Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Pants Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, warm, RECCO
Cons: Not great for backcountry use, waterproofing
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Insulated Snowbelle women's ski pant is warm, comfortable, and stylish pant with features that includes RECCO technology, inner thigh vents, and a fleece-lined adjustable waistband. This pant was everything we would expect for an insulated pant, and nothing we didn't, offering standard performance for its class and excelling in comfort. Overall, it is a solid garment that will meet your needs at the resort, keeping you warm and cozy from first chair to aprés with your crew.
This pant comes equipped with Patagonia's 2-Layer H2No Performance Standard shell outer layer paired with a durable waterproof repellant (DWR) layer, which they claim is waterproof, windproof, and breathable to protect you from the elements. These pants performed well on the mountain, with zero issues when it came to weatherproofing. That being said, our shower test pushed them to their limit.
When we tested the pants for two minutes in the shower, the pants were able to repel a good amount of water. However, they still did absorb a large amount of that water. At the end of the test, the pants felt heavy, as if water had gotten into its insulation, and the insides of the pant felt damp. That being said, unless you live in a particularly wet environment, these pants are still a fantastic option for most, as comparatively wet conditions are rare for most.
Fit and Comfort
Designed for mobility, putting on the Snowbelle Insulated Pants felt like slipping into a cloud. Its smooth taffeta inner liner is soft and buttery to the touch, providing a premium feel from the moment you put them on. This feeling of comfort lasted throughout the day, as the pants were roomy enough for us to ski without feeling restricted or inhibited by the pant, while the liner glided smoothly with our movements.
To assist with finding your perfect fit, Patagonia incorporated adjustable elastic tabs at the waist that can be adjusted with velcro. These tabs are on the inside of the pant, which made them slightly harder to adjust when on, but felt incredibly sturdy and comfortable once put on, and needed no readjusting throughout the day. We also appreciated that the tabs featured a brushed-tricot lining which was soft to the touch and protected our skin from the potential scratchiness of the velcro to the point where we didn't notice it next to our skin at all.
The ventilation system built into these pants is limited but effective for most average days at the resort, especially for those who tend to run cold. The pants come with two inner thigh vents that span from just below the crotch to just above the knee, allowing you to shed heat in a key zone. The vents have an inner mesh lining that helps keep snow from getting in your pants, even when you're skiing fast.
These smaller vents do allow for some temperature regulation, but are not enough to release heat generated from more strenuous activities such as backcountry skiing. And while the mesh helps protect your legs from snow, it also limits the vents from opening completely and therefore from being more effective. This, combined with the pants insulation, mean that we do not recommend this pant for touring or on days when you anticipate much inbounds hiking.
The Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle relies upon 40 grams of Thermogreen insulation to keep you warm on the mountain, even in colder temperatures. We found this insulation to be effective, especially when paired with a base layer, in keeping us toasty, even when sitting on a slow, long chairlift ride. If conditions turn south, Patagonia claims that its Thermogreen insulation will stay warm even when wet, similar to wool, though we were unable to test this feature on the mountain. If you are someone who gets cold easily and wants the reliable warmth of an insulated pant, these would be a great option to consider.
The most notable feature included in the Snowbelle Pant is the integrated RECCO reflector, which can aid a rescue team in locating you if necessary. A RECCO reflector does not have any backcountry ski application, and should never be assumed to replace the necessity of an avalanche beacon. It is, however, a thoughtful touch in the design which can be a useful tool if necessary. An every day feature of the Snowbelle that you might enjoy is its ability to attach to the powder skirt of any Patagonia ski jacket. This helps seal out snow from getting inside on those deep powder days, helping to keep you warm and dry.
The pant's adjustable waist straps, mentioned in the fit and comfort section, are also a nice and noteworthy feature, allowing them to be adjusted to fit individual sizes. Other than that, these are a fairly basic pant with few extra frills.
The Snowbelle has a basic, standard ski pant look, with few stand out style statements, positive or negative. With a relaxed fit that is accommodating to many different body types, the Snowbelle stands apart less on design and more via color. This pant provides you with over six different colors and patterns to choose from, allowing one to individualize their look with the perfect color combination. For those who don't feel the need to stand apart from the crowd, but still want to perfect their look, you may find what you're looking for in the style of these pants.
For a pant that is in the mid-price range, they perform as can be expected. They are not bulletproof, but will get you through cold days on the mountain just fine and in comfort, especially if you layer underneath on the very harshest of days.
Keep in mind that these pants have rather specific functions and are not great for the backcountry—if you want to venture outside of the resort, you may need to secure another pair of pants. And, if you are in a pinch, there are cheaper options that may not be as eco-friendly or high-quality, but can still get the job done. That being said, these are a solid choice for someone who knows they will put their pants through some wear and tear and want to stay warm with added insulation.
The Patagonia Snowbelle Insulated Pant is a reliable pant for resort skiing enthusiasts. Its cloud-like comfort will help keep you happy on the slopes, while its technical features are just enough to provide great value for the price. If you frequently experience cold legs, this is our top recommendation.
— Sarah Sherman