The Best 4 Plus Size Softshell Pants in Australia

The Best 4 Plus Size Softshell Pants in Australia

Because style and fit matters

Ladies, we get it, shopping for plus-size ski and outdoor pants online is nearly impossible, and rarely fun. Even when you find pants you like, how do you tell the differences between the styles? How do you know which pair to choose, especially when they look so similar in their photos? How can you see the slight differences in style, shape, and features if you can’t physically touch them? (You can if you live near Melbourne.)

Compare Women's Plus Size Softshell Pants Range


We’ve heard you. We're going to explain it all and compare this increasingly popular style of women's softshell pants, so you will know which plus-size outdoor winter pants best suit your needs. But first here’s a quick summary:

✅ The 4 Best Plus Size Softshell pants in Australia are:

1. Lapland - Pure Brandz - best for skiing or snowboarding and are the highest rated waterproof and breathable. Available in 4 leg lengths and has a high-rise design.

2. Prague - Cartel - best for apres skiing, winter travel with flared legs, most versatile design. It is also highly waterproof and breathable rated, easily hemmed, high rise design.

3. Vienna - Cartel - best for winter travel with a tapered leg design. Also highly waterproof and breathable, easily hemmed with a high-rise design.

4. Cirque II - Outdoor Research - Best for those who don’t want the extra warmth of the tricot lining but still need the wind and weather protection. They have the biggest hip fit profile and a straight leg cut. Most adjustable waist and best pockets. Medium-rise design.

💡 Expert Tip

Fit and comfort are paramount. We recommend visiting our SIZING SUPPORT page before ordering to ensure you choose the correct style and size for your curves.

Stretchy, comfortable, highly waterproof & breathable pants for Skiing, Travel & Cold weather outdoor activities

What are softshell snow pants?

Technically speaking, softshell pants have a single layer of material, which is made up of multiple layers of technical fabric all heat bonded together to create an uber-comfy and non-bulky pair of stretchy pants. They consist of:

  1. Outer softshell stretch nylon or nylon blend fabric which is laminated to make it highly waterproof & breathable (Pure and Cartel brands) or water-resistant (Outdoor Research).
  2. Short brushed inner fleece lining for warmth, comfort, and moisture wicking (Pure and Cartel Brands).

Softshell clothing does not have added insulation layers like regular ski pants which make them far less bulky, more stretchy and a lot more flattering. This means they are perfect for warmer mountain temperatures (or you can wear thermals under them), travel and outdoor pants, and generally makes them super versatile.

Why would I want to wear plus-size softshell snow pants?

Comfort and protection.

Many of our plus size customers buy our softshell pants for skiing and snowboarding, but also for winter travel, hiking, nordic and X-country skiing, and snowshoeing in wet climates (like coastal mountains) where you need a pant which is highly breathable too. People wear them on winter camping holidays or to recreational places where the wet and wind are an issue. If you feel the cold on the sidelines, these pants will keep you warm and dry at those outside winter sports games. Think about how protected and warm you’ll feel meandering through the winter Christmas markets in France or Germany, or whale spotting on the deck of your cruise ship to Antarctica!

We've had so many plus-size customers delight in finding, purchasing, and wearing their softshell pants. It’s hard to convey on the website just how awesome they are! They look and fit very much like a pair of normal black pants or leggings, and are SO comfortable which is perfect for cold weather and snow travel, and for those who are worried about being cold when you’re not spending your day skiing in the mountains.

Many women wear softshell pants for apres-ski as they are warmer and more windproof than any other regular pants you'll own, and also for travel to cold and snowy places, where waterproofing and windproofing protection are important but you still want your pants to breathe and not look like you're wearing puffy and unflattering ski pants around town.

We find many of our customers who travel buy these as a secondary pair of pants because they are just so versatile. They are perfect if you're a fair-weather skier too.

What are the common features of our WOMEN’S CURVY Soft Shell Pants?

They are all extremely high quality, stretchy, windproof, waterproof (Pure and Cartel brands) or water-resistant (Outdoor Research), flexible, and did we mention comfortable?!

While waterproof and water resistant, these pants are not seam sealed, as stretch seam sealing doesn't exist affordably. To counter this, the seams are tightly woven with reinforced stitching and also thoughtfully placed in their design.

