How To Fit Snowboarding Pants: The Complete Size Guide


Snowboarding is a fascinating exercise that involves sliding down a mountain or hill with a snowboard. Most of the injuries that snowboarders experience, from blisters to sprains, are often due to a poor choice of clothes or poor fit of clothes. When snowboarding, you should have gears that protect you from the snow and fit you perfectly, including properly fitting snowboarding pants.

To fit your snowboarding pants, you will need to consider some factors like your waist size and leg length, your affinity for cold, the material the pants are made from, and how comfortable you will feel in the material. 

If you’re looking to get the perfect snowboarding pants for yourself, then you’re in the right place because you will learn a lot about snowboarding pants here. 

Choosing Your Snowboarding Pants Material

Snowboarding, as the name implies, is an outdoor activity that takes place in the snow. Although snowboarding is an enjoyable activity, if you don’t fulfill certain conditions while performing this exercise, it can become a very uncomfortable experience. 

One of those conditions is proper and comfortable clothing made from proper material.

Before we go into the steps to fit your snowboarding pants, let’s take a quick look at some of the common types of pants you can use. 

Snowboarding pants are usually differentiated majorly on the type of materials they used to make them. Some pants are made from heavy materials and have many inner layers, while some are light. 

Let’s take a closer look at some common materials used in making snowboarding pants.

Polyester

This material is very durable and comes in varying thicknesses. Snowboarding pants made from polyester are usually lightweight and waterproof. The fabric doesn’t shrink or stretch, and it is pretty resistant to moisture. 

Microfibers 

Snowboarding pants made from microfibers are manufactured using polymers of strong tiny fibers. They are very durable and can work excellently for other activities. Microfibers are one of the most advanced and expensive materials used in making snowboarding pants. 

Pants and coats made from this material have water-resistant properties without the need for any added waterproof layer. This material is also very light, and it is resistant to the wind, and it is an excellent choice of material for snowboarding in windy locations. 

Nylon

Nylon is also a great choice of material for snowboarding pants, and it is firm and durable. The material has high elastic properties, and it can stretch with you. Snowboarding pants made from nylon will need extra layers for waterproofing and wind resistance. 

Gore-Tex 

Gore-Tex is probably the best material that your snowboarding pants can come in. 

This material is well-developed with insane technological features. Snowboarding pants made from this material are completely waterproof and offer protection against other elements. 

Because of how they make Gore-Tex, the fabric keeps your skin dry at all times, even when you’re snowboarding furiously and working up a sweat. 

All the materials listed above are fit for your snowboarding pants, as they are water-resistant to certain degrees, and fulfill the basic requirements to be suitable for snowboarding. The difference between them is in their quality which depends on the maker and also their price. 

Classes of Snowboarding Pants

The classification of snowboarding pants is based mainly on their insulating properties. This means that the snowboarding pants are divided into two based on how much insulation they have. 

Let’s take a look at these properties.

Insulated Snowboarding Pants

As the name suggests, insulated pants refer to snowboarding pants that are specially designed with insulation. It is a general misconception that all snowboarding pants are insulated, but that is not the case.

Insulated pants are made from the available materials common to snowboarding pants like nylon, microfibers, and other material. 

Still, they now have extra inner layers made of fleece or PrimaLoft that serve as insulators. Insulated pants are designed to keep you warm and trap as much heat as possible, and it is an excellent choice of snowboarding pants for those with a very low affinity for cold.

You can inspect the insulating property of the snowboarding pants since it is written on them, which is usually recorded in grams. 

Pants with high insulating properties have insulators that weigh up to 600 grams (1.3 lbs), and there are also those with low insulating properties as low as 50 grams (0.11 lbs). 

Shell Snowboarding Pants

Shell snowboarding pants refer to pants that don’t have any insulation. They are still snowboarding pants, but they don’t retain as much heat as the insulated pants do. 

Shell pants are suitable for people that sweat a lot or have a high affinity for cold and are lighter than insulated pants. 

With shell pants, you can use inner layers to boost the insulation if you feel it is getting a little too cold. Generally, most people prefer insulated pants to shell pants, but I can’t tell you one is better than the other since it is all based on personal preference.

Guides and Factors To Consider When Fitting Your Snowboarding Pants

After you’ve gotten snowboarding pants that suit your requirements, there are some factors you need to consider before you decide to adjust them. These factors are essential because they are personal to you and your body, and they may not be the same for other people.

The Thickness of the Pants and Affinity for Cold

This point also applies when you’re about to get your snowboarding pants. The affinity for cold implies is how much chilly temperature your body can withstand, which affects how thick your snowboarding pants should be. 

As said earlier, there are different types of snowboarding pants with varying thicknesses. 

If you’re the type of person that can’t stand the cold, then you should get snowboarding pants that are very thick, preferably one with thick inner layers. These insulating inner layers will help keep you warm throughout your snowboarding activity. 

However, there are some downsides to thick snowboarding pants, such as the weight, as they tend to be heavy. 

If you have a high affinity for cold or get hot quickly, it is advisable to go for snowboarding pants with little inner layers or one made from a light material. You can go for snowboarding pants that are made from materials with sweat-eliminating features like Gore-Tex.

Understanding your body and knowing your cold tolerance are essential to fit your pants. 

If you feel your snowboarding pants are too thick or too light, you can get them adjusted. You can work in extra layers or, better still, wear additional inner layers under the pants, and if you feel it is too thick, you can have some layers removed by professionals who know about snowboarding pants. 

Fitting the Thickness

Another aspect of the thickness is the size. 

Some different sizes or fits can affect the thickness of your pants; there is the slim fit, regular fit, full fit, and baggie. These fits are arranged according to increasing size and thickness, and the larger they are, the more space that presents between your body and the pants.  

