Best ski trousers or snowboard trousers

What are the best ski or snowboard trousers for you?

Here’s the breakdown of what you need to know when you’re looking for a new pair of ski or snowboard trousers! Your trousers are an essential part of your gear, keeping your lower body warm and dry. Breathability and water resistance are key factors so make sure the trousers have at least 10K water resistance. Check that the fit suits your chosen sport; a looser fit for snowboarding can be helpful and is good for layering. Go for softshell trousers if you want ultimate flexibility.

Remember that what you wear on the slopes should be an extension of your body, allowing for every kind of movement. Consider extra features like ventilation zippers and shaped legs for even more comfort. Just keep on reading to learn what all this means.

Differences ski and snowboard trousers
Differences insulated and softshell trousers
Differences ski trousers and salopettes
What to wear under your ski trousers?
Why waterproof and breathable ski trousers?
Why taped / sealed seams?
Why are zippers important?
Why vents?
Why suspenders?
How to find the perfect fit
How to find right trousers size?
When are ski trousers too long?
Should you wear trousers in your boots?
Why do colour and print matter?
What else to look for?
Conclusion

What’s the difference between ski and snowboard trousers?

The difference between ski and snowboard trousers, in a nutshell, is fit and length. You just have look at the kind of actions involved in each sport to understand the need for a different shape.

Snowboarders tend to move their body more and this makes a looser fit more comfortable. The extra fabric allows for unrestricted movement and more room for layers. A skier wants to be more aerodynamic, making a slim fit with a more tailored shape a better choice. This doesn’t mean tight fit, there should be room for layers too.

Both ski and snowboard trousers are interchangeable and provide excellent protection in both sports. So you can wear ski pants for snowboarding and vice versa.

The difference between ski and snowboard trousers, in a nutshell, is fit and length

What’s the difference between insulated and softshell ski trousers?

Insulated ski trousers
Insulated trousers consist of a waterproof “shell” outer layer with an inner insulated layer. Most of our ski or snowboard trousers fall into this category.

Softshell ski trousers
Softshell trousers consist of one fabric layer which itself is made out of three layers. The outer layer is water-repellent and stretchy. The middle layer is both water and wind resistant as well as being breathable. The inner layer that is closest to the body is brushed providing soft and comfortable insulation. Softshell ski trousers will offer a greater freedom of movement and are highly breathable. For these reasons they are well suited if you are particularly energetic on the slopes. They are also more suited if conditions are likely to be relatively dry.

What’s the difference between ski trousers and salopettes?

To answer this question, we’ll have to bring everyone up to speed. For those of you who don’t know what a salopette is – think dungarees for ski and snowboarding. Salopettes and trousers have the same key functions and these are to keep your lower body warm, comfortable and dry.

What’s the difference between trousers and salopettes? The difference is that salopettes have a bib at the front and braces running over the shoulders, trousers don’t. So salopettes are trousers with extra features. The bib serves to add extra warmth and protection from the elements while the braces keep the salopettes in place. Check out our women’s Alana salopette with fabulous leopard print braces. In the girls’ collection, we have the Cooky salopette and the toddlers have several styles to choose from.

The difference is that salopettes have a bib at the front and braces running over the shoulders, trousers don’t
ALANA salopette | JULES mid layer | PAISLEY 20 beanie

New
Alana Softshell salopette Black
Price 159.99
Color: True Black
Size
New
Jules Mid layer White
Price 49.99
Color: Canvas
Size
New
Paisley 20 Beanie with pom pom Black
Price 24.99
Color: True Black
Size
New
Cooky JR Leopard print salopette Black
Price 109.99
Color: True Black
Size

What to wear under ski or snowboard trousers?

In order to stay warm when you’re out there on the slopes, you will need to layer your clothing. This can be done by wearing thermal leggings under your trousers. Some people heat up quickly when in action and need little insulation at their legs while other people stay cold. If you are the latter, add warmth by wearing our thermal leggings, look at our Blaine for men and our Heather and Casey for women. All of these thermal items are insulating, highly breathable and feature 360degree stretch so that they will never limit your movement.

In order to stay warm when you’re out there on the slopes, you will need to layer your clothing
TRISH thermal top | HEATHER thermal trousers | REBEL beanie

Blaine Thermal trousers Black
Price 44.99
Color: True Black
Size
Casey Thermal trousers Grey
Price 49.99
Color: Dark Grey Melee
Size
New
Heather Leopard print thermal trousers Brown
Price 49.99
Color: Tortilla
Size
New
Trish Leopard print thermal top Brown
Price 59.99
Color: Tortilla
Size

Why waterproof and breathable ski trousers?

This is super important – your trousers need to be breathable as well as waterproof. The heat and moisture generated by your body as you ski or snowboard should be able to escape. At the same time, the moisture on the outside of your trousers needs to be kept out.

