Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants review: all-weather workhorse winter trousers

Ideal for both cold and warmer days on the slopes, the Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants are well-fitted with great temperature regulation

A woman on snowy ski slopes, wearing Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants
(Image: © Jessie Leong)

Advnture Verdict

The Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants have seen me experiencing more powder days in Iceland than I ever thought possible. Having kit that could perform in a wider variety of weather conditions – keeping the heat in when chilly and dumping it when things got warmer – was of utmost importance as I couldn’t carry the same amount of kit I was used to in Scotland. I was also a big fan of the design and overall cut of the trouser. These pants have seen me through spring skiing to end-of-April powder days, so whether you’re working uphill on a ski touring day or heading down the local piste in Siglufjörður, the Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants are a fantastic piece of winter kit that’ll be my go-to for all my snow-based adventures from now on.


  • +

    Zippered pockets

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    Fully lined

  • +

    Great fit

  • +

    Move well on the downhill


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    Would benefit from a bit more stretch

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    Could do with one extra roomy pocket

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Meet the reviewer

best hiking backpacks: Jessie Leong
Jessie Leong

A former brand ambassador for Merrell and current Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion, Jessie Leong’s lifelong outdoor odyssey began with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award walks in the Peak District. This segued into long hill hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, multi-Eagle Creek Pack-It Essentials Setday treks in the Lake District, scrambles in North Wales and adventures scaling alpine pinnacles.

Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants: first impressions

Trying to find comfortable, well-fitting ski trousers can be awkward – especially when the winter thermostat can spike from -12°C / 10.4°F to a warm 7°C / 44.6°F with a wild mixture of winter conditions, wind and precipitation thrown in the mix.


• List price: $399 / £360
• Weight: 688g / 24¼oz
• Colors: Nouveau Green / Obsidian Plum / Belay Blue 
• Compatibility: Skiing, snowboarding, winter walking

Meet the Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants (you can also check out our Storm Shift jacket review), a surprisingly rugged, technical waterproof and windproof ski pants aimed at mountaineering and snow sports, and ideal for those looking for a go-to winter outer layer that dries quickly – in this case, by using a two-layer Gore-Tex system that helps wick moisture.

Indeed, if you’re looking for a well-fitting, snow-hopping women’s winter sport trouser for ski bunny adventures, then this might be the trouser for you.

Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants: on the trails

I tried out the Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants on the Tröllaskagi Peninsula, a remote, often inaccessible location known as one of the jewels in the ski-touring crown of Iceland. I was lucky to have the chance to test the Storm Shift Pants on multiple occasions, on what felt like entirely different winter days with massive variations in temperatures and snow conditions.

No two winter days were the same, and accompanied by a wet, maritime climate subject to multiple snow storms, I needed a pair of hiking pants that were comfortable all day, and didn’t leave me feeling like I was wearing a pair of ‘rustly’ hardshell waterproof trousers.

Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants: breathability and waterproofing

Patagonia’s waterproofing has always impressed me thanks to its quality construction. Using recycled polyester throughout the pants is a big deal – and by making a technical waterproof trouser with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish but without perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs/PFAS), the brand suggests the future of performance ski kit. Technical pants should be able to withstand a level of weather resistance and deliver comfort without damaging the environment.

Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants: comfort and fit

From top to bottom, the Storm Shift Pants are robust and comfortable to wear, thanks to several features that cleverly work together to release heat when needed, while keeping snow out on the downhill. It does this via articulated knees for mobility and agile turns, and mesh-lined thigh vents that quickly dump heat, without showing off an immodest amount of skin.

The liner was great at providing additional warmth, so on days where the thermostat hovered around 0°C / 32°F, I didn’t need to wear a Merino base layer as the trousers were able to wick moisture away to maintain a comfortable temperature.

A close-up on the thigh of a woman wearing a pair of Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants.

Zippered vents on the rear thighs of the Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants allow you to dump heat when needed, but are mesh lined so you won't show off skin (Image credit: Jessie Leong)

Part of the appeal of the Storm Shift Pants is that they’ve been designed with ‘rider’s movement in mind’, meaning the cut has just enough flexibility for both uphill strides and downhill movement.

