Picture Organic Clothing Yakoumo Bib Review
Cons: Doesn't bead water very well, poor ventilation
Manufacturer: Picture Organic Clothing
Our Analysis and Test Results
In the metrics that really matter, the Yakoumo performs well, while some less important details might dissuade some users.
The primary reason skiers reach for bibs instead of traditional pants is weather protection. Bibs offer increased resistance to cold, wind, and snow by covering the torso with material that connects to the legs. The result, in this case, is good weather resistance through the torso, although there is a small opening at the top of the pants where the removable bibs also zip open or zip off the pant completely.
These pants feature a waterproof fabric, which performs well, although the DWR finish rubs off extremely quickly. In the shower test, one brush of the hand across the fabric was enough to remove the DWR, which resulted in the fabric wetting out immediately afterward. Although this water won't enter the pant through the waterproof shell, it makes the pant feel wet on the inside. Furthermore, only the critical seams are sealed, the cargo pocket closes with buttons only, and the two handwarmer pockets do not have waterproof zippers. As such, these bibs won't protect you in the wettest conditions.
Fit and Comfort
The Yakoumo Bib has a great fit. It is well-tailored through the hips and thighs and widens towards the boots. The bib is perfectly cut and features mesh stretch panels on each side. The suspender straps are soft and comfortable, with a low-profile plastic attachment point that doesn't feel uncomfortable under backpack straps. The fleece liner fabric in the pant section is very cozy and comfortable.
Most bibs don't ventilate very well, and this bib is no exception. The bib panel retains heat in the torso area, closing the traditional gap between upper and lower bodies. This is great for warmth and weather protection but limits ventilation. The fleece liner fabric also inhibits air movement throughout the legs. The main ventilation features are inner thigh leg vents, which are relatively short and mesh-backed. They don't provide much airflow. The bib component is removable, and in the pant-only configuration, this piece is a little more breathable. We wouldn't recommend this bib for anyone who does a lot of inbounds hiking.
Warmth is a strong suit for the Yakoumo Bib. This is provided mainly by a snug fit in the waist and thigh, and a hanging fleece liner throughout the pant that is comfortable and cozy. The removable bib also keeps the torso warm, which is where our bodies really feel "hot" or "cold." This bib is warmer than most other pants in our review, but it might be too warm for some fair-weather ski destinations like Lake Tahoe. Certainly, the fleece lining is comfortable enough to wear against bare skin, meaning you can leave the long underwear at home on warmer days.
The Yakoumo has a good lineup of features. There are two handwarmer pockets, each with a fleece lining, and one thigh cargo pocket. There is also a button-closure pocket on the bib, and the whole bib is removable, which means these also can be worn as traditional ski pants.
One unique feature about these bibs is a drawstring in each handwarmer pocket that can pull up the rear fabric of the pant cuffs. This is a great feature that adds longevity to the pants because the cuff fabric won't be scraping along the ground as you walk. This is especially useful any time you are walking on the sidewalk, shuffling on and off shuttle buses, or driving.
The Yakoumo Bib is fairly stylish, with a trim cut through the waist and thighs that bell bottoms out towards the boots. We like this slim (but not tight) fit, which reflects the overall style trend in modern ski outerwear. The design is reminiscent of work pants, worn by many locals in ski towns worldwide while they're not on the slopes.
These bibs also double as ski pants, because the bib component is easily removable. The construction is burly, and these pants will last a while. The only big downside to the value of these pants is the fragile DWR finish, which will wear off quickly. This can make a pair of ski pants feel cheap. Overall, they offer good, but not great, value.
Overall, the Picture Organic Clothing Yakoumo Bib is a solid piece of ski outerwear that will protect you in most conditions. The weather resistance and ventilation could be better, but the style, features, warmth, and comfort are all fantastic. As such, these bibs will appeal to a large segment of the ski population, and we would recommend them for all but the most hardcore skiers and riders.
— Jeff Dobronyi