Hands-on Gear Review

Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib Review

Top Pick Award
Price:  $525 List
Pros:  Highly waterproof, Great ventilation, Bibs provide extra warmth
Cons:  Expensive, Not as warm, Not as ideal for resort use
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx

Our Verdict

Product Discontinued
Arc'Teryx has removed the Sentinel Full Bib from their ski pants line-up. However, the Arcteryx Sentinel Pant is still being produced, if you prefer the regular pant version. See our other favorite women's ski pants here.

An extremely high-performing piece of clothing, the Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib easily took home our Top Pick for Technical Ski Pant. This single wall pant, which features a waterproof GORE-TEX membrane is ideal for outdoor adventurers who have very high expectations for their gear. Thanks to its breathable three-layer construction, the Sentinel Bib offers the perfect balance of water protection, ventilation, and durability.

Throughout our testing process, we used the Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib at the resort, during long days of ski race coaching, and, of course, in the backcountry. Overall, our testers appreciated this product's weatherproof qualities, warmth, and style on both wet chairlifts and windy backcountry ridges. Although it's the most expensive of the bunch at over $500, our testers agreed that this piece is hands down the best of the bunch if you're planning to head out-of-bounds. Plus, in addition to its many technical benefits, the Sentinel Bib is comfortable and stylish, and will last for seasons to come. If, on the other hand, you mainly shred the resort, we found our other award winners, the Marmot Freerider and The North Face Freedom LRBC were a bit better suited to the resort setting.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Alexis McLean & Amanda Fenn

Last Updated:
Tuesday
May 6, 2014

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The Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib is a specialized technical garment that is ideal for avid backcountry skiers, professional guides, ski industry professionals, or those who just expect the best from their gear. This uninsulated ski pant is well-crafted and would also serve users in resort settings; however, some of the other models we tested are less expensive and more resort-specific, so if you tend to stick with the lift, you may want to check out the Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle or our Editors' Choice winner, the Marmot Women's Freerider.

Performance Comparison



Ripping powder in the Arc'teryx Sentinel Bibs  our testers approve of the comfort and technical qualities of this pant. This garment is designed for all weather conditions and is ideal for backcountry enthusiasts and ski industry professionals.
Ripping powder in the Arc'teryx Sentinel Bibs, our testers approve of the comfort and technical qualities of this pant. This garment is designed for all weather conditions and is ideal for backcountry enthusiasts and ski industry professionals.

Comfort & Fit


In this review, we found the bib style ski pant to be the most versatile fitting pant. We tested a size medium which fit 6 out of 7 testers. On our 5'4" tester, the pants were too long even with the adjustable suspenders tight. A size small would fit a person of her size more appropriately. Generally, though, this pant fit true to size. The Arc'teryx website also has a feature called "Find Your True Fit" located just below the drop-down tab where you choose your size and color of each product. It calculates your size after you enter your height and weight, and creates a "true fit profile" account which you can return to with future purchases.

The Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib uses three-layer fabric construction, which we originally thought would make this pant less comfortable. (A reminder that in three-layer construction, the shell, waterproof membrane, and inner lining are laminated into one single wall piece of material.) Although the fabric has a slightly stiffer feel, this lightweight material moved well with the body and the inside is lined with microfleece. The thin, single wall construction quality actually made this pant much easier to take on and off. At this point, you may be grimacing…stiff and thin? However, this ski pant is just stiff enough to dress with ease and thin enough to be very comfortable while being extremely weatherproof and durable. The light quality of the Sentinel bib was a gift while hiking thousands of feet in the backcountry. Overall, our testers loved the fit and feel of these bibs.

Lindsey  5'8" and size 4-6 wears the size medium test piece well. This pant fits true to size in general  although runs large for shorter people.
Lindsey, 5'8" and size 4-6 wears the size medium test piece well. This pant fits true to size in general, although runs large for shorter people.

