Your outerwear plays a significant role in how warm and comfortable you’ll be when you are snowmobiling. Here, we will take a look at some of the best snowmobile pants available.
I’ve been around snowmobiles and just about every other winter sport since I was a kid. Over the years, I’ve used many different pants and bibs for riding. I know what to look for in terms of construction, comfort, and weatherproofing.
The 509 Range Insulated Bib is my top choice for snowmobiling pants. They are built to withstand severe conditions and keep you warm and dry no matter what weather you are in.
Most riders use a bib-style snow pant for snowmobiling. This is the style I would recommend, but you can also use more traditional pants that don’t have shoulder straps if you want to.
I’ll give you a few of the best options on this list so you can make a good choice and pick the pants that best meet your needs on your sled and in the snow.
Time to pull up your pants and get after it.
Table of Contents
- Quick Summary
- Top Choices for Best Snowmobile Pants
- What to Look for in Snowmobile Pants
- Snowmobile Pants FAQs
- My Verdict
- Best Overall: 509 Range Insulated Bib
- Best Lightweight Option: TOBE Outerwear Novo Bib
- Best Mountain/Backcountry: Flylow Chemical Pants
- Best Traditional Style: 509 Forge Pant
- Best for Extreme Cold: RefrigiWear Iron-Tuff Insulated Bib Overalls
- Best for the Money: Castle X Phase Bib
- Best Klim Option: Klim Kaos Pant
Top Choices for Best Snowmobile Pants
Having good snowmobile pants is crucial to staying warm and comfortable when you ride. The options you’ll find below are all some of the best you can find.
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Waterproof, very durable, comfortable, low bulk, 2-layer construction, stretch side panels
- Insulation: 200 grams Thinsulate
- Material: 5TECH, 300D Cordura, Polyester
- Style: Bibs
If you want the best of the best, the 509 Range is my top pick here. I love these bibs and think they make the perfect pants for any sort of snowmobiling adventure.
Their weatherproofing is high-end and top of the line. Built with a 5TECH waterproof material on the outer shell, they will repel snow away with ease.
300 D Cordura and 600 D polyester zones add to this and provide you with very impressive protection from the elements.
They are also some of the most comfortable snowmobile pants I’ve tried. The mid-rise bib height is my ideal fit and gives you all-day comfort. Stretch side panels increase flexibility to allow for easy movement on or off your sled.
The Range is packed with 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation. This is a recommended amount of added warmth that will keep you toasty on cold days without being overkill on mild days.
Fully taped seams and 2-layer construction boost ample insulation and quality weatherproofing. These same features also increase durability. They also have ¾ zipped legs and built-in removable knee pads.
These bibs are on the expensive side but make for a worthwhile investment if you can afford them. Other than that, I don’t have a negative thing to say about them.
- Best for: Lightweight Option
- Key features: Comfortable, breathable, ergonomic shoulder braces, Kevlar-reinforced areas, leg vents
- Insulation: Non-insulated
- Material: Sympatex Cordura, Armortex Kevlar
- Style: Bibs
The TOBE Outwear Novo Bib is an excellent option for any rider looking for lightweight snowmobile pants.
These are an extremely comfortable and well-designed option that provides you with quality waterproofing alongside durable construction.
Their lightweight nature is provided by a shell-style design that uses two layers of Sympatex Cordura to offer 100% wind- and waterproofing. This material is flexible, strong, and durable to last for a long time.
Lightweight pants usually come with a trade-off of being less durable. The Novo eliminates that issue by using Armortex Kevlar reinforcements in critical areas that see a lot of wear.
They also have extra comfort and function provided by well place thigh vents, an adjustable waist, and ergonomic shoulder braces. Fully sealed seams and integrated leg gaiters give additional weather protection and durability.
These pants are designed to be well-used, even with a minimal design. But they aren’t going to give you much warmth and have no insulation. If you plan on riding in cold conditions, you’ll want to layer up or choose a different option.
The Novo is an impressive lightweight option that boasts some unique design and construction characteristics, making them highly recommended.
