Ski bibs and backcountry adventures go together like swallowtails and pow slashes. Whether you ski, snowboard, or splitboard, we’ve found the best men’s bibs of 2022-2023.
Snow bibs keep snow out and warmth in. They’re versatile, comfortable, and perfect for all manner of backcountry adventuring.
If you’re not sold on the benefits of bibs, read on for reasons to hop on the bandwagon and check out our helpful buying advice. Also, make sure to check out our comparison chart to help steer your decision-making.
For bib buffs who are simply searching for a quality pair, we’ve already broken trail on that account. Here, you’ll find our picks for the best men’s ski bibs, ranging from top-of-the-line, pricey options to more affordable kits that won’t break the bank.
Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, or jump to the category you’re looking for:
- Best Overall
- Most Versatile
- Best for the Backcountry
- Best for Inbounds
- Best Budget
- Best of the Rest
The Best Men’s Ski Bibs of 2022-2023
Best Overall: Patagonia PowSlayer Bibs
The PowSlayer ($639) is the crown jewel of Patagonia’s snow bib lineup. For backcountry-inclined skiers and riders, the PowSlayer offers an ideal combination of style, practical features, and reliable weatherproofing.
These bibs are outfitted with a three-layer shell that guards a reliable GORE-TEX Pro membrane. The face fabric is made of 100% recycled nylon. In spitting rain or waist-deep pow, you can expect to stay dry beneath the PowSlayer.
Pocket space isn’t anything to write home about, but expansive, mesh-free side zips, a stretchy back panel, drop-seat configuration, and fortified cuffs make the PowSlayer a bib that can handle midwinter pow days, spring alpine missions, and everything in between. When the going gets warm on the skin track, two-way zippers along the thigh allow for some serious venting.
Though we love these bibs, they do have a few minor drawbacks. Sizing can be a bit tight at the waist. Also, the price tag is certainly on the expensive side. If used for fairweather skiing or riding within resort boundaries, these bibs may be overkill. However, for exploring the backcountry and slashing powder, the aptly named PowSlayers are the best ski bibs for the job.
- Best for: Backcountry touring and resort powder days
- Fit: Regular
- Waterproofing: 3-layer construction with GORE-TEX Pro membrane
- Pockets: 2 hand pockets, 1 chest pocket, 1 back pocket
- Top-notch waterproofing
- Reinforced in all the right areas
- Waist is a bit tight for some users
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Best Budget: REI Co-op First Chair GTX
For the price, the REI Co-op First Chair GTX bibs ($259) offer top-class weather protection and performance in and out of bounds. It’s difficult to find bibs with GORE-TEX waterproofing for less than $300, which makes these bibs a great value buy.
In addition to excellent waterproofing, the First Chair Bibs come with boot gaiters, two-way thigh vents, articulated knees, and plenty of pockets. These are shell-style bibs, meaning they provide minimal insulation and offer space for insulating layers underneath. In the backcountry, shell-style bibs such as these are ideal thanks to their temperature control capabilities.
Many skiers and riders find these bibs to fit fairly large. Also, the mid-height cut will let snow in while skiing in extremely deep powder. Most people won’t be bothered by this, but if you frequently seek out the deep stuff, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Best for: Resort and backcountry
- Fit: Regular
- Waterproofing: 2-layer construction with GORE-TEX membrane
- Pockets: Zippered chest pocket, 2 drop-in thigh pockets — 1 with a zipper, 1 with hook-and-loop closure
- Great value
- Versatile enough for the resort and the backcountry
- A bit low cut; could let snow in on the deepest of days
Runner-Up: Arc’teryx Beta SV Bib
In stormy weather and rugged conditions, the Beta SV Bib pants ($575) are the best ski bibs you can buy. This special piece of outerwear combines the classic impenetrable benefits of a bib with the notorious build quality of Arc’teryx. We confidently recommend the Beta SV to all skiers, but its true domain is beyond resort boundaries.
“SV” stands for severe weather, and the title is well-earned. This bib is built with GORE-TEX Pro, the longest-lasting and most durable waterproofing technology on the market. Watertight side zippers allow for easy removal even with boots on.
For fair-weather resort skiing, this bib may ultimately be a bit overengineered and expensive. For ski mountaineering and touring, however, the Beta SV is among the best gear that money can buy.
For such a hardy piece of outerwear, this bib is surprisingly breathable. Even during grueling climbs, overheating in the Beta SV is rare — an impressive characteristic for a waterproof bib.
