(Photo: Inga Hendrickson and Kevin Zansler)
2022 Winter Buyer’s Guide

The Best Ski Pants and Bibs of 2022

These bottoms will amaze you


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The bottom half of a ski kit is often overlooked in favor of its flashier, more glamorous counterpart, the jacket. But there’s a solid argument that your bottoms do as much if not more work both in the resort and in the backcountry. They have to insulate your legs while preserving their ability to hike and hop turn; they also have to be water-resistant enough to avoid sogginess on snowy lift rides yet also breathe well enough to mitigate sweat in your nether regions. The following pairs are so feature-packed and slick-looking that they’ll give any jacket in this guide a run for its money as your favorite piece of kit. 

Patagonia Upstride Pants ($279)

(Photo: Courtesy Patagonia)

These slim pants are meant for endurance backcountry days with predictable weather. It’s as if Patagonia weaved hustle right into the airy fabric to enable fast and smooth uphill gliding. The DWR-treated bonded stretch-knit fabric is airy and buttery soft yet ­durable—­ideal for baselayer-less spring touring. They’re so comfy you could wear them to yoga. (­women’s XS–XL / men’s XS–XL)

Women’s Men’s

Flylow Kimberly Women’s Bibs ($300)

(Photo: Courtesy Flylow)

The Kimberly is cut to hug the waist while leaving ample room lower down for curves. The smooth two-way right-side zipper is operable ­with one hand for slick temperature regulation, and the stretchy hard-shell material is lightweight with seamless cuff reinforcements. A backside zip permits quick use of the facilities. (women’s XS–XL)

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Ortovox 3L Deep Shell Bibs ($600)

(Photo: Courtesy Ortovox)

Women freeriders who like to ski resort, sidecountry, and backcountry terrain: this bib is for you. These bibs’ small features—an adjustable waistband, deep thigh pockets, lower-back mesh vents, and long two-way side zippers for heat dumping and bathroom breaks—add up to big magic. They’re wind- and waterproof and made with a midweight three-layer fabric lined with merino wool. (women’s XS–XL / men’s S–XL)

Women’s Men’s

Mountain Hardwear Boundary Ridge Gore-Tex Bibs ($400)

(Photo: Courtesy Helly Hansen)

Below the waist, the Boundary Ridge is made from ­workwear-quality 75-denier Gore-Tex; stretchy soft shell on top boosts range of motion. This combo kept testers nimble on bootpacks and dry while digging snow pits in the Siskiyou Mountains. A solid and simple integrated cinch allows you to dial in the fit one-handed, and two pockets hold avy tools and a beacon. (women’s S–XL / men’s S–XXL)

Women’s Men’s

Bonfire Ranger Men’s Pants ($400)

(Photo: Courtesy Bonfire Clothing)

The Ranger is one of those rare pieces of gear that can go from the bunny slope to backcountry hot laps, and from T-shirt weather to blizzard conditions, without compromise. Built from the most breathable and stretchy iteration of Polartec’s waterproof NeoShell that we’ve seen, it moves like a soft shell but kept testers bone dry while resort skiing in eight inches of wet Oregon pow. Cargo pockets and hearty, glove-friendly zippers make these pants as practical as workwear even as they flex and function like athletic wear. (men’s XS–XXL)

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Arc’teryx Sabre AR Men’s Pants ($549)

(Photo: Courtesy Arc‘teryx)

The Sabre AR’s highly effective ­­knee articulation, waterproof ­stretch fabric, and heat-dumping thigh zips were the ticket on a five-hour backcountry mission. “Anticipates my needs,” wrote one tester, who waxed downright poetic about how the pants’ designers created thigh pockets that virtually disappeared when empty but were large enough to stow a turkey sandwich. Clean lines made them shine at the resort, too. (men’s S–XXL)

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From Winter 2022 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson and Kevin Zansler

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