When buying snowboard pants you are generally going to follow the same rules as buying a jacket. When buying pants it is important to pay attention to the insulation value. Pants will have less insulation options than jackets, but there are still varying differences to be aware of. The main reason for this is because when riding your legs are your shock absorbers and are in constant motion so they will be generating a lot of their own heat.
Many of the pants will be a simple shell construction, which is just a single layer. To promote breathability many pants will have a hanging mesh liner or something like it, which will keep moisture away from the skin.
Snowboard pants can also come in a convertible system with a removable liner. These pants are going to be much more versatile and will keep the rider the right temperature in all kinds of conditions. Traditionally snowboard pants have been just a regular shell pant. Shell pants are best for warmer conditions like in the fall or spring. Another popular type of snowboard pants are bibs. Bibs are a type of pant a powder rider would like to keep the snow out of places it shouldn’t be. Some bibs will have a zipper to remove the top part to convert them into regular pants.
Pants can also have many different features depending on the name brand. One really common feature that are in most pants are vents. Typically the vents are going to be on the inside of the leg and will open up to a mesh window. Some pants will have the vents in different areas and some may not have the mesh, but they are a very beneficial feature.
Some snowboard pants will also have a gaiter and a ghetto slit. Ghetto slits are the break in the cuff at the bottom on the pant. It allows the rider to open up the cuff to fit it over their boots. The Ghetto slits are on the gaiter, which is the piece of fabric that will fit tightly around the boot underneath the shell of the pant. The gaiter will have a hook on them to attach to the laces of the boot to prevent it from slipping up and letting snow in.
Snowboard pants will also have a variety of pockets available on them. Some will have cargo pockets and some may have fleece lining in the front pockets to warm the riders hands when they are sitting on the chair lift. One thing to look for on the pockets is what kind of closure they have. A lot will have a zipper and others will have a zipper and Velcro for more security and water proofing. Newer pants will also have tapped seams to prevent any water from getting into the pocket.
The waistband will have belt loops as a belt will also help to keep snow out. Many of the pants will have either exterior or internal surf-tab adjustments to take in the waste or let it out. So the pants will be able to fit a wider range of body types.
Fitting snowboard pants can be a little tricky because there is a broad range as to how different brands size their pants. A good rule of thumb is to go up one size from your regular street pants. This will allow for more room to layer on the cold days. The extra room is also important for mobility while snowboarding. A snowboarder’s body is going to be bending and flexing a lot and constricting pants can become quite uncomfortable. Moving up a size for kids is also a really great idea. This allow for them to get more wear out of the pants before they grow out of them.