Protecting your legs from the harsh winter weather can be the difference between enjoying the day outside in the cold, or spending the day watching everyone have fun from inside a cabin. I don’t know about you, but I can only take so much time inside during the winter before I develop a serious case of cabin fever. There are a variety of winter pants on the market today designed to keep you warm and protected from the ice, snow, rain and bitter cold temperatures. I will give you in this article our top 31 warmest winter pants!
(Quick side note: If you are looking for winter clothing that will keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures even if you get wet, see my article “Fortress Clothing – My Review!“)
Warm winter pants generally fall into three categories: waterproof pants, insulated pants and soft-shell pants. What’s the difference you may ask? Waterproof generally act like a shell over your base and middle layers. Waterproof pants are lightweight and are designed to keep wet weather away. These pants would be ideal if you are going on a day hike or riding your bike in the rain. Insulated pants are warmer than waterproof pants because they provide a layer of insulation-either down or synthetic insulation like a soft cozy fleece material.
Soft shell pants are also a great choice for the cold weather because they are typically waterproof and they move with your body. Soft shell pants are a great idea for high intense activities, where you need your pants to stretch and move with your movements. In some cases, you can find a warm winter pant that is both soft shell, insulated and waterproof. In this article I hope to make shopping for warm winter pants easier than ever before. Let’s stick to the very best brands. Okay, who is ready to go shopping? Please see also our article “Best Ski Pants Brands?”
Fortress is a Utah based company that has developed a new way of keeping people warm, even when they become fully submerged in water. It’s called AERIS insulation. The company has a patent on it and uses this special, “revolutionary” insulation is just about every garment it makes! The pants are rated to keep you warm in a wide range of weather and temperatures- from -35 degrees F to 50 degrees F. You could literally wear these pants all season if you needed to!
The inside of the pants is lined with a polyester mesh that will wick away moisture, like sweat and water. The pants should be worn directly against the skin to be most effective. Depending on your activity, you can wear these alone or with another outer shell. Pros: can be worn in a wide range of weather, warm even when wet, wicks away moisture, lightweight and comfortable. Cons: may need another layer depending on activities. Price about: $249
Like the classic pant, the Arctic Extreme Pant is made with revolutionary insulation that will keep you warm, even if you get wet. The pants are lightweight and move with your body. The pair of pants are rated to keep you warm between -60 degrees F to 30 degrees F! Like the classic pant, these pants are most effective at keeping you warm when you wear them skin to skin.
These pants are so warm, workers wear them in Prudhoe Bay Alaska! They work best with paired with another Fortress gear. These pants can be worn alone or with another shell- depending on the weather and your activity level. Pros: really warm, rated for a wide range of temperatures, AERIS insulation, warm when wet, comfortable a stretch with your body. Cons: on pre-order, may need another shell. Price about: $349
The Arctic Coverall is designed to keep you protected head to toe. It was developed to keep arctic oil workers warm when the temperature drops below -25 degrees. These coveralls are technically pants and a jacket in one. The pants are filled with 625 down and feature a removable coyote fur hood. The entire suit is windproof and water-resistant.
A rib-knit collar and snow gaiters near your boots keep snow and cold weather from creeping inside. Pros: all in one pants and jacket, 650 fill down, water-resistant, built in snow gaiters, fur hood. Cons: also comes with a jacket, dry clean only, expensive. Price about: $925
The Tundra overall is great choice for someone who is snowmobiling in the back-country, hunting or ice fishing. This pair of pants boast 625 fill white duck down. In general, the higher the fill count, the warmer the gear will be. The pants are bibs, so they cover most of your torso. They are suspenders too, making it easy to get them on and off- when needed. The pants have an elastic waist to make it easier to move around.
