(Inga Hendrickson)
2020 Winter Buyers Guide

The Best Ski Pants and Bibs of 2020

Swaddle yourself in light-weight, breathable warmth

Inga Hendrickson

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686 Black Magic Bibs ($250)

(Courtesy 686)

On the coldest powder days, turn to the Black Magic and its polyester insulation to keep you warm and cozy. The laundry list of features (tailored fit, boot gussets, mesh-lined leg vents, and more) makes it a good deal for the price. And there’s a nifty belt-loop eyelet for your lift ticket.

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Arc’teryx Sentinel AR Pants ($499)

(Courtesy Arc'Teryx)

Made for freeriding skiers and snowboarders, these slim pants are remarkably versatile. The soft brushed insulation means they can be worn comfortably over thin or thick base layers. And with Gore-Tex waterproofing and 100-denier Cordura, they won’t break down.

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The North Face Futurelight A-Cad Bibs ($549)

(Courtesy The North Face)

Bibs are tricky, since they must fit both the legs and the torso. Testers agreed that these balanced those imperatives best: tight enough to keep out snow, loose enough for athletic movement. The Futurelight membrane kept us dry in a downpour of Cascade concrete on Mount Shasta. 

Men's Women's

Strafe Capitol Pants ($449)

(Courtesy Strafe)

Testers loved the Capitol in the backcountry. Credit the Recon hard shell, which was the stretchiest we tried. And the soft jersey lining was so supple that one tester wrote, “The only ski pants I’d consider going commando in.”

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Patagonia Untracked Pants ($499) 

(Courtesy Patagonia)

Three-layer Gore-Tex construction made the Untracked second to none at keeping the elements out as we broke trail through a foot of dense, wet Pacific Northwest snow. The fit system is simple yet brilliant—a thick, stretchy belt attaches to Velcro on the hips. The trim waist is countered by a wider freestyle cut at the cuffs, which didn’t inhibit our strides even on steep boot-packs.

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Helly Hansen Powderqueen Bibs ($300)

(Courtesy Helly Hansen)

Ever seen a pair of corduroy ski bibs? Nei­ther had we. Despite the casual vibe, Helly’s Powderqueen is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, with clever nuances like a dedicated beacon pocket. And the look won us over—we’re OK calling these bibs cute.

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From Winter 2020 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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