Best Budget Snowboard Pants of 2022

Snowboard pants are a necessity and a fashion statement. Their function is to provide comfort and warmth and keep you dry. These pants are a little baggy because snowboarders require a huge range of motion. Depending on climate and performance qualities, there is a wide range of snowboarding pants available on the market. But not everyone has $500 to spend and that kind of specialized performance is not for everyone. For those who are looking for some good value options, I have made a list that might help.

Below is the list of top budget-friendly snowboarding pants and bibs that are highly protective and perform well in the snow.

1. Volcom Freakin Snow Chino

Volcom Freakin Snow Chino

Type: Shell
Insulation: None
Material: V-Science
Waterproofing: 2-layer V-Science

Volcom Freaking Snow Chino is freaking amazing for a budget option. It is aimed at resort riders and is a favorite among them because of its classic design that never gets old. You get a lot more pants than you are paying for. The Chino has a stretchy twill fabric. The fabric seems premium when you look at it. But it is also comfortable and soft to wear and doesn’t cause any discomfort. The stretch in the fabric is a good feature as it allows motion without restrictions. The overall fit of the Chino pant is relaxed and comfortable.

These pants feature a 2-liter V-science water-repellent membrane. The water-repellent membrane allows the pant to withstand moderate precipitation and slightly wet conditions. But don’t expect too much in the waterproofing area. You get only critical seam taping. It isn’t for heavy wet snow. The Chino also features an adjustable waist which can be adjusted using the inner waistband. Since these are shell pants lacking insulation, you would need to wear layers underneath them. Thankfully, the relaxed fit of the Chino allows you to stay comfortable with layers. The pants also feature Volcom’s Zip-tech system so you can attach them to a Volcom jacket for more protection.

What I like: A stylish pair of pants with nice features at an affordable price.

What I don’t: The critical seam taping performs below average in wet conditions.

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2. Roxy Backyard Women’s

Roxy Backyard Women’s

Type: Insulated
Insulation: 60g WarmFlight Eco
Material: Polyester taffeta
Waterproofing: 2-layer DryFlight

Roxy Backyard Women’s pant is popular among women who want cheap snowboard pants. It is an insulated pant with 60g synthetic insulation which is a good amount to keep you warm. It has a classic tailored fit with a pleasant feminine cut. Insulation and styling are what make the Backyard popular among women. Women who run cold love it. The Backyard is for beginners and for those who get out only a few times a year. If you are someone who gets out often in the snow and cold, wet conditions, then you should consider spending a bit more on a better option. But for a budget option that fulfills all your basic needs, the Backyard is a good option. However, you won’t get excellent waterproofing in any option. But the performance here is decent.

The Backyard has a 2-liter water-repellent coating. The coating does a decent job in slightly wet conditions to keep you dry, but it won’t stand in sustained wet conditions. Critical seam taping further limits its waterproofing abilities. But you do get some extras like taffeta boot gaiters which will keep the snow out of your pants and boots. You get a lift ticket holder and a jacket for the pants system. However, there are some sizing issues. If you order your true size, it may turn out to be short for you. So order a size up to avoid that. No one knows if that is a problem with the sizing chart or if it’s just like that.

What I like: Women-specific fit, good insulation, nice color options

What I don’t: Water protection is not great.

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3. The North Face Freedom Insulated

The North Face Freedom Insulated

Type: Insulated
Insulation: 60g Heatseeker Eco
Material: Recycled nylon/polyester
Waterproofing: 2-layer DryVent

The North Face is a brand with a reputation. The Freedom is its entry-level offering for casual riders and beginners. It’s a good pair of pants for a lower price that provides you with all the essential functions you need. Insulation is in the name which should be enough to tell you that it’s insulated. The Freedom provides you with 60g synthetic insulation which provides decent warmth. Its durability is its outstanding point. It will last you years which isn’t bad considering that you aren’t paying a high price.

The Freedom has a 2-liter water-repellent coating but you realize that the coating is cheap when you see it functioning. The cheap coating also means that breathability is compromised and the Freedom indeed overheats quickly. However, the venting system is surprisingly good for a budget pair which makes them easier to deal with the overheating problem. Unfortunately, Freedom lacks modern styling. It has a generic fit instead of a slim cut. There are no articulated knees as well. The vents are on the inner side of the pants making the pants bulky. But it’s a low-priced option and you get decent performance. The Freedom is also offered as a non-insulated and a bib version. So you have options to choose from.

