The Bowman Snow Pants are a pair best suited for very cold, dry days. The producer, Wildhorn Outfitters, belongs to a new generation of adventure brands that market their affordable and serviceable products toward burgeoning enthusiasts on a budget

Alongside brands like Glade and Outdoor Master, we’ve had a chance to compare some of these up-and-comers to their name brand counterparts and found that while some exceed our quality expectations, others leave us wanting more.

Last winter we took a closer look at Wildhorn Outfitters Dover Ski Jacket and came away impressed. This season we’ll be doing a similar investigation into their cold weather, Bowmans Snow Pants to see if their outerwear lineup is as consistent as we hope.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.8

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Warm, tough, and affordable build that will serve anyone on a destination ski trip in good conditions
  • check-mark
    Features like the belt and adjustable cuffs have a lot of utility value when you’re not sure what the day might bring

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markTheir waterproofing precautions leave something to be desired in wetter weather
  • check-markBreathability could be better

Where to buy:

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Wildhorn Bowman Mens

Specs & Features

  • 2L Polyester Stretch Build
  • 12k waterproofing with DWR finish
  • 10k breathability with additional zip ventilation
  • Zippered boot cuff and gaiter
  • Critically taped seams
  • Quick Release Stretch Belt
See the complete list of the best Ski Pants here!
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Weatherproofing

Wildhorn is quick to tout the versatility and wide applicability of their gear, but for my money I’d say that the best application for their outwear is within the bounds of the resort. Specifically, Wildhorn makes a great set of startup gear for people who will only be headed out in ideal conditions or for the occasional ski trip.

The integrity of their waterproofing is a huge contributing factor in this demarcation. To give a more concrete example, when I first started using these pants it was the middle of winter, and I had little issue with water leaking through the pants even after a full day of riding.

However, in the spring and early this season I’ve yet to spend a day in the Bowman Pants where they haven’t been completely sodden through at least the outer polyester layer. Looking at material components this tracks pretty intuitively.

12k waterproofing with a DWR finish might do the job for the dry intercontinental snowpack of the Wasatch Mountains where Wildhorn is based, but when things get wetter it really pays to up the quality of the materials. Like I mentioned earlier they’re great for when you’re riding in ideal conditions- but if you’re the type of person who gets out regardless of what the weather is doing it’s well worth the investment in something a little more rotund.

Warmth

Where the Bowman pants fall behind in waterproofing, they more than make up for with their insulative capabilities. I mentioned that I’ve been pretty wet on occasion in these pants, but I’ve never been cold. Again I believe this is symptomatic of having their roots in the cold and dry Wasatch range, and another example of why they make such serviceable resort pants.

To achieve their admirable degree of warmth, Wildhorn employs a generous 100g polyester fill. This is a lot of material, even by the standards of the most insulated resort pants. This thick layer between you and the outside world comes in handy when you’re catching laps on cold dry days, getting buffeted by the wind waiting for the top of the chairlift or grabbing a post-shed drink on the mountain.

All of this warmth comes at a cost. Even if their ventilation was more fleshed out, these pants are a little too much for anything more than relaxed resort riding. The only time I’ve attempted to take them uphill I ended up without a jacket on and didn’t have any more luck trying them out on a warm and deep post-storm day.

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Related Reviews

Ventilation and Breathability

Next to the weatherproofing issues, my other big problem with the Bowman Snowpants is how much they hold onto heat. I mentioned above that the amount of insulation makes them a less than optimal choice for days when you expect to be working hard, and the breathability of the shell is just as much to blame as all the fill.

To be clear, 10k breathability is nothing impressive in the outdoor industry. While it’s not the whole story behind the Bowman Pants, we have to acknowledge that there are much more breathable materials out there.It’s also worth mentioning that 2L pants won’t breathe as well as 3L’s by nature of design.

Wildhorn makes an attempt to compensate for the temperature regulation issues with pretty standard thigh-zip ventilation. These zippered vents are certainly better than nothing, and when I’ve used them skiing short, midwinter days on easy terrain they didn’t have any trouble keeping me cool. But as I’ve mentioned before, I found them poor compensation for the combined effects of the gratuitous insulation and low degree of breathability.

