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The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Once you feel the freedom of the waist band free winter bib, it’s hard to go back to traditional ski pants. Here are our picks for the best women's ski and snowboard bibs of the season.

Morgan Tilton testing the Jones Women’s Mountain Surf Bibs at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. (Photo/Eric Phillips)Morgan Tilton testing the Jones Women’s Mountain Surf Bibs at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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Well-made women’s-specific ski and snowboard bibs haven’t always been available. In 2016, Flylow’s groundbreaking and wildly popular bib was a mega seller. The design is high-chested and technical with a back door for restroom stops. The bib topped the brand’s direct sales of all products immediately after launch. And the snowboard brand Airblaster, founded nearly 2 decades ago, has long been known for producing apparel and outerwear with great drop seats, so relieving oneself is easier than ever — despite all those layers.

Today, the demand for women’s ski and snowboard bibs remains strong. They’re not just convenient. They’re also functional, comfy, and capable. Clever rear access for bathroom breaks, a multitude of pockets, better coverage for pow days, extended torso warmth or wind breaking, and easy layering — these are just a few benefits of these best women’s ski bibs. These days, the majority of our favorite options feature a well-crafted drop seat, which is helpful whether we’re in the backcountry or at the resort.

While some bibs are stylistically more branded toward either skiers or snowboarders, nearly all of our top picks work well with narrow ski boots or wider-topped snowboard boots unless otherwise noted. So, regardless of your sport, snow bibs are interchangeable. However, some options operate better in the backcountry compared to resort-tailored pants.

To learn more about women’s winter bib designs and selection, scroll toward the bottom of the article to read our FAQ and buyer’s guide. Still weighing your options? Consult our comparison chart to see how each ski bib for ladies stacks up. Otherwise, take a look at our awarded picks and select options for 2024.

Editor’s Note: We updated our Women’s Ski Bibs guide on March 20, 2024, with new tested products and awards including the Stio Women’s Figment Bib and Flylow Insulated Foxy Bib. 

The Best Women’s Ski and Snowboard Bibs of 2024


Best Overall Women's Ski and Snowboard Bib

Flylow Foxy Bib

Specs

  • Weight 764 g
  • Fabric Recycled Tactic 3L stretch
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 5
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Regular
  • Sizes XS-XL; short, regular, tall
  • Cuffs 500-denier CORDURA nylon
  • Waterproof 20,000mm/20,000g waterproof/breathable plus DWR treatment for water repellency
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
Product Badge The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Robust cuff liners
  • Extra ventilation with both interior and exterior zippers
  • Tall and short lengths offered across size run

Cons

  • Only goes up to XL
  • Interior leg ventilation zippers are relatively short
Best Budget Women's Ski Bib

The North Face Women’s Freedom Bibs

Specs

  • Weight 935 g
  • Fabric 2-layer DyVent waterproof membrane, 57% recycled nylon
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 5
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Tailored
  • Sizes XS-3XL; short, regular, long
  • Cuffs StretchVent gaiters with gripper elastic, reinforced kick patches
  • Waterproof 15,000mm/15,000g waterproofing/breathability, and a non-PFC DWR finish
  • Climate Dry to mildly wet winter conditions with moderate to super cold temperatures (freezing or below)
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Ample pocket space
  • Articulated knees

Cons

  • A lower waterproof rating won’t be a good fit for wet snow climates
  • Heavier weight
Runner-Up Best Women's Ski and Snowboard Bib

Stio Women’s Figment Bib

Specs

  • Weight 850 g
  • Fabric 100% recycled 3L PeakProof and 150-denier exterior, 20-denier tricot backer, PFC-free DWR
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 5
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Freeride (baggier)
  • Sizes XS-XL
  • Cuffs High-abrasion kick patch, 7"×7", on interior lower cuff
  • Waterproof 20,000mm / 10,000g
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions with moderate to super cold temperatures (freezing or below)
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Ample, functional pockets
  • Two entry points increase adaptability
  • Aesthetic freeride style

Cons

  • On the pricier side
  • Heavier weight for backcountry use unless it’s cold out
  • If you’re searching for a more streamlined, athletic fit, look elsewhere
Most Lightweight and Softest Women's Ski Bib

Patagonia Women’s SnowDrifter Bibs

Specs

  • Weight 600 g
  • Fabric Fully PFC-free 3-layer H2No 100% recycled polyester plain weave and recycled polyester knit backer with PFC-free DWR plus 89% recycled bluesign-approved polyester upper
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 3
  • RECCO Yes
  • Fit Regular
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Cuffs Reinforced scuff guards with an interior high reach
  • Waterproof Unavailable
  • Climate Dry to moderate moisture
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Buttery fabric
  • Eco-friendly, healthy construction
  • Hardshell textile that feels as light as a soft-shell
  • Completely PFC-free construction in addition to PFC-free DWR

