When it comes to ski trousers, versatility plays a big role. For downhill skiing, freedom of movement and an optimal fit are essential. But ski trousers should also provide optimal protection against cold, wind, snow and water. Because you can quickly start sweating downhill, good breathability is an advantage. If you do fall, abrasion-resistant and hard-wearing material is very useful. Ski pants are usually worn over your ski boots, so the lower legs should be wide, flexible and have a snow guard to prevent snow from getting inside if you fall. To be able to carry smaller items, ski pants should also have hip and side pockets.
Ski pants are an essential part of a ski outfit, and we ask a lot of them. Good ski pants need to be warm enough to ward off the cold, but not so warm that you overheat while making turns downhill. They also need to be flexible enough to keep up with the most aggressive skiing form, but durable enough that they can stand up to abuse from ski edges and poles. Because of all those competing needs, getting the perfect pair of ski pants can seem like alchemy. We’ll guide you through some of the most important features to decide on in order to help you get the right ski trousers for you.
Insulated Ski Pants vs. Shell Pants
Every pair of ski pants is designed to be waterproof to protect you against snow, rain, and whatever else the mountain throws at you. But, not every pair of ski pants is constructed to keep your legs warm. Shell pants are uninsulated ski pants with three layers. The outermost layer is a durable, waterproof fabric; the middle layer is a waterproof-breathable membrane that keeps water out while allowing your legs to vent heat and moisture; and the inner layer is a slightly softer fabric that protects the membrane. The advantage to shell pants is that they’re extremely versatile. You can wear them alone on warm spring days, or with any combination of insulated base layers to keep you cosy on the coldest days. But, you may not want to deal with multiple layers of pants – especially if you know that you’ll be skiing in the dead of winter most of the time. Insulated pants include a thick layer of synthetic or fleece insulation on the inside of a waterproof-breathable membrane. You can always add base layers to insulated ski pants to make them even warmer, just as you can for shell pants.
Ski pants are also differentiated by whether or not they are built with bibs. Opting for bib ski pants largely comes down to personal preference. Bibs are great if you ski aggressively, since they help keep your pants from falling down. They also provide an apron that prevents snow from getting into the gap between your ski jacket and pants. But, many skiers find bib pants awkward and uncomfortable, especially if they’ve always worn ski pants without bibs in the past. If you’re on the fence, look for ski pants with a removable bib.
Vents are a small, but nice addition to have for your ski pants. They allow you to dump heat when the sun pops out or you warm up from skiing hard, so you don’t end up sweating into your base layers or pants. You’re more likely to find zipper vents on shell pants, since these are already designed for breathability. However, some insulated ski pants also offer vents.
Ski Pants at addnature.co.uk
The best way to find the ideal pair of ski pants is to shop our huge selection at addnature.co.uk. We carry insulated and shell ski pants for men, women, and children, so you can outfit just yourself or the entire family for hitting the slopes.