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14 best women’s ski pants for 2023/2024 that will keep you warm and dry

Make sure you’re kitted out for the new season with top-performing bottoms

Sian Lewis
Monday 06 November 2023 11:57 GMT
<p>Warmth, breathability and waterproofing are crucial for the slopes </p>

Warmth, breathability and waterproofing are crucial for the slopes

Our Top Picks

It’s that most wonderful time of year – ski season. Whether you call them pants, bibs or salopettes, a pair of trousers designed for winter sports will keep you warm and dry when you’re skiing in sub-zero temperatures. The best ski pants keep snow out and warmth in, and feel comfortable and flexible enough to wear from first to last lift.

The most important technical feature of a pair of ski pants is its waterproofness. Like waterproof hiking trousers, you can check how waterproof a pair of salopettes are by looking at their hydrostatic head rating, which denotes the waterproofness of fabric. Although 1,500mm and above is considered waterproof, we’d recommend choosing a pair with waterproofing of 10,000mm or above as a good benchmark. Some models also feature reliable Gore-Tex waterproofing technology.

Your new pants may be insulated or may be “shell” trousers without a warm lining – insulation is great for the coldest conditions or if you’ll be stop-start skiing, such as when taking lessons or hopping on and off lifts. More breathable shells will suit experienced skiers who are working up a sweat on touring adventures. A useful safety feature to have in either your ski jacket or pants is a RECCO reflector, which makes you searchable to rescuers by bouncing back the directional signal used by rescue teams.

Skiers usually favour more traditional, slim and high-waisted salopettes, while snowboarders wear baggier, hipster ski pants, but it’s all about what you find the most comfortable. Take your base layer leggings with you when you go shopping to check they fit, and try squatting and bending over to check there’s no restrictiveness. Ski pants should be on the long side when you’re just wearing socks – that way they’ll sit properly over ski or snowboard boots.

Expect to spend around £200 for a top-quality pair of salopettes, although we’ve got some great options at around £100 in our round-up, too.

How we tested

We tested each pair of snow pants out in cold conditions and looked for reliable warmth in the cold, good insulation and some breathability when getting active. We also looked for a good female-specific fit that allowed ease of movement and all-day comfort. Most importantly, we checked that each design was fully waterproofed against rain and snow.

A selection of the some of the best women’s ski pants that we tested

The best women’s ski pants for 2023/2024 are:

  • Best women’s ski pants overall – Planks women’s roamer 3-layer bib pant: £330, Planksclothing.com
  • Best budget buy women’s ski pants – TOG24 glaze salopettes: £70, Debenhams.com
  • Best women’s ski pants for style – OOSC yeh girl bib pant: £220, Oosc-clothing.com
  • Best affordable women’s bib ski trousers – Wedze women’s ski salopette trousers FR900: £139.99, Decathlon.co.uk

Planks women’s roamer 3-layer bib pant

Planks-snow-pants-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Women’s ski pants overall
  • Colours available: Army green, black, powder pink
  • Sizes available: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Gore-Tex
  • Why we love it
    • Flattering and comfortable fit
    • Made with 100 per cent recycled polyester
    • Highly waterproof

Our pick of the ski pant pack for this winter is Planks’s roamer, which we reckon is nigh-on the perfect bib salopette, and should suit most female skiers and boarders. A comfortable, flexible and flattering fit hugs the female form and feels freeing to move in all day long.

A highly waterproof 20,000mm membrane and high-cut bib keep snow firmly on the outside of your trousers and there’s even an “escape hatch” so you can pop for a pee without taking the bib off fully. The roamer is made with 100 per cent recycled polyester, so it’s a more eco pick than most.

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TOG24 glaze salopettes

Tog24-snow-pants-review-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Budget buy
  • Colours available: Navy
  • Sizes available: 8-16
  • Water resistance: 10,000mm
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable price point
    • Flattering fit with adjustable high waist

There are a lot of high-performing but eye-wateringly pricy salopettes designs on the market, but if you’re a beginner skier or tend to head on a snow sports holiday just once or twice a year, there’s really no need to go for the spendiest snow pants on sale.

TOG24’s collection of women’s salopettes are some of our favourites when it comes to comfort and fit, and their glaze salopette is an ideal first snow pant. It’s waterproof enough to take on snowfall, insulated enough to keep you cosy on chilly chair lifts, and features braces and an adjustable high waist for a comfy and flattering fit.

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Helly Hansen switch cargo insulated ski pants

best womens ski pants Helly Hansen switch cargo insulated ski pants
  • Best: For cold conditions
  • Colours available: Black, heather, iced matcha, jade, mellow green, neon coral, terrazzo
  • Sizes available: XS-XL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof
  • Why we love it
    • Relaxed fit means it’s easy to layer thermals underneath
    • Made with 100 per cent recycled PrimaLoft
  • Take note
    • Will be too warm for spring skiing

Helly Hansen’s switch cargo is ready for subzero temperatures. A relaxed, baggier cut is super-comfortable and easy to layer over thermals but still traps in plenty of warmth, which coupled with a generous helping of 100 per cent recycled PrimaLoft® black eco insulation makes these pants ideal for the coldest conditions.