These pants are not restricting what so ever! Built in snow gaiters keep snow away, when you’re trudging across the tundra! Pros: water-resistant, warm, covers torso and chest, moves with body, durable and windproof. Cons: have take jacket off to take pants off- may be inconvenient and cold in some circumstances, expensive. Price about: $675
Heading on climbing expedition anytime soon? Take these pants with you! Here are the specs: 800 fill- goose down, with 700 goose down in the lower legs of the pants. Bib construction to keep you warm from your legs to your chest.
The shell is designed for movement and flexibility. The shell is windproof too- giving you the confidence you need to weather any storm. Pros: 800 fill down insulation, windproof, durable water repellent finish, moves with your body. Cons: will not hold up under extreme snow conditions. Price about: $599
6. Patagonia Nano Puff Pants
The Patagonia Nano Puff Pants is like wearing a sleeping bag around at all times. These pants are packed with a synthetic PrimaLoft insulation-it’s incredible at keeping you warm and it’s lightweight. This synthetic insulation will also hold up well under wet weather conditions. The shell of the pants is nylon, treated with a durable water repellent finish.
This is a great pair of pants to wear while winter camping- you could even sleep in them. Pros: well insulated, warm, durable water repellent finish, elastic back, zipper fly, well made from a trusted company. Cons: may need an outer shell protection from heavy snow. Price about: $179
If you’re heading into extreme alpine weather and need a pair of warm pants that can handle the adventure like a boss, this is what you want to be in. The Fjallraven Polar Bib Trousers are made for intense winter activities in alpine climates. The pants are insulated with supreme micro-loft synthetic insulation. The outer shell is made with the brand’s G-1000 material, which is designed to hold up against heavy snow, bitter cold and whipping wind. The pants are also reinforced in the knees to keep you moving and prevent early wear and tear.
Intuitive pockets make it easy to grab a map, compass and a Swiss army knife. You can also snap the pants around your boots to keep snow from getting inside your legs. Pros: well made, for alpine conditions, extreme weather tested, comfortable, well insulated and really warm. Great big pockets, where you need them for easy access. Cons: not for everyday wear, sell out quickly. Price about: $429
This Sweden based company knows how to make a stylish and warm pair of winter pants. The pants are made for extreme cold weather and you can also wear them in the summer by unzipping at the leg. The pants are all you need for all your outdoor adventures. The trousers are packed with 95 % goose down and 5% feathers, keeping your legs warm at all times- even if you step in a puddle or creek!
While down doesn’t normally perform very well in wet weather, the shell of these pants is treated with waterproof and windproof layer to keep you dry and warm at all times. Pros: well made, designed to keep you warm in extreme alpine weather, down insulated, waterproof, wind proof, move with your body, down shorts are removable. Cons: limited sizes. Price about: $499
These pants move with your body, with every turn and every step you take up and down the mountain. The snow pants are insulated with a synthetic 40 g’s of Thermogreen- an eco-friendly and really warm insulation. Mesh lining near the inner thighs prevents chaffing!
Snow gaiters near the ankles keep wet weather from getting inside your boots and socks. Pros: two layers of insulation, waterproof and breathable shell, well made, warm and move with body, come in a variety of lengths! Cons: stain easily. Price about: $199
The Powder Bowl pants will keep you warm while hitting the slopes or building a snowman with your kids in the backyard. These pants are designed to seal out snow. Built in gaiters keep the snow from riding up your leg and into your boot. The pants also move with your body- making it easy to do what you love in the great outdoors.
There’s nothing worse than a pair of restricting pants. With 60 grams of Thermogreen polyester insulation, you know you will be warm whatever Mother Nature has in store! The zippers are also waterproof!
Pros: made for cold temperatures, moves with body, built in snow gaiters, great for skiing, walking outside in snow or snowmobiling. Cons: limited colors. Price about: $379
These pants are a high-quality shell-designed to keep wet snow and rain away from you. The main function of the Triolet Pants is to keep you dry. While there isn’t any insulation, that shouldn’t scare you away. You will need to wear a base layer and mid layer underneath these pants to keep your body heat where it belongs. These pants are like a shield from the snow. They keep you dry, which means they will keep you warm. How about that?
