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Are snow bibs better than snow pants?

Whether you’re heading out on the slopes or simply trying to get through winter in a snowy climate, you might wonder if snow pants or snow bibs are better.

Snow pants fit like regular pants, while snow bibs are more like overalls, extending partway over the torso and securing over the shoulders with straps. They might offer more coverage, but are snow bibs better than snow pants, or are they more inconvenient?

Snow bibs pros

These are some of the good things about snow bibs:

  • They can be more comfortable than snow pants. Assuming you’re wearing thermals and standard pants below your outer layer, snow bibs don’t put an extra layer of pressure on the waist. As such, many wearers find them more comfortable.
  • They often have more storage. Most bibs have large zippered front pockets for storage in addition to the side pockets you’d find on ski pants. This lets you carry more items more easily.
  • More of your body is covered. Bibs extend up your torso, offering an extra layer of insulation. Plus, this creates a greater overlap between them and your jacket, so snow is less likely to go down them than pants.
  • They stay put reliably. The shoulder straps mean they stay up more reliably, whereas snow pants can slip down if they’re even a little too large.

Snow bibs cons

  • Some wearers find them bulky. They cover more of your body, so some wearers find them annoyingly bulky.
  • They’re more challenging to put on and take off. If you’re stopping for a bathroom break, you’ll need to remove your jacket and undo the shoulder straps to pull them down, which can be a pain.

Snow pants pros

If you’re considering whether to buy snow pants, these are their main advantages:

  • Getting them on and off is easier. Snow pants have regular fly closures or elasticated waists, so they’re easy to get on and off for bathroom breaks or when getting dressed or undressed.
  • They feel less bulky. Because they don’t cover the torso, they feel less bulky than bibs.
  • You can choose from a greater range of insulation options. While bibs tend to be uninsulated shells or lightly insulated, you can find more options with ski pants. You can generally choose from everything from shells to highly padded pants.

Snow pants cons

Snow pants also have some drawbacks that might put you off:

  • There’s less overlap between pants and a jacket. This makes it more likely for snow to get down your pants or for there to be a gap when you raise your arms if your jacket is too short.
  • They have less storage space. There are fewer pockets in snow pants compared to snow bibs.

Are snow bibs better than snow pants?

Snow bibs have some advantages over snow pants, but they also have some drawbacks. It’s not a case of one type of garment being objectively better than the other; it just depends on your preferences. Consider the pros and cons of both snow pants and snow bibs, and you should be able to figure out which option is right for you.

Best snow pants and snow bibs

Arctix Women’s Sarah Fleece-Lined Softshell Snow Pants

Lined with fleece, these water-resistant pants are warm and practical for snowy weather. They’re available in tall, short and regular lengths and five colors.

Columbia Men’s Snow Gun Pants

With a waterproof shell and 60 grams of insulated lining, these pants keep wearers warm and dry and are perfect over thermals or regular pants. They come in sizes XS to XXL and have tabs on the waist to help get a better fit.

BenBoy Men’s Snow Ski Pants

These pants are practical and stylish with a slim fit design, waist tab and reinforced knees. They’re water-repellent and windproof with a fleece lining for warmth.

Burton Women’s Avalon Snow Bib

This high-end waterproof snow bib is perfect for serious skiers, snowboarders and lovers of other winter sports. It’s made from a breathable softshell fabric with a fleece backing for light insulation.

SkiGear Women’s Essential Insulated Bib Overalls

Rugged but not bulky, this affordable bib is perfect for casual use, keeping you warm and dry in moderate to low temperatures. The zippered side pockets are handy for storage, and the elasticated side gussets give you an excellent range of motion.

Arctix Men’s Avalanche Athletic Fit Snow Bib

Waterproof with 85 grams of insulation, this snow bib can stand up to all the winter conditions you throw at it. It’s easy to put on and take off, thanks to the front zipper, while the shoulder straps are easy to adjust to get a good fit.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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