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Our methods were simple: We called up a slew of skiwear manufacturers, asked them for their burliest ski pants— and proceeded to throttle them. For several months, in the Green Mountains of Vermont, we plunged through powder; brushed up against bark; skied in sun, snow, and rain; hiked in the backcountry; and endured many a chilly chairlift seat.

In the end, we chose five top-performing shell pants and four insulated pairs. Then we ranked the uninsulated pants by weather protection (1=poor, 5=excellent), and our insulated picks by warmth (1=cool, 5=hot).

Here’s how the test played out. Click on the related articles below.