What I like: Excellent value for money, good warmth, comfortable for all-round use

What I don’t: Bulky construction restricts movement, not a standout in very wet conditions

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4. Sportneer Snow Pants

Sportneer Snow Pants

Type: Insulated
Insulation: Not specified
Material: Polyester
Waterproofing: Yes

The Sportneer Snow Pants are the most practical option on this list. It has a stylish fit with modern styling. The features of these pants make them easy to use and maintain. Its durable build makes it long-lasting and it’s a good budget option for anyone who wants budget pants. The Snow Pants are insulated. The insulation is warm but Sportneer provides no information about the weight of the insulation. Perhaps, all you need to know is that it’s a warm pair of pants. The build is 100% polyester; both the shell and the inner padding. This makes the Snow Pants extremely durable and abrasion-resistant.

The polyester build also makes the pants machine washable; easy to use and maintain. It is also effective in wicking moisture from the body and it is also breathable. Polyester is also water-repellent. But as has been the case all along, don’t expect too much from these budget options in the waterproofing area. The waist is adjustable and uses Velcro for adjustment. You get reinforced cuffs further adding to the durability of these pants. Zipper pockets to protect phone battery and a keyring in pockets so you don’t lose your keys. You also get to choose from some nice colors but there are some sizing issues. It’s better to try them in-store than order online.

What I like: Very affordable, stylish fit, and modern design

What I don’t: Not good in terms of waterproofing, pockets are way too shallow

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5. Arctix Essential Insulated Bib

Arctix Essential Insulated Bib

Type: Insulated
Insulation: 85g ThermaTech
Material: Polyester
Waterproofing: Not specified

If you want something on a budget that can be used in other activities besides snowboarding, the Arctix Essential Insulated Bib is something to consider. It’s a bib that has some good features making it an attractive option. The bib offers 85g of ThermaTech insulation making it warm. This is impressive for the price. The construction is 100% polyester which is durable and abrasion-resistant. On the inside, the taffeta liner makes it comfortable to wear. The ankle, scuff, and hem guard are reinforced with a 600 denier fabric which adds to the durability and long life of the bib. Completely machine washable which makes it easy to maintain. Other features also make it easy to use.

The bib has boot zippers which make it easy to put on and take off while wearing boots. Boot gaiters have grippers so they stay in place and do their job. The shoulder straps are adjustable and comfortable as well. With all these features, the bib still manages to be lightweight and feels like a softshell. It is most suitable for sidecountry use. The bib’s price is your freedom. You can use it anywhere you want where it’s cold and you have nothing much to lose. Besides, it will stick around for a long time and can handle a bit of rough use.

What I like: The cuffed ankles keep the cold out well, comfortable fit, simple style, and no bulk

What I don’t: The part that slides to tighten the strap breaks quickly.

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6. 686 Standard

686 Standard

Type: Shell
Insulation: None
Material: Cordura
Waterproofing: 2-layer infiDRY

The 686 Standard is a true bargain for beginners and casual snowboard riders looking for something at a very low price. It is a very cheap pair that is often found on sale making it even better. The Standard is aimed at snowboarders and has snowboard specific feature set. Everything with the Standard is standard for a budget option. The pant has a basic fit, boot gussets, and gaiters to prevent snow from getting in the boots. It also has reinforced patches at the hem, a few pockets, and casual aesthetics. In short, everything you would need and get at a low price.

The waterproofing on the Standard is not great and it’s not even waterproof exactly. You can call it water-resistant. You can’t spend a lot of time in the snow wearing these pants. These pants have vents on the inner thigh for dumping heat. The Standard overheats quickly but the thighs on the inner side add bulk to the Standard. The Standard is one of the cheapest options you can find. There is nothing fancy. It is all essential and you don’t get any extras. The Standard will get the job done but not as comfortably.

What I like: A good set of snowboard-specific features at a bargain price.

What I don’t: Poor waterproofing.

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7. Burton Covert Insulated

Burton Covert Insulated

Type: Insulated
Insulation: 40g Thermolite
Material: Nylon/polyester
Waterproofing: 2-layer Dryride Durashell

Burton is a well-known brand when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. The Covert Insulated is for those who are looking for value. This pair of pants is snowboard inspired and the fit and aesthetics of the pants show that. The Covert doesn’t have many features to offer. But the ones it has, are fully functional making it a practical pair of snowboard pants. It has a simple fit that looks good. That’s it! There is nothing much to talk about here. It has a few pockets that give it the classical snowboard pants look and two microfleece handwarmer pockets that are warm and soft. It also has cargo and thigh pockets which are popular among snowboard purists.