Weather Resistance


Because the Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib uses three layer construction, this pant is durable, waterproof, and breathable. In fact, thanks to its GORE-TEX membrane, it was the most waterproof of any piece in our review. During our shower drenching test, this ski pant shed water like a dream and its ultra sealed seams and zippers kept us almost completely dry. The one weakness that we found was the millimeter-wide point where the two-way zippers on the vents don't quite seal shut. This let in a tiny bit of water during our drench test, but generally we think it's not that huge of a deal.

In comparison to many of the other pieces in this review that are waterproofed using a DWR laminate, the GORE-TEX Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib will remain waterproof over the long-haul. Additionally, thanks to the tiny pores that draw sweat vapors away from the body, this technology offers significantly more breathability than pieces coated with DWR finishes. During backcountry tours or while working up a sweat in any outdoor scenario, you need a piece that will breathe while protecting you from outer moisture and wind. The Sentinel bib exemplifies just that, a perfect balance of weather resistance and breathability. Although the GORE-TEX materials are part of what make this product so expensive, they are also a key part of why we gave this piece our Top Pick for Technical Ski Pant. In fact, the only other model in our review that also uses GORE-TEX technology is the Marmot Women's Freerider, our Editors' Choice winner.

Water beads off GORE-TEX near a WaterTight zipper (which are water resistant  not waterproof) and sealed seam. This pant is carefully constructed and held up to the most intense of weather conditions.
Water beads off GORE-TEX near a WaterTight zipper (which are water resistant, not waterproof) and sealed seam. This pant is carefully constructed and held up to the most intense of weather conditions.

Warmth


Even though this ski pant is uninsulated, we were surprised at how much heat it trapped. Although these bibs earned the lowest warmth scores on our metrics, their single wall construction make them super easy to layer underneath according to conditions. Moreover, the bib design rises to cover the mid-section, and helps keep the torso toasty. The Sentinel Bibs are lined with a light fleece, which offers warmth and softness, while the outer layer withstood rain, snow, cold, and wind both in the backcountry and at the resort.

Another factor that positively affected our warmth score was this product's ventilation and breathability. Many garments made with GORE-TEX have the perfect balance between waterproofing and breathability and the Arc'teryx Sentinel Bib proved the same. Limited breathability and ventilation can create a layer of moisture between your body and the shell during exertion, meaning that once you stop moving, your sweaty layers will quickly get cold. If your winter activity is riding lifts and apr├Ęs ski, then breathability is not a real necessity and you may want to look for a combination of weatherproofing and warmth.


Bib style pants help regulate core temperature. During a transition in the backcountry  between ascent and descent  a skier must maintain warmth  especially in remote locations.
Bib style pants help regulate core temperature. During a transition in the backcountry, between ascent and descent, a skier must maintain warmth, especially in remote locations.

Features


This bib-style piece has cross back adjustable suspenders and a full front bib fitted with two super useful zippered chest pockets. It also has two huge zippered hand/cargo pockets placed a bit lower on the thigh. These are lined with fleece and are fully seam sealed. Although some bibs can pose a challenge when using the restroom, Arc'teryx designed this ski pant with a long zipper down the left-hand side. Simply reach up under your coat, pull the zipper all the way down and you can pull the seat of the pant to the side and use the restroom.

This product also features powder gaiters, reinforced instep guards, and a hidden Recco reflector. Generally speaking, the Sentinel Bib is a fairly streamlined and minimal piece of gear but has well-designed technical trappings right where you need them. The Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle is the only other piece we tested with the Recco Rescue System installed. This device is no larger than a pen cap and embedded in the fabric of both pairs of pants.

A reinforcement patch is one of many features on the Sentinel pant. Additionally  cross back suspenders  a variety of pockets  and versatile venting system are elements that offer ease during long work days or extended excursions to remote locations.
A reinforcement patch is one of many features on the Sentinel pant. Additionally, cross back suspenders, a variety of pockets, and versatile venting system are elements that offer ease during long work days or extended excursions to remote locations.

