Once you feel the freedom of the drop-seat winter bib, it’s hard to go back to traditional ski pants. Here are our picks for the best women’s ski bibs of the season.
Women’s ski bibs have been around for a few years. In 2016, Flylow’s wildly popular high-chested, rear-drop technical bib was a huge seller. It topped the brand’s direct sales of all products immediately after launch. And the demand for women’s ski bibs remains strong.
They’re not just convenient; they’re also functional, comfy, and capable. Clever rear access, a multitude of pockets, better coverage for pow days, and easy layering — these are just a few benefits of these best women’s ski bibs.
This list covers bibs, and you can also check out our best women’s ski pants review for other snow pant options. And to learn more about bib designs and selection, scroll to the bottom of the page to read our buyer’s guide.
The Best Women’s Ski Bibs of 2022
Best Overall: Flylow Foxy Bib
The women’s Foxy Bib by Flylow ($420) is the OG. You can’t go wrong here. These high-chested, streamlined bibs are downright flattering.
Several of our female staff, and our editor’s wife, have worn these in all conditions. And while she beams about the technical features for backcountry ski endeavors, she said the compliments she gets on these bibs are almost as good as how well they move with her when she rips in them. (She’s 5’9″ tall and wears a size large.)
Here’s what else you’ll love — long thigh vents so you don’t overheat and a roomy kangaroo pocket for easy access to snacks (practically at your chin). They have a side zipper and stretch that lets the bottom drop easily when nature calls.
Beware here — and with any bib, really — of the midsection fit. Check out the reviews on the Foxy. Most are positive, with some women scouring the country to find a pair of these popular pants. But a few mention the sizing chart being off from, say, fitting for jeans.
Runner-Up: Trew Chariot Bib
Last year, Trew completely overhauled the original Chariot ($439) with insight from a new lead female designer, Brittany Crook. She clearly knows women’s bodies. The Chariot’s rear-end zip curves hip to hip, providing enough room to pull those skivvies down and do your business, either in the backcountry or the bathroom.
The Trew Chariot is not insulated and uses an incredibly effective performance fabric called Dermizax. It competes with the best GORE-TEX for storm protection, but it breathes exceptionally well for sweaty backcountry efforts.
These bibs delivered excellent protection from the cold and wet recently while one of our editors worked for a half-hour to dig herself and my family out of 3 feet of powder at Wolf Creek Ski Area. While you will need a solid base layer under these bibs for winter outings, the fabric and carefully placed leg vents mean the Chariot will ride comfortably into spring conditions.
With no waistband to deal with, she could let it all hang out and find the wiggle room to get low on her snowboard for carving tighter turns. Plus, there were two perfectly accessible mini pockets in the chest. Having her lip balm handy was a joy.
As a storage hound, she was pleasantly surprised to find two streamlined leg pockets, cleverly placed so as to not add girth, and an accessible Velcro compartment on top of one zippered pocket. (She used the zip one to secure her RFID season pass and the Velcro one for some quick cash, goggle lens wiper, or flat snacks.)
The only drawback with this bib was strap slippage. A single front tab secures rubber-backed straps at the right length. She liked that feature and the minimalist look of the strapping system, but the grip wasn’t enough to secure the straps over time.
So, the bibs did loosen up, eventually leading to a baggy look that she wasn’t going for. That said, the Chariot Bib is one of our new favorite snowboard pieces.
Most Versatile: Outdoor Research Carbide Bib
New for the 2021-2022 season, Outdoor Research’s Carbide Bib ($299) was made in collaboration with Arcade Belts. The suspenders have Arcade’s durable stretch webbing and artwork by a group of artists from Roots Studio.
Aside from the design, the Carbide bibs are made with a three-layer, waterproof-breathable Pertex Shield shell nylon fabric. These bibs also feature a 40-denier tricot knit backer and tough 420-denier scuff guards.
This bib won us over as soon as we tried it on. It fit well, felt lightweight yet kept us warm on a few sub-10-degree days, and works great for both resort and backcountry skiing.
The straps and buckles lay flat and are easy to adjust. The bib has a dedicated beacon pocket with a clip, a large top stash pocket on the chest, and internal gaiters with PowerStrap slots.