The shell is made out three layers of GORE-TEX waterproof, breathable and incredibly durable polyester. Waterproof zippers also make this pair of pants an excellent choice for winter weather. Pros: high-quality material, three layers of waterproof material, moves with body, waterproof zippers. Cons: need to wear middle and base layer for warmth. Price about: $349
The Fjallraven Eco-Shell is designed to keep wet weather away from your body. These pants are made with three layers of waterproof material. The pants are also reinforced in areas where you need it: knees, back of the legs. Water-resistant zippers make sure rain or snow doesn’t make its way inside! The pants are best for extreme cold and mountaineering.
Pros: well made, waterproof, breathable shell, keep you dry in rain, snow and winds! Reflectors for better visibility, bottom of pants can wrap around boots for added protection. Cons: shell only, need appropriate layers.
The Freedom Insulated Pants are what you need for a long day on the mountain. It’s the perfect pair of insulated pants that move with your body and keep the snow from ruining a perfectly good day on the mountain. These pants are best suited for skiers and snowboarders. There are insulated with 60 grams of Heatseeker synthetic material.
This insulation is designed to trap heat and hold onto it! The shell is made with waterproof and breathable material that is coated with a polyurethane to keep all weather away! Built in gaiters make this a great choice for the mountain. Plus, the inner thigh vents keep your legs from getting overheated on those black diamond runs. Pros: well insulated, waterproof, breathable, for skiers and snowboarders, adjustable waist, big cargo pockets. Cons: limited lengths. Price about: $160
This shell is designed to keep you dry and warm no matter where your next winter adventure takes you. Heading to Mt. Rainier or walking the dog in snow storm- these waterproof, breathable and durable shell pants are tough. The pants are reinforced in key areas where you move the most: your knees and lower legs. Special abrasion proof material is also applied to the areas where you will come into contact with the mountain and extreme weather.
Pros: waterproof, breathable, well made, easy zippers to open and close in harsh weather climates. Cons: need middle layer and base layer for added warmth. Price about: $475
These warm winter pants are designed to keep you warm while you ski down the mountain! They are insulated with a synthetic fill to keep you warm, even in wet weather. The shell of the pants is created with a windproof, waterproof GORE-TEX material to keep inclement weather from ruining your day. These pants are also breathable- making it possible to maintain your body heat without getting overheated!
Pros: well made, trusted company, light weight insulation, warm, best for high activity sports, moves with your body. Cons: Limited sizes, sell out quickly. Price about: $499
Do you want to build a snowman? If so, these pants are for you. FlyLow is a relatively new outdoor gear brand, making waves in this industry. The company makes high quality, well made gear that is tough against whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
The Snowman Insulated Pant features 40 grams of synthetic insulation, so it’s lightweight and won’t get in the way of your epic turns down the bunny hill. The pants are made to fit loose and comfortably- not too loose though, just the right amount! Big, over-sized pockets with waterproof material make it easy to store your cell phone for selfies on the chair or in town.
Pros: lightweight, versatile, insulated, waterproof, thigh vents, big pockets. Cons: limited sizes. Price about: $172.
The Stinger Pant is great at keeping you protected in deep powder in the back-country. But, you don’t have to leave your neighborhood to wear them. These pants also make great everyday snow pants, if you live in a cold weather climate. Water doesn’t stand a chance against these snow pants. The shell is created with waterproof/breathable and windproof material. The inside patches near the ankle, prevent early wear and tear on your pants while you ski, hike or walk. These pants fit like your favorite pair of jeans: comfortable and relaxed.