Cons

  • If you prefer a heavier fabric weight, look elsewhere
  • We need to test for multiple seasons to examine durability
Most Durable Women's Ski and Snowboard Bib

Ortovox Women’s 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants

Specs

  • Weight 602 g
  • Fabric 3-layer Toray Dermizax EV elastic PU membrane blended with merino wool (from sheep)
  • Insulation Merino wool (from sheep)
  • Pockets 4
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Roomier
  • Sizes XS-XL
  • Cuffs Integrated Dyneema-CORDURA patches
  • Waterproof 20,000mm / 20,000g waterproof/breathability
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions with moderate to super cold temperatures (freezing or below)
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Super durable against sharp edges and weather with Dyneema and CORDURA
  • Very breathable and adaptable fabric
  • Extensive length on hand pockets for carrying electronic devices

Cons

  • Pricier
  • Built for backcountry use (might be overdone for resort-goers)
Best Insulated Women's Snowboard Bib

Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib

Specs

  • Weight 862 g
  • Shell 2-layer Eco-Vortex stretch fabric made with 100% recycled polyester, PFC-free DWR
  • Insulation In certain colorways 40 g PrimaLoft insulation
  • Pockets 5
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Tailored (but not tightly fitted)
  • Sizes XS-XL
  • Cuffs Smartly roll up with an elastic tightener to cinch and prevent tear-ups while walking
  • Waterproof 30,000mm/20,000g waterproofing/breathability plus FC-Free Eco-DWR for extra water resistance
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions with moderate to super cold temperatures (freezing or below)
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • 350-degree waist zipper for drop seat
  • Super soft fleece lining in two hand pockets

Cons

  • Not the ideal choice for backcountry touring due to breathability
  • We’d like Airblaster to consider adding a second pocket up top
Most Sustainable Women's Snowboard Bib

Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Bibs

Specs

  • Weight 640 g
  • Fabric 100% recycled polyester 70-denier 4-way stretch face fabric with 100% recycled 20-denier polyester backer, PFC-free DWR
  • Insulation None
  • Pockets Five (plus three internal mesh pockets for devices)
  • RECCO Yes
  • Fit Roomier
  • Sizes XS-L
  • Cuffs Reinforced
  • Waterproof 30,000mm/30,000g waterproofing/breathability
  • Climate Coastal
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Intelligent pocket design
  • Malleable fabric
  • Durable and weatherproof

Cons

  • Suspenders get twisted when pulling on, requiring time to straighten
  • Quad pockets are a bit snug for a large phone (especially for more muscular legs)
  • Not many size options for broader-shaped folks
Best of the Rest

Mammut Women’s Haldigrat HS Bib Pants

Specs

  • Weight 515 g
  • Fabric 3-layer proprietary Mammut DRYExpedition waterproof membrane and 40-denier post-consumer recycled nylon face fabric
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets Two thigh pockets
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Athletic, well-fitted
  • Sizes 2-16
  • Cuffs Reinforced Dyneema patches (12" by 9")
  • Waterproof 30,000mm/ 20,000g waterproofing/breathability
  • Climate Coastal
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Supple fabric
  • Super flexible and comfortable
  • Extremely waterproof and durable
  • Two integrated beacon pockets for personal preference

Cons

  • No insulation
  • Thigh pocket zippers need to be less tight for efficient, comfortable hand access
  • Neo mint-marine color is gorgeous — dirties easily
  • Not the most flexible groin gusset for steep ascents

Flylow Foxy Insulated Bib

Specs

  • Weight Unavailable
  • Fabric Recycled 2-layer 100% polyester softshell, 100-denier
  • Insulated Yes, 40 grams
  • Pockets 5
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Normal
  • Sizes XS-XL
  • Cuffs Color-matched fabric reinforcements are 6 to 2 inches high around entire cuff
  • Waterproof 20,000mm / 20,000g
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions; ideally below freezing temps
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Toasty for freezing days
  • Soft exterior face fabric
  • Smooth-moving fit

Cons

  • Too warm for high-octane or above-freezing days
  • Backside pocket isn’t too functional
  • Entrance of thigh pockets isn’t large enough for using with gloves on