Other notable features include adjustable suspenders, a hidden RECCO reflector, and reinforced instep patches to protect against damage from ski edges and crampons. A few more pockets would further improve these bibs, but for the right user, they’re tough to beat.
- Best for: Severe mountain conditions, resort, or backcountry
- Fit: Regular
- Waterproofing: 3-layer construction with GORE-TEX Pro membrane
- Pockets: 1 harness-friendly thigh pocket
- Ideal for wet and stormy conditions
- Top-notch waterproofing
- A bit overengineered for resort skiing
- Minimal pocket space
Most Versatile: Stio Environ Bib
From ski touring to park laps, the Stio Environ Bibs ($459) are simple and capable. All the modern hallmarks of quality bibs are built-in — fully sealed seams, 3-layer fabric, smooth, water-repellent zippers, and more. However, our favorite attribute of the Environ bibs is their top-notch versatility.
One standout feature of the Environ Bibs is the high-waisted elastic fit. This stretchy material around the midsection is supremely comfortable. It’s a feature that we expect from maternity pants more than ski bibs, but we absolutely love it on the Environ.
Large venting zippers along the outer legs allow for easy temperature regulation and sweat prevention. The reinforced inner-ankle adds durability while touring, and articulated knees won’t limit movement while hiking or shredding at high speed.
The styling is clean and understated. Stio describes the fit as “regular,” but we found the Environ to run just a tiny bit short for taller folks. Still, if you’re looking for a single pair of bibs that will support your varied winter interests, step into the Environ.
- Best for: Backcountry touring, mountaineering, resort skiing, and more!
- Fit: Regular
- Waterproofing: 3-layer Peakproof construction
- Pockets: 2 zippered hand pockets, 1 zippered thigh pocket
- Elastic waist is very comfortable
- Durable zippers
- Cut is a little short for tall folks
Best for the Backcountry: Outdoor Research Hemispheres II Bib
Since its release in 2018, the Outdoor Research Hemispheres Bib Pants ($629) have received widespread praise for their backcountry-leaning design. After putting the latest version to the test, we certainly agree. These bibs are excellent backcountry outerwear.
The standout feature of the Hemisphere bibs is the stretch. Backcountry skiing and riding require plentiful freedom of movement. In these bibs, we found we could easily bend over to adjust bindings or remove skins.
Whereas most snow pants feel restrictive when bending, these stretch with you. Best of all, they do this without sacrificing waterproof protection. The GORE-TEX fabric, taped seams, and weatherproof zippers seal out snow and slush.
Side zippers open up from waist to knee, allowing you to shed heat while skinning or on warm mountain days. Plus, there’s a specific pocket with a clip that lets you keep your avalanche beacon within a moment’s reach. If you’re looking for a hardshell bib that feels like a softshell, the Hemispheres II Bibs might be the best ski bibs for you.
- Best for: Backcountry touring
- Fit: Slim
- Waterproofing: 3-layer construction with GORE-TEX C-Knit membrane
- Pockets: 1 beacon pocket, 1 zippered bib pocket, 2 zippered hand pockets
- Impressive stretch for a GORE-TEX bib
- Excellent for the backcountry
- Slim fit won’t suit everyone
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Best for Inbounds: The North Face Freedom Bibs
For skiers and riders who prefer to stay within resort boundaries, The North Face Freedom Bibs ($199) offer high-end durability and performance for a great price. These bibs are well-constructed and stylish. Also available as pants, the Freedom Bibs are a comfortable, quality choice for skiers and riders of all levels.
On the weatherproofing front, these bibs boast The North Face’s DryVent membrane and feature a high cut that will keep powder out even on the deepest of days.
The fit of the Freedom Bibs allows for comfortable layering underneath, and the modern styling fits right in at the resort. Because these bibs lack stretch, they do feel mildly restrictive at times, meaning they aren’t ideal for backcountry skiing. We like the large side vents, which help regulate temperature on balmy days.
While these bibs won’t win any awards for high-end features or cutting-edge technology, they are fully deserving of a shout-out for their unbeatable value.
- Best for: Resort skiing and riding
- Fit: Regular
- Waterproofing: 2-layer construction with DryVent membrane
- Pockets: 1 hook-and-loop chest pocket, 2 zippered hand pockets, 2 hook-and-loop cargo pockets
- Good value
- Not ideal for hiking or skinning
Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon
Best of the Rest
Trew Trewth Bibs
Trew is a winter outerwear brand based in Portland, Oregon. In 2008, the brand released its first-ever product — the Trewth Bib ($439) — which continues to serve as Trew’s flagship model.