Pros: keeps you dry and warm, well made, waterproof, isn’t restricting. Cons: limited sizes and colors, may need middle layer for added warmth. Price about: $499
18. FlyLow Foxy Bib
The FlyLow Foxy Bib is made just for women! It’s designed to fit a smaller frame and move with your body. It’s made with a double layer of high quality waterproof shell material. The big pockets make it easy to find your keys or that granola bar you’re in desperate need of. So, what makes these pants really warm? Water doesn’t stand a chance with these pants. The waterproof material and zippers, keep all snow, rain and sleet from slipping inside. If you are dry you are warm!
Pros: waterproof, breathable, specifically made for women, stretch with every move, versatile winter pant. Cons: sells out quickly. Price about: $390
This is a soft shell technical pant designed to keep wet weather away while you’re mountain climbing, trekking across a frozen river or walking around the neighborhood after an epic snow storm. These pants have a stretch to them, which means you can lunge, high kick or just be awesome wherever your next outdoor adventure takes you.
Pros: wind and weather resistant, breathable, easy access pockets. Cons: not enough pockets. Price about: $150
With 60 grams of synthetic insulation wrapped around your legs at all times, these pants will keep you warm no matter what. Plus, they are super comfortable and fit like your favorite pair of sweats. The shell is waterproof, windproof and breathable- everything you want in a warm winter pant. When the rain and wind can’t get to you, you’ll most certainly stay warm all-day long. The built-in snow gaiters around the ankle ensure protection from the snow at all times.
Pros: Comfortable, well insulated, waterproof, windproof, breathable, comes in a variety of inseam lengths. Cons: limited use. Price about: $160
This is perhaps one of the most comfortable pair of warm winter pants you will ever find. They fit like a pair of your favorite yoga pants, but keep you warm like snow pants. How do they do it? These are a soft-shell snow pant- which means you want to make sure to wear a base layer for added warmth. The pants move with your body on the mountain and while making snowmen in the back yard. They are stylish and warm. The water-resistant and windproof fabric of the outer shell give these pants the warmth you are looking for.
Pros: fitted, water-resistant, wind proof, moves with your body, soft shell pant, durable water repellent finish. Cons: need base and mid layer for added warmth. Price about: $160
This pair of pants ranks #22 on the list for its insulation to weight ratio and because these pants work wonders at keeping wet weather away from you! The shell is made with a 4 way stretch fabric, which means you won’t be restricted on and off the mountain. These pants are designed specifically for resort-style skiing. Even so, you could wear these around your yard or walking in the snow on a really cold day! The shell is treated with a durable water repellent- to keep moisture away! Water resistant zippers means sneaky snow can’t work its way inside your pants!
Pros: Well made, lightweight warm synthetic insulation, moves with body, stretchy material, boot gaiters, reflectors for visibility. Cons: fabric can tear easily. Price about: $275
The cargo pant is a great choice to be warm and comfortable all at the same time. The baggy fit makes wearing these all day in the snow and cold weather a breeze. These pants are packed with 60 g of PrimaLoft insulation. This insulation is known for keeping you really warm and evenly distributing the heat all over. No cold zones in these pants! The shell is made with waterproof, windproof and a breathable fabric. When you are dry- you are warm. These cargo pants do both!
Pros: boot gaiters, water-resistant zippers, weatherproof, keeps you dry, relaxed fit. Cons: run big. Price about: $160
The Powder Keg snow pant is designed to keep you warm when you are feeling brave and glide through several feet of fresh powder in the mountains. These pants feature Columbia’s special Omni heat reflective material. This special material are tiny sliver dots that trap and reflect body heat back to you! So, you never lose your body heat- no matter what. The shell is waterproof and breathable. The seams on the Powder Keg keep weather out too. With built in boot gaiters, there’s no way you are getting a sock full of snow.
