Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Sweatpants and leggings are great for cold temperatures, but high-quality winter pants will make a world of difference once it's below freezing!
After a long winter, it sure does feel good to put on a pair of shorts, but there's just something about slipping into a pair of warm pants on the first day of winter. It's truly a cozy feeling that can't be matched.
Oh, you know the feeling (if you have a favorite pair of winter pants, of course). If you don't have that go-to pair of cold-weather pants, no worries. We picked out six pairs for men and women to wear outdoors, at home, or around town when running errands.
Stay warm, y'all!
What is Fleece + Why to Wear It in the Winter
When shopping for winter pants, you'll often find fleece-lined pants (for good reason).
Catwalk Yourself writes, "Fleece fabric is usually made entirely from polyester. The PET plastic is melted, by heating it and then it is fed through shower head like nozzles, when they come into contact with the air they solidify and form long filaments of polyester."
Of course, Merino wool is a top-quality fabric to consider for wintertime, however many shoppers opt for fleece since it's vegan. (Yes, Merino wool comes from the coat of a sheep.) If you like Merino wool, go for it, but fleece is a great alternative. The best-sellers below have a fleece lining.
Fleece is breathable, insulating, stretchy, and machine-washable, making it the perfect winter outwear fabric to wear over and over again.
Best for Men
Best for Hiking
Trailside Supply Co.'s fleece pants have an interior that provides a touch of warmth and next-to-skin comfort.
Not only will you stay super warm, but you'll also stay dry. They are DWR (durable water repellent). They're also wind-resistant, making them perfect for those harsh winter conditions.
The breathability is fantastic! The straight-leg pants have a treated soft-shell exterior to keep them lightweight, breathable, and easy to move in. If you're not happy with the fit, take advantage of the elastic waistband and belt loops for an adjustable fit.
Best for Snow
These waterproof pants can work as camping, hiking, fishing, or even snowboard pants! They are water-resistant, moisture-wicking, and windproof, which is perfect for working and playing outdoors. Like the option above, there's an inner layer made of fleece for warmth in the extreme cold.
I love that there are plenty of pockets for a few outdoor essentials.
To adjust the fit, fix the drawstring closure. Be sure to handwash them.
Best for Tall People
A customer gave these five stars and said he's 245lbs, over 6 feet tall, ordered the XL, and is very pleased with the fit. They offer plenty of legroom even though they're slim-fit pants. Wear them as hiking, work, snowboarding, or ski pants all winter long.
All three of these options are under $60. If you're looking for bib overalls or jogger pants, check out Amazon for more top-rated picks.
Best for Women
Best for Rain
Ladies, if you've had it with the rain and you're looking for winter pants with a relaxed fit, you can't go wrong with this pick. The waterproof pants are made from 100% polyurethane and provide full weather protection!
Not sure if they really pass the test? See what this Washington resident had to say.
Best for Snow
You can never go wrong with outdoor brands like The North Face, Outdoor Research, and of course, Columbia. These Omni-Heat snow pants from Columbia are the perfect snow pants for winter sports and work. The hem and internal leg gaiters keep snow out of the pants.
Choose between a short and regular inseam. The women's pants come in sizes XS-XXL.
For the leggings-obsessed (me), consider these warm leggings. With over 16,000 ratings, it's not hard to believe that these are top-notch pants for wintertime. They might look like regular leggings, but they have a fleece lining. These are perfect for trail running, camping, or leisurewear. Use them as a base layer or for wearing solo.
They're machine washable, breathable, and moisture-wicking.
This post was originally published in September 2021.
Enjoy the outdoors?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.