Which snow bibs are best?

If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, you need to wear snow bibs. This essential piece of outerwear keeps snow from getting up your jacket and down your pants. The right pair can make the difference between having fun and being miserable because you’re cold and damp.

Arc’teryx Alpha SV Bib Pants for Men are packed with highly desirable features, such as a GORE-TEX Pro waterproof design, heavy-duty construction and articulated knees. This makes them the top choice for hardcore adventurers. 

What to know before you buy snow bibs

The purpose of snow bibs

Like ski boots and a ski jacket, snow bibs are an essential component of your mountain gear. The primary function of snow bibs is to cover the gap between your pants and jacket to keep snow from getting in, even if you tomahawk down a mountain. They also protect you from the elements, whether or not you fall. Ultimately, snow bibs keep you warm and comfortable so you can stay on the slopes all day long.

Snow bibs vs. snow pants

While snow bibs and snow pants have the same goal, one performs better. Because snow bibs rise up to cover the chest, they’re much more effective at keeping snow from going up your jacket or down your pants, and they’re better at keeping you warm. Additionally, the suspenders ensure your snow bibs can’t fall off. As an added bonus, there’s more room for storage in a pair of snow bibs, so you can easily carry personal items such as a phone, wallet and keys while on the mountain. On the downside, some skiers feel a little more restricted when wearing snow bibs.  

What to look for in quality snow bibs

Good fit

You need a full range of motion when skiing. The best snow bibs fit securely without being too tight. If your snow bibs are too tight, you won’t be able to move freely; if they’re too loose, that could lead to tripping. Articulated knees and a gusseted crotch give the skier greater freedom of movement.

Waterproof yet breathable

Snow bibs must be waterproof. Any moisture that makes its way through the exterior will eventually lead to discomfort and chills as the day goes on. Besides the material, the seams of snow bibs must also be sealed to prevent water from sneaking through.

Insulation

You want to stay warm on the slopes without being hot. This can be tricky because a sunny or cloudy day affects whether you’re cold, comfortable or hot. Consider the way your body functions and choose snow bibs with an appropriate level of insulation for your needs.

Fastens to boots or jacket

Some snow bibs can fasten to your boots or jacket. While this isn’t necessary, it provides an additional layer of protection when you fall.

Storage

Snow bibs that have multiple pockets with secure closures let you safely carry personal items on the mountain. It’s never a bad thing to have more pockets.

Style

For many, skiing is a lifestyle, and the way you look on the slopes is as important as your ability. Choose a snow bib that expresses your aesthetic. However, never sacrifice functionality for style.  

How much you can expect to spend on snow bibs

Snow bibs have a remarkably wide price range. At the low end, you can get a budget pair for just $45. If you want the best of the best from a brand name manufacturer, however, you can spend as much as $650.

Snow bibs FAQ

Do I need to wear a base layer with snow bibs?

A. Yes. Skiing requires physical exertion that makes you sweat. As your sweat evaporates, it produces a cooling effect on your skin. In the summer, this is pleasant. In the winter, it can give you a chill. The purpose of a base layer is to absorb the moisture, so it evaporates from your clothing, not your skin, to help keep you warm in cold weather.

What do I wear under snow bibs?

A. Since the purpose of a base layer is to wick away sweat, whatever you wear under your snow bibs must do exactly that. Thermal underwear or clothing that’s made of polyester or merino wool is best. It isn’t advisable to wear regular pants under your snow bibs because they aren’t designed to provide warmth in the extreme cold you may encounter on a mountain.

What are the best snow bibs to buy?

Top snow bib

Arc'teryx Alpha SV Bib Pants - Men's

Arc’teryx Alpha SV Bib Pants – Men’s

What you need to know: If you want the best, look no further. These Arc’teryx snow bibs can endure the most rugged days on the mountain.

What you’ll love: The GORE-TEX Pro makes these snow bibs waterproof. They have chest pockets for storage and a gusseted crotch and articulated knees for mobility. The lace hook and drawstrings at the hem let you attach your snow bibs to your boots.

What you should consider: This is the best pair of snow bibs you can buy, and the price reflects that.

Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry

Top snow bib for the money

Burton Men's Reserve Bib Pants

Burton Men’s Reserve Bib Pants

What you need to know: Burton puts comfort at the top of the priority list so you can wear these snow bibs all day long.

What you’ll love: The relaxed fit gives you full mobility and has ample room for a base layer. Adjustable elastic suspender straps let you customize the fit. The two-layer fabric and the fully taped seams keep you warm and dry, no matter what the conditions are. 

What you should consider: Some reviewers felt these bibs ran slightly on the large side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Flylow Siren Bib Pants - Women's

Flylow Siren Bib Pants – Women’s

What you need to know: These Siren bibs are a top-quality item that won’t let you down in even the harshest conditions. 

What you’ll love: The durable water-repellent treatment effectively keeps wind, rain and snow from getting through. The cuffs are reinforced for longevity, while the half-height bib increases breathability. There are five zipper compartments that give you room to keep all your personal items secure.

What you should consider: There are no consistent complaints — these women’s snow bibs do what they’re designed to do.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Backcountry

 

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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