Anyone who has ever taken to the snowy slopes on a snowboard knows the pain of falling repeatedly on their rump—especially if you are just starting. Don’t let the fun get diminished by an aching backside or banged up hips! Yes, most of the time whatever bruises you get are going to be minimal, but if you want to return to the half-pipe and slopes the second day of your trip, you might want to get some snowboarding padded shorts to protect yourself and your butt.
Sure, it seems funny, but your backside is going to inevitably get banged up. That is why we have looked at some of the best snowboard padded shorts, also known as impact shorts, and compared them for you.
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How Snowboard Padded Shorts Can Prevent Injuries
Injuries from snowboarding are different from what you would expect when skiing because the equipment is not the same. And when it comes to falling, skiing can produce some wicked leg injuries, while snowboarding is notorious for broken wrists, arms, and spinal injuries. Nearly 60 percent of injuries from snowboarding involve the hand, thumb, wrist, or arm. (Check out our recommended snowboarding gloves with wrist protection).
Meanwhile, spinal injuries include falls on the tailbone. Sometimes, you hit the half-pipe or mogul the wrong way and—wham!—goodbye tailbone, hello pain. Think about physics for a moment: all the uncontrollable speed hitting an immovable object (the ground or another obstacle). The impact on the ground, either direct or twisted, can transfer shock into the spine and coccyx, and the damages can be severe. By wearing protective gear, such as helmets, elbow padding, and snowboard padded shorts, you can diffuse the force of the impact and potentially save your body from horrific injuries.
There is one last thing to consider: confidence. Sometimes, even though you love doing something, having previous painful experiences might make you hesitant to try it again. Butt padding shorts offer a little—dare we say it?–assurance on the slopes. Knowing that you are at less of a risk of getting badly injured will make you far more confident on the slopes, and you may feel more prepared to try trails or stunts that you never aspired to attempt before.
Best Snowboard Butt Padding
From beginners to experienced snowboarders, butt pads reduce the risk of hurting yourself on the slopes. Finding a pair that fits, though, can be almost as tough as a double diamond. So, that is why we did the work for you. We looked at things like materials, location of the padding, thickness of the padding, the longevity of the product, and other features, such as breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities, to determine which snowboard padded shorts are the best.
Let’s have a look at our picks:
Best Men’s Snowboard Padded Shorts: Bodyprox Protective Padded Shorts
When you want only the best but don’t want to pay a premium for quality protection and comfort, turn to Bodyprox Padded Shorts. These are our top picks for many reasons. First, the EVA padding on the hips and butt are geometrically shaped to provide optimal shock absorption during bumps and falls. The foam is thickest around the hip joint and tailbone—two places at most risk of damage in a snowboarding incident.
Next, the material. You always want to choose materials that are elastic but comfortable, something that will snugly fit the body without limiting your mobility. That’s what you get with these protective padded shorts. There is also meshing to prevent moisture buildup. You will stay drier and more comfortable for longer. The sizes range from XS to L (up to 38 inches). Since the crotch area is not padded, women can also wear these for low contact sports.
When it comes to durability, these Bodyprox padded shorts are going to hold up for many years. You can wash them without the EVA foam breaking down, and it can take numerous hits before the pads lose their shape or flatten out.
- Excellent ventilation, absorbency, and heat resistance, so you won’t get too hot in the summer and stay warm and dry in the winter
- Form-fitting, durable materials
- Contoured EVA padding dissipates impacts, protecting the tailbone and hip joints
- Great price for the quality of the padding shorts and lifespan
- Easy washing—just remove the pads and hand or machine wash
- Once removed for cleaning, padding can be difficult to reinsert
Men’s Runner Up Padded Shorts: Triple Eight Bumsaver Men’s Padded Shorts
Triple Eight is an excellent company from which to make a purchase. Having been in the sports industry for over 15 years, they have a great reputation and make products that do a great job. They also know what matters to snowboarders, such as protecting your backside. The Triple Eight T8 Bumsaver Men’s Padded Shorts are a little longer than your average padding shorts, and the padding is placed at vulnerable spots along the lower body. There is plenty of support given to the hip joint, thighs, and lumbar spine.
The 10mm thick EVA foam padding is rather inconspicuous, so you could wear them under a pair of Bermuda shorts and no one would notice. The padding is just enough to keep you from getting banged up, while the materials are lightweight. You can wear them as a base layer, too.