The Covert has a 2-layer Dryride membrane and fully taped seams. On paper, you would think that Covert would be a good fit for wet conditions. But that is not the case. The waterproofing is cheap. It won’t hold in sustained wet conditions. Cheap waterproofing also compromises the breathability of the Covert, and so, it overheats quickly. You do get thigh vents to dump the heat but they are on the inside of the thighs and add bulk causing restriction in movement. But at a low price, the Covert is one of the best snowboard pants you can find.

What I like: A stylish and great value pair of insulated pants.

What I don’t: Not as protective and durable as some other options on this list.

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8. Outdoor Research Skyward II

Outdoor Research Skyward II

Type: Shell
Insulation: None
Material: Nylon/spandex
Waterproofing: 3-layer AscentShell

If you prefer to ride in the backcountry, then you would need pants that can handle the backcountry. Heat buildup is common in the backcountry, and so, you would have to prioritize ventilation. On a budget, the Outdoor Research Skyward II is an option for you to consider. Skyward II is backcountry-specific. It is purpose-built for uphill travel and to handle the heat buildup that follows. The fabric of the Skyward II is thin and stretchy allowing unrestricted motion which is required in the backcountry. Throughout this list, there has been a common theme that in the budget price range, you shouldn’t expect good quality waterproofing. The Skyward II is an exception to this list. It has a 3-liter AscentShell fabric that provides 2-liter Gore-Tex level protection.

The quality of waterproofing is good and does not compromise the breathability as well. Good breathability along with a thin stretchy fabric makes the Skyward II feel like a softshell. These pants do a good job of protecting from heavy winds and wet snow while allowing freedom of movement. Having a thin fabric, the Skyward II isn’t durable. Twigs and branches can easily poke a hole in it. The Skyward II also won’t hold in extreme resort use. But for backcountry snowboarding, Skyward II is a good option you can find.

What I like: Stretchy and breathable fabric, perfect for backcountry snowboarding

What I don’t: Air-permeable construction isn’t as durable as Gore-Tex, not suitable for resort

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Best Budget Snowboard Pants: Comparison Table

Volcom Freakin Snow ChinoShellNoneV-Science2-layer V-Science
Roxy Backyard Women’sInsulated60g WarmFlight EcoPolyester taffeta2-layer DryFlight
Freedom InsulatedInsulated60g Heatseeker EcoNylon/polyester2-layer DryVent
Sportneer Snow PantsInsulatedNot specifiedPolyesterYes
Arctix Essential Insulated BibInsulated85g ThermaTechPolyesterNot specified
686 StandardShellNoneCordura2-layer infiDRY
Burton Covert InsulatedInsulated40g ThermoliteNylon/polyester2-layer Dryride
Outdoor Research Skyward IIShellNoneNylon/spandex3-layer AscentShell

Critical Snowboard Pants Considerations

Critical Snowboard Pants Considerations

While you can technically ride a snowboard in any kind of pants, snowboard-specific pants are purpose-built for snowboarding. These provide better protection from snow and wind while also allowing freedom of movement required in snowboarding. Other pants can’t match the performance of snowboard pants.

But with so many options to choose from, buying snowboard pants can be confusing, especially, for a beginner. This guide can help you figure out what to look for while looking for a pair of snowboard pants.

Snowboard vs. Ski Pants

Snowboard and ski pants are not exactly similar sports but the environment of both the sports is almost the same. Clothing options and some other equipment like goggles are the same for both sports. In most cases, both types of pants are completely capable of handling both types of sports. Some manufacturers explicitly mention that their pants are for both, snowboarding and skiing.

The difference between both types of pants is largely cosmetic with little to no difference in performance. But there is a slight difference in snowboard pants compared to ski pants. Snowboard pants have a looser cut that allows more motion. Also, they have more pockets and are more stylish. Snowboard pants feature boot gaiters instead of scuff guards because on a snowboard are separate.

Pants vs. Bibs

This is another one of those “either this or that?” decisions that you have to make. Pants are a traditional choice. People who are familiar with pants and pants can handle all types of snowboard riding. Pants are easy to wear and take off. The downside of pants is that snow and moisture can creep up from behind in case of a fall or wet conditions.

Bibs provide better protection from snow, wind, and moisture. They are warmer than pants because of the extra layering in the upper body. However, the straps over the shoulders require some getting used to. You would have to adjust the fit of bibs to prevent their extra movement and to prevent them from getting high up the legs.

In case you are still confused, there are some pants with higher waists. They do feel like those high pants from the 60s, but they provide better protection from snow getting inside the pants. Besides, no one would be looking at you old-fashioned look over all the clothing you would be wearing. Only you would know how high your waist is.