For backcountry travelers, the Carbide bib has zippered venting on both sides and a full-length zipper on the right side of the bib for easy bathroom access. It also has two side-access thigh pockets. We really loved the placement of the venting and its ability to adapt to different conditions on the mountain.
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Most Durable: Ortovox 3L Deep Shell Bib
Introducing the brand’s first-ever women’s bib, Ortovox launched the 3L Deep Shell Bib Pants ($600) for the 2021-2022 season, which quickly became one of our favorite technical bibs for backcountry missions as well as days at the resort. The price is steeper than most other options on our list — and the garment’s quality and ease of movement deliver.
Despite us wearing these bibs while loading and driving snowmobiles and ski mountaineering, they have yet to show any wear. Ortovox also prioritizes sustainable design, from PFC-free to certified climate neutral, ensuring a lower footprint on the planet.
In wet or blizzard conditions and on powder days, the 100% windproof and 20,000mm waterproof fabric is a barricade against the elements. Based in Germany, Ortovox has specialized in manufacturing high-end wool-based apparel for alpinists since 1988. Each product integrates Swiss wool from the Swiss Alps or Tasmanian merino wool, providing warmth and odor management.
The merino wool featured in these bibs added warmth against biting wind, especially while sweating on the skin track, yet breathability to dump heat on ascents. There are generous vents on each leg, too.
On the ski lift during snowstorms, the material didn’t get soaked. We were able to spend all day outside in the snow — shoveling, snowmobiling, and splitboarding or skiing — without the bibs getting soggy.
To protect the hems, a generous Dyneema-CORDURA fabric wraps around each ankle area and reaches 11 inches high on the interior side, keeping the pants from getting ripped during kick turns on the skin track or while booting with crampons on.
We love the deep, wide pockets — two on the thighs, on the hip, and across the chest — that can fit our large phone or a backcountry field book and the strong, easy-to-glide, waterproof zippers.
With double-sided, extended zipper access, the drop seat is unique. The long, two-way zippers on each side are set slightly back for ease of opening the drop seat from the left or right. The zipper reaches from the upper half of the back all the way to above the knee, making a huge section of fabric easy to grab and pull to the side.
Best Budget Bib: Dakine Brentwood Bib
You can’t go wrong with the affordable price point and workwear look of these women’s coveralls by Dakine. The Brentwood Bib ($250) is tailored in the right places, but it still has some utilitarian knee patches that complement this feminine look, especially in the amethyst color.
These waterproof, high-cut women’s ski pants have only two layers. Unlike many of the premium three-layer outerwear constructions above, these come with something those shell-style pants don’t: a cozy fleece lining. Don’t worry: The fleece won’t lead to overheating thanks to its built-in leg vents.
Overall, the Brentwood is a solid, stylish option for testing a new foray into the world of women’s bibs, especially for those who stick to resort and side-country skiing.
Best Low-Rise Bib: Stio Environ Bib
While our editors appreciated the extra protection up top, not all women are sold on a chest-high bib like the Chariot. Some prefer a lower-profile suspender pant that still hits well above the belly.
Stio’s Environ Bib ($449) is a great choice for this cut. The athletic bib designed for women still lets you drop trou, just without the big zip in back. Instead, side zips provide adequate access, and the straps are easily adjustable.
Stio makes this mini-bib ski pant with high-end waterproof-breathable materials throughout. Tough CORDURA kick patches ensure that your leg cuffs won’t fray too soon, and there are plenty of conveniently placed pockets. Plus, articulated knees mean you can actually move in these bottoms.
Best of the Rest
These bibs are on the upper price tier, and while we have only been testing the Norrona Tamok GORE-TEX Pro Bib ($579) for a few weeks, we’ve been avidly wearing Norrona mountain bike shorts for bikepacking and long alpine rides. And they have yet to beat the dust. If that’s any measure of durability, we’re confident this build will live up to its impression.
The 200-denier recycled GORE-TEX Pro fabric feels supple and light when you pull on the bibs. The design is flattering and simple.
We give a big nod to the slightly wider lower leg, which allows a nice slide over our backcountry snowboard boots, especially those with a double BOA, without being noticeably spacious over ski boots.
