Our Favorite Mens Ski Pants for All Types of Snow

I spent my formative skiing years on East Coastice, sporting windbreaker trouserswith pantyhose underneath. So I fully understand that,technically, you can wear just about anything and survive a day on the hill. But if you want to enjoy the experience and actually be comfortable, you need to pay attention to your ski pants. Certain conditions require different bottoms. Here are my go-to pants for each scenario, whether Im skiing champagne powder or wet slush.

Dynafit Beast Hybrid ($350)

(Photo: Courtesy Backcountry)

Best For: Touring

Dynafit emphasized mobility and comfort with the Beast, giving high-exposure areaslike the knees and butta waterproof shell, while building the rest of the pants with a stretchier, more breathable combo of nylon and elastane. I like the slimmer fit, which borders on skinny-jeansterritorybut still has plenty of room for base layers and big boots. The two high thigh pockets are large enough to store my essentials, but theyre placed perfectly near my hip so my phone and wallet dont bouncewhen Im moving quickly. Ive been wearing these pants whileskinningup my local hill, but if you finally scored that dream multi-day hut trip, make sure theseare in your kit.

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Patagonia Powder Bowl ($300)

(Photo: Courtesy Backcountry)

Best For: Skiing in wet conditions

Sometimes my weekly ski day comes with a side of freezing rain and ice. Enter the Powder Bowl, a burly hard-shell pant thats 100 percentwaterproof and windproof and built to keep you dry in the worst conditions. I ski on the East Coast often, so conditions are variableto say the least, and these pants havehandled rain, snow, and ice like a champ. And yetI dont get overheated in them, because the two-layer Gore-Tex pant is constructedwith a mesh liner, and large zip vents on the outer thighs help move heat when Im working hard.


Flylow Firebird Bibs ($300)

(Photo: Courtesy Backcountry)

Best For: Everyday skiing

Bib lovers, take note: the Firebird could be the only pair you need. This workhorse three-layer number is tough enough to handle daily wear at the resortbut comfortable and breathable enough to excel in the backcountry. Credit the membrane, which balances breathability (a rating of 10k) with waterproofness (also 10k) to get you through a typical day on the mountain. Flylow added a few smart details, like a soft-shell fabric on the upper backfor extraairflow and Cordura reinforcement on the cuffs. But my favorite features are the two kangaroo pockets on the chest, which give you a place to carry an extra set of gloves and a snack. I also dig the two-tone aesthetic, which makes me want to ditch the jacket and ski farmer style. The Firebird is baggier than the other pants on this list, which youll either love or hate, depending on how you roll.

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Black Diamond Boundaryline Insulated ($300)

(Photo: Courtesy Backcountry)

Best For: Keeping warm and comfortable

The Boundaryline is built for resort laps on the coldest days, with a waterproof exterior thats complemented bya thin layer ofsynthetic insulation. I knew these pants would be warm, but I didnt expect them to be such a joy to wear. The lining feels like silk, and while the 20k/20k membrane is fully waterproof and breathable, it has the texture of brushed cotton and boasts an incredible amount of stretch. The end result is a pair of pants so comfortable thatyoull think youre skiing in your pajamas.

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The North Face Straight Six Pants ($120)

(Photo: Courtesy REI)

Best For: Skiing on a budget

When buying gear, Im a firm believer in the notion that you get what you pay for. But the Straight Six proved me wrong. This pair provides premium performance and features at a reasonableprice. The two-layer pants are fully water- and windproof, thanks to a sturdy nylon exterior designed to withstand daily abuse. The next-to-skin softnessis due to thepolyester tricot liner.I like the relatively slim fit and high-thigh hand pockets, which add some storage without the extrabulk of cargo pockets.

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Craft Sportswear Storm Balance Tights ($82)

(Photo: Courtesy Backcountry)

Best For: Cross-country skiing

Dont let the name fool youthese arent tights. Yes, theyre taperedand intended for high-output activities like nordic skiing, but theres enough wiggle room inside these pants to accommodate base layers. The front is built from a windproof polyester, while the back is made from a polyurethane thats all about venting heat. The brushed liner is comfyand also providesa layer of insulation. There are no pockets or frills on the Storm Balance. Its just a warm, incredibly stretchy pair of pantsbuilt for moving fast through the snow.

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