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Women's snow pants--what do I need to know?


ILiveInFlipFlops
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DD12 (who is 5' 6" and well into women's sizes *sigh*) is wanting snow pants for this winter. We don't ski, but she does go sledding etc. when it snows here. I just took a quick look around online, and now I have analysis paralysis! Do we want fleece-lined or unlined? Water-resistant or waterproof? Snug fitting or with lots of room to layer underneath? Are the expensive brands worth the money? 

 

If you have any experience with this kind of stuff, I'd love to hear what you have to say. I guess I'm mainly concerned with water-resistance, since she'll be sledding and playing in the snow primarily. 

 

Thanks!

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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I'm not an expert, but mine are pretty snug (I think maybe they were out of the next size up at Gander Mountain when I bought them). I haven't had any need to put anything under them when rolling around in the snow or wandering around outside, but I haven't done that for like 8 hours a day or anything either (like, maybe a couple of hours at most). I have no clue if they're waterproof or water-resistant, but I'm pretty sure there's no fleece involved. When I was a kid, we didn't have snow pants (it doesn't snow *that* often in NL), but for playing in the snow for up to an hour or so sturdy jeans with leggings under them worked just fine. My kids have snow pants from Target, no fleece involved either (no clue about the rest either - they're just the one kind of kids' snow pants they sell at Target in the store). Their snow pants are annoying, since the waist (but not the rest) is too loose, but other than that, they'll play in the snow for over an hour, mostly until their hands are freezing off (they've got gloves, but they get soaked, and then I put on the next pair of gloves, and then a pair of socks, until everything is wet. One of them had decent gloves last year, but managed to drop them in the snow so the insides got wet and snowy anyway, so it wasn't an improvement).

 

I'd probably only get loose-fitting ones if it gets *really* cold where you're at and you *have* to layer.

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Since your DD is only 12 and will outgrow these pants, I would balance function and cost and choose

- water resistant rather than waterproof

- light insulation

- roomy enough to wear long underwear underneath

- internal gaiters to prevent snow from going up pant legs

 

Expensive brands are worth the extra money - they are harder wearing (especially the cuffs, which get a lot of abuse from ski boots and skis), waterproof, have sturdy zips. However, since she might not wear these for more than one season, I wouldn’t bother. Also, if she is not skiing, then they just need to keep her warm and dry if she sits on the snow for a while.

 

These have a few good reviews

 

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-snow-pants-c9-by-champion-153/-/A-52445594

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You might check places like Steep and Cheap and REI Garage for high quality snow pants at a reasonable price.

 

Good quality snow and cold weather gear is always worth it, IMO, but it really depends on your climate. Cold isn't equal.

 

You don't necessarily need waterPROOF. Fleece lined are nice if its cold-cold, but she might get too hot if she's playing. Don't go too baggy; a pair of leggings go or thermals underneath doesn't take up much room, and too much extra space invites in the cold.

 

It's person dependent, too. We tend to dress pretty lightly when we go skiing, etc, but warmer if we are just standing around. Light layers are always more effective than a single bulky item.

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Since your DD is only 12 and will outgrow these pants, I would balance function and cost and choose

- water resistant rather than waterproof

- light insulation

- roomy enough to wear long underwear underneath

- internal gaiters to prevent snow from going up pant legs

 

Expensive brands are worth the extra money - they are harder wearing (especially the cuffs, which get a lot of abuse from ski boots and skis), waterproof, have sturdy zips. However, since she might not wear these for more than one season, I wouldn’t bother. Also, if she is not skiing, then they just need to keep her warm and dry if she sits on the snow for a while.

 

These have a few good reviews

 

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-snow-pants-c9-by-champion-153/-/A-52445594

We got Target snow pants for kids year after year, and they were fine -- lined, I think. In any case, pretty bulky. Actually, we got the pants with bibs. First, they are more forgiving in the fit, and second, the bib keeps snow from creeping inside when kids are sledding.

 

Now we get inexpensive pants from a camping store, and they are just fine for hiking in the snow, etc. all of us do water layers -- decent quality long underwear, warm fleece pants. If it is really cold (below 20), we add an intermediate of lightweight pants -- cheap target yoga pants for example.

 

IMO, economize on the pants, because you can multi-layer underneath, but invest in warm insulated boots, because it's difficult to wear more than two pairs of socks. Warm socks, liner socks, and an insulated shoe insert help.

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My preference is ski pants  as they are more flexible to me, and I like them with room to wear layers underneath.  Here the snow is fairly light and dry so water resistent is fine for me.  I wear mine while walking, ice skating,or sledding.  I have them as an added layer of warmth as it gets pretty cold here.  I like the pants as a layering piece because when I'm not at home, I want to be able to take the ski pants off like when I am driving.

 

Hope this helps.

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Also vote for ski bibs. They have elastic at the bottom so snow does not shoot up the inside of your pant leg if you fall off the sled or generally romp in the snow.

They are typical water proof or very water resistant. The bib versions cover father up the back and front and are cozy warm. Buy a size bigger than you would for regular pants so fat sweaters and layers fit inside. :)

 

https://www.landsend.com/products/girls-squall-bibs/id_243146_1187:59?sku_0=::B5W&source=GS&currency=USD&geo=US&cm_mmc=139971612&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm9Tj-dvu1wIV0rrACh0dVAD3EAYYAiABEgIUmfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

There are probably less expensive ones than Land's End but this came up first when I searched.

Edited by Liz CA
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