Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Pants Review

Patagonia Snowbelle Insulated
Price:  $199 List | $99.00 at Patagonia
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, warm, RECCO, vents
Cons:  Not great for backcountry use, baggier fit
Bottom line:  The Snowbelle offers resort style with relaxed comfort, enough space to move, and an opportunity to look good.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
Waterproofing:  2-Layer H2No Performance Standard 20,000mm
Insulation/Lining:  40g Thermogreen polyester (90% recycled), polyester taffeta liner
Vents:  Mesh-lined inner thigh
Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Snowbelle women's ski pant is a great resort pant with a range of features and technical construction. While the loose and tricky fit of this pant doesn't make it great for long backcountry days, the warm insulation and inner thigh vents keep it charging around the resort in variable temps. The high back waist and the waterproof shell keep snow out while the hidden RECCO system can alert Recco-equipped ski patrols in an emergency. This pant will keep you comfortable on the chair lift and flying down your favorite run.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Polly Dacus

Last Updated:
Tuesday
January 24, 2017

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The Patagonia Snowbelle women's ski pant is warm, comfortable, and stylish with features that include a pass holder ring, the RECCO system, vents, and a fleece-lined adjustable waistband. This pant was everything we needed, and nothing we didn't. Overall, it's a solid garment that will meet your needs at the resort.

Performance Comparison


The Snowbelle has a relaxed fit  but was a little too long in the crotch area.
The Snowbelle has a relaxed fit, but was a little too long in the crotch area.

Comfort & Fit


Patagonia is known for its superior design quality, and the Insulated Snowbelle is no exception. This ski pant offers good mobility and a relaxed fit. Articulated knees allow for ease of movement, and it has an adjustable fleece-lined waistband. While using the Snowbelle in the backcountry, overall testers found it too baggy with extra space throughout the crotch and legs. Our testers were also in between sizes.


When we sized down, we were left wanting more space in the bum and thighs, and when we sized up, we found the legs to be almost too roomy. However, when sizing down, we weren't left with enough space to wear under layers. This was only a concern while skiing uphill; the moment we pointed our skis downhill, this contender shifted into high gear. It provided us room when we needed to dig out of a snow pile, leg space to dodge trees, and comfort around our waists. Once skiing through powder piles and tight trees, we didn't give a second thought to our pants, which is a signal that our pants are high performers.

We liked the high waisted back of the pants  keeping snow out.
We liked the high waisted back of the pants, keeping snow out.

Weather Resistance


This pant uses Patagonia's 2-Layer H2No Performance Standard shell, which they claim is waterproof, windproof and breathable. The 2-layers include a face fabric with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that beads water to allow the second layer, a waterproof/breathable barrier, to work. During our test, the DWR continued to repel melting snow and keep us dry. DWR coatings slowly wear off as a result of washings, activity, sun, moisture, and abrasion. When the DWR wears off, the barrier has a harder time doing its job. At this point, the fabric can be retreated with various reconditioning wash-in or spray-on treatments.

Newer waterproofing systems like H2No haven't been around long enough for us to know how durable they are. GORE-TEX has, and it's currently the gold standard for long-lived waterproofing. The Snowbelle pant's waterproofing, which includes fully taped seams and a more burly outer layer fabric, seem like it will hold up well, but not as long as GORE-TEX test pieces. Time will tell.

The relaxed fit of the Patagonia Snowbelle allows for easy range of motion.
The relaxed fit of the Patagonia Snowbelle allows for easy range of motion.

Warmth


The Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle uses Thermogreen insulation to keep you warm. Even with this kind of insulation, we still wore a light base layer on most days during testing in the resort. When we used this pant in the backcountry, we found that even on very cold days we did not need additional under layers to keep warm.

Patagonia uses a soft fleecy inner lining, giving this garment softness and flexibility. This makes it versatile to wear in varying temperatures and weather.

Opening the thigh vents to let off some steam while skinning uphill.
Opening the thigh vents to let off some steam while skinning uphill.

Ventilation


The inner thigh vents on this model are a great design for resort skiing. These vents are lined with mesh and situated just one inch below the crotch. They measured nine inches long and 1.5 inches wide at their widest point. When the vents were fully open, some of our testers found the zipper irritates the inner thigh area. To fix it, you just close the vent a litte, but then it's less effective. Our testers found that this pant (with its 40 grams of insulation) tended to be too warm without enough ventilation during exerting climbs in the backcountry. However, this ventilation system was perfect at the resort on colder days or on spring days with no base layers.

Two zippered hand pockets and the inner thigh vent can be found on the Patagonia Snowbelle Pants.
Two zippered hand pockets and the inner thigh vent can be found on the Patagonia Snowbelle Pants.

Features


This pant has two fleece lined hand pockets that are placed fairly low, making them accessible on the chairlift. It has a pass holder ring, rear jacket loop for a jacket attachment, and a lifetime warranty. It's also equipped with a cozy, fleece-lined waistband (fitted with interior velcro adjusters), articulated knee stitching, gaiters with a DWR coating, and a scuff guard on the inner ankle hem.

The Snowbelle has a nice  wide leg opening accommodating any boot.
The Snowbelle has a nice, wide leg opening accommodating any boot.

The Patagonia Snowbelle is equipped with the RECCO Rescue System. This device is no larger than a chapstick tube and embedded in the fabric of the ski pant's lower leg. Ski Resorts equipped with a RECCO system can use this device to find a buried skier.

Style


The Snowbelle has a timeless, slightly baggy fit and basic color selection. It has a flared boot opening and a soft feel. Congruous with its durability and quality weatherproofing construction, it's designed to avoid style shifts overtime with its simple look. Similar to the classic straight leg jean fit, this pant fits comfortably on our testers without being frumpy. It has room for skiers' thighs and snow bunny butts. You can attain a relaxed or fitted look depending on the size you choose.


Best Application


This is a great choice for avid snowsport participants looking for a reasonably priced garment with a high level of quality. Our testers loved it most for resort days or mechanized skiing where you need the flexibility of a ventilation system (in the cat or helicopter) and the benefits of warmth and weatherproofing while ripping downhill.

Skiing the beautiful pow in the Snowbelle.
Skiing the beautiful pow in the Snowbelle.

Value


If you are looking for a quality, technical pant with insulation, the Patagonia Snowbelle is a bargain at just around $200. While Patagonia offers a phenomenal lifetime guarantee and nails the style on the Snowbelle, there are less expensive options if you need to pinch pennies.

Conclusion


Patagonia did it again; between style, function, and comfort, this ski pant proved to last through rainy days on wet chairlifts, cold and windy work weekends, snowy backcountry ridges, and sweet spring days. This pant has awesome technical qualities, and it just looks good.

Polly Dacus


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Most recent review: January 24, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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