Have you been wearing jeans or some other regular pair of trousers to your skiing sessions? If yes, then it is time for you to upgrade your ski wardrobe to include a pair of quality ski pants. Ordinary trousers are not cut out to stand up to the elements or provide the optimal breathability and flexibility necessary for skiing. As such, they are bound to hinder your performance and slow you down on the slopes. It is crucial to be warm, dry, and comfortable when skiing, and this is exactly where a well-fitting pair of ski pants comes in.
A quality pair of ski pants brings together a number of features that are conducive to intensive skiing and long days on the piste. These may include leg gaiters, stretchy fabric, zipped pockets, anti-abrasive reinforcement, thigh venting, waist adjusters, rescue reflectors, and so on. With a plethora of products available in the market, however, picking the pair that is best suited to your specific use case can be a little tricky.
Fear not, we are here to make your decision exponentially easier. Our team has tested and rounded up the best ski pants for men of 2022 and here is what we found.
Best Overall Ski Pants: Arc’teryx Sabre AR Pant
If you are looking for a pair of men’s ski pants that can effortlessly handle the rigors of backcountry skiing, the Arc’teryx Sabre AR pants are for you.
Arc’teryx is a popularly loved climbing and outdoor gear company that has earned global recognition for its diverse range of technologically innovative and resilient skiing gear.
Having been manufacturing quality hardshell and softshell skiing jackets and pants since 1989, the company has struck the perfect balance between design and functionality with its products. The cream of their crop, and our top contender for the best ski pants for men of 2022, is the Arc’teryx Sabre AR pant—a pair of premium ski pants that are minimalistic but get the job done like no other.
Based out of coastal British Columbia, Arc’teryx gives special attention to the weather resistance capabilities of its gear. The Sabre AR pants, therefore, come crafted out of the gold-standard N80p-X GORE-TEX fabric with 3L lo-loft softshell construction. Made out of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE, the GORE-TEX fabric offers maximum durability, weather resistance, and abrasion resistance. The material also comes with a fleece-brushed lining that provides light to medium insulation and also gives a comfortable flannel-like feel. The seams are nicely sealed and the WaterTight zippers are highly water-resistant.
The Sabre AR boasts incredible attention to detail with its 100D Cordura PowderCuffs that are not only sturdy but also effectively keep the snow from entering through the pant legs. The cuffs also come with two slits through which you can fasten the power straps. The Keprotec instep patches do a great job at keeping the dreaded ski cuts and abrasions at bay. You also get the integrated Slide ’n Lock attachments so that you can comfortably link your ski pants with compatible jackets for a unified ski clothing system.
Together with the gusseted crotch, you get fantastic freedom of movement and optimum comfort. The micro-seam allowance is of a meager 1.6 mm, minimizing weight and bulk. The Sabre AR also has on offer zippered thigh pockets and a small slap-covered stash pocket that are positioned away from impact zones. The waist region comes with belt loops and a removable waist belt that you can adjust to your comfort.
The ventilation on these ski pants is aimed at maximizing airflow and includes long external leg vents without a mesh-backing. The GORE-TEX fabric provides added breathability while also trapping some heat. Our only complaint with the Sabre AR pants would be that they do not provide much in terms of insulation. The pants could also benefit from a couple of inner leg vents for better cross-ventilation.
All in all, however, the Arc’teryx Sabre AR is tailored to perfection and brings to the table all the features that you could possibly need to ski comfortably. The price point is definitely on the higher end compared to its competitors, but with the durability that you get out of these pants, the price tag is well worth it.
Best Ski Bibs: Arc’teryx Micon Bib
Next on our list of the best ski pants for men of 2022 is another masterpiece from the house of Arc’teryx. If you prefer the added security, weatherproofing, and style that bibs offer, then look no further than the Arc’teryx Micon bib.
Perfect for skiing and freeriding, the hybrid construction of the Micon bib combines two different types of GORE-TEX fabric, providing all the durability, breathability, and comfort that you may need on-piste.
Right off the bat, the Micon sets the bar really high with regard to weather resistance. The dual GORE-TEX membrane provides unparalleled protection against wind and water. The sealed seams ensure that no water seeps in through the stitching and the waterproof pockets and WaterTight zippers seal off other points of entry. Being a full-length bib, the Micon covers the entirety of your torso, adding an extra layer of protection from the elements underneath your jacket. Since it extends over the waist, the front pocket panel guarantees complete coverage and does an excellent job at sealing out the snow.
The Micon bib also comes with buttons at the back that you can snap right into compatible Arc’teryx jackets for a snug fit. The 100D Cordura PowderCuffs are a fine addition that fit over your boots to keep the snow out. The only thing that these bibs lack is sufficient warmth, an issue that can be easily tackled with proper layering. The lack of insulation is also preferable on some occasions as it adds to the overall mobility of the pants, something that is integral to smooth skiing.
While bibs by nature tend to be bulkier than ski pants, the Micon bib, though a little plasticky, runs significantly lighter than its competitors. These bibs feature an ergonomic and well-contoured fit that boosts mobility and allows you to sail down the slopes without inhibition. In our experience, the Micon does tend to run a bit small, so keep that in mind when buying your pair and size up accordingly.
With no mesh-lining to restrict the flow of air, you will not have to break a sweat about the inside of your bib getting too hot. The fabric is less breathable than many other bibs at this price point, so skiing under sunny conditions may get somewhat uncomfortable.
With these bibs, you get two spacious thigh pockets and one upper bib pocket, all situated strategically in low-impact areas. The Keprotec instep patches guard your legs against abrasion and cuts and the belt loops come in handy if you are looking to adjust the waist to your comfort. The product also meets the bluesign criteria ensuring that all the materials are sustainably sourced and manufactured.
