A pair of plus size snow pants is essential for women who spend plenty of time in the great outdoors during winter. Designed with comfort and warmth in mind, these pants are extremely functional.
About Snow Pants
Snow pants, sometimes known as snowboard pants, live up to their name in a big way. These utilitarian pants are constructed solely with functionality in mind and are designed to protect the wearer from snow and even rain. Depending on your activity level and environment, you may require one type of snow pant over another. Focus on the different details that various pairs of snow pants may offer:
- Some styles are waterproof, so that they lock out moisture and prevent water from seeping into the fabric.
- Some are water-resistant, which means that they do lock out moisture but can eventually become saturated with water over extended periods of time.
- Windproof styles ensure that brisk winds do not make contact with the skin through the fabric.
- Levels of insulation vary from one style to the next; some are thick and heavy while others are extremely light. Some have no insulation at all.
- In addition to these functional details, many snow pants also feature certain aesthetic elements that make the pants even more useful in the face of cold weather.
- Spacious pockets are designed to easily keep essentials (like wallets, sunscreen and lip balm) on your person even while out on the slopes or playing in the snow.
- Elastic waists ensure that moisture is locked out and that the pants stay put no matter how vigorous your movement.
- Strategically placed zippers on the sides can be unzipped for increased ventilation or to cool down in case it gets too warm.
Shopping for Plus Size Snow Pants
Shopping for plus size snow pants may seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of great options available out there. That's because snow pants are no longer merely for a niche market; designers recognize that women of all shapes and sizes spend time outdoors and require sufficient protection from the elements. A pair of snow pants is ideal for this purpose.
Comfort is key when it comes to finding a pair that truly works. Even if they pull on nicely, you should take the time to really move in them to ensure that they can comfortable handle the rigors of outdoor activities. Even if you aren't skiing or sledding, chances are you'll be doing some moving while you're outside! It's a good idea to bend at the knees and waist, and even to the sides, to ensure that the pants don't ride up or constrict your movement in any way.
In general, snow pants are quite forgiving since they are cut loosely to begin with. You will find that pants designed specifically for snowboarding may be looser than ski pants. However, you'll want to consider what you plan to wear beneath your snow pants, if anything. If your pants are well insulated or you engage in heavy amounts of activity (and thus sweat a lot more), you won't necessarily need another layer. Otherwise, try on pants with a layer, like a thermal pant, underneath.
Where to Purchase
Snow pants for plus size women are readily available online and in retail stores. Check out some of these options as you shop around:
- Just Gear: The ideal pant for the woman who has never purchased them before, the company's insulated snow pants are at once waterproof and windproof, and are available from sizes XL to 6XL (or 18 to 40). With its Thinsulate lining, it provides warmth without the extra weight.
- Lands' End: The well-known outfitter carries a variety of snow pants, including the waterproof, wind-resistant Squall. This style is available in both insulated and non-insulated varieties, and a bib version exists for women who prefer to hold their pants up with straps. The pants are available up from size XL to 3X (or 18 to 26W).
- Sports Authority: From time to time, the sports retailer carries snow pants in plus sizes, including the Arctix brand ski bib. These pants (with attached bib) are water- and wind-resistant and insulated to keep the body warm in frigid temperatures. The pants are available from size XL to XXL.
You will also want to check out various outdoor specialty stores, which typically carry outerwear for women of all sizes. You may need to order online if the product is not available in the store itself.
As with any garment, it's important to try them on first. Take your time in your search for a pair of snow pants. After all, you'll wear them year after year, so it's important to find something that is comfortable and a great fit!