Trew Chariot Bib Primo

Specs

  • Weight 765 g
  • Fabric PNW-level 3L Primo Fabric woven with 100% recycled nylon, Bluesign-certified
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 5
  • RECCO Yes
  • Fit Slim-fitting with a range of movement
  • Sizes XS-XXL; plus sizes 1X-4X; short, regular, tall
  • Cuffs SuperFabric cuffs and kick patches
  • Waterproof 20,000mm/20,000g waterproof/breathability
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Plenty of pockets
  • 270-degree dropseat
  • Sustainable proprietary textile that’s 100% recycled and very waterproof
  • Jacquard elastic suspenders with silicon gripper

Cons

  • A bit short for longer torsos, consider sizing up

Outdoor Research Women’s Carbide Bibs

Specs

  • Weight 618 g
  • Fabric 3-layer Pertex Shield with 40-denier face fabric and tricot knit backer
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 3
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Tailored (not tight)
  • Sizes XS-4XL; short, regular, tall
  • Cuffs 420-denier nylon scuff guard
  • Waterproof 20,000mm/20,000g waterproof/breathability
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Moderate price point for backcountry-centric features
  • Fabric is pliable

Cons

  • Constructed for backcountry and might not be the top choice for resort skiers/riders
  • No insulation for those seeking extra warmth
  • Cuffs are not compatible with all snowboard boots

Halfdays Isabel Soft Shell Bib Pant

Specs

  • Weight 800g
  • Fabric 80% Nylon, 20% Spandex
  • Insulation Yes
  • Pockets 2
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Slim
  • Sizes XS-2X; short, regular
  • Cuffs No additional reinforcement
  • Waterproof 10,000mm waterproof rating
  • Climate Dry to somewhat wet
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Stand out design with single zipper down the front
  • Short inseam lengths available
  • Insulation cozy for chilly resort days
  • Flattering cut

Cons

  • Not the most waterproof option for skiers who frequent PNW or other wetter locales
  • No drop seat

Stio Women’s Environ Bib

Specs

  • Weight 708 g
  • Fabric 3-layer PeakProof plus membrane, 100% recycled polyester 150-denier face fabric, 20-denier tricot backer
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 3
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Roomier than a trim design for athletic performance but still has a feminine tailor
  • Sizes XS-XL; short, regular
  • Cuffs Kickpatch is made of 600-denier CORDURA Nylon with a TPU coating and DWR finish
  • Waterproof Yes with 20,000mm waterproof /10,000g breathability plus a DWR finish atop the fabric
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Articulated knees
  • The thigh pocket is zippered and covered with a snap flap

Cons

  • We’ve seen our Stio zipper pulls wear out on other products
  • We’d like to see more pockets (but it’s tough with the low bib design)
  • Narrow leg hem means the fit might not slide well over snowboard boots

Rab Khroma Kinetic Waterproof Bib

Specs

  • Weight 583 g
  • Fabric 20D Proflex Stretch Woven Nylon 3-layer Waterproof Technology (90% Polyamide, 10% Elastane, Polyurethane Membrane, 100% polyester backer)
  • Insulation No
  • Pockets 4
  • RECCO No
  • Fit Regular
  • Sizes XS-XL
  • Cuffs Reinforced interior instep patches
  • Waterproof Fluorocarbon-free DWR (149g/m²), 20,000mm/25,000 waterproof/breathability rating
  • Climate Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2024

Pros

  • Generous pockets
  • Less expensive performance option for backcountry chargers
  • Malleable hardshell material

Cons

  • Mountaineering features might be overkill for resort goers
Testing the women’s Mammut Haldigrat HS Bib Pants at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Women’s Ski Bibs Comparison Chart 

Scroll right to view all of the columns: Price, Sizes, Fabric, Insulation, Pockets, RECCO.

Women’s Ski BibsPriceSizesFabricInsulationPocketsRECCO
Flylow Foxy Bib$430XS-XL; short, regular, tall3-layer recycled Tactic stretch fabricNo5No
The North Face Women’s
Freedom Bibs
$250XS-3XL; short, regular, long2-layer DyVent waterproof membrane, 57% recycled nylonNo5No
Stio Women’s Figment Bib
$479XS-XLFreeride (baggier)No5No
Trew Chariot Bib Primo$499XS-XXL; plus sizes 1X-4X; short, regular, tallPNW-level 3L Primo Fabric woven with 100% recycled nylonNo5Yes
Patagonia Women’s SnowDrifter Bibs$399XS-XXLPFC-free 3-layer H2No 100% recycled polyesterNo3Yes
Outdoor Research Women’s
Carbide Bibs
$329XS-4XL; short, regular, tall3-layer Pertex Shield with 40-denier face fabricNo3No
Ortovox Women’s 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants$650XS-XL3-layer Toray Dermizax EV elastic PU membraneMerino wool4No
Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib$320XS-XL2-layer Eco-Vortex stretch fabricNo5No
Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Bibs$500XS-L100% recycled polyester 70-denier 4-way stretch face fabricNo5Yes
Mammut Women’s Haldigrat HS Bib Pants$5392-163-layer Mammut DRYExpedition membrane and 40-denier nylon face fabricNo2No
Flylow Foxy Insulated Bib
$430XS-XLRecycled 2-layer 100% polyester softshell, 100-denierYes, 40 grams5No
Halfdays Isabel Soft Shell Bib Pant$345XS-2X; short, regular80% nylon, 20% spandexYes2No
Stio Women’s Environ Bib$459XS-XL; short, regular3-layer Dermizax 150-denier waterproof  fabricNo3No
Rab Khroma
Kinetic Waterproof Bib
$380XS-XL90% Polyamide, 10% Elastane, Polyurethane MembraneNo4No
Airblaster Women’s Sassy Hot Bib - chest pocket
The Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib is ideal for resort riding, a bit insulated, and has excellent waterproofing for wet, heavy storms; (photo/Eric Phillips)