Ventilation



The Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib is designed with versatile venting options. Although it does not have interior thigh vents, our testers appreciated its outer thigh vents. While in the backcountry, they deemed them more effective in letting out built up heat from hiking. Both vents are fitted with two-way zippers, meaning that they can be zipped from top or bottom, allowing you to customize the length and location of your vent. The right hand vent runs from the knee to hipbone, while the other spans the distance from the knee to midribs. Both vents can be slightly or fully open depending on the amount of relief that is needed.

Shane demonstrates the variety of vents that are possible with this pant. A full zipper on one side (also ideal for potty breaks) and half on the other  provide effective and rapid relief when working up a sweat.
Shane demonstrates the variety of vents that are possible with this pant. A full zipper on one side (also ideal for potty breaks) and half on the other, provide effective and rapid relief when working up a sweat.

Style


Bibs have the potential to look frumpy, but the relaxed fit and classy design of this garment makes for a surprisingly stylish look. Arc'teryx is known within the outdoor industry for its awesome colors, and the Sentinel Bib is no exception. We tested the reddish Dragon Fruit color (which our testers loved), but this piece also comes in black and Curacao Blue.

Offering a timeless look  these Arc'teryx bibs will keep up with changing styles for the many seasons for which it is designed to last.
Offering a timeless look, these Arc'teryx bibs will keep up with changing styles for the many seasons for which it is designed to last.

Best Application


The Arc'teryx Sentinel Full Bib is ideal for dedicated backcountry enthusiasts and ski industry professionals looking for a pant that will withstand all weather conditions and last for many seasons of intense use.

Testing for usability with a backcountry beacon  the bibs caused no interference with the multitude of straps. Alexis demonstrates the ease of use with layers and the bib design.
Testing for usability with a backcountry beacon, the bibs caused no interference with the multitude of straps. Alexis demonstrates the ease of use with layers and the bib design.

Value


Our most expensive pant, this item is worth the investment if you expect a lot of your gear. With quality weatherproofing, a practical lifetime warranty, great fit, high level of comfort, and well designed features, it was easy to give the Arc'teryx Sentinel Bib our Top Pick Award for Technical Ski Pant. Ideal for mountain adventurers and ski professionals, this pant will be your go-to gear for season after season of long days of deep powder in high mountain settings. Can't justify spending more than $500? Consider the pant version instead of the bibs. These run about $75 cheaper.

If you are looking for an uninsulated pant, but the cost of the Sentinel is prohibitive, try looking at the other end of the spectrum to our Best Buy award winner, The North Face Freedom LRBC. While this pant is not at all in the same technical class as the bibs, it is still a solid garment at a killer price.

Adept at skiing trees  Kerry hits fresh powder after a long hike. These bibs are versatile in their venting system and warmth. Although they are the most expensive product in this review  these bibs are well worth the investment.
Adept at skiing trees, Kerry hits fresh powder after a long hike. These bibs are versatile in their venting system and warmth. Although they are the most expensive product in this review, these bibs are well worth the investment.

Conclusion


This well-crafted garment proved to be the perfect pant for long days of remote exploration in the backcountry. With ingenious weatherproofing, a flexible and easily accessible ventilation system, and plenty of mobility and comfort, this technical pant will serve as a main amenity in any kind of weather or adventure. Arc'teryx constructs its gear with precise design and craftsmanship, our Top Pick award winner is a quality product and our testers agree that it won't let you down.

Designed to protect skiers in variable conditions while being comfortable and flexible with movement  our tester finishes a telemark turn with ease while wearing the Arc'teryx Sentinel pant.
Designed to protect skiers in variable conditions while being comfortable and flexible with movement, our tester finishes a telemark turn with ease while wearing the Arc'teryx Sentinel pant.

Alexis McLean & Amanda Fenn


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