Winter isn’t far off the horizon and if you’re the kind of person who loves to play in the snow or go skiing every year, it is time to think about getting some great winter pants for whatever activities you have planned.
Winter pants, aka cold weather pants, come in many forms from flannel lined pants, to ski pants, fleece leggings, and even winter work pants, but finding the right pair of cold weather pants isn’t so easy.
With so many different types to choose from and so many brands offering different technologies, finding what you need is like being lost in a maze and looking for the opening.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Cold Weather Pants
Not to worry, as we have gathered up the best cold weather pants on the market and reviewed them so you can find the perfect winter pants for cold weather.
Best Pants For Warmth
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Best Women’s Pants For Cold Weather
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Best On A Budget
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The Mountain Hardwear Men’s Ghost Whisperer™ Pants are great winter pants that are designed to ensure you are warm at all times when out in extreme cold temperatures.
You can wear the Mountain Hardwear Men’s Ghost Whisperer™ Pants as an underlayer when winter hiking, when you ski, are ice climbing, or just wanting to be warm at camp.
These are insulated pants that have 800-fill RDS-certified goose down insulation meaning they are incredibly warm while being breathable to ensure you don’t overheat and sweat. The outer layer is made from a 15D recycled ripstop shell to ensure they last a long time too and protect you from the wind.
These pants are lighter than most too and pack down so small that they even fold into their own pocket. This makes carrying them around very easy and gives you the option to put them on and off based on temperature and activity.
The only downside to these pants is that they are not water-resistant and will get wet in adverse weather so are best worn as an underlayer in wet conditions. Otherwise, they are like a down sleeping bag for your legs that are snuggly and comfortable.
Some of the best winter work pants for women has to be the Eddie Bauer Women’s Polar Fleece-Lined Pants. These pants have a smart shapely look to them while having all the technology you need to stay warm in the colder months.
The pants are fleece lined with a polyester and spandex shell plus are finished with a DWR (durable water repellent coating). The fleece lining keeps you very warm and is super soft and comfortable against your skin while the stretchy fabric ensures great mobility for being active.
The polyester provides a ton of durability and the DWR coating has enough water resistance to ensure you are not too wet, plus they dry very quickly afterwards.
These fleece insulated pants are great hiking pants, travel pants, work pants, and even work well as an underlayer for skiing. The only issue is that the sizing can be a little off so be sure to check that before ordering.
These are insulated pants with 100 grams of synthetic insulation covered with an Omni-Tech waterproof breathable shell and a body heat reflective lining.
This means the pants ensure you stay warm, dry inside and out, protected from the wind, and don’t overheat either. What more could you ask for?
The outer layer blocks all wetness and wind while letting moisture escape, the insulation retains heat, and the body heat reflection manages your body temperature perfectly.
And you get all this in a light, durable package that packs down small and lasts.
They are great winter hiking pants, snow pants, and even winter work pants when it is extremely cold outside. The only downside is they might be too warm and the sizes run big so order down one.
The REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Pants are a great pair of snow or winter hiking pants as they will protect you from whatever the weather has to throw at you.
Built from tough polyester with 2-layers of GORE-TEX Paclite this pair of pants is super breathable, waterproof, and windproof.
No matter how much rain or snow falls, your legs will be dry and no matter how active you are, the GORE-TEX Paclite will ensure all moisture build up doesn’t leave you wet on the inside.
Designed with snow sports in mind, these pants are super light, pack in their own pocket, tough, built for mobility and come with handy features like ankle zips for easy on and off plus boot hooks that keep them secure.
The only con to this pair of pants is that you will need a base layer and maybe an underlayer too when out in extremely cold weather. Otherwise they are awesome and great value for money.
The Helly Hansen Daybreaker Fleece Pants are excellent as an underlayer when out and about in the cold or as work pants and sweatpants when hanging out at home.
These pants are made with a polyester outer shell and are fleece linked with 100 grams of polartec insulation making them warm, windproof and they even have some water resistance.
You could even wear them as winter hiking pants on dry days, but if it rains you will get very wet, they do dry super fast though.
These are so soft against your skin and have a straight leg making them less bulky. Your bottom half will always be balmy with these in the winter months and they are the perfect pair to use as a base layer under ski pants.
You will find handy pockets for maps, cleaning them is simple in the washing machine, and their only flaw is that they can get wet so be sure to add some waterproof pants when the weather gets worse.
If you are looking for an outer shell for your bottom half that can pretty much handle the outdoors from the top of Everest down, then the Fjallraven Men’s Keb Trousers might just be the extreme winter hiking pants you have been looking for.
Built from super durable and weather-proof G1000 cordura fabric, these winter hiking pants aren’t playing around. They are 100% wind and waterproof to keep you protected from the elements, although regular waxing of the outside is encouraged to maintain their waterproofing.
You also get large gear pockets with these, vent zips to dump heat quickly, boot hooks to hold them down, and breathability to ensure you don’t get wet from the inside. To top it all off, these pants are really comfortable and provide excellent freedom of movement.
