This is a simple but effective bib. It kept things simple with minimal extra pockets and features, yet it has a lightweight and stretchy material that allows for ease of movement. If you don't need a lot of fuss and want a reliable backcountry bib, this could be what you're looking for.
Patagonia SnowDrifter Bib - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Waterproof, breathable, RECCO
Cons: Small chest pocket, fit long
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We found the SnowDrifter Bib to be simple, yet effective in its design. It doesn't come with as many bells and whistles compared to some of the other pants tested, but its high scoring weather resistance and ventilation should make it a contender on any backcountry lady's list.
The SnowDrifer scored highly when it came to weather resistance, holding up to our shower test. For the shower test, we stood in the shower for two minutes while wearing the bib, focusing the water spray on zippers, vents, seams, and the material. We paid special attention to the upper material of the bib, which is constructed of a stretchier fabric blend that has a DWR coating. We experienced no leaking or seeping and were impressed by its endurance.
Fit and Comfort
While these bibs are comfortable due to their stretchy material, we found the fit to be a little off. The pants seemed long compared to others of its size, and we experienced bunching at the bottom. We did like the stretchy blended upper material, which felt less bulky than other options when under a jacket.
We loved the vents on this bib, which were strategically combined with the bib's dropseat. They span from the top of the drop seat all the way down to the knee, with a bottom and top zipper which allow for customization of the sizing. This is a clever design that maximizes the use of already existing zippers, allowing you to shed heat on your next uphill journey.
The bibs score low when it comes to warmth, due to the very nature of a shell. They are not meant to retain heat on their own, though they can be paired with a base layer for additional warmth. This could be a positive, especially for backcountry skiers. But, if you tend to run cold and do not like to layer underneath, you should explore a different option.
These bibs come with three pockets—two thigh and one chest pocket. The thigh pockets had plenty of room for us to stash a phone and wallet, and the chest pocket runs deep, but we did miss the presence of a kangaroo pocket for more sturdy upper body storage. That, however, is simply preference. The stretchy upper material may be more appealing, for some, that the stiffer upper material on some bibs.
These bibs come equipped with RECCO technology, which can be used by ski patrol crews to help locate someone if necessary (though please note, this is not in any way a replacement for a beacon).
While we love the color options these bibs come in, we wish it came in a larger variety. Its limited coloring and the brightness of the current color options means it is more limited in jacket pairings. The fit is a bit less flattering than other models we tested. Then again, this model isn't built for impressing anyone at a resort — the SnowDrifter would rather be touring.
Coming in at a mid-price range, these bibs would be a solid addition to one's ski pants quiver, especially for backcountry ski touring. While they do not have all of the bells and whistles that other pants may have, if you are looking to keep it simple while having premium waterproofing and ventilation, then these pants are worth considering.
A well-constructed bib that would excel in the backcountry, keeping you dry and comfortable.
— Sarah Sherman