Adjusting the Length 

Before you decide to adjust your snowboarding pants, you need to check the length of the pants against your size from the waist down. 

It is not advisable to use another person’s size to measure your pants. Knowing your length will help you determine how much of an adjustment you need to make to your pants. Your pants can be too long or too short, but the advisable length for your snowboarding pants is below the ankle bone.

Fitting snowboard pants should be below the ankle bone to prevent snow and water from getting inside your pants or touching your skin. 

If you’ve stepped ankle deep into snow before, you will have an idea how uncomfortable it can be, and it is also a confirmed fact that cold is one of the significant causes of muscle cramps and strains that snowboarders tend to suffer from.

If you try out your snowboarding pants and don’t get to your ankle bone, you should adjust it by adding a few inches of material. Also, if the pants are too long, they can become a tripping hazard which is even more dangerous since you’re out on the snow. 

You will need to reduce the length to your ankle level.

Fitting the Length

The length of snowboarding pants comes in different grades; short, regular, and long. You should pick one that falls to your ankle. If you’ve got the pants already, you can adjust the length to around your ankle.

Waist Size

Your waist size is an important measurement that you can’t do without if you’re getting your snowboarding pants. The last thing you want is your snowboard pant coming down while you’re trying to have fun snowboarding down the mountain.

Knowing your waist size is necessary even before you purchase the pants. However, if you’ve got the snowboarding pants and don’t fit, you will need to adjust them. 

Adjusting the waistline of your snowboarding pants should be unique to you. Don’t use another person’s measurement because you feel it will be similar to your own.

When adjusting the waist, note that it should not be too tight, and it should not be loose. You should measure either around your waist or slightly above your belly button region to get the perfect measurement. 

Fitting the Waist

As mentioned above, the waist of your snowboarding pants should not be too tight or too loose. The core of your pants should fit comfortably, and there shouldn’t be space between your pants and your waist.  

You can install fittings like straps, cinches, or even velcro to hold your pants in the perfect position on your waist. 

You can also fit your snowboard pants with loops for belts. 

Some Important Fittings Your Snowboarding Pants Should Have

When you get snowboarding pants, there are some necessary fittings to include, as the absence of these fittings completely defeats the purpose of the snowboarding pants. You won’t be able to use the pants for snowboarding if some of these fittings are missing, and if you do try, you’ll end up injured. 

Gaiters 

Gaiters are a non-negotiable fitting in snowboarding pants, as most pants come with gaiters that are already sew-in, while some come with attachment gaiters. 

Gaiters are extensions that extend from the bottom end of the pants over the top of the boots. They serve as protection from cold and snow and prevent snow or moisture from getting into your pants and boots while you’re snowboarding. 

When fitting snowboarding pants, this feature must be present.

You can fit different types of gaiters into your pants, such as buckles, laces, hooks, and zippers. You may be wondering which type is the best, but there is no perfect answer to your question, as the best gaiter to get depends entirely on what you prefer and what is comfortable for you.

Vents 

Another fitting that your snowboarding pants should have vents. 

Vents are small pocket spaces with zips that run along the side of the pants that allow air to flow in and out when the zips open. These fittings are vital because they allow hot air that you’ve built inside your pants to escape and cool air to flow into your pants and are perfect for people that have a high tolerance for cold or those that sweat easily. 

You can also decide not to include vent fittings and maximize the space for other fittings that will suit you better. 

Pockets 

Pockets are also essential fittings that can come in snowboarding pants. 

Not all snowboarding pants come with pockets, especially those that come in sets with backpacks. The need for pockets is left to you to decide. If you feel okay with your pack, you don’t need to fit it. 

However, if you want pockets on yours, you can have it checked and adequately waterproofed to prevent it from leaking water into your pants.

Pockets are useful for keeping small essential things that can easily get lost inside your backpack, such as your mobile phone. You can also keep snacks and energy bars within arms’ reach. 

Bib Suspenders

This fitting is entirely optional but also essential. 

A Bib is more or less like a suspender, but it does more than holding your snowboarding pants up. Bibs provide extra security from the wind, and it protects your back from snow splashes. 

Bibs are a multi-functional fitting that will improve your snowboarding experience and also give you extra comfort.

Different types of Bibs can fit your pants, but it is advisable to go for the zip fly bibs, as they are easy to wear and remove. 

Another importance of bibs is the space utility. Some bibs come with pockets that provide you with extra space to keep some of your items, and sometimes it even eliminates the need for a backpack.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should Snowboarding Pants Fit?

Snowboarding pants should be comfortable, not be too big, and the space between your body and the pants should not be too much. If you can move in them as you would in your favorite pair of jeans, they should be perfect. However, if you feel that you’re poured into them, they might be too tight.

Are Snowboarding Pants Supposed To Be Long?

Your snowboarding pants should be long, as they should get to your ankle bone. Most pants come with gaiters that fall over the boots to prevent snow from getting into them. You definitely do not want cold and wet snow going into your boots when you’re out trying to have fun snowboarding.

Should You Size Up in Snowboarding Pants?

Depending on your waist size, you may need to size down or size up your snowboarding pants. It also depends on the brand and whether or not they run small. As with most clothing, the same size from different brands can be vastly different. One brand’s large might be another brand’s medium and vice versa.

Conclusion 

There are several brands and makes of snowboarding pants available to you. However, not all of them will be the perfect size for you, but you can make some adjustments to the pants and make them ideal for you. 

The whole point of fitting your snowboarding pants is to make them as comfortable as possible for you, so you must make these adjustments using your own body. 

Sources

Ryan Conner

Outdoor enthusiast with several years of snowboarding experience in the winters and watersports activities all summer. Living within 3 hours of 4 well-known ski resorts, I get plenty of board time from Nov-March every season.

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