They nailed the fit, which is key for boot adjustments on the fly. The lower legs are also reinforced with Vectran, a robust multifilament yarn, for protection against snags.
The two deep thigh pockets are well-designed. The wide chest pocket is not very deep but features two interior small mesh pockets, and there’s a fourth pocket with a snap closure that’s a tad awkward to open. The suspenders are not easy to adjust, so be sure to dial in the fit before you head out.
OK, these are pricey. But as you know by now, most Patagonia outerwear lives up to its sticker price. You could get a remarkable amount of seasons out of one pair of these performance PowSlayer bibs ($599).
And maybe that’s the point of Patagonia only making these in two tame colors — black and cargo green. They’re a classic get’r done option.
The PowSlayer women’s bib is definitely a more generous cut than any other bib covered here. But for primarily backcountry skiers or women with more athletic builds, these will be incredibly comfortable and functional.
The recycled outer textile is a respectable thing to pay for, too. These bibs also have a clever drop-seat configuration. And for extra protection, a yoke loop attaches to the powder skirt on a Patagonia jacket.
Somewhere between a bib and a high-waisted pant, this three-layer shell bib is made for backcountry touring. But, it works great for almost any winter pursuit. Get dressed quickly and have all the features you need for a full day in the backcountry.
We love the feel and the weight (on the slightly heavier side, but superb protection from wind) of the Odin Bib ($475), as well as its myriad pockets. This bib has a D-ring clip for your beacon in the bib pocket and a lower thigh pocket as well. It also has a whole other thigh pocket and hip pocket for stashing everything else.
Similar to the Patagonia PowSlayer, this bib is an investment. But, for the high price tag, you are getting a high-quality and highly durable shell.
This bib has a 20,000mm water column rating, double-zippered vents on the legs, and full-drop seat access. With a low-profile fit, this bib is great for those who might easily overheat. It’s also a great choice for snowshoeing (when you might not want full upper coverage).
We also love the Odin Bib’s unique upper softshell construction, which the brand claims was inspired by yoga pants for extra comfort. Whether you are tall, thin, curvy, or petite, these bibs will work. Reviewers loved that the fit is both flattering and accurate, although some found the suspenders to be finicky to adjust.
To top it all off, Helly Hansen added a RECCO reflector in case you or someone in your crew finds yourself in trouble.
New for the 2022 season and almost an inverse of our low-rise bib pick is the high-waisted Notchtop Bib pant ($374) from Backcountry. This bib has a ton going for it, and the only reason we didn’t rank it higher is because of the style (where this bib’s waist falls and the coverage can be a hit or miss depending on your body type). That being said, it’s a great-quality bib.
The Notchtop has a three-layer GORE-TEX laminate membrane, GORE C-Knit nylon backing, and Kevlar kick guards. Plus long side zips for venting and drop pant access and tons of pockets (two with a strap to secure your beacon, if you prefer to wear it in your bibs). For backcountry use and uphill laps at the resort, this bib functioned great.
The Notchtop also has fully sealed seams and two-way zips for venting. We liked that the straps were easy to adjust, how they laid flat, and how they felt under a pack.
But some women with bigger chests may not like how the straps and the high waist feel. Luckily, the fabric is super stretchy, especially at the waistline, and we found the bib to be pretty comfortable overall.
Volcom dropped the mic with the easiest drop-seat design we’ve seen yet. Volcom’s Elm Gore Bib ($360) doesn’t rely on side buttons or dual-side zippers, but rather a swooping flap that unzips across your backside. If you’ve ever been hesitant about the logistics of spending all day in a bib, this one will ease your fears.
Volcom’s Elm Gore is a two-layer fabric, fully seam-sealed, with YKK AquaGuard waterproof zippers. Its higher-coverage design keeps all that powder out, and it’s made with GORE-TEX’s Stretch membrane for ultimate comfort.
The bib also has a mesh lining for breathability and a DWR coating for extra waterproofness. It features a RECCO reflector if you get caught in a slide.