The Arc’teryx features a sleek design with articulated knees, a slightly tapering cut, and an athletic appearance. Though on the expensive side of the price spectrum, these ski bibs offer excellent value if you have a few extra bucks to spare.
Best Value for Money: The North Face Freedom Insulated
The best value for money pick in our list of best ski pants for men of 2022 is the extremely capable North Face Freedom Insulated ski pants.
If you are looking for a pair of ski pants mostly for the resort and do not want a technical pair, these pants can suit your needs nicely while remaining within budget.
Comfortable, warm, and versatile, these pants come with a nice, well-rounded set of features.
The North Face Freedom Insulated ski pants utilize a DryVent fabric that provides capable weather protection across most conditions. The fabric used repels water and wind remarkably well and all the main seams are properly sealed. The DWR coating is excellent, beading water to a great degree even in very wet conditions. In our testing, these pants proved to be adequate for all but the most extreme weather conditions.
The soft and comfortable nature of the fabric also lends well to added comfort. We found the North Face Freedom Insulated ski pants to have a true-to-size fit with good agility and range of motion. The pants also come with added insulation, which provides better weather protection and comfort. The baggy nature of the fit is great for agile users and the provided velcro waist adjustment belt helps with a customized fit.
However, if you want ventilation, you can still access it with the vents on the inner thigh area. These mesh-backed vents, although small, are adequate for occasional use in warm conditions.
You also get other useful features like a large cargo pocket, handwarmer pockets, and boot cuffs. The pockets are fleece-lined for added comfort and the strong, durable velcro closures seem really secure. These also come in different color options and can be a great addition to your ski wardrobe.
Best Bargain for Shell Pants: Outdoor Research Skyward II AscentShell
If you are looking for high-performance hardshell pants, look no further than the next pick in our list of best ski pants for men of 2022, the Outdoor Research Skyward II AscentShell.
This affordable hardshell ski pant offers a great combination of features, ventilation, and weather resistance.
Do not be deceived by the price. These pants bring weather protection and features that are usually found in much more expensive products. These versatile pants feel as much at home in the backcountry as they do in the resort.
The Skyward II AscentShell pants are made from proprietary AscentShell Fabric from OR, which features a breathable and waterproof membrane. This makes the pants waterproof to a large degree while retaining a significant amount of breathability. The highly breathable nature of these pants is a feature that most hardshell ski pants forego in favor of the material. However, this is where the Skyward II shines, while also remaining water-resistant enough to tackle most weather conditions. You also get waterproof zippers and taped seams, both of which are premium features for this price bracket.
While the look might not be as stylish or flattering as more expensive options, these pants look and feel good. The tailoring is similar to certain other high-end pants and the outer hip seams contain extra fabric, making it comfortable for people with larger glutes. The pants also support an exceptional range of motion.
The Skyward II AscentShell provides excellent ventilation properties. The proprietary fabric is a tried-and-tested hardshell solution with proven utility. When it comes to breathability, the pants are almost as comfortable as softshell pants, a surprising quality at this price point. This makes the Skyward II extremely versatile and apt for varying conditions. The pants also feature super-large vents in the outer thigh area, allowing you more ventilation in warmer or more active conditions. These vents are easy to access and operate.
In addition, the Skywards II also contains four very usable pockets, two in the waist area equipped with vertical zippers and two in the thigh area with diagonal ones. You also get a conveniently placed avalanche transceiver sleeve and clip, placed internally and comfortably in the right waist pocket. Also featured are elastic boot cuffs, crampon scuff guards, and large pull tabs on all the zippers.
Best for Backcountry Skiing: Arc’teryx Procline Pant
Finally, on our list of the best ski pants for men of 2022, our recommended pair for backcountry skiing is yet another Arc’teryx product, the Procline pant. These provide best-in-class comfort and agility while also looking fashionable and feeling premium.
Made from high-quality softshell material, these pants have several integrated features that make them a perfect fit for the backcountry.
The durable build quality and rugged good looks are an added bonus.
Designed for the backcountry, the Procline pant features a high-quality softshell construction, featuring the Infinium softshell technology from the venerable house of GORE-TEX. This material strikes the perfect balance between agility, weather protection, and breathability. Light winds or light periods of snowfall are easily taken care of by this softshell.
However, these pants are not the ideal choice for heavy snowfall or raging winds. They are not designed to be waterproof since that is not the real focus when you choose ski pants for the backcountry. They do provide supreme ventilation and comfort. With that said, basic weather protection is definitely available with the Procline pant, with a DWR layer on the fabric that prevents the absorption of water.
Instead, the softshell fabric of these pants stretch well in all directions in tandem with your movements, giving you a superior range of motion and comfort. You do not feel limited or held back in any way. When you consider the fact that backcountry skiing is an intense physical activity that requires a lot of movement, the rationale of this material choice becomes quite clear. In addition, there are other comfort features like tapered thighs and articulating knees, making the pants fit with real comfort without being tight.
Another area where the Procline shines is its superior ventilation, an asset in the backcountry. The Infinium fabric, which is actually a rebranded version of the famous Windstopper softshell from GORE-TEX, is a porous and stretchy material. This allows for excellent airflow, draining heat and perspiration from the body in addition to wicking moisture. Pertaining to this, the pants also feature super convenient vents on each thigh, accessible via opening a zipper. These large vents can go a long way in providing extra ventilation.
These stylish pants, with an unmatched range of motion and comfort, can be an asset on those warm days in the backcountry.
Your ski pants are one of the most vital pieces of clothing when you are out and about skiing in harsh weather. As such, make it a point to carefully consider all the options on our list of best ski pants for men of 2022.
To find the perfect fit for yourself, look at factors such as material, durability, ventilation, shell type, and overall construction, and decide on a pair that best fits the bill.