How We Tested Women’s Ski Bibs

The GearJunkie team is made up of experienced and expert skiers and snowboarders that explore groomed terrain at ski areas as well as the backcountry byway of skis, splitboards, and snowmobiles. We explore runs in bounds and hut-to-hut all over North America, including bell-to-bell resort powder days, ski-to-surf trips such as on Vancouver Island, backcountry hut adventures, skimo races, and cross-country laps on the nordic trails.

Women’s ski bibs are essential for staying comfortable and dry while in motion, riding the lift, maintaining the rig, shoveling, or taking a snack break. Over the years, we’ve tested many different ski bibs, and this list comprises the best of the best.

GearJunkie Senior Editor Morgan Tilton specializes in the snowsports category and has lived in the high-altitude Rockies of Colorado for more than three decades, where she grew up, learned to ski, snowboard, snowmobile, shovel unbelievable amounts, and still lives today. She’s been a gear journalist including covering snowsports categories for more than a decade in the outdoor industry. That includes reporting at nearly 16 outdoor industry trade shows including for the Outdoor Retailer Daily and Snow Show Daily, and serving as Snowboard Editor at Teton Gravity Research.

Bolstering remote exploration, she’s earned a Wilderness First Responder certificate and the sweep of three recreational avalanche training courses from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. For two seasons, she’s managed the annual GearJunkie Ski and Snowboard Test at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. While she teams up with many gear testers, Tilton also field tests between desk blocks.

To date in 2023, Tilton has tested ski and snowboard bibs on 27 days and throughout 92 hours of recreation in the backcountry (including snowmobile and trailer management) and frontcountry. Those days have entailed blizzards, sub-zero temps, harsh wind, heavy and wet snow, plenty of perspiration, and sunshine. That metric excludes daily shoveling responsibilities at her home in Crested Butte, Colorado, when she also often pulls on bibs.

While testing women’s ski and snowboard bibs in the field, we assessed durability, overall fit, ease of movement, protection, fabric feel, breathability, ventilation, warmth, zipper quality, pocket placement and utility, drop seat integration, and functionality. We’ve tested ski bibs while carving turns in ice-cold temperatures, blizzards, blustery wind, intense sun, and even rain from far-out tours to parking lot tailgating.

In addition to our team’s experience, we considered the most innovative, novel, legacy, popular, and bestselling women’s ski bibs on the market. These bibs represent a broad range of price points and a variety of features and applications for a range of use.

female skier poses with skies
GearJunkie Editor Mary Murphy testing bibs on-piste; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Women’s Ski or Snowboard Bibs

Whether skiing or snowboarding, having a pair of comfortable, hardworking snow bibs is essential. Here are a few tips for finding the best ladies’ ski and snowboard bibs, which can be used across many other winter activities.

Drop Seat

For the uninitiated, the drop seat is super convenient in the backcountry setting as well as at the resort. You don’t need to take off your jacket in a stuffy stall in order to pull down your snow bibs to relieve yourself. Instead, you snug up your jacket a bit, pull the zipper around, and follow your normal routine.

Each drop seat design varies — it’s like the top-secret pasta sauce recipe for your favorite Italian restaurant.

For instance, the drop seat on the Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib is unique in that it wraps nearly entirely around. The zipper goes 300 degrees — imagine a clamshell opening up. An exterior storm flap also covers the zipper, which adds style points and keeps the teeth protected.

Other drop seats feature a lengthy side zipper that reaches down the leg for an even larger opening: the fabric folds back and out of the way. This design can be convenient for managing variable conditions — like squatting over uneven or deep snow — in the backcountry, like the Ortovox Women’s 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants.

