Expert Review: Dakine Men's Stoker GORE-TEX® 3L Bib Pants
This review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2022.
The Stoker GORE-TEX Bib Pants are an amazing pant for backcountry riders and hardcore resort riders that can’t stop and won’t stop. They are packed with all the features a rider wants and none that a rider doesn’t want.
About the pants
- Brand: Dakine
- Model: Men's Stoker GORE-TEX 3L Bib Pants
- Size Fit: True-to-size; “tailored” a bit in the upper leg and waist but still relaxed
- Height: 5’5”
- Weight: 185
- Pant size: XL
- Experience: 28 years of snowboarding
- When I bought these: February 2022
- Days used: 28 days
- Where I’ve used them: Mt. Bachelor, Anthony Lakes, Elkhorn Mountains backcountry
- Weather conditions used in: Deep snow, extreme cold, warm spring, backcountry, pretty much everything
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was tired of swamp undercarriage when on my splitboard, and I needed the versatility that a high-quality uninsulated GORE-TEX shell offers versus the insulated bibs I had at the time. Traveling uphill creates a lot more heat than sliding downhill and I spend a lot of my time going uphill, so I need to be able to take it all the way down to the shell to keep from overheating when the conditions demand it. Being able to layer underneath for rapidly changing weather conditions is also an absolute must when roaming around in the backcountry.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Stoker because I’ve been using Dakine products for almost 30 years, and they have always met my standards. I'm hard on my gear, and I use it frequently. I liked the list of features and the look of these bibs. I chose the Dakine Stoker over the Volcom 3L Overhauler Bib and the Burton [ak] 3L Freebird Bib mostly because of my very high confidence in Dakine’s products, but the price tag was a factor as well. I’m a bit of a penny pincher and expect my gear to last for many years, and I've never had a bad experience with Dakine outerwear, which I can't say for the other two brands mentioned.
What I love about them
- Comfort: The materials are soft and comfortable. The GORE-TEX fabric is soft and resilient, as well as the stretch back panel. These bibs fit well and are well articulated, and they move with me. They provide a very free-flowing feeling without looking or feeling too loose and baggy.
- Waterproofing: It is like water off a duck's back. It kept all the water out, even on warm spring days, and in warmer, wet storm conditions. The waterproofing is also easily reactivated after heavy use by a quick tumble dry.
- Breathability: The material breathes very well, and the vents are lined with quality mesh. It is swamp-proof. Sweat factor has gone down exponentially on the uphill routes since I got these.
- Durability: I’ve put mine through the wringer, and they still look like new after a wash and dry. They’re built tough, with fully-taped seams and scuff guard–reinforced hems. Mine have a couple dozen days on them and still look like new.
- Weight: It is lightweight and very packable.
- Ease of movement: It provides free and easy movement, mostly thanks to the stretch back! These are well-articulated, and the stretchback adds a whole other level of mobility.
- Quality: The materials and construction have a high-quality and durable feel and look, with fully taped seams, and YKK® AquaGuard® water-resistant zippers.
- Special Features: I really love the pockets and vents on these bibs. The vents have a soft mesh lining, and the pockets are well-placed and perfectly sized.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Warmth: This is a non-insulated GORE-TEX shell. Some layering will be mandatory. I usually back mine up with at least a thin Smartwool/synthetic base layer.
- Fit: I’m a short and wide guy, and I need to wear these as an XL, which leaves a bit of extra length in the legs for me. I wish they had a “short” cut.
- Special Features: I have had some trouble on occasion with the shoulder straps loosening a tad bit, but they are easily cinched back down.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with these bibs was on a spring backcountry booter build. Everyone else was stripped down to their soaking wet, sweaty underlayers, while I was nice and breezy in my fancy GORE-TEX bibs!
Value for the money vs. other options
These are a great value for the money, if they are used often. These are not for the average rider who hits the resort a handful of times every year. These are for die-hards who want to dial in their comfort in the backcountry or at resorts with dynamic and rapidly changing weather. I chose these over the Volcom 3L GORE-TEX Overhauler and the Burton [ak] for a bit more tailored fit and the lower price tag.
If a rider wants durable, waterproof, breathable bibs at a reasonable price, the Stoker GORE-TEX Bib Pants have their name written all over it.