Expert Review: Mountain Hardwear Men's Firefall™ Bib PantsPublished on 09/26/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in 2018.
All photos courtesy of Ethan Y.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in 2018.
The Mountain Hardwear Men's Firefall™ Bib Pants are an excellent, entry-level bib for those looking for a durable and versatile setup that won't break the bank.
About the pants I own
- Brand: Mountain Hardware
- Model: Firefall Bib
- Size Fit Medium, fits true to size
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 165lbs
- Pant size: M (30/32)
- Experience: 20 years of skiing
- When I bought these: 2018
- Days used: 150
- Where I’ve used them: Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Montana
- Weather conditions used in: Powder, slush, rain, freezing rain, bluebird, sunny days
How they perform
What I was looking for
I wanted to switch from pants to bibs and was looking for a well priced, durable, breathable ski bib with chest storage.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this product primarily because of its cost and quality compared to competitors. I considered some other options, such as the Flylow Baker Bib and Patagonia Snow Drifter Bib. However, after reading some positive reviews I ultimately chose the Firefall Bibs.
What I love about it
- Fit: I like my gear to fit semi-loose and that's how I would describe these bibs. They have a straight cut from the torso down to the legs. I am not a big person (165lbs), so there is a little bit of room on the chest and plenty in the waist and legs.
- Comfort: These bibs are very comfortable; there is a soft fleece mesh liner on the inside which draws moisture away from the body and provides a comfortable barrier between the shell material.
- Breathability: Breathability is a top concern for me, as I run hot, and these bibs were well ventilated and had decent breathability. For someone who doesn't run hot, these will be plenty breathable. They do have a full length leg zip that helps to shed heat.
- Durability: These bibs are tough, very tough. I have owned them for four years and the only tears are on the boot cuffs. The boot cuff area is reinforced and has held up very well despite the damage.
- Weight: These bibs are on the heavier side, not the heaviest option but certainly not the lightest.
- Ease of movement: Great mobility; I never felt restricted by them in any way either in the park or backcountry.
- Quality: The bibs have above-average quality for the price; they are comfortable and durable without using top-of-the-line materials.
- Special Features: I love features, and was looking for specific ones when purchasing these bibs. The pockets are very useful: two thigh pockets provide ample storage for a wallet, keys, or ski pass, while two chest pockets (one zip, and one fleece lined with snaps) provide good storage for a phone or snack bar. The fleece-lined chest pocket is very nice when my fingers get cold.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Warmth: While I would not consider these fully insulated, they do have a fleece mesh layer which provides adequate warmth. As someone who runs hot most of the time, I find these bibs to be a little too warm.
- Waterproofing: The first year I owned these I had no issues with water/weatherproofing; they stood up pretty well to the elements. However, by year two, the waterproofing had worn off and needed to be reapplied. I am on year four and they no longer hold waterproofing treatment and only provide a physical barrier to the elements.
- Other: The suspender straps, while easy to use, will slowly loosen over the course of the day—sometimes over the course of one run if there is a lot of weight in the chest pockets.
- Any workarounds: I have to periodically retighten the straps.
Favorite moment with this gear
Every year during the waning days of the season, I dawn my trusty ski blades and my bibs and slay some slush. I love having lots of storage without using a backpack, and the additional insulation on my chest when it's too warm for a jacket but still a little chilly.
Value for the money vs. other options
The value of these bibs is very high for what is included. They are very durable, comfortable, and for someone who is skiing 10–15 times a year, they will hold up very well for years. There are a few other options that are a good alternative and offer superior weatherproofing and style, namely the Flylow Baker Bib.
A great option for those looking for a durable and comfortable bib at an affordable price, where it lacks in weatherproofing it makes up for it in useful features and a good price.