Some bibs have the dropseat zipper on one side only and other styles offer zippers on both sides, which can be useful if you’re managing a heavy pack or feel inflexible on one side. Sometimes our shoulders get tight, which makes reaching backward to unzip a challenge, unless the zipper pull is large enough to grab and the zipper is ergonomically placed in the perfect location.

Ideally, each side zipper is topped off with two separate zipper pulls, so that we can secure the zipper for the day with one pull at the top and use the other to activate a side vent when needed. Often the top of the zipper has a secondary form of security like a snap or garage for the pull. If it doesn’t, that’s a red flag, because these long side zippers tend to wiggle their way open without a lock.

Airblaster Women’s Sassy Hot Bib - interior
The drop seat design on the Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib is super functional; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Consider Activity and Usage

Chances are, if you’re looking for a pair of snow bibs to wear for a specific winter sport such as backcountry skiing or splitboarding, alpine skiing, or snowboarding, they’ll each have slightly different design features, fit, and style that make those bibs more comfortable and functional for the day’s winter activity.

That being said, many ski bibs do work for other winter activities such as sledding, shoveling, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, winter hiking, dog walking, building snow caves, snowball fights, and pow surfing.

As you narrow down your top activity, consider the average temperature, conditions, and your personal body heat. Do the temperatures hover at 0 degrees or up towards 30 degrees, and is there often windchill? Do you expect dry or wet snow? Will you be consistently moving, or do you anticipate being sedentary such as on the ski lift or while watching the kids play in the snow outside? And do you generally tend to run hot or cold?

Depending on the activity and output, you’ll want either an insulated or uninsulated bib and ventilation as well as waterproofness (which varies from bib to bib). Each of those factors influences the price tag.

Patagonia Powder Town - backside exterior
The Patagonia Powder Town bibs feature interior microfleece panels inside for warmth on the backside; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Skiing vs. Snowboarding

For skiers versus snowboarders who use a slightly different range of motion on the mountain, some bibs may work better than others.

One of the biggest factors is how the pant leg hem and gaiter fit. Some designs are streamlined and narrow to best fit over a ski boot neck. Other pant leg designs have a tad wider circumference or offer a zipper or snap closure to first widen and then pull the pant leg down over the snowboard or splitboard boot. Not all gaiter designs work well with soft, traditional snowboard or splitboard boots.

Snowboard-branded designs among our top picks include the Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Bibs and Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib. For snowboarders and splitboarders, we’d also recommend considering our overall pick, the Flylow Foxy Bib, and our most durable pick, the Ortovox Women’s 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants.

A closeup of the side zipper for the drop seat on the Jones Snowboards Women’s Mountain Surf Bibs
A closeup of the side zipper for the drop seat on the Jones Snowboards Women’s Mountain Surf Bibs; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Type of Fit

In addition to checking the specific size of a bib, silhouettes come in a variety of fits, which can be functional or reflect a certain aesthetic.

That includes regular — not too baggy or too tight — as well as a roomier and relaxed fit. On the alternative side, you’ll find a more athletic, slim, and fitted design.

If a bib is well-fitted, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s uncomfortable, because our top bibs here are all constructed with stretchy material. However, styles differ with how much length and width are offered in the torso area and where that fabric is located. Seams can also be less forgiving from one design to the next. And not every skier and rider prefers the sensation of a hug all day or eliminating the option of layering beneath their bibs.

Regular fits can also be tailored, meaning there is articulation to the design that offers a flattering feminine shape without making the style straight and boxy. A tailored design is also functional, because it can remove extra fabric that can otherwise fold and be uncomfortable, like articulated knees.

We try to offer insights in our listed specs regarding the overall style you can expect from bib to bib:

If you want an unencumbered range of motion, go with a more relaxed fit. Extra space can be comfortable for adding layers beneath or big moves on backcountry days, as well as slopestyle, jumping off cliffs, and freeriding across conditions.

Or, if you want the option to pull on thicker layers beneath and don’t mind extra fabric, consider sizing up.

Fabrics

For powder days or backcountry travel, it makes a lot of sense to invest in a GORE-TEX or similar fully waterproof fabric. Two-layer and three-layer fabrics have different weights, waterproofness, and breathability ratings. Fabrics can also be treated on the surface to add water resistance, which wears out and needs to be reapplied over time and use.

Fabrics also differ across the board based on their hand feel and softness, flexibility and stretch, breathability, and quietness versus crunchiness.

Ask yourself whether the pant will work for what you want. The goal is to find a pant with a fabric that will complement your activity level on the mountain. In general, if you ski at both the resort and backcountry, we’d recommend prioritizing a bib with higher breathability (like those with a GORE-TEX membrane).

