Slick trousers for powder-day overachievers
Flylow Smythe ($450)
Our male testers unanimously agreed that these were the most comfortable bibs in our test, thanks to the roomy cut. They’re streamlined, too: big vents, well-placed pockets, and nothing else.
Black Diamond Recon Stretch ($329)
Whether on long tours or for big objectives, these pants (women’s pictured) deliver. Black Diamond’s proprietary waterproof-breathable membrane keeps the elements out, while four-way stretch, articulated knees, and offset side venting allow for all the backcountry booty dropping you desire.
Marmot BL Pro ($600)
The nylon BL Pro from Marmot deserves an award for being burly without restricting our movement on steep climbs and descents (something most pants struggle with). On top of a mobility-maximizing cut, the tech details are spot-on: there’s a beacon pocket, ample front and back vents, and removable suspenders.
Columbia Powder Keg II ($250)
The Powder Keg (women’s pictured) proves that ski pants can be flattering without sacrificing comfort or affordability. Columbia’s new Omni-Heat 3D technology—a reflective lining combined with pods of fibers that create pockets that hang onto warm air—will keep you toasty and dry from bell to bell.
Outdoor Research Hemispheres ($599)
The Hemispheres (men’s pictured) are the least flashy of the bunch but offer the best ski-specific fit. The secret? Stretchy panels that lend them an “Am I even wearing pants?” feel.
Backcountry x Flylow Patsey Marley ($400)
The first women’s bibs to use Polartec Neo-shell, the Patsey Marley excels on all-day missions. Clever zips make it easy to answer nature’s call, and with four pockets, including a handy kangaroo-style pouch, the Patsey is snack- and camera-friendly.