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Ski Pants for down hill?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Currently I cross country ski with my wife. We both wear a non-cotton base layer, with a fleece top, followed by a LL Bean ski jackets and just nylon water resistant wind breaker pants. I have a nice pair of water proof ski pants that are in great condition, though the waist some how seems to have shrank, since I last wore them in high school over 14 years ago. So I guess here is the question(s).


1) Get a water resistant insulated ski pants/bib? (~$50 )

2) Wear what we currently wear for XC skiing, but add fleece pants (already own)

3) Purchase waterproof pants (~$100+)


That being said, have have never had an issue with being cold or wet w/ our legs when XC skiing. Though we only fall a couple times, if we do fall and we don't have to stand in line or sit on a cold chairlift seat. I was also thinking about scotch guarding the bottoms of the legs and the sides of what we currently wear. 


Thanks in advance,



post #2 of 7
I personally wear a water resistant arcteryx gamma pant. I have a pair of goretex pants and northface waterproof pants but I prefer the soft-shell material more. I don't typically go out in really wet conditions so I've never felt the soft shell didn't provide enough moisture protection. And I prefer the flexibility, breathability, and comfort of the gamma mx's.

That being said my goretex pants are invaluable for really rainy/wet conditions which I normally encounter while camping/hiking.

I guess it comes down to what kind of snow/weather you will find yourself in typically.

As for your layering system, I basically do the exact same thing and adjust based on temperature, and it works great for me. Light/Medium Base layer, fleece mid layer, outer shell pants.
post #3 of 7

Your layering system sounds good. I think you'll find waterproof and durable to be the features you'll want in pants. I'm imagining that your nylon wind-breaker pants are probably light weight. Falling at alpine speeds on hard snow can be quite abrasive, so a more durable fabric may be desired.


Welcome to Epic!

post #4 of 7

I'd avoid the really slick windbreaker pants simply because when it's dumping or icy the lifts can have snow or ice on the seats and the thought of a slick butt on icy seat 30 feet in the air even with a safety bar seems unsettling.  Probably best to get GOOD ski pants if you're just starting out in alpine because your butt will be spending more time in the snow than when you get better. 


You can avoid paying $100 if you troll some thrift stores and get lucky though..  I noticed over the weekend that the local Play It Again Sports has used ski clothing now... and we're about three hours from the ski areas.  There is used gear to be had around for sure.

post #5 of 7

For most days your water resistant windbreaker pants with appropriate layers under neath should be fine.  I use regular insulated ski pants with anything from just boxer shorts to thick fleece pants underneath depending on how cold it is.  On snowy or wet days I would go for the waterproof pants.  However, if yours are a non-breathable nylon they will get clammy and feel ind of wet and uncomfortable.  I know because I used to use my sailing foul weather gear skiing during big storms.  Great insulation from the weather but you get your own weather system going on within your shell if you catch my drift.

post #6 of 7


crank, Foulies were/are(?) standard gear for East Coast racers. The trick was to get pants with big enough cuffs to let you put them on and take them off while wearing ski boots.


post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will call Play it again sports as we have one near by and/or check out a local good will. If I can't find anything I will at least get a good pair of snow pants for the wife to use to keep her warm. As the pants I have are really awesome, I might just go on an intense diet, until I can fit into them comfortable:) I can fit them on, they are a little too tight, so much so it gives my wife a chuckle.


When I  use my current outfit for XC, my pants never uncomfortable. If anything my gortex gloves that still manage to fit me get clammy after a while. Maybe I need to wash them or something. I do have a 250g double layer polar fleece jumpsuit that I use for my dry suit, when I go diving. Now talk about clammy. 

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