One of the key elements that can affect wearability is the waist adjustment. Getting to and from the slopes meant wearing merino layers in the car before putting my outer trousers for the drive over, which sometimes felt a bit uncomfortable if I was sat down for long periods of time.

The Storm Shift pants do have some adjustable sizing such an adjustable, lined waistband with a brushed tricot lining that wicks moisture, adjustable black elastic tabs that customize fit, a two-snap closure and a zip fly, so it’s very easy to make some small adjustments, but some people may prefer to go up a size for more give. I tested a size 6 (UK size 10) and these Storm Shift trousers noticeably worked more as a slim fit. For greater comfort, it should be noted that if you buy ‘true to size’ there’s not lots of room to wear bulky underlayers with these trousers, due to the thickness of the outer material.

Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants: protection

The Patagonia Storm Shift Pants boast some more technical features to protect against the elements. For conditions such as skinning uphill or hiking that require dumping of heat, the leg vents have long, easy-to-use zippers that are ski glove friendly to help with temperature management.

For when the weather starts to hit, the Patagonia Storm Shift Pants have easily adjustable watertight zippers that are coated to keep the water out. And for protection when descending in deep snow or slushy conditions, the trousers offer some protection against moisture getting in.

A webbing loop on the rear yoke of the waistband that helps attach pants to the powder gasket on any Patagonia snow jacket (it’s like a kind of giant gaiter that stops snow accidentally sliding down your back). While this is only really an issue when you’re skiing in deep powder snow, it’s helpful to know that other features such as the high-rise waistband can prevent the trousers from sliding down when you’re skinning up the hill. They can also take a belt.

A woman on a snowy ski slops, skiing away from the camera, wearing a pair of Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants.

The Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants are well fitted with plenty of features to keep the snow out (Image credit: Jessie Leong)

Rugged built-in gaiters easily slide over the ski boot without being an extra faff to adjust. However, my favorite snow protection feature must be the tough scuff guards, which have been designed in an aesthetically pleasing accent shade of the main trousers. These add durability and rigidity to the Storm Shift Pants, preventing snow getting in while also protecting the bottom hem.

Finally, a nod to a pair of ski trousers with multiple, user-friendly pockets! As with the Storm Shift Jacket, the multi-use pockets are located throughout the pants – two zippered handwarmer pockets and two zippered main pockets help secure items without the fear they might accidentally fall out. The only thing I’d like to have seen improved would have been a slightly deeper map pocket to accommodate a bigger phone and/or additional items such as a battery pack, as this is usually my go-to pocket for accessing technology or useful items. A RECCO reflector located in the jacket gives an extra layer of security, making it easier to pick up by avalanche transceivers.

Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants: durability

The Patagonia Storm Shift pants were tested for two months, and while I found them resistant to scuffs and usage, the lighter teal color meant mud was easily visible. I liked the webbing toggles, and the denier of the trousers felt like it was going to last and be resistant to scuffs compared to other trousers I’ve tested.

Patagonia Women’s Storm Shift Pants: sustainability

With this being a Patagonia product, it should come as no surprise that it has glowing eco credentials, made in a factory that supports workers’ rights and fair trade practices. Both the shell and the lining have been made with recycled polyester, while the outer shell fabric is bluesign approved and made without harmful per fluorinated chemicals (PFCs/PFAS.) It’s a great step forwards to see Patagonia embrace recycled materials throughout their whole range and a delight to see them withstanding the same levels of testing without causing damage to the environment through the manufacturing process.

Jessie Leong

A former brand ambassador for Merrell and current Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion, Jessie Leong’s lifelong outdoor odyssey began with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award walks in the Peak District. This segued into long hill hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, multi-day treks in the Lake District, scrambles in North Wales and adventures scaling alpine pinnacles. When not walking, she can be found rock climbing, wild swimming, cycling, photographing, filmmaking, writing and modelling. Jessie’s most recent claim to fame is playing a Miss World contestant in the 2020 feature film Misbehaviour.