Cross Country skiing can be a lot of fun. While it’s not quite the same experience as alpine or backcountry skiing, it’s an awesome form of exercise that allows you to enjoy winter in a brand new way. As you don’t need ski lifts or big slopes, it’s also more accessible than other types of skiing. All you need is snow!
Even though cross country skiing doesn’t always mean long lift lines and the most expensive equipment, you still need to have the proper gear for the task. This article will look at some of the best cross country ski pants around and explain why they can handle any and all forms of the style.
- These 4ucycling Windproof Athletic Pants are great for cross country skiing, but they can be worn for a variety of other outdoor activities as well. Even though the pants are specifically designed for cross country skiing, they more than hold up for any nordic adventure you could imagine. They feature a double synthetic layer front that keeps wind and water at bay, and come with a comfortable fit.
- The Singbring Fleece Lined Windproof Ski Pants are another awesome choice if you want a sturdy-but-flexible pair of cross country ski pants. These feature a water repellent polyester outer layer alongside a warm and comfortable fleece liner. They are also very durable, thanks to the reinforced material in the knees, and have a well-thought-out design. The extra pockets even allow you to bring your favorite snacks on the trails.
- Swix is a brand that has been making quality cross country ski gear for a long time. Their Universal X Pant is a good option for cross country skiing that will keep you moving swiftly across the snow. These aren’t the most insulated or water repellent option out there, but what they lack in that department they more than makeup for in comfort. They are made from 100% polyester and have full-length zippers along the sides.
Who Should Get This
If you plan on doing any cross country skiing, you want to get a nice pair of cross country specific ski pants. While you can get away with using regular ski pants if you only go out every once in awhile, all of the items listed here have a fit and feel that specifically allows for better performance while skiing cross country. As cross country skiing works up a sweat, the pants are also lighter and less insulated than traditional models.
If you’re only slightly curious about cross country skiing and want to just try it once or twice during the season, you probably don’t need special cross country-specific pants. While these pants can be used in a variety of other outdoor situations, you will do just fine in regular ski pants for a day or two of cross country skiing.
Best Cross Country Ski Pants: What to Consider
Cross country ski pants are designed to fit a little differently than other types of ski pants. You want to look for a tighter fit that doesn’t leave too much excess material hanging off of your legs. You also want a tight fit around the lower leg and ankle so that extra material doesn’t get in the way of your boots or skis. Cross country ski pants typically come in a skin-tight or snug fit. Both work well for the backcountry.
Cross country ski pants, which are usually made of polyester or Spandex, tend to be less thick than alpine ski pants. That is because you’re usually working up a sweat while performing cross country, and you don’t want to become too hot or sweat too much. However, as external temperatures can cool you down, no matter how hard you work, you still want pants made from wind or water-proof material.
Your cross country gear needs to be comfortable and move with your body. That is why the pants need to be flexible in a way that allows you to move without any restriction. The following items are similar to athletic pants in that they provide a full range of motion for all of the ways your body can move, twist, and turn while on the slopes.
Best Cross Country Ski Pants: Our Picks
These pants are great all-around athletic pants that also work extremely well for cross country skiing. One stand out feature is the double layer of synthetic material on the front. That adds an extra layer of protection against wind and water without making the pants feel too big or heavy. These pants are 85% polyester and 15% spandex, a great combination that makes them durable and flexible at the same time.
What we like:
- Extra material on the front
- Comfortable yet durable
- Breathable, allows sweat to escape
- Sturdy zippered pockets
- Nice fleece liner
What we don’t like:
- Not really a complaint, but they say cycling rather than skiing
- Zippered ankles can be hard to work in very cold conditions
These pants by Singbring are my personal favorite when it comes to cross country skiing. They look and feel great while also providing a comfortable fit that is perfect for many different outdoor activities. The polyester outer shell is water repellent, and the fleece liner provides plenty of warmth without being too hot. The pockets are also fully water-proof to keep your belongings safe and secure.
What we like:
- Well designed and functional
- Water-proof pockets
- Great fit
- Adjustable waist
What we don’t like:
- Can be hot on warm ski days
Swix is a well-known brand in the cross country world, and their Universal X Pant is a great option for any skier. These pants are the most comfortable on the list. So much so that you might consider getting them for lounging around the lodge. They are 100% polyester for a comfortable and breathable feel, and they feature full-length zippers running down the legs that allow you to adjust the airflow to your liking.
What we like:
- Full-length zippers
- Excellent fit and feel
What we don’t like:
- Not as water repellent as other options
- Not the best for very cold days
Useful Tips & Resources
If you’re just learning about cross country skiing, you might want to consider taking a lesson before getting out on the trails. Check out this video to learn a bit about the basics of the sport and how it differs from other types of skiing.
Beyond pants, you’ll also need other gear for the sport. Take a look at some of these tips on how to dress specifically for cross country skiing.
If you enjoy winter sports, it is a good idea to get a strong pair of cross country ski pants. Premium options have many uses, and they are perfect for cross country skiing if you either already enjoy or plan on pursuing the sport.
Have you ever been cross country skiing? Where is your favorite location to ski? Let us know in the comments!