Other fabrics feature insulation, which we recommend if you generally run cold, tend to move more cautiously (and thus slowly), need to slow down to manage kiddos, teach others, or have long ski lift rides in ice-cold temps.

Patagonia Powder Town bibs - front view
The hand pockets are sizable on the Patagonia Powder Town Bibs; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Waterproofness

A waterproof bib is ideal for being outside in wet snow, rain, or drizzly weather. The top-tier standard for waterproofness is GORE-TEX, which is a membrane integrated into various bib designs. The material is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. Many brands likewise have a proprietary version of waterproof-breathable fabrics.

Waterproofness is measured by the amount of water that can be placed atop a fabric before it leaks. The rate of waterproof fabric varies from 5,000 to 20,000 mm or greater. The latter end of the spectrum leads to a less breathable fabric.

  • 0-5,000 mm: Resistant to light rain, dry snow
  • 6,000-10,000 mm: Waterproof for light rain and dry, non-heavy snow
  • 11,000-15,000 mm: Waterproof for moderate rain and dry, non-heavy snow
  • 16,000-20,000 mm: Waterproof for heavy rain and wet snow
  • 20,000 mm and greater: Waterproof for heavy rain and dense, heavy snow

Many bibs are waterproof or offer a degree of water resistance, the latter of which works fine in dryer winter climates and where the snow water equivalent (read: the amount of liquid water in the snow) is lower.

There are four general snow climates: coastal, transitional, intermountain, and continental.

Generally, the closer you are to the coast, the more precipitation you’ll experience and the water content will be higher in the snow: it’ll be wetter and heavier! In contrast, the snow in continental climates is dryer, lighter, and accumulates less compared to the coast. That includes most of the Rocky Mountains, such as in Colorado. Intermountain regions and ranges show characteristics of both and transitional areas are similar to the coast but with less rain and snow.

Airblaster Women’s Sassy Hot Bib - fit
Snowsports Editor Morgan Tilton tested the Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib, which has a convenient, unique 350-degree wraparound zipper; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Examples according to the Utah Avalanche Center:

  • Coastal (wettest): California, Washington, Oregon, coastal Alaska, coastal British Columbia
  • Transitional (moderately wet): Areas and targeted locations in Montana, northern Idaho, and Oregon
  • Intermountain (mildly wet): Utah’s Wasatch Range, most of Idaho, Montana, portions of Northeast Oregon, and Southwest Colorado
  • Continental (mostly dry): Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, interior Alaska, interior British Columbia

Factors that change the waterproofness or water resistance of a ski bib include the face fabric treatment, which can be eco-friendly formulas or chemicals that are toxic to the environment. Bibs can also have sealed seams to block moisture or waterproof zippers. Generally, the more water-resistant or waterproof a product is the pricier it will be.

Many ski bibs can work fine across various conditions. However, if you are mostly snowboarding and skiing in a wet climate or the snow tends to be heavy with water, then you’ll want to invest in a hardier material to stay dry. If you mostly venture into the backcountry, it’s also not a bad idea to invest in apparel that can withstand those stormy conditions when you’re far out from the trailhead, even if the snow tends to be on the drier side.

Patagonia Powder Town bibs - front pocket view
The pockets are unique on the Patagonia Powder Town Bibs with an interior kangaroo pouch and exterior chest pocket accessed by zipper; (photo/Jason Hummel)

We aim to break down each women’s ski bib review with the waterproofness capacity, so that you know which options would work best for your go-to zone:

We have not received confirmation from Patagonia regarding the waterproof rating of the Patagonia Women’s SnowDrifter Bibs.

Pockets

Every pant has different features but one must-have for ski bibs is useful pockets. Ladies, you know what we’re talking about. That inch-wide chapstick pocket just doesn’t cut it.

Wide and long thigh pockets are especially great if you don’t like pocket items (like a cellphone or beacon) bunching up near your hips. You’ll also want large enough quad pockets for efficiency, which will save your phone battery and your cold fingers, being able to quickly slide the device in and out.

Various chest pockets with a range of sizes are also situated on the upper half of the bib. Some bibs also have two zippered hand pockets in the front with zippers that face outward or zippers that face inward, requiring the opposite hand to reach in, which is known as Napoleon pockets.

Inside pockets, there is a trend of adding an interior mesh pocket that holds a phone or other small items like a key fob. We typically carry a large device, so these mesh hammocks can be too restrictive and not easy to use while wearing gloves, in our experience.

There can even be two pockets on the backside. We’re not the biggest fans of pockets on the buns, because we often need to sit when wearing our apparel.

To date, our favorite pockets for optimal roominess and efficiency are in the thigh pockets and chest pocket in the Ortovox Women’s 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants. The chest pockets arrangement on the Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Bibs really maximizes space, too, and is a clever, unique design.