Snowboard Pants Categories

Snowboard pants are generally categorized into two categories; shell pants and insulated pants.

Shell Pants

If you are looking for versatility, then you should consider shell pants. They are the most versatile option when it comes to snowboarding. Shell pants have either a 2-layer or a 3-layer hardshell exterior. The fabric layer will be discussed later. For now, 3-layer shell pants are premium pants.

Shell pants lack insulation. They perform the basic function of protecting you from moisture and wind. So, the downside of shell pants is that you would have to spend extra on base layers. But shell pants are the most breathable pants, especially, the premium 3-layer. Shell pants are most suitable for those who run warm or ski or snowboard in mild conditions.

Insulated Pants

Insulated pants, as the name suggests, are pants with insulation. These pants are preferred by people who run cold. Insulated pants mostly have a synthetic fill because the synthetic fill is affordable, lightweight, durable, and easier to maintain compared to down.

The downside of having insulated pants is that they are not breathable enough and they are not versatile enough. But they are suitable for those who get out in cold temperatures a lot.

Fabric Layers

When shopping for winter pants, you would find 2-layer pants and 3-layer pants. If you are wondering what that is about, then there is an important distinction between 2-layers and 3-layer pants.

2-layer pants consist of shell fabric and a waterproof/breathable membrane. On the inside, there is a hanging mesh of taffeta liner that protects the waterproof membrane from the skin. In 3-layer pants, this taffeta liner is streamlined and made into a permanent layer, hence, the 3rd layer.

2-layer designs are bulkier and less breathable. 3-layer designs are lightweight and more breathable, and so, you can guess by now that 3-layer designs are expensive. Most pants have a 2-layer design because it’s sufficient for casual resort riders. 3-layer pants are suitable for serious riders who are into competitive sports.


Almost all manufacturers include a waterproof rating with their pants to show how much protection it provides against moisture. When it comes to waterproofing, Gore-Tex is hands down, the best you can find. Gore-Tex remains waterproof and provides reliable wind protection even in harsh conditions.

But Gore-Tex is expensive and is not found in budget or entry-level options. To save costs, manufacturers use their own waterproofing membranes developed in-house. If you have used Gore-Tex, then you would find a considerable drop in quality with the in-house waterproof membranes.

Manufacturers also apply a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating to keep the synthetic fabric from absorbing water. A proper functioning DWR coating is easy to spot as water and snow stay on the surface of the fabric forming beads. But too much water can overwhelm the coating making it less breathable and even leaking water. DWR is not reliable and is only suitable for moderate conditions.

Manufacturers also add seam taping to the interior lining of their pants to make a watertight seal. High-end pants come with full seam taping. Lower-end pants have only critical seam taping meaning taping is present only in areas most susceptible to getting wet. Gore-Tex is the most reliable quality taping you can find. Others can peel back or disintegrate with time.


Most snowboard and ski pants are breathable enough to keep you comfortable. You can find vents on each leg of the pants to dump heat. Breathability is a priority for active riders and sidecountry riders. 3-layer pants and pants that use softshell materials are the most breathable you will find.

There is no shortage of breathable pants on the market. But remember, the price goes up with performance.

Waterproofing and Breathability Ratings

Waterproofing and breathability ratings are heavily advertised ratings. But the tests performed on the pants to obtain these ratings in no way simulate real-world winter conditions. Other factors like seam taping, DWR coating, and quality of membrane also come into play making the ratings unreliable. The only way to find out how your pants would perform is to try them in the field.


Pants are usually durable. Pants have a fabric denier spec which is the measurement of density and thickness of the fabric. But not all manufacturers include this spec so it’s hard to tell. Personal use is the only way to tell how thick and dense the fabric is.

Entry-level and mid-range pants use thick fabrics making them more resistant to scratches and getting holes. High-end pants use lightweight fabrics which are still durable but they sacrifice a little durability for weight and breathability.

Fit and Sizing

Snowboard pants are for being baggy. But modern designs have a slim cut. Park riders still prefer more room however, it is important to consider the thickness of your layers to avoid fit and size issues later on.

Extra Features

There are some extra features that you should look for. Extra features increase the value of the pants. These features either make the pants easier to use or make them more durable. For example, pockets are a significant style component in snowboard pants but also provide space for keeping your things like a phone, etc.

Pants have zippered vents that can be used to dump heat in case of overheating. Jacket-to-pant-attachment systems provide more protection from wind and snow. Cuff risers protect the cuffs of the pants by preventing them from dragging. They also have thicker fabric to make the pants more durable.