Pros: versatile, warm, adjustable waist, bright colors, boot gaiters. Cons: limited sizes. Price about: $250
25. Columbia Bugaboo Pant
This is the ultimate pair of warm winter pants on a budget. Even though you’re getting a good deal ($100 on sale) you aren’t skimping on quality. These pants boost 60g of polyester insulation- which will keep you dry and warm in the harshest weather conditions. The shell is made with waterproof and breathable fabric to keep wet weather from reaching you. The breathable fabric is important to keep you from getting overheated on the slopes or in the middle of an epic snowball fight. The internal gaiter is like insurance for your legs. With gaiters, there’s snow way (see what I did there) wet weather is getting to you!
Pros: Well insulated, waterproof, warm, comfortable, adjustable waist, internal gaiters, Omni Heat thermal reflective material. Cons: sells out quickly. Price about: $100
These pants are like wearing a bright colored down sleeping bag. They’re soft, lightweight and packed with 800 fill down. The shell of the pants is also treated with a waterproof, breathable layer to keep moisture from reaching the insulation. This is important because down doesn’t normally do very well in wet weather. The adjustable suspenders make it easy to keep these pants in place while walking, skiing or hiking. Water-resistant zippers make these pants a great choice!
Pros: warm, down insulation, waterproof shell, breathable, side zippers, water-resistant zippers. Cons: may be too bulky for everyday wear. Price about: $550
This soft-shell bib is designed to keep you dry and warm in the most extreme of weather conditions. These are perfect for an epic day on the mountain or walking around the park in a blizzard. These pants are actually bibs so they cover your chest and back as well. The shell is made with GORE-TEX, with 100% seam taped. This means there’s no way weather can seep through the seams of these pants.
Pros: water-resistant zippers, lots of pockets, internal gaiters, avalanche rescue reflector, waterproof shell. Cons: make sure to wear base layer for added warmth. Price about: $225
These are the perfect pants to pull on when it’s bone chilling cold outside. Packed with synthetic insulation and made with a water-resistant outer shell, these pants work wonders on really cold days and night. Ideally, these pants should be worn over shell pants. The pants will keep you warm, even when they get wet. How cool is that? The belay pant is made for rock climbing and other high intense winter activities. Even so, I could see wearing these pants sledding with the family or enjoying the winter wonder land at your local park.
Pros: well insulated, warm, move with body, wear over shell, side zippers for easy access to boots, relaxed fit. Cons: Limited sizes. Price about: $149
29. Salomon QST Pant
Salomon is a brand well known in the ski world for making durable, warm winter gear. These pants are warm, protect you from the weather and they are easy to wear all day. Some ski pants tend to ride up while in motion, these pants don’t! They stay put and keep you warm where you need the heat! A powder skirt keeps snow from going up your back on the slopes and if you’re at home in enjoying freshies! An inner leg vent gives you the option to cool off, if you get too hot.
Pros: warm, synthetic insulation, moves with your body, leg vent. Cons: not enough pockets, run small Price about: $200
This a great shell pant that will keep you dry and warm on the slopes and around town. The pants are lightweight and a little bit of stretch in the fabric makes sure they keep up with your every move. The bright colors also add a bit of fun to what may otherwise be a dreary winter day. Plus, if you’re in a blizzard, you will be easy to spot with these pants on.
The pants are waterproof- which means you will stay dry and warm. Plus, they are windproof too- so you don’t have to worry about whipping wind from stealing your body heat. The water repellent zippers ensure rain and snow will not be able to sneak inside your pockets.
Pros: waterproof, windproof, 3-layer GORE-TEX fabric shell, vents to regulate temperature, powder gaiters. Cons: need base and middle layer for added warmth. Price about: $400
These knickers will give you the added warmth you need when heading outside into questionable and really cold conditions. These pants can be worn alone when you call it a night while winter camping or they can act as a middle layer under your snow pants. The pants are insulated with a synthetic material, designed to keep you warm. Plus, if your knickers ever get wet, they will dry pretty quickly.
Pros: warm, synthetic insulation, not bulky, comfortable. Cons: may need another layer for protection from wet snow and rain. Price about: $199