backcountry or on big powder days at the resort and regular pants the rest of the time.
Fit is another consideration that comes down to personal preference. A lot of boarders like baggy pants because they are comfortable and allow for a lot of extra movement and flexibility.
In contrast, some riders like a more slim, modern fit that allows for movement without being super baggy. It all comes down to personal preference.
Pants come in the standard sizing options, but some models are designed to fit looser or tighter. What you choose is up to you.
Just make sure whatever you buy has a good length and overall fit. If your pants are too long, it can cause problems when carving heelside. They can also get tattered and torn when you walk or ride.
Your snowboard pants need good ventilation, and built-in vents or mesh are a great way to go about that. Try to find pants that have a zipper or two on the outside or inner leg region that you can open up to let in or keep out airflow.
If you ride hard, it’s easy to build up your body temperature to the point where you’re too hot. Ventilation zippers allow you to adjust your body temperature.
There is a wide array of additional features that can be built into your pant’s design. Every model is at least somewhat different from one another in what extra features they offer. Pockets are an almost universal standard, but the amount of them can vary with each pair of pants.
I always like to look for models that offer extra pockets because this can come in handy when you want to bring extra snacks or other gear along on your adventure.
Other features such as a pass holder, loops, buckles, velcro or zippered pockets, ventilation, and gators are also good to keep in mind as you shop for new pants.
You don’t need to have every feature, but you may find that little things such as a cargo pocket or pass holder come in handy as you ride.
Best Snowboard Pants: Our Picks
1. Best Overall – Volcom Men’s L
Simply put, the Volcom Men’s L are some of the best snowboard pants around. These are simple in style but very effective when it comes to performance. They have a flexible modern fit that isn’t too baggy on top of excellent water and windproof characteristics. A comfortable and durable option.
The pants feature a 2-layer Gore-Tex waterproofing system that excels at keeping water and wind away from your lower body.
Even with all of that protection, they are still highly breathable in a way that helps you stay cool and comfortable if you sweat.
The pants also feature a good number of well-placed zippered pockets on top of fully taped seams and powder cuffs that keep snow out of your boots.
- Great all-around snowboard pants
- 2-layer Gore-Tex waterproofing system
- Modern fit that is not too tight, not too loose.
- Powder Cuffs
- Fully taped seams
- Side pockets are a little small
- Can run short for taller riders
2. Runner Up – DC Nomad
Another top option due to their form, fit, and function is the DC Nomad. These are some of the best fitting snowboard pants I have ever had and they are designed to sit securely at your hips and stay on tight no matter how hard you push it on the slopes.
They have a regular fit that stays in the sweet spot between comfort and performance. Highly flexible and supremely durable, these pants are great for riders at every level.
The Nomad features 30,000 mm of Gore-Tex waterproof protection. That enables them to keep you dry in harsh winter storms when the powder stacks up.
They also come with excellent built-in ventilation that allows you to breathe as you push your board and abilities to the limit. These pants have secure pockets, zippered cuffs, and a strong, built-to-last construction.
- Great fit
- 30k waterproof protection
- Highly breathable
- Secure pockets
- Strong and durable
- Cuffs can fray
- Can run long in the leg
3. Best Budget – Arctix Mountain Snowboard Shell
Snowboarding is expensive. There is no way around that. That’s why it’s nice to find ways to save on gear when you can. The Arctix Men’s Mountain Snowboard Shell Cargo Pants are a great option for riders who need a solid pair of pants but don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money.
This model is simple-but-effective. It will keep you dry all season long.
These pants make the list because of their affordability, but they also have some key features that make them good for snowboarding. Warmth is created by a multi-layered construction that has lightweight insulation and micro-chambers that trap in heat.
They have a fairly slim fit but are still comfortable and flexible without getting in the way. They are also durable thanks to the reinforced material in critical areas such as the ankle and seat.
- Multi-layered construction for added warmth
- Reinforced material in critical areas
- Cargo pocket
- Relaxed fit
- Machine washable
- Slim fit not preferred by some riders
- Waterproof but not great in wet powder conditions
4. Budget Runner Up – Burton Covert
The Burton Covert is another great snow pant from a trusted brand. This is a great option if you’re getting your own snowboard gear together for the first time. They offer plenty of warmth and wet weather protection without costing an arm and a leg.
Burton is probably the best-known brand in the game, which means you can expect high-quality even at a lower price.
The Covert features a regular fit that’s both flexible and comfortable. A Dryride two-layer fabric construction is durable, breathable, and fully waterproof. The built-in layer of Thermolite insulation will keep you warm without weighing you down or holding you back.