These durable bibs are made from bomber nylon that is reinforced in key wear areas. Like all high-end bibs, the Trewths come with a semi-breathable waterproof membrane.
Unlike most bibs, however, the Trewth breathes very well and remains comfortable even on strenuous hikes. If you do manage to overheat in these bibs, large side vents easily dump excess heat.
Our tester used the Trewths for resort skiing, split boarding, and backcountry snowmobiling, and they exceeded his expectations across the board. For such a relatively approachable price tag, these bibs offer more than their share of top-end quality.
- Best for: Resort and backcountry
- Fit: Regular
- Waterproofing: 3-layer construction with waterproof membrane
- Pockets: Transceiver pocket, zippered hand pockets, zippered chest pockets, large thigh cargo pockets
- Breaths well
- Some users report issues with sizing
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Flylow Gear Baker Bib
The Baker Bib ($430) from Flylow Gear is a good choice for bad weather. When the slush starts dumping and the wind starts whipping, these hardy bibs are the perfect go-to.
Like other shell bibs, the Baker does not come with any insulation. Still, the thick and stiff outer fabric, three-layer Intuitive membrane, and fully sealed seams provide exceptional weather protection. Combined with a warm pair of base layer bottoms, these bibs can go just about anywhere.
One of our testers has owned the Baker for 3 years. During that time, he has put them to the test while splitboarding, resort skiing, and backcountry snowmobiling. All the while, these bibs have held up without issue.
The front-and-center accent-colored kangaroo pocket may be a bit stylistically bold for some, but all in all, these are top-class snow bibs.
- Best for: Resort and backcountry
- Fit: Semi-loose fit
- Waterproofing: 3-layer construction with Intuitive membrane
- Pockets: 2 hand pockets, 1 rear, 1 thigh, 1 large kangaroo, 1 buttoned stow
- Heavy duty; ideal for bad weather
- Bold style won’t suit everyone
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Helly Hansen Odin Bib
The Helly Hansen Odin Bib ($500) is a burly piece of backcountry-leaning outerwear. Its three-layer construction provides ample protection from wind, and the solvent-free LIFA INFINITY membrane keeps wetness out.
Compared to a few other bibs on this list — such as the Outdoor Research Hemisphere II Bibs — the Odins are a bit on the thick and heavy side. In cold temps, this extra heft is welcome, but these bibs can become toasty on warm spring days. The dual-zippered vents provide good airflow when open.
We especially appreciate the pocket layout on these bibs. For backcountry purposes, the designated beacon pocket with an integrated D-ring is a nice touch.
To top it all off, Helly Hansen added a RECCO reflector in case you (or someone in your crew) find yourself in trouble.
- Best for: Backcountry skiing and riding, cold and windy conditions
- Fit: Slightly small
- Waterproofing: 3-layer construction LIFA INFINITY PRO membrane
- Pockets: 3 zippered thigh pockets, 1 beacon pocket with D-ring, 1 front pocket
- Perfect for cold conditions in the backcountry
- Thoughtful pocket layout
- A bit warm for late-season conditions
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Ski Bib Comparison Table
|Ski Bib||Price||Best for||Fit||Waterproofing||Pockets|
|Patagonia PowSlayer Bibs||$639||Backcountry touring and resort powder days||Regular||3-layer construction with GORE-TEX Pro membrane||2 hand pockets, 1 chest pocket, 1 back pocket|
|Arc’teryx Beta SV Bib||$575||Severe mountain conditions, resort, or backcountry||Regular||3-layer construction with GORE-TEX Pro membrane||1 harness-friendly thigh pocket|
|Stio Environ Bib||$459||Backcountry touring, mountaineering, resrt skiing||Regular||3-layer Peakproof construction||2 zippered hand pockets, 1 zippered thiogh pocket|
|Outdoor Research Hemispheres II Bib||$629||Backcountry touring||Slim||3-layer construction with GORE-TEX C-Knit membrane||1 beacon pocket, 1 zippered bib pocket, 2 zippered hand pockets|
|The North Face Freedom Bibs||$199||Resort skiing and riding||Regular||2-layer construction with DryVent membrane||1 hook-and-loop chest pocket, 2 zippered hand pockets, 2 hook-and-loop cargo pockets|
|REI Co-op First Chair GTX||$259||Resort and backcountry||Regular||2-layer construction with GORE-TEX membrane||Zippered chest pocket, 2 drop-in thigh pockets — 1 with a zipper, 1 with hook-and-loop closure|
|Trew Trewth Bibs||$439||Resort and backcountry||Regular||3-layer construction with waterproof membrane||Transceiver pocket, zippered hand pockets, zippered chest pockets, large thigh cargo pockets|
|Flylow Gear Baker Bib||$430||Resort and backcountry||Semi-loose fit||3-layer construction with Intuitive membrane||2 hand pockets, 1 rear, 1 thigh, 1 large kangaroo, 1 buttoned stow|
|Helly Hansen Odin Bib||$500||Backcountry skiing and riding, cold and windy conditions||Slightly small||3-layer construction LIFA INFINITY PRO membrane||3 zippered thigh pockets, 1 beacon pocket with D-ring, 1 front pocket|
Why You Should Trust Us
The GearJunkie team has tested a huge variety of bibs over many winters at the resort and in the backcountry. From icy midwestern slopes to deep Rocky Mountain pow, we’ve worn bibs just about everywhere. We polled our crew to determine their absolute favorite bibs and why.