The switch cargos are a shade too warm for spring ski sessions, although wide vents do help with cooling off, and they come into their own in deep snowfall, keeping you totally dry. If you like your ski kit to be matchy-matchy, you’ll appreciate the seven colourways on offer.

  1. £200 from Hellyhansen
Prices may vary
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Mountain Warehouse moon II womens ski pants

mountain-warehouse-moon-2-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Women’s ski pants under £50
  • Colours available: Black, bright pink, white
  • Sizes available: 4-24
  • Water resistance: Water-resistant
  • Why we love it
    • Flattering slim cut
  • Take note
    • Not waterproof

Shopping for salopettes on a budget? One of our top picks for under £100 is Mountain Warehouse’s moon II. This slimmer design will suit skiers who are after a streamlined fit, and some thoughtful design has gone into this ski pant, which is stretchy and forgiving to wear, with a great snug high waist. The moon II is true to size and fits well over base layers, with a flattering slim cut – ideal if you don’t like bulky or baggy snow sports kit.

There’s enough insulation to keep you comfy on more casual skis, but the moon II isn’t waterproof enough to withstand a blizzard – wear it on dry days.

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OOSC yeh girl bib pant

Oosc-snow-pants-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: For style
  • Colours available: Black, grey, ice blue, khaki, lavender, teal
  • Sizes available: S-XXL
  • Water resistance: 20,000mm
  • Why we love it
    • Slim fit that still allows movement
    • 20,000mm of waterproofing
    • Made from fully recycled material
    • Can get matching jackets and base layers
  • Take note
    • Snug fit means curvy women may need to size up

Fancy standing out in the snow? OOSC’s whole collection is as eye-catching as it is functional. We also love the fit of this yeh girl bib, which is on the slim side without looking too figure-hugging. The pants offers good flexibility of movement at the hips and knees, though curvy women may need to go for a size up.

Not only can its 20,000mm of waterproofing withstand a scurry of snow, but these pants are also fully recycled, using a material made from discarded fishing nets. Plus, if you want to go matchy-matchy, OOSC sells colour-coordinating jackets and base layers.

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Wedze women’s ski salopette trousers FR900

Decathlon-snow-pant-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Affordable women’s bib ski trousers
  • Colours available : Green
  • Sizes available : 6-16
  • Water resistance: 20,000mm
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable price point
    • Built-in RECCO reflector

Great bib pants are often eye-wateringly expensive – unless you decide to shop at Decathlon, that is. We were really impressed with the French brand’s not-very-excitingly-named FR900 on test – this pant is so waterproof that snow just brushes off the surface.

Tough trousers coupled with a stretchy waist make it easy to move about, though it’s a pity this bib doesn’t feature more of a high dungaree cut. It’s also breathable enough to work all season long – just add a thicker base layer pant underneath in the depths of winter. The FR900 even has a RECCO reflector built in. A bib to suit skiers of all levels for a decent price.

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Picture Organic Clothing U62 bib pants

picture-organic-snow-pants-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Shell women’s ski pant
  • Colours available: Mocha, rose dust, sea fog
  • Sizes available: XS-XL
  • Water resistance: 20,000mm
  • Why we love it
    • Design features a stretchy Lycra back panel
    • Highly waterproof at 20,000mm
    • Breathable
    • Well-placed pockets
  • Take note
    • Not insulated

The U62 is, quite simply, a brilliant bib – on test we loved the dungaree styling and the fit, which is adjustable and features a stretchy Lycra back panel. This pant is also highly waterproof at 20,000mm and very breathable – ideal if you’re going further than the pistes into the backcountry and are working up a sweat while you do so.

All the extra details we usually look for are here, including taped seams, well-placed pockets (we like the chest pocket for storing a phone) and snow gaiters. The U62 isn’t insulated, but teamed with good thermals, it’ll work for most winter conditions, although it’s still on the heavy side at 900g.

While we’ll always put performance before looks when buying ski gear, we have to compliment the U62’s smart utility styling, and we love the neutral shades it’s available in.

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Arc’teryx sentinel bib pant

arcteryx-snow-pants-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: For experienced skiers
  • Colours available: Black, yukon yellow
  • Sizes available: 00-16
  • Water resistance: Gore-Tex
  • Why we love it
    • Included RECCO reflector
    • Unrestrictive fit

Dreaming of big mountains and deep snow? Arc’teryx reckons its sentinel is “made for epic days”. Storm protection comes from hardcore Gore-Tex fabric, which is the holy grail of waterproof and breathable. This is a shell pant, but a soft, thin liner feels nicer than most plastic-y pants against the skin, and the lack of insulation makes this bib ideal if you’re a more experienced skier planning backcountry adventures where you don’t want to overheat.

We love the cut and comfy, unrestrictive fit of the sentinel bib, and the tan colourway is rather gorgeous. A RECCO reflector is included.

