Have you ever had that dream where you're waiting in line for first chair on the deepest day of the year when you suddenly realize you’re not wearing any pants? Dreams aside, wearing a 10-year-old pair of ski pants can be a living nightmare, which is why we’ve created the 2015/2016 Ski Pants Buyers’ Guide.

Ultra-light backcountry shells and feature-rich insulated resort pants are utilizing new highly breathable fabrics and ventilation systems. Stretch fabrics, articulated knees and bold styling are just a few elements to look for in this year’s roundup. You'll also notice our new segmentation, featuring skier-driven categories that include:

Weekend Warrior—For skiers hitting their favorite ski resort(s) somewhere between 6 and upwards of 20 days per season who may or may not dabble in some hike-to/sidecountry, being comfortable & warm (but not too warm) and looking good at a reasonable price point are all priorities. 

Alpine A-Lister—Sparing no expense, these pants are as much about looking good as they are about warm, skiing performance, for a standout style straight off the slopes and onto the après scene. 

Backcountry Skier—Optimized for serious performance during deep-powder pursuits—be it a self-propelled tour or hike-to adventure to earn turns in—but mostly out of—bounds or a descent-focused cat or heli trip where lightweight and breathable tech performance are key. 

Although these pants have been broken out by skier type, many can march right over that divider line—giving good reason to revisit these reviews throughout the season and take them with you in in the app. Need another reason? We'll be adding additional performance commentary for our favorite pieces.