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One of the most important considerations when taking part in any winter sports is your clothing. The right clothing will provide protection against the cold, whilst also keeping you warm and dry. And it should be comfortable enough to wear all day while you enjoy your day in the mountains. In this article we will look at ski bibs and ski pants, giving you information on the size and fit and tips on how to decide which is right for you.
When considering what items of clothing are suitable for you it‘s important to think about a few things:
The sports or pastimes you undertake.
The climate/weather you will typically be in.
The time you typically spend outside.
Your size and body type..
Whether it‘s for adults or children.
The other clothing you will be wearing.
Ski pants are trousers which offer limited coverage to the upper body. In order to get the best from ski pants, you need to ensure a good fit around the waist and that the leg length is adequate to protect your legs and ankles.
Ski bibs feature a bib similar to overalls, you can adjust them using straps and buckles for a secure fit. Because of their style, they offer more upper body protection and warmth.
Both will offer protection and warmth when worn with base (and mid) layers and your jacket. But ski pants and bibs fit and feel differently while offering either more or less coverage to the upper body.
Ski pants need to fit snuggly around your waist whilst still giving you room for fluid movements without restricting you. Ski bibs extend up beneath your jacket and can feel less restrictive than ski pants but on the flip side, this can make them bulkier. Because of the straps, you‘re unlikely to encounter any issues with your pants coming down! If you wear pants just ensure they are the correct size and fit well around your waist.
If you are purchasing for children, consider opting for ski bibs as you will get more wear from these as it’s simple to adjust the straps to cater for growth spurts between seasons.
Above all, your clothing needs to provide protection against the elements and keep you warm and dry. The weather can be unpredictable, so dressing with this in mind is essential. Both bibs and pants are made from waterproof, breathable material and this will offer good protection and warmth.
Because they cover more of your body, bibs provide more warmth so, if you plan to ski in extreme temperatures, these might be a good choice. However, if you feel hot while skiing ski pants might be a better option. But because pants have less coverage of your upper body, your choice of jacket and how you layer will be important to ensure you stay warm while you’re out on the slopes.
An important factor in deciding between the two styles is how much protection they offer from snow seepage. The snow beneath your clothes can soon lead to wetness and cold which can ruin a great day on the slopes or in more serious cases, lead to hypothermia. Because they cover more of the body ski bibs will offer more protection than pants. But if you wear layers and pay attention to ensure no skin exposure, both will offer good protection.
If you are buying for children, it might be worth looking at bibs as they offer more protection against snow getting beneath their clothing and making them cold which might force you off the slopes earlier than expected. But again with the correct layering and jackets, both will offer protection against the snow and elements.
Both bibs and pants are highly functional offering flexible and warm clothing designed for a variety of winter sports. But there are a few things to think about before you make the choice:
Ski pants are easier to get on and off as they perform just like your regular pants.
Ski bibs take more time to remove and this might be a pain after a while if you need to keep undoing and doing up the straps.
Younger children might find undoing the straps on bibs difficult without help.
Ski bibs offer more coverage of the upper body producing more warmth. This might be an advantage if you are out in extreme temperatures.
The extra coverage of a bib might be useful for children who are more likely to get snow beneath their clothes.
We all want to look good on the slopes and luckily today's ski wear producers provide us with a great choice of fabrics, designs and styles from which to choose. So, it shouldn't be too difficult to select a pair of ski pants or bibs that complements not only your other clothes but also your personal style. However, because pants are more popular than bibs, you’ll probably find more choice in pants than bibs.
Pros and Cons - Ski Bibs vs Ski Pants
Takes time to buckle and unbuckle the straps
Easier to get on and off
Provides partial upper body coverage
Limited coverage of upper body
Straps will prevent bibs from falling off even if the sizing is slightly off
May fall off if not the correct size and fit
More adaptable for growing children
Limited room for growth for children
The choice of winter sports clothing is crucial and just as important as your equipment. To have fun in the great outdoors whether skiing, hiking or your kids are building a snowman, choose the right clothing for the climate and you won’t go far wrong. Keep the kids wrapped up and ensure you’ve layered up with the right kit and you’ll be able to enjoy many hours of fun on the slopes. Whether you choose ski pants or pick a pair of ski bibs, choose the right size and fit for your sport and body type to ensure you are warm and dry.
For more information on choosing the right ski gear head up to the menu for our articles on clothing, kit and gear for all the family.