In this article we take a look at the best Women's bib style Ski and Snowboard pants on the market, explore the differences between ladies salopettes and bibs and take a look at the key features to make sure you are warm, dry AND looking good on the Mountain!
Salopettes are trousers worn for snow sports and typically have a high waist with braces that may be detachable. Bib pants have a high waist and also have an additional piece of fabric that covers your chest, held in place with shoulder straps or braces. In this article we are going to focus on Women's ski and snowboard bib pants.
This has to be North America's best kept secret! Almost legendary for their performance the Women's Foxy bib is a bestseller with unanimous 5 star reviews whichever retailer you look at. Founded by Colorado natives who were looking for stylish ski gear that would stand the test of time, Flylow has been building award winning outerwear since 2005. We love that their Women's collection is just as strong as the men's, in particular the Foxy bib has an outstanding fit, performance and style and wins our category for best overall performance!
The Foxy bib has a 20k/20k waterproof breathable membrane, is fully seam taped, has a high performance DWR coating, waterproof zips from YKK, inner thigh vents and a long exterior zip. We also love the stretchy back fabric giving the bib a fantastic fit.
Although hard to find from UK retailers, Flylow do ship overseas for $35
L1 Loretta Overall Cheetah £219.99
L1 are a Snowboard brand from the USA with a premium range of stylish gear. Their outerwear is 20k/20k waterproof breathable as standard but what sets them apart is their attention to detail and styling. Go from mountain to street in these workwear inspired overalls with a contrast reverse coil zipper chest pocket and a zip back pocket too. If you are looking for a pair of white ski pants check out their Loretta overalls in bone.
Do you get cold on the Mountain? Then the ladies bib pants are perfect for you! With a "warmflight" rating of 3/3 these are extra warm with 40g of insulation with 60% Eco friendly PrimaLoft® Black Insulation. These pants also have a 20k/20k waterproof/breathable rating meaning you will keep warm and dry even after a full day on the Mountain. With a taffeta lining and brushed tricot on the seat and knees you will feel extra cosy and technical features such as a stretch panel on the boot gaiter and mesh leg vents make these a great all rounder too.
The Picture Organic Haakon pants are made from 58% recycled polyester making them one of the more eco-friendly options on the market. Available in pink and black the Haakon bib pants are made from a slighly stretchy fabric, with the lycra sides and adjustable straps these pants have a good fit too. With a 20k/20k waterproof / breathable rating these are a good, technical option. The bibs are marketed as a freeride pant, with 40g of insulation these are great for staying warm on chairlifts and the ride down, but we'd look for a shell option with no insulation and more venting if you are planning on touring up the mountain.
At £590 these have to be some of the most expensive ladies bib trousers on the market. However, they do come with a VERY long list of technical features and sport the latest North Face fabric called Futurelight™. The Futurelight™ fabric is breathable and waterproof and sustainably made using recycled materials. They do have a hyperarticulated fit giving added mobility for skiing or snowboarding, we also like the beacon tether on the chest pocket. All outer zips are premium YKK® AquaGuard® and the FuseForm™ construction minimises seams meaning less critical areas that water can penetrate. Only time will tell whether the new Futurelight™ offering from North Face will live up to expectations!
The Avalon Bib Pant from Burton has to be one of the most popular bib pants on the market, you'll find someone riding the Mountain in these pants pretty much everywhere you go! The Avalon Bib pant offers great value for money, if you are looking to take these for your resort holiday they will provide great protection for a day on the Mountain with 10k/10k waterproof/breathable rating. The fit is pretty relaxed ubiquitous with a snowboard style pant. We do love the detailing on the bib straps and fleece lined hand warmer pockets!
At £149 the Womens Gossip Softshell Bib from 686 represents great value, they are a slim fit and made from a 10k waterproof, DWR coated softshell fabric. Dark grey in colour they will go with a range of jackets. The upper bib pocket and adjustable straps are nice features making this a good all round option if you are a recreational skier or snowboarder.
A high performance, Gore-Tex Bib that will deal with pretty much any conditions on the mountain. Constructed from a recycled Gore-Tex Pro shell fabric these pants are highly waterproof and breathable; there is no additional insulation but they are lined allowing you to add layers as you wish to suit your day on the Mountain. We love the full length leg zippers and re-enforced lower leg increasing the durability of these pants. These pants have a regular fit and come in an indigo night blue and winter twig colourways. Overall a serious pair of bib pants for the serious skier!
Nikita Clothing are one of the only all Women's specific Ski and Snowboard brands (aside from Roxy of course!) so when they bring out a product you know they have gone to great lengths to produce a fantastic Women's design. We love the fabric of the Evergreen Bib pants, with just the right amount of stretch meaning that you can bend, jump or fall over to your hearts content! The Evergreen also has a "drop seat" meaning a quick comfort break will be a breeze! Made from 15k / 10k waterproof breathable fabric and fully seam sealed with YKK zippers this great bib will also last a full day out on the Mountains, even if its pelting down with snow!
These aren't the most technical Salopettes on the market, however if you are heading to the Mountains to enjoy a few hours of on piste, resort skiing they are a great option. Made with a softshell fabric they have a 10k waterproof rating, with a fleece lining they will definitely keep you warm, but if you are looking to work up a sweat you may want to consider an option with more leg zips for venting. They are a slim fit salopette for a more tailored mountain look.
If you plan to work up a sweat whilst you are skiing or snowboarding, for example if you are ski touring, then leg vents are a key feature. Look out for long, waterproof zips on either the inner or outer thigh. We love the vents on the Flylow Foxy Bib which are nice and long and with an inner mesh too. Have a look for waterproof zips such as those manufactured by YKK; as zips and seams are key areas of your bib that could leak if your garment is not well constructed.
Bib's will usually be made out of synthetic fibres, in fact we are yet to come across a Winter sports bib that isn't! It is likely that your bib will be made from either polyester or nylon, look out for recycled options that are now widely available and brands are increasingly utilising in their products. Branded fabrics such as Gore Tex have a great reputation for being very waterproof and breathable and are available from several brands, such as North Face; these do command a premium price point though.
The women's ski and snowboard bibs we have reviewed in this article all have a Waterproof / Breathable rating of over 10k. What does this mean? As a basic rule, the higher the number, the more waterproof and breathable the fabric is. To measure the waterproof rating the actual number represents the number of millimeters of water that a 1" tube of water can hold before the fabric starts leaking. The breathability rating measures how many grams of water can pass through the fabric in 24 hours.
If you are cruising the pistes for a few hours a day and don't plan to spend too long out in wet conditions a 10k/10k fabric would be suitable. However, if you are planning to head out for a day in the backcountry we'd recommend a 20k/20k option.
The area at the bottom of the trouser tends to take a lot of wear over the garment's lifetime. Pulling your bib on and off over your boots, particularly ski boots with numerous buckles means that this area of your bib is more likely to get caught or ripped. Keep an eye out for brands that have a reinforced leg gaiter or area at the bottom of the trouser as this will extend the life of your bib pants. Flylow do a great job here with their Foxy bib.
That wraps up our article on Women's Ski and Snowboard Bibs and Salopettes. If you have any questions or suggestions we'd love to hear from you - fire them over to email@example.com