The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Salomon Chill Out Bib Review

European-styled insulated ski pants for casual or fair weather ski usage.
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Price:  $275 List | $172.88 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Stylish, insulated, soft and stretchy feel
Cons:  Limited foul weather protection, fit small
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 9, 2019
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Weather Resistance - 30% 6
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 9
  • Ventilation - 15% 3
  • Style - 15% 7
  • Warmth - 10% 10
  • Features - 5% 6

Our Verdict

We compare, hard. We select, hard. The result is a critical examination of every piece of equipment we test. The Salomon Chill Out Bib spent weeks under that lens, and we pick it apart below. What we found is a warmly insulated pair of pants with fancy suspenders and limited poor weather protection. We can't really call them bibs, and we wouldn't recommend extended use in genuinely foul weather. For true bibs that protect against the gnarliest of weather, check out the FlyLow Baker Bibs. For normal, insulated ski pants that protect a little better and fit truer, check out the Top Pick for Warmth, the Spyder Dare.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $172.88 at Amazon
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$348.93 at REI
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$149.00 at Patagonia
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$134.99 at Backcountry
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$164.97 at Backcountry
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Pros Stylish, insulated, soft and stretchy feelImmaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy liningFashionable, carefully tailored, excellent weather protectionWarm, comfy, solid overallBib design, fully waterproofed construction, many pockets
Cons Limited foul weather protection, fit smallExpensive, no bright color optionsMesh-backed vents, doesn’t have all the bells and whistlesLimited sealing of pockets, less effective ventsNot everyone likes bibs
Bottom Line European-styled insulated ski pants for casual or fair weather ski usage.These are top of the line pants. The protection, fit, and comfort are unmatched. They are versatile, durable, and have a lasting style.Excellent, all-around ski pants suitable for almost all users.The top insulated ski pants for those who need them.This model does the difficult; they combine comfort with full-blown bib protection. In this subcategory of ski pants, these are our favorite.
Rating Categories Salomon Chill Out Bib Arc'teryx Sabre Pants Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants Spyder Dare Regular GTX Marmot Discovery Bib
Weather Resistance (30%)
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6
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10
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8
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9
Fit And Comfort (25%)
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9
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9
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8
10
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8
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8
Ventilation (15%)
10
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3
10
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7
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5
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3
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5
Style (15%)
10
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7
10
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8
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9
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8
10
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5
Warmth (10%)
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5
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6
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6
Features (5%)
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8
Specs Salomon Chill Out... Arc'teryx Sabre... Patagonia Powder... Spyder Dare... Marmot Discovery Bib
Main fabric 4 Way Stretch 2L Cordura Nylon 3L 4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester 2L Polyester plain weave 2L 100% Nylon 2L
Insulation Synthetic insulation 60g /m² Laminated fleecy lining Hanging mesh lining 3M Thinsulate Hanging mesh lining
Waterproofing AdvancedSkin Dry (2-layer) N80p-X Gore-Tex (3-layer) Gore-Tex w/ DWR finish (2-layer) Gore-Tex laminate and PFCecFree DWR (2-layer) Membrain 2-Layer
Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?) Snap/zipper fly with adjustable belt Snaps. Built-in elastic belt Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Snap/zipper fly with internal adjustment and removable suspenders Bibs
Weight (in pounds) 1.88 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.67 lbs 1.79 lbs 1.97 lbs
Weight (in grams) 853 g 600 g 756 g 811 g 894 g
# of Pockets 5 3 4 5 6
Vents? Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Exterior thigh zips, no mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Inner thigh zips, with mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh
Ski-specific features Scuff guards, gaiters, 4-way stretch for mobility Recco, fleecy handwarmer pockets, key/pass clip inside pocket Scuff guards, gaiters Scuff guards, gaiters, articulated knee, insulation on back for cold chairlifts Bibs, gaiters, reinforced ankles
Recco? no yes ? ? yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

These are basic insulated ski pants. They are called a "bib", but it would be more accurate to say that they are normal insulated ski pants with augmented (and removable) suspenders. The "bib" is simply one triangle of fabric at the lower back. The construction is adequate and the materials do the job. The fabric is soft and quiet while the fit is close and runs on the small side. The look is decidedly European.

Performance Comparison


Low winter light suggests cold temps. For those conditions  insulated pants like the Salomon Chill Out are pretty sweet.
Low winter light suggests cold temps. For those conditions, insulated pants like the Salomon Chill Out are pretty sweet.