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The North Face summit stimson futurelight trousers

Northface-snow-pants-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Women’s salopette ski pants
  • Colours available: Black
  • Sizes available: XS-XL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof
  • Why we love it
    • Soft against skin
    • Slim cut keeps yours torso warm and dry
    • Deep pockets
  • Take note
    • Adjustable shoulder straps are thin so might not be the best pick if you like using braces

If you favour a salopette over a bib pant, our pick of the trousers is The North Face’s summit stimson. This salopette is surprisingly soft, flexible and comfortable against the skin, and the slim cut and high waist keeps your torso warm (and dry if you take a tumble).

The summit stimson has good adjustable cuffs with kick panels and deep pockets that take a phone or a lift map. The adjustable shoulder straps are quite thin, so we’d pick another design if you like using braces, and while the waist has some stretch it isn’t fully adjustable, so check you’ve got the right fit.

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Columbia highland summit waterproof ski bib

columbia-ski-pant-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Women’s insulated bib ski pants
  • Colours available: Black, blue, cream
  • Sizes available: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof
  • Why we love it
    • Warm and cosy fit
    • Flexible design suits more advanced skiers heading off-piste

The snug highland summit uses a layer of insulation plus Columbia’s own-brand Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining, effectively trapping in body heat and making this bib pleasingly cosy as soon as you pop it on, all without feeling too bulky to move in.

On test we found this design was waterproof enough to withstand deep snow, and flexible enough to suit more advanced skiers and boarders heading to the park or off-piste.

We’d pick the black over the cream or blue colourways, which could look dirty quickly.

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Roxy Nadia technical snow pants for women

roxy-nadia-snow-pant-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Baggy ski pant
  • Colours available: Black, dark forest, egret, heather grey, smoked paprika
  • Sizes available: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: 10,000mm
  • Why we love it
    • Roomy fit for layering up underneath
    • Lots of pockets
  • Take note
    • Middleweight insulation isn’t enough for particularly chilly days

Hang loose in Roxy’s super-comfortable Nadia, which sits lower on the hips than most ski pants and has a flexible, roomy fit that’s ideal for layering up underneath. The Nadia ticks all the boxes with plentiful pockets, decent waterproofing and adjustable gaiters, and the smart, neutral colourways are likely to match your current ski kit nicely.

The Nadia has middleweight insulation that should suit more casual skiers and boarders, but won’t provide enough warmth for the chilliest of winter days. A short version is also available, ideal for petite snow sports fans.

  1. £195 from Roxy.co.uk
Prices may vary
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66 North Hornstrandir

66-north-ski-pants-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: For professionals
  • Colours available: Alpine Grimmia, black
  • Sizes available: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Gore-Tex
  • Why we love it
    • Extremely waterproof
    • Hard-wearing
    • Reinforced panels on the rear, knees and sides of the legs
  • Take note
    • No insulation so you’ll need a thermal base layer

Out in the elements all day, every day? Invest in 66 North’s hardcore Hornstrandir pants for skiing, mountaineering, guiding or working in the toughest weather conditions.

These nigh-on indestructible bibs, designed in Iceland, are waterproofed with Gore-Tex to a whopping 28,000mm (nothing’s getting through that) and have reinforced panels on the rear, knees and sides of the legs. Adjustable braces and cuffs make it easy to get a snug fit. There’s no insulation here, so you’ll need a thermal base layer underneath.

A great all-rounder you can wear daily in the mountains – worth investing in if you spend all winter working outdoors.

  1. £450 from 66north.com
Prices may vary
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DARE 2 B women’s effused II recycled ski pants

Dare2B-snow-pant-indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Affordable recycled women’s ski pant
  • Colours available: Black, canton green, capri blue, duck green, earth rose, ebony grey, mesa rose, moonlight denim, orion grey, pure pink, river blue, white
  • Sizes available: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof
  • Why we love it
    • Made with 100 per cent recycled polyester
    • An affordable pick for beginners
  • Take note
    • Not waterproof enough to tackle deep powder

Proving that it’s not just the poshest brands that are using more sustainable methods to make ski wear, Dare 2 B has launched the effused II, made with 100 per cent recycled polyester sourced from used plastic bottles.

These pants may be on the basic side and aren’t waterproof enough to tackle deep powder, but they are water-resistant enough to work for ski holidays or your first lessons. They’re also breathable and comfortable, with decent articulated knees and well-fitting braces.

A good, affordable pick for beginner to intermediate skiers and boarders keen to choose a planet-friendly design.

  1. £70 from Dare2b.com
Prices may vary
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The verdict: Women’s ski pants

There’s a snow pant to suit every kind of skier and boarder in our round-up – affordable options include Decathlon’s high-performing FR900 and TOG 24’s pocket-friendly glaze, while Arc’Teryx’s sentinel offers top-of-the-range waterproofing and toughness and Planks’ roamer is the perfect combination of comfort, style and performance.

Partial to outdoor adventures sans the snow? We’ve rounded up the best trail running shoes for tackling rough terrain

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