One advantage these shorts have over our top pick is the padded crotch. That is because these Bumsaver padded shorts were designed in collaboration with mountain and BMX bikers. The designers ensured that the shorts were not restrictive, so you are free to shred the slopes without any fear.
The only issue with these? The price tag. Most people won’t want to pay an exorbitant amount just to save their bum on the slopes. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly pick, go with the Bodyprox Protective Padded Shorts. They do the same thing for less.
- Materials are gentle on the skin, making these shorts perfect for high contact or intense sports
- Pads can be removed for easier washing
- Form-fit to hug the body
- Mesh fabric is airy enough to keep you cool when the temperature starts to rise
- Foam can be removed to customize the zones you want padded
- Great for mountain biking too
- Some of the seams may bust long before you do, so you may have to reinforce them on your own to preserve the lifespan of these snowboard padded shorts
- For shorter people, the hip pads may be too low
Best Women’s Snowboard Padded Shorts: Triple Eight RD Bumsaver Women’s Padded Shorts
Women should always search for protective gear that fits their body. Although most impact shorts are unisex (and feature removable cups), some might have a waist that is too wide and hips that are too tight.
As mentioned earlier, Triple Eight has some expensive gear—but it is worth the splurge. You can use these Bumsaver Women’s Padded Shorts for several activities, not just snowboarding. If you love roller derby, ice skating, skiing, skateboarding, motocross, or any other sport where falling on your backside is possible, these protective padded shorts are for you. The shorts feature padding that remains discreet under clothing and even features a pocket for a mouthguard.
Every EVA foam pad is 10mm thick positioned on the tailbone, thighs, and hips. The pads are breathable and lightweight, and they can be removed so you can customize them for your needs. There is a wide range of sizes, as well. You should be able to find a size that suits you without much issue.
- Fabricated from Lycra to keep you cool and snug
- Removable EVA foam pads for customizing shock absorption
- Butt and tailbone padding for maximized protection
- 180-day limited warranty from Triple Eight
- Designed to fit a women’s wider hips and thinner waist
- Easy to wash
- Shorts are short length and run small as well
- Some may find that the insulation from the foam can be too much under winter clothing
Best Low Profile Snowboard Padded Shorts: G-Form Pro-T Compression Short for Youth and Adults
Perhaps you loathe the idea of walking around with butt pads on and wouldn’t be caught dead looking like you’re quadzilla. There’s an option for you—and your children—out there. Introducing the G-Form Pro-T Compression Short, a unisex-cut, low profile padded pair of shorts that is almost invisible under clothing. Using patented G-Form technology, these padded shorts feature softer, more flexible padding that can absorb up to 90% of the force applied. The compression shorts are also ergonomic and enable optimal movement.
Unlike some other snowboard padded shorts, these pads are fixed in place. You won’t have to worry about them moving all around and becoming uncomfortable. The padding is also so lightweight that you might forget you are wearing any protective padding at all. Multi-functional, you can use these padded compression shorts for all kinds of sports, including snowboarding, skiing, biking, competitive team sports, skating, and more.
Easy to clean, you can simply throw these shorts in the washer and air-drying them. You don’t have to worry about struggling with removing and reinserting padding.
- Available in adult and youth sizes, so you can protect your whole family
- Low profile, non-bulky padding that is undetectable beneath clothing
- Lightweight and breathable material
- Utilizes Reaction Protection Technology, which disperses force throughout the padding, hardening it just enough to protect vulnerable regions of the body
- Adequate protection for tailbone, hips, and top of the thighs
- G-Form Pro-X products do have some questionable durability. While it seems rare, some falls or impacts have been known to rip the material.
- Does not feature a cup pocket for men
Best Budget Snowboard Padded Shorts: TOMSHOO Hip Protection Shorts
When looking at a pair of TOMSHOO Hip Protection Shorts, you may notice that they are designed a little differently from other impact shorts we’ve suggested. This particular style of padding is called a cluster, which is meant to protect only the most vulnerable parts of the lower body, including the tailbone, trochanter, and hip joint. The cluster padding will have more fabric than foam, enabling far more range of motion than a typical pair of padded shorts. If you want more freedom of movement, then you should check these out.
The materials are great, too. Spandex fibers make up most of the shorts. The mesh panels have been upgraded, enhancing breathability. You do not need to worry about perspiration with these on. The strips of the mesh also have zero contact with the skin, so there will be zero itching, pitching, or chafing caused by extended wear. Furthermore, the waistband was designed for mobility and comfort. With the Velcro section, you can adjust the size. Again, the Velcro will not contact your skin.
These padded shorts are also unisex. Both men and women will find them very comfortable. You can use these protection shorts for more than just snowboarding, too. Try them out when ice skating, rollerblading, skateboarding, or skiing. At the price, you can’t go wrong.
- Soft as the softest underwear in most parts
- Provides light protection against impacts and bumps
- Adjustable Velcro waist for a customized fit
- Excellent protection around the tailbone
- Durable materials
- Legs are long enough to cover from waist to the top of the knee, providing more coverage than some other snowboard padded shorts on this list (compare with Bodyprox)
- Runs a little on the small side, so you may have to order a size up if your measurements are in between
Buyer’s Guide: Finding The Best Impact Shorts
Searching for the best snowboard butt padding can be challenging. Why? For starters, impact shorts are not always the most popular part of a snowboarding or skiing outfit. You might hate the idea of wearing butt padding.
So, are impact shorts worth it? Let’s discuss. As mentioned earlier, snowboarding is not a safe sport. You can get hurt. Badly. Any amount of extra padding you can give yourself is a swell idea, and that is why padded snowboard pants and impact shorts need to be part of your snowboarding equipment. Though the idea of donning butt pads might seem silly, having a broken tailbone is not. Protect yourself so you can keep doing what you love.
Plus, all that padding is going to keep you warmer and drier than going without it. Falling down in wet snow or slush is never fun and can limit the amount of time you spend on the slopes.
But, it comes down to the kind of surface that you might be falling on. Is the snow going to be powdery? Or are you going to be dealing with ice and rocks? Do you know how to protect yourself properly when falling or are you a novice? Depending on the conditions, you may not need that extra padding, but it is always a good idea to have it tucked away in your equipment bag—just in case!
Now, with that out of the way, here are some features to think about when shopping for the best snowboard padded shorts:
Most manufacturers are sizing their products with the most utilized ranges, such as junior sizing and adult XS, Small, Medium, Large, and XXL. However, one S pair of impact shorts might differ in cut and length from another brand. It is true with every type of clothing out there: some brands run bigger than others. Be sure to check the sizing chart for every manufacturer to make sure that the shorts are going to fit as they should and not be uncomfortable or too loose.
How much the snowboard padded shorts weigh is another determining factor. Try to find a balance between lightweight materials and protective padding. Durability is also affected by weight. If the material is too thin, it might not hold up long enough to keep you safe during a fall.
The best snowboard padded shorts will have padding in all the right places—the hips, butt, and thighs. All of this should be focused on protecting the tailbone and other easily injured sections of the body. Look for padded snowboard pants and shorts that focus their protective padding around the tailbone, since injuries there can be severe.
Material Quality & Construction
Some of the best materials you can get are synthetics, like polyester and nylon. Pair that with spandex or Lycra, and you have a pair of shorts that are lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. Cotton should be approached with caution because the material is known to retain moisture, which could lead to chilled skin and bacterial growth. Look for padded shorts that are constructed for activity, since they will most likely have the qualities that you are looking for.
Construction also underlines durability. A durable pair of padded shorts is going to last you a long while, and they should hold up after a few visits to the washing machine. While it is not easy to tell if a pair of snowboard padded shorts are going to be long-lasting, reading reviews (like this one!) and purchasing trusted brands can help you find a durable pair.
This is divided up into things like material breathability, warmth, and feel. Is the material soft or scratchy? Does it lock in heat or will it soak up sweat and chill you? Since impact shorts are often used as a base layer, they need to be as breathable and soft as possible. You want more moisture-wicking and breathability because staying dry and warm adds to the overall comfort. You should also consider how stretchy the material may be. Make sure you choose a size that allows for a stretch but doesn’t make the material so tight that it restricts your movements.
No one wants to get so banged up from snowboarding and skiing that their body looks like a galaxy of bruises. Save yourself from pain and misery. Protect your hips, knees, and butt. Aside from your essential ski and snowboard gear, you need the additional protection of snowboard padded shorts. Not only do they do a fantastic job at stopping injuries and discomfort, but they can also be used as an insulating base layer for the coldest of days. Go on, put on those butt pads, and catch some air on the slopes! (Or even just make a fall that bit more comfortable…)
If you’re worried about wrist injuries while out snowboarding or skiing then please check out our Best Snowboard Gloves With Wristguard to keep you safe while on the mountains.
Hope you enjoy the slopes!
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