How waterproof and breathable your trousers are, is expressed in two numbers. The first is in millimeters (mm) and is a measure of how waterproof a fabric is. So think of this number as the waterproof rating of the trousers.

In the case of 10K or 10 000 mm fabric this means you can place a square tube with inner dimensions of 30cm x 30cm over the trousers’ outer fabric and you could fill it with water to a height of 10 000 mm before water would begin to seep through. The higher this number, the more waterproof the fabric. 5000mm is low waterproofing, 10 000mm is average and 20 000mm is high.

The higher this number, the more waterproof the fabric. 5000mm is low waterproofing, 10 000mm is average and 20 000mm is high

The second number is a measure of how breathable the fabric is, and is measured in grams (g) of water vapor, which can pass through a square meter of the fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24-hour period. In the case of a 20k (20 000 g) fabric, this would be 20 000 grams.

The larger the number, the more breathable the fabric. That means 5 000g is low and 20 000g is very breathable. To manually increase the breathability of your trousers, you can make use of vent zips which are explained later in this guide.

If you’re looking for 20K trousers, check out our PVRE Green Christian and our Zucca 20 for men or our Carmacks 20 for women. These trousers have a water resistance level of 20 000mm and a breathability level of 20 000g. 20K trousers are ideal for extreme weather conditions or when you’re often in contact with deep snow.

The larger the number, the more breathable the fabric. That means 5 000g is low and 20 000g is very breathable
ZUCCA 20 trousers | TACO jacket

New
Zucca 20 Ski trousers Black
Price 159.99
Color: True Black
Size
New
Taco Ski jacket Green
Price 329.99
Color: Green Spray
Size
New
Christian Ski trousers with suspenders Blue
Price 189.99
Color: Space Blue
Size
New
Carmacks 20 Ski trousers Black
Price 159.99
Color: True Black
Size

At 10K, we have some fantastic trousers to choose from. For men for example, we have the awesome corduroy Edge and the Owens. For women, there is the Angle 20 and the Cinnamon and for the kids, there is the camouflaged Adrian JR for boys and the fabulous Nika JR for girls. All these trousers have 10.000 mm water resistance meaning that the fabric is water-repellent on the outside and breathable on the inside. Generally speaking, any snow trousers with a waterproof rating of 10K or more is likely to make sure you stay dry and comfortable when charging the mountain. If you expect to be out there for a full day touring the backcountry, 20K is a better choice.

EDGE trousers | AUSTIN jacket

New
Edge Corduroy ski trousers Brown
Price 179.99
Color: Beige
Size
New
Angle 20 Softshell leopard print ski trousers Brown
Price 139.99
Color: Tortilla
Size
New
Adrian JR Camo ski trousers White
Price 99.99
Color: Kit
Size
New
Nika JR Softshell leopard print ski trousers Brown
Price 99.99
Color: Tortilla
Size

Why taped / sealed seams in your ski trousers?

Rather than just being stitched together, seams can also be taped on the inside. Taped seams are where tape is applied to a garment’s seam and sealed using heat. For your ski or snowboard trousers to be highly waterproof the seams need to be treated in this way. This will stop water coming through the stitching.

If the seams aren’t sealed, there’s a good chance that water will eventually manage to seep through these vulnerable areas and you’ll be wet anyway. Critically taped seams are when the most important seams have been taped, usually waist and knees, for strategic protection against snow and water entry.

For trousers with fully taped seams, see our men’s Miikka and Zucca 20 and our women’s Carmacks 20.

If the seams aren’t sealed, there’s a good chance that water will eventually manage to seep through these vulnerable areas
TIMO jacket | ZUCCA 20 trousers | PIXEL mittens

New
Timo Ski jacket White
Price 199.99
Color: Kit
Size
New
Zucca 20 Ski trousers Brown
Price 159.99
Color: Beige
Size
Miikka Ski trousers with suspenders Blue
Price 159.99
Color: Marlin Blue
Size
New
Carmacks 20 Ski trousers Blue
Price 159.99
Color: Atlantic
Size

Why are ski trouser zippers important?

All of our zippers are high quality. A zipper is a small element in your trousers but a very important part. If it malfunctions, you’re either not getting in or not getting out of your trousers! That’s why we use YKK zippers, which stand for quality and reliability. Most of our zippers come with a pull, which makes it easier to unzip pockets and others zippers with your gloves on.

Some of our ski and snowboard trousers, like the Hollow 20 for men, have water-repellent zippers. This means that the zipper’s design is tailored to be water resistant. It is also coated with a vinyl material that makes it water-repellent. Some of our trousers have short zippers at the ankles to make it easier to get your boots off – handy.

Why vents on your ski trousers?

Most of our trousers have zippers at the legs; these are called vents. Perfect for allowing extra airflow, inner leg ventilation zips can let more air in through a mesh lining to prevent overheating.

Why suspenders on your ski trousers?