- Best for: Mountain/Backcountry
- Key features: Waterproof, breathable, DWR coating, adjustable waist, articulated knees, powder cuffs
- Insulation: Non-insulated
- Material: 3-layer Inuitive Oxford
- Style: Traditional
The best mountain or backcountry snowmobile pants on the list are the Flylow Chemical. I’m a big fan of Flylow Gear and think they offer some of the best equipment in the snowsports industry.
These shell-style pants have a classic fit and feel that is comfortable and flexible. A 3-layer Intuitive Oxford construction provides good wind resistance and warmth, even though there is no traditional insulation built-in.
The shell material is coated with OmniBloq DWR coating that gives the pants excellent waterproofing, even in heavy snow. This type of DWR is more effective than the average coating and adds a lot of value.
The pants are also very breathable and have adjustable thigh vents that can be opened up or closed to adjust airflow as you ride or hike. Waterproof zippers and reinforced knees add another layer of weather protection and durability.
Other great features that make these good for mountain riding include an adjustable waist belt and powder cuffs if you need to dig your sled out or break trail.
The downside is that they are costly, especially for a non-bib option. They also aren’t the warmest option around.
But for venturing into the backcountry and mountain riding, these would be a solid choice.
- Best for: Traditional Style
- Key features: Comfortable fit, versatile, removable suspenders, zippered pockets, critically taped seams
- Insulation: Non-insulated
- Material: 5TECH, 150 D fabric
- Style: Traditional (with suspenders)
If you prefer traditional pants or bibs for snowmobiling, I would highly recommend the 509 Forge. These will give you plenty of comfort and weather resistance on the trail without holding you back.
One reason I like these is their versatile use. They come with a removable set of suspenders, so you can wear them like bibs if you want to. If you don’t, take the straps off, and you have a highly functional traditional set of snow pants.
The shell-style construction makes them very comfortable as well. These pants will move with you as you ride and are seriously easy to wear.
Similar to other options from 509, the Forge is made with 5TECH fabric that offers excellent waterproofing. This works alongside 150D face fabric and 600D reinforced areas for serious protection from snow and cold.
Critically taped seams, zippered hand pockets, and a 5 Ride insulated seat are other features that improve the cold-weather performance of these pants.
They aren’t insulated, so they will not be a good option for anyone who rides in extremely cold conditions or is looking for a super warm set of pants. They are also a little loose around the boot cuff, which can lead to slight fraying.
- Best for: Extreme Cold
- Key features: -50F cold rating, comfortable, waterproof, heavy-duty zippers, bounded seams, durable tear-resistant denier, thigh-length zippers
- Insulation: 11.25 ounce RefridiFill
- Material: Denier nylon
- Style: Bibs
For snowmobiling in extremely cold conditions, you need gear that offers exceptional warmth and protection from the elements. The RefrigiWear Iron-Tuff Insulated Bibs do just that.
These are some of the warmest snow pants I’ve ever seen. They are rated to -50F and actually live up that claim. If you are riding in temperatures that low, your life depends on your ability to keep warm – these bibs will keep you toasty.
The 11.25 ounces of unique RefridgiFill insulation is where the warmth comes from. This adds a serious layer of synthetic protection around your body, and a high chest design extends that over your vital areas.
They are also extremely comfortable and will make you feel like you’re wrapped up in a sleeping bag as you charge through the worst weather conditions.
A wind and water-resistant outer shell add extra protection from the outside world. Bound seams and heavy-duty zippers enhance this even more, while storm flaps on the front and thigh-high zippers give you added function on the trail.
They also have a highly durable tear and abrasion-resistant nylon outer shell that will keep the pants in good shape for years of heavy use.
If you don’t plan on riding in extreme cold, these pants will be overkill. Wear these on a warm day, and you risk overheating.
- Best for: Budget Pick
- Key features: Affordable, good weatherproofing, DWR coating, seam-sealed, articulated knee panels, fleece-lined pockets
- Insulation: 150 grams 3M Thinsulate
- Material: Polyester/nylon, Ven-Tex 2.0
- Style: Bibs
The best snowmobile pants for your money are the Castle X Phase Bib. These are a more affordable option that will still give you high-end performance and many functional features.
They have 150 grams of 3M Thinsulate insulation for versatile use that will keep you warm when the temperature drops but not be overkill on warmer days.