The pants come with fully taped seams for increased weather protection and there is mesh-lined venting in select locations as well. The pants also have plenty of pockets to store any extras you want to bring with you.
- Trusted brand
- Excellent fit
- Dryride two-layer fabric construction
- Good ventilation
- Plenty of pockets
- Lots of color options
- Waist buttons can be hard to attach in the snow
- Not as durable as other Burton pants
5. Best for Cold Weather – Oakley Black Forest
Even the warmest people out there still get cold from time to time. Whether you tend to run cold or want an option for those days when the temperature plummets, the Oakley Black Forest Pants are a great cold-weather option when snowboarding.
Oakley is best known for goggles and glasses but they make some solid snowboarding gear options as well. That includes these pants.
These keep out moisture thanks to a 15k waterproof fabric construction that uses a hydrophilic lamination to increase protection from the elements.
In addition to the functional elements, the pants are also extremely comfortable thanks to an adjustable waistband and cuffs. They also feature a highly functional zippered ventilation system, 3 watertight pockets, and two additional cargo pockets for extra gear.
- Great cold weather option
- 15k waterproof material
- Hydrophilic lamination for added weather protection
- Adjustable waistband
- Warm and comfortable
- Zippered ventilation
- Lower buttons can fall off
- Not every pocket is watertight
6. Best Bib Snowboard Pants – DC Revival Bib
I have a pair of these bibs and they are some of the most comfortable and functional snowboard pants I have ever used. They also have a cool, unique look that manages to be eye-catching without being too flashy.
The bibs feature easy-to-adjust elastic bands to customize your comfort as well as a stretch polyester Oxford weave material with built-in ripstop fabric for added durability. They are made with a 15k weatherproof material that keeps you both warm and dry.
Additional features include a mesh-lined venting system, articulated legs, a stretch side gusset, velcro cargo pockets, and fully taped seams.
- Flexible and durable
- Customizable fit
- Mesh-lined venting system
- Large chest and cargo pockets
- Fully taped seams
- Not the warmest bibs out there
- Can run large in size
7. Bib Runner Up – Volcom Rain GTX
The Volcom Rain GTX is another bib-style snowboard pant that makes for a great option for riders. These are durable and built to handle serious abuse in rapidly changing conditions. A 2-layer Gore-Tex shell provides a first line of defense against the cold.
In addition, the V-science lining system helps the pants stay breathable and comfortable in the backcountry.
Bibs aren’t always chosen by the average rider, but if you love the style for added warmth or to keep powder out of your trousers, you can’t go wrong with the Rain GTX.
This bib also features a zip tech pant-to-jacket interface for those extra cold days and a YKK aqua guard water repellent zipper. A serious bib for serious riders.
- Great water protection
- 2-layer Gore-Tex shell
- Zip tech pant-to-jacket interface
- Deep pockets
- Can fit tight in the chest on larger riders
8. Best for Women – Burton Society Snow Pant
The Burton Society Snow Pant is one of the best women’s snowboard pants options around. Burton delivers consistent quality and performance and these pants have it all.
They have a modern regular fit that’s slim while still providing plenty of flex and comfort regardless of how you like to ride. They also come in just about every color you could imagine.
These pants feature a Dryride 2-way fabric construction that provides excellent waterproof characteristics while still being highly breathable. 40g of Thermolite insulation provides plenty of warmth to keep you cozy on colder days.
A mesh-lined inner thigh has strategically placed ventilation zippers to further increase comfort and performance. These are great snowboard pants that female riders will surely love.
- A great women’s specific snowboard pant
- Comfortable fit
- Trusted brand
- Warm and waterproof
- Fully taped seams
- Zippered hand warmer pockets
- Not many, these are solid pants
Useful Tips & Resources
A good pair of snowboard pants should last for multiple seasons even with steady use. The options listed here all come recommended for many reasons, but they mainly make the list due to their inherent durability. That being said, no pants are indestructible and everyday use can cause them to wear down.
If you happen to rip or tear your pants on a tree branch, don’t worry. It’s possible to repair them and continue to use them for a lot longer. If you get a large tear, try to tape the hole until you can get home and perform the repair. Check out this video to help you learn how to fix a tear or puncture.
Also, pant sizing can vary quite a bit from brand to brand. One company’s medium might be another’s large or vice versa. It’s always a good idea to try on pants before you purchase them when possible. For some tips on how to fit your snowboard pants, take a look at this article.
You now have some good options to choose from when it comes to snowboard pants. All of the items on this list make for reliable and functional additions to your snowboarding setup. Every rider needs at least one pair of solid pants.
If you love to get out in the snow and ride, you might even want to get your hands on two or more of the options listed here.