We like Volcom’s addition of two chest pockets and two thigh pockets, as well as the roominess and flexibility provided by this bib’s fit. While it didn’t win our overall vote, this bib is a great choice for either resort or backcountry skiing.
The Black Magic Bib by 686 ($250) is an online bestseller, and for good reason. It ticks all the basic boxes and does its job in the cold.
This bib has a two-layer fabric with a DWR coating and the brand’s infiDRY 10K waterproofing fabric construction. The knees and seat are insulated for extra warmth, and the legs are vented with YKK zippers and a mesh lining.
These bibs have a definite resort focus. Features include a lift ticket eyelet on the belt loop, critically taped seams, and a generously sized upper bib Velcro flap pocket.
While not quite performance-oriented, this bib is comfortable and comes with all the essentials (boot gaiters, adjustable straps, zippered hand pockets, and side zip access). It also has a pretty reasonable price at just $250.
If you don’t get out on the snow very often or if you ski mainly at resorts — and you like a slimmer, tailored fit — this might be the bib for you. Our only big con? It runs a little small and isn’t very breathable.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Women’s Ski Bibs
Whether skiing or snowboarding, having a pair of comfortable, hardworking snow pants is essential. Here are a few tips for finding the best ski bibs.
Skiing vs. Snowboarding
Chances are, if you’re looking for a pair of bibs to wear snowboarding or skiing, they will be much different from a snowshoeing pant. Take a minute to think about your winter activities.
Do you want to prioritize a stretchier fabric, or a more beefy shell? Are you looking for something with more coverage? Do you frequent the backcountry or resorts? Lots of brands add venting to bibs (just like ski pants) so you can release some heat when, say, boot-packing uphill.
For skiers versus snowboarders who use a slightly different range of motion on the mountain, some bibs may work better than others. For snowboarders, we’d recommend our overall pick, the Flylow Foxy Bib, or our most durable pick, the Ortovox 3L Deep Shell Bib. That being said, bibs are versatile to begin with, and as long as it fits your body well, it should work for either activity.
Type of Fit
Do you prefer a relaxed or more athletic fit? This is mainly preference, but it’s important to note that sizing sometimes differs depending on the pant’s fit.
If you want an unencumbered range of motion, go with a relaxed fit. And if you run cold and wear more or thicker layers, consider an insulated pant or going up a size.
Fabrics, Shells, GORE-TEX, & More
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.
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 and move on. 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).
Every pant has different features, but we have two must-haves for ski bibs. They need to have internal gaiters that secure well over boots (gaiters with boot adjustment access is a plus) and useful pockets. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. That inch-wide chapstick pocket just doesn’t cut it.
Thigh pockets are especially great if you don’t like pocket items (like a cellphone or beacon) bunching up near your hips. Another important feature to consider getting in your pant is a RECCO reflector for safety in avalanche terrain.
What Is RECCO?
RECCO is an avalanche safety system used by ski teams and rescue professionals to help find people trapped in an avalanche. The first part of the system is a reflector sewn into outerwear apparel to help a buried skier be detected in the event of an avalanche.
A RECCO reflector doesn’t transmit any signals or need any batteries, but it’s great to have in an emergency. A RECCO detector transmits an active signal, with a range up to 120 m through the air and 10 to 20 m through snow.
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 pant that will ultimately perform better and last longer on the mountain.
Are Bibs Better for Skiing?
Bibs are great at one thing pants just can’t do: keeping snow and moisture out from your waist up. With better protection and better adjustability than pants, bibs are a great investment for those who ski or snowboard a lot in a variety of conditions.
They’re also great for those looking for more coverage or more features. (Bibs usually have more pockets!)
How Should a Ski Bib Fit?
A ski pant 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 adjusts up top.
The best bibs will also have good stretch in the waist/chest area. All the bibs we’ve reviewed here had an accurate fit and great adjustability in the suspenders/straps.
What Do You Wear With a Ski Bib?
Just like wearing a jacket and snow pants, you’ll want to layer clothing underneath a bib. If it’s warmer weather, some can get away with just a base layer or a light fleece.
On heavy snow days, or depending on the cold, you may want to add a puffy or midlayer too. We recommend trying on a bib with your most-used layers before purchasing if possible.
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