Ventilation

We highly recommend picking out ski and snowboard bibs with ventilation, which will be placed alongside each leg on the exterior or interior. The zippers will be one-way or two-way. Very few zippers are fully waterproof but some brands do invest in that upgrade.

On certain bib designs, you’ll find a side zipper with two zip pulls, which allows you to close the zipper then utilize that portal as a vent with the second pulley throughout the day.

Inside the zipper, you sometimes have a mesh liner for protection against sun or snow flurries while other brands opt for no mesh. Overall, the length of a zipper for leg ventilation will vary.

Cuffs and Gaiters

We also recommend that the ski or snowboard bibs you choose have internal gaiters that secure well over boots (gaiters with boot adjustment access are a plus).

Some cuffs are narrower than others and fit better over ski boots compared to snowboard boots. Other cuffs are designed for better customization with either side zippers or snaps, which allow you to widen the circumference when you pull the pant leg down over your boots. We prefer that for snowboard and splitboard boots, especially if there is a BOA system to pull the pant leg down over.

For extra durability, especially for backcountry users, exterior cuffs can be reinforced with tough materials like Kevlar, SuperFabric, Dyneema, Cordura, Vectran, or hybrid textiles to help prevent the material from shredding over time or getting cut up by the ski edge or crampons while ascending a peak.

Bibs can have suspenders that attach via Velcro; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Suspenders

The two straps that hold up your bibs are surprisingly complex and can make or break a bib. Suspenders are typically made of an elastic material, which varies in width, stretchiness, and rebound across designs.

Underneath some suspenders, you’ll find a grippy material that helps the strap stay in place throughout the day.

Suspenders can cross across the shoulder blades or go straight over your shoulders. One of the biggest gripes our testers have is when we pull on bib straps that cross in the back but are not easily adjustable while being worn, which is annoying.

The attachment point can be a slide-in hook that is releasable in the front, which allows you to open the strap while pulling it on or off. The strap can also be secured via velcro or completely fixed.

Straps can also be adjustable in length via a plastic slider.

What Is RECCO?

RECCO is a safety system used by ski teams and rescue professionals to help find people who are misplaced, whether that’s being lost in the woods, held up due to injury or a health ailment, broken gear, or potentially trapped under snow due to an avalanche. It’s great safety addition to have in an emergency.

The first part of the system is a reflector that is placed in outerwear apparel and gear to help locate the wearer. A RECCO reflector doesn’t transmit any signals or need any batteries. The other side of the equation is the RECCO detector, which transmits an active signal, with a range of up to 120 m through the air and 10 to 20 m through the snow.

Note that a RECCO reflector does not replace an avalanche transceiver, also known as an avalanche beacon. If you plan to go into the sidecountry such as out the boundary gate at your local ski area, or into the backcountry, be sure to wear and know how to use your avalanche transceiver. Likewise, be sure that your ski partners wear and know how to use their avalanche transceivers.

Morgan Tilton testing the Jones Women’s Mountain Surf Bibs at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Snowsports Editor Morgan Tilton testing the Jones Women’s Mountain Surf Bibs at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Price

Depending on how often you hit the slopes, price is a factor. If you’re still starting out in a snowsport or only make it to the mountain a couple of times a year, consider a more budget-friendly bib.

As you gain experience, you can always invest in a higher-quality bib that will ultimately perform better and last longer on the mountain season after season.

If you mostly backcountry ski or splitboard, your bibs will likely experience more abrasion due to wearing a loaded pack with a hip belt, transitioning with the equipment, being exposed to the elements without shelter, or operating a snowmobile (and trailer) for access. If you snowmobile, it’s easy to beat up your apparel while maneuvering and riding the machine.

In that case, we recommend investing in a bib that is a more durable, premium option like the Ortovox Women’s 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants ($650), which will help protect you and keep you comfortable in the backcountry. Other options in this price tier include the Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Bibs ($500), and Mammut Women’s Haldigrat HS Bib Pants ($539). Generally, top-priced apparel also boasts the highest level of waterproofness, breathability, and durability plus sustainable manufacturing, ease of use, and an enjoyable softer, quieter textile.

In the next zone, you’ll find Flylow Foxy Bib ($430), Flylow Foxy Insulated Bib ($430), Stio Women’s Environ Bib ($459), Stio Women’s Figment Bib ($479), and Trew Chariot Bib Primo ($499). These three bibs are an investment for smart pockets, stylish and comfortable fit, excellent fabrics, and still near-premium details.