The shell is made out of a durable polyester/nylon blend that is DWR coated and offers reliable weatherproofing characteristics. This is backed by Ven-Tex 2.0 material that is breathable and flexible.
Pre-curved knees add extra flexibility and comfort and articulated pads help with durability in high-use areas of the pants. The stretch back accordion panel is another nice touch that adds comfort.
Other features include zippered fleece-lined hand pockets and inner snow gaiters that work to keep out snow when you need to hop off your sled.
The Phase does have somewhat of a bulky fit that I don’t like. It’s not uncomfortable but will tend to bunch up around the waist when you put your jacket on. For a good value budget pick, that’s a minor concern.
- Best for: Klim Option
- Key features: Warm, breathable, low bulk, streamlined construction, boot retention loops, removable knee pads
- Insulation: 180 grams 3M Thinsulate
- Material: GORE-TEX
- Style: Hybrid
Some riders love a specific brand, and Klim is a well-known option in the snowmobile industry that makes great equipment.
The Kaos is the best Klim snowmobile pant and is a favorite among many riders.
These pants are fully catered toward snowmobiling needs and offer high-end performance, weather protection, and comfort.
They have a GORE-TEX performance shell that creates a highly effective outer barrier against snow and wind. 180 grams of Thinsulate insulation provides you with a substantial amount of warmth and comfort.
Other awesome features include a low bulk construction, velcro boot gaiters, full-length side zippers, and a Klim exclusive seat dry tech. The list goes on if you want to check it out.
All of these fantastic features and high-end design will cost you a pretty penny – the Kaos are an expensive set of snowmobile pants. The removable suspenders can take some getting used to as well.
If you want to stay loyal to Klim, these are the option I would recommend.
What to Look for in Snowmobile Pants
You might want to consider the following factors when choosing the best snowmobile pants for yourself.
Bibs or Traditional
There are two styles of snowmobile pants – bibs or traditional. Bibs are more commonly used and have shoulder straps and extra material that make them warmer and more comfortable, in my opinion. But they do cost more.
Traditional pants will sit around your waist and don’t offer as much protection from the elements as bibs do. But some riders find regular snow pants more comfortable. They are also more affordable.
The choice between the two is really a matter of personal preference. I almost always use bibs when I’m snowmobiling, especially in colder conditions.
You need your snowmobile pants to be completely water and windproof to be effective. Ample weatherproofing will keep snow and wind away from your body, which keeps you warm when you ride.
All of the options listed here are fully water and windproof, but always check that any pants you are considering are made of materials that provide this. GORE-TEX is a high-end weatherproofing material, and DWR treatments are also good to look for.
Insulation is another critical factor to consider in snowmobile pants. The more insulation a pair of pants have, the warmer they will be. Synthetic insulation is pretty standard, and Thinsulate is one of the best materials to look for.
If you are often riding in sub-zero temperatures, heavy insulation might be necessary. If you ride in milder conditions, race, or want more flexibility, less insulation can work fine. You can always add base layers to increase insulation as well.
Snowmobile Pants FAQs
Here are some quick answers to some of the most common questions regarding snowmobile pants.
Who makes the best snow pants?
There are many quality brands out there that make good snow pants. My favorite snowmobile specific brand is 509; they have a lot to offer and always deliver quality. I also think Flylow makes some of the best snow pants around.
Are snow bibs better than snow pants?
This is a personal preference choice. I think bibs are better for snowmobiling because they are warmer and more comfortable. But I also wear regular snow pants if the weather is warmer. Either can work fine for snowmobiling.
What is the best snowmobile clothing?
All of your layers work together to keep you warm and dry while you snowmobile. But the best snowmobile clothing will be your outer layers (pants and jacket) because these provide the first line of defense against the snow and cold.
There are many good options out there, but the best snowmobile pants are the 509 Range Insulated Bib. These will give you everything you need on the trail and deliver across the board in comfort and weatherproofing.
Getting a good pair of snowmobile pants will provide you will many days of quality riding. You can always get a cheaper pair, but the best options listed here will give you lasting performance that will last for years.About Chaz Wyland