We’ve used these bibs for skiing, snowboarding, backcountry snowmobiling, and sledding. These bibs have been carefully assessed for quality, value, and long-term durability.
Some of our editors have used their choice ski bib for many years with no signs of wear or a desire to switch. Beyond our team’s experience, we also considered the most popular, most durable, and bestselling bibs on the market as well as a broad range of price points and features.
We’re confident this list is comprised of the best ski bibs available today, and we’ll be sure to update the list as new models hit the market.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Ski Bibs
Now that we’ve covered the best ski bibs on the market in 2022-2023, keep the following considerations in mind when picking out the perfect product for you.
Resort vs. Backcountry
The ski resort is a relatively controlled environment. For the most part, a day of resort skiing involves riding a chairlift uphill, and descending on improved or semi-improved terrain.
In the backcountry, if you want to go down, you’ve got to go up — which usually means hiking or skinning through unimproved terrain. Also, backcountry skiing and riding tends to involve harsh weather conditions and deeper snowpack.
Many of the bibs on this list will function perfectly well in both resort and backcountry settings. However, this versatility often means that the bib is a jack of all trades — and a master of none. If you are looking for a bib that you will primarily use for one discipline over the other, you’ll want to buy one that’s purpose-built for your skiing style of choice.
Since resort skiing doesn’t require much uphill hiking, resort-style bibs tend to be less breathable than backcountry bibs. Also, resort-style bibs generally have pockets and storage options. Backcountry bibs will have accessible places to store key items such as an avalanche beacon and extra layers.
On this list, The North Face Freedom Bibs are perfect for resort skiing or riding. The Outdoor Research Hemisphere Bibs thrive in the backcountry.
Bib fit comes down to a matter of preference. Snowboarders tend to want more space in the butt due to continual bending over to deal with bindings. Skiers can rock anything from form-fitting, mountaineering-friendly options to baggier, more stylish kits.
Bibs that are too tight will chafe on the skin track. Most importantly, tapered, unobtrusive, reinforced cuffs will go a long way if you’re planning on wearing your bibs while using crampons. Voluminous pant legs are downright dangerous and will get torn to shreds by crampon spikes.
When shopping for backcountry outerwear, it’s best to avoid the blubber. Insulation is key to enjoying the backcountry — let alone surviving it — but relying on quality base layers and mid-layers is a much more versatile and preferable strategy than simply relying on thicker outerwear.
Be on the hunt for shell bibs or, if you’re touring in colder weather or operating on a budget, very lightly insulated bibs. Fully insulated bibs are best saved for resort or mechanically accessed backcountry days.
When you’re pushing hard on the skintrack, ventilation is critical. Look for bibs with ample ventilation — we’re talking gaping holes, not slits. While resort ski pants tend to have mesh shields to keep snow from invading vents, backcountry bibs will often zip completely open, offering better airflow. Generally speaking, you’re making use of your vents when you’re on the uphill anyway, so mesh isn’t all that necessary.
Pockets, cuffs, and vents — these are the ingredients that make bibs stand apart. A few of our favorite features are kangaroo-style pouches on the front chest, extra-long vents, durable cuffs, and transceiver-ready, reinforced pockets.