The only downside is that they are expensive but that is what you have to pay for some pants of this amazing quality.
The Outdoor Research Trailbreaker II Snow Pants are another awesome choice of pants if you are looking for an outer shell that can take you anywhere where low temperatures and winter conditions push you to the limit.
Built from polyester and Pertex Shield+ fabric these are tough as nails, protect you from wind, water, snow, and icr, plus they breathe excellently. They also feature thermo-regulating technology so you are always at the right temperature.
Included with these pants is a special pocket for an avalanche beacon, large zip pockets for gear you need to be accessible, and they are made to move around in to boot.
You will need some underlayers with these pants as they are not insulated, the only actual con to them is their expensive price, but again, the amount matches the quality.
You couldn’t have a review about winter clothing without Patagonia featuring somewhere and their Patagonia Wind Shield Pants are different from other pants.
These pants are designed to keep you warm and cool while doing highly active activities in cold environments. If you love trail-running up mountains in winter, then you should probably wear these.
Made with 87% recycled Capilene® Cool and Peak Mission Tights fabrics, the pants are soft and comfy, sit nicely around the ankles, and have some style to them. They are super light, very breathable, feature odor control and are wind plus water repellent.
There are hand pockets for you phone and maps plus a Cuff zippered opening with stretch-woven gussets which makes using them boots and taking them on/off a breeze.
The only con to these pants is that you will get cold in harsh conditions when you are not being active, so bear that in mind.
The North Face Freedom Insulated Snow Pants are built for all the elements that the outdoors could try to throw at you, and they will keep you comfy while doing so.
Made with a DryVent shell outer layer with Heatseeker Eco insulation underneath, they block rain, wind, water, snow, ice, and they ensure you stay toasty too. These are also very breathable too ensuring you never have sweat build up inside.
You will find reinforced areas that ensure they last, gaiters that stop snow sneaking in, and there are large pockets to store gear in too! But again, they don’t come cheap as their build quality is pretty incredible.
The Burton Cargo Snow Pants have a cargo pants design which means they look like cargo pants with large pockets on the sides but they are snow pants too.
These are made to last longer than most pants featured thanks to their DRYRIDE two-layer fabric and great mobility. The fabrics ensure you don’t feel the wind, never get wet, and that you don’t overheat either, since the pants breathe beautifully.
These pants also feature some great added extras like micro-fleece hand-warmer pockets, large pockets to store gear in, zippered vests so you can dump heat fast, and they are so comfortable to boot.
However, the pants are not insulated so a good base and perhaps mid-layer will be required in cold conditions. Overall, they are awesome but the price tag is high.
The first step in finding the right pants for winter is making sure you pick the right ones for what you want to use them for.
Do you need insulated weather-proof pants for snowy mountains? Or just a weather-proof outer shell? Or maybe some fleece-lined water-resistant and windproof pants are perfect for going outside on short walks and working in?
Once you know this, picking the right pants will be easy!
Again, this comes down to where you want to wear your pants but it is always a good idea to ensure that your pants are fully waterproof and windproof so you are fully protected from whatever the weather wants to throw at you.
If you plan on being active in your pants, they have to breathe or sweat will build up inside and make you wet from the inside out.
This can bring your body temperature down quickly and become dangerous in extreme temperatures – always go for pants that breathe well and even have vent zippers so you can dump heat and moisture quickly when you want to.
If you are going to be in extreme temperatures, insulation is key and whether you get this from your mid or outer layer is up to you. For mid-layers, fleece-lined pants are excellent, for outer layers, choose a goose down or synthetic insulation to keep you toasty.
Little extra features can make all the difference like fleece-lined hand warmer pockets, large gar pockets, gaiters, ankle zips, and boot hooks. Don’t scrimp out on these as you will love having them.
The best option if you are looking for serious warmth is the Mountain Hardwear Men’s Ghost Whisperer™ Pant. Built with a 15D ripstop shell and 800-fill RDS-certified goose down insulation, they are like wearing a soft comfy sleeping bag.
These will keep you warm in extreme temperatures and are great as an underlayer beneath waterproof trousers or as an outer layer when chilling at camp. They breathe, are comfortable, super light and very packable.
The best women’s pants for cold weather have to be the Eddie Bauer Women’s Polar Fleece-Lined Pants. These insulated pants are so versatile and can be used for everything from hanging out sipping coffee to an underlayer when out in the snow.
Fleece lined to keep you warm with a stretchy windproof and water-resistant outer shell, they protect you from the elements while ensuring mobility and comfort. Plus they look quite smart and could even be used as winter work pants too.
If you are looking for some great chilly weather pants on a budget then the Columbia Bugaboo IV Snow Pants are a great choice. These pants do it all from being waterproof, windproof, and breathable and they are insulated pants that also reflect your body heat.
No matter the elements, you will be dry inside and out, and warm, plus they are very comfortable and designed with excellent mobility. All of this comes at a very affordable price too!