How Should Snowboard Pants Fit?

A well-fitted pair of snowboard pants are essential for a successful day on the mountain. The fit is critical to your comfort, safety, and riding experience. The function of your pants is to keep snow out and keep you warm. If your pants don’t fit you well, they will not perform these functions and you will get cold and wet quickly. So it is crucial to get the right fit out of your pants. Snowboard pants come in a wide variety of fits and sizes, so it is recommended to try your pants before buying. With the pants on, you should have enough room underneath for a base layer. At the same time, your pants should not feel too baggy.

Below I have described the fit of snowboard pants in detail. So keep reading to learn more.

The Overall Fit

Unlike ski pants, snowboard pants are designed to be a little baggy so you can perform tricks efficiently. Your pants should provide a range of motion and legs wide enough to cover your snowboard boots. They should not feel restrictive even with a base layer underneath. They should still feel a little baggy even with the base layer on. At the same time, your pants should not feel too baggy as they will not be comfortable. Also, too baggy pants won’t keep you warm and there is a high chance that snow can get into your pants. Ski pants, however, are designed to be a little tight to achieve maximum speed on the slopes. Learn more about the fit of ski pants here.


As I mentioned earlier, your pants should have enough room underneath so you can wear your base layer easily. Your pants should still feel a little baggy and provide a range of motions even with the base layer underneath. The function of the base layer is to wick body moisture and keep you dry and warm. Keep in mind that your base layer shouldn’t be baggy because it performs its function when it touches your body. A baggy base layer will not wick body moisture effectively. Choose a base layer that provides good moisture ability like polyester and nylon with a spandex blend. Spandex makes the fabric stretchy, which then provides good freedom of movement.


Your snowboard pants should be a little longer than your day-to-day pants. You need that extra length because you need to tuck your pants inside the snowboard bindings. Some people prefer to pull their pants over the bindings. But in both ways, you need some extra length in the legs. Learn more about whether snowboard pants should go inside or outside the bindings here. A good rule of thumb is to get a pair 4-5 inches longer than your regular pants. However, don’t choose too long pants as they will catch on your snowboard, boots, and bindings. It is always a good idea to wear your pants with your snowboard, boots, and bindings before making a purchase.

Leg Openings

As I mentioned before, your pants are supposed to cover your boots. So make sure the leg openings are wide enough to cover your boots. Some pants come with zippered leg openings so it is a good idea to try your pants with your boots on. When it comes to fit, your legs should fit snugly over your boots. This is important because if it doesn’t fit well, the snow will find a way to get up there, as will the wind. So, it is crucial to seal out snow and wind so you stay comfortable all day long. Keep in mind that pants don’t provide insulation in the leg area. However, you can combine your pants with snow gaiters for maximum wind and snow protection.


The rise of your pants is an important consideration for snowboarding. It is the distance between your crotch and waist. Your pants should sit slightly above your waist to keep the snow out. You can measure the rise of your day-to-day pants and compare it to your snowboarding pants. Most manufacturers also provide this information in the size chart. Most snowboard pants come with an adjustable waist for a dialed-in fit. Finally, look for powder skirt attachment points as most snowboard jackets offer this feature. It is an extra band at the waist and it must be attached to your pants so it can better protect you from the snow.

Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic: Best Snowboard Pants

Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic
Type: Shell
Insulation: None
Material: Nylon
Waterproofing: 2-layer Gore-Tex

Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic pants feature top-notch performance, great waterproofing, and a well-rounded set of features. The pants fit really well on you and you can even move easily with some room. When it comes to construction, you get a 2-layer Gore-Tex with mesh inside. I am not a big fan of this mesh because it doesn’t feel good when exposed to sweat. However, I love the outer layer because it is very smooth and durable. Also, it is very good at repelling water and wet snow.

When it comes to pockets, you get two deep pockets that go almost to the less meaty part of your thighs. You also get one side zippered pocket that goes to the boney part of your leg. On the inside, there’s also a little stash pocket for gear. Finally, you get two pockets on the back.

When it comes to venting, there are no side vents but there’s a big crotch vent. It opens all the way across your crotch and it helps prevent yeast molds. You really feel the heat coming out when you open this vent. There’s an old-school style closure button and it holds so well. You don’t need a belt with these pants.

What I like: A great combination of performance, technical features, and style.

What I don’t: The baggy fit isn’t for everyone.

See the Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic


Your snowboard pants should fit a little baggy and provide good freedom of movement so you can perform tricks easily. You should be able to fit a base layer underneath comfortably. At the same time, your pants shouldn’t feel too baggy because they will fail to provide the warmth and comfort you need. The legs of your pants are supposed to cover over your boots so they can seal out snow. That’s why you need your pants to be a little longer than your regular pants. Finally, the waist should fit you snugly, and make sure your pants are compatible with the powder skirt of your snowboard jacket. This will ensure you are fully protected from the snow.