Weather Resistance


Salomon's proprietary "AdvancedSkin Dry" shell fabric doesn't transmit liquid water through it. This is the good news. Other than that, we aren't particularly impressed by the Chill Out Bib's waterproofness. The vent zippers aren't waterproof, the rear pockets close with only a snap and a flap, and the DWR treatment fails with just a little bit of rubbing. The lower back suspender panel helps protect a little bit and the cuffs are solid and clean. The award winners all protect better against the weather. Notably, the insulated Spyder Dare offers better weather protection by addressing, primarily, the zipper and pocket issues that the Salomon has.

The soft external fabric of the Chill Out Bibs doesn't bead up water like other options.
The soft external fabric of the Chill Out Bibs doesn't bead up water like other options.

Fit and Comfort


We like the close fit and stretchy, soft design of the Chill Out Bib. These feel more like an insulated version of your soft-shell climbing pants than like ski resort wear. That is real nice. It is worth noting that the sizing generally runs a little small. Other online reviews note this same thing, and our entire test team found it to be true. If you are "between sizes", choose the larger option. Those on our test team that alternate between medium and large clothing were wishing for size large Chill Out Bibs.

Long  low angle and fast skiing in the Salomon Chill Out.
Long, low angle and fast skiing in the Salomon Chill Out.

Ventilation


The long, externally mounted, mesh-backed vents provide noticeable air exchange. Ventilation always feels more dramatic in insulated ski pants, because of the more significant differential between vented and unvented. The fact is, though, that these zippers vent just as well as any other similarly configured vents. Vents without mesh backing, like those on the Editors' Choice Arc'Teryx Sabre move even more air, but are more vulnerable to letting snow in. The dual (inner and outer, on each leg), unlined vents of the FlyLow Chemical Snow Pants (the same as on the FlyLow Baker Bibs) lead the field for ventilation. These super vented pants can be opened up to almost feel like wearing shorts.

External  mesh backed zip vents let air through and keep out chunks of snow. Taking away the mesh might let in more snow but would allow even more air flow.
External, mesh backed zip vents let air through and keep out chunks of snow. Taking away the mesh might let in more snow but would allow even more air flow.

Style


Salomon makes European-centric gear for a variety of outdoor pursuits. These ski pants look and feel like ski mountaineering or climbing pants, while being insulated like resort wear. It is an interesting stylistic and features combination, but it works for folks. If you want to look like you just stepped off the Aiguille Du Midi tram for some high altitude Alps rock climbing, check out these pants. Just don't use them for rock climbing. You'll be way too warm.

The cut and look of the Salomon Chill Out is close and decidedly "Euro".
The cut and look of the Salomon Chill Out is close and decidedly "Euro".

Warmth


The Salomon Chill Out Bib and the Spyder Dare are the only truly insulated pants we tested for 2019. These insulated pants are significantly warmer than any of the non-insulated options. Between these two, our test team found the insulation value to be indistinguishable. Beneath the looser fitting Spyder Dare you could add more insulation than beneath the closer fitting Salomon. Otherwise they are virtually identical.

This day was ridiculously cold. Note Jed's big  insulated mittens. Days like this  hovering in the single digits  are made for insulated pants like the Salomon Chill Out.
This day was ridiculously cold. Note Jed's big, insulated mittens. Days like this, hovering in the single digits, are made for insulated pants like the Salomon Chill Out.

Features


The five pockets of the Salomon Chill Out Bib constitute its set of ski-specific features. These pockets are good. We especially like the zippered and fleece-lined hand warmer pockets. We wish the rear pockets were also zippered, both for weather protection and for containing smaller items. As they are, with just snapped flap closings, the rear pockets are more for decoration than any practical purpose.

The dual  fleece-lined hand warmer pockets are super comfy.
The dual, fleece-lined hand warmer pockets are super comfy.

Best Applications


The Salomon Chill Out Bib is your normal insulated ski resort wear. Others protect better in gnarly weather, but few go out to the slopes when it is that bad.

The "bib" of the Salomon Chill Out is simply a robust pair of suspenders that can be zipped off.
The "bib" of the Salomon Chill Out is simply a robust pair of suspenders that can be zipped off.

Value


When the Spyder Dare offers better weather protection and similar insulation at a comparable price, it is tough to call the Salomon Chill Out Bib a value. You choose these for the stretchy, soft comfort and the Euro styling.

Conclusion


The Chill Out Bibs are good pants with basic functionality and features.


Jediah Porter