Why suspenders? Your trousers will stay exactly where you want them, no moving around or falling down. You can even use them to adjust the height of your trousers and you don’t have to wear a belt that is tight and uncomfortable. The suspenders have a cross back that keeps them from falling off your shoulders. Most of our trousers come with suspenders and these are detachable.  Check out our ski suspenders for men and ski suspenders for women.

Your trousers will stay exactly where you want them, no moving around or falling down

How to find the perfect ski trouser fit?

Okay now we’re going to talk fit. The fit you need depends on what you’re going to be doing out there on the slopes.

Regular
Regular fit is suitable for pretty much anything. You can easily add thermal layers under a regular fit pair of trousers. Typically regular fit trousers have an inseam that runs straight down the leg. Check out our Astro trousers for men and our Eve for women.

Slim
Slim fit is sometimes also called technical fit. Slim fit trousers are more tailored to the legs’ shape and are therefore more aerodynamic and offer greater freedom of movement. These trousers are perfect for carving down the mountain. See our Hollow 20 for men and our Coco for women.

EVE trousers | ANN jacket | HIKER 20 beanie

New
Astro Camo ski trousers White
Price 149.99
Color: Kit
Size
New
Eve Ski trousers White
Price 139.99
Color: Canvas
Size
New
Hollow 20 Softshell ski trousers with suspenders Black
Price 159.99
Color: True Black
Size
New
Coco Softshell ski trousers with trim Black
Price 129.99
Color: True Black
Size

How to find the right trouser size?

What size ski trousers do you need? To figure out which size ski and snowboard trousers you should order, take a look at our size guide Trousers should fit comfortably around the waist. Remember to leave some room for layers underneath. When trying on trousers it is best to have leggings or thermal underneath so you can get an idea of fit. Our trousers come with an adjustable waist so you can perfect the fit.

Trousers should fit comfortably around the waist

When are your ski trousers too long?

Your ski and snowboard trousers should be slightly longer than your regular trousers but not so long that they get caught in your bindings! A rule of thumb is that they reach to just below your ankle bone. This extra length is so that the trouser leg partially covers your boots. This helps prevent snow entering your boots and keeps you warm and protected. If possible, It is best to try the trousers on with your boots to see if your trouser leg fits over your boot easily and doesn’t restrict your movement.

Should you wear your trousers in your snow boots?

The short answer is no. An important function of the trouser leg is to help keep the snow out of your boots – nobody wants wet feet. Inside the trousers, at the ankle, there is usually also an elasticated boot gaiter that you bring down around your boot to stop snow getting in. So you have two layers of protection. If possible, it’s best to try your trousers on with your boots to see if your trouser leg fits nicely over the boot.

Why do colour and print on trousers matter?

Colour is a game-changer. Colour can take the same trousers from conservative to awesome. So what are you after? A bright colour will help you stand out on the slopes and it looks great against a white powder backdrop. Another advantage of a bright colour is that your friends will always be able to spot you wherever you are in your winter paradise. On the other side, a subtler colour is easier to match with other items in your wardrobe and face it, won’t go out of fashion too quickly.

There’s another great way of bringing some fun to your winter wardrobe – by using print. Protest is known for bringing street looks to the slopes so you’ll find fantastic on-trend prints on our trousers. For men, we have the fantastic camouflage print on the Astro trousers. For women, there’s the fabulous printed animal skin on Starlet 20 or our striped Angle 20 trousers. For the kids, check out awesome Adrian JR for boys and the Broomy JR and the Hanna JR for girls.

Protest is known for bringing street looks to the slopes so you’ll find fantastic on-trend prints on our trousers
DIVA jacket | ANGLE 20 trousers

New
Astro Camo ski trousers White
Price 149.99
Color: Kit
Size
New
Starlet 20 Leopard print ski trousers Black
Price 129.99
Color: True Black
Size
New
Angle 20 Softshell ski trousers Black
Price 139.99
Color: True Black
Size
New
Adrian JR Camo ski trousers White
Price 99.99
Color: Kit
Size

What else to look for?

Here are other extras which you can look for in your new snow trousers:

Pre-shaped legs
This is when the legs of the snow trousers are pre-shaped in order to match the natural bend and flex of your knees. This adds flexibility, allowing for all sorts of moves.

Boot gaiters
Boot gaiters are elasticated cuffs which are attached to the inside of the snow trousers. The elastic band will make sure that the boot cuff fits securely over your boot to keep out any snow when you’re shredding on the hill.

Scuff guards
The bottom of your snow trousers can see some wear and tear. A scuff guard is an extra durable piece of fabric that is positioned on the inside of the ankle of the snow trousers. This helps prevents the end of the snow trousers from fraying.

Conclusion

Well done! You’ve just completed your crash course on everything you need to know when choosing the best ski and snowboard trousers. You’ve learnt about types of trousers, water resistance, breathability, fit, length, vents, seams, layering, zippers and more. This is a great foundation to start your search. Good luck finding your perfect trousers and if we can help out, let us know by contacting customerservice@protest.eu. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.