The vast majority of our top picks hang on the $300 rung: Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib ($320), Outdoor Research Women’s Carbide Bibs ($329), Halfdays Isabel Soft Shell Bib Pant ($345), Rab Khroma Kinetic Waterproof Bib ($380), Patagonia Women’s SnowDrifter Bibs ($399). With each of these designs, you’ll find excellent application for specific uses, so you’ll be giving up a few design details.

For instance, the Sassy Hot Bib fit and fabric are not the best choice for backcountry riding and touring. The Outdoor Research Women’s Carbibe Bibs pants slide well over ski boots but not snowboard boots. The Halfdays Isable Soft Shell Bib Pant is insulated and not functional for uphilling pursuits or high-moisture climates. If you do homework on each of these designs to find the best one for your needs, you’ll be really happy with any of these picks.

Our queen economic select is The North Face Women’s Freedom Bibs ($250), which doesn’t shine above any of our other favorite choices from a design or technical standpoint but certainly serves riders and skiers, especially those that head to the hills as weekend warriors.

female splitboarder touring in the helly hansen odin mountain infinity bib
GearJunkie Snowsports Editor Morgan Tilton tested the Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity Bib, and found the half-bib design was super durable against wind and that it has a comfortable, ergonomic waistband; (photo/Eric Phillips)

FAQ

Are bibs better for skiing?

Bibs are great at one thing pants just can’t do — keeping snow, moisture, and cold wind out from your waist up. With better protection and greater adjustability than ski pants, bibs are an excellent investment for those who ski or snowboard in a wide variety of conditions.

They’re also great for those looking for more coverage or more features such as larger or more pockets. (Bibs usually have more pockets!)

How should a ski bib fit?

A ski bib should be not too restrictive, leaving room for movement in your hips and legs. However, you should also make sure the ski bib you pick is the right size and fit for your height and easily adjusts up top.

The best bibs will also have a good stretch in the waist/chest area. All the bibs we’ve reviewed here fit well and offer good adjustability in the suspenders/straps.

female skier tightening strap on ski bibs
The Patagonia Powder Town Bibs have smooth suspenders that are easy to adjust; (photo/Jason Hummel)
What’s the difference between ski bibs and insulated ski nibs?

Regular, non-insulated ski bibs are a protective, waterproofed fabric. Insulated ski bibs are the same, but with insulation added for warmth. The insulation is usually a synthetic fiber like PrimaLoft insulation, which is the standard in many ski bibs. Though sometimes the insulation is a natural fiber such as wool, which is also breathable and integrated in the Ortovox Women’s 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants.

Do you need pants with insulation and how much? The answer all depends on what type of skiing you are doing and where. How cold is it on an average day? Will you be traveling uphill, shoveling a bunch of snow, or taking the ski lift at resorts? In other words, do you expect to be frequently sedentary? In which case, your body temperature may drop, such as on the ski lift or while getting the kids booted up in the parking lot.

You may want to buy a cold-weather-specific insulated pant for those really frigid days on the mountain and a non-insulated shell pant for warmer days. Especially if you tend to run cold, consider insulated options.

Let’s face it — you may not think about bib insulation while making turns on your favorite run. But when faced with -10-degree windchill on a chairlift, suddenly you’ll be wishing for some extra warmth on your bottom half.

What is RECCO?

RECCO is an avalanche safety system used by ski teams and rescue professionals to help find people who are misplaced. They could be lost in the woods, delayed due to broken gear, experiencing an injury, or trapped beneath snow due to an avalanche. It’s a great additional safety tool to have in an emergency.

The first part of the system is a reflector that is placed into outerwear apparel or gear to help a skier or rider be detected. A RECCO reflector doesn’t transmit any signals or need any batteries. A RECCO detector transmits an active signal, with a range of up to 120 m through the air and 10-20 m through the snow.

Note that a RECCO reflector does not replace an avalanche transceiver, also known as an avalanche beacon. If you plan to go into the sidecountry such as out the boundary gate at your local ski area, or into the backcountry, be sure to wear and know how to use your avalanche transceiver. Likewise, be sure your ski partners wear and know how to use their avalanche transceivers.

Female skier opening jacket over Patagonia Powder Town Bibs
GearJunkie Snowsports Editor Morgan Tilton got a preview of the PFC-free Patagonia Powder Town Bibs and was impressed with the lightweight, comfortable design; (photo/Jason Hummel)
What do you wear with a ski bib?

Just like wearing a ski jacket and snow pants, you’ll want to pull on base layers underneath a bib. If it’s colder weather, you might pull on a light fleece jacket over your base layer top and beneath the bib. If it’s super cold out, you may even want to add on a light, streamlined puffy.

We recommend trying on a bib with your most-used layers before purchasing if possible.

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