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Whether you’re looking to board down the bunny hills, ride the fresh powder or drop from a helicopter onto the snowy slopes, you’ll want to make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. And if you’re a short-legged lady, that means paying particular attention to the fit of your pants. The best snowboard pants for short women have an inseam made specifically for petite extremities.
If your legs are a bit on the short side, the overall length of the snowboard pants should be your main consideration. Obviously, you’ll want to choose a pair that’s appropriate for your less-than-lengthy gams. Although you certainly could wear snowboard pants with a normal length, you’ll likely find that the fabric bunches up around your ankles -- an uncomfortable and unflattering look. Instead, choose a pair of pants made specifically in shorter lengths. Ideally, the bottom hem of the pants should fall just past your ankles -- while you’re wearing your boots -- and the legs should fit relatively straight without excessive bunching or scrunching.
Once you’ve found the perfect length for your legs, pay attention to the overall fit of the puffy pants. Some snowboard pants offer an elastic or adjustable waist -- which can be a blessing for curvy girls with big booties and tiny waists. Overall, the pants should fit quite loose to allow for total freedom of movement -- this is particularly important if you plan to pepper your ride with spins, jumps and tricks. Before you buy, give the pants a bit of a test run in the store with a few squats, twists and leg lifts. If you feel loose and comfortable -- with no obvious pinching or squeezing -- the fit is probably perfect.
Whether your legs are long or short, the construction of the pants plays a big role in determining your comfort while riding the slopes. The best snowboard pants have an outer shell that is resistant to water and wind, yet still allows your body to breathe. Look for a pair of pants with a stretch gaiter around the ankles -- the gaiter fits snug around the boot to prevent powdery snow and ice from sneaking inside your pants and boots. Seams that have been sealed with waterproof tape can also keep the frigid water from creeping inside. If you don’t want to dole out the cash for a pair of pants with sealed seams, look for a pair with storm flaps that cover the seams to protect against harsh winds and swirling snow.
As with any type of sporting equipment, you get what you pay for when buying snowboarding pants. Although you might be tempted to take the inexpensive route and purchase a pair of off-brand snowboarding pants, this could be a mistake -- especially if you plan to ride the slopes on a regular basis. Instead, purchase a pair from a well-known sports apparel manufacturer -- particularly a company that specializes in snowy sports. You’ll also want to choose a manufacturer that offers women’s snowboarding pants in short lengths. If you’re on a budget, try shopping at the end of the snow season to save a few bucks.