Expert Review: Volcom Men's Roan Bib Pants

Published on 09/25/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in August of 2021.
Matt Kelly, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Matt Kelly

Blue Mountain PA - Breaking in the bibs for the first time! All photos courtesy of Matt Kelly

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in August of 2021.

My take

These Volcom Men’s Roan Bib Pants are great for any day in deeper snow and are breathable enough to wear a tee underneath on a sunny late-season park day. I wear these bib pants 95% of the time that I ride because of how well they fit me. These are considered more like a shell than insulated pants which I prefer so that I can layer my pants according to the weather.

About the pants

  • Brand: Volcom
  • Model: Volcom Men’s Roan Bib Pants
  • Size Fit: Runs a bit large

About me:

  • Height: 5’ 9”
  • Weight: 155lbs
  • Pant size: 32W 30L
  • Experience: 15 years of riding

Test conditions:

  • When I bought these: August 2021
  • Days used: 13 days
  • Where I’ve used them: Big Snow NJ, Jackson Hole, Steamboat, and Blue Mountain PA
  • Weather conditions used in: Sunny spring, overcast chilly days, windy days, and in pow storm

How they perform

Ease of Movement

What I was looking for

I was on the hunt for a new pair of bib pants after my last pair were ripped by a tree—it was totally my fault. I wanted a bib that was lightweight and would keep me dry and warm in deep snow. It was also important that the bib be breathable and comfortable.

Why I chose this gear

I considered buying Mountain Hardwear Firefall bibs but never got a chance to try them on in person. I also considered Volcom’s Rain GORE-TEX bib but decided against it because of the price point. I would put the extra money towards the Rain GORE-TEX bib if I were riding in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) because of the heavier and wet snow that they come across. After trying on a pair of my buddy’s, I decided to buy a pair and can say that my search for a bib is now over. I won't be switching from the Roan bib pants because of how comfortable and breathable they are. They are also lightweight and provide warmth and dryness in deep snow, which is exactly what I was looking for.

What I love about them

  • Fit: When it comes to bibs, I like a fit that’s on the baggier side so I can have enough flexibility. Volcom’s Roan bibs feature a very relaxed fit for me.
  • Comfort: My comfort rating on these would be 9/10. The adjustable elastic bands are very comfortable and do not put too much pressure on the shoulders throughout the day. I don’t see any cons here unless this bib is for use in conditions that require more waterproofing. In that case, I’d suggest moving up to the Rain GORE-TEX bibs.
  • Warmth: I’d rate these at 7/10 on the warmth scale, but I prefer to layer my clothes according to the weather. On powder days I'll throw on a solid pair of base layer pants and feel cozy, but on a sunny spring day, shorts underneath with a T-shirt is my go-to.
  • Waterproofing: These feature a waterproof and breathability rating of 15,000mm/15,000gm², which is a very high rating. After 13 days of riding with these bib pants, I didn’t have any days where I left with them wet.
  • Breathability: Volcom’s Roan bibs feature a 2-layer V-science shell and are extremely breathable. There are two vents along the inside seam of the pants that act as airways for the shell. This makes for a breezy ride when feeling a bit toasty. I typically wear shorts or light sweats on a sunny park day and have plenty of breathability with the vents that are on each leg.
  • Weight: These polyester bib pants are very lightweight.
  • Ease of movement: It is very easy to move around in these because of the relaxed fit and stretchy design.
  • Special Features: There are two center pockets on the chest portion of the bib (one zipper and one velcro pocket) that make for easy access when securing items like a phone or keys. There are also some big pockets along the front side of the hips that are well-placed for storing items while riding. The very bottom of each leg cuff is reinforced with durable material that prevents heavy wear and tear. It is also possible to zip into the skirt of a jacket to really prevent any snow from getting underneath the bib.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Waterproofing: These bib pants could be a bit more waterproof, but considering where I usually ride, they serve their purpose well.
  • Durability: Roan bibs are made of 100% polyester which is a great material, but it is not as nice as the material made for Volcom’s Rain GORE-TEX. The Rain GORE-TEX bibs are made of 100% nylon (polyamide) which is a stronger, more durable, and more lightweight material that is great for everyday use on the snow.
  • Quality: The nylon Rain GORE-TEX bib is of a higher quality than the polyester Roan bib and tends to last longer for these kinds of products. For riders more concerned about wear and tear, I would suggest going with the more durable nylon instead of the polyester.

Favorite moment with this gear

Sharing the warmth! Volcom bibs are so comfortable that I ended up buying a pair for my girlfriend who has less than a year of snowboarding experience.

Value for the money vs. other options

For their price point, Volcom’s Roan bib pants are good value for the money compared to the more expensive North Face Freedom bibs or the Mountain Hardwear Firefall. I’ve gone through two pairs of bibs—North Face and Oakley—both of which treated me very well. I will not be going back to either brand’s bibs because of the relaxed, comfortable fit that Volcom offers when I’m riding, and the warmth provided while on the lift. The only downside to the Roan bib is that it lacks the kind of waterproofing that would be needed for riding in the PNW. Skiers and snowboarders riding somewhere that often has wet snow should consider looking into GORE-TEX products—specifically Volcom’s Rain GORE-TEX bibs. They offer the same relaxed fit and maneuverability as the Roan bibs but are made of the more durable 100% nylon.

Final verdict

Volcom’s Roan Bib Pants offer everything from breathability to waterproofing and a ton of pockets for storage. The bib pants compliment any jacket worn over them and don’t feel bulky whatsoever. Most importantly they have a “jacket-to-pant interface” that keeps snow completely out of the inside of the pants and jacket. These bib pants prove that there are plenty of reasons why seasoned pros prefer Volcom products.

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