Comfort and Fit

For all of the issues that we have regarding temperature regulation, the Bowman pants are otherwise admirably comfortable, if bulky. I found that their relaxed, low rise look was both stylish and never interfered with my normal range of motion while headed down the hill.

I don’t think that I’d be able to do the splits, but I also didn’t feel like I was going to blow any seams pulling out all the stops from my very limited catalog of tricks. In fact, I felt that they held their own with any of the baggy, relaxed fit style pants I’ve ever tried- the materials might fall behind compared to high-end alternatives, but the textile integrity does not.

The only issue I had with the way these pants feel is the weight. There’s no doubt that their bulk is considerable compared to simpler shells, and even to some full bibs. You could invest in a good midlayer, base layer and versatile shell and end up with a system that weighed less and was more effective in keeping you comfortable long-term.

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A Nice Set of Features

Pockets

Next to value, another area where the Bowman really shines is its large number of pockets. The standard front side pockets are zippered and big enough for your wallet or cellphone. They’re also water resistant, so you can feel a little bit better about bringing valuables along with you, so long as you remember to keep them zipped.

Right below the standard pockets is a pair of similarly zippered water-resistant cargo pockets. These are big enough to fit an extra beanie or face layer if you expect changing weather. You could also fit a can or a bag of snacks in there for chairlift apres-ski if you were so inclined.

On the left cargo pocket, there’s an additional quick-access velcro pocket. While less sizable than the rest of the arsenal, you could easily fit a pair of keys, chapstick, or a bit of face sunscreen in there for easy access and fast application.

Finally, the Bowman pants feature a matching pair of hook and loop back storage pockets. I’ve used these pockets the least, but I think they would come in handy if you were skiing with a family or group of dependents. It’s good to have some extra space to keep tissues and other miscellaneous things in a pinch.

Wildhorn Bowman Mens Pockets

Boot Cuff and Gaiter

The zippered pant cuff is a great feature for getting your boots on and off. The insides of the cuff are also reinforced with a thick piece of fabric to help protect them long term. If you’re feeling extra stylish, you can use the zipper feature to roll the pants up over the top of your ski boots .

Underneath the cuff, there’s an elastic gaiter that can extend over the tongue of your boot to keep snow from slipping into your liners. I’ve found this works as well as any other snow gaiter from any other snow pants I’ve used. It’s a nice feature and one that’s essential on any good piece of resort wear.

Quick Release Belt

As a nice bonus, the Bowman features an elastic quick release belt. This pairs nicely with the relaxed fit of the pants, compensating for the comfort that a wide waistline affords you. In terms of the actual quality of the belt, there’s a lot to like. The elastic is soft and the length is easily adjustable, while the buckle is low-profile and won’t bother you when you bend over to adjust your boots.

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Who’s it for?

I’ve mentioned several times that I feel the Bowman pants, alongside Wildhorn’s Dover jacket are most suitable for resort riding. More specifically, Wildhorn makes great entry-level gear at a price that people testing their interest in the sport can justify investing in.

The person I can see getting the most out of these pants is one who takes a couple of ski trips every year when conditions are prime. If you regularly head out to the mountains around Christmas, and need a new set of outwear you’ll be more than satisfied with what Wildhorn has to offer.

People who get out more often when the weather is wetter or warmer might want to invest in a more versatile layering system, and backcountry skiers on a budget definitely need to prioritize more breathability.

About Wildhorn Outfitters

Wildhorn Outfitters is a Salt Lake-based enterprise committed to promoting affordable and accessible outdoor gear. From the mountains to the woods, to the beach- Wildhorn’s dependable products keep your exploration needs in mind for a notable price drop compared to the outdoor industry at large.

In addition to their economical, consumer-focused gear Wildhorn’s Reef 2 Leaf grant programs make annual donations to organizations such as the Coral Restoration Foundation to make the outdoors not only more accessible but make sure those wild places stick around for us to explore for generations to come.

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Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.8

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Warm, tough, and affordable build that will serve anyone on a destination ski trip in good conditions
  • check-mark
    Features like the belt and adjustable cuffs have a lot of utility value when you’re not sure what the day might bring

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markTheir waterproofing precautions leave something to be desired in wetter weather
  • check-markBreathability could be better

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