Bibs range from high-end options that are well over $500 to affordable pairs that are half the price. With bibs, you generally get what you pay for, and price variance generally reflects changes in material and craftsmanship.
For a premium permeability barrier like GORE-TEX, for instance, you’ll pay a pretty penny. Similarly, waterproof bibs fashioned from 45K materials will cost more than those made from 15K fabrics.
4 Reasons to Try Snow Bibs
If you’ve never skied in suspenders, here are four reasons to start.
Sure, shell jackets and insulated mid-layers have pockets, but they’re borderline useless when you’re flinging off layers on the uphill like a GORE-TEX-clad stripper.
Thanks to additional real estate on the chest, bibs tend to have more pockets than your average backcountry ski pants. And unless you’re experimenting with some seriously novel layering systems, you’ll never be taking off your bibs in the backcountry.
No Belt Needed
Belts are one thing when you’re skiing at the resort, but when you’re touring in the backcountry, they can be a literal pain in the ass. Ditch the belt and rely on suspenders for a more comfortable stride on the skintrack.
In the backcountry, you’re pretty much always wearing a backpack. This comes down to a matter of personal preference, but I’ve found that bibs are more compatible with fully loaded airbags than ski pants, as the hip belt of the pack can rub on the beltline and even cause your pants to sag.
Defense Against the Deep Stuff
This is the ultimate reason to go with bibs: no more powder creeping down your plumber’s crack. Forget a powder skirt — the upper section of your bibs will keep out unwanted snow whether you’re breaking trail through thigh-deep pow, digging a pit, or choking on face shots.
3 Pitfalls of Bibs
We’d be remiss not to mention a few downsides to rocking bibs.
Number Two Troubles
Going number two in the backcountry is an occupational hazard. Some bibs (those sans-drop-seat designs) make backcountry bowel movements trickier. You’ll probably have to take off your jacket in order to take a dump, and this is not exactly pleasant if the snow is also dumping.
Like sleeping bags and onesies, bibs trap gas. If you’re huffing it up the skin track and your stomach isn’t stoked, it’s not uncommon to get blasted with an unwanted whiff. Hot air rises, after all.
Weight & Volume
For pedantic gram counters, it’s worth noting that bibs have more material and therefore will weigh more and take up more space in your kit. If you’re on an international ski trip or a human-powered winter camping trip where every ounce and inch matters, this may be worth considering. For most, though, it’s a moot point.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Bib?
Ski bibs are like high-waisted ski pants that are suspended by the shoulders. Picture a pair of farmer’s overalls, but instead of denim, ski bibs are made of multilayered water-resistant nylon and technical materials.
Is It Better to Ski in Pants or Bibs?
Both options are great, and ultimately the bibs-versus-pants decision comes down to personal preference. If you plan to spend a lot of time skiing or riding in deep powder, bibs are your best bet. The extra-high waist keeps snow and moisture out, and the suspenders prevent them from sliding down or bunching up.
Ski pants have their benefits too. It’s easier to go to the bathroom in ski pants — especially in the backcountry. Also, pants tend to afford a bit more flexibility and breathability than bibs.
How Should a Ski Bib Fit?
Bib fit can generally be broken down into three categories: slim, regular, and loose. Each of these options has advantages and drawbacks. For example, slim bibs may fit your style preferences, but you might also struggle to fit warm layers underneath.
No matter how you choose to style your bibs, you’ll want to make sure they provide good protection from the elements. The bottom of your bib legs should cover your ankles, but they shouldn’t touch the ground.
The best ski bibs will also have good stretch in the waist and chest area. All the bibs we’ve reviewed here had an accurate fit and great adjustability in the suspenders/straps.
Are Bibs Good for Backcountry Skiing?
Yes. For many backcountry skiers, bibs are the preferred lower-body outerwear. Deep powder is common in the backcountry, and the high waistline of bibs provides an ideal snow and moisture barrier when you’re floating through the good stuff.
Though many skiers and riders prefer bibs in the backcountry, they do come with a few downsides. First, bibs can be very warm while hiking uphill. Be sure to find a pair that feature breathable materials and functional vents. Also, using the bathroom in the backcountry while wearing bibs can be tricky. Many bibs have built-in flaps to simplify the process.
Are Bibs Good for Snowboarding?
Yes. Bibs work well for both skiing and snowboarding.
Looking for women’s ski bibs? Check out our top picks here.
The Best Women's Ski Bibs of 2022-2023
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