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8 Reasons Why You Need Side Zip Ski Pants


Whether you’re a ski racer, a free skier, a new skier, or anywhere in between, side zip ski pants are the best ski pants for you.

Easy Temperature Regulation

I’m sure you’ve had a day like this: You’re at the perfect temperature when you get dressed, but the day warms up, and you overheat. You can sweat it out, or you can rush back to the lodge to change layers. With side zip pants, all you need to do to cool down is unzip the sides for some serious ventilation. Maybe your favorite ski run includes side-steps, skating back to the chairlift, or a bootpack. It’s easy to overheat when you mix that cardio into your ski day. With side zip ski pants, you can unzip a little to cool down. 


Backcountry Skiing Pants

When you’re backcountry skiing, you want apparel that will keep you warm on cold days and in inclement weather. But, you also need light and breathable apparel while you’re exerting yourself on the skin track. Side zip ski pants are the perfect backcountry skiing pants. Side zips allow for as much ventilation as needed on the way up while being warm, weather resistant, and protective on the way down. You could even tour up in shorts on a warm spring day and easily put your ski pants on at the top to protect your skin from a fall. 

Kids' Down Jacket Hero Image Classic Down Side Zip 2.0

Put Your Pants on Last

We all know the feeling of getting dressed in a hot, overcrowded lodge. Traditionally, you have no choice but to put your ski pants on, then your ski boots. If it’s too hot, you end up sweaty before heading out into the freezing cold: a recipe for frozen disaster. With side zip pants, you can take care of the most labor-intensive part of gearing up to ski—putting your ski boots on—without overheating. Once you fight the boots on and the rest of the family is ready to ski, you can easily zip your warm and cozy side zip ski pants on. 


For Ski Racers

So you’re shopping for ski racing gear and wondering what you REALLY need. Sure, a few items on that “must-buy” list can probably go — do you really need ski racing-specific poles? Or goggles from a special brand? Take it from us: full side zip pants are an absolute must-have for every ski racer. Many recreational ski gear items can happily be used for ski racing: poles, goggles, jackets, base layers, heck, I’ve even seen well-functioning shin guards made of a 5-gallon bucket. But as far as ski pants are concerned, you absolutely need to have full side zip pants. 

Getting Pants Over Ski Boots

There’s simply no way to take traditional ski pants off without taking your ski boots off. Trust me, I’ve tried. There isn’t anything as embarrassing as getting your ankles caught midway through your pant leg and rolling around in the snow at the start area. Taking ski boots off at the start area to get your pants off is not worth it — it takes a lot of time, those ski racing boots are extra stiff in the cold, and you risk getting your socks wet in the snow. Full side zip ski pants easily zip all the way apart and zip back together easily. 


So You Can Wear Your Pants as Warm-Ups

You can’t wear recreational ski pants and strip down to your race suit without taking your ski boots off—way too much work. Without full side zip ski pants, the alternative is not wearing ski pants at races and training. Unless you’re ski racing in Florida, this sounds pretty chilly! No offense to skinny suit superhero fans, but it’s also not a very cool look. With full side zip pants, you can wear ski pants through inspection and warm up until you’re ready to race or train in just your race suit. Our full side zip ski pants are reinforced specifically for ski racing so that you can take some training runs in your ski pants without worry. When you’re ready for a full gs suit training run, you can easily strip your pants off. 

skier in Arctica ski clothing

Warm Legs = Warm Muscles

We know that warm muscles perform better. If you don’t have side zip ski pants, you can’t wear pants on race mornings, and like every ski racer knows, ski races start early! January mornings are nothing to mess with. Without full side zip pants, you’ll get into the start gate after at least an hour outside, between course inspection and warm-up runs. You only get a minute for your race run so make sure your muscles are warm and ready to fire by keeping them warm inside some insulated full side zip pants. 


Easy to Train Like You Race

I’m sure you’ve heard a coach say this before: train like you race. To truly simulate a ski race and have full confidence when you step into the starting gate, you need to be able to train in just your race suit. It’s too complicated to do this without side zip ski pants or side zip shorts. It takes too much time to go in and take ski boots off to take pants off. With side zip pants, you can warm up and inspect while keeping your muscles warm, then strip down to your race suit for a real training run when you’re ready. 

At Arctica, we made our name on high-quality side zip ski pants. Our pants are an athletic fit: not too loose or baggy. They’re made with a waterproof yet breathable nylon fabric, with waterproof zippers on all pockets. We make unique colors so you can express yourself fully on the ski slopes. In short, our side zip ski pants, shorts, and bibs are made for real skiers!

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