Are There Any Differences Between Ski and Snowboard Pants?

There isn’t much of a difference between ski and snowboard pants. Some snowboard pants might have a wider leg opening or looser fit. But you can wear ski pants for snowboarding and vice versa. It just depends on your needs and preferences. 

I’ve been snowboarding for nearly my entire life. I’ve worn many different types of cold weather clothing during that time and have first-hand experience with both ski and snowboard pants. 

This post will tell you why there isn’t much difference between ski and snowboard pants. I’ll highlight some minor differences and tell you why you can easily use either option. 

Let’s get to it. 

Ski and Snowboard Pants: The Differences

There aren’t many differences between ski and snowboard pants other than how they are marketed. Like jackets, ski and snowboard pants serve the same purpose: to keep you warm and dry in the cold and snow. 

You don’t have to wear snowboard pants if you are a snowboarder. If you find a pair of ski pants that you like, they should work just fine. It’s all about finding the equipment that best meets your needs and preferences on the snow. 

Snowboard pants sometimes have a looser fit than ski pants. This is more of a design and style thing than anything else. There are also baggy ski pants. But I think there are more loose-fitting snowboard pant options than ski pant options. 

You want to make sure that the pants you choose have a wide enough cuff to cover your boots effectively. This is important to help keep snow from getting in your boots. If the cuffs don’t cover your boots, there’s a good chance snow will fall into your socks

Besides the difference in fit, ski and snowboard pants are pretty much the same. I’ve used several pairs of ski pants over the years because those were what I wanted at the time, and they served me well. 

What Type of Pants Should You Get? 

You should get whatever pants best meet your needs and preferences. Some things to consider include fit, comfort, warmth, and additional features. 

You don’t need to get a snowboard-specific pair of pants if you find a set of ski pants with better features and a more comfortable fit. And every rider has different preferences, so you never know what you might like the best. 

If you have the chance to try on your pants before buying them, that is always a good idea. Once you put them on, try to squat down and move your legs in a full range of motion, similar to when you are snowboarding. 

You don’t want the pants to restrict your movement at all. If they do, they don’t fit properly. You should also try to bring your snowboard boots along to ensure the pants fit over them without any issues. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to if there is a difference between ski and snowboard pants. 

Can you wear ski pants for snowboarding? 

Yes, you can wear ski pants for snowboarding. As long as the pants fit you right and provide you with everything else you want and need, it doesn’t matter what type of pants you get. Ski and snowboard pants are essentially the same. 

What are the types of snowboarding pants? 

There are a few different styles of snowboarding pants, including insulated pants, shells, and bibs. Insulated pants have an extra layer of material to keep you warm. Shells do not have insulation but are still waterproof. Bibs sit over your shoulders like overalls. 

How should snowboard pants fit? 

Every rider has their own preferences for how snowboard pants fit. You don’t want the bottom of the cuffs to be longer than your boots, or else this can lead to premature damage or get in your way when you ride. But the exact fit just depends on how you like pants to be. 


There really isn’t much difference between ski and snowboard pants other than how they are marketed. Snowboard pants can be somewhat looser-fitting, but that is not always the case. You just want to get whatever pants work best for you. 

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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