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  Pant / Bib Features to Consider  
 
  • Pants - In general pants are less warm than bibs and offer greater opportunity for snow infiltration into your layering system but were they're lacking in warmth they dramatically gain in mobility and flexibility. They also make bathroom visits easier.
    • Cuffs - Need to be elastic and snug fitting but also fit over your boots.
    • Gor-Tex Material - A smooth finish will shed water and snow the best, but you may prefer a rough material to help slow down a fall on steep terrain.
    • Insulated - These are warmer, bulkier, and offer less mobility than uninsulated pants. However the extra padding can be nice in a fall.
    • Pockets - Are not a necessity in pants and often can result in lost items.
    • Reinforcing - It's important that the wear areas such as the behind, knees, and lower inner cuffs, be reinforced with a patch of tough material like ?Cordura? this will dramatically increase the life of the garment.
    • Uninsulated - These are lighter, more versatile, and more mobile than insulated pants. If you are too warm or too cold, one can always add or remove a fleece undergarment very easy.
    • Zippers - Pants with a full length zippers and Velcro flaps offer you the most flexibility. It's easier and faster to put your pants on after your boots and vise versa, especially if you forget to put them on in the first place. If opting for a short cuff zipper you should make sure you can pull the pants on over your boots easily, and that the cuff is ample to fully zip down over boots snugly.
  • Bibs - In general bibs are warmer (often too warm) than pants and offer less opportunity for snow infiltration into your layering system, but come with increased bulkiness (padding in a crash situation) and decreased mobility. They also can make bathroom visits more difficult.
    • Cuffs - Need to be elastic and snug fitting but also fit over your boots.
    • Gor-Tex Material - A smooth finish will shed water and snow the best, but you may prefer a rough material to help slow down a fall on steep terrain.
    • Insulation - Not all insulation is created equal. Thinsulate is one of the best, it's thin and warm.
      • Most bibs are insulated.
      • Insulation makes your garment warmer (often too warm for conditions), bulkier, and offers less mobility than uninsulated pants. However the extra padding can be nice in a fall.
    • Pockets - Chest pockets with secure zipper and Velcro flap on bibs can be a good place to store those important items such as car key and or wallet that won't be needed much during the day. Hip or back pockets can result in lost items and are not recommended.
    • Reinforcing - It's important that the wear areas such as the behind, knees, and lower inner cuffs, be reinforced with a patch of tough wear resistant material, this will dramatically increase the life of the garment.
    • Shoulder Straps - These need to be adjustable and should have quick releases on them, it can make bathroom visits easier and faster. An elastic portion in the straps can increase comfort and mobility.
    • Zippers - Bibs with a full length leg zippers and Velcro flaps offer you the most flexibility. It's easier and faster to put your bibs on after your boots and vise versa, especially if you forget to put them on in the first place. If opting for a short cuff zipper you should make sure you can pull the pants on over your boots easily, and that the cuff is ample to fully zip down over boots snugly.

Also See:
Features to consider in a jacket
Gor-Tex the wonder material

 
 
 
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