Lapland, Prague and Vienna - Three of the softshell pants designs (Cartel and Pure) in our range are all similar in style, quality and hand feel. They are all made with a waterproof and breathable, stretchy, soft shell laminated fabric and are designed for a more body-hugging fit. These pants are all tricot fleece lined. Tricot fleece is a short and fine high-quality fleece that is not thick or bulky. Additionally, all of these pants are high in the rise front and back.

The Outdoor Research Cirque II softshell pants are still softshell pants but only water resistant in comparison, although still windproof and protective without the bulk. They have a more relaxed fit than the other styles. They are not tricot fleece-lined.

Overall our soft shell pants all offer a less bulky or stiff outdoor and snow pant option compared to insulated snow or rain pants for wet, windy and cold weather protection.

What are the main differences between the softshell pants?

We have different styles available for your curves and we like to offer you a choice! Not all styles suit everyone’s needs, and since these pants are so versatile, we have worked with Cartel and Pure Brandz brands to develop our highly popular softshell range and recently added the Outdoor Research collection to our range for a different fit and shape.

Each pant has a unique shape and fit so check each product's size chart carefully.

Softshells for skiing

Our OG plus size women's softshell waterproof pant is the Pure Brandz Lapland pant. That’s why we offer her in 4 leg lengths, especially since hemming these pants is not an ideal option. These pants have snow cuff gaiters in the ankle area of the pants to go over the top of your boots which keeps the snow and wet up and out of your ski boots which is super important when skiing. They also have a zip at the back of the pant hem to open up and over ski boots which can be quite big at the bottom, especially if you’re using boot extenders. It should also be considered that not having the ankle gaiters and zips on the pant hem, makes the pants slightly lighter overall and a lot easier to hem if needed.

The Lapland pants are our highest-rated waterproof (20,000mm2) and breathable (20,000gm/m2) pant making it ideal for skiing in all kinds of snow and wet weather environments. By design, softshell pants are not as warm as regular ski pants, so while you can wear thermals underneath them, you’ll need to decide whether they are secondary ski pants for warmer or lighter weather conditions, or your sole pants as say, a fair-weather skier.

The Lapland's unique features include a slightly different fit and cut to the Prague pant (which also has the flared hem so could work for skiing or wearing over bulky boots), with a seam down the front of the leg and thigh, which allows a different fit and shape through the thigh area of the pant in comparison.

Softshells for non-skiing activities and travel

The Prague and Vienna Cartel pants are the two favourites for our travel and adventure customers. Based on the success of the Lapland pants, we brought in options without the ankle gaiter and zips. This makes the pants easier to hem and lighter.

The Outdoor Research Cirque II softshell pants are a different shape and cut to the pants listed above, in a looser and more relaxed way. They are promoted by OR as climbing pants which are tough, windproof and protective, but we think they’re so much more than that! They have zips and a drawstring at the bottom hem so are not easily hemmed if the inseam is over 8cm longer than your own. These pants have better pockets too.

Length and easy hemming

Who detests needing to have clothing alterations made when you buy something new and in quality (aka expensive)? We hear you on that one!

Inseam is the measurement you need to check on the size chart to see what suits you best. Our softshell pants come in extra short, short, regular, and long leg lengths in some styles, the styles that are easily hemmed are the Prague and Vienna pant styles as they have no zips, gaiters or details at the bottom hem of the pants.
For more information about how to shorten the length of your ski pants, we have a helpful ski pant hemming article you can refer to here.

Waist Adjustment

Our Lapland, Prague and Vienna soft shells do not adjust with side tabs adjustments. They all feature belt loops so for women with a large waist-to-hip ratio or are concerned about waist gape, we recommend using these pants with one of our stretchy low profile XTM Stretch Belt, so you can ensure a customised fit. All three styles are secure at the waist with two buttons and a hidden hook and eye and have a YKK zip fly.

The Outdoor Research Cirque II softshell pants by comparison have side tabs and an excellent design for waist adjustment. They have a single but secure stud and zip-fly design.

Softshell Pants Features

Flared, Straight and tapered ankle designs

Flared - The Lapland and Prague flared leg designs are best for skiing, and wearing over boots and looking cute down to the ground. It looks more streamlined and can cover your ankles and footwear.

Straight - The OR Cirque II pants have a straight leg design, which runs straight down from the pant’s thigh design. No flare and no tapering at the ankle.

Tapered - The Vienna pant is the same fit as the Prague pant but in a tapered ankle design. Some people wanted their softshell pants to look more like a pair of pants and didn’t like the flare, so we welcomed the Vienna. A great travel piece that looks better for some people considering it has less material at the bottom of the ankle.

Wide Elastic Back Panel

The cartel Vienna & Cartel Prague ladies plus size soft shell snow pants are manufactured with a wide elastic panel positioned back and centre of the waistband. This allows for an expandable waist and ease when sitting on a chair lift, playing in the snow or simply walking around the ski village. They also have a yoke that helps them fit around your waist, bum, and hips which flatters your curves.

The Pure Lapland ladies' snow pants have a different more traditional elastic waist and back than the Vienna and Prague, without a yoke.

Women's plus size softshell pants Cartel Vienna & Prague Elastic Waist back UPDATED 2023

In Short Summary….


The Pure Brandz Lapland pants are the most waterproof and breathable in our softshell range. Boasting a 20,000 waterproof rating and 20,000 breathability rating making it the best softshell pant globally. That’s why we couldn’t resist offering these pants in 4 lengths to suit all heights, as they are so loved.


When you don’t need to ski or be in deep snow in your softshell pants then there’s no need to add the snow gaitor and zip to the bottom of the hem of your pant, and that’s when the Cartel Vienna and Prague will be a winner for you. Both are easy to hem due to the lack of the snow gaitor, they’re versatile winter pants. The Prague has been popular with us for a few years now, and due to the comfortable elastic waist panel, and smooth, no-seam leg front, they are a clear favourite with many of our winter adventure customers. They even have secure invisible zips to keep your belongings secure.

3. The Cartel Vienna women’s curvy soft shell pant is the newest pant to our range and carries all the same features as the Prague Soft Shell Pant, but has been designed with a more tapered leg for the winter adventurer who doesn’t want the flared leg design. This makes it a preferred style for cold-weather lovers who prefer not to ski or board. We don’t recommend these for sliding with style on the snow as they likely will not fit over your boots. Instead, these pants are your go-to for the cold when you want to be warm, dry, comfortable, and be able to move around easily as you tour the chilly, beautiful places around the world… or even attend your local footy game and walk your dog in chilly Melbourne and Tassie.


The OR Cirque II pants are our newest addition to our softshell range and they have certainly found their place here. Their shape and fit work so well for people who just aren’t as suited in shape to the other softshell pants. And Outdoor Research’s vision for plus-size outdoors people, based in the PNW of the USA means that we’re already looking forward to more products in their size-inclusive range of high-quality, technical outdoor apparel.


We have to admit, that we are ashamed of the sizing for our Cartel and Pure Brandz products in their softshell line. They are a relatively (and embarrassingly) small cut when you compare your size to your other clothing. (So please don't!)

Our customers tend to buy them two and sometimes three sizes bigger than what they would usually wear. For example, if you wear size 18 jeans, don't be alarmed when comparing your measurements to our size charts provided. Your correct size may be a size 22 or 24. They are smaller cut pants with lots of stretches thus the differing size run. Having said that, depending on your shape, some women who don't fit into a size 26 in a different pant, will still fit into these pants in a size 26 due to their curves and the stretch and cut of these pants.

If you can look past this glaring misstep, you should know they are treasured pants by so many of our wonderful customers, although it is so hard to see how wonderful they are when looking on our website (which is why we have written this article for you), or you could come and try them on in-store in Melbourne, Australia or use our sizing support page to check your size and fit.


We highly recommend softshell outdoor pants as an addition to your adventure wardrobe

Don't rule these pants out, especially as an addition to your other ski or travel pants if you need something warmer for winter travel, (as well as for warmer ski days). Some customers like to buy 2 pairs and return the ones which don't fit as well. That's fine with us!

We recommend these pants not only for snowy conditions but also for camping, travel, photography and sightseeing in cooler climates.

Women's Plus Size Soft Shell Quotes banner for blog post 2023


1. Visit us- Make an appointment.

2. Talk to us - call or text at 0411 855 037.

3. Use our sizing support page to get help with measuring, checking your size and deciding which one to choose with Shop Your Shape.

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