Ski trousers are essential to defend against frosty winds as well as accidental falls and grazes. A good pair of salopettes have to be durable, flexible and above all comfortable, otherwise they can end up getting in the way of a good day's skiing. In this guide, you'll discover everything from the types of ski pants and their features all the way to how to find the right pair for you.
Best Ski Trousers: Picking the Right Pair for You
Waterproof Ski Trousers
Waterproof ski pants are the main kind of ski trousers you'll see on your search. They provide ample protection from the rain and melting snow, preventing your base layers from getting damp and compromising your heat retention.
Men's Achieve Ski Pants Ebony Grey
Reasons to Buy
• Waterproof and breathable Ared V02 20000 Oxford polyester 4-way stretch fabric
• Adjustable detachable braces with front slider system
• Articulated knee design
• Elasticated waist adjusters
Insulated Ski Trousers
Insulated ski pants are one of our most popular types of ski pants we stock as they offer wearers the best of both worlds: top-notch heat retention and good protection from the elements. Insulated ski pants consist of an inner insulated layer and an outer shell. They're available in varying grades of insulation, with a higher number corresponding to greater insulating power.
Men's Absolute II Waterproof Insulated Ski Pants Ebony Grey/Black
Reasons to Buy
• Waterproof and breathable Ared 20/20 polyester 4-way stretch fabric
• Durable water repellent finish
• Taped seams
• High loft polyester insulation
Softshell Ski Pants
Softshell ski pants are waterproof, breathable and windproof, so they do offer great protection from the elements, however they're not usually insulated, so they're best combined with a good base layer underneath to help keep you warm. They are however very flexible and will keep you feeling nice and agile as you slide down the slopes. They're also available in plenty of different fits, including tapered, slim fit and contemporary fit, so whether you're after something high performing or just fancy a pair that will provide a flattering silhouette, there's something for everyone.
Women's Slender Tapered Fit Luxe Ski Pants Blue Wing
Reasons to Buy
• Ilus D-Lab Softshell warm backed woven fabric
• Windproof membrane
• Fabric waterproof up to 5,000mm/ Breathability rating 5,000/m2/24hrs
• Water repellent finish
Features to Consider
The two most important features when shopping for ski trousers are waterproof protection and warmth. However, the design of the salopettes can also include many other features which you need to consider, such as:
Do you prefer the retro-racing glamour of slim fit pants, or the enhanced freedom of movement from articulated pants? Which one would look best with your favourite ski jacket? The type of fit your ski pants are designed with will be a deciding factor in your hunt for some new ski trousers.
A snow gaiter is a waterproof seal that most ski pants come with. They're designed to fit around your ski boots in order to prevent rain and snow from finding their way in. Gaiters can also have adjustable hooks that connect to your ski boots to provide you with extra protection. If you're more of an agile skier, the constant protection that hooks provide will keep you covered if you're moving around a lot.
Ski pants cuffs are usually reinforced with an extra-durable fabric to protect the pants against contact with your ski edges and crampons. It's a handy extra feature that can extend the lifetime of your salopettes significantly.
Vents on the insides of ski pants help with air circulation and temperature regulation. Whilst it's cold out on the slopes, you don’t want your body to be too hot otherwise you'll sweat buckets. If you feel like you'll benefit from the added airflow, pick up a ventilated pair.
What you'll need to take up the mountain is up to you, whether that being your phone, some snacks or makeup. It's always better to have everything you need rather than having to end your day early because you didn’t have enough space to bring what you needed. The number and style of pockets vary, from baggy salopettes with cargo pockets to slim-fit pants with pockets only big enough for your ski pass.
Seam taping prevents moisture from seeping through the seams of your ski pants. There are two common types of seam taping: Critical Taping and Fully Taping.
Critical taping means that only the seams that are normally exposed to moisture are taped. This is the least waterproof option and not recommended for unpredictable bad weather cases. On the other hand fully-taped ski pants have every seam taped, on the outside and inside of the seam. This is the best for waterproof protection even in extreme weather conditions.
What To Wear Under Ski Pants
Once you get into the swing of things, you still may end up feeling fairly cold around your legs, so it's important to have an extra layer on underneath your ski pants so that the cold shell material isn't in direct contact with your skin. (You also won't feel the cold bite of the ski lift as much.)
We recommend wearing a ski base layer underneath your salopettes, as well as a base layer top under your t-shirt. They're both long-length and will offer good heat retention and sweat-wicking abilities, so you can keep concentrating on the slopes ahead rather than how soon you want to get in front of the fireplace in the apres ski. Lots of people also like to wear a pair of gym shorts over the top of their base layers just for a bit of extra padding.
Here at Dare 2b we sell ski base layers in sets:
We hope you found our guide to the best ski trousers useful. For more great skiing related content, check out the ski and snow section of our blog, or if you're still undecided, you can learn more about Dare 2b